Next to a table of welcome bags, Maggie Phillips, Women of St. Ignatius president, welcomes viewers to the WOSI kick-off event, being broadcast via Facebook Live by Michelle Taylor, Catholic community coordinator, during the WOSI/Catholic Women of the Chapel kick-off event Sept. 17 outside Frontier Chapel. WOSI members could watch Phillips' welcome message, board member introductions and a prayer on Facebook from the parking lot or home and then register and pick up their welcome bags. Photo by Prudence Siebert/Fort Leavenworth Lamp

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.

Catholic Chaplain (Maj.) Jason Hesseling says a prayer during the Women of St. Ignatius/Catholic Women of the Chapel kick-off event as Michelle Taylor, Catholic community coordinator, runs the Facebook Live feed Sept. 17 outside Frontier Chapel. Photo by Prudence Siebert/Fort Leavenworth Lamp


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.

Catholic Chaplain (Maj.) Jason Hesseling addresses a virtual audience during the Women of St. Ignatius/Catholic Women of the Chapel kick-off event as Michelle Taylor, Catholic community coordinator, runs the Facebook Live feed Sept. 17 outside Frontier Chapel. Photo by Prudence Siebert/Fort Leavenworth Lamp


“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.

Michelle Taylor, Catholic community coordinator, turns the camera on herself as introductions are made to an audience watching on Facebook during the Women of St. Ignatius/Catholic Women of the Chapel kick-off event Sept. 17 outside Frontier Chapel. Photo by Prudence Siebert/Fort Leavenworth Lamp


“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.”

Janel Rambo, in-reach coordinator for Women of St. Ignatius, introduces herself to the audience watching via Facebook Live as Michelle Taylor, Catholic community coordinator, runs the feed through her phone during the WOSI/Catholic Women of the Chapel kick-off event Sept. 17 outside Frontier Chapel. Photo by Prudence Siebert/Fort Leavenworth Lamp


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.

Mariann Nance, Women of St. Ignatius secretary, prays with Chaplain (Maj.) Jason Hesseling as he says a prayer during the WOSI/Catholic Women of the Chapel kick-off event Sept. 17 outside Frontier Chapel. Photo by Prudence Siebert/Fort Leavenworth Lamp


“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.”

Maggie Phillips, Women of St. Ignatius president, welcomes viewers to the WOSI kick-off event, being broadcast via Facebook Live by Michelle Taylor, Catholic community coordinator, during the WOSI/Catholic Women of the Chapel kick-off event Sept. 17 outside Frontier Chapel. Photo by Prudence Siebert/Fort Leavenworth Lamp


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.”

Maggie Phillips, Women of St. Ignatius president, welcomes viewers to the WOSI kick-off event, being broadcast via Facebook Live by Michelle Taylor, Catholic community coordinator, during the WOSI/Catholic Women of the Chapel kick-off event Sept. 17 outside Frontier Chapel. Photo by Prudence Siebert/Fort Leavenworth Lamp


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.

Emily Bonilla, with 1-year-old Maddie, registers for Women of St. Ignatius at the WOSI/Catholic Women of the Chapel kick-off event Sept. 17 outside Frontier Chapel. A kick-off message was broadcast live via Facebook for viewers to watch from the parking lot or home, then they could register and pick up their welcome bags outside the chapel. Photo by Prudence Siebert/Fort Leavenworth Lamp

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