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St. Catherine of Siena is portrayed in this painting by artist Gabriel S. Gaytan.

The 18-by-24-inch painting of Santa Catalina represents more than an artist’s rendition of the saint who devoted herself to the sick and the poor.

It embodies the mission of Centro Santa Catalina to love and help thy neighbor.

On Saturday, Oct. 17, the center was to unveil a painting by borderland artist Gabriel S. Gaytan that portrays Santa Catalina – St. Catherine of Siena – using a sewing machine.

The unveiling was at the Loretto Academy patio, 1400 Hardaway, where the center is headquartered.

The nonprofit, founded in 1996 by Dominican Sisters, works to empower women and their families living in poverty in Juárez.

Run by women in both El Paso and Juárez, Centro Santa Catalina is known for its sewing initiative started in 1997, Cooperative of Women of Hope and Faith. Women make scarves, purses, tablecloths, shawls and other items to sell, with the expenses and profits divided among the cooperative members.

The items, sold at area bazaars and festivals before the pandemic, are now sold online and at Loretto Academy.

St. Catherine was a lay member of the Dominican Order who experienced visions, which showed her the need to go out into the world and help her neighbors out of the love for God. She was canonized in 1461.



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