MONROE, N.Y. — The Parish Visitors of Mary Immaculate, based in Monroe, N.Y., make it their mission to spread the Gospel door-to-door.
Founded by Mother Mary Teresa Tallon in August 1920, the order now has convents in the Bronx, Arizona, Nigeria and the Philippines.
Mother Mary Teresa’s sainthood cause was advanced at the bishops’ fall meeting on Nov. 11. The bishops applauded moving the cause forward.
In April, Cardinal Timothy Dolan of the Archdiocese of New York signed the edict for her sainthood cause; she is currently a "Servant of God."
Mother Mary Teresa Tallon was born in 1867 in upstate New York to Irish-immigrant parents. At 19, she joined the Holy Cross Sisters in South Bend, Ind. She taught in Catholic schools for 33 years.
Mother Mary Teresa received her inspiration to start the order during Mass at St. Paul the Apostle Church in New York City in January 1908.
She wrote, "God revealed to me clearly at holy Mass what it was he wanted. I must establish an institute where women would be trained to greater spiritual perfection and, being formed in the contemplative spirit, go out in search of the lost lambs and bring them back to the fold by means of Christian instruction. I saw God’s will clearly and received strong assurances of his powerful protection."
On the Solemnity of the Assumption in 1920, when she arrived in New York City, she founded the Parish Visitors of Mary Immaculate, after receiving episcopal permission to leave the Holy Cross Sisters.
In March 1954, Mother Mary Teresa died, thanking God for the original grace of her vocation and sustaining her order since its founding.
Rev. Mother Carole Marie Troskowski, like Mother Mary Teresa, is from upstate New York, growing up in Albany and spending summers in the Adirondacks. Mother Carole’s maternal grandmother’s background was French/Algonquin, so she sees herself as a descendant of St. Kateri Tekakwitha, canonized in 2012. In 1961, she entered the Parish Visitors of Mary Immaculate.
Currently, Mother Carole is putting together Mother Mary Teresa’s writings, since she was a voluminous writer.
"It’s the perfect time, the Year of Faith," she said, for focusing on Mother Mary Teresa’s legacy and mission, before the special year ended.
"Our charism is reaching out to people in faith. It is missionary, imitating the Good Shepherd and going door-to-door. We are trying to find Catholics who are away from the faith and build up Catholic family life. We do Catholic instruction for public-school students, catechesis and youth ministry."
Through their evangelization, the order promoted the Year of Faith, which ended Nov. 24, Christ the King Sunday.
"For the Year of Faith, we read the Holy Father’s proclamations, and we do seminars for the laity, training them for door-to-door evangelization," Mother Carole said. "Our whole apostolate is to share faith with others."
Bishop Thomas Olmsted of Phoenix has a community of the Parish Visitors of Mary Immaculate in his diocese.
"We are very blessed to have the Parish Visitors in our diocese," Bishop Olmsted said during the Nov. 11 discussion at the USCCB fall meeting that preceded the bishops’ decision to advance Mother Tallon’s cause. "They serve at the Newman Center. They serve in education in parishes, both youth formation and faith formation; and, especially, they visit families, and they teach people how to do practical evangelization in parishes."
Waldery Hilgeman, who is with Missio Pastoralis in Rome and a postulator for Mother Mary Teresa’s cause, said, "She was and is, in my opinion, a clear manifestation of the ‘genius of woman’ which Blessed John Paul II repeatedly talked about in Mulieris Dignitatem."
Hilgeman concluded, "She was quite ahead of her time in foreseeing the need to bring evangelization once again to fallen-away and non-practicing Catholics."
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Anna Abbott writes from
Mother Tallon’s religious congregation published this prayer of intercession for their foundress, as her cause proceeds:
O divine Lord, whose merciful love reaches to the ends of the earth, we thank you for inspiring the heart of Julia Teresa Tallon with the love of your own Heart.
Through her, you brought forth a new institute in the Church and called us to imitate the sacrificial mission of your Son, the Good Shepherd, who, in steadfast union of heart with you and loving zeal for the most neglected of his little ones, gave his life to seek and save the lost and straying.
We humbly ask you to continue to expand the work you have begun in her. Fulfill her ardent longing to promote sanctity in each heart, to restore family life, calling all to full participation in the life of the Church and arousing the conscience of your people in loving concern for the most neglected and spiritually abandoned in our midst.
May she who asked always — "What more can I do for God?" — find now new ways to glorify you. Grant, Lord, that she who loved and cared for the least of your little ones on earth may now be glorified by you, who live and reign with Jesus Christ, your Son, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, world without end.