Sisters of the Presentation have served in foreign missions for over
One of the calls from the Second Vatican Council was
for religious congregations to send a percentage of their personnel to
Since that time, Presentation Sisters have served in Central and South
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
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’
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
"Buenas Tardes con Celina" 1370 AM La Kaliente
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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
Missionary Sisters of the Eucharist an indigenous Guatemalan
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
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.
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.
Cafferty, PBVM, at the UN
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
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
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