Supporters Like You

Read about supporters who sustain Capuchin missionaries and transform lives in the most remote and challenging circumstances across the world.

Coletta Zubler

A career in a county government legal department in record keeping gave Coletta Zubler many opportunities to assist others. Amid the paper shuffle connect with mortgages, deeds, and divorces, Coletta enjoyed the opportunity to serve others for many, many years.

But when she was offered early retirement, Coletta accepted. She knew she had other things to do to.

Ladies of the Lord, a women’s prayer ministry in Coletta’s parish of 19,000 parishioners is one example.  The group gathers regularly to pray the rosary and chaplet of Divine Mercy for priests, peace, and personal petitions.  Members also pray for and with the sick and dying.

Prayer is important to Coletta.  She has always felt a special connection with the Communion of Saints, but that connection was heightened recently.

“I lost many friends and relatives in the past couple of years, and was searching for a way to honor their memories,” Coletta said. “I particularly wanted to offer them prayers to help them in their journey to union with God.”

This was just the beginning.

Read more of Coletta's story

Coletta knows the Communion of Saints connects all of humanity.  At every Mass in the Liturgy of the Eucharist, we pray for those who have gone before us.  Praying for the poor souls in purgatory is especially important to Coletta.

She found the perfect model in Capuchin missionaries supported by the Seraphic Mass Association.  “That’s why the Capuchins are so important to me…they recognize the need for prayers for those who have died,” she reflects.

“These missionaries dedicate themselves to the spiritual and physical needs of these people,” Coletta said. “Supporting the Seraphic Mass Association affords me a chance to gain great graces through Masses for loved ones as well as an opportunity to support the Church’s missionary work – a win-win – for myself and the missions.

“I was aware of the Gregorian Mass tradition of 30 Masses for the Holy Souls, and was looking for an organization to help me.  I found the Seraphic Mass Association on the internet, and wrote to them for the Masses.  They were able to set up Masses for my loved ones, which gave me great peace.”

Coletta’s partnership with the Seraphic Mass Association deepened when she made the decision to leave a legacy gift to support the Capuchin missionaries and the people they serve.

“I wanted to leave a financial legacy to the Seraphic Mass Association to help them continue their mission work around the world.  I feel I am helping people find God’s love and care through the friars’ efforts.  It gives me peace to know the Capuchin missionaries will be praying for me and others.  

“As did St. Therese, the Little Flower and patron of the missions, I can work in the mission field even though I am not able to be there in person. 

“The Seraphic Mass Association – what a blessed organization!”

Rita Shea

As a young girl, Rita Shea loved visiting churches. Studying the statues and stained-glass windows was part of her faith formation. There were stories and lessons in every sculpture and colored pane.

Always a canvas artist, Rita’s passion for liturgical art launched her exploration of how to restore aged, cracked, broken, and damaged statues. The self-taught entrepreneur tapped chemical companies to learn chemical properties so she could strip a statue without harming its integrity. Over time, she honed her skills to mix paints to enhance her three-dimensional approach to statue restoration.

Rita ended a 22-year career with Polaroid to follow her passion…restoring religious statues full time. Today, decades later, the 83-year-old exclaims: “it’s a joy!” In retrospect, Rita looks upon her childhood fascination of visiting churches to her life’s vocation of statue restoration. “The Lord was forming me to do this work.”

Statue restoration is but one love in Rita’s life. Her apostolate to the Seraphic Mass Association is another.

Read more of Rita's story

Throughout her life, Rita was involved in different apostolates, but that has changed as she has gotten older.

Referring to Capuchin missionaries Rita said, “I love the Seraphic Fathers.  It’s like a missionary apostolate having Masses offered.  The Mass is so important.  I’m just a missionary apostolate.

“I love the missionaries because they live with the people they’re serving,” Rita said. “They bring Christ to people.  They teach them what they need to know…all done with great love.  They’re just wonderful.

As Rita prepared to meet with her attorney to update her estate plans, she reflected on her gratefulness to God.

“I’m very grateful to God.  I am a single woman, never married.  As time goes on and things unravel in your life, you begin to wonder: how did I get through that?  It was Jesus there all the time….and our Mother Mary.  I just want to give back to Him.”

Rita has named the Seraphic Mass Association as a beneficiary in her will.

“The Seraphic Mass Association is the apostolate I want as I get older.  I can have Masses said for my loved ones and for the souls in purgatory.  When I see someone in need of conversion or is ill, I turn to the Seraphic Mass Association.  This is my apostolate.”

“The Lord said, ‘give to the poor.’  That’s what the missionaries do.  They don’t see family or friends for years at a time.  They forego an easy, comfortable lifestyle.  I have such admiration for what the missionaries do.”

Rita is a missionary in spirit.

“When you want to draw closer to God,” Rita said, “you have to let go of earthly things.  St. Genoa and St. Theresa of the Little Flower teach us this: ‘If you want to go straight to God, and quickly, let go of all worldly and earthly things.’  Little by little, I find God teaching me to let go of things.”

“Capuchin missionaries give up everything to serve God and their fellow man to win souls,” Rita said.  “I love the Seraphic Fathers.  The Seraphic Mass Association is my apostolate.”

“I’m very grateful to God.  I am a single woman, never married.  As time goes on and things unravel in your life, you begin to wonder: how did I get through that?  It was Jesus there all the time….and our Mother Mary.  I just want to give back to Him.”

—Rita Shea

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