Go Where the Love of Christ Calls Us…

During December of 1980, Sisters from the United States province of the Sisters of Mary Reparatrix, were given a questionnaire about new ministry locations in which to serve in various parts of the United States where religious women were ministering in small numbers.  Of the 44 members of the province, 39 responded.  One of the top locations selected was the diocese of Amarillo, Texas.  The bishop of the diocese, Leroy Matthiesen, was an outspoken critic of nuclear arms, and the Pantex weapons plant, final assembly point for the U.S. nuclear arsenal, was located in the Amarillo diocese. The Amarillo diocese is situated in the heart of the hot, dry Texas panhandle and was and is still home to Mexican-American men and women, many of whom earned their living working for Pantex.

 Sisters arrived in this diocese in August of 1981 to work with and among the people of Lamesa, Texas.  Upon arrival the Sisters were greeted warmly by the pastor of St. Margaret Mary parish and many parishioners. Within hours of arriving they attended a wedding reception for a young couple.  In the days that followed more people of the town and parish brought food and gifts to help make the Sisters feel welcomed and included.  Being from the Eastern and Midwestern parts of the USA these Sisters found Texas a whole new experience.

The Sisters participated in a variety of ministries including visitation of the sick, teaching art and liturgical dance and religious education.  By 1982, The Sisters had decided to move to other small parishes within the diocese.  Because of a lack of communication with the pastors and other diocesan representatives, the Sisters took up their ministries in Slaton, O’Donnell and Tahoka, Texas. By 1983 the Sisters terminated their contract with the diocese of Amarillo.  The Bishop expressed his gratitude to the Sisters for their presence in his diocese and for all that they had done for and with the people.  The Sisters, along with the people they served, were saddened by this decision, but true to the spirit of their foundress, Blessed Emillie, the Sisters discerned that God was calling them to ministries and service elsewhere.