Katie Peterson | Staff Writer
Board member introductions and some inspirational words from president Maggie Phillips on Facebook Live and a drive-through packet pick up officially kicked off the year for the Women of Saint Ignatius Sept. 17 outside Frontier Chapel.
With the theme “Finding God In All Things” at the core, WOSI members will study “Eucharist: Discovering the Mass in the Bible” by Brant Pitre throughout the fall session.
“Catholicism is a corporate faith,” Phillips said. “It is corporate in the sense that we believe we’re the body of Christ spread out all over the world. We’re a universal church, which the word Catholic means universal.
“The (Catholic) church has a rich treasury of devotions and ways for people all over the world to pray in unison, so COVID-19 really presents no obstacle to us,” she said. “Because we’re a faith that relies so much on unity and being the body of Christ, not getting together really wasn’t an option for us.”
Pastor of Saint Ignatius Chaplain (Maj.) Jason Hesseling, Mission Command Center of Excellence religious support integrator, said he was glad WOSI was starting back up.
“Groups like WOSI, they’re so vital to the life of our parish, and they bring such diversity, they bring such focus and such a spirit of volunteerism to who we are as Catholics,” Hesseling said.
“Saint Jerome once said that ‘ignorance of scripture is ignorance of Christ.’ That’s why we do Bible study, that’s why we gather in small groups and break open the word and learn and delve deep into our faith. It not only benefits us, but it draws us closer together as a community and that’s what WOSI really is all about.”
To come together while still complying with COVID-19 restrictions, WOSI has met for parking lot gatherings where face coverings were worn, and six-foot social distancing was maintained. As far as everything else, Phillips said they are relying on Jesus.
“Our board’s mission for the year is ‘Jesus (will) take care of everything,’” Phillips said. “I don’t really have a vision of what this year is going to look like because I don’t know. Nobody knows what this year’s going to look like.
“Everybody has a part to play,” she said. “Every single Catholic is called upon to be an active participant … in their faith.”
WOSI members said they were glad to have the opportunity to join the group.
“I wanted to join a community after having just moved here (and) to help with that feeling of isolation,” said Anna Klink, WOSI member. “You need to find a community to help you and tell you, it’s OK. You just need someone there.”
Lori Boyle, WOSI member, said the group has done well at keeping things going while complying with restrictions.
“Just being able to sit and be six feet apart, but still be together and talk and modify (gatherings) like that, I think that’s a great way,” Boyle said. “It’s important just to keep the spirits and keep everybody happy and motivated. You hear so many struggles going on right now, so having this sisterhood is always morale boosting and gets your spirits up higher.”
WOSI meets from 9-11 a.m. every Thursday via Facebook rooms.
For more information, visit the “Women of Saint Ignatius, Catholic Women of the Chapel, Fort Leavenworth, KS” Facebook page.