Sister Barbara Harrington- Welcoming Presence

Written on: March 10, 2020

“She revealed the feminine face of God, the God who loves the small and the great and gathers all into One Family of Love.”    

Sister Marie Cecilia Lefevre, SGM,
writing about Marguerite d’Youville


Sister Barbara Harrington (Sister Robert Francis) says “Welcome.” Sometimes she says “Bienvenido.”

As volunteer Parish Assistant for Baptism Preparation for two Buffalo, New York parishes, Sister Barbara welcomes the Church’s newest members. At Holy Angels and Holy Cross parishes, she prepares adults, parents and godparents for the sacrament of Baptism.

Her ministry calls on many skills honed from her years as a woman religious: teaching, organizing, listening, advising, administering, comforting and sometimes, speaking Spanish.

“I taught Spanish for 18 years, worked with Hispanic communities and assisted in immigration work with people of a variety of cultures.”

At home, Sister Barbara is present to her neighbors.

“Sister Ellie Martinez and I live in a senior complex and we are helpful to those who need a ride or companionship. Many neighbors have responded to our invitations to prayer, environmental offerings, recycling and more recently, our celebration of the Feast of the Sacred Heart.”

Sister Barbara’s presence to others recalls the words of St. Marguerite:

All the wealth of the world does not come near the joy of living in close union with one another…to be of one heart and soul, to honor and serve each other.”

To read other stories in the Presence Series, choose from below:

Listening Presence: Sister Marlene Butler (Sr. John Marlene)

Comforting Presence: Sister Jean Liston (Sr. Anne Louise)

Sacred Presence: Sister Donna Lord (Sr. Donna Joseph) and Sister Sheila Stone (Sr. Mary of Providence)

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