The Servidoras on the West Coast have a large apostolate serving two parishes, the Our Lady of Peace Shrine in Santa Clara, and the parish of St. Leo the Great in San Jose. Here is an update on the mission they carry out in California’s Silicon Valley.
OUR LADY of PEACE SHRINE
Each year we have between 850-900 catechism students. All of the sisters teach at least one class during the week, and three sisters work in the catechism office. Throughout the year we also collaborate in special events such as the Christmas Play, six Confirmation retreats, four First Holy Communion Masses, and Masses in which the sacrament of Confirmation is bestowed. Our program depends on the 80 dedicated volunteers who teach classes, which are held from Tuesday through Friday evenings, as well as Saturday mornings.
Four sisters lead our Girls’ Oratory on Friday nights. Currently we have four age groups: grades K-1, grades 2-4, grades 5-7, and lastly, grades 8-12. Our two hours together include: formation, prayer, games, arts and crafts, service projects (for the older groups), First Friday Mass, and Stations of the Cross during Lent. Nearly 50 girls attend every Friday night for faith and fun!
The entire community is involved in our Summer Oratory, which is a three week long Bible camp in July. We count on the presence of IVE seminarians and a team of our sisters in formation . The 500 children who attend are divided into age groups by their grade, and then are assigned to teams within their age groups. Their daily activities include: Bible study, Holy Mass, Rosary, sports, games, arts and crafts, silent Bible reading, and scriptural memory verses. Modeled after the method of Saint John Bosco, the children earn points for their team when they practice virtues and show good sportsmanship. At the end of the Oratory, the team with the most points are deemed the victors.
One sister works in the sacristy. She not only prepares for our three (sometimes four) daily Masses and nine Sunday Masses, but also takes care of the altar cloths by washing, ironing, and repairing them. She collaborates with our IVE Sewing Group whose members adorn the church with new vestments and altar linens.
A foundational character and mission of Our Lady of Peace is perpetual Eucharistic Adoration. One sister helps to coordinate perpetual adoration by preparing the schedules and annual processions/celebrations.
Legion of Mary
One sister is the advisor to the local chapter of the Legion of Mary and accompanies them in bringing Holy Communion to the sick.
SAINT JOSEPH ACADEMY (http://stjosephcoop.wordpress.com)
In 2008 we began Saint Joseph Academy, a homeschooling cooperative with a few IVE Third Order families.
Presently twenty-three families, which include 70 children (babies through high school) meet together from Tuesday through Friday for morning sessions of tutoring. The sisters, moms, and volunteers work together not only to tutor the children, but also to take care of the babies, to help in the OLOP and Saint Leo catechism offices, and to teach catechism classes. All families in SJA attend daily Mass at noon, and then return to their homes to complete the rest of their school day.
SAINT LEO THE GREAT (www.stleothegreatsanjoseca.parishesonline.com)
Two sisters have been running the catechism program at Saint Leo the Great Parish since 2006. We have between 250-300 catechism students each year who are divided between two class sessions on Saturday mornings. Our activities include an annual Christmas Play and Concert, and active participation in the San Francisco Walk for Life. We combine our efforts with those of OLOP with the annual Lenten Project (benefit events to support a needy foreign mission of our Religious Family), and the six Confirmation retreats. Our catechism team consists of approximately 40 volunteers.
Click here to contact us and learn about volunteer opportunities.
Servants of the Lord in California
Convent of Venerable Mother Maria Luisa Joséfa of the Most Blessed Sacrament
Santa Clara, California