Not all of our sisters live and work inside the U.S. In the 1930s and 1940s, we sent missionaries to China. Later, we expanded our missions and our sisters volunteered for service in Korea, Puerto Rico, Bolivia, Brazil, Liberia, Guatemala, and Vietnam.
Today we remain active in Guatemala, Vietnam, Bolivia, and Korea. Some are missions in the traditional sense that we minister and spread the faith. Others we call foundations because we both minister and help form young women who are interested in religious life. We in the U.S. walk with them on their journey.
We started volunteering in Guatemala in the 1970s, but it wasn’t until the early 1990s that we became part of the local community and supported its institutions in a meaningful way.
In 1988, we joined the teaching staff and eventually headed the Maria de Mattias Education Center, a community center and school for rural Guatemalans that offers secondary education, adult education, and technical training. The center has a regional library, promotes literacy and helps teachers improve their skills.
In 1995, a local priest asked us to oversee a small clinic and from there we founded the Sangre de Cristo Health Care Project. For more than 25 years, we grew the project to five clinic locations in five towns. Sangre de Cristo provides health and dental care, pharmacy and lab services, and health education and promotion to 100,000 people each year.
“The richness of forming relationships with co-workers and villagers has changed me forever looking out on the world with different eyes, celebrating the awesome faith of the poor and embracing the present moment and the person you meet, be that a casual or formal encounter.”S. Kris S., ASC
A few years ago, the priests in the Precious Blood Family learned of Vietnamese women who were interested in our spirituality. We reached out to them, started conversations, and built relationships with the women.
They started studying and preparing for religious life in Korea where we had already established a formation center for women. They made first vows in 2020 and have since returned to Vietnam for ministry and further study.
In 1961, Pope John XXIII appealed for missionaries and lay volunteers around the world to help the church in Latin America. We heard the call and went to Bolivia.
We worked with the poor in a barrio of La Paz alongside Precious Blood Sisters of O’Fallon, Missouri from 1969 to 1972. In 1973, we started our own mission of pastoral work and training catechists at Our Lady of Fatima church in La Paz.
Over time, more U.S. sisters and volunteers came and the mission expanded. Together we founded Centro Salud Integral Sangre de Cristo in La Paz, which continues today to provide health care, child and elder day care, meals, education, tutoring, and a program for kids with special needs.
We also provide pastoral care at Sangre de Cristo parish, which we founded, in La Paz and the remote Camata community eight hours away. Bolivian Adorers, both vowed members and women in formation, work in Cochabamba, Santa Cruz, and Tarija.
“The Bolivian people have taught me how to weave, write, and walk in God’s presence over the 40-plus years I have spent with them, and I have been transformed by them. What a privilege and gift my missionary vocation has been!”S. Ann (Anitawa) F., ASC
In the mid-1960s, we hosted a dozen Korean sisters attending university in Wichita. At the same time, Korean bishops were asking religious congregations to help a growing number of young women in Korea who wanted to become sisters. We did, and they became Adorers before returning to their country.
While the plan was to build a community of Korean Adorers, we began teaching English full time to support ourselves. We also directed a daycare, kindergarten, and center for autistic children.
Today, the Korea Foundation is home to a dozen Korean Adorers who run child centers in Seoul and Changwon. It hosts a house of formation and retreat space. Our sisters also run an abuse shelter for migrant wives from Southeast Asia.
“My time in Korea was an entirely broadening experience, much broader than if I had remained here and spoken only English. The attitude that I was no better than them really sank into my soul. No matter where we go in this world, we are one. I miss the sisters and the people there. I cried as soon as I got on the plane to leave.”S. Mary S., ASC
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