July 13, 2024

Joyful. It’s the word most often used to describe the vibrant, energetic Pro Ecclesia Sancta (PES) sisters of Sioux Falls. Since they arrived in the diocese in 2021, the sisters have been spreading their joy and promoting the call to holiness for hundreds of school-age children. Beginning last fall, the sisters made visits to various schools and held several retreats, which allowed nearby schools to participate.

“The idea is to support our teachers and schools in the spiritual formation of our kids,” said Sister Eileen. “The goal of the visits is to remind our children of how much God loves them and that he wants to be their friend. It was a joy for us to share with the kids, to get to know them, pray and sing together and have lots of fun.”

That joy had a lasting and profound impact on the students and teachers.

“The PES sisters visited Pierre in October to meet with our students about the Eucharist, as well as provide resources and inspiration for the teachers,” said Becky Walsh, principal at St. Joseph School in Pierre. “Their presence had a welcoming effect on the students and staff. The students were drawn to them. They were such a positive example of their religious vocation and stirred up quite a lot of thought among the students. The PES sisters provided guidance to our teachers on how to pray as an individual and with their students. They are such a powerful example of the joy that is found by following Christ!”

The radiant faces found in these pictures express more fully what words can only allude to: true, lasting joy is found in Christ. Through the trials and snares of the world, may this joy found in our youth never falter.