Sisters in the Spotlight

From left: Srs. LouAnne Willette, Helen Marie Raycraft, and Margery Race
From left: Srs. LouAnne Willette, Helen Marie Raycraft, and Margery Race


Preaching Team Continues Work
Texas Sisters Create Hospitality

by Margery Race, OP; Helen Marie Raycraft, OP; and LouAnne Willette, OP

Blessings of peace during this new year. We celebrated Mary and Joseph who were welcomed and given Posada in a humble cave where Jesus was born. We, too, as Christians are challenged to offer hospitality to everyone we meet, including people who are of different cultures and races than our own. Henri Nouwen states, “Hospitality means primarily the creation of free space where the stranger can enter and become a friend instead of an enemy. Hospitality is not to change people but to offer them the space where change can take place.”

I, Helen Marie, have lived in our low-income neighborhood of Montopolis in Austin, TX, for 25 years. Our street is gradually gentrifying even though we were active in a program to keep this from happening. Our neighbor, Gregorio, recently died. His daughter invited us to come over and pray with the family, neighbors, and friends. We went to his bedroom where he laid. We each prayed out loud and then sang the Dominican blessing in which many joined us the second time. It was a very special way to honor him and bond together in our grief. Pope Francis states, “Hospitality requires open doors, especially the doors of our hearts.” Our doors are always open to neighbors, friends, lay Dominicans, people seeking spiritual direction, and anyone who knocks.

I, Margery, am reflecting on the following Scripture, which is for the feast of Our Lady of Sorrows, Sept. 15. “Meanwhile standing at the Cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother’s sister” (John 19:25). We participate in the Eucharist at Dolores Parish and lead communion services when needed. The people have given us many donations, which we gave to Catholic Charities in San Antonio to provide for the immigrants in Centro de Bienvenida. This is a gesture of welcome and unity with parishioners.

I, LouAnne, have continued to reflect on our recent time in San Antonio. During the last week of October, we received the gracious hospitality of the Divine Providence Sisters who offered us a place to stay, three meals a day, and great company. We witnessed the wonderful spirit of hospitality of the many workers and volunteers at Centro de Bienvenida. They provided food, transportation, and advice to the many immigrants passing through. The three of us gave hospitality by helping sort clothing and offering spiritual support. We shared stories and enjoyed some laughs. We greeted immigrants with welcoming smiles as they arrived and blessed them as they set out on the next part of their long journey. It was a grace-filled week for all of us. “I was a stranger, and you received me” (Matthew 25:35).

May you and your families provide hospitality and joy during the coming days, thus blessing all whom you welcome.

Click for Spectrum March 2023 Index

Follow Us