Dear friends and family,
Sister Edna Hess • President, Sisters of the Precious Blood
Christmas has come and gone, and we are well into the first months of 2023! The new year is an opportunity to review the past and make resolutions for weeks and months ahead. In looking back and thinking about the new year and the main article of this issue of Sharing & Caring, I remembered the lives of two of our Sisters.
In December and January, we Sisters of the Precious Blood lost two of our outstanding missionaries, Sister Margie Zureick and Sister Maria Louisa Miller. Sister Margie served for many years the Appalachian people of Eastern Kentucky, and Sister Maria Louisa served the people of Santiago, Chile.
Sister Margie’s service included a lot of social work as well as parish ministry because many people who lived in Eastern Kentucky lived in poverty. Let us not forget the flooding in Eastern Kentucky this past year! When health problems called her home to Dayton, Margie did not stop being a missionary. She maintained contact with her friends in Kentucky and she became an avid supporter of the Brunner Literacy Center here in Dayton. Margie was aware of what was happening in our country as well as around the world.
Sister Maria Louisa began her 55 years of missionary service in Chile teaching at St. Gaspar’s School and later became involved in parish ministry and retreat work. Her passion was to share Precious Blood spirituality with lay people in the parishes. When Sister Maria Louisa was diagnosed with liver cancer, she returned home for treatment. Her missionary heart led her to continue in mission by sending the daily Gospel readings to the spirituality groups and parish groups she had served in Chile.
Speaking of missionaries, in this issue of Sharing & Caring, Sister Joyce Kahle shares with us her and Sister Terry Walter’s missionary work in Guatemala with young Mayan women who are studying in the capital. I will let her tell their story!
Most of us will never leave our own country to serve the Church or the people of another nation. Some of us never leave the place we were born and raised. However, in today’s world, experiencing different cultures, different customs, different races is becoming more and more common. Technology and the relative ease of transportation (when compared with generations past) allow people around the world to travel far from home, for both short and long periods of time.
Therefore, as people move from place to place, mission sometimes comes to us, instead of us going to mission. Perhaps some of the words we have spoken so easily are now challenging us to be what we say. We say we are all brothers and sisters no matter who we are, what we wear, how we speak, who we believe in. Do we really believe that? If we do, then why is there so much hate, so much violence directed at the poor, migrants, Blacks, Asians?
As Pope Francis has said: “The mission of the Christian in the world is a mission for all, a mission of service, which excludes no one; it requires great generosity and in particular the gaze and heart turned heavenward to invoke the Lord’s help. There is so much need for Christians who bear witness to the Gospel with joy in everyday life. The disciples, sent by Jesus, ‘returned with joy.’ When we do this, our heart fills with joy.”
Today our world needs missionaries so enamored of Jesus that we can’t keep from proclaiming God’s love and compassion for all, in the words we speak and in our actions. We believe as Jesus did that everyone is my brother, my sister. May Jesus make all of us His missionary disciples.