In support of its vital ministries in Nicaragua and in conjunction with the celebration of St. Agnes’ Feast Day on Jan. 21, the Congregation of Sisters of St. Agnes has initiated its 2013 annual fund appeal to assist in sustaining and expanding CSA ministries in Nicaragua.
For nearly seven decades, the people of Nicaragua have turned to CSA for help. Since 1945 CSA has established and maintained ministries and reached out to people living in impoverished and isolated rural villages and urban areas plagued by high crime rates and unemployment.
Today, many of the sisters minister in the fields of education, health care, pastoral and social services. According to the CSA, its work and dedication to the Nicaraguan people has helped to provide direct assistance, as well as to lay the groundwork for other charitable organizations to establish a network of support services for many who would otherwise have little or no access to medicine, education, and many other essential services.
There is a very strong connection between the sister parishes in Rosita, Nicaragua, and Holy Family Parish of Fond du Lac.
“CSA’s presence in Nicaragua embodies our call to serve and empower others, especially those who are most vulnerable,” said Sister Joann Sambs, general superior of the congregation. “The sisters have been enriched by our relationship with our Nicaraguan sisters and the people whom we serve. The congregation’s commitment to maintain its ministries and support our sisters remains very strong.”
With an average monthly salary of between $100 and $150, the sisters work in schools, parishes, clinics and communities that desperately need assistance. However, the cost of maintaining the ministries continues to rise.
The schools and hospitals in which the sisters minister are only able to provide small stipends, Sambs said. The congregation provides most of the necessary resources to sustain those ministries — health care, living expenses, education and transportation.
While the combined annual salaries of all of the sisters in Nicaragua is about $35,000, the overall annual cost of maintaining those ministries exceeds $600,000.
The goal of the annual fund appeal is to keep members of CSA in their ministries in Nicaragua.