Servants of the Pierced Hearts express love through service

The Servants of the Pierced Hearts of Jesus and Mary is a religious order founded by Mother Adela Galindo, SCTJM in Nicaragua, when she was a girl, because of a dangerous political climate and immigrated to the United States. On the order’s website she says, “My path is Marian; everything in my life has been a gift of Our Lady’s Heart.”

This diocesan religious order was officially established in the Archdiocese of Miami on August 15, 1990, feast of the Assumption of Mary. Today, it has sisters in 14 convents. Most are in the U.S., and one is in Rome for the Archdiocese of Italian Military. The latest convent, Our Lady of Fatima, is in Rapid City. There are four sisters serving in the diocese; two in St. Thomas Moore Middle and High School and two in the chancery.

In 2000, Mother Adela founded a lay members’ branch called “Apostles of the Pierced Hearts.” In 2006 she founded the “Missionaries of Love” branch to serve the sick at the Shrine of Lourdes in France.

On June 29, 2021, Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul, Fr. Joseph Mary made first vows in the male branch. There are two young men in formation to be brothers; one is a novice and the other is a postulant.

Sr. Christine Hernandez, SCTJM, serves at the chancery. She estimates there are about 800 members of the religious family, including clergy, vowed religious, lay members and youth or young adults.

Those joining take the evangelical counsels of poverty, chastity, and obedience and a fourth vow of total Marian identification and availability: “to be a living image and presence of the Heart of Mary and to generously dispose the potentialities of my feminine genius in loving communion and service of the Apostolic — Petrine principle, thus enfleshing our Marian charism in the heart of the church,” she said. (For the men it is total identification with Christ in the school of Our Lady.)

“This is what we are all trying to be, the living image and presence of Our Lady. We do whatever God needs us to do with the same disposition of heart as Our Lady, to be open and available for the good of the church.

“We express our love through service, for example if I have to iron a shirt, I will see if someone else needs a shirt ironed,” she said.

On a typical day, the sisters are up early to pray morning prayer together, have breakfast and go to Mass together. After Mass they each go to their ministries. They come together at the end of the day to pray evening prayer, the holy rosary and have dinner together. “Usually, we listen to one of Mother’s talks or read one of her letters during dinner. Afterwards, we pray our Holy Hour, we do spiritual reading — it is a time of study. We pray night prayer at 9:30 p.m. Afterwards there’s more time to get our duties done for the day. After night prayer we are in silence until the next morning after breakfast,” she said. Sr. Christine added, “We are a family so there is time of sharing, laughter, and joy. Love is expressed through our service for others and each other.”

She elaborated, “We try to have time for music practice, crafts and community projects that help our community. Each sister is encouraged to learn a musical instrument when they join. Not that everyone is musically inclined, or tech savvy, but all are urged to find out what they are good at and with the help of the community to grow in that gift.”

Members are asked to learn prayers in both Spanish and English. Those who are bilingual are encouraged to try to learn a third language.

Aside from their official logo, another very important symbol for the order is the pelican piercing its own breast to feed its young. Early Christians compared it to Christ giving his blood for us on the cross.

“It is said that Mary’s heart too was pierced at the foot of the Cross, she too suffered for us,” said Sr. Christine

(West River Catholic Report)