Random Nun Clips

Uncharted territory

Podcast Recorded: February 6, 2023
A section of the globe showing North and Central America

For many religious communities, the United States is mission territory. Sister Elizabeth Guerrero explains.

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Show Notes

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Transcript (Click for More)+

Sister Rejane  
This Random Nun Clip is brought to you by A Nun's Life Ministry. I am Sister Rejane of A Nun's Life Ministry, and my guest today is Sister Elizabeth Guerrero, a Sister of the Missionary Catechists of Divine Providence. She lives in San Antonio, Texas, and is the executive director of AHLMA, Asociacion de Hermanas Latinas Misioneras en America. This organization works with Catholic Sisters from Latin American communities who are ministering in the US, and Latina Catholic Sisters born in Latin America and born in the United States, who are members of US Catholic communities. AHLMA's mission is to support, accompany, and empower Latina sisters within the context of their ministries in the US Catholic Church. So you've mentioned a lot about being commissioned to the US, right. So you've mentioned a lot about being missioned to the US, and that idea that the US is mission territory. How does that interplay with AHLMA? And I think Catholic Extension plays a role too.

Sister Elizabeth  
It is. It is. It's interesting. We've had several conversations about it, but for many communities, yeah, the US is uncharted territory. It is a mission country. It is also a source of income. Right? It is also an invitation. You know, many, many sisters, many congregations have been invited, because there may be a pocket within a parish of folks who may not speak English very well yet. And so they hire sisters or they invite sisters to try to work with those communities. The goal is always to get them connected with that parish community. But yeah, it is mission territory. It is for many, many congregations. It's interesting, because, obviously, through history, people were missioned out -- and they still are -- to go to other countries. It's interesting to be that country where you are receiving missionaries.

Sister Rejane  
Right. Right. When you look at the history of the Catholic Church in North and South America -- I have sisters in my community that are peruanas -- Hermanas de la Caridad, and they're in Peru, and it finally opened my eyes that the Catholic Church is much older in Central and South America than in the United States. That was the first insight. And a lot of women's religious communities in the US missioned to Central and South America. A little before Vatican II or during Vatican II there was a call for that. So in some ways, it's like coming full circle that we would need sisters and religious from Central and South America to come and mission to us. The Catholic Church is about reciprocity. And that goes back to people on the move that you're talking about in an encuentro. Our borders -- there's still movement across the lines and across cultures and we learn and it's a richness.

This Random Nun Clip is brought to you by A Nun's Life Ministry.

This transcript has been lightly edited for readability.

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