Founding Lay Member Enters Eternal Life

 Nicolina Teresa Capuano Sullivan of Kansas City died November 21, 2018 at her home. She was 93.

Mrs. Sullivan lived the words of St. Paul, “I have become all things to all people that I might by all means save some” (I Corinthians 9:22b). She was not only an advocate for her community’s underserved, she was also a champion of social justice as demonstrated through her many life roles. As wife, mother, missionary, author, nurse for the Kansas City urban population, and above all, servant to God, she sought to meet His callings with humility, dedication and love. This devotion to others was expressed most vividly in her relationships with her husband, children, grandchildren, great grandchildren and her family in the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity (SOLT).

Affectionately known as “Nikki,” Nicolina Sullivan was born Nov. 15, 1925, in Springfield, Mass. to WWI veteran Carmine Capuano and his wife Annina. She graduated from nursing college in 1947 and married decorated WWII veteran Dr. George E. Sullivan in 1948.

In 1962, George and Nikki left their suburban lives and George’s optometric practice in Massachusetts to pursue their calling to serve as one of the first lay missionary families in SOLT in New Mexico. After a few years, Nikki and George moved to Kansas City, Missouri with the SOLT community to work in areas of deepest apostolic need. To this end Nikki and George assisted the African American community in the civil rights movement of the 1960’s. SOLT founder Father James Flanagan and then Diocesan Bishop Helmsing had a goal to fully unite the races in the Kansas City community. Answering this call, Nikki and George fully integrated their professional lives as nurse and optometrist and their family into the local African American community to perform apostolic works.

As a lay member of SOLT, Nikki worked with ecclesial teams to serve in areas of deepest apostolic need, a practice that began in SOLT’s foundational years and extended until her death. In the SOLT community she was known not only as a faithful servant of God, but for her gift of hospitality and intercessory prayer. Inspired by the life of Jesus’ mother Mary, in widowhood, Nikki consecrated her life to Jesus and organized other widows to serve Christ through a life of charitable works.

She was an avid chef, quilter, and author. She shared these gifts through her dinners, classes, books, and storytelling.

She is survived by her children, Daniel (Theresa) Sullivan of Kansas City, David (Cheryl) Sullivan of Lee’s Summit, Anne (Steve) Winn of Kearney, George (Ilona) Sullivan of Kansas City, Mary Sullivan of Seattle, WA, Rosalie Buergler Kansas City, and Edward Sullivan of Atlanta, GA; 21 grandchildren; and 40 great-grandchildren.

Visitation for Nicolina Sullivan will be from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. with the rosary at 7:00 p.m., Monday, November 26, 2018 at Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic Church, 2552 Gillham, Kansas City, MO, 64108. The Mass of the Resurrection will be conducted by Fr. Peter Marsalek at 9:00 a.m. Tuesday, November 27, 2018 at Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic Church, with the burial at Mount Olivet Cemetery, 7601 Blue Ridge Blvd., Raytown, MO, 64138 In lieu of flowers and gifts, a donation may be made to the Lay Association of the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity Laity, 1200 Lantana Street, Corpus Christi, TX 78407.

Homily at Nikki Sullivan’s funeral.

Eulogies at Nikki Sullivan’s funeral

Sr. Mary Carmen Enters Eternal Rest

Sister Mary Carmen Sandoval, SOLT
September 25, 1928-October 7, 2018

Sister Mary Carmen (Margarita Sandoval), SOLT was born to Canuto and Francisquita Sandoval on September 25, 1928 in El Carmen, New Mexico, located in the beautiful Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Sister Mary Carmen was the fifth of nine children born to the Sandoval family. Having been devoted to a life of deep prayer even as a young girl, she continued to practice her faith as a young adult.  As a young woman, she would walk several miles to go to Mass, habitually prayed the rosary and the Stations of the Cross, and read many books about the Catholic faith.  In her parish, she taught catechism classes, prepared children for first holy communion and was an active member of the Legion of Mary.

After attending college and working for a few years, Margarita (Sister Mary Carmen) entered the postulancy in the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity (SOLT) in 1964 in Holman, New Mexico. She made her first profession of vows in 1966 and received the name of Sister Mary Carmen.

Sister Mary Carmen was professed for fifty-two years.  During the course of her religious life, she served in a number of missions including Kansas City, Missouri and Chiapas, Mexico. For many years, Sr. Mary Carmen traveled with an ecclesial team of SOLT priests, brothers, sisters and lay members from Texas to Indiana to serve the spiritual and material needs of our migrant brothers and sisters.  Additionally, she was also responsible for the formation of women aspiring to consecrated life within SOLT.

In 1994, Sister Mary Carmen was appointed the first American Regional Sister Servant of SOLT.  She served as the Regional Sister Servant until 2002.  After she completed her term of office, Sister Mary Carmen was assigned at St. Anthony’s Parish in Robstown, Texas until her health declined. She spent her last years in Robstown praying and suffering for all of God’s people.  Sr. Mary Carmen was called home to eternal life on the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary, October 7, 2018 surrounded by her Sisters.

Sr. Mary Carmen was preceded in death by her parents Canuto and Francisquita and her sisters Victoria, Ida and Elvira.  She is survived by her siblings Martin, Gloria, Eloisa, Elesia and Emilio and the members of the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity.  Her Mass of Christian Burial was at St. Gertrude’s Parish in Mora at 10am on Friday October 12, 2018 preceded by the rosary.

Lessons from the Road

 After two weeks of long meetings and joyful celebrations, most attendees of the General Chapter and Regional Assembly returned immediately to their respective homes and missions. However, for the visiting Filipina sisters and the sisters from Phoenix (plus a couple extra drivers from our Texas-based sisters), the journey was not yet complete. A week on the road allowed us to share with our sisters from the other side of the world some of the most beautiful sites of the Southwest, as well as our historically significant houses in New Mexico. Our trip left us with memories to cherish for a lifetime, many graces, new friendships, innumerable photos, and some lessons learned (or learned anew).

 1) There’s no place like home.

The spiritual highlight of our trip was visiting Holman, N.M., the birthplace of SOLT and the earthly resting place of our founders, Fr. James Flanagan and Fr. John McHugh. “It feels like home,” one Filipina sister shared. “I have only taught about these places to our novices. Now I have actually seen it,” said another. Although not an impressive tourist attraction, this was the most meaningful site we visited. We were also able to make a short visit to Bosque, N.M., a former formation site and the place where Fr. Flanagan passed away. Particularly meaningful was our time with one of our founding sisters, Sr. Mary of the Redemption, who shared some of her experiences and wisdom with us.

 2) Our God is a God of beauty.

The vastness and magnificence of the Grand Canyon and the beautiful red rocks of Sedona gave us a renewed sense of awe before creation. “Sing to the Lord, all the earth!” (Ps 96: 1)

3) Our God is a God of generosity. 

Now, it is not an unusual occurrence for sisters to experience God’s generosity through monetary donations received from His people, but on this trip we experienced it like never before. Strangers and friends alike, almost every single place we went, felt moved to share their material blessings with us. I think God likes to show off once in a while, and He certainly made sure we were welcomed and taken care of everywhere we went, through donations and hospitality alike. May God reward all who gave to us!

3) Learning about other countries and cultures is fun.

One sister, amazed at the vast expanses of uninhabited land, kept asking, “Where are all the people?” The USA is much less densely populated than the Philippines, and there’s nothing a like a road trip to demonstrate that!

Another unexpected cultural moment: One morning, an everyday occurrence in the US literally stopped our visiting sisters in their tracks: a front loader garbage truck using automated forks emptying a dumpster!

 5) Those Filipina sisters sure can sing.

In several places, the sisters sang several songs to share their gratitude for the hospitality and friendship given to them. It was beautiful and heartfelt. A chorus of Filipina sisters singing the Tagalog “Stella Maris” can bring tears to one’s eyes.

This trip renewed us in relationship and fostered new friendships. Names now have faces, and we have bonded as friends and sisters in the same family. May Our Lady continue to guide us on our earthly journey towards heaven!

Tanglawan kami aming ina

Sa kalangitan naming pita

Nawa’y maging hantungang

Pinakamimithing kaharian

(From the lyrics of “Stella Maris” by Bukas Palad. Translation: “Be our beacon, our mother, in our journey towards our deepest desire, which is heaven.”)

Submitted by Sr. Mary Joy of our Father, SOLT


Sr. Maria Lucina Enters Eternal Rest


Sister Maria Lucina of the Lamb of God, SOLT, (Melinda Shellenbarger) died Saturday, June 23, 2018, after a courageous battle with cancer, at St. Anthony Regional Hospital in Carroll.

Mass of the Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10:30 a.m., Tuesday, June 26, 2018 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Willey. The Celebrant will be Fr. Peter Marsalek, SOLT. Con-Celebrants will be Fr. Kevin Richter and Fr. Mark Wendling, SOLT. Music will be by Sister Mary of Holy Hope and the SOLT Sisters. Lectors will be Joe Shellenbarger and Sister Maria Stella Maris. Gift Bearers will be: Sister Maria Mater Dei, Mia Balderas, Grace Elbers, Emma Elbers, and Hannah Elbers. Eucharistic Minister will be Sister Marie Hesed. Casket Bearers will be: Joe Shellenbarger, Jerry Shellenbarger, John Shellenbarger, Dan Elbers, Scott Sibbel and Vern Greving. Burial will be in St. Mary’s Cemetery in Willey.

Friends may call at St. Mary’s Church in Willey after 4 p.m. on Monday where there will be a rosary at 5 p.m. and a Christian Wake Service at 7 p.m. Additional visitation will be from 9:30-10:15 a.m. on Tuesday morning in the St. Mary’s Parish Hall in Willey.

Funeral arrangements are under the direction of the Sharp Funeral Home in Carroll and online condolences may be left at

Born on January 17, 1957 at Slayton, Oregon, Melinda was the daughter of Robert and Arlene (Oenning) Welter. She is the eldest of six children and grew up in Torrence, California and Beaverton, Oregon. Melinda married Lonnie Shellenbarger at St. John the Baptist Church in Portland, OR in 1982. They welcomed their beloved daughter Lindsay, in 1984. The family resided in Oregon City where Melinda owned and operated Shell Graphics, where she did architectural renderings and Heaven’s Treasures Catholic Gift Store. After meeting Fr. Pinto, SOLT in 1992, she became a member of the Disciples of Jesus and Mary. She grew in her Catholic faith and felt God calling her to dedicate the rest of her life to His service. In 2006, Sr. Maria Lucina entered formation with the Sisters of the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity(SOLT). She professed her first vows on July 16, 2012 and final vows on July 11, 2017. Sr. Maria Lucina was a gifted artist and shared her many gifts with everyone she encountered. She served for many years at Our Lady of Corpus Christi Retreat Center, in Corpus Christi, Texas, at Divine Mercy Parish in Belize City, Belize and at Domus Trinitatis in Willey, Iowa.

Sister Maria Lucina is survived by her daughter, Lindsay (Rory) Fitzgerald of Orlando, FL; her mother, Arlene Welter of Beaverton, OR; her siblings: Joseph (Junita) Welter of Aloha, OR, Jeffrey Welter of Vancouver, VA, Lisa (Randy) Cornwell of Beaverton, OR, John Welter of Hillsborough, OR, and Jerry Welter of Aloha, OR; as well as many aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and the members of her SOLT family.

Her father, Robert Welter and her husband Lonnie Shellenbarger preceded her in death.



First Impressions in Belize

Recently, Fr. Mark Wendling and Sr. Mary Elizabeth Albers led a group of young people to serve in Belize for almost two weeks. Below is a short write-up from one of the missionaries, Jack Kessler.

High: Attending Mass Sunday night I was struck by the deep sense of community present in the parish. The people were clearly excited by the return of Father Mark and the sense of anticipation was infectious. Celebrating the liturgy in Spanish was invigorating both because it reminded me of the universality of our faith and because it challenged me to be present without falling back on familiar routine.  I am excited to celebrate the source and summit our faith with the community of Benque again.

God moment: Today I was blessed to celebrate adoration with the rest of the group up here at Chapel Hill.  Watching the Blessed Sacrament I was reminded of a, possibly apocryphal, quote from the Cure of Ars Where he described Adoration as “I watch Him and He watches me”  That is what we did. We watched God and felt His presence with us. It was very relaxing and helped remind me of the goal of this mission i.e. to serve Him.

New experience: I had traveled to Mexico before so the actual process of traveling to Belize was not particularly new. However, once we reached Benque proper I was astonished to discover that Father Mark is for all intents and purposes a major celebrity to the people there. Driving through the town it felt like he stopped to chat with every person there.  The friendliness and courtesy displayed by the Belizeans was disarming in its simplicity. It felt almost like we were all returning to visit old friends, transforming a “foreign” place into a familiar shelter.

Other thoughts: Visiting Belize, I have been fascinated by the many different people I have met and the work that SOLT is doing here. This is mainly because it is such important work with a clear and visible impact but also because I have a personal connection to SOLT’s mission in Belize. My aunt spent several years as a missionary here and growing up I would always hear her talk about how much being here had meant to her. Coming here meant I could in part see what had excited her so much about this country and its people. What I could not foresee is that this would lead to me being constantly introduced to people as her nephew. In that sense I am very much in her shadow. I just hope I do not embarrass her too much.

Consecration, Communion, Service

 On August 11th of last year, our own dear Fr. Bob Cronin of SOLT passed into eternity on the Turtle Mountain Reservation, where he had loved and served for more than 25 years. In the two weeks leading up to his death, we community members, as well as many parishioners, held vigil in his room, serving his needs under the gaze of our Eucharistic Lord, 24/7. When Christ came for him, there was a priest, a sister, and a lay person with him. From my time and meditations there at his bedside, I would like to draw out three particular points of the joys of Consecrated Life that I feel this experience showcased.

First, consecration. It is an inexhaustible source of joy and grace for me to be a bride of Christ and a Church in miniature. Consecration is the reality that makes people ask us, “What are you?” To be able to stand for Christ and the Church in a public, marked, concrete, and special way was definitely something that attracted me to this life. And not only do I stand for Him, but the King of Heaven has reached down and chosen and marked me for Himself. This symbolism of consecration means that I represent and stand for another. This mystery was so clearly revealed as we Sisters stood by the bedside of Fr. Bob, as signs of our own dear mother Mary, who persevered by the Cross of her dying Son, or as signs of the Church who stays faithful to all her sons and daughters to the last minute of their lives. This standing for another is expressed to me in many other ways, also, like the kindergarten students who persist in calling to me, “Hey, Mary!” or the questions and conversations that begin when people see our habit.

Secondly, communio or communion. This word is dear to our Community, as our charism states that we are “Disciples of Jesus through Mary, living in Marian-Trinitarian Communion, serving on Ecclesial Family Teams, in areas of deepest Apostolic need.” It is a joy to live out every day, in reality and in hope, full communion of Heaven and Earth, communion of all members of the Church, and communion of all of creation in the love of the Trinity. How beautifully this was felt in serving Fr. Bob! One of the other priests would say Mass every day in his room, and when Mass was not being offered our Lord in the Eucharist remained exposed in adoration for Fr. Bob and whoever was taking care of him that shift. Heaven and earth, priests, sisters, and laity all working together as it ought to be. I was able to sit in silence with others for many hours and watch Fr. Bob breathe, pondering life, and death, and beauty, keeping the rhythm of the day with the Liturgy of the Hours. All of us were touched by this communion and community united in a single purpose, a picture of what Jesus prayed for when He said, “Father, that they may be one…”.

Third, service. Service to always and to all. It is a great gift to realize that my life does not belong to me, but to all people in service. At Saint Ann’s, I am the religion teacher in our Catholic school, and we Sisters are also involved in lots of things, such as bringing Holy Communion to our many homebound parishioners, teaching sacramental prep, serving our nursing home, and running a thrift store. It is in service that I am able to complete the example that Christ gave as our Divine Bridegroom in laying down His life, and it is where I am able to be an outlet to the many gifts, insights, and services given to me. My favorite saint is Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati who expressed this so well. “Jesus comes to me every morning in Communion, and I return the visit by going to serve the poor.” As I sat by Fr. Bob’s bed, I often thought of the fact that it is not the number or quantity of people visited that makes a difference, but rather to make each and every encounter with anyone count, to re-gift to them their dignity and the love Jesus has for them, to let each one know that they are priceless.

I thank God that He has chosen me to be a Sister! Pray for your Sisters, and for the people God has given us to serve, that we may be found faithful! And may we always find the source of our joy in the consecration, communion, and service God has gifted us with.

Written by Sr. Mary Rachel Craig, SOLT

New Endeavors in Education

Christy Snoke first fell in love with Belize when she visited our SOLT mission in Benque Viejo del Carmen as a chaperone with St. Michael’s Parish Youth Group from Findlay, Ohio, 8 years ago. She always knew that one day she would return to Belize to do something important. Now she lives in Belize City working with SOLT at Divine Mercy Parish in starting Mother of Mercy Montessori. Below is an interview with Christy about her experience in helping start Mother of Mercy Montessori.

How many children attend Mother of Mercy?

Currently we have 12 children enrolled in our program.

When did the program open?

Mother of Mercy is licensed as a daycare. I tell everyone, I run a Montessori daycare or school in the same fashion- Montessori style.  Our opening Mass and day was September 12, 2017.

Why did you start the program?

There were several reasons we started the program.  There is a greater history in the Divine Mercy parish than I know of, but there has been a plan for an early childhood center at Divine Mercy for many years now.  The property and building have been there, prayer warriors praying as God lined up the time and individuals necessary to make it a reality.

There has been a desire to have an authentically Catholic early childhood development program that can build a “Civilization of Love” within the Belizean culture.

In a providential meeting with a SOLT sister in Benque Viejo del Carmen in June 2010, right before I started my Montessori journey, we discussed her vision for Montessori and the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd in Belize.  From that moment forward, I knew that one day God would align people to start a program.

How did you start the center?

In November of 2016, parishioners of Divine Mercy and I gathered to discuss Montessori and how it could enhance and build upon the beautiful Belizean culture.  Several talented Belizeans pulled together their gifts and skills to gather the necessary tools to begin the program.  Within in a short few months, we had applications submitted for the program, materials purchased, caregivers lined up, generous sponsors and some interested families.  By the beginning of March 2017, we were on our way!

Do any volunteers assist with the program?

We have volunteers assisting with the program.  Sr. Stella Maris is one of our lovely caregivers. Ms. Therese is a retired preschool teacher who contributes beautifully to the cultural element of the program.  We now have Janine Chicas, a dear parent, as the lead caregiver.  Martita, another parent, has assisted with cleaning, making aprons, etc.  All of the families are required to volunteer each year.  We also had St. John’s Junior College education department come for a day to volunteer their time building a sandbox, playing with the children and other tasks around our center.  We’ve had Guiselle and Nina, high school students volunteer on their holiday break.  Indira Chavarria assisted in purchasing snack and drinking water on a weekly basis

We have many volunteers assisting with the program, including SOLT members and the laity. Our volunteers are retired teachers, parents, and friends from all walks of life who clean, make aprons, provide food, and create cultural elements for our classroom. All of the families are required to volunteer each year.  We also had St. John’s Junior College education department come for a day to volunteer their time building a sandbox, playing with the children and other tasks around our center.

Have you seen any difference in the community or in the children already?

On a relational level, we have built some great relationships with our families.  I’m so happy to be able to walk alongside them as they raise up the next generation of adults.  We’ve been able to provide meals for a few children who otherwise may not be able to eat regularly.  Children come eagerly to our community and leave joyfully.  Their parents say they wished they had had this program sooner for their children.  Their children are more willing to be independent and help at home and with the family.

More and more people are interested in our program.  We value relationship, authenticity, provide opportunities for children to engage in a whole person developmental program.  People want to know why we are so different from other programs and are excited to invest in a system that can bring real change in their community.

Why is the program Montessori?

Montessori creates an environment that focuses on the individual needs of the child within the greater context of society.  We focus on individuals, but the whole of those individuals and the whole of the community.  We look upon the child as a gift, regarded with the upmost dignity.  We allow them to explore in a safe microcosm of the larger society, to use their curiosity to learn about the world they live in. We value independence, spontaneous learning, the development of freedom and discipline, respect, culture, etc.

The children learn to manipulate concepts concretely in order to move to thinking more abstractly.  They use their hands to train their minds.  They become good at doing things, develop a deep desire and love for learning, find intrinsic value in their personal efforts that aren’t based off of external rewards and punishments.  Children become contributing members of society through purpose-filled work.

What are the children like?

The children a fun, quirky, have very different personalities from one another, loving, joyful, compassionate, enjoy purposeful work, lovers of beauty, etc. Trust had to be established before there could be mutual respect/respect for the caregivers. They are tender and compassionate.  They are relational. They love to say hi to Jesus, their Good Shepherd.

Order and routine, and the ability to repeat and master activities are important for children to learn and grow.  These children find great joy in being able to repeat and master the work they encounter everyday at Montessori. They are like any other children.  We all have universal human tendencies, regardless if we are from Asia or North America.  

Are you looking for volunteers at Mother of Mercy Montessori?

I think that could be great if volunteers came to be assistants. Ideally, it is better to have someone stick around for longer in order to create stability (like volunteers in Benque who decide to stay for an additional year or two). However, we would need to discuss with Fr. Scott and the board and then determine housing, food, etc. so the volunteer(s) can have a place to live close to the church so they can be a part of the community. Belize City is entirely different than Benque. It’s beautiful but our volunteer program is not yet as developed for volunteering long term.

A New Missionary Adventure

I was first bit by the travel bug the summer between fourth and fifth grade when I tagged along with my Irish grandmother for a family wedding in the English countryside. After the nuptials, which included top hats and penguin coats, we paid a visit to my uncle who was stationed with his family in Frankfurt, Germany, serving in the army. My life was never the same after that. I had been given an insatiable desire to see the world. As a teenager I would experience first hand the far off cultures of Turkey, Greece, Italy, France, and Switzerland. Admittedly, the motivation to travel wasn’t always holy, fueled mostly by a desire to find fortune and happiness.

However, my twenties unearthed a powerful reversion back to the Church, and my zeal for travel, in this new light, revealed a missionary heart. I knew God had put the desire for travel in me, and now He would use it for His glory!

Within a few years of that realization, I was commissioned. My fiancé (God built Him with a missionary heart, too!) and I had an incredible opportunity to move permanently to Belize with a non-profit organization giving talks all over the country on St. John Paul the Great’s Theology of the Body. When we learned of this opportunity, I felt no reservation, and we both knew it was a call.

There wasn’t much time to prepare ourselves, as my fiancé was able to fly down right away and I was completing my last semester of college. We miraculously cleaned out his apartment within a week, thanks to some of our SOLT sisters who dropped by and picked up a few items. He took just about everything he owned and compressed it into three large suitcases and a plastic storage bin.

Because our move was an indefinite one, my packing did require more than someone who committed themselves for a year or two. I was shocked at how many things I was able to part with, give away, or found altogether unnecessary. Initially, I had the idea that I could bring everything I owned with me, but once I packed the first suitcase I realized the error of my ways. I will admit that the attachment I felt to all my holy books was the most difficult one. I ended up bringing five: my bible, True Devotion to Mary, The Four Cardinal Virtues, Life of Christ, and Love and Responsibility. Turns out that’s all I needed for now.

Finally, I will say that the “until I see you again” partings from my family were tearful and sentimental, but they were also joyful and profound! Our Blessed Mother continually walked with me, giving me every grace to begin this journey, which so far has been the best one of my life.

Submitted by Sarah Gomez from Corpus Christi, Texas

SOLT Goes to SLS!

From January 2nd – January 6th, around 8,000 young adults gathered in the McCormick Place Convention Center in downtown Chicago to attend the Student Leadership Summit (SLS) hosted by the Fellowship of Catholic University Students (FOCUS). College-aged students all from different schools throughout the country took time away from their Christmas break to have a deeper encounter with Jesus Christ and to learn how to bring their confreres at their perspective colleges and universities to that same type of encounter. The week is filled with beautiful liturgies, a powerful extended time of Eucharistic Adoration, inspiriting talks, and specified workshops related to growing deeper in prayer and techniques in evangelization.

Conference keynote speakers included Bishop Robert Barron, Sr. Bethany Madonna, SV, Jim Caviezel (the actor who played Jesus in Passion of the Christ), Dr. Ted Sri, Sarah Swafford, Fr. Mike Schmitz (a former volunteer at our SOLT mission in Belize), and Curtis Martin (the founder of FOCUS). It was so encouraging to see a thousand young adults during their free time spend an hour in silent prayer before the Blessed Sacrament. To see so many college students who were evangelized and who desired to be more effective evangelizers themselves was extremely edifying. SLS is a microcosm of the growing and alive Church in the United States. It is the New Evangelization at work, and it is working! The “who’s who” in evangelization and religious orders were there to recruit young men and women enthusiastic for their faith to join in their mission in the Church.

SOLT sponsored a booth in order to promote volunteer opportunities at our missions in Belize, Mexico, and North Dakota as well as our two-week mission trip to Belize in May. Throughout the week, our SOLT team of Sr. Mary Elizabeth, Sr. Laudem Gloriae, Fr. Mark Wendling, Brenton and Lucía Seymour, and I talked to hundreds of young adults who expressed varying degrees of interest at the prospect of volunteering after graduation at one of our missions or joining our mission trip this summer. Some of our past volunteers in Belize and some of our current volunteers, SOLT Missionary Teachers, in Belize joined us at our booth not only to catch up and hang out with SOLT, but out of their own enthusiasm they also joined us in encouraging others to volunteer at our missions. For me, it was a beautiful time of reconnecting with old friends who are now at work in leadership in various ways in the Church. Some are now priests and sisters and deacons and seminarians, some are in charge of youth groups and campus ministry, some are in different niches and organizations of evangelization.

SLS was an important time of promoting SOLT, so that our name and our faces are recognizable as forces in the New Evangelization and as a viable option for advancing the mission of the Church. More information about our mission trip to Belize in May can be found at

Br. Dave Brokke, SOLT