Support for women religious: “Sisters of the smile”

The coronavirus epidemic has plunged millions of people into hunger and despondency. Everywhere, the Church is stretched to the limit, but particularly in the poorest countries of the southern hemisphere. For many people her service of love is crucial to their very survival. Your support for religious Sisters helps make the love of God visible. The prelature of Humahuaca in Argentina is an area of deep poverty. There are 10 religious Sisters here from four different communities, all battling on different pastoral and humanitarian fronts.

Your support for their life and apostolate (€4,600) can be seen and felt in the homes they run for the elderly, for women and orphans – both in the towns and in the countryside, in the boarding schools for girls, and their youth apostolate. The Claretian Sisters are active in many places. Your support gives them fresh courage. Their trust in God is infectious according to Hector, a catechist in the parish of the Presentation of Our Lady. He applies the words of their founder Saint Anthony Maria Claret to them: “Lord, let us burn with love and with this fire of love light up our way.” Your support nurtures these flames of love. For Nancy, a catechist, they are “the Sisters of the smile”. The joy and resolute faith of these Sisters gives them the courage, despite the circumstances, to keep on looking for solutions.

With their selfless kindness they are giving courage to others – and an example of love. In the diocese of Tacna y Moqueguá, Peru, there are 36 religious Sisters from 11 different communities; in Venezuela there are 48 in the diocese of La Guaira alone, not to mention thousands of others in Latin America and Africa who, thanks to your generous support, are able to continue working, quietly and uncomplainingly. Their joyful hearts, filled with love, are tackling the needs of these times. In the poor they see Christ, and in their smiling faces the poor see the face of God.

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