One of the scriptures that guided our founder Fr. Flanagan’s life and our community is “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations (ad gentes), baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19-20)
From its very beginnings in 1958, SOLT has been missionary “ad gentes” (to all nations) and continues to respond to the needs of bishops from around the world. There has always been a burning desire to go and make disciples and to serve in whatever capacity was most needed. In 1975, Sr. Margaret Mary and Sr. Mary of the Trinity joined Fr. Tom Gier in answering the call to go serve God’s people on the remote island of Cabasan in the Philippines. They packed up their few belongings in Kansas City and went to what must have felt like the end of the earth. In going to the Philippines, they experienced the fulfillment of Our Lord’s promise, “And everyone who has given up houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands for the sake of my name will receive a hundred times more, and will inherit eternal life.” (Matthew 19:29)
Our first missionaries personally received a hundred times more, and the greater SOLT family did as well. We quickly received vocations, and our mission and charism spread through the Philippines and soon expanded to Thailand and then on to Papua New Guinea. Sr. Mary of the Redemption and Sr. Maria Teresita, our first Filipina vocation, were among our first Sisters to go to Thailand to serve at our rehabilitation centers for those with drug addictions. At the same time, our missions were expanding in the Americas as well, and our members were being sent to serve and make disciples in Belize, Guatemala, and Mexico.
These Sisters, along with so many others, spent and consumed themselves for souls. Now having arrived at a new phase in their consecrated lives, they are experiencing a new fulfillment of Our Lord’s promise to “receive a hundred times more.” Thanks to the generosity of so many, on December 2, 2022, we broke ground for our first ever motherhouse, in Violet, Texas. Our goal for building a motherhouse is about more than a building, much more. It is about building our future and preserving our roots. It is about anchoring ourselves firmly within the Diocese of Corpus Christi so that we can continue to go to the ends of the earth. We desire to witness to the culture of life by providing a place for our sisters, who have served tirelessly in the missions for so many years, to come home to, and from where they can witness to the world, the Church and their sisters that aging and suffering are redemptive, and that Jesus continues to keep His promises.
Please consider joining the Motherhouse Campaign as we build for the future, while honoring our past. More information, as well as a link to give can be found at solt.net/Motherhouse. We pray that in giving you, too, will “receive a hundred times more.”
Sr. Megan Mary Thibodeau, SOLT is originally from Monroe, CT. She professed her first vows in 2000 in Italy and has been serving as the General Sister Servant since 2013.