Sisters of St. Francis of Perpetual Adoration
The Sisters of St. Francis of Perpetual Adoration was founded by Mother Maria Theresia Bonzel. Mother Maria Theresia Bonzel was born on September 17, 1830, in Olpe Germany. She was raised in a deeply religious family and was usually optimistic and could overcome great obstacles. As a child, Maria was drawn toward religious life, and showed her likelihood to follow a religious based life. She would later become a member in the Third Order Secular. Mother Maria Theresia Bonzel had many moments in which she had a calling, or felt religious life was meant for her. One of these many situations or vocations is when she attended her first Holy Communion, during this communion she felt as if she had a calling from Christ to adapt to the life of the Gospel among the Franciscan lifestyle. She would continue to speak of this Holy Communion because of how much of an impact it had on her life. Sister Maria Theresia Bonzel had many other vocations, such as her mission trip in 1850 which finally convinced her to join the Third Secular Order. Additionally she grew passionate for religious life Cologne when she was studying Ursulines. Even with the great passion and a strong calling to God, Maria Theresia Bonzel faced many obstacles before becoming a part of religious life. She had to convince her mother to give her consent to becoming a part of the religious life and she had to fight through sickness that had fallen upon her. However, these moments had only strengthened Maria’s religious beliefs, as she felt God was by her side. While Sister Maria Theresia was sure of her religious life and had committed to the Franciscan community, she often found herself filled with doubt or regret, as she had to live according to the Rule of St. Augustine. However, Sister Maria Theresia persevered through the doubt and while it still lingered within her, she had created the “Poor Sisters of St. Francis of Perpetual Adoration” with help from Klara Pfänder, Regina Löser, and others. Maria Theresia Bonzel passed away on February 6, 1905, and although she had died, her legacy still lives on as she fought for her Congregation and made sure that it would succeed. Without Maria Theresia Bonzel advances in her own Order along with other Women’s Orders may not have succeeded without her efforts.
Additionally, the Order of the Sisters of St. Francis of Perpetual Adoration main goals are to provide service of education, health care, and other issues, in Germany, the US, the Philippines, and Brazil. However, while it helps other countries the Order is centralized in Indiana, and stretches out to Chicago. The Order has lasted over 150 years and is constantly filled with followers. It is often participating in foreign missions, sending education and health care to countries in need. In the 1890’s the Order had started helping foreign countries, such as the Philippines and Province. The Order serves many areas in the Indiana area and some in the Chicago area. Locations such as the Archdiocese of Indianapolis and the dioceses of Fort Wayne-South Bend, Lafayette, and Gary. These sisters have a strong presence in Indiana, and are a strong part of religious life in the state. After all, the Order is centralized in Mishawaka, Indiana.
Second Order: Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate United States Province
The Missionary Oblates of Mary immaculate was founded by Eugene de Mazenod, who was a born into the French Royal Bloodline. Mazenod was born in Aix-en-Provence in France in 1782. Eugene lived a childhood in exile due to his father’s opposition to the revolution. It was only until he turned twenty years old before he was released from exile. The ensued chaos from the French Revolution had a great impact on Eugene. Eugene de Mazenods’ religious life was controlled and influenced by the unfortunate events that occurred to his family and himself. However, Eugene’s vocation was influenced during his exile. As in Italy, when encountering a Priest and hearing from him, he was inspired, and decided to become a priest as well. Additionally, two specific graces had influenced Eugene to change. The first being the Grace of Conversion along with an impulse from without, which convinced him to transition into priesthood. After experiencing many moments of sadness and vulnerability, Eugene decided to become a priest of the poor. Eugene had encountered many prisoners of war and impoverished youth strengthened his need to take this priest of the poor position. He was aware of those suffering around him, and wanted to make change using religious life. When first becoming a priest, Eugene denied a position at a diocese, he wanted to gather a group of followers and religious leaders to work with him. The Missionaries of Provence were then born on January 25, 1816. Mazenod wanted to imitate the following Jesus had with his apostles, so he asked his brothers to live together. He wanted all of them to participate and dedicate their lives to the mission and following those religious vows that they had made toward religious life. On February 17, 1826, the Pope had finally formally approved of the Congregation of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate. However even after the success of creating the congregation, as always, Eugene encountered many conflicts, one being him temporarily losing his French citizenship. However, Eugene persevered and moved on and was able to continue his successful and religious life in the Order of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, the Order that he founded. He continued his life as part of the congregation and went on to do more with the Order. Eugene de Mazenod then died on May 21, 1861, his final words to the Oblates being, “Practice well among yourselves charity, charity, charity, and outside, zeal for the salvation of souls.” Additionally, the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate are still a large order today, with 4000 Oblates in total, with 600 in formation, most being trained in Africa. The Oblates are present in six continents and sixty countries, and are serving the poor in as many places as possible. The Oblates are not specialized specifically in one type of mission work. They are known to help the poor in countries/continents like Africa, North America, Asia, Europe, Latin America, and Australia. However, they also teach and do other types of mission work. The Oblates base their lives off the community of Apostles and Jesus. The Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate are centralized in Belleville, Illinois. The order focuses on missionary work and giving back to those in need, especially internationally, members provide help to various countries. Additionally, the order gives back to areas in North America, such as states like Indiana, Illinois, Texas, and many others. Mostly just to help those in need, as North America is one of the places that the Order supplies aid. The Oblates have already gone to major disasters like Haiti, and contributed to the reconstruction. They also are known to help those in need in New Orleans, tend to the sick, and even teach the word of God in remote places like Zambia. With 4000 Missionaries, the Oblates also like to provide help for those who are stuck in dangerous countries that are controlled by war. The Oblates primarily go on mission trips, they’ve already gone on Mission trips all over the world, and their main goal in life is to help those in need.
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