Kristin having fun with friends in New Mexico


April enjoys Navidad in Quito


Nicole loves her students (and they love her, too!)


Becoming fast friends at orientation...


Another fantastic orientation moment....


Sonia and new friend in chilly New Mexico....


AMA's and happy graduate in Chaparral

Ways to Support

How can you help AMA?

AMAs need your prayers as they try to live as people centered on Christ, taking guidance from the Scriptures and receiving energy from the spirit to heal our wounded world.

AMAs, like Kristin, could also use your generous financial assistance to make their mission possible. AMAs travel to and from sites largely at their own expense. They receive a small stipend that enables them to live at the level of those they are serving. In many cases, especially in the developing world, receiving communities are not able to provide health insurance for the volunteers.

AMAs living in developing countries generally receive a stipend of $50 a month. Health insurance costs roughly the same amount.

Would you consider sponsoring some of the cost involved in keeping our AMAs in the field, working to build community in our increasingly divided world, making Jesus Christ better known and loved wherever they are?

Help make it happen!

Be part of a story that began in 1960 and continues today. Your support will keep alive a tradition of service that has already touched hundreds of lives in our country and abroad. Please consider helping us make AMA continue to happen today.


Cleaning Out the Basement

Katie Colon

AMA, San Il de Fonso, Mexico


You never know what you’ll find when you are cleaning out the basement. Last week, while rummaging through a box of old cassette tapes, I stumbled across a tape with the faded words “San Ildefonso” written on the label. I pocketed it and the next morning, popped it into cassette player in my car on the way to work.

Instantly I was transported back 21 years. The unforgettable booming of the bass drum and high-pitched impassioned voices of San Ildefonso natives came flowing from the speakers, singing the praises of Our Lady of Guadelupe “alla en el Tepeyac.” The whole scene came back to me: the two hour procession of a handful of people carrying a new portrait of our Lady to a church in the neighboring town of Yospi, where the old portrait had somehow been destroyed. I had brought along a tape recorder to capture some of the music of this small rural village that I’d come to love so much.

I flipped over the tape. And there, on the other side, were the sweet harmonized voices of the sisters of the Mexican province of the Religious of the Assumption, singing during the Lenten season when they were all together in the provincial house. And I was reminded of how much it had meant to me to spend a small part of my life among them.

It’s hard to believe that it has been 21 years since I spent 13 months as an Associate Missionary of the Assumption in San Ildefonso – a rural village of native Otomi Indian people in the state of Queretaro, Mexico. The truth is that the people and experiences I had there have never strayed far from my heart.

During my final semester in college, I felt strongly that God was calling me to some kind of service – to what I wasn’t sure! But after much prayer I decided that a year working among the poor was what I needed to do. I’d been given so much in my life, and I wanted to do something in service of others. Since I spoke some Spanish, I decided to investigate opportunities in Mexico.

What a wonderful blessing that my journey took me to Philadelphia where Sr. Francis Joseph told me that she was in the process of trying to rekindle the AMA program, and that another young woman and I would be the first AMAs from the U.S. in some time. Three months later I found myself outside the modest mission house in San Ilde being warmly greeted by the sisters who would become my family for the next year.

It’s difficult to describe how the experiences of that year affected me. I remember how humbled I was by the incredible faith of a people who by worldly standards had so little in life. I remember the tremendous joy I felt at being able to open the door to literacy for a handful of adults who had never had the chance to go to school, but who so wanted to learn to read. I remember the feeling of triumph I felt for one of my young students when she went to the teacher’s house to show him that she had studied hard enough to be able to enter the 2nd grade at age 12, after having stayed home her whole life to help care for her younger siblings.

I remember having my perspective of the world (as well as the U.S. role in that world) turned upside down by my experiences – never to be the same again. And I remember the peace, love, and communion I felt praying with the sisters in their daily liturgy of the hours. They accepted me as a part of who they were, and they forever became a part of me.

Life over the last 21 years has been busy and full, and I’ve been blessed. I’m married with three children, the oldest of whom will be going to college in the fall. (How time flies!) I’m doing a job I love as an editor of textbooks for struggling students in middle and high school.

It’s easy to get caught up in the business and schedules of day-to-day life. But the 8x12 photographs of some of the children from San Ilde that are mounted on my office walls remind me daily of that year that so deeply touched my life. They remind me that whatever hardships or blessings life may bring, keeping God at the center is what is most important. And that service to others – in even the smallest gestures of generosity, kindness and compassion – is what life and love are all about.


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God Bless You!