Sister Mary Kevin Rooney remembers arriving at the Wichita motherhouse of the Adorers of the Blood of Christ in 1947: her 318-mile bus trip from Cedar Bluffs, Nebraska, ended at 3 a.m. on Aug. 29.
Her next assignment, in the Philippines, which is over 8,000 miles away, probably won’t take much longer than it took to get to Wichita from Nebraska. Sister Mary Kevin will leave Thursday, March 22, for Quezon City, which is nearly surrounded by the capital city of Manila, for a 10-month appointment as a spiritual companion for four young ASCs now in formation.
The U.S. Region of the ASCs, which consists of centers in Wichita; Ruma, Illinois; and Columbia, Pennsylvania, was invited by the ASC region in India to assist in the formation.
“The idea is, we have young sisters in those cultures who are in temporary vows, recently having made their first vows, and would the Americans accompany them?” Sr. Mary Kevin said in an interview last week.
Sister Barbara Hudock, a member of the ASC Leadership Team, happened to be in Wichita at the time of the request and invited Sr. Mary Kevin to assist her in discerning the petition for help.
“Is this God’s will?” Sr. Barbara asked. “And, how can we…even if it is God’s will?”
Sr. Mary Kevin said she explained to Sr. Barbara that the U.S. Region has the resources. “The older regions should surely help the newer regions.”
Sr. Barbara agreed, adding, “But you know, what can we do? Who could we send?”
Sr. Mary Kevin said a “deep joy began bubbling up in me” as they pondered, but she didn’t believe she would be asked.
Sr. Barbara wasn’t able to finish asking Sr. Mary Kevin if she would be interested because Sr. Mary Kevin excitedly erupted with a “Yes!”
It wouldn’t be the first time she’s traveled to Asia. Sr. Mary Kevin has also ministered in Korea, in addition to work in Tunisia, Rome, and Croatia. Her international assignments began after she initially taught for 16 years in Andale and in between appointments in Wichita.
Sr. Mary Kevin was waiting last week for a phone call from Chicago regarding her visa, but preparations are well underway for her to assist the two sisters from Vietnam and two from India. Another sister, from Korea, is unable to participate in the formation program because her English skills weren’t quite strong enough.
The Skype application and internet connections are being checked between the Philippines and the Ruma-St. Louis area for the formation classes, taking into account that the Philippines is 14 hours “ahead” of U.S. Central Standard Time. (So, if a class is at 8 a.m. in the Philippines, the ASCs in the U.S. would be teaching at 6 p.m. the day before.)
After a class is presented, Sr. Mary’s Kevin’s work will begin.
“I’m hearing this as an American. You as a Vietnamese, you as an Indian, how will you translate this into your culture? How will you live it as we are called to live this spirituality?” She said. “So basically, that’s the dream.”
Sr. Mary Kevin plans to return to Wichita in January 2019 – after months in the warmth of the South Pacific.
“Whoever hears about this,” she ended the interview, “I expect them to pray for me!”

Another ASC in Africa
Sr. Therese Wetta, another Adorers of the Blood of Christ, left for Liberia, West Africa, on Feb. 7 for missionary work. Read about her here.