No one has escaped the impact of the pandemic, but there are many vulnerable people in the United States who are suffering at even greater magnitudes: undocumented immigrants, people with severe medical conditions, entire families who have lost jobs, and so many more.
In can be difficult to know how to help.
But also throughout the country are thousands of Catholic sisters, who are immersed in their communities and know the faces, the stories, and the families in greatest need. The Sisters on the Frontlines initiative gives 1,000 sisters $1,000 each to help those suffering from the most harmful effects of the pandemic.
Here are five photos showing how Catholic sisters have used their gift of $1,000 to help people in dire straits.
1. Sister Narcisa Penaredonda, SJBP | Saipan, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands
Sister Narcisa Penaredonda, SJBP, is the pastoral associate of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Cathedral on the island of Saipan, a U.S. territory. Sister Narcisa visited with the many families who were left jobless and even homeless. One family was could not afford medicine. She learned what supplies were needed, went shopping and then distributed the goods.
“It is a joy to see each one with anxiety of the reality yet continue to trust the Lord and entrust to the Lord all their cares,” she said.
2. Sister Lael Niblick, CSA | Amory, Mississippi
As the lay ecclesial minister of the St. Helen Catholic Church, Sister Lael Niblick, CSA, serves 100 diverse families. She knew that Annie, an elderly parishioner, was in a nursing home for rehab therapy after hip surgery. She needed a ramp to get into her home so she could live independently again, but being on a limited fixed income, she could not afford it on her own.
The Sisters on the Frontlines funding paid for the materials and labor.
Thank you FADICA and Catholic Extension for the Sisters on the Frontlines grant enabling us to make Annie’s homecoming a joyous one.”Sister Lael
3. Sister Barbara Bogenschutz, OP | Oglala, South Dakota
Sr. Barbara Bogenschutz serves the Lakota people on the Pine Ridge Reservation, where there is already immense poverty. Consulting with the parish council and elders, they decided to purchase and distribute cleaning supplies for 20 families.
One woman said, “I really appreciate any and everything that my family can use. May God bless Catholic Extension!”
4. Sister Ignacia Garcia Ramos | Lexington, Kentucky
Santa Rita is a 12-year-old girl who has had 16 surgeries since she was born—and still needs more. She has to eat through a tube, which requires filters so that bacteria does not reach her trachea. Their insurance refuses to pay for these filters, which cost four dollars each.
Sister Ignacia gifted this family with the $1,000 to help cover the medical expenses.
“We pray that God blesses you and this family, who through the Holy Spirit, we were inspired to support. Thank you, Catholic Extension, and may God bless you,” Sister Ignacia said.
5. Sister Benedicta Wasonga | Seaside, California
“A grant of $1,000 has been a big blessing to one of the families at our parish,” wrote Sister Benedicta.
“It is one of many families and individuals whose lives have been severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. There are no words to describe how gratitude the family is, for receiving the grant from Catholic Extension. A BIG THANK YOU!”
In this photo, Sister Benedicta and Father Michael of St. Francis Xavier Parish perform a ceremony to celebrate the gift.
390 sisters have received funding, but 610 are still awaiting a gift of $1,000 to help families in their community.
Please, support Sisters on the Frontlines today.
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