The Franciscan Sisters of Little Falls, Minnesota, have been engaged in mission activities outside the United States since 1962, when a group of sisters began a mission in Peru. In the ensuing years, sisters went on to serve in other Latin American countries: Bolivia, Venezuela, Guatemala, Colombia and Nicaragua, Ecuador and Mexico. In Africa, Franciscan Sisters served in Kenya, Tanzania, Cameroon and Zanzibar as well as shorter service in other countries. Franciscan Sisters respond to the needs of the people wherever they are called to serve. They witness to the love of Jesus Christ and walk side by side with people on the margins.
San Rafael, Nuevo Leon, Mexico
In 2003, the Franciscan Sisters were called to San Rafael, Nuevo Leon, a very poor area in rural Mexico. With limited religious personnel to serve the parish and its 54 outlying villages, the sisters started a program to prepare catechists and train lay leaders to provide spiritual and pastoral care. Sisters Ange Mayers, Mary Dumonceaux and Janice Wiechman lead the mission; much of their work and outreach is centered on the youth. Teen missionaries are trained to visit the villages during Holy Week and to lead youth encounters. The sisters mentor girls from the outlying villages who come to live at Casa Franciscana, where they receive room and board and other services so that they can attend high school in San Rafael.
Ocampo, Coahuila, Mexico
The northern desert municipality of Ocampo is the newest Mexican mission of the Franciscan Sisters. In April 2017 Sisters Isabel Berrones, Aurora Tovar and Carol Schmit accepted leadership of St. Catherine of Siena Parish in Ocampo, a village of 4,000 people. The parish includes a number of small populations to the north, in the state of Coahuila. The sisters provide leadership formation, pastoral care and work to address the needs of individual families.
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