Welcome!

We are a congregation of women religious inspired by the Virgin Mary, the first handmaid of the Lord, and Blessed Mary Catherine Kasper, a humble woman who founded our congregation. We are missionaries who serve the poor and the marginalized, especially women, children and the sick, in Mexico and in eight other countries.

Are you interested in knowing us? Would you like to be a part of the family of the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ? Would you like to support our works as a volunteer or benefactor? Are you interested in discerning your possible vocation as a consecrated religious? Or would you like to unite with us as an associate "Following in the Footsteps of Catherine"?

We appreciate your interest, and we place ourselves at your service to help you to know us better and clarify your doubts.

We invite you to read the basic information carefully.

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"Nothing is small if we do it for God, who is present in our neighbor."

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Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ in Mexico - Celebrating 29 Years!

Ready to Serve

 

This September, the adjoining state of Oaxaca suffered two devastating earthquakes on the western side of the state. There were no communications with the outside world and when finally there was contact, the extent of the damage was seen. Two days later, an injured family told us that help had not arrived in their community. That’s when our adventure began.

The youth of the chapel choir, Christian Family Movement, and myself knocked on each door of Mapachapa, Veracruz where we live, asking for food and other supplies. We encountered very generous people. We also set a table outside the chapel asking for any type of help. A homeless man came, took an orange from his pocket, left it on the table and went on his way. There was also a person selling religious articles and joyfully he donated the most expensive rosary he had. Our convent house became a collection center. We loaded everything into vans.

The next day 15 missionaries traveled to Union Hidalgo, Oaxaca even though we knew that other caravans had been assaulted and robbed. We encountered bridges out and roads impassable yet thanks be to God we got through to the needy without major problems.

When we arrived at the first village community we saw the terrible damage: rubble, houses split in half, mud all over from the continuing rains and people begging for food. While we were there, three times we experienced tremors of different magnitudes.

We delivered the food supplies to the most vulnerable. My personal greeting was a silent hug and then the people began telling me their courageous testimonies.

A wise old man of more than 84 years:

He was lying with a bandana on his head to mitigate his pain. He lives alone, is blind and has only one leg. When I greeted him, he answered me in Zapotec, and, despite his circumstances, he praised God because his neighbors had saved his life, offered him a cot and cared for him with love. He told me that life is very beautiful and has its difficult times. I was exhausted, so I asked for his blessing to continue our mission. He told us that God is so good, that God has sent us to this place to do good and never forget it.

A married man told us his story:

Before getting married we had the dream of having our own house and so we placed each brick with love and sacrifice. We respected each other and in all things, we have been united. We lived for many years with the hope of having children and finally, God granted us a daughter. We were so happy that we painted the walls of the little house and watched her grow up with many beautiful memories. Our house was sacred. At the end, he ended his story by saying: We are old now, our house collapsed but our love remains firm.

I cannot share the experiences of those who saw their loved ones die under the rubble as it is so painful, deep and sacred what is in their hearts. On our way back we took a different route and passed through Ixtaltepec, Oaxaca. There we found a small village that was inaccessible due to the conditions of the road and weather. There was the danger that the river would overflow at any minute. Therefore, no supplies, including food, had yet arrived.

Our dream is to return there before Christmas because the needs continue. We appreciate your prayers.

The Meeting of the Pope in Morelia, Michoacan, with Religious Women and Men

Despite my age, and that I had the opportunity to see Pope John Paul first, I didn't take the time for it, and now at this time I had the wonderful opportunity of meeting with Pope Francis together with my Sisters of Coatzacoalcos, Mapachapa, San Ildefonso and Queretaro. We could never communicate or express our sentiments and emotions in words as we met with someone so well known and loved.

We only know His Holiness Pope Francis through photos, through his writings and his homilies, but this doesn't mean that we don't know him, he is a person loved by all Mexicans. It was clear to me that the coming together with His Holiness in Mexico was a marvelous event. Despite the tiredness and the six hours of waiting to be able to go in to the stadium and participate in the Mass, this was a marvelous event that one can't explain: to feel the presence of God in this man, this human being who only brings a message of peace, joy and love from Our Lord.

There were thousands of people gathered to see him, even if that be from far away. To hear his words, see him pass by and receive his greetings and blessings sufficed for everyone. Despite the distances, the irritations, the heat, the cold, etc. we all formed one group united in a sense of companionship, forgetting irritations, rancor etc, and forming one family.

I will never forget these moments, his words of encouragement and of the mercy of Our Lord.

To all the women and men religious he asked us how is our prayer, our life, and how do we live our prayer. How could one forget this!

Note from Sister Edith about the photos: Because of the cold in Morelia, the Sisters are bundled up. One can recognize Sister Elvia with the gray shawl around her head, Sister Yulma with the white cap and Sister Joan Trippel behind her, and Sister Deborah Davis with the yellow scarf around her neck and the purple shawl. I am not sure of anybody else's identities.

Final Vows Mexico

On April 11th, Sister Silveria took her final vows in Mexico. God bless her!

 


 

 

Sister Elvia: Perpetual Profession as a Poor Handmaid of Jesus Christ

Sixteen years ago, I consecrated my life to Our Lady of Carmen as I began my life in community: on May 28, 2016 I reaffirmed this consecration when I made my profession of final vows in the Basilica of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in the city of Catemaco, Veracruz in Mexico, the village where I was born.

The Eucharist was what I dreamed since I started the preparations, presided by Bishop Fidencio Lopez Plaza, current Bishop of the Diocese of San Andres Tuxtla, concelebrated by several priests: Joel Solano (pastor of the Sanctuary) and Francisco Javier Rueda. Seminarian friends and my sisters the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ accompanied me. I was further blessed to have my parents Rafael Mina and Juana Juarez, my brothers, sisters-in-law, nieces and nephews, and friends present for this special day.

My heart is still filled with joy because I know it's a “YES to many No’s” and God‘s grace is and will be my strength in my journey, confirmed on May 28th. I am grateful to God; with Blessed Catherine and the Song of Songs I affirm: "my Beloved is mine and I am my Beloved’s.".

-So I put myself in your prayers, as I recall the words: "Each day become more and more a Poor Handmaid of Jesus Christ" (taken from the homily of Bishop Fidencio Lopez Plaza, May 28, 2016)

Gratefully in Christ,

your sister Elvia Mina Juarez