Outreach to the Poor
The most noteworthy of our ministry is the privilege to work with those who are poor. An individual, possibly from an agency, contacts Sister and refers her to a person or family who are having a difficult time. Sister visits the home and assesses the need(s) she finds and, with the person, decides what should be done. Follow-up visits assure that there is progress being made and sometimes a real friendship occurs.
In addition, a Sister will possibly start a shop or meeting place where people can get clothing, personal care products, household supplies, diapers, and other essentials. Perhaps all they need is to sit and talk. In the meantime Sister is scouting for someone with the skills to handle the day to day activities of the program which frees up Sister for other ministries.
The Sister takes to heart the words our founder wrote in 1948: “Love the poor, the sick and helpless, and attend to them. They are God’s influentials. They are His aristocrats. He loves them. If you are known in your community as the contact for all the poor and unfortunate of the place, you could not have a more honorable title on earth or one that would make you more welcome in the courts of Heaven.”
The Glenmary Sisters nurture the faith of the local Roman Catholic community. Through religious education and our mission work, the Sisters and the local Catholic people create programs of religious formation that will meet the needs of their particular faith community. This is very important in areas where the Catholic population is less than two percent and can make this part of our mission quite a challenge. We assist the parish with sacramental preparation, RCIA and, with the help of summer volunteers, vacation bible school. We work to encourage the parishioners to embrace their Catholic faith and to become involved in all aspects of parish life. Our goal is to never take over any parish ministry; it is to prepare the people for those roles.
The Glenmary Sisters reach out in their mission areas with intention and deep desire to promote unity among people of all walks of life and among the different faith communities, through greater cooperation and improved understanding of each other. The Sisters share the Word of God in humble and untiring labor, and pray for conversions of heart. We volunteer our time with the local ministerial alliance in our mission areas. We participate in the various programs that are offered at the local churches and work with the local pastors on joint efforts to serve the needy in the area. Many of the alliances pool resources to provide meals at Christmas and Thanksgiving along with hosting ecumenical worship services. Being a part of these activities provide the Sisters a wonderful opportunity to share the Catholic faith with others and to correct the many misconceptions of who Catholics are.
Evangelization through the Ministry of Presence
The Glenmary Sisters strive always to be a reflection of God’s mercy through living our lives of dedication and fidelity to our call.
The Glenmary Sisters strive to be a welcoming presence to all cultures we encounter. The U.S. Hispanic/Latino population comes from different areas of Mexico, Central and South America. Many are farm workers. The Glenmary Sisters minister to the special needs of the Hispanic/Latino Communities by sharing our faith in God, serving as interpreters, providing English language classes and the basic needs for daily living when needed.