Last month we were blessed by two postulate sisters that came to us from the Archdiocese of Boston. They are a part of a religious community known as the Sisters of Nazareth. A few years ago our parish was blessed by a visit from Mother Olga, founder and mother servant of the Daughters of Mary of Nazareth. This community serves the needs of the poor in war-torn areas, and in 1995 she established the Order of Martha Maryam Sisters-Missionaries of the Virgin Mary, the first order of Religious Sisters in the Assyrian Church of the East in 700 years!
In 2009, Cardinal O’Malley gave Mother Olga permission to start a new apostolate on the Boston University campus called the Nazareth House. It was a house of prayer and discernment for young women. In April, 2011, Cardinal Séan Patrick O’Malley, entrusted to her the mission of establishing a new religious community of sisters in the Archdiocese of Boston, Daughters of Mary of Nazareth.
Sisters Guadalupe and Faustina were a staple on the campus of our Church and School for the whole month of May. They taught bible studies, sang songs with our school children, taught religious education, and participated in every activity presented them by our administrative staff. They left us at the end of the month to return to Boston to take their final vows. They are already deeply missed by everyone in our church and school families. Please continue to hold them in your prayers as they begin the next stage of their life journeys. Below is a letter we recently received from Mother Olga regarding the Sisters’ experiences.
What a great blessing it has been to get to know the Sisters. We look forward to nurturing an enduring friendship with Mother Olga and her religious community for many years to come.
Mother Olga’s Message Below:
June 4, 2019
Dear Father Brannen, Mrs. Brown, teachers, students, and parents of the Blessed Sacrament School,
Peace and blessing to you. I pray this letter finds you all well during this novena of Pentecost. May the outpouring of the Holy Spirit bless each one of you with every grace that you need.
In preparing to write this note of gratitude to each one of you and your extended school community, I was reminded by the words of Saint Francis of Assisi, “It is in giving that we receive.” I am eternally grateful for your warm hospitality, prayerful support, guidance, and the powerful witness that you extended and shared with my Daughters, Sister Faustina Kolbe and Sister Guadalupe Karol.
Their time of serving the children at your school, it has been and always will be a very memorable experience in the years of their formation. Each one of you made this experience so formative, blessed, and joyful. It is true that the Daughters have received much more, above and beyond, what they came to give to the children at your school, the faithful parishioners at the Blessed Sacrament Church.
As part of staying united with the community here in Boston, I asked the two sisters who were serving in Savannah to keep a journal entry day-by-day, not only of their service activities, but also their encounters with the children, teachers, parents, and parishioners. This journal not only helped them document all these precious experiences, but more so to help the community in Boston to pray for each one of you in a unique way. It has also helped the Sisters here in Boston to receive so much from remembering and recalling all the stories from the daily encounters that the Sisters had during their time in Savannah.
The faithful commitment of the loving parents of all your students who sacrifice so much to hand the torch of faith to their children through the enrollment of their children at your school, is indeed very inspiring and encouraging for the future of our Church here in America.
The tireless and generous offering of all the teachers echoes the true meaning of their vocation as teachers, described by Saint John Paul II, “No Catholic school can be effective without dedicated Catholic teachers, convinced of the great ideal of Catholic education. The Church needs men and women who are intent on teaching by word and example – intent on helping to permeate the whole educational milieu with the spirit of Christ. This is a great vocation.”
Father Brannen and Mrs. Brown, I would have never planned such a powerful experience for my two Daughters without your powerful prayer, words of encouragement, and profound witness and guidance. Each one of you has touched our community deeply by all that you have offered us through our community’s mission at your parish and your school.
Last but not the least, to the beloved children of the Blessed Sacrament: It’s true, you may still be in school for a few more years at the Blessed Sacrament and beyond, yet in so many ways you are already teachers by your witness and your example. The Sisters and I have learned so much from all of you, including the kindergarteners. I give thanks to God for each one of you, especially in these days of preparation for Pentecost. The faith of your family and the education that you receive at the Blessed Sacrament have indeed filled all of you with the anointing of the Holy Spirit to be messengers of truth in both big and small ways, whether by sharing in a classroom, or playing on a playground.
To each one of you at the Blessed Sacrament School and the parish, I am eternally grateful. No words will ever be enough to convey all that all the Sisters in our community have learned from this experience of being with you and serving you, in person and spiritually.
May the Lord who granted us this opportunity bless all the fruits of this mission, for all of you and for our community, as we stay united in prayer for God’s greater glory and the love of His Church.
Your Sister in Christ,