By the numbers, this year in Peoria six Sisters were privileged to teach 403 children, prepare 15 for First Reconciliation and Communion, prepare 10 for Confirmation, host a small group with 10 young women, and interact with over 970 young people from PreK-12.
Of course, the numbers tell the smallest part of the story. As in other years on this mission, our Sisters taught in kindergarten, second grade, middle school, and high school Biology and Theology at St. Jude Catholic and Peoria Notre Dame, with a Sister serving as Principal at St. Jude. The Fall had its usual highlights – field trips, Homecoming week, and a lot of learning! In January, while the high school Sisters chaperoned three buses of students on a trip to the March for Life in DC, the Sisters at the grade school hosted an All-School March for Life. In the Spring, the second graders made their First Reconciliation and dreamt of First Communion, while the eighth graders chose their Confirmation Saints.
Unlike other years on the mission, the last two months of school happened online! Our Sisters got busy devising a template to sign up for recording spaces in the Convent and figuring out ways to keep their students learning virtually. Sr. Maria Christi engaged the families in making daily announcements, the Sisters spent hours meeting with their students individually and in groups, and Sr. Catherine Thomas and Sr. Maria Suso made a video for their students about how St. Catherine of Siena healed her confessor during the Bubonic Plague. At the same time, the Sisters worked to support their pastor, Fr. Patrick Henehan, and his parochial vicar, Fr. Andru O’Brien, in their creative efforts, including an outdoor Chapel for drive-up Mass and Adoration. The Sisters are so grateful for each person who makes their mission in Peoria possible!