Leaven Blog

Ordinarily beautiful

by Moira Cullings

Most people in the archdiocese will never know, but a group of three nuns gave up everything they had in Mexico to come to Kansas and help the Hispanic community in Emporia.

Yesterday, intern Libby Hyde and I had the opportunity to visit with the sisters, along with Father Pete O’Sullivan, pastor of Holy Trinity in Paola, about the work they do.

When we arrived, we were invited into their home, a humble building with a cozy feel, and immediately felt welcomed into their lives.

The humble nature of the Sisters was a fitting testimony to the way they go about their work.

“Why us?” they asked curiously. “Why are you writing about us?

The Sisters didn’t quite understand what made them special enough for a story in the paper.

The work they do includes visiting the homes of Hispanic people in the community, hosting Bible studies for both English and Spanish-speaking children and conducting confirmation classes for the older kids.

They also do simple tasks, like helping the priests set up for Mass, turning off the church lights and locking the church doors at the end of the day.

Their attitude reminds me of a quote by Pam Beesly, a character in “The Office,” who, at the end of the nine-season series, remarks, “There’s a lot of beauty in ordinary things. Isn’t that kind of the point?”

Any hardcore Office fan understands the significance of that line. The show takes viewers on a journey filled with sarcasm, romance and every emotion possible, simply by portraying life in an ordinary office setting.

The Sisters in Emporia go about their day-to-day activities with very little recognition for the work they do for others. And yet when you really examine their dedication and passion for what they do, it’s astounding how their efforts could ever go unnoticed.

Anyone who meets these women will be greeted with a sincere smile, a warm handshake and an immediate sense of comfort knowing they truly care about you.

Tucked away in Emporia, they might not have the glory of lavish rewards or attention, but surely they will have a lifelong impact on the lives they touch.

And that, to them, is even sweeter.

About the author

Moira Cullings

Moira attended St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Overland Park and Benedictine College in Atchison. She majored in marketing, minored in psychology and played center midfield for the women’s soccer team. Moira joined The Leaven staff as a feature writer and social media editor in 2015. After a move to Denver, Moira resumed her full-time position at The Leaven and continues to write and manage its website, social media channels. Her favorite assignment was traveling to the Holy Land to take photos for a group pilgrimage in 2019.

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