Benedictines begin Latino ministry

Benedictine Sister Joan Scheller met with immigration clients at Monastery Immaculate Conception in Ferdinand, Ind., recently.

Benedictine Sister Joan Scheller met with immigration clients at Monastery Immaculate Conception in Ferdinand, Ind., recently.

The sisters of St. Benedict of Ferdinand, Ind., announced in a statement last week that they’ve begun a “new chapter” in their ministry — outreach to Latinos.

The sisters are providing both faith formation and legal services.

“Our Benedictine community welcomes the Latino presence in our area and is excited to share with them our Benedictine spirituality and hospitality through new programs for the families, as well as provide a needed immigration service,” said the prioress, Benedictine Sister Barbara Lynn Schmitz, in a press release.

The sisters’ faith formation side of the ministry, called Spirituality Ministry Latino Outreach, has conducted two programs so far which drew participation from a total of about 150 people, according to the press release.

These programs are open to Latinos around the region, including those in the Archdiocese of Louisville. The two previous events have been announced in The Record.

The sisters also have opened an office at Monastery Immaculate Conception, their home in Ferdinand, Ind., to provide legal services to immigrants.

The office, called the Sisters of St. Benedict Immigration Outreach, is led by Benedictine Sister Joan Scheller.

Sister Scheller has earned accreditation from the United States Board of Immigration Appeals in the area of family immigration law, according to the release.

The office also operates as a member of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Catholic Legal Immigration Network (CLINIC).

Immigrants who would like to consult Sister Scheller may make an appointment by calling 812-367-1411, ext. 2102.

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