HISPANIC OUTREACH IN U.S. SOUTH DRAWS SISTER TO MINISTRY
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MonTiCELLo, KEn TUCKy is a long way from Argentina—a fact sister
Ramona Elena Ponce, s.U.s.C. knows well,
having made that 5,000-mile trip herself.
Although leaving her native country to
minister to Mexicans in the American
south may seem like a big upheaval, the
new ministry was a natural fit in many
in her homeland, Ponce had worked
with immigrants who came to Argentina
seeking a better life. short-staffed in a busy
ministry, the U.s. branch of Ponce’s religious community, the Holy Union sisters,
asked the order’s community in Argentina
to send a sister to help meet the needs of
Mexican immigrants newly settled in Monticello, Kentucky.
Ponce was familiar with the issues of
new immigrants—marginalization, poverty,
culture-clashes, violence—and decided
that she, too, would emigrate. she arrived
in 2011 to join two U.s.-born Holy Union
sisters in the work. Today Ponce feels at
home, visiting families, conducting retreats, preparing young people for the sacraments, and reaching out with her sisters
to the Mexican immigrant families of rural
SISTER “NECO”—Ramona Elena Ponce, S.U.S.C.—at a First
Communion celebration picnic.
Boston College hosts center
for students considering religious life
STUDENTS AT BOSTON COLLEGE who are considering life as a sister, brother, or priest in a religious order have a place to go for discernment and support. Founded in 2007, Manresa House is a
location students can gather for talks, prayer, meetings, retreats, and
other activities connected to the process of vocational discernment,
regardless of which religious communities they may be interested in.
CAITLIN CUNNINGHAM/BOSTON COLLEGE
“I see it as a place where I can escape the pressures and fast
pace of school and take time for myself to figure out where I am in
life,” student Christopher Knoth told the Boston College Chronicle.
Father Terrence Devino, S.J., director of Manresa House and spe-
cial assistant to the president of Boston College, says Manresa House
is the only college-based center he knows of giving this type of focused vocational assistance to both men and women stu-
Devino, a Jesuit, has been a priest since 1987, and when he took his own first steps toward priesthood as a young man,
“I was scared to death to talk about it,” he told the Chronicle. He hopes that over the years Manresa House has helped Boston
College students quell similar fears and has allowed them to ask themselves a basic question: What shall I do with my life?
Learn more about Manresa House at
FATHER TERRY Devino, S.J. is director of Manresa House,
a center for vocation discernment open to all students
at Boston College.