I want to plug the sisters’ work at the Oasis in Athens, GA. The sisters there serve a large community of recent immigrants (mostly from Mexico). The Oasis program is fundamentally an afterschool tutoring program for kindergarten-third grade students in the community. With the help of more than 100 tutors from UGA, the sisters are able to spend about 2.5 hrs a day during the week assisting these children with improving their math and reading skills. I have to say that I am thoroughly impressed with their hard work and the results they’ve achieved. One of the most impressive accomplishments of the community is the elimination of gang activity in the area. No easy feat! But once you encounter the determination of these faithful women, you can easily see how evil never stands a chance.
More than anything right now the sisters need cash donations. While we were there, I witnessed the sisters paying the medical bill for one little boy with a bad case of meningitis. Another family was being evicted from their home and the sisters were able to stall the eviction by coming up with the rent money. They are frequently called upon for basic foodstuffs. The people in the community are hard-working, justly proud, deeply faithful, and committed to their families. I can testify the frugality of the sisters’ lifestyle (three of them in a trailer). And I am happy to recommend them to you as worthy recipients of your help. So, please send them a donation or contact them about how you might be of help to them:
Catholic Oasis of St Rafaela
1465 Highway 29, N
Athens, GA 30601
Then, Mary Gibson, whom long-time readers remember as the Roamin’ Roman who blogged her merry way through a year or so in Rome (we met Mary on our trip over there when the U of St. Thomas Rome program invited us for dinner and a brief talk by moi), has discerned a vocation to religious life. She’s entering the Benedictines of Mary and – well, she can take it from here:
Unlike an engaged couple, however, I and others seeking our vocation in the cloister have a major difference in our preparations – what to do about our educational debt load. Engaged couples worry about money, certainly, but they are not prevented from their marriage due to outstanding debt. Aspiring Sisters like myself, on the other hand, are.
I am now working with the Laboure Society with the goal of clearing my educational loans. To plan and run the usual means of fundraising is difficult for me, as I am working full time at a parish plus taking 10 credits of university language courses in order to be able to graduate before entering. June 11 is fast approaching however, and so I am making this online plea to YOU.
I am not worried – I trust in God’s Providence and in the Holy Spirit that if this is His will, all will be well. However, as Catholics we also realize that our cooperation is essential – we must each say yes to God and our actions towards one another matter, we make a difference by God’s grace in others’ lives. Hence, while I have constant trust, I am also not going to leave any rocks unturned! 🙂
Please, if you have prayed for vocations with an open heart and have not yet contributed financially to assist someone’s vocation directly (or even if you have!), consider making a (tax-deductible!) contribution that will assist me in offsetting my loans through the Laboure Society. If you choose to give, please tag your donation to the Laboure Society with the memo “VS blog 2/8”.