The beginnings were difficult, the language, the culture, the work. They came as immigrants with a labor contract with the Claretian Priests our brothers. They went to Momence in the State of Illinois where our brothers had a house for the postulants. From February to July of this same year they had to learn how to cook, this was their job, and cook in the American way for more than 100 young men and later on for more than 40 men in the theologate in Washington DC. After months of learning in different religious communities on July 5 the sisters came for the first time to their little house in Momence. These were difficult years, time in which the sisters sowed the seed whose fruits we are enjoying today. The seed was watered with sweat, tears and also with many moments of joy and fraternal love. I see that community, somehow like the communities of the second generation of Christians, saw the first disciples of Jesus.
Some years later on September 3rd 1958 we opened a new community in Washington DC the capital of this beautiful country. New sisters came and between the two communities who saw each other only during Summer time, a real friendship was born. In both communities some sisters worked to be able to pay the university for those who were getting their college or master degree to be able in the future to have a parochial school. The students helped the other sisters in their spare time, in this way, like any other American student, they would pay for their meals at the seminary. Their responsibility was to wash dishes after the meals.
To help with the expenses the sisters in Washington DC opened a boarding house for foreign students.
During this time the Church experienced a second Pentecost, thus was Vatican II called. The newness that this council brought to the church affected all of us, and our plans changed and the parochial school was changed by the pastoral ministry among the poorest. Many times, in different occasions our superiors thought that maybe it would be better to leave the country and go someplace else to start something new or just help with what already was established. But always something happened and we did not leave the country, maybe the Lord was telling us something. We closed both communities Momence (1967) and Washington (1971). Some of the sisters went to other places of the Institute, four of us came to the Estate of Florida to start anew the adventure of the Gospel. The Bishop asked us to minister to the poorest of the Archdiocese, the migrant workers at Our Lady Queen of Peace Mission in Delray Beach. We arrived to the new place on November 9, 1971. Here we learned to love and share the Mexican-American and Puerto Rican cultures. These were years of much work, sometimes with some frustrations, but in general we remember these years with thanksgiving and nostalgia.
Four years later we began a new community in the Northern section of Miami on February 25, 1975. Here the sisters began a new experience, each one had her own ministry and the community had a superior without councilors, things were decided together between the three of us. This was an apprenticeship of something which is very usual nowadays. Some new sisters came, and even though we were two communities we were like one in many things. Due to the distance from the superiors of the Institute, we learned to solve our own problems and difficulties.