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Holy Union Sisters


IN THIS ISSUE: Holy Union Internationality Meet the 2013 Jubilarians Mother Helena Fund in Action


I cal l you friends



JOHN 10:10

Dear Friends, The fall season invites us to ponder the richness of God’s blessings over the past year and to lift up our hearts in profound thanks. For the three of us, as we begin our ministry of Leadership, it is truly a time of gratitude and grace. Among the special blessings that continue to mark our lives as Holy Union are all of you who through your prayer, encouragement and shared resources support and enable our mission in so many ways. As our friends and partners in Gospel response, your generosity images the many disciples who so quietly and readily supported the mission of Jesus. Thank you.

Newly-elected Leadership Team: Srs. Patricia Heath Mary Lou Sullivan Yvette Ladurantaye

It is also a time of grace and of openness to God’s Spirit, who leads us into ever-widening circles of collaboration for justice. Working together, we strive to transform what divides and oppresses, into streams of life that make visible the reign of God. One of these graced opportunities for us was our recent participation with over 800 women religious at the 2013 Assembly of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious. It began with a powerful, reflective presentation by Sister Ilia Delio OSF on the interdependence of all God’s creation. Our gathering culminated with resolutions and actions in solidarity that addressed gun violence, human trafficking and humane immigration reform, issues which cry out for response from us as friends of Jesus. As you stand with us in our particular outreach as Holy Union, so too, your support, dear friends, is a part of an ever-widening circle of God’s love and care. We continue to count on your prayer and partnership.

We, Holy Union women, are called to commit ourselves anew, in our beautiful but broken world, to share Jesus’ promise of abundant life.




From the Office of Mission Advancement

Left-right – Lorraine Accardi, Sr. Patricia and Joan Melanson confer on future events

Where wou ld w eb e wi thout fri ends?

We all have varying levels of friendship with people. Some friendships are formed in childhood. As adults we build some lifelong relationships. Many people are casual acquaintances. As Eleanor Roosevelt said, “Many people will walk in and out of your life, but only true friends will leave footprints in your heart.” Jesus points us to the deepest meaning of being called friend. His friends, the disciples, were chosen to manifest the love of God to all whom they met. This is our wonderful heritage. The fruit that Jesus’ friends were sent to share is the love that flows from and bears witness to life in union with God – a holy union. You, dear friends, help the Holy Union Sisters to respond to Jesus’ continuing call. You are a vital part of the Holy Union Sisters’ ability to bear fruit in today’s world. Through your financial support, Holy Union ministry is alive and bears much fruit. The Mother Helena Fund reaches into the lives of young people through counseling services. It is in the sharing of personnel and financial resources that you assist in the formation of the young Holy Union Sisters in Cameroon. You support the sisters who educate adults to spread the Gospel and the senior sisters to deepen their ministry of prayer. The Holy Union Sisters are most grateful for your continued support and as Jesus did, we gratefully call you friends. Patricia Butler, SNDdeN, Director OFFICE OF MISSION ADVANCEMENT



Making wideranging contributions to Catholic Faith Formation in the US Holy Union Sister Alice Michael, SUSC serves as the Rite of Christian Education (RCIA) and Children’s Faith Formation Coordinator for the Brooklyn Diocese. She is a Christian educator, writer and lecturer whose contributions to the U.S. Catholic Church go far beyond Brooklyn. As a member of the North American Forum on the Catechumenate, she is a leader, trainer and teacher, and a former Executive Committee member who generously shares her gifts across the United States. Because she is fluent in Spanish, Sr. Alice has been invited to speak to groups all over the United States.

Sr. Alice Michael with RCIA team members in Oakland, CA

continued on page 7



People &Places We see God present and active in the holy mystery of the universe – always asking us to play our part while relying on God’s grace.

Bettina came to the realization that all she was being asked to do was “to try to live and appreciate each God-given moment and give thanks.”

Here I was, after all the months of planning, embarking on a

Thanks to Bettina for providing the accompanying photographs

journey I had only previously dreamed about doing. Life is indeed a gift.

Bettina Maccariello, SUSC, who lives in Essex, England has fond memories of family holidays camping in Wales. This led her to pursue studies, leading to a Master of Science degree in Outdoor Education from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland. In the summer of 2011, she undertook a five week solo bicycle journey from Land’s End, the furthest western point in mainland England to John O’ Groats in Scotland. This 876-mile journey marks one of the longest distances between two inhabited points in Great Britain, known as LeJog (Lands End to John O’Groats.) Sr. Bettina’s journal of this journey was published in 2013 in The Tablet, an international Catholic news weekly. http://www.thetablet .co. uk In the 2-part article, entitled “How Travel Broadens the Heart” Sr. Bettina shared how, what started as a personal cycling ambition, evolved into a journey of the soul. A friend advised her that on the journey, “It is really important to take time to reflect, to ponder, to be”. This advice led her to develop her more reflective side and to take time to nurture her spiritual self. Deciding what she really needed for the journey became a metaphor for what is needed on life’s journey. The gospel quote “Do not

carry gold or silver… or an extra shirt or shoes or stick.” Mt 10:9-10 became her packing guide as she asked herself what she really needed to leave behind. On her journey there were places she wanted to stop: Skelmersdale in Lancashire where she had spent time as a novice living in a community of Holy Union Sisters, at the Garden of Remembrance in Lockerbie, Scotland, site of the Pan Am plane crash in 1988. In Dunblane she stopped to recall the 1996 massacre of sixteen school children and their teacher. Along the way, Sr. Bettina met many people with whom she shared her stories and grace-filled moments. When she arrived back in Essex after five and a half weeks of pedaling, a total of 1,431 miles, Sr. Bettina quickly found that it was impossible to hold on to the many precious moments of her journey. She came to the realization that all she was being asked to do was “to try to live and appreciate each God-given moment and give thanks.” To read Sr. Bettina’s complete articles visit:



Srs. Elizabeth Ngwe Joan Guertin, Meranda Ching, Margaret O’Reilly, Norah Neh, Pauline Cowie and Prudence Takwa pose following the final vow ceremony.



Loving God, as you promise abundant life to all, lead us from intention into action. Help us to commit ourselves anew to live the gospel and to share its message with all your people.

ameroon Sisters experience CHoly Union Internationality of Christ. Sr. Pauline collaborated When Cameroonian Sisters Meranda with Sr. Joan on the retreat. Ching, Norah Neh, Elizabeth Ngwe and Prudence Takwa professed All three of the visitors had final vows on September 7, previously spent time in they were very much aware of Cameroon and so this was their membership in an interan opportunity to renew national congregation present acquaintances and share on four continents. In the remembrances. Srs. Pauline months preceding the vow and Joan attended the final ceremony, Holy Union Sisters vows liturgy held at Sts. Pauline Cowie from the AngloPeter and Paul Church, in Hibernian Tanzania Province, Ndop where Sr. Margaret Gisela Vandoorne from the O’Reilly, Superior General Franco-Belge Province, and from Rome, received their Joan Guertin from the United vows. A joyous celebration States Province, traveled to followed the final vows Cameroon to share their wisceremony, which for the first dom and expertise with the time took place in a parish Sr. Meranda pronounces young Cameroonian sisters. At her final vows church. the invitation of Sr. Caroline Njah, superior of the Cameroon Region, At the Collegial Assembly, the participants Sr. Gisella, a Belgian sister, coming from wrote: “In a time of unprecedented change for the cradle of the congregation, offered our world and in the Congregation we are presentations on the history of Holy becoming, we choose to live in a life-giving Union. Sr. Pauline shared on the Holy relationship with ourselves…” This sharing of Union Constitutions, the rule of life folwisdom and experience of sisters from lowed by all Holy Union Sisters. Sr. Joan Europe and the United States with the led the retreat on the vows of chastity, youngest members of Holy Union is a poverty and obedience as radical following concrete living out of this choice.

Top left to bottom: Sr. Elizabeth and her parents Sr. Norah and her mother Sr. Meranda and her parents Sr. Prudence and her parents




Holy Union

Jubilarians 75 Years Sr. Antoinette Landry (Sr. Anne Pauline) 70 Years Sr. Virginia O’Hare (Sr. Agnes William) Sr. Gabrielle Maria Petitpas Sr. Bernadette Piche (Sr. Jeannette Dolores)

65 Years Sr. Claire Bergeron (Sr. Claire Celine) Sr. Jeanne D’Arc Fournier Sr. Marilyn Gignac (Sr. Agnes Celine)

60 Years Sr. Maryellen Ryan (Sr. John Marie) Sr. Barbara Kirkman (Sr. Isabel Mary) Sr. Helen McPeak (Sr. Peter Maria)

• Recognize a name? • Would you like to reconnect or send a congratulatory note? • Send communications to:

50 Years Sr. Frances Cavey (Sr. Ann Robert)

Mother Helena Fund



Lisa Manning Sr. Marie Baldi, principal at St. Michael School, Fall River was faced with a dilemma. The diocese no longer had funds to provide a much-needed counselor for the school. For the past two years, School Counselor Lisa Manning had visited the school regularly. Teachers were enthusiastic about the work she did with individual students as well as with whole classes. When the funding was cut, Sr. Marie didn’t know how Lisa’s services could continue at St. Michael. Then she thought of the Mother Helena Fund, named in honor of the leader of the first group of Holy Union Sisters in the United States. Sisters can apply to this fund to respond to the needs of women and children. Sr. Marie applied and received a grant which would pay for Lisa’s services. continued on page 7

Left: Lisa Manning and students Hailey Aguiar and James O’Leary.


Sr. Alice Michael continued from page 3

Sr. Alice has a passion for the RCIA, because she believes it is essential to the life of the Church. There are a lot of “best kept secrets” in the world and Sr. Alice’s wide-ranging service to the work of evangelization in the Church is one of them.

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• The Holy Union Sisters who

assist immigrant children ages 4-12 with supportive after-school educational services

• The Holy Union Sisters who

provide Haitian children with a nourishing daily meal and basic developmental skills please cut on dotted line

She educates the trainers who in turn train others in this faith-based process. Thus more and more people are able to reach out to the large numbers of both adults and children who come to the RCIA program. It is Sr. Alice’s belief that this process will affect the whole parish community in its discipleship.


Lisa infuses her counseling with Christian values, always stressing with the children the importance of Jesus in their lives. Working with the second graders, she uses the “Our Father” to help them see that they must treat other students, as they want to be treated themselves. Lisa is grateful to be working in a parish school where there is a strong emphasis on the place of faith in the lives of both teachers and students. Sr. Marie and the teachers at St. Michael consider themselves fortunate to have such a skilled counselor who builds on the Catholic values they are instilling in their students.



From her childhood, Lisa Manning knew the importance of education. She learned this from both her parents and her teachers at Sacred Heart School and Sacred Hearts Academy, Fall River. She believes that her Catholic school education as well as her counseling degree from Salve Regina University, gave her the tools to be an effective counselor. Lisa recalled that her Holy Union teachers “knew how to run schools”. She sees this same academic climate at St. Michael School.

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Please partner with us by financially assisting us in sustaining our sisters in ministry and in their retirement years, so that they may continue to share the Gospel message with all God’s people.

Lisa Manning continued from page 6



Make checks payable to: Holy Union Sisters


• The Holy Union Sisters whose

ministerial presence among the poor is vital in Benin, Cameroon and Haiti

• The Holy Union Sisters in the

United States whose volunteer ministries bring joy and comfort to many of the elderly

Everywhere and always, O God, let us reveal our love by responding to the needs of the poor, the oppressed and the victims of violence. We Holy Union women proclaim the dignity and rights of all. (Art. 53)

Ever wonder where your former Holy Union teacher or colleague is today? You can find out by completing the form on Patricia Butler, SNDdeN Holy Union Sisters U.S. Province Mission Advancement Director PO Box 410, Milton, MA 02186-0006 (617) 696-8765 ext 19 Fax: (617) 696-8571 Mary Lou Simcoe, SUSC Communications Director 550 Rock Street, Fall River, MA 02720-3436 (508) 674-0909 Designer: Anne Martens Plymouth, MA 02360 (508) 224-2648 Proof Reader: Lorraine Chipman, MFIC (617) 696-8765 Printer: Image Resolutions Norwell, MA





Remembering Holy Union in Your Will As you provide for loved ones in your will, you can leave an additional amount for your charitable interests. You can name a specific amount, a percentage of your estate, or any remaining assets for the Holy Union Sisters. If you would like more specific information, please contact: Mission Advancement Office at (617) 696-8765 ext 19 or

Online Donations Please visit the Mission Advancement page at in order to: • Learn about an Invitation to Partnership that outlines some specific Holy Union ministry needs • Make an on-line donation • Begin estate planning to benefit the Holy Union Sisters • Learn about the Memorial Program

Response is published twice a year by the Mission Advancement and Communications Offices for friends and families of the Holy Union Sisters.

Holy Union Sisters - Response Fall 2013  
Holy Union Sisters - Response Fall 2013  

Response is published twice a year by the Mission Advancement and Communications Offices for friends and family of the Holy Union Sisters.