“As as a Community caring for the unwanted, the needy, and the persecuted, we must recognize and embrace the woundedness of the members of the Community itself, applying the same healing love and support to one another that we share with the needy.” — Sr. Mary Elizabeth Gintling
Meet the Members of the Little Sisters of Jesus and Mary:
Hometown: Baltimore, Maryland
The spirit of hospitality and the complete dependence on Divine Providence attracted me to this community. Also the privilege of serving God in the poor with like minded women.
Before entering, I worked as a teacher for Baltimore City Public Schools. On Saturdays I worked as a cook at the rectory for the Cathedral of Mary our Queen.
I currently work in administration at the Little Sisters of Jesus and Mary in Salisbury, MD. My interests are reading, listening to music, cooking, and experiencing God in nature.
My calling is to meet Christ in the poor. I feel enriched and fulfilled by this ministry. The Little Sisters are wounded people working with wounded people. We live community and enter into the surrounding community sharing Christ’s unconditional love for them.
Hometown: Green Bay, Wisconsin
Before entering, I worked at a nursing home (St. Francis in Fond du Lac, WI), taught third grade, and did mission work in Kentucky.
Currently, I am the community Superior. I am involved with vocations and the Village of Hope (transitional housing for women and children) where I serve on the Board of Directors and various committees. I also help to get rooms ready for new residents and as needed.
I believe there are seven traits needed when considering a vocation to religious life:
1. Healthy; 2. Happy; 3. Honest; 4. Humble; 5. Holy (aspire to be); 6. Humor (sense of); 7. Hospitality (to others and to the poor).
The Catholic Extension Society magazine article about Sr. Mary Elizabeth initially called me. First visit I was smitten… humanity, hospitality, humor and love of the Lord in the poor.
Love of Jesus in the Eucharist helped to draw me in, wanting to return to belonging to God in gratitude for His goodness to me.
Sr. Mary Joseph
I was looking for a group that treasures community life and Church teachings, serving the poor in the life-style of Br. Charles. I visited the Little Sisters and found it was a good fit.
Hometown: Green Bay, Wisconsin
At the age of five, I heard within me, “Be a sister.” I would have to go up and down many paths before God kindly saw that “I got it right.”
Most of my adult life was in education, both as a Franciscan and as a layperson.
At 84, I place prayer at the forefront of my life in accordance with the duties required of me and in the spirit of Br. Charles de Foucauld. I have had to drop a few activities, but do what I still can do: providing music for Mass, serving as volunteer coordinator, community chores. An important aspect of my spiritual life is Devotion to the Blessed Mother as set forth by St. Louis de Montfort.
I was attracted to our community because it pointed to a ministry that was highlighted in the Vatican II Documents, that is, the “preferential option for the poor.” Pope Francis emphasizes this most passionately and seeking out the corporal and spiritual works of mercy for all Christians.
As a Little Sister of Jesus and Mary, I have received a vocation that fits me “just right.”
Nazareth Spirituality is the spirit of our community founded by Charles de Foucauld — the Spirituality of the Holy Family — seeing God in the ordinary as contemplatives in action, loving Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist and in the poor, being a universal sister.
I have experienced that where God’s Word goes out, it accomplishes what it says. We must always listen prayerfully to the plan God has for our lives and follow it in faith.
A friend’s invitation drew me for a visit. Praying before Jesus in the tabernacle — I felt Jesus say, “This is what you wanted all your life. Now is the time for you.”
Hometown: Denton, Texas
Before entering I worked as a home health aide. The Holy Spirit, a strong desire to work with the poor and a greater longing to be in closer union with the Lord led me to this community. I am currently the Supervisor of the Hospitality Room at the Joseph House Crisis Center. In the Hospitality Room, we welcome homeless men and women and offer them a place to eat, shower, and launder their clothes.
Hometown: Averill Park, New York
I was married for 23 years, I am a widow. I worked as a freelance and grant writer.
I work with the homeless in the Joseph House Hospitality Room, and also I manage our payee program. In addition, I work on grant applications and occasionally teach an art class. Art and music are my hobbies.
I have found in the four years that I’ve been in the community that all my skills and talents have been called upon, and I’ve been stretched in many new ways, too.
This is the most fulfilling time of my life — our work and our prayer time, our training, our retreats have brought me a peaceful heart and ever-growing trust in God.