Faith Afire - Spring 2023

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faith afire


OF CHARITY PROVINCE OF ST. LOUISE Spring 2023 Given to God, in Community, for the Service of Those who are Poor

My dear friends,

Spring is here and signs of new life surround us! We prepared to celebrate Christ’s resurrection with prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. Some of us adopted an intention to “do” during Lent; some of us refrained from a sweet or indulgence. The Sisters, like you, looked forward to Easter Sunday when we raised our voice in “Alleluia!”

Other preparations also are underway in the Province of St. Louise. At our historic campus in Emmitsburg, where the Daughters trace their American roots to St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, preparations are underway for many exciting changes. There, we are collaborating with Mount St. Mary’s University to provide space they badly need for programs. Mount St. Mary’s major seminary for priests will lease a wing at St. Joseph House for residences for men discerning the priesthood before entering seminary; we will provide space for classrooms and laboratories for students pursuing Physician Assistant education and Applied Behavioral Analysis; and construction has begun for the expansion of the entrance and exhibit areas for the Shrine of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton.

Soon, consultations for the third leadership team for the Province of St. Louise also will begin with much prayer and thought. The Sisters of the Province will send forth nominees for consideration for Visitatrix and Councillors. Since its erection in July 2011, the Province of St. Louise has diminished from more than 600 Sisters to fewer than 340 members. We, as Sisters in leadership, are discerning all related to the Province in light of these realities and our charism to serve those who live in poverty. We continue to be blessed with new members, but with new membership at two or three Sisters a year, we will not replace our Sisters who are called home. As members of the Vincentian Family, we follow St. Vincent’s guidance to trust in providence, “Wisdom consists of following providence step by step.” (CCD, 2:521)

Will you please keep the Sisters of the Province of St. Louise and all those whom we serve in your prayers as we prepare to discern the best direction for our future missions and ministries?

Continued blessings to you and yours,

Inside this Issue: 4 “In God We Trust” 12 Service Through Social Transformation 14 2023 Jubilarians 18 Uvalde Strong! The Charity of Jesus Crucified Impelled Me 20 First MissionsSIster Bella and Sister Carissa Share 22 Exciting Changes Coming to Emmitsburg 24 In Memory 26 Province News 28 Sisters Enter Seminary
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Dear friends,

Blessed Easter Season to all of you! On all of our campuses you can find displayed the Mission Statement of the Employees of Daughters of Charity Ministries Inc., the operational area of the Province. It reads, “We support the life and works of the Daughters of Charity in their service to those living in poverty. We fulfill this mission by contributing our various talents, gifts, and skills in a spirit of four Values.” The Mission Statement goes on to name those four Values: reverence, integrity, generosity, and unity.

I believe that all of us may use these values to grow closer to God and to others. They offer excellent themes for prayer and reflection. Reverence calls us to honor God and the dignity of each person in our thoughts, words, and actions and therefore to root out all traces of prejudice. Integrity calls us to build relationships on trust and honesty with our God and with others and not have hidden agendas. Generosity calls us to make time for God in our busy lives and to share our time and talents and resources with others in need. Unity calls us to ground our actions on God’s Words and to see the good in others, to be encouraging of others.

What if each week of the Easter Season we took one value and reflected on how well we lived it with our family and friends and how we might improve? I believe the Easter Season that continues until Pentecost at the end of May will find us much more joyful and peaceful!

Faith Afire is published by the Daughters of Charity, Province of St. Louise. Editorial comments or suggestions should be directed to Belinda Davis, Director of Communications, or 314.341.5486; or to the writer of the article. Mailed comments or suggestions to 4330 Olive Street, St. Louis, Missouri 63108. Change of address or subscription notifications should be directed to Nancy Katich, or 314.561.4625. No part of this magazine may be reproduced without prior written permission. Feature Writer: Anna Ross,; Graphic Designer: Katie Zeller,

On the Cover:

exciting changes are coming soon to the Emmitsburg Campus! You can read more in the article on page 22.

In Saints Vincent and Louise, Father John Kettelberger, CM
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Sister Anne Marie Lamoureux, Co-facilitator of the “Seeds of Hope” program at the National Shrine of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, dons a hardhat to see the construction underway in the new Shrine Visitor Center. Many

“In God We Trust”

In the land of opportunity, in a state that produced two U.S. Presidents, and in a city whose nickname “Windy City” refers to its propensity to boast, Chicago has earned its rightful place in history as a Midwest mecca for those in search of the American dream.

The history of Chicago with its broad-shouldered nickname and the history of the Daughters who first arrived in the city in 1861, theirs is an entwined journey, an uninterrupted union that has lasted for over 160 years. The city’s growth in the mid-1800s spurred an explosion of ingenuity and invention: the Illinois and Michigan Canal, the first railroad, the first telegraph.

The city’s population exploded as well, with a middle class moving upward and outward. Waves of immigrants swelled the labor force, working long hours with little compensation and no means to challenge a disproportionate status quo. The lack of adequate living and working conditions created an American dream rife with disparity: homelessness, epidemics, jobs. And as industry grew, so did the needs of those struggling to survive.

Chicago is a city of superlatives with a Magnificent Mile, a Great Lake, best deep-dish pizza, and wide boulevards shouldering spired skyscrapers placed as backdrop to the most stunning skyline imaginable. It’s a city of limitless possibilities, for wealth, power, fame and fortune with the dollar bill and national motto assuring high achievers on whom they can depend: In God We Trust.

But for the five Daughters of Charity currently living at the House on North Whipple Street in Chicago, the land of opportunity they seek is one of spiritual not material wealth; not to accumulate or amass fortunes, but to sow and reap the treasures found in serving persons in need. Their apostolic mission calls for a charism not a motto, a psalm of praise to God in Whom they trust.

In 1861, three Daughters – Sisters Ann Regina Jordan, Martha Sherwood and Beata McFaul – arrived from Emmitsburg to serve at the School of the Holy Name. Some sisters were recalled less than a year later to serve as nurses back East during the Civil War.

In addition to education, the Daughters’ ministries expanded to include social services and healthcare.

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“You who dwell in the shelter of the Most High, who abide in the shadow of the Almighty, Say to the LORD, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust” – Psalm 91:1-2

St. Vincent’s House of Providence offered shelter for mothers and children and services for the homeless, the elderly and the unemployed, while Providence Hospital, after much searching and a novena prayer by the three Sisters – Sisters Annina Lutzkus, Mary Bridget Burke, and Sister Walburga Gehring – opened its doors in a rental home in Lake View in 1869. The hospital quickly filled, and construction on a new one began almost immediately.

By 1871, when the Great Fire swept through Chicago obliterating four and a half miles of the city, the Daughters had established five missions. Two of the five missions, the School of Holy Name and its parish church and St. Vincent’s House of Providence, were destroyed.

Altogether, the Great Fire devastated nearly 2,000 acres, 18,000 buildings and about $200 million in goods. Over 100,000 residents lost their homes and between 200 and 300 lives were lost. It was, according to Sister Betty Ann McNeil, D.C., “a disaster of death, injury, homelessness, trauma and ruins.” 1

For Sisters Walburga Gehring and Angeline Carrigan, their accounting of events is eerily like today’s pandemic world – “for those who days before had been independent, weeping with those always poor, alike in need of shelter, food and raiment. How gratifying to be able to provide succor; how distressing when powerless to provide that succor.”

For Sister Angeline, the question of “How then did we all escape?” was easily answered: “God only knows. May we ever prove worthy children of that Blessed Father who so strongly inculcated both by his words and example a steady trust in Divine Providence; and by our unbounded confidence in the Same, may we everywhere rejoice in His protection.”

It had been a world destroyed with a flick of a single flame. For the Daughters, the Great Fire of 1871 required herculean efforts in answering God’s call to “feed the hungry, to love thy neighbor, to go out and minister to others.” The Daughters – and the city – rose to the challenge.

“You who dwell in the shelter of the Most High,”

One hundred and sixty years later, Chicago would be upended once again, not by a visible conflagration but by an invisible enemy that attacked without warning and whose tentacles spanned the globe. And the result was a society severed from within and without; a silenced and shuttered world held hostage by a virus that showed no mercy. Answering God’s call to serve required seclusion and isolation to keep one’s neighbors and family safe.

In November 2022, there were five Sisters serving at the House on North Whipple Street – Sister Servant Sister Salvatrice Murphy, and Sisters Kara Davis, Angele Hinkey, Mary Ellen Lacy and Mary Kay Schreier. The first evening with their visitor is spent getting acquainted, setting up interviews with the Sisters. All currently active in their ministries, there is no shortage of opportunity to see faith in action and resourcefulness in navigating a newly landscaped world.

Journal: Vol. 34: Iss. 1, Article 3. Available at:

Sister Salvatrice was missioned to Chicago in 2019, a graduate of The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., with a B.A. in Religion/Religious Education and Social Work in 1998, and M.S.W. in 2000.

1. For details see, McNeil D.C., Betty Ann (2017) “Daughters of Charity Recall the 1871 Chicago Fire: ‘It traveled like lightning.’,” Vincentian Heritage
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Sister Salvatrice had been in Chicago less than nine months when the city (and the country) went into lockdown in March 2020. She and several Sisters were ministering at Marillac St. Vincent Family Services (MSV), which offers a spectrum of services from expectant parents to senior citizens. The Daughters of Charity, whose charism called each to “go forth,” whose “cloisters” were the city streets, suddenly found their ministries curtailed.

“The lockdown had an impact on each of us and even our interactions with one another at our house,” Sister Salvatrice relates. “Particularly, in the unknowing,” she continues, “and the uncertainty of how best we could serve or continue to serve those in need. We had many conversations to ensure that we would be supportive of each other’s needs.”

Sister Salvatrice currently serves at MSV as a Mental Health and Wellness Manager. “Part of my job today,” Sister explains, “is leading the agency’s efforts to integrate a ‘Trauma Informed’ approach to our work: teaching a Trauma 101 introduction workshop to new-hires; coordinating a training team to provide crisis prevention certification for staff; and working with MSV’s Infant/ Early Childhood Mental Health Consultant (I/ECMHC) to provide mental health support in our education and home visiting programs.”

During lockdown and with classrooms closed, arrangements were made for students to come in and do their schoolwork remotely in classrooms under MSV supervision;

Zoom meetings were set up, teletherapy replaced inperson home visits; and deep breathing exercises and meditation afforded physical and mental relaxation. “It was a time of thinking outside the box; relying on one another to ensure we remained engaged and present,” Sister Salvatrice states.

Today, Sister Salvatrice reflects on how deeply she drew strength from her faith; a daily “introspective and integrated prayer life that continues to guide me and provide me with a sense of balance: ‘What is God asking of me today?’ ‘How can I be a steward of God’s gifts?’”

who abide in the shadow of the Almighty,

An afternoon visit to Kolbe House, a Catholic jail ministry of the Archdiocese of Chicago, has been arranged with its “all-purpose volunteer,” Sister Angele Hinkey, who makes introductions of the “incredible” team of staff and volunteers who serve the needs of the incarcerated as well those recently released.

When lockdown went into effect in March 2020, Sister Angele’s ministry, “Paintings from the Heart” for female inmates at Cook County Correctional Center, abruptly ended. Sister Angele had served as an art instructor for the women at the jail since 2012.

Unable to carry out her art ministry, Sister Angele quickly pivoted with a phone call to Kolbe House, located just

Sisters Salvatrice and Mary Kay share screen time with a tutoring session.
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Pictured left to right: Sisters Mary Ellen Lacy, Kara Davis, Angele Hinkey, Mary Kay Schreier, and Salvatrice Murphy.

two blocks from the jail, to volunteer her services. As she explains, “When the men or women are released from jail, they often arrive here with nothing: food, money, identification, clothing, transportation. And we provide that and more with our Re-entry Program, by restoring dignity and offering hope to those in need after being released from any jail or prison. The re-entry volunteers assist those who call on the phone or come to the Kolbe front door.”

The house is named after St. Maximillian Kolbe, a martyred Polish priest who was held prisoner at Auschwitz concentration camp. When ten men were randomly selected to die, St. Maximillian sacrificed himself so that one of the ten could live. As Sister Angele says, “As part of our charism, we show caring and interest for those who come to us who are broken and in need.”

The group then proceeded to the basement where essentials for those recently released are held, ready for pick up: new clothes, coats, boots, sneakers and more, along with care packages filled with food, personal items, and toiletries.

Questions followed the presentation, and interest proved high. Afterwards, Sister Angele gave a tour of Kolbe House, which features artwork from her jail ministry and a welcoming front sitting room for clients and families. Kolbe House, like the saint it is named for, offers a sanctuary for the lost and broken-hearted; a special place extended by eager volunteers ready to welcome and serve.

Say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress, The following day began with Sister Kara Davis, also serving at MSV. Still a Sister under ten years vocation (who found her calling as a Daughter when she played the part of Blessed Rosalie Rendu, D.C., in a college play), Sister Kara continues to discern and grow in Community. A father in the military led to a peripatetic upbringing, with her mother ensuring Sister Kara and three siblings remained a family of six wherever Sister Kara’s father was stationed.

Sister Angele had set up a Zoom meeting with her Kolbe House team and the Daughters of Charity who serve in the ministry of prayer in Emmitsburg interested in learning about this grace-filled ministry as part of the Life Enrichment Program. Sister Angele’s session offered them the opportunity to continue to learn, to witness, to remain engaged, regardless of distance or circumstances.

The presentation allowed each team member a chance to speak about their roles at Kolbe House, with Executive Director Mary Clare Birmingham succinctly stating: “My role is to guide this organization to fulfill our mission – ‘I was in prison and you visited me.’”

“Although moving around the U.S. and even as far as Japan presented its challenges, especially when I was a teenager and wanted to stay with friends,” she admits today, “I am grateful for my upbringing in a military family and how it taught me to be fully present to the people and places before you.”

Sister Kara has come to realize her family upbringing was similar to her apostolic mission as a Daughter of Charity – to go forth, without borders or boundaries, in service to others. Sister Kara, as a Daughter, is refreshingly like the city she now calls home with an indefatigable energy and enthusiasm when starting – and ending – her day.

When the city first shut down, Sister Kara switched from being a speech therapist to temporarily stocking the food pantry shelves at MSV. She learned the neighborhood by driving around the westside of Chicago delivering food and supplies to the homebound with Sister Kathy Overmann, who coordinated deliveries to senior citizens at the time.

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Although a licensed Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP), Sister Kara’s currently serves at MSV as a Diverse Learner Services Coordinator (DSC), a position within the Head Start program that addresses a wide range of challenges facing many young learners with special needs. A morning spent with her at Marillac Social Center touches on the impact of the pandemic and lockdown on all the children – from the very young in the daycare program to the Pre-K students preparing to enter kindergarten in the next year or two.

“Now that children are back in the classroom, we are working hard to coordinate services offered by Early Intervention and Chicago Public Schools (CPS),” Sister Kara says. “We rely on these community partnerships to ensure that children in our programs have access to the appropriate therapeutic and supportive services they need. I am especially passionate about working with children on the Autism spectrum, helping parents in understanding how their child learns best and what the child needs to continue to grow and develop.”

Sister Kara brings a child to her office, which is part office, part classroom, part playroom, where she tests the 4-yearold student for any extra assistance he may need when he transfers out of Marillac to public school for kindergarten.

After their work together is finished, Sister Kara escorts the student to his classroom and heads back to her office. She quickly notes the school bus is late (again), which “poses challenges to our staff and confusion to our little ones who need structure and routine,” she

states. But Sister’s lighthearted tone and tight hold on their hands ease the children’s worries as they sing along to “The Wheels on the Bus.”

my God, in whom I trust.” – Psalm 91:1-2

Sister Mary Ellen, a pro bono immigration lawyer, is seated in her private office at Maternidad BVM parish in Humboldt Park. Licensed to practice law in several states, Sister Mary Ellen’s areas of specialties on family immigration and humanitarian relief situations, in part, include: Naturalization/Citizenship; Violence Against Women visas; Temporary Protected Status; Work Permits and DACA applications.

A native South Side Chicagoan from a large Irish family, Sister Mary Ellen not only provides free services, but is also a one-woman office. Upon opening a filled file drawer, she holds up a thick file folder, stating matter-of-factly, “This person has been waiting 22 years for a visa.”

Sister Mary Ellen’s path toward becoming a Daughter of Charity took a somewhat circuitous route as she admits today, “Every time I thought I’d made up my mind, I’d go back to school.” But the cradle Catholic knew in her heart that God was calling her, stating simply, “God took away all my excuses.” But just three months into pre-postulancy, a family emergency required that Sister Mary Ellen leave and return home.

“As the family nurse, I couldn’t leave my mother to face my sister’s illness without me,” she recalls today. But the long, roller coaster illness was easier to cope with the comfort of the Daughters’ love and prayers. Sister recalls Sister Frances Ryan, whom she says, “was such a mentor and support to me.

“When we received the ‘miracle of good news’ from the hospital, my mom and I consciously perceived the immense power of prayer, especially those of the Daughters and the completeness of their trust in God. When I made my vows for the first time, I knew an exhilaration of love for God that completely overwhelmed

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me. I had fallen deeply in love with Jesus and exulted that I had become a Daughter of Charity,” she concludes.

Gregarious and outspoken, Sister Mary Ellen is unafraid to speak up, to champion the rights of all, especially when it comes to those who suffer injustice. In 2012, she worked as a healthcare and immigration lobbyist at Network, A Catholic Social Justice Lobby in Washington, D.C.

From Network, arose The Nuns on the Bus, a social justice initiative that crossed the country and called upon campaigning politicians to legislate pursuant to American values instead of irrational fears. Sister Mary Ellen rode on six other tours in subsequent years, stating, “It was a grace filled time, fueled by the Holy Spirit.”

Sister Mary Ellen has long been vocal about the need for immigration reform, highlighting solutions that include: a path to citizenship for long-time residents who lack papers; an increase in the number of family visas and a decrease in wait times; due process and legal representation for those at risk of deportation; and to root out causes of forced immigration.

She routinely asks her audiences: “Are we not our brothers’ and sisters’ keepers?” Sister provides the answer with a Buddhist story of the Creator being asked about the injustices of the world: “How can you not do something about it?” And the Creator replied: “I did do something about it. I made you.”

Today, Sister Mary Ellen shares the story about the meaning of a photo holder in her office, which simply reads: “Is.6-8.” “Then I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?’ “Then I said, “Here am I. Send me!”

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart …. And he will make straight your paths.” – Prov, 3:5-6

The final day in the city was planned to be spent with Sister Mary Kay, parish minister at the predominantly African American Catholic mission of St. Peter Claver in Robbins, Illinois. The church, as part of the Archdiocese of Chicago’s “Renew My Church,” and the closure of over 100 churches, has now been absorbed with two others into St. Mary Magdalene Catholic Parish in Blue Island.

“For now,” Sister Mary Kay states, “we can hold one Mass a month at St. Peter Claver until June 2023, and we are hosting a series of weekly classes every Saturday on the Catholic Faith.”

Sister Mary Kay was interviewed a month later by telephone. A native Chicagoan, she is the oldest of three children of a devout Catholic family. “I was a senior in high school when I volunteered at Marillac House (precursor to MSV) when I met the Daughters. I knew instantly, with their apostolic charism, that this was what I wanted to become.” She entered the Community at the Marillac Provincial House in Normandy, Mo., in June of 1961, having earned her B.A. in Social Work.

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She was missioned to St. Louise de Marillac High School in Northfield, Illinois, where for six years she taught young girls in the suburbs. It wasn’t what she had envisioned her ministry in social work to be, she relates today.

“But I knew that something could be done to help both the students and those in need.” After looking at the curriculum and its modular scheduling, she realized some girls had three hours free during the week. Sister began a volunteer program for the girls to experience firsthand the needs of those living on the margins of society and appreciate the gift of grace found in service to others.”

The program’s success eased some of Sister Mary Kay’s concerns that “I wasn’t doing enough,” but when asked to serve in pastoral ministry at St. Theresa Parish, an African American community in Gulfport, Mississippi, Sister Mary knew immediately that “St. Theresa was where I belonged and what I was called to do.”

In 1989, Sister returned to Chicago to serve as a pastoral associate at the beautiful African American mission church, St. Peter Claver, in Robbins, Illinois. She states that, “I feel blessed by the many years of ministry in the African American community. Their acceptance and trust in me, their faith-filled welcome, has truly gone beyond my wildest dreams.”

Sister Mary Kay was missioned to Pascagoula, Mississippi in 2007 to help restart religious education at St. Peter the Apostle Church following the devastation caused by Katrina.

However, in 2009, Sister Mary Kay received a phone call from a hospital ER in Chicago that would change her ministry in Pascagoula from tending to a parish to a ministry of coordinating care for her brother James, a former judge, who had had a massive stroke. Sister Mary Kay immediately returned to Chicago.

Sister Mary Kay remained in Chicago to assist with his care and to minister again at St. Peter Claver as a part-time Pastoral Minister. She notes that despite the many current changes made by the archdiocese, “I have to believe and trust in God that things will work out.”

After years of loving service to her brother James, Sister Mary Kay’s ministry of care came to an end. The Supervising Judge for the Circuit Court of Cook County Criminal Division for thirty years died on November 6, 2022. Sister Mary Kay says she was “deeply moved by the appreciation and respect the number of lawyers had for her brother. “A mentor, a teacher, a man of integrity,” she says, concluding with her own tribute, “and a faith-filled loving brother, son, uncle and great-uncle to our family.”

In Whom do you trust?

With the interviews completed, it’s time for a Saturday lunch with Sisters Angele and Kara. Sister Kara has the car keys and takes to the road like most Chicagoans – nerves of steel and heightened sense of awareness of pedestrians, cyclists and “scooterists” who consider busy streets as merely wide sidewalks. With Saturdays free at the house, Sister Mary Ellen was off practicing with her band; her instrument, an “Irish tin whistle.” The band is practicing for an upcoming talent show and, ever the Irish optimist, Sister Mary Ellen thinks they may have a chance to win. Then winks.

With the visit over and a return drive to St. Louis, there is the peace of a silent car ride to reflect on the past five days. Chicago and the Daughters of Charity share a past as well as a future. The earliest immigrants paved the way to create a patchwork quilt of cultures; pockets of neighborhoods that tell a story of hope and an enduring belief in the American dream. They offer a movable feast

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An image of the Crucifixion at St. Peter Claver.

of humankind, rich with the beauty of the blessings of family and tradition.

But no matter where one lives in Chicago – or in the United States – we all stand on the shoulders of the Indigenous people who first tended this land, and those who came from abroad before us hoping for a better life. The city of Chicago and the Daughters who first arrived to serve, rose like the proverbial phoenix after the smoldering smoke had cleared in 1871, as did the city and the Daughters in 2020, who harnessed cyberspace to create lifelines for those needing to be taught, to work, to love, and to be loved.

St. Joseph Services

Founded in 2001, St. Joseph Services (SJS) educates and inspires youth and adults to develop their talents through collaborations to strengthen communities. Sponsored by the Daughters Province of St. Louise, SJS recently relocated to 4123 West Grand Avenue in the West Humboldt neighborhood. Collaborating with faith-based organizations, SJS offers a myriad of programs including after school programs, youth mentoring, open gym, and seasonal and summer camps for youth; for adults, citizenship, computer literacy, and English as a Second Language (ESL) classes are offered.

What makes SJS such a success?


Life seems faster, busier today, with a hurriedness to the pace of one’s days and nights. A continuous search for something to hold onto, something to believe in, someone to lean on. As the world reorients, reopens, there is the realization that there is much to be done, to overcome, especially for those most in need, the most vulnerable found on the streets of Chicago. The Daughters will, as they have the past 160 years, rise to the challenge.

Because, for them, it will always be God in Whom they trust.

Many program graduates and area retirees spend time volunteering to make a difference. SJS seeks after school tutors, computer literacy and data entry assistants, ESL instructors, photographer, and videographer volunteers. Learn more about SJS at:

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SJS Executive Director Guadalupe Preston welcoming all who attended the Grand Opening!

Service through Social Transformation

The pursuit of justice is foundational to the charism of the Daughters of Charity. The Daughters are given to God, in community, for the service of the poor. One of the ways that the Daughters serve the poor and vulnerable is by working, “for social transformation to change the unjust structures that cause poverty,” (Constitutions, 24e). The pursuit of justice and peace, then, is essential to the Daughters’ identity, and in my first year as the Director of JPIC, I can attest that the Daughters live this identity with vigor.

I want to share three areas on which I’m focusing in order to help the Daughters amplify their commitment to justice and peace in the context of integral ecology. These include focusing on intersectionality, building on the Daughters’ advocacy work, and sharing the good news.

The Daughters have six committees that work on priority issues including racism, care of Earth, hunger, homelessness, immigration, and human trafficking. While these areas provide focus, none of these issues stands alone. One cannot talk about human trafficking without talking about the ways that forced migration makes people vulnerable to modern slavery; nor can one have a conversation about structural racism without acknowledging the fact that communities of color suffer more due to pollution and environmental degradation than do their white counterparts. Beyond acknowledging the intersection of individual issues, we are called to embrace an integral ecology—an understanding that all of creation is interconnected. The chairs of the six committees and I take this call seriously and are striving to reframe our work in a way that acknowledges the intersectional nature of our

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Capitol photo by Sister Meggie Flores.

justice issues and the interconnectedness of all creation. My second focus is on legislative advocacy. Pope Francis has said, “a good Catholic meddles in politics” (Pope Francis, Sept. 16, 2013). He goes on to explain that politics is “one of the highest forms of charity, because it serves the common good.” One of the most effective ways to address the root causes of injustice is through advocacy. The Daughters have a strong foundation of advocacy work on which I am excited to continue building with opportunities for the DC family to engage in skill-building and action on important legislative issues.

Finally, a large focus of my work is finding ways to share the good news about the work that the Daughters are

doing in their pursuit of justice and peace. I strive to do this through our weekly email updates, educational events and sharing with the many coalitions and networks we are part of including the Vincentian Family, the Sisters of Charity Federation, and the Leadership Conference of Women Religious.

I am excited to continue collaborating with the Daughters and the entire Daughters’ family on this critical work for social transformation. I invite you to reach out to me at if you have thoughts on our justice and peace work, would like to receive weekly updates from the JPIC Office, or if you just want to say hello.

Get to Know Rachel

Rachel joined the Daughters of Charity as the Director of the Interprovincial Office of Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation in March 2022. Before joining the Daughters, Rachel worked for almost 7 years in training and grassroots advocacy at Catholic Relief Services. Prior to that she worked for the

Office of Catholic Social Justice Ministry for the Archdiocese of Hartford, Connecticut. Rachel holds a Master of Divinity from Yale Divinity School and a Bachelor of Arts in Theology from Fordham University. She currently lives in New York City with her husband.

Sisters Mary Jo Stein and Claire Debes celebrate Earth Day 2022 at Herring Run Nursery. Human Trafficking Awareness Day - staff members and Sisters at Seton Residence in Evansville, Ind., mark the day. Sister Meggie Flores participates in a meeting with congressional staff to advocate for just policies during the Catholic Social Ministry Gathering in Washington, D.C. At the Poor People’s Campaign Rally June 18 in Washington, D.C.; Sisters Teresa Daly, Julie Cutter, Mary Jo Stein, Nancy Dunn, Mary Bader, and Postulant Grace Sinopoli.
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Photo courtesy of Philip Laubnner

2023 Jubilarians

Celebrating 2,380 Years of Serving Christ in Those in Need

During January through December 2023, 36 Daughters celebrate jubilees.

80 Years Vocation

Sister Annina Scharper, D.C.

February 1, 1943

Nurse and Nurse Supervisor, Director, Instructor, Nursing Educator in Taiwan, Pastoral Care Minister, Local Community Superior, Sister Annina currently serves in the Ministry of Prayer, Emmitsburg, Md.

Sister Jeanne Parrish, D.C.

December 4, 1943

Teacher, Principal, Guidance Counselor, Administrator, Provincial Councillor, Spiritual and Retreat Director, Board Member, and Local Community Superior, Sister Jeanne serves in the Ministry of Prayer, Evansville, Ind.

75 Years Vocation

Sister Mary Louise Hoeller, D.C.

February 7, 1948

Head Nurse, Supervisor, Program Director, Assistant Professor, Visiting Nurse, Executive Director, Vincentian Ministries Coordinator, and Board member, Sister Mary Louise now serves in the Ministry of Prayer, Evansville, Ind.

Sister Juanita Chenevert, D.C.

November 19, 1948

Teacher, Principal, President, Administrator, Bookkeeper, Development Coordinator, Administrative Assistant, Tutor, and Local Community Superior, Sister Juanita currently serves in the Ministry of Prayer, Evansville, Ind.

Sister Mary Carroll Eby, D.C.

December 4, 1948

Nurse Instructor, School of Nursing Director, Hospital Administrator, Provincial Councillor, Outreach Coordinator, and Local Community Superior, Sister Mary Carroll now serves in the Ministry of Prayer, Emmitsburg, Md.

Sister DeChantal LaRow, D.C.

December 4, 1948

Sister DeChantal served as a Nurse-Nurse Educator, Hospital Administrator, Board Chairperson, Provincial Councillor, and Local Community Superior, and now serves in the Ministry of Prayer, Albany, N.Y.

70 Years Vocation

Sister Doris Brancato, D.C.

June 17, 1953

Director and Supervisor of Nursing Services, Education Coordinator, Nursing Instructor, Associate Director, Revenue Integrity Department Assistant, Sister Doris currently serves in the Ministry of Prayer, Evansville, Ind.

Sister Caroline Clark, D.C.

July 14, 1953

Teacher, Principal, Outreach Coordinator, Volunteer Director, Spiritual Advisor, Family Advocate, Board member and Local Community Superior, Sister ministers with the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, All Saints Parish, Evansville, Ind.

14 Faith Afire • Spring 2023

Sister Rosemary Costigan, D.C.

July 14, 1953

Teacher for 32 years on mission in Bolivia, Sister Rosemary returned in1992 serving as a Teacher and Parish Minister in New York and Volunteer at Seton Center Outreach. She now serves in the Ministry of Prayer, Emmitsburg, Md.

Sister Mary Rose DeDonato, D.C.

July 14, 1953

Teacher, Principal, Provincial Secretary, Parish Minister, and Pastoral Associate, Sister Mary Rose also served as Local Community Superior and currently serves in the Ministry of Prayer, Albany, N.Y.

Sister Ann Adele Kelly, D.C.

July 14, 1953

Teacher, Vocation-Music Director, Organist, Liturgist, Librarian, Ladies of Charity Animator, Seton Center Thrift Shop, and Local Community Superior, Sister Ann Adele now serves in the Ministry of Prayer, Emmitsburg, Md.

Sister Julie Lawrence, D.C.

July 14, 1953

A Nurse in many hospitals along the East Coast, Sister Julie also served as a Child Care Provider in Cochabamba, Bolivia, and Family Birthing Center Volunteer. She currently serves in the Ministry of Prayer in Albany, N.Y.

Sister Judith Ann Briselden, D.C.

September 5, 1953

Teacher, Elementary Principal, Education Coordinator, Recycling Center Director, Diocesan Adult Education Teacher and Director, Sister Judith Ann currently serves in the Ministry of Prayer, Evansville, Ind.

Sister Bernice Coreil, D.C.

September 5, 1953

Business Manager, Hospital Administrator, Provincial Health Councillor, Senior VP, Visitatrix, Board Member, Assistant to President, Ascension Health Ministries, Sister currently serves in Bridgeton, Mo.

Sister Doris Moore, D.C.

September 5, 1953

Teacher, Religious Education Coordinator, Pastoral Director, Tutor, Ladies of Charity Moderator, Board member and Local Community Superior, Sister Doris currently serves in the Ministry of Prayer, Evansville, Ind.

Sister Marilyn Moore, D.C.

September 5, 1953

Teacher, Principal, Guidance Counselor, Long-term Care Activity Director, Outreach Worker, Tutor, Board member and Local Community Superior, Sister currently serves as Guillemin House Coordinator, Evansville, Ind.

Sister Clare Marie Angermaier, D.C.

December 31, 1953

Teacher, Principal, VP of Mission Integration, Provincial Councillor and Provincial Assistant, Seton Heritage Ministries, and Local Community Superior, Sister Clare Marie serves in the Ministry of Prayer, Emmitsburg, Md.

Sister Joan Ann Barrett, D.C.

December 31, 1953

A Teacher for 30 years, Sister Joan Ann was missioned to Tainan, Taiwan where she also ministered for 30 years serving the disabled and elderly. A Visitor and Care Provider, she now serves in the Ministry of Prayer, Evansville, Ind.

Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul 15

Sister Mary Irene Brokmeier, D.C.

December 31, 1953

Sister Mary Irene served in Health Care Finance and Administration, and as Pastoral Coordinator, Financial Counselor, and Social Outreach Worker. She currently serves in the Ministry of Prayer, Albany, N.Y.

Sister Joan Curran, D.C.

December 31, 1953

Nurse, Supervisor, Emergency ICU and CCU Nurse, Director of Mission Services and Pastoral Services, Parish and Social Minister, Local Community Superior, Sister Joan now serves in the Ministry of Prayer, Albany, N.Y.

Sister Patricia Nee, D.C.

December 31, 1953

Teacher, Parish and Hispanic Outreach Minister, Pastoral Associate, Outreach and Vincentian Coordinator, Receptionist, and Local Community Superior, Sister Patricia currently serves in the Ministry of Prayer, Emmitsburg, Md.

Sister Eleanor Marie Shea, D.C.

December 31, 1953

Teacher, Nurse, Visiting Nurse, Supervisor, Rehabilitation Coordinator, Palliative Care Minister, Sister Eleanor Marie currently serves as a Nursing Home Visitor in Emmitsburg, Md.

60 Years Vocation

Sister Mary Ann Hartman, D.C.

January 25, 1963

Sister has served as an Educator, Provincial Secretary and Treasurer, Paris Motherhouse English-speaking Secretary and Executive Assistant to Visitatrix, Sister Mary Ann now serves in Special Projects for the Province of St. Louise and lives in Bridgeton, Mo..

Sister Marguerite Broderick, D.C.

June 5, 1963

Teacher, Principal, Guatemala Missionary, Diocesan Catechetical Office Director, and Vocation Directress. Sister serves as an Instructor at the Daughters’ Interprovincial Seminary and in Formation of Mission for the St. Louis Campus.

Sister Mary Elizabeth Cullen, D.C.

June 5, 1963

Head Nurse, Director, Vice President, Pastoral Care Associate, Vice President Mission Integration, Missionary in Taiwan, Outreach, Parish and Eucharistic Minister. Sister currently serves in the Ministry of Prayer, Evansville, Ind.

Sister Sheila Marie Hart, D.C.

June 5, 1963

Elementary Teacher, Regional Vocation Coordinator, St. Vincent de Paul Formator for the Belleville Diocese, Computer Teacher, and Local Community Superior, Sister serves in the Ministry of Prayer, Bridgeton, Mo.

Sister Jeraldine Fritz, D.C.

June 27, 1963

Teacher, Principal, Assistant Superintendent of Schools, Adult Education Program Administrator, Chaplain, and Local Community Superior, Sister currently serves in the Ministry of Prayer, Albany, N.Y.

16 Faith Afire • Spring 2023

Sister Kathleen Haley, D.C.

June 27, 1963

Elementary Teacher, Religious Educator, Pastoral Care Associate, and Visitor. After serving 13 years as Hospital Chaplain in Binghamton, N.Y., Sister Kathleen now serves in the Ministry of Prayer, Albany, N.Y.

Sister Elizabeth Racko, D.C.

June 27, 1963

Teacher, Parish Minister, Missionary, Native American Detention and Prisoner Minister, and Local Community Superior. Sister Elizabeth serves as a Hispanic Outreach Minister for Diocesan Migrant and Refugee Services, El Paso, Texas.

Sister Elyse Staab, D.C.

June 27, 1963

House Mother, Caseworker, Administrator, Director, Vincentian Coordinator, Visitatrix, Board member and Local Community Superior, Sister Elyse serves as Vincentian Coordinator and Local Community Superior in Macon, Ga.

Sister Leah Marie Holzum, D.C

September 5, 1963

Head Nurse, Instructor, Supervisor, Director, Outreach Nurse, Pastoral Care and Parish Minister, Board member and Local Community Superior, Sister Leah Marie serves as Assistant at The Sarah Community, Bridgeton, Mo.

Sister Joanne Marlow, D.C.

September 5, 1963

Tutor, Secondary and CCD Teacher, Personnel Assistant, Auxiliary Treasurer, Parish Minister, and Local Community Superior, Sister Joanne now serves as a Reader to the Visually Impaired and Gift Shop Volunteer, Evansville, Ind

50 Years Vocation

Sister Christine Mura, D.C.

April 7, 1973

Religious Educator in New York and Bolivia, Religious Education Director, Campus Minister, Pastoral Missionary to Cuba, Hispanic Pastoral Minister, Sister Christine currently serves with St. Mary’s Healthcare, Amsterdam, N.Y.

Sister Mary Beth Kubera, D.C.

July 8, 1973

Teacher, Principal, Vocation Coordinator, Young Adult and Campus Minister, Provincial Councillor, Board member, and Local Community Superior, Sister Mary Beth now serves as a Counselor at John Paul II Catholic School, Hardeeville, S.C.

Sister Cecilia Ann West, D.C.

July 8, 1973

Teacher, Religious Education Director, Early Childhood Specialist, Curriculum Coordinator, Mental Health and Behavioral Counselor, Office Assistant and Local Community Superior, Sister now serves as a Counselor at St. Agnes Hospital, Baltimore, Md.

Sister Mary Louise Yeend, D.C.

July 8, 1973

Nurse, Vocation Coordinator, Director of Pastoral Care and Mission Services, Chaplain, Assistant for Vincentian Integration Experience (VIE) and Local Community Superior, Sister Mary Louise currently serves in the Ministry of Prayer, Evansville, Ind.

Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul 17

Uvalde Strong! The Charity of Jesus Crucified Impelled Me

I was driving through Uvalde, Texas on the morning of May 22, 2022, and then again that evening with a Camboni Missionary Sister companion, on our way to and from Del Rio, Texas to assist with a Confirmation class retreat. As we were driving through Uvalde in the early morning hours, I said to her, “This is such a small, quaint, beautiful and peaceful town.” Two days later on that infamous day of May 24, 19 beautiful young children and two dedicated teachers were gunned down and massacred.

When I heard about it the morning that it happened, I was in total shock and disbelief! How could something so horrific as this happen in that peaceful town that I had just driven through two days before! Of course, when more information kept coming in on the local news, the national news and even the BBC news throughout the week, sadness just filled the hearts of each and every one of us following this tragic happening.

I just knew I had to do something! I wasn’t exactly sure what it was I was meant to do or be for the people there, but I knew I had to DO and BE something!

For several days, the “Charity of Christ Crucified Impels Us,” which is the motto of the Daughters of Charity, kept haunting me. I felt impelled to act on this and on behalf of the people in Uvalde whose lives were changed forever! I just knew in my heart that I needed to go there and do whatever I could to be the face of Christ to these suffering people! Even if it meant being there just to listen, to pray with, or support them in any way that I possibly could.

Our Archbishop Gustavo Garcia Siller also felt impelled to shepherd his flock there. Other people in our Archdiocese

of San Antonio felt impelled to help in any way they could. I kept praying that the Holy Spirit would inspire me to know what I could do to help and support the people of Uvalde.

The Holy Spirit acted quickly on my behalf. The next day I received an invitation from a Sister friend of mine saying that Catholic Extension was looking for 10 Sisters to volunteer to go to Uvalde and help with a week-long summer camp to assist with the children from Robb Elementary and to offer them HOPE, LOVE and SUPPORT as well as to their parents and relatives. These were the very children who were survivors, sisters, brothers, cousins, and friends of those who were murdered in that very same classroom and school.

Thank you, Holy Spirit!

I responded immediately as did nine other Sisters from Michigan, California, and San Antonio representing eight communities all feeling impelled to do the work of Jesus Christ, namely, to serve God’s poor ones!! We all assisted the Teresian Sisters who live and work in Uvalde at Sacred Heart School as well as St. Henry de Osso Family Project Center where we held the Camp I-CAN each day. Here we met together as a team, shared prayer, prepared for the day, and supported each other. We also had volunteers including one of the second-grade teachers

Sister Regina pictured with the camp participants and volunteers; she is third from the right in the second row.
18 Faith Afire • Spring 2023

who taught at Robb Elementary; she had so many sad stories to share with us about that horrific day. Each day of camp, we had 25 students who attended Robb Elementary who joined us at camp. There, we led spiritual activities where the children could share their feelings and pray for their friends and siblings who were killed. We offered a game and activity room where they could play table tennis, air hockey, corn bag toss, and various sporting activities; an arts and crafts station where they could make many things to take home and keep in their special places; and a fitness room where we did exercises with them and lots of fun activities. We also sang songs each day and they really loved that. The ultimate goal was to give the students a sense of “normalcy,” to help them heal, and above all let them have fun. Each day you could see the trust building in each of them.

One boy came the first day and asked if his mother could stay with him the whole day and we said that certainly she could stay with him. We also had shirts for the camp donated by Catholic Extension and each of the students and each of us wore it on certain days during the week. At first, this same child did not want a shirt. However, he had so much fun on the first day that on the second day he told his mother she could go home and that he definitely now wanted his shirt! That just made our day!! Another boy who came was a survivor; he had been shot in the back with the bullet exiting his shoulder. He was very skeptical of us at first because we were “strangers,” but after two days, he was loving every minute of his time with us. His dad shared with us the trauma he was still experiencing. Another girl came who is a twin. She did not go to school that day of the shooting, but her twin sister did; her twin was shot and killed. She would say to me, “I miss my sister. I want my sister back!”

We provided lunch and supper for the children. In the evening when the parents came to pick up their children, we provided supper for them as well. This was an opportunity for all of us to offer some semblance of support and a listening ear and a loving heart. Their stories of “loss” were so sad, tragic, and heart wrenching. They thanked us every night for being there for their children. We truly were the ones to be thanking them for this chance to be the face of Christ for them and they for us.

One morning before camp began, all of us Sisters went to Robb Elementary School to see where the massacre took place. It was as if the outside of the school had been made into an outside cathedral. There were so many monuments, mementos, pictures, candles, stuffed animals, etc. It was truly a shrine dedicated to these 21 souls. We all stayed there for a half an hour in silence and just prayed. It was a very moving experience. Everywhere you go around the town, there are pictures and prayers for these souls. There are also 21 murals painted on the walls of buildings of each of these children and teachers. It is such a moving and powerful experience to witness!

On the last day of camp, we asked how the campers were feeling. Some of them said they were “happy;” some said they were “thankful;” some said they “had lots of fun;” some said that “they didn’t want it to end;” and, the survivor I talked about said “I’m BLESSED!!” Imagine, how that touched our hearts. Truly a lesson for all of us!

Each month there is a “reunion” planned for all the campers to come back on a given Saturday for four hours to play, have fun, share memories, and, of course to eat pizza. Sister Gloria and I went to the first “reunion” and had a great time with the children.

There is so much more to share, but that will be for another time. Please pray for these children and their families and all the people of Uvalde. I am grateful that the Holy Spirit impelled me in such a way that I could answer the call of the “Charity of Christ Crucified” that urged me to say YES! I am BLESSED and GRATEFUL to our loving God for this call and response. Uvalde Strong!

Note: As of the publication of this article, the Uvalde School District Foundation has announced plans to construct a new, $50 million elementary school to replace Robb Elementary just two miles from the original school. Funded by donations, the school will be state-of-the-art and include classrooms for art and special education.

The memorial tributes. Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul 19

First Missions

Sister Bella and Sister Carissa Share

In past issues of Faith Afire, we have shared about special events for those discerning the religious life. We’ve also shared news of updated Vocation websites and social media pages. This issue, we share a peek into two Sisters’ first missions. Sister Bella Davila and Sister Carissa Kulpa completed Seminary in St. Louis last summer. When a Postulant enters Seminary, she becomes a Sister in the Community. Seminary for a Daughter of Charity is a time of prayer, discernment, formation, and education. Upon completion of Seminary, a Sister is sent to her first mission.

Sister Bella Davila

“On April 9th of last year, Sister Carissa and I were sent from the Seminary in St. Louis to our first missions as Daughters of Charity. Sister Carissa was sent to the southernmost point of Texas, and I was sent to Germantown, the most Vincentian neighborhood in Philadelphia. As I drove from St. Louis to Germantown, I was welcomed into Pennsylvania by the slogan on our state sign, ‘pursue your happiness.’ What a nice message to receive as one begins a new mission!

20 Faith Afire • Spring 2023

From the day of my arrival till now, I have found that sharing community with my Sisters and being entrusted with the service of those living in poverty in Germantown is indeed a happiness worth pursuing. I am blessed to spend my days as the Behavioral Health Coordinator for Face to Face. Face to Face is a non-profit that primarily serves adults who are experiencing homelessness, are at risk of homelessness, and have financial challenges. With hardships such as these, our guests also struggle with addictions, criminal records, mental and physical health issues, as well as deep wounds of racial discrimination. To be part of a team that is working to reduce the sufferings of those in our neighborhood is really a privilege. This

mission has been made even more meaningful with my local community living within blocks of my ministry, right across the street from our Vincentian brothers. Being able to live in closeness with those we serve in a physical way as well as a spiritual way, helps me to connect my heart to the heart of our suffering Jesus, who is seen every day on our streets. Through the challenges and joys of this first mission in Germantown, God has truly given me the best place to pursue my happiness in Him, this vocation, and those whom I am fortunate enough to encounter each day. So, I try do to as our state sign also suggests, smile!”

anyone with the experience of working in a licensed childcare classroom to help her get this program started. After receiving the support from the community, I agreed to begin work on this project. Of course, starting a new program comes with many challenges but we have worked through them, and I am happy to say that we have now opened the classroom to six toddlers and are looking forward to welcoming more in the next couple of months.

I am very grateful for my local community and their support through all the ups and downs that have occurred. I am constantly thanking God for all the blessings that I have received, all the things that I have learned through this experience, the people that I have been blessed to work with, and especially those who I have been able to serve. I am excited to see where this program will go and what it will grow into over the next few years!”

Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul 21
Sister Carissa Kulpa

Exciting Changes Coming to Emmitsburg

The Daughters’ Emmitsburg Campus traces its beginnings to the arrival of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, then Mother Seton, and her early Sisters in 1809. Since that time, the campus has changed and grown. Today’s campus includes the National Shrine and Basilica of St. Elizabeth Ann; the historic St. Joseph and newer, Sacred Heart cemeteries; St. Joseph House, residence for the Sisters; the Provincial Archives; the original stone house and the historic white house, Seton Village, an independent living center for seniors, and more. St. Joseph House, when, during the summers in the 1950s and 1960s while Sisters were enrolled in college courses at St. Joseph College, was home to 300 plus Sisters, now has about 60 Sisters in residence. With unneeded areas of the House not in use, the Sisters began to ponder... what if? What if there was a Catholic institution or organization that could use some of this mothballed space?

“In committing our energy in common, we can do far more,” explains Sister Teresa George, Provincial Treasurer and Councillor who is also a member of the Mount St. Mary’s University Board of Trustees. “We have buildings, we have space, and we have some resources. The Mount has resources and the ability to develop the academic side of this. Let’s see what we can do together!” We share a peek at the many, exciting changes to come.

National Shrine of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton

St. Elizabeth Ann Seton died 202 years ago, but devotees of America’s first native-born saint explain she remains a great role model. A $4 million renovation to the Shrine’s museum and visitors center is now underway and expected to be completed in the fall of 2023. The project has been made possible through the generosity of donors led by the Shrine’s National Leadership Council chaired

The Sisters didn’t have to look too far. Mount St. Mary’s University and its Seminary, sponsored by the Sulpician priests is bursting at the seams and seeking additional classroom and observation space and room for a new residential Seminary program. The collaboration between the Daughters and Sulpicians is rooted in history. When St. Elizabeth Ann’s early community arrived in Emmitsburg, it was the Sulpicians who served as spiritual advisors.

by Luci Baines Johnson, an Affiliate of the Company. The year-long construction project, just begun, will enhance the experience for pilgrims who want to learn more about St Elizabeth Ann.

Water distributed for use

It is the first significant renovation of the museum in 40 years in a town where Mother Seton established the first American congregation of religious sisters, the Sisters of Charity of St. Joseph in 1809. Rob Judge, the Shrine’s Executive Director for the past decade, shares that the mission of the upgrades to the visitors’ experiences is

22 Faith Afire • Spring 2023

to shine a brighter light on Mother Seton. He said there were a lot of artifacts that the current museum didn’t have space to display, and others that were recently donated. “We want to use those artifacts to tell Mother Seton’s story,” says Rob. “The mission is to share her life with more people; why she did what she did and why she is a role model and intercessor; someone who inspires people.” Rob adds that new exhibits on her marriage and life as a mother of five will better tell the stories about her passion for religious life and her devotion to the Eucharist.

The national shrine is an active basilica and includes historical buildings and programs that show what life was like when Mother Seton lived there more than two centuries ago. The plans call for a reconfiguration of the original provincial entrance into a new visitor center for the estimated 60,000 people who come to the shrine each year. The shrine’s campus allows visitors to worship in a basilica, while also touring the grounds and buildings where Mother Seton and her congregation lived. “Our Sisters are very excited,” shares Sister Catherine Mary Norris, Visitatrix, “They’re excited to have the space utilized in such a way that they will see the pilgrims coming and going and have opportunities to interact with people, which we think will be lovely. I think they’ll add another element of welcome to people who are coming. They’re happy to have folks come and share in the legacy of Mother Seton.”

The Mount’s School of Health Professions

The Mount’s School of Health Professions seeks to introduce a comprehensive two-year graduate physician assistant (PA) program and to expand its applied behavior analysis (ABA) program. The renovated E Wing of St. Joseph House will be the home to both. The Daughters have a legacy and great experience in healthcare; Sisters may serve as mentors and support PA students. The University explains the PA program will meet critical needs for providers in the state of Maryland. The ABA program also will meet a critical need in Maryland. The Mount’s program, established in fall 2021, has already expanded and will expand even more to meet the growing demands for skilled professionals in psychology, education, and health professions. ABA is a discipline concerned with the application of behavioral science in real-world settings such as clinics,

schools, and industry with the aim of improving socially important issues such as behavior problems and learning. Both programs will focus, in part, on caring for the underserved.

The Blessed Stanley Rother House of Formation

A new stage of priestly formation, the propaedeutic stage, was set forth in the US Conference of Catholic Bishops’ 6th edition of the Program of Priestly Formation (PPF6). The PPF guides seminarians and priestly vocation programs. The guidelines call for a year of formation, introducing seminarians to the spiritual life of a priest and providing a foundation in human formation. Realizing individual dioceses might struggle to organize such a program in their own dioceses, the Mount has entered a collaborative relationship with the Daughters to create in its C Wing of St. Joseph House, a home for seminarians in the propaedeutic stage of priestly formation. The House will be dedicated to Blessed Stanley Rother, the first American-born martyr and Mount St. Mary’s graduate. During their time at Rother House, the men will pray together, work together, and grow as brothers as they begin their journey of priestly formation.

Construction progresses in the C wing for the new Seminary program. Daughters
of St. Vincent de Paul

In Memory

Sister Jocelyne Joly

February 22, 1946

July 18, 2022

30 years vocation

Parish Minister, Spiritual Director, Provincial Councillor, Kenya Missionary, Translator, Local Community Superior

Sister Kathleen Simpson

May 14, 1947

July 27, 2022

37 years vocation

Pastoral Care Director, Hospital Chaplain, Healthcare Chemo Support Provider

Sister Frances Ryan

November 30, 1937

August 29, 2022

66 years vocation

Social Worker, Administrator, Professor, Ladies of Charity Moderator, Board member, Local Community Superior

Sister Mary John Tintea

June 20, 1929

September 13, 2022

70 years vocation

Group Leader, Teacher, House Mother, Pastoral Care Associate, Chaplain, Board Member

Sister Enda McArdle

March 14, 1920

September 14, 2022

84 years vocation

Elementary, Secondary and ESL Teacher, Department Supervisor

Sister Judith Hebert

August 31, 1937

September 17, 2022

64 years vocation

Teacher, Administrator, Child Advocate, Criminal Justice Minister, Local Community Superior

Sister Dorothy Olinger

July 3, 1933

September 18, 2022

70 years vocation

House Mother, Teacher, Principal, Docent, Consultant, Registrar, Ladies of Charity Moderator

Sister Alice Marie Smith

March 12, 1931

November 22, 2022

72 years vocation

Teacher, Guidance Counselor, Docent, Clinical Registrar, Parish Minister, Patient Advocate

Sister Margaret John Kelly

June 13, 1934

November 24, 2022

65 years vocation

Professor, Mission VP, Board Chair, Provincial Councillor, Visitatrix, Executive Director/Founder, Ladies of Charity

Sister Natalie McCubbin

July 28, 1925

November 30, 2022

76 years vocation

Teacher, Principal, Business Manager, Guidance Counselor, Librarian, Local Community Superior

24 Faith Afire • Spring 2023
We remember the 19 Daughters of Charity who, in recent months, have gone to their eternal home.

Revelation 2:10

Sister Carmella Augello

December 3, 1918

December 2, 2022

74 years vocation

Purchasing Director, Building Coordinator, Provincial Treasurer, Local Community Superior

Sister Alexandrine Lazzari

December 23, 1928

December 13, 2022

75 years vocation

Dietician, Parish Minister, Patient Visitor, Pastoral Care Volunteer

Sister Teresita Heenan

October 5, 1941

January 1, 2023

62 years vocation

Elementary Teacher, Parish Minister, Pastoral Care Associate, Docent, Archival Assistant

Sister Karen Flaherty

November 19, 1938

January 7, 2023

64 years vocation

Teacher, Counselor, Assistant Principal, Administrator, Director, Pastoral Minister, Kenya Missionary

Sister Mary Ann Szydlowski

March 7, 1932

January 18, 2023

71 years vocation

Nurse, Supervisor, Director, Administrator, Retirement Coordinator, Missionary to the Cook Islands, Angola, Thailand

Sister Mary Linda Lawler

July 17, 1943

February 4, 2023

60 years vocation

Elementary and Resource Teacher, Director of Religious Education, Parish Minister

Sister Margaret O’Dwyer

October 4, 1954

February 7, 2023

29 years vocation

Patient Representative, Education Specialist, Cook Islands Missionary, NGO Representative to the UN

Sister Kathleen Saffa

April 17, 1936

March 6, 2023

Elementary Teacher, Pastor Care Coordinator and Director, Chaplain

Sister Felicia Mazzola

April 20, 1934

March 22, 2023

Teacher, Principal, Provincial Treasurer and Councillor, Director of International Project Services, Volunteer

Correction from last issue

Sister Mary Ellen Schwartz

June 28, 1933

January 25, 2022

65 years vocation

Science Teacher, Special Projects, Hospitality Coordinator

Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul 25
“Remain faithful until death and I will give you the crown of life.”

Province News

Herb Dyer Appointed President, Daughters of Charity Ministries, Inc.

In February, Herbert A. (Herb) Dyer assumed the position of President, Daughters of Charity, Ministries (DCM), Inc., the operations area of the Daughters of Charity, Province of St. Louise. In his role as President, Herb oversees the day-to-day operations of the four campuses (Albany, N.Y., Emmitsburg, Md., Evansville, Ind., and St. Louis, Mo.), as well as DCM’s nine sponsored ministries (subsidiaries) based in Emmitsburg and Bladensburg, Md., Chicago, Ill., Evansville, Ind., and Brownsville, Texas. Herb is the first to hold this newly created role; he reports to the Provincial.

Lidiana Ramirez Appointed Executive Director of PJD

Lidiana Ramirez, most recently the Interim Director of Programs at Proyecto Juan Diego (PJD) in Brownsville, Texas, was appointed as Executive Director for PJD. A member of the PJD team since May 2014, Lidiana previously served as a Project Coordinator at the University of Texas Health, Houston, School of Public Health in Brownsville. You may read more about PJD online at (CTRL+CLICK):

Sister Anne Higgins Installed as Emmitsburg Poet Laureate

Sister Anne Higgins was installed as the Emmitsburg, Maryland Poet Laureate. Sister Anne will serve as Poet Laureate for a two-year term. Sister Anne, a native of West Chester Penn., has been a member of the Daughters of Charity for 44 years and has taught at Mount St. Mary’s University for 22 years. Sister has published nine books of poetry.

Sister JoAnne Goecke Honored

Sister JoAnne Goecke was recently honored for 60 years in the classroom! Sister is pictured with the Bishop of Wilmington William Koenig. Sister Joanne currently serves at St. Peter’s Cathedral School.Congratulations, Sister JoAnne!

26 Faith Afire • Spring 2023

The Sisters of Charity Federation Introduces a New, Digital Online Exhibit

“A History of the Sisters of Charity Federation Communities in Objects: A Collaborative Exhibit Commemorating the 75th Anniversary of the Sisters of Charity Federation,” is the title of a new online, digital exhibit. The Daughters of Charity are among the 13 congregations included. Please visit and explore more about the Sisters: A History of the Sisters of Charity Federation Communities in Objects: · Sisters of Charity Federation Archives (

Sister Theresa Sullivan Recognized in Macon, Georgia

In October, Gwenette Westbrooks, President at the Macon-Bibb Branch of the NAACP, and Willie Dumas, presented Sister Theresa Sullivan with the Community Service Discipline Recognition of the 50th Earl T. Shinhoster Award. Sister Theresa is the Executive Director of the Daybreak Day Resource Center that provides support services and a warm welcome refuge to those affected by homelessness in Macon. In November, Daybreak marked its 10th year of service. Daybreak, a project of Depaul USA:

Many Black Students to Benefit from Daughters of Charity Grant to the United Negro College Fund

The United Negro College Fund (UNCF) based in Washington, D.C., recently announced its receipt of a grant from the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul for scholarships to help make higher education more accessible for Black students, especially from lower income families, to go to and through college. The announcement included a statement from Sister Katie Norris, “Like so many organizations in the US today, the Daughters of Charity have delved into their past to examine their explicit and implicit participation in our country’s gross history of slavery and oppression. Having identified specific involvement of their predecessors in Maryland, Louisiana, and Missouri, and knowing that the institution of slavery itself has resulted in an economic disparity out of which they have gained, the Daughters have committed financial resources to invest in Black communities to foster greater economic opportunity, social equity, and racial justice.”

The grant, the largest endowment in the UNCF’s 78-year history, will establish two endowed scholarship programs: the Associates Scholars Empowerment Program for Black students receiving certificates and two-year degrees and the HBCU Scholars Empowerment Program for Black students receiving four-year degrees at predominantly Black institutions (PBIs) and historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs).

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Faith Afire is printed with the environment in mind. In addition to domestic made recycled paper, the energy used to produce this magazine has been offset 100 percent with Missouri wind energy credits procured from the Ameren Missouri Pure Power program. The print facility is one of fewer than 50 SGP certified printers in the US and uses only printing inks that are solvent-free, low V.O.C. and soy based.

Sisters Enter Seminary

In August, Sisters Alex Vizard, Amanda Matkovic, and Molly Smith were incorporated into the Company of the Daughters of Charity. These three Sisters were joined by two Sisters from the Province of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton (California) at the Interprovincial Seminary in St. Louis. Together, the five Sisters now are in the middle of their time of formation and education. Picture above, left to right, are Sisters Marie Rachelle Cruz (immediate past Seminary Directress), Alex Vizard, Elizabeth Greim (current Seminary Directress), Amanda Matkovic, and Molly Smith.


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