A new religious order is now serving in the Diocese of Orlando. On August 15, the Feast of the Solemnity of the Assumption, Annunciation Catholic Church in Altamonte Springs welcomed three religious sisters of the Servants of the Pierced Hearts of Jesus and Mary into its faithful community.
Founded in 1990 in the Archdiocese of Miami by Mother Adela Galindo SCTJM, religious sisters within the charism of the Servants of the Pierced Hearts of Jesus and Mary strive to be a living image and presence of the Heart of Mary in the heart of the Church and to place Marian charism at the service of the Church. With the establishment of their new convent at Annunciation Catholic Church, the Diocese of Orlando became the community’s third permanent home, the others being located in Miami and Peoria, Ill.
“The presence of our new Religious Sisters is a visible witness of our call to service and devotion to the Church,” said Father Stephen Parkes, pastor. “The charism of the Servants of the Pierced Hearts of Jesus and Mary blends well with the spirituality of our parish family named after the great event of the Annunciation. I am confident that they will inspire our community to a deeper response to our call to discipleship. I also pray that the creation of their foundation here in the Diocese of Orlando will provide an example to young women discerning a call to religious life.”
“We are here to extend the queenship of our Lady’s heart and to bring the peace and love of Mary to the hearts of others,” Sister Maria Teresa Acosta SCTJM said.
Each of the sisters has assumed leadership roles within the parish. Sister Acosta is the pastoral assistant, assisting the priests and laity of the parish in various pastoral outreach areas. Sister Christine Hernandez SCTJM works with parish ministries, offering spiritual support and guidance as the parish’s ministry support assistant, while Sister Rachel Gosda SCTJM, who took her first order of vows last year, serves as director of evangelization and faith formation.
“I truly feel honored to have been asked to serve this new mission of our community,” Sister Hernandez said. “Nothing is impossible for God, and I pray for the graces to glorify him in everything I do. We are blessed to be here serving at Annunciation Catholic Church and in the Diocese of Orlando.”
Sister Gosda agreed, adding, “This is our first mission where we have been in the heart of parish, and that is such a beautiful thing. For us it is a great gift because it is something new. Our Mother Foundress has entrusted us with the responsibility to be able to open this new path for sisters to walk. The Lord has showered his graces upon us.”