The Adorers of the Blood of Christ that I met at St. Teresa Academy in East St. Louis were on a mission to educate women—confident, competent, Catholic women. A sign in freshman homeroom said, “The true Teresan dares to be different.” This was not a girl’s finishing school; it was more like a launching pad!
That is probably why I joined the sisterhood when the desire that my life ‘make a difference’ in a bigger world stirred in me.
Our foundress, Maria DeMattias, told us our lives, like the Blood of Christ, are to be signs of God’s love poured out in ALL-embracing and empowering love. Our spirituality is one of inclusion because all are “brought near through the Blood of Christ.” (Ephesians 2:13) Our communal experience of hearing and responding to calls-to make room to welcome- groomed me for my previous ministry as Justice and Peace Coordinator for the US Region.
- I was with Adorers when people of color confronted us with hard truths about racism and told us it was our responsibility to educate and convert the dominant white culture—beginning with ourselves.
- When the United States turned back Salvadorans and Guatemalans fleeing government sponsored terror that US foreign policy and funds supported, we Adorers discerned that the Gospel trumped the law and declared ourselves a refuge for people fleeing violence.
- Our spirituality sees in the Blood of Christ the power to ‘break down walls that divide’ and exclude (Eph 2:13-14). Therefore, when people use laws and distort Scripture to deny gays and lesbians their rights and dignity, we Adorers learn from the LGBT community and try to counter ignorance and hostility with truth and compassion.
- When patriarchy claims a ‘divine right’ to conduct civic, social and religious affairs in ways that tell women they do not have a place at the table as equals, we Adorers dare to disagree and proceed to act in ways that acknowledge each person as an equal who is created in God’s image and animated by the Holy Spirit.
I just try to help us continue to be true to our founding spirit and history.
I also work at Legal Services of Eastern Missouri as an accredited representative for immigrants. Many of my clients have survived brutality and displacement because a government, tribe, religious faction, or intimate partner decided they were the enemy and had to be suppressed, expelled or killed. I help them file petitions and applications with US Citizenship & Immigration Services. I like to believe that the care with which I represent them assures them that God attends to them with love and is making a way for them to a secure place. It’s a great fit for an Adorer. . .and I have the satisfaction of knowing that my life makes a difference.