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Snapshot in Time: Papier-mache in Peru

 Catherine Lucy

Sisters in Peru with papier-mache figures

Many Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet are talented artists, including Sister Mary Kay Kottenstette of the St. Louis Province (pictured, forefront). Here she is creating and directing the making of life-size papier-maché figures in Chimbote, Peru, for the first time circa 1968 or 1969. The figures were for a nativity set that would be placed on the roof of a nearby church. They have a mesh wire form covered with papier-maché (also known as paper-maché), which is a crafting technique that uses layers of paper and paste to mold a shape. The figures were then clothed and painted. Young people from the area are shown helping with the project. Sister Mary Kay would go on to make a life-size papier-maché figure of the Risen Christ for another church.

Photo from the St. Louis Province Collection, Carondelet Consolidated Archives.

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The Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet are a congregation of Catholic sisters. We, and those who share our charism and mission, are motivated in all things by our profound love of God and our dear neighbors. We seek to build communities and bridge divides between people. Since our first sisters gathered in 1650, our members have been called to “do all things of which women are capable.” The first sisters of our congregation arrived in St. Louis, Missouri in 1836, and we now have additional locations in St. Paul, Albany, Los Angeles, Hawaii, Japan and Peru. Today, we commit to respond boldly to injustice and dare to be prophetic.

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