Sister Christine Marie spreads mayonnaise on bread and Sister Mary Lucille adds the bologna. The two sisters helped make over 100 sandwich for the poor at their Provincial House in Castleton.
Sister Christine Marie spreads mayonnaise on bread and Sister Mary Lucille adds the bologna. The two sisters helped make over 100 sandwich for the poor at their Provincial House in Castleton.

Plastic gloves and knives smudged with mustard rotated around the room, following the flow of the established assembly line. A cardboard box sat at the front of the table, collecting the growing number of sandwiches that would go to the hungry. At one point, there was a brief concern over who was in charge of the peanut butter.

“I’m on mayonnaise!” called out Sister Christine Marie. 

“Does anyone need mustard?” asked another sister. 

Stationed in their Provincial House, the Castleton-based Sisters of the Resurrection were seated around the room, armed with bread, ham, cheese and mustard. Sister Rosemary Ann Cuneo, C.R., helped direct the 15 sisters who volunteer each month to make sandwiches for the poor. Last month, over 100 assorted sandwiches — including ham and cheese and the classic peanut butter and jelly — were distributed to Equinox, St. John’s/St. Ann’s Outreach Center and City Mission.

Last month, the sisters began discussing more ways to help give back. While many of the sisters who reside at the Provincial House are retired, all wanted to continue their work of helping those in need. Making sandwiches was an easy but impactful way for the sisters to continue giving back.

“The sisters wanted to do more for the poor, that’s what they do,” Sister Rosemary said. “And we have a blast doing it.”

Ministering to those in need never comes across as a chore for the sisters. While working, the group cracks jokes, sings songs and spends the hour enjoying their time together. Sister Christine Marie and Sister Mary Lucille talked about other ideas they’ve had for ministry. 

“We’re going to open an ice cream shop,” said Sister Christine Marie with a smile. Sister Mary Lucille just shakes her head, “We would go bankrupt!”

Prior to coming to Castleton, Sister Christine Marie worked at St. Clement Mary Hofbauer School in Manhattan. Making sandwiches reminded her of the work she and her sisters would do for the homeless in the city. 

“I was very much into (this) because when I taught in New York City, we used to have the homeless come to our convent, and we used to give them sandwiches or whatever we had left over from school lunches,” she said.

Sister M. Krystyna Kobielus worked for years at Maria Regina High School in Hartsdale as a librarian. “We did a lot for the poor there; breakfast runs and making spaghetti dinners. Always collecting money for the poor and hungry.”

Now, she gets to continue giving back. Something she, and all of the sisters, plan to do for as long as they can. 

“And now what we’re doing here, I feel like Jesus when he’s feeding his people,” Sister Krystyna said. “When (Jesus) said, whatever you do to the least of my people you do for me, that’s what we’re doing.”