A (Hidden) Ministry Within a Ministry

"You can do so much with a card!"
~ Sister Mary Francella Vyverman, OP

Sister Mary Francella has been a pastoral minister for decades. Her experience has taught her how important the littlest gestures are for people who feel isolated and alone.

That's why she encourages you to send cards to your extended family, people you know who are unable to leave their homes, and people in nursing homes. If you're feeling anxious and isolated, imagine how those without close friends and family might feel during the cold, winter season.

Since the beginning of the pandemic lock-down in March, Sister Francella has been unable to return to her ministry as hospital and home visitor for Cathedral Parish. But that has not kept her from giving joy to those in need!

"We knew that even though we couldn't visit, we could continue to reach out to our parishioners in different nursing homes," she said. "That was fine, but we weren't happy. We wanted to do more. So, we did. Over the weeks, over the months, we've continued to send people something to put a smile on their faces, to give greater joy, to decorate their room."

She and her team of volunteers have had help. For the past several months, individuals have been donating their time and craft supplies, fueling Sister Francella's outreach and unleashing a constant flow of smiles, stories, and prayers to share with people in need of joy during this very lonely time in our nation's history. You can download your own printable greeting card HERE to help spread a little joy!

Sister Mary Francella Vyverman, OP (right) and  Betty Waymire (left) prepare to send joy to area residents living in retirement homes.

Sister Mary Francella Vyverman, OP (right) and  Betty Waymire (left) prepare to send joy to area residents living in retirement homes.

Sister Francella and her team of volunteers contacted Catholic schools and area nursing homes to get more people involved.  "It has turned into a fabulous, fabulous situation." Sister Francella said. She and the volunteers feel they are helping make a difficult situation better by delivering smiles to local nursing homes, despite how difficult things are right now.

"We have, over all these months, touched well over four hundred people," she said.

Sister Francella wants you to bring a smile to the face of someone you love, or a stranger, too. "I just would urge people to take time, and send a note, to send a card, to send a smile. Many of our notes, cards and pictures have a small saying: 'We love you.'"

She encourages her volunteers and students to make these connections because people right now are suffering. Giving joy is always needed, but unexpected joy can truly make a positive change when the recipient needs it most. Want to learn more about Sister Fancella's work with giving joy to those in need? Visit our webpage for ideas on how to help spread a little joy!

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1 thought on “A (Hidden) Ministry Within a Ministry”

  1. Love my aunt, St. Francella, and her efforts to spread joy during this time. She is one of a kind, who truly loves people!

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