In November 2001, the religious community known as Mission of Divine Mercy (MDM) was “born” when six individuals came to the parish of Sts. Peter and Paul in New Braunfels, Texas at the invitation of the pastor, Monsignor O’Callaghan. Soon after they were also received by Archbishop Flores of San Antonio.
These six individuals were a varied group. Three of the original members were born in the United States: the Founder, Father John Mary Foster, formerly a member of the Community of St. John (CSJ), an order begun in France, had been ordained in 1987; Sister Magdalene Foster (Fr. John Mary’s sister) had started her religious life in the Dominican Order; Brother Tony Pillari had also been a member of the CSJ. The other half of the original six members were all newer to religious life and hailed from Monterrey, Mexico: Sister Amapola Granados, Brother Juan Pablo Guemes and Maria Felicitas Bortoni, a consecrated laywoman. (Brother Juan Pablo returned to Mexico after a year in New Braunfels. He had a hearing loss which made learning English very difficult.)