Sister Mary Angelo Lobato, Age 97

West Midwest

Friday, June 26, 2020

Sister Angie’s first ministry was teaching. For 20 years, she taught primary, intermediate and junior high students in Omaha and Lincoln, Nebraska; Kansas City, Missouri; Raton, New Mexico; and Grass Valley, California. Upon receiving a master’s in fine arts in 1961, she taught art at College of Saint Mary in Omaha for 10 years.

But Sister Angie’s heart longed to be of service among the Hispanic/Mexican people. In 1968, she wrote the Mother General in Washington, D.C., requesting to serve in Chile. Sister Angie explained, “These are my people ... there is a very special tie that draws me to anyone of Spanish or Mexican descent.” Her application was not accepted.

Undaunted, two years later she wrote again requesting to do social work among the Spanish speaking people in Pueblo, Colorado. She was finally granted permission to return to her home state in 1971 to serve at Sacred Heart Parish in Alamosa, not far from her hometown of San Luis. Her parish work included coordinating the religious education program and serving as director of the Visitors of Christ program. She was also the first woman elected to the Alamosa City Council.

It was through the Visitors of Christ program that Sister Angie established La Puente (The Bridge) Home. Consisting of temporary housing for persons moving from a crisis situation to stable living, it was a unique ministry for the time. With no money to speak of, La Puente opened its doors to a full house of homeless families and daily meals for any homeless person. Today, its budget is over $3 million.

Her success soon drew the attention of the Generalate and she was presented the prestigious Cunningham Award by Sister Theresa Kane in 1983 for promoting social equality.

In 1987, she became the director of Catholic Charities of San Francisco. There, she opened the Rita da Cascia House, transitional housing for homeless families with AIDS.

Then in 2003, Sister Angie was off to Albuquerque, New Mexico, where for 13 years and with boundless energy she visited homebound parishioners weekly with the Eucharist and was a volunteer driver for Catholic Charities.  

Her dear friend, Sister Ana María Pineda, with whom she shared a native language, quoted Sister Angie as saying “¡El tiempo es precioso y yo también!” (Time is precious and so am I!)

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