Blanca and Steve Farris with their daughter Isabella, top, center, and Springfield Dominican Sister Beatríz Vila Alania at the Farris home in 2018.
Blanca Farris partners with the Springfield Dominicans as a “Bearer of the Flame” because she values memories of the Dominican Sisters who’ve influenced her family life through the years, prompting her to “give back” through a monthly donation.
“Sister Lenore and Sister Marie Andre mentored my strong-willed, protective, and outspoken daughter during her junior high and high school years,” Blanca remembers. “The sisters positively influenced Elizabeth who is now 26 years old, married, and teaching at Sacred Heart-Griffin High School.
“Sister Clara Malinowski never disappointed with funny stories of her childhood and the things she did that got her in trouble. She shared her love of horses with my daughter Victoria who, now a nurse, still loves horses,” Blanca continued.
Sister Philip Neri Crawford has also been a wonderful, loving, presence in the lives of the Farris children, Blanca says, filling the rolls of teacher, confidante, role model, and surrogate grandmother. “She taught all four of my children and they have become successful adults in professions of service to others,” she says with pleasure.
Along with Sister Philip Neri, Sister Mary Alice Mannix was one of the most influential persons in Isabella Farris’s life. Blanca believes it is because of their 8-year friendship, their many rosary-making sessions, their conversations and laughter, that Isabella has grown to be a loving, caring, and giving young lady.
“I am forever grateful to these wonderful women of faith who have so lovingly cared for my children and thus helped me to become a better mother,” Blanca says. “As a result, I want to give back—in thanksgiving—to the retired sisters’ fund and the Peruvian sisters’ fund.
“It helps that there is an easy-to-set-up monthly giving plan which releases me from having to remember to write a monthly check,” she says. “I can also easily monitor my monthly gift and have access to the record of my contributions. What I like most about the monthly giving plan is that I don’t even have to think about it!"
This year, as we sisters prepare for General Chapter, a sacred time of listening and discernment about God’s call for our congregation, we count on our Partners in Mission—like you—to carry forth our mission and ministry to embody God’s love for all. Please consider a monthly gift to the Dominican Sisters and become a “Bearer of the Flame.”
Don't miss this story about Isabella Farris' "gap year" with the Dominican Sisters in Peru.