Catherine McAuley

Founder of Sisters of Mercy 1778-1841


Loving God, You chose Catherine McAuley for the service of your people who are poor, sick and uneducated. You inspired her to found the Sisters of Mercy so that these good works might endure. Give to each of us a portion of her compassionate spirit and an ardent desire to serve your suffering people.

Bless all our undertakings and grant that union and charity may always thrive among us.

Graciously, hear our prayer for Catherine and by granting the favors we ask through her intercession, hasten the day when her sanctity will be celebrated by all the Church. Amen.

“Rainbows for All Children”

by Sister Maria Rosario Gaite, RSM

Mrs. Cecilia Padios, Rainbows Coordinator at Santa Barbara Catholic School uses puppets in one of her activities with the students.

They meet every Wednesday afternoon after school. When the dismissal bell rings, twelve students from kindergarten to 8th grade proceed to their assigned classrooms, in different small groups with their teacher facilitators. They are our typical students, except that they are hurting inside because of the loss of a parent due to death, divorce and custody battles, or deployment overseas.

Rainbows for All Children is an international not-for-profit organization that fosters healing among children grieving a loss from a life-altering crisis, and it was introduced to our school, Santa Barbara Catholic School, in Dededo, Guam a few years ago. We have a growing number of students who are in need of healing and support and our trained teacher facilitators work with the children in a safe, caring environment to help them navigate the painful issues they face.

As an educator, I realize that it is important to reach out to our students who are dealing with trauma and grief at a young age. These children are vulnerable and are at a higher risk of becoming distracted in their studies, socially withdrawn and engaged in aggressive behaviors. Since integrating Rainbows for All Children into our school, I have seen such positive effects. The children are becoming more sociable and focused on their studies and they look forward excitedly to their weekly Rainbows sessions. Parents have also expressed their own gratitude for the program. One parent shared that she didn’t know how to help her children with their emotional needs because she was also grieving due to a painful divorce.

As a Sister of Mercy, I can’t help but recognize how the Rainbows for All Children program connects with our charism of reaching out to the vulnerable in our society. Catherine McAuley’s preferential option to reach out to people who are poor, especially women and children, remains a strong commitment that we try to infuse in the school’s life. Above all, it is sharing God’s unconditional love and compassion and bringing the sunshine back into the children’s lives after going through a storm of hurt, fear, and grief.

When the dismissal bell rings every Wednesday afternoon and I see our students proceed to their respective rooms, I smile and whisper a prayer for all our 12 students and caring facilitators. At Santa Barbara Catholic School, the rainbow of God’s Mercy is making a positive impact and difference in the lives of God’s precious children.

4 comments to “Rainbows for All Children”

  • […] Sister Maria Rosario Gaite, RSM | Mrs. Cecilia Padios, Rainbows Coordinator at Santa Barbara Catholic School uses puppets in one of […]

  • Cabrini Taitano

    Great story! I remember Sister Trinie was the one who introduced the programs years ago. Wonderful expression of our Mercy Charism.

  • Even the name “Rainbows for All Children is so soothing. Congratulations! There is more to healing than meets the eye. Thank you for taking care of God’s children who are hurting beyond what the human eye can imagine.

  • martha castro

    I highly recommend this program to all of our mercy schools but require funding source, training facilitators and commitment every new school year. The actual title is “Rainbows for all God’s Children” – Sr. Trini was the first person who introduced the program here on Guam. Through Marie Halloran, the program became successful at the public school level and was call, “Rainbows for All Children”. At SACS, Josephine Catahay continued this program and to this day we have had 30 or so students every year from elem through 8th gr. My former rainbows are now done in college and still keep in touch. Bravo SBCS!

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