In 2022, Catholic Mission will celebrate Pauline Jaricot’s beatification, a key milestone on the journey towards being recognised as a saint.
As a young, faith-filled lay woman her desire was to support missionaries around the world, leading to the founding of the first Pontifical Mission Society, and the cornerstone for the work of Catholic Mission.
To celebrate this momentous occasion, Catholic Mission has launched its first appeal for 2022, focusing on supporting the education and formational training of novice missionaries, sharing the story of another faith-filled woman, novice Saren Teresa, who is following her calling to become a Salesian Sister to serve those in need.
“Originally from a Buddhist family, Teresa was introduced to Catholicism and the Salesian Sisters at high school,” says Catholic Mission’s National Director, Fr Brian Lucas.
“Seeing how they cared for her and the local community, Teresa desired to know more about their work, and felt that she was being called to join the sisters in their mission.”
As part of her time as a novice, Teresa has been working to support those in most need through teaching reading and writing to children from disadvantaged backgrounds and collecting and distributing food packs to families in need through the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Just like Pauline Jaricot, Teresa is a woman of great faith and action, and we are asking supporters to help Teresa and novices like her in this appeal,” says Fr Brian.
As a young woman committing her life to God and serving others in need, Teresa is following in the footsteps of many women around the world.
In dedicating their lives to serving those in need, novices like Teresa must undergo several years of education, spiritual formation, and practical service to prepare them for their profession.
Sister Gertrudes Ditching FMA, Provincial for the Salesian Sisters in Cambodia and Myanmar, shares the challenges that sisters and novices like Teresa face, more so under ongoing pandemic restrictions.
“The COVID-19 pandemic prevented the sisters from doing house visitation of the families of the children they teach,” says Sr Gertrudes.
“Classes have to be done online, catechesis in the parish is suspended for the time being but little by little online catechesis is being done. Encounters with various members of the education community had to be restricted to a small number.”
“Even the formative journey of the novices has been greatly affected by this pandemic.”
Teresa remains determined to follow her call to become a religious leader, committing her life to God and serving others in need.
“You must not be afraid in answering the call of Jesus to share your life with the people who need your help,” she says.
Teresa is one of many women around the world who will make an impact for those in most need as religious sisters or missionaries.