Mother Olga of the Sacred Heart, the founder and mother servant of the Daughters of Mary of Nazareth, delivered a lecture at Christendom College on Monday, March 25, the Solemnity of the Annunciation, speaking on the topic, “With the Church, For the Church, In the Church.” During her talk, Mother Olga challenged the Christendom community to stay in love with the Church, no matter what evils might befall her, and to always be willing to help those in dire need of Christ’s love.

“We are called to be fingers of Jesus,” said Mother Olga. “I always tell people, we cannot help our family if we are not in the family. We cannot be on the outside pointing fingers. We must be the fingers of Jesus, remaining in the Church, for the Church, and with the Church.”

Over the course of her talk, Mother Olga told the story of her journey to the Catholic Church. Born in Iraq and the survivor of four wars in the Middle East, Mother Olga was a sister in the Assyrian Church before coming to Boston University in 2002 to get involved with campus ministry. She came into the Catholic Church in 2005 in the Archdiocese of Boston and was given permission to start a new religious order in 2011.

“Every religious community, like a college, comes about due to the needs of the Church,” said Mother Olga. “Forty years ago, your college was founded because of the need for a solid, Catholic academic environment for young Americans. I would say the same for our religious order.”

The needs that brought about Mother Olga’s order, the Daughters of Mary of Nazareth, are within the Archdiocese of Boston. Mother Olga related her own time helping abuse victims, drug addicts, and those in prison, encouraging students to be willing to help all those who need it.

“I have seen the beauty of Mother Church and I have seen what our broken humanity can do in the heart of the Church,” said Mother Olga. “We have to be in the Church in order to be able to help it, though. The Church doesn’t belong to you or me — we are part of it, but none of us owns the church.”

Mother Olga went further, telling students that the Church is not a political party, but instead is built on tradition. Political labels cannot apply to the Church, according to Mother Olga, because that would narrow the Church and its mission.

“We are called to be the Church built by Jesus — not liberal, not conservative, but traditional,” said Mother Olga. “Don’t be wider than the Church or narrower than the church. Be with the Church.”

Mother Olga closed her talk by entreating students to love the Church more deeply every day and to go out and restore all things in Christ.

“Love the church — I know you do, but love her even more,” encouraged Mother Olga. “The Church needs each one of us, every professor, every staff member, every student. Wherever you go, whatever you do, please stay with the Church, in the Church, and for the Church. Because Jesus needs your fingerprints.”

Watch the video below to see Mother Olga’s talk in full.

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