This #ThrowbackThursday, we’re traveling back to 1930 when a group of Our Lady of Victory Missionary Sisters came to help in the parish of Sa. Sebastian in Santa Paula and other neighboring places.

They lived in a small house standing alone in a walnut orchard. The convent’s first residents were Mother Catherine and Sister Theodora. Their order was founded by Rev. J. J. Sigstein in Huntington, Indiana, in 1922. The motherhouse in California was the former Burrage Mansion in Redlands, where the sisters from California would gather every summer for their annual retreat.

Within a week of the arrival of Mother Catherine and Sister Theodora, they were joined by Sister Rafaela and Sister Mary Ann. The Sisters found much to do in their fields of social welfare and religious instruction classes for Catholic youth attending public schools in Santa Paula, Fillmore and Piru. In addition, the Sisters’ chosen work took them from door to door, tabulating parish census; they visited the citrus worker camps and conducted CCD (Confraternity of Christian Doctrine) religious education classes.

Part of the OLVM mission is to stand in solidarity with those who have been marginalized. Over the years the sisters participated in rallies in support of farm workers who were seeking better working conditions. Their support of families, especially those who were disenfranchised in Ventura County are still remembered.

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