A Letter from One of Our Own- Sister Mary Servant of the Cross, Angela Kmetz

Sister Mary Servant of the Cross grew up at Saint Mary and has many family members here still. Please enjoy her letter to the parish.

May 2010

Dear Friends at St. Marys,

Greetings to everyone! I hope and pray this letter finds you well. First I would like to thank everyone for all your wonderful notes, letters, thoughts and prayers over the past few months. The care packages from St. Mary’s are so great. We will have some beautiful flowers this summer thanks to you because of the supplies you sent us. It is always so wonderful to hear from everyone! This year has absolutely flown by, as I am sure you can agree! The winter was crazy here in Maryland with three snowstorms, receiving the religious habit and my new religious name (Sr. Mary Servant of the Cross), a heart surgery, and visits from my sisters and brother!

The snow was out of this world!! We had to shovel a path just to walk from the end of the dirt road to the convent, which is probably a quarter of a mile! Our neighbor made the comment that we must be very strong to have shoveled so much and our mother superior replied ‘Well, we are really more like ants, just always working!’ I ran through the snow and it was so deep that it was up to my knees! I have a feeling this was only the beginning of many missionary adventures ahead of me!!

The Lent and Easter seasons were truly beautiful! It is only through the understanding of the cross that I am to find peace and joy in my vocation! I am to always be a servant of the cross…I love my name! We celebrated the Easter Triduum with one of our parishes in Maryland and then for Easter Sunday we went to Mass at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington D.C. It was so beautiful!!
As for the upcoming events, this religious family never stops! In May we will be wrapping up the religious education classes at our various parishes as well as our weekly Saturday camp for kids (called Oratory). It has been a great opportunity meeting some of the families in the local area. We are truly blessed by their constant love and support. By mid-May we will be finishing our formation academic year so that means I have tests coming up!! I think I liked giving the tests as a teacher more than taking them! At the end of the month we will be going to our retreat house in upstate New York for a 4-day intense study of the constitutions of our order. Our founder stresses how important it is that we know our charism in order for us to be faithful to it. Following the class we will be hosting a Youth Festival for 400 youth from our parishes in New York City, Philadelphia, and DC. (Lots of inner city kids playing and hiking outside in the country will be a great site!) It will be a lot of fun for sure and full of God’s grace!

We then will be going to Philadelphia for a “Popular Mission.” The parish, where three of our sisters live and work, is in a rough neighborhood where the kids need a lot of love and really need the Gospel preached to them. I was able to help lead their 1st Communion retreat a couple of months ago for about 50 kids at the parish, most of whom come from broken homes and very little catechesis. One of our sisters who is missioned there put it quite well: ‘we need to teach the children how to play so they can learn how to love.’
After being in Philly for a week or so we will be going back to New York for our 30-Day Spiritual Exercises Retreat!!!! That means 30 days of silence!!! I am not going to lie, I am a little nervous but there is no fear in God so I am trying to be more excited than afraid!! Pray for me!!! I really want to be a good, happy, generous nun and the only way that this truly takes place is through the grace of God and through a good prayer life! Our founder tells us to be spouses of Christ, not widows of Christ…so we want to always to be joyful! Pray for me!!

And then…after the 30-day retreat we will be continuing on to New Hampshire for our vacation called “Convivencia!” Convicenia is an important part of our formation in which we focus on growing in the virtues of community life and generosity. We will be hiking those mountains, camping, and enjoying the company with the other sisters in formation! I can’t wait!
Well, I know this update is lacking in so many ways but hopefully you have a little taste of what life has been like and will be for the upcoming months for me. Please know that you all are in my daily prayers! I still wake up in the morning and cannot believe I am really a nun…. preparing to be the SPOUSE OF CHRIST!! It is the most precious gift I could ever receive. You truly have a peace and joy that the world will never understand when you are doing the will of God!

I do have a simple request. As a religious we do take vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience, the means that allows us to have the freedom to love God with our entire hearts. Some of you have asked if there is anything that I am in need of. By God’s grace we have many benefactors in this area who help us with food and other material needs. God always provides through the generosity of so many people. I would like to propose the possible sponsorship for certain upcoming items and events. Your sponsorship can be a one time or a monthly donation, really whatever you feel comfortable. The formation house alone has 23 sisters, all of whom have medical bills, insurance bills, and the normal the monthly expenses. Below is a list of possible ways for sponsorship if you so feel inclined.

• Convivencia is around $400 per sister

• Health Insurance is $219 per month per sister

• One Month Retreat around $200 per sister

• Novitiate Convent Bills especially Gas for our vehicles

• Having a nun for a friend or relative…. PRICELESS!!

I do not wish to overwhelm you with this request so please do not feel any obligation but only an opportunity. Anything you feel you can give is always appreciated. Thank you very much! I love you all and miss you every much! You are always in my prayers especially in the celebration of the Mass!!

In Christ through Mary,

Sr. Servant of the Cross

(Angela Kmetz)

PS: Checks can be made out to “The Servants of the Lord” and mailed to 1714 Crain Hwy; Upper Marlboro, MD 20774.

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