By Dr. Judith Wylie
Director, The Children’s Place at Christ the King
KANSAS CITY — Louise Landry and Sister in Jesus the Lord Faustina Marie Goedken, the first graduates of the Catholic Montessori Teacher Training Course under the auspices of the Montessori Society of Christ the King were honored Jan. 4.
Landry and Sister Faustina Marie were interns together in the model classroom at Christ the King parish, and received their teaching certificates in the presence of the Sisters in Jesus the Lord and friends.
The occasion was more than acknowledging certifications. It was a surprise “Going Away” party for Sister Faustina, who left Jan. 8 for Vladivostok, Russia, to join her Congregation’s apostolate that is already active there in the rekindling of the Faith in that country. Sister Faustina Marie will use her training to set up Montessori schools for the orphans with whom the Sisters work in Vladivostok and other Russian locations.
The Very Rev. Myron Effing, C.J.D., V.F. Dean and Diocesan Consultor in the Diocese of St. Joseph in Irkutsk, Russia, visited the Montessori program at Christ the King several months ago. After seeing for himself the Montessori approach to teaching and its effects, he endorsed the Sisters’ opinion that Montessori education is the most promising avenue to bring up the young children of the new generation in the ways of Jesus Christ. He added his own hopes that Catholic Montessori Teacher Training continues to be available, to “grow” the effort.
Father Effing has already designated particular Russian locations as being most ready for this pre-school effort to be introduced. Vocations to the priesthood and religious life are paramount in stabilizing the rebuilding of the Faith in that far-flung country. Along with the Sisters, Father Effing sees the introductions to the Faith that will take place in Catholic Montessori environments as foundations for vocations: when a child who has had this foundation hears Our Lord’s call in adulthood, he/she will recognize it and can answer with generosity.
Meanwhile, here in the United States, Mrs. Landry plans to use her training to teach in a Catholic Montessori school when the time is right. She currently is using her knowledge at home with her own children, welcoming her third child, Ruby, born shortly after completion of the course to join siblings Gus and Zelda.
Our Lady promised at Fatima that if sufficient prayers and sacrifices were offered in reparation for offenses to her Immaculate Heart, and if the Holy Father consecrated Russia to her Immaculate Heart, Russia would be converted. Now, we see that the Iron Curtain is torn down. Russia is opening more and more to the rest of the world. And the intrepid Sisters and Canons of the Congregation of Jesus the Lord are wending their way through the red tape to bring knowledge and love of Our Lord to Russians who have lived for a century under a strong influence of atheism and scorn for the Gospel.
The Sisters and lay volunteers who assist them in “shifts” of several months at a time have been working in orphanages and with elderly poor and have been rebuilding a church. The church is now open and welcoming worshippers who come from miles away to again experience the Mass and the sacraments – as well as those newly brought to the Faith.
Another member of the Sisters in Jesus the Lord is interning in the Catholic Montessori school at Christ the King this year and a third sister hopes to do the same next year.
For information on the Russian apostolate of the Sisters in Jesus the Lord (residing at Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Raytown) contact Mother Julia Kubista (816) 353-2177.
For information about the Catholic Montessori Teacher Training Course, contact Dr. Judith Wylie (816) 984-8372 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.