The 2019-2020 academic year completed our sixth year teaching at Resurrection School and Lansing Catholic High School (LCHS) in Lansing, Michigan. One of the highlights for Sr. Stephen Patrick and Sr. Mary Andre was the witness of several LCHS students and alumni boldly stepping out in faith to follow the Lord in the vocations of religious life and the priesthood. In February, we organized a trip to the Sisters’ Discernment Retreat, where we were able to hear the testimony of our own LCHS alumni, Sr. Sydney Gehle!
This year, in our desire to teach and hand on the beauty of our Catholic Faith, we helped Fr. Paul Erickson, chaplain at LCHS, establish Guardians of the Altar, a society of sacristans and altar servers. Through collaborations with generous benefactors and friends in the LCHS community, we facilitated the construction of beautiful oak cabinets for the LCHS sacristy, which will hold cassocks, surplices, and supplies used for the Mass. On a similar note, one of Sr. Mary Gabriel’s favorite mission moments was bringing the junior sacristans from Resurrection school to visit the Motherhouse. The students loved visiting the Sisters’ home!
The Lord generously provided (and continues to provide) for His Brides during the Coronavirus lockdown. While most of the faithful were unable to attend Mass and receive the Sacraments, the Sisters in Lansing received additional prayer time at the Church of the Resurrection, at the invitation of the pastor, Fr. Steve Mattson. While the Churches were closed, we prayed the parish rosary, attended Mass, adored the Eucharistic Lord and received His Benediction Monday through Saturday. These times of prayer were live-streamed to the parish community and anyone else desiring to attend virtually. We were conscious of uniting our prayers with those of the Body of Christ for the conversion and salvation of souls.
Our apostolate at both schools dramatically changed from traditional teaching to online teaching almost overnight due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Even with the presence of Zoom and Google Meet, the limitation of fostering relationships with our students and staff was a true challenge of online teaching! The Sisters worked hard to create digital lessons and videos to teach and connect with students from home. The highlight for any second grade Sister teacher is preparing her students for the Sacraments of Reconciliation and First Holy Communion. Sr. Mary Grace had the unique opportunity to witness the 23 individual First Communions of her students this year at daily Masses throughout the months of May and June. The eighth grade received the Sacrament of Confirmation and graduated on the Solemnity of Pentecost. It is a blessing that the Sacraments could be conferred; however, we all look forward to the day when we can celebrate these gifts with larger gatherings of people!