By Katie Beckmann, Communications Manager
This week’s “Embracing Faith” article will focus on Embracing Faith through Ministry.
If you were to ask Sister Amadeus McKenna, OP, what the best part of her ministry at Saint Gabriel Parish is, she would have one answer: the people.
Sister Amadeus explained, “I just love them. They are a great group of people that care about their neighborhood and community.”
For twenty years, Sister Amadeus’ pastoral care ministry has made an impact on the lives of Saint Gabriel parishioners in the Bronx.
As a part of her ministry responsibilities, Sister Amadeus greets parishioners at Masses and other functions, as well as organizes the parish and school activity schedule and calendar. Sister Amadeus also travels to local homebound and nursing care facilities to participate in group prayer, distribute communion, and visit hospitalized parishioners.
Another aspect of Sister Amadeus’ ministry is running the parish scripture group and PAVE (Prisoner and Victim Empowerment) ministry.
PAVE meets once a month and their members frequently travel to the Bedford Correctional Facility, where other Sisters of Saint Dominic of Blauvelt minister to participate in prayer and service activities.
Before coming to Saint Gabriel Parish, Sister Amadeus ministered in pastoral care and education in Yonkers, City Island, and Staten Island.
As much as she enjoyed education ministry, it was her connection with people that made Sister Amadeus make the permanent switch to pastoral care.
“I loved teaching and being a principal, but I wanted to just focus on being with people and helping to make their lives better.”
Another rewarding aspect of her ministry is how much the Saint Gabriel parishioners give back as many of them travel to the Blauvelt Autumn Festival each year to volunteer at booths and support the congregation.
“They truly want to help and support the Sisters. We are very blessed. It’s been 20 wonderful years at Saint Gabriel.”