Twenty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time
Reading I Isaiah 66:18-21
Reading II Hebrews 12:5-7, 11-13
Gospel Luke 13:22-30
I wish to thank Monsignor Kuse for allowing me to speak to you today, and greetings to all of you at Blessed Sacrament Parish in Quincy. I am a Sister of the School Sisters of Notre Dame. My hometown is Effingham, Illinois, where I was a member of St. Anthony Parish. Now I live at the Motherhouse in St. Louis. For almost twenty years I was a missionary in Africa. I was a teacher. I loved it, but I also knew when it was time to leave and come home to the United States.
Today’s readings are very meaningful and apply to what happens in Africa, and in our own daily lives. In the First Reading we are told to bring our needs to God, but to seek God first in everything. In the Second Reading we are told to listen for God’s voice, and to not be slow about it. The Gospel helps us learn how to grow rich spiritually, and that some will be last and others will be first — and it is our duty to help others.
We School Sisters of Notre Dame went to Africa as missionaries 46 years ago. Now, in Africa, we are only 10 Americans and 64 African School Sisters of Notre Dame. We thank God for our good African Sisters who are taking over and doing a wonder job. But they cannot do it without help.
We have missions in five African countries: Gambia, Nigeria, Ghana, Sierra Leone and Kenya. In each of these countries our main focus is in education, but we also have medical clinics and provide social work. Whatever we do, we do it in a spirit of giving where there is a great need.
Much of Africa is a developing country — especially when it comes to education. However, more and more children have the opportunity for at least primary education. Only about one-half of the children go on to secondary school, and only one-fourth go on to college. Most children are very capable, but do not have the opportunity to further their education.
Even the young women who wish to join us as Sisters need more education. All of the ministries, education, medical, and social work require an education. And we need your help to give our African Sisters an education. Schools and colleges are available in Africa for a price.
We need your help to give medicine to those who are sick and cannot afford it.
We need your help to provide shelter for those who have no home — and especially for the children.
We need your help to give food and shelter to those who have none because they are
too sick to work.
So, we need your help so we can help those who need our help.
Thank you for listening and thank you very much for any help you can give, especially your prayers.
Here is the address for those wishing to send a donation.
School Sisters of Notre Dame
Province of Africa
PO Box 16415
St. Louis, MO 63125
Sister Mary Christine Spour is with the Motherhouse, School Sisters of Notre Dame in
St. Louis, Missouri.