Sister Teresa Aparicio-Cervantes
Founder, Casa de las Comunidades
Casa de las Comunidades, a Catholic Worker Community, is available at all times to accompany persons and families who are oppressed, marginalized and alienated by a competitive and individualistic society. We embrace all differences of race, culture or religion as a wealth of humanity that is to be shared. We are especially called to be of assistance to immigrant families, to women and to youth.
Casa de las Comunidades strives to provide educational activities as needed to foster human dignity, cultivate an awareness of individual human rights, promote development of family and community values and enable higher standards of living in a safe, healthy environment within the community in Albuquerque. This vision includes advocacy for the dignity and rights of persons who are immigrants from their country and culture.
Sister Guadalupe Flores-Ocaña
Faith Formation Director
Sr. Lupe Flores-Ocaña is the Faith Formation Director for the Diocese of Charleston, South Carolina.
The diocese offers the School of Faith program, which includes three years of formation in Spanish, 120 hours of class and 24 hours of conferences. There are three spiritual retreats during the three-year program.
The program seeks a full, conscious and active integration to celebrate and live the mystery of Christ in the domestic and community Church. Among the topics taught during the training are, the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the Bible, Spirituality, what is prayed, and the documents of Vatican II.
Sister Guadalupe Aguilar-Huanca
Fort Wayne, IN
Sr. Lupita Aguilar-Huanca has worked with several health-care facilities and assisted -living communities, and as a home health care assistant. She has a degree as a gerontology specialist and previously served an internship at Hartwell Place in Chicago. She is currently working toward becoming a Certified Nursing Assistant.
Sister Ginger Downey
Heritage and Research Center at St. Mary’s
Chair of the Board of Directors
St. Mary’s, IN
Sr. Ginger Downey is the President of the Board of Directors for the Heritage and Research Center at Saint Mary’s, a collaborative archive project to house and curate the archive of nine congregations of women religious. The board is currently in the design stage of building the archival vault to house the archives. Sr. Ginger is working with the congregations and the board to create the infrastructure that will take the dream into a reality. The board hopes to be able to move the first archival collections into the vault by spring of 2024. Along with working with the HARC collaborative, she is also working with other individuals who are creating similar places to house, preserve and curate archival collections of women religious to collaborative create a national network to ensure the sustainability and research capabilities of these collaborative archives.
Sr. Ginger, along with Br. Bob Overland, FS, is responsible for providing Mission Integration for the OLVM Congregation. They are currently working on the Mission Integration orientation binder, planning for the annual retreat and the developing short video descriptions of the four pillars of the OLVM Mission Statement: Proclaiming the Word of God, fostering justice, standing in solidarity with those living in poverty and oppression and promoting the development of leaders.
Sister Mary Jo Nelson
Consultant for Religious Congregations
Fort Wayne, IN
Sr. Mary Jo Nelson works as an independent facilitator and consultant for women’s religious congregations. Her areas of focus are: assisting leadership teams as they plan for a very different future in religious life, planning and facilitating community processes for engaging the reality and meeting the future of religious life, and giving workshops on the evolution, challenges and possibilities in religious life. She has a passion for religious life and is eager to share her experiences and learnings of leading the OLVM congregation into the next phase of their life.
Sister Leora Linnenkugel
The main focus of Sr. Leora Linnenkugel’s ministry is fair immigration policies. She is a member of several boards of directors, including Our Lady of Victory Missionary Sisters, Julia Center and Bethany House of Hospitality in Chicago, and the Religious Communities Impact Fund in Santa Fe, N.M. With her background in finance, she also serves on financial committees with OLVM, Bethany House, Julia Center and the Religious Formation Conference in Chicago.
Sister Rita Musante
Hartford City, IN
Sister Rita Musante is a volunteer at St. John the Evangelist Parish in Hartford City, Indiana. Her ministry is one of presence and prayer, noticing the needs in the parish, in the local community where she lives, and in the global community. She responds in prayer, in friendship and in spiritual companioning. Sr. Rita helps people to connect with material resources, including food and clothing, and with spiritual resources through prayer and in the church community, assisting with parishioners to connect with each other.
Sister Beatrice Haines
OLVM Social Justice Coordinator
Sr. Beatrice Haines’ ministry as Social Justice Promoter is primarily to work in collaboration with the Laudato Si’ Committee in facilitating the Congregation’s implementation of OLVM’s Laudato Si’ Action Plan. This is in response to Pope Francis urgent call to the whole Catholic World and beyond to do all we can TOGETHER to protect the Earth, our Common Home, and all its inhabitants, especially the most vulnerable. Addressing the Climate Crisis includes active listening to the Cry of the Earth and the Cry of the Poor through ADVOCACY on behalf of immigrants and refugees and those caught in the web of human trafficking and the cycles of poverty and racism.
The other major portion of her ministry is to facilitate a weekly Prayer for the World by the Victory Noll Sisters and Associates. This involves identifying and describing a specific concern or need as a focus for their hour of contemplative prayer and when appropriate, an active response. This practice is based on our firm belief in the power of PRAYER to bring about change or transformation in the World.
Sister Francisca Olvera
Fort Wayne, IN
Sister Francisca serves as an interpreter with Matthew 25 Medical Center in Fort Wayne. The Center was founded by a Catholic priest and a medical doctor. It serves those of low income and without medical insurance. Sr. Francisca assists with Spanish-speaking people from Latin American countries and the Caribbean Islands. She also calls patients and reminds them of upcoming appointments. At Matthew 25, people receive general medicial care, basic dentist care, basic vision care, counseling, and other services provided by mobile clinics like vaccines, mammograms, special dental surgeons, and many other services that require technology and the use of the hospital..
VOLUNTEER MINISTRIES & ADVOCACY
Several OLVM Sisters offer their time and treasure as volunteers in various capacities for residents at Saint Anne Communities at Victory Noll, or within the local Huntington community. In addition, Sisters remain engaged in local, national and global issues, and use their voices to advocate in areas that have always been at the heart of mission such as immigration, social justice, equal rights for marginalized individuals, and just policies for all peoples.
MINISTRY OF PRAYER & PRESENCE
As the OLVM Sisters age and the congregation grows smaller, their main ministry has become one of prayer and presence, with a focus on and support for those places, issues and concerns that have always been at the heart of our mission. They continue to follow the words of Father Sigstein, who said, “Always go to the poor first.”
An important way that many of the Victory Noll Sisters do “mission” today is by expanding their sense of compassion through contemplative prayer. Franciscan author Ilia Delio expresses it this way: “Compassion is the ability to ‘get inside the skin of another’ in order to respond with loving concern and care. It is a deep connectedness to another; one breathes in the pain of the other and breathes out compassion.” Their prayer for the world, Church, and community, is not to heal the suffering or remove their pain but to be with their brothers and sisters in solidarity as they breathe out compassion.