The Transformation of the Caterpillar to a Butterfly
The sisters of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Care Center in Coraopolis, PA, are rarely without some project or activity that keeps them learning and enjoying something new. Their newest venture was the transformation that takes place in the four-stage development of a butterfly.
Cindy Horvath, enrichment coordinator for the care center, together with SM Clarence Borkoski, spearheaded the butterfly project in order to help in the preservation of the Monarch Butterflies whose population has declined approximately 90% in the last two decades.
The caterpillars were ordered mid-summer and arrived on July 18. They were placed in a large aquarium on milkweed that had been collected on the property by Sister Clarence. Each day, Cindy and Sister Clarence had the task of cleaning the aquarium which had approximately 50 caterpillars. The sisters watched the progress of the four-stage development and Cindy even managed to tape a video of the forming of the chrysalis.
From L: SM Pulcheria Saukatis and SM Clarence Borkoski decorating butterfly cookies
The butterflies developed at their own rate and prior to Monday, September 18, about 20 were released into the courtyard. When the remaining three butterflies were ready to emerge into adulthood, a “Butterfly Monday” was planned.
In preparation for this event, the sisters of the care center made and decorated butterfly cookies —- more than they could eat — and were all set for the freeing of the Monarchs.
Sisters, staff, and resident priests gathered in the courtyard and the party began with a prayer, entitled Messenger of God. Cindy and Sister Clarence reviewed the four-stage process that had already occurred and then the moment arrived to free the butterflies into the open skies. All delighted at seeing the butterflies spread their wings ad gracefully alight into the sky that would now be their new world!
Smiles wreathed everyone’s faces as they continued their get-together. According to SM Cabrini Procopio, everyone enjoyed the popcorn, butterfly cookies, and goodies that were readied for the party. Cindy said everyone enjoyed watching the project over the past few months and were glad that they had contributed to preserving the beautiful Monarch Butterflies.