While “nuns on the air conditioned bus/van” are getting a lot of attention in the press these days, I couldn’t help but the notice the contrast between this event and the work of a Salesian sister whom I had never heard of until today.
On November 24, 2012, Ven. Maria Troncatti (1883-1969), a Salesian Sister, will be beatified in Macas, Ecuador. Sister Maria made her first profession in 1908 and left for Ecuador in 1922 where she worked among the Shuar people.
She and two other sisters “faced dangers of every kind, including those caused by the beasts of the forest and by fast-flowing rivers that had to be waded through or crossed on fragile “bridges” made from creepers or on the shoulders of Indians. Sr. Maria was nurse, surgeon, orthopaedist, dentist – but, above all, catechist and evangelizer, rich in the wonderful resources of her faith, patience, and fraternal love. Her work for the promotion of the Shuar woman bore fruit in hundreds of new Christian families formed, for the first time, on a free personal choice on the part of the young couple.”
Sr. Maria died in an airplane crash in Ecuador in 1969. Her works bore fruit that will last for all eternity, something that escapes notice of the secular press but not of our Heavenly Father. Her community, Daughters of Mary Help of Christians (Salesians) was founded by St. John Bosco and St. Mary Domenica Mazzerello and came to the US in 1908. They are the largest congregation of sisters in the world with over 15,000 sisters and growing!!