Hispanic religious communities serve in various ministries throughout Archdiocese

June 16, 2015

HOUSTON — Currently, there are members of 38 congregations or religious orders in ministry in the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston. Almost 20 percent of the communities represented in the local Church are Hispanic. For that, the Archdiocese is happy, but as Daniel Cardinal DiNardo said, “We need more!”

The Hispanic communities in ministry in Galveston-Houston are:
• Comunidad Apostólica de María Siempre Virgen (CAMSVI) 
• Carmelite Missionaries of St. Teresa (CMST) 
• Carmelite Sisters of the Sacred Heart (CSC) 
• Discípulas de Jesús (DJ) 
• Missionary Catechists of Divine Providence (MCDP) 
• Eucharistic Missionaries of St. Teresa (MEST) 
• Missionary Sisters of the Eucharist (MSE)

Sisters from these communities serve in nine parishes of our Archdiocese: Blessed Sacrament, St. Alphonsus, St. Ambrose, St. Charles Borromeo, St. Dominic, St. Frances Cabrini, St. Leo the Great, St. Joseph in Houston and Sacred Heart in Conroe. Their ministries include religious education, youth coordination, pastoral administration, pastoral associate work, visits to the homebound and much more. The works of chaplaincy, childcare and mission effectiveness training are also among the assignments of Hispanic sisters. 

For a number of years, the Missionary Sisters of the Eucharist have served at the Magnificat Houses, located near the Houston Community College Central Campus. This ministry, founded in 1968, serves the homeless, the disadvantaged and the mentally ill by offering food and shelter, medical help and job training. Loaves and Fishes, their downtown soup kitchen, is open six days each week and serves 200 to 400 lunches daily.

Two of the Missionary Catechists of Divine Providence have operated Martha’s Kitchen on Jensen Drive since 1992. Martha’s Kitchen prepares and serves lunch daily to 350 to 400 hungry men, women and children. It is sponsored by St. Martha’s Catholic Church in Kingwood. 

Many of the Carmelite Missionaries of St. Teresa participate in the retreat work of the Mt. Carmel House of Prayer.

We are grateful, too, for the Hispanic sisters in Galveston-Houston who are members of predominantly Anglo congregations. Their ministries include teaching, work in Guatemala and in the Rio Grande Valley, as well as social, parish and music ministry. 

It is evident that Hispanic women religious are an integral part of the ministries of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston. Some of these mission areas have a constant need of volunteers. Contact and additional information about any of the religious communities can be found by contacting 713-741-8733, or the Vocations Office at 713-659-5461.

Local information can also be found at www.houstonvocations.com and www.archgh.org/ycl.

Men and women religious are currently observing the 2015 Year of Consecrated Life designated by Pope Francis. This special year opened on Nov. 30, 2014, and will close on Feb. 2, 2016. Pope Francis said, “Where there are religious, there is joy... I am counting on you to wake up the world.” (Letter to All Consecrated People, Nov. 21, 2014).

His Holiness offers three goals for the year:
• Make a grateful remembrance of the recent past;
• Embrace the future with hope; and
• Live the present with passion. 

The local Consecrated Life Committee has organized a general calendar of events, and has also supplied information on a special webpage www.archgh.org/ycl. On the webpage there is information about the history of religious from the beginnings of the Diocese of Galveston in 1847, definitions of consecrated life, the main calendar of events, the song “Wake Up the World,” special events announcements and prayer suggestions. 

A detailed Resource Packet gives suggestions for classes at most age levels, links to articles and videos and a PowerPoint presentation, available in both English and Spanish, that features the women and men religious in Galveston-Houston. 

Sister Heloise Cruzat, O.P., is Vicar for Religious for the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston.


Conference to celebrate Year of Consecrated Life
WHAT: “Wake Up the World! The Joy of Encounter with Christ: a Celebration of Consecrated Life”
WHEN: Sept. 11-12, 2015
WHERE: University of St. Thomas, Jerabeck Athletic Center, Scanlan Room, 4000 Mt. Vernon, Houston
WHO: Co-Sponsored by the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston and University of St. Thomas Center for Faith and Culture.
INFO: Contact the UST Center for Faith and Culture at 713-942-5066 or cfc@stthom.edu. 


Men, women religious to be highlighted weekly on Archdiocesan website
Starting this month, the Archdiocesan website – www.archgh.org – will feature weekly profiles on the women and men religious communities based in Galveston-Houston. The articles and photos showcased in the series were submitted by many of the local religious orders. Be sure to visit www.archgh.org every week.