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Foreign Missions

Sisters of the Presentation have served in foreign missions for over thirty years.
One of the calls from the Second Vatican Council was for religious congregations to send a percentage of their personnel to foreign missions.

Since that time, Presentation Sisters have served in Central and South America. 
Currently, two Presentation Sisters, Sister Ellen Cafferty, PBVM, and Sister Kathleen Curtin, PBVM, are serving as a foreign missionaries in Guatemala.  Sister Rachel Pinal, PBVM, is serving in Nicaragua.



Sister Rachel Pinal’s Newsletter from Nicaragua
 



Presentation High School, San Jose, Students and Staff Annual Nicaragua Immersion Trip

 

By Samantha LoCurto, Director of Public Relations, Presentation High School, San Jose, California

This June, ten Presentation High School, San Jose, California, students and staff traveled to Nicaragua on an eight-day immersion trip. They visited Sister Rachel Pinal, PBVM, (standing second left) and two local schools in Somotillo. These schools are recipients of the money fundraised during the year’s Mission Drive, which raised $22,000. These schools don't require students to pay tuition allowing even low-income students the opportunity for education. They work tirelessly to maintain funding and keep their doors open. The donations help pay their teachers, provide scholarships for students, and maintain the schools’ facilities.

They also spent the week working with Bridges to Community, where they helped build a home for a family in need in Mojon. As a gesture of thanks, the community held a beautiful impromptu Liturgy of the Word for the group on top of a hill, looking over the lush landscape.

Presentation High School, Director of Community Involvement, Lindsay Swoboda shared, "This trip was a wonderful combination of service and immersion. We were able to create genuine relationships with the community members while also having the opportunity to experience the natural beauty of Nicaragua." A life-changing trip for every participant, these students have gained a deeper sense of solidarity with the people of Nicaragua and broadened their own perspectives.

"Buenas Tardes con Celina" 1370 AM La Kaliente
This is a Spanish radio program which requires downloading.
 



Missionary Sisters of the Eucharist and staff
at the home for abandoned elderly women.
 

 

Sister Kathleen Curtin, PBVM, continues to work as an advisor to the
Missionary Sisters of the Eucharist an indigenous Guatemalan religious community. 

A young community with few finally professed members, Sister Kathleen has provided
invaluable experience of religious life as well as helping them with fundraising in the United States.

 


Sister Kathleen Curtin (left) with two
residents of the home for elderly women.


Sister Kathleen Curtin (seventh from left) with
Missionary Sisters of the Eucharist
at their home for abandoned elderly women.
 

One of the Sisters’ projects is the Nueva Esperanza, a home of abandoned elderly women, outside
Guatemala City opened in August, 2002.  The home is financed entirely by donations. 

The Missionary Sisters of the Eucharist who staff and live at the home, provide a clean, loving atmosphere
for about twenty-five elderly women who have no one to care for them and who would die alone
if this home did not exist.  The need is great as there are no government resources for the poor elderly in Guatemala. 

 


Sister Ellen Cafferty, PBVM

Sister Ellen Cafferty, PBVM, is a staff member in the Parroquia Jesus Nipalakin (Jesus Walks With Us) in Las Margaritas and surrounding settlements.  Las Margaritas is about a two hour bus ride from Guatemala City.  However, because of the growth of Guatemala City, Las Margaritas and the parish are becoming a suburb of the city.

 

Sister Ellen works in building faith community among the people – her work takes her to outlaying communities which necessitates travel by foot, local buses, or trucks. 
She is also active in the Instituto Technico Experimental Cuidad Quetzal which parents in the parish began over ten years ago to improve the quality of education their children receive.

 

Sister Ellen Cafferty, PBVM, at the UN

 


 

Sister Rachel Pinal, PBVM
 


Since 2001, Sister Rachel Pinal, PBVM, has been a facilitadora for two schools in Nicaragua. 
The term loosely translates to facilitator in English, but is much more – a combination of fundraiser, trouble shooter, and all around resource person.

 

San Ignacio School in Somotillo educates the children who work on the streets of the city in various jobs – shoe shine boys, tortilla sellers, and so on.  The school is designed around their schedule and provides them with necessary academics and skills to improve themselves.

 

 

A high school begun by parents in a remote mountainous area provides education from sixth grade through high school.  Located in Mariitas, the site was chosen because it was centrally located for the farmers in the area.  There is no town there.

 

In Nicaragua, the average pay is $2 a day.  The average salary for the teachers is $180 a month, while the principal of one of the schools earns $318.98 a month.  The government does not have financial resources to build, staff, or maintain schools.  The task is taken up by organization within the country, groups and organizations in the United States, and individual donors.  Sister Rachel’s ministry is to help find funding and to bring groups together to help the schools.  Her tasks range from speaking with groups to raise funds to making sure students have shoes so they can attend a field trip.

 

 


For more information about the missionary efforts of the Sisters of the Presentation,
please contact Sister Michele Anne Murphy, PBVM, at (415) 422-5013 or mamurphy@pbvmsf.org.


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