24 Religious Sisters in Mexico Thank You for Your Support
The territorial prelature of Jesus Maria del Nayar covers an area of over 9,600 square miles in the highlands of central western Mexico. It is an area about the size of New Jersey, but the population is only approximately 135,000 and widely scattered. Catholics make up some 120,000 of the people, but there are just 14 priests to minister to this vast area, which is one of the poorest in the whole of Mexico.
Given this situation, the work of the religious Sisters is especially important and valuable. There are some 24 religious Sisters of the local Congregation of the Missionary Franciscan Sisters of Jesus and Mary, who work within the prelature. The congregation was established in 1970 to provide pastoral and social support to the people in this difficult mountainous terrain. It has eight small communities in the local towns, from which the Sisters go out to minister to the villages of the surrounding area, many of which are widely scattered across this hilly region.
In the past the Sisters used to have to travel with donkeys or mules through the mountains in order to reach these villages. They work among indigenous peoples who live in great poverty. Their apostolate includes working with children and young people, helping expectant and nursing mothers and teaching them how to care for their babies, supporting and advising the families, caring for the sick and elderly and providing medical support where needed. They also teach. But their pastoral role is of primary importance. They gather the people together for prayer when the priests are unable to reach them, singing and praying and giving catechetical instruction.
The Sisters themselves live in great poverty and carry out their difficult apostolate among the poor and disadvantaged without asking any payment in return. But they still need the basic necessities in order to survive, and so – in order to help them for one more year with their basic necessities, food, transport, medical supplies and other essentials – we have provided them with vital basic support of $10,800.
The Sisters have written to thank us and to promise their prayers for all our generous benefactors!
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