Sisters find honour in serving God, aiding priesthood

  • June 4, 2010
Sr. Mary Emmanuel Escobedo and Sr. Danielle PazTORONTO - Sr. Mary Emmanuel Escobedo and Sr. Danielle Paz carefully measure some polyester fabric for a priest’s cope and humeral veil, worn for the exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, in their brightly lit work room on a sunny end-of-May day.

A big order, 16 deacon vestments, has just been completed, but the Sisters’ work continues. On this day, they, along with Sr. Mary Immaculate Fournier, are back to work cutting, measuring and sewing priestly garments.

They are three of nine members of the Sister Disciples of the Divine Master in Toronto whose apostolate is to serve priests. In Canada, the congregation also works out of Montreal, with about 15 members. The Sisters have houses in 31 countries around the world and their ministry involves service to the Eucharist, the priesthood and the liturgy.

Their service to the Eucharist means perpetual adoration where each of the nine Sisters prays for two hours before the Blessed Sacrament.

They support the priests in prayer and also provide a place for priests for temporary stays. There are two rooms set aside in the building, which also houses a liturgical centre and store featuring the handmade priestly vestments.

Recently, the Sisters made liturgical vestments for this year’s priestly ordinations as well as the deacons’ vestments for their May 29 ordination.

Escobedo, 57, said the apostolate is “rooted in the love for Jesus.” Their service to priests is crucial.

“Without the priests, we don’t have the Eucharist,” Escobedo said.

In their ministry to priests, the Sisters attend Mass and pray for the priesthood daily in union with the priest. For priests who stay with the Sister Disciples of the Divine Master in their houses around the world, the nuns care for them in their old age or help them in their final days.

“Our accompaniment is standing by the priest, like Mary with Jesus,” Escobedo said.

Fournier, who has been a Sister for 52 years, beams as she describes how she’s been making priestly vestments every day for 19 years.

“I give glory to God and I work for Him and at the same time, help clergy of the Church to worship God and bring them closer to God,” she said.

For Paz, who entered the order at 19 and will celebrate 40 years in religious life, it’s also about the honour of serving God and the Church.

“That’s really where we see and serve the work of Christ,” she said, “in the person of the priest.”

Please support The Catholic Register

Unlike many media companies, The Catholic Register has never charged readers for access to the news and information on our website. We want to keep our award-winning journalism as widely available as possible. But we need your help.

For more than 125 years, The Register has been a trusted source of faith-based journalism. By making even a small donation you help ensure our future as an important voice in the Catholic Church. If you support the mission of Catholic journalism, please donate today. Thank you.