All the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity living at Immaculate Conception Convent, Yuma, Arizona were approached in September 2020 by an Immaculate Conception Parish member calling at the convent to consider cooking or crafting something to be auctioned off for the benefit of the parish. Like the Little Drummer Boy, Sister Mary Teresa Bettag had no gift to bring, since neither cooking or crafting are her strengths.
“But that’s when it was suggested to me to run the Yuma Territorial Marathon to raise money for the parish. As the cross-country and track & field coach at Yuma Catholic High School, this sounded right up my alley, so here we are! I’m looking forward to it, and am counting on your prayers, as you can count on mine with each step that I take!” said Sister Mary Teresa.
On the actual day of the marathon, January 30, 2021, Sister Mary Teresa commented: “It was SO fun! I’ve had this nagging calf injury and hadn’t been able to run more than five miles since November (with one nine miler thrown in). So I was nervous. But I think the prayers of everyone really made a difference, because I finished in 3:48 and felt great the whole way!” (race photos by Sister Hannah Johnecheck)
The race was held on the Northbound shoulder of US Highway 95 between the Cocopah Resort and the San Luis city limits. Needless to say, Sister Mary Teresa’s students were very interested in how she would do on the day of the run. Words were not necessary. They were proud of their coach!