News & Updates

Ministry at the Border Updates October 2023

Our shared histories

On Sunday, September 24, the feast of Our Lady of Mercy, Sister Terry Saetta, RSM, invited our core community of IHM sisters, living and ministering at the border, to participate in a vocation event at Sacred Heart Parish in Edinburg, Texas. Rather than present three separate stories featuring each of the IHM congregations—Monroe, MI, Immaculata, PA, and Scranton, PA—we chose to weave our stories together in a display of five panels that portrays the movement of the Spirit in IHMs from our foundation in 1845 to the present moment.

The first panel focuses on Theresa Maxis, her roots in the Haitian community of Baltimore, her role as a founding member of the Oblate Sisters of Providence, and her response to Redemptorist missionary Louis Florent Gillet’s invitation to found a new congregation of sisters in Monroe, MI. Subsequent panels depict how IHMs today continue to embrace the missionary zeal of St. Alphonsus, proclaiming the redeeming/liberating love of Jesus to all, especially the most vulnerable. The fifth and final panel highlights the collaboration of the OSP and IHM congregations at the US-Mexico border and the invitation to sisters from each of the four congregations to live intercongregationally and interculturally as they accompany migrants in McAllen, Texas, and Reynosa, Mexico.

Congratulations, Elvia!

Sister Elvia Mata Ortega is a graduate student in the School of Social Work at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. She currently is doing her field practicum in The Human Mobility Institute. Doctor Luis Torres-Hostos, Founding Dean and Professor in the School of Social Work, recently awarded Elvia the Presidential Research Fellow, which provides one year of full tuition and a stipend for her work as graduate research assistant. Congratulations, Elvia!

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