Annual Report 2015
S I S T E R S
C H A R I T Y
C I N C I N N AT I
Waking up the
A LETTER FROM OUR PRESIDENT
Leadership ..................................4 Spirituality Center ......................6
Dear Sisters, Associates, and Friends,
Peace, Justice and Care for Creation................................7
Vocation/Formation ...................8 Associates .................................10 Archives ...................................11 Ministry ...................................12 Stewardship ..............................14 Social Justice Fund ...................15 Corporation Board for Sponsored Ministries ................18 Immigration .............................20 S. Blandina Segale, Servant of God .....................................21 Seton Enablement Fund ...........22 SC Ministry Foundation ..........24 United Nations NGO ..............26 On the Cover: During this fiscal year and Year of Consecrated Life the SC Community planned and prepared for a February Open House, two June service days and a Day of Prayer in September. Disclaimer: The information contained in Intercom is intended for general information and educational purposes only. Opinions expressed herein are the views of individual authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinions or policies of the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati. Credits: The following quotes used to capture the theme of this year’s Annual Report are from Pope Francis’ apostolic letter to all consecrated people on the occasion of the Year of Consecrated Life (November 21, 2014): Today’s religious men and women need to be prophetic, capable of waking up the world, of showing they are a special breed who have something to say to the world today. The Church must be attractive. Wake up the world! Be witnesses of a different way of doing things, acting, living! Show it’s possible to live differently in this world. A charism needs to be lived according to the place, times and people. The charism is not a bottle of distilled water. It needs to be lived with energy, rereading it culturally, too. Inculturating a charism is fundamental, and this does not mean relativizing it. We must not make a charism rigid and uniform. When we make our cultures uniform, then we kill the charism.
ope Francis called on all women and men in consecrated life to “wake up the world” when he announced the year of consecrated life, November 30, 2014 to February 2, 2016. He called on us to “look to the past with gratitude,” “live the present with passion,” and “embrace the future with hope.” We Sisters of Charity and Associates are blessed with many reasons to be grateful for the past. We stand on the shoulders of holy, courageous women who dared to risk a caring response to the needs that presented themselves from the time of our arrival in Cincinnati in 1829. Our care for children who were orphaned as a result of epidemics, soldiers who were wounded during the Civil War, migrants who wanted to learn the English language, families who wanted to break out of poverty, students who were eager for an education, are a few aspects of the past for which we are grateful to our fore-mothers. During fiscal year 2015 we lived with passion the opportunities and challenges that presented themselves. In our General Chapter we set a Direction toward whole-making in our relationships with one another, our eagerness to deepen our spirituality, our commitment to strengthen our networks with people on the margins, and our determination to care for our Earth. Our Sisters, Associates, employees, and friends as well as those who serve in our sponsored ministries all took steps to begin to implement this Direction that will carry us forward for the next ten years. The pages of this Annual Report describe a few of those efforts. The blessings of the past and present encourage us to embrace the future with hope. We count on your loving prayers as we respond to the challenges and invitations before us, so that we will faithfully and creatively “wake up the world.”
Joan Elizabeth Cook, S.C.
Energized by the Charism By S. Georgia Kitt and Erin Reder
“A charism needs to be lived according to the place, times and people. The charism is not a bottle of distilled water. It needs to be lived with energy …” - Pope Francis
he excitement of our Sisters during this fiscal year and Year of Consecrated Life has energized the SC Communications Office to promote the mission of the Community in new ways.
The final Day with Religious invited the public to share in the joy and richness of a number of prayer experiences at the Motherhouse. Guests were invited to attend a celebratory Mass in the chapel in addition to afternoon prayer In celebration of the experiences that included Taizé Year of Consecrated Life, the prayer, the Rosary, walking the USCCB called on all religious Motherhouse labyrinth and communities to participate prayerful song. These events in three Days with Religious. and gatherings were truly a Sister Georgia Kitt (left) welcomes guests to the Motherhouse during the The Communications Office highlight of the fiscal year, and February open house for the Year of Consecrated Life. responded and immediately allowed the Community to join formed and led a committee hands and hearts with others to “wake up the world” in new of Sisters and Associates to plan and prepare for a February and creative ways! Open House, two June service days and a Day of Prayer in September. These opportunities were meant to help families learn more about religious life today and develop new and lasting relationships with religious. The first scheduled activity was in February. The Community opened its doors to the public and offered guided tours of the chapel, Art Room and Sisters’ living space and visits with Sisters to discover more about their call. In anticipation the Communications Office created and printed “Motherhouse A to Z,” a publication highlighting the many gems of the Motherhouse; it was well received by guests, as well as Sisters and Associates. More than 500 visitors attended the Open House, and the spirit and joy that were meant to be experienced during the Year of Consecrated Life were evident. In June the focus turned to service, as the committee worked with numerous organizations in and around the Cincinnati area to develop opportunities for families to work alongside the Sisters for the greater good. Close to 85 Sisters, Associates, sponsored ministries and empolyees joined together June 13 and 19 to paint buildings, clear yards, plant flowers and even design cards for human trafficking victims and women and children in detention centers. It indeed resulted in new relationships and friendships. A N N U A L R E P O RT 2 0 1 5
The contributions of two Mount St. Joseph University students – Megan Moore and Josh Zeller – this fiscal year have strengthened our communications through their talented writing skills and enabled the office to communicate through new forms of media. The Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati are now on Instagram! We have 77 followers and are reaching a new audience we may not have been able to connect with otherwise. In addition we continue to adapt our publications and communications efforts through our quarterly magazine, Intercom, website, electronic newsletters, E-Voc and Mission, and Facebook page. Each media relates the mission and charism of the Community to the place, times and people of today. During this Year of Consecrated Life, the Sisters of Charity Communications Office was honored to bring the mission and charism of the Community to new audiences. Through our publications, social media presence, talented feature writing and shared experiences, we were able to show how women religious are continuing to make great contributions to our society. We plan to carry that energy and excitement into this coming fiscal year, and keep searching for new and creative ways to “wake up the world”! 3
Inspiring Human Hearts By S. Mary Bookser
ope Francis’ call to “wake up the world” to the joy of the Gospel is a theme which wove its way through much of our work this past year, leading up to our Chapter assembly in late February and early March 2015. This meeting, which takes place once every four years, develops our Congregational Direction and elects leaders whom the delegates feel can best meet these challenges. Our Four Year Report, presented to the Sisters and Associates prior to this meeting, described our fulfillment of the Chapter challenges from the past four years and expressed “our eagerness to embrace the joys and challenges we meet in our efforts to live the Gospel.” Our challenge to see things whole, led us to base this report on the four calls of our Mission Statement: to act justly, to build loving relationships, to share our resources with those in need and to care for all creation. This intense preparation period and actual Chapter experience was one of the highly significant aspects of the 2014-’15 year. In preparation, our Small Group processes were focused on what the Holy Spirit might be calling us to, in light of three challenges which continue to surface: being at the margins, being collaborative, and living our spirituality. Our Congregational Small Groups are formed to allow the Sisters “to share in responsible leadership” as noted in our Congregational policies. They provide opportunities for Sisters and Associates to share faith, to identify Congregational/Societal/Church needs, to affirm and implement Chapter decisions and more (p. 8 SC Policies). The preparation was guided through the work of the Chapter Planning Committee and the Leadership Council. We were all called into a discernment process through prayer, a reflection journal and again our Small Group processes. We believe the preparation work was inspired
through the power of the Holy Spirit who was regularly called on in our prayer. The results of this intense focus and discernment are well reflected in the Chapter Direction model seen to the left. A summary statement reads: “Called from the beginning of our foundation as Sisters of Charity to address the needs of our world, we move intentionally and creatively toward the vulnerabilities of our Earth and our sisters and brothers. Infused by a spirituality of union with the Divine Mystery within and around us, ‘we journey together toward wholeness.’” In the last days of this assembly we held our “Chapter of Elections,” culminating in the election of the new Leadership Council for 2015-2019. The new Council’s term began July 1. Meanwhile, the current Leadership Team, Sisters Joan Cook, Louise Lears, Lois Goettke, Christine Rody and Mary Bookser, continued leading the post-Chapter work through an all-day reflection on the role of religious in our world, and the place and meaning of the vows of poverty, religious celibacy and obedience in our lives. The day was led by Dominican theologian S. Colleen Mary Mallon. For the sake of the Sisters and Associates at a distance, this was “live-streamed” and archived for further reflection. Following this, the Small Groups were asked to reflect on the Chapter direction with specific insights as to the impact on each member as individuals, and on their hopes for the Congregation as a whole. This past year culminated with the profession of First Vows of two new members, who had been actively present throughout the whole Chapter assembly. In early July, the new Leadership Council members began their ministry for the next four years with a special ritual of installation and joy at our Sunday Community liturgy. Pictured to the right are the newly elected leaders: INTERCOM
Sisters Joan Cook, president, and Louise Lears, Mary Bookser, Marge Kloos and Mary Caroline Marchal, executive councilors. Their work for the next few years is centered in the work of the Chapter assembly. Our Sisters of Charity Constitutions explain the role of the Leadership Council: “The Leadership Council assists in the implementation of the legislation of the General Chapter. While reflecting on the Congregation’s experience and responding to the broad vision of the Church and its needs, the Leadership Council makes decisions delineated in the Directives” Members of the newly elected Leadership Team, beginning July 1, 2015 through June 30, 2019, are (79). Another of our leadership calls is to (front, from left) Sisters Louise Lears, Marge Kloos, (back, from left) Mary Bookser, Joan Elizabeth provide for a pastoral and health care level Cook and Mary Caroline Marchal. of leadership. To this end we are continuing on relationships with one another and with our world, a “Liaison process” through which each Sister of Charity connects with one of 31 Liaisons for help brought to mind much of our Chapter call to sustainable relationships with one another, people on the margins, with pastoral life concerns and needs. Each member of the Leadership Council then interacts with several of these and our Earth, key components of our spirituality and our centeredness in Divine Mystery. Liaisons as needs arise. The Council and the Liaisons have semi-annual meetings for clarification of the Liaison roles The conclusion of the LCWR mandate brought much and concerns. relief to all involved. The LCWR process throughout these Our Chapter Direction is right in line with our work with our 13 Federation communities and our national and regional Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) groups. The Sisters of Charity Federation meeting, hosted by Les Religiouses de Notre Dame du Sacre Coeur, carried the theme of “Deepening Charity for the Life of the World” and complimented Pope Francis’ call to wake up the world to the joy of the Gospel. Our focus
In April, the Leadership Team continued the post-Chapter work through an all-day reflection on the role of religious in our world, led by Dominican theologian S. Colleen Mary Mallon. A N N U A L R E P O RT 2 0 1 5
past years has been a model for all on living our call with integrity, while deepening our relationship with Church in all its meanings. The LCWR Assembly affirmed the interrelatedness of the justice concerns addressed these past several years to establish economic justice, abolish modernday slavery, ensure immigrant rights, promote nonviolence and to protect Earth and its biosphere. We pledged prayer, education, advocacy and collaboration in this work. Pope Francis declared 2015 the “Year of Consecrated Life” and asked those in Religious Life to show the joy our encounter with Christ brings. We are to “look to the past with gratitude” and to “live the present with passion” and “embrace the future with hope.” He further calls us to inspire “in human hearts a passion for all to be one” (Apostolic Letter of Pope Francis “To All Consecrated People”). We believe that our many outreach efforts throughout the year, through our ministries, our social justice commitment, our volunteer ministries, our relationships with all those who live our charism, has indeed reflected, and will continue to reflect his call. Our Sisters of Charity Mission Statement reminds us that we are “urged by the love of Christ and in the spirit of our founder, Elizabeth Ann Seton” we must daily “strive to live Gospel values.” And we do. 5
The Mysticism of Encounter By S. Annette Marie Paveglio
ope Francis encourages us to “Live the mysticism of encounter, which entails the ability to hear, to listen to other people; the ability to seek together ways and means.” I believe this to be the essence of the mission of the Spirituality Center. Directed retreats were offered both in August 2014 and June 2015 while simultaneously S. Noreen Walter, SCL, facilitated a guided retreat on “Vincentian Spirituality: Movements of Grace in Our Lives” in August, and In April, S. Norma Rocklage, OSF, facilitated Women S. Janet Franklin, CSJ, facilitated “Seasons of Beauty, a day focused on beauty around and of the (Holy) Spirit” in June. within us through the SC Spirituality Center. Celebrating the Gifts of Autumn: Beauty, Harvest, Fallowness and Letting Go was an October 2014 Day of Reflection presented by S. Melannie Svoboda, SND. Using Scripture, nature, music, stories, and humor, she helped participants explore ways to emulate this rich season in our everyday spiritual lives. S. Mary Ann Humbert shared one of the most beloved and widely read spiritual writers of the 20th century, Henri Nouwen. His central message, “We are the beloved,” permeated the day and inspired all in attendance. Book Sharing, facilitated by S. Maureen Heverin, focused on Margaret Silf’s book, “Wayfaring - A Gospel Journey in Everyday Life.” Chapters were discussed, allowing participants to experience Scriptural connections and personal reflection time.
“Wake Up the World! Show you have something to say to the world today.” - Pope Francis If you ever wondered how Anger, Guilt, and Shame can affect our Self Esteem and Our Images of God, you would have appreciated S. Olga Wittekind, OSF, who shared with a group on a weekend in November 2014.
“Be witnesses of a different way of doing things, acting, living!” - Pope Francis Ongoing opportunities year-round that help with integration are holistic massage and energy work by S. Mary Fran Davisson as well as centering prayer and spiritual direction. Dan Hartnett, SJ, guided participants in exploring Pope Francis’ transformative vision for both Church and
society in The Joy of the Gospel. The Sundays of Reflection continued to develop the commitment SCs made at Chapter 2011. S. Marge Kloos reflected on “She will Look to the Future without Fear” in November. S. Christine Rody developed “Further Reflection on Poverty: Vow! Virtue? Vision?” in December. Wrapping up in February S. Barbara Hagedorn led us in reflecting on “Hazard Yet Forward: How Will We Write our Story for the Future?”
Advent and Lenten Seasons of the Church year provide focused themes. All Campus Prayer, Reconciliation Services, and Lectio Divina were made available. S. Mary Frances Boyle helped in preparing for Lent with her presentation on the history of the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Other Lenten opportunities were the Art of Passing Over, a retreat day offered by S. Therese Del Genio, SNDdeN, and two evenings of One Silence, One Mercy: A Lenten Retreat with Thomas Merton, facilitated by Christopher Pramuk with prayer, music, and brief meditations on the writings of Thomas Merton. Everyone struggles with the concept of grieving, and perhaps has learned misinformation and behaviors that don’t help. S. Betty Finn provided an overview of a method of Grief Recovery that participants found helpful in dealing with losses in life. Mahatma Gandhi, his life and teaching on simplicity and non-violence was presented by Brennan Hill. S. Jackie Kowalski encouraged a group to refresh their spirit and renew creativity during a Pottery Retreat. With a focus on beauty around and within us, S. Norma Rocklage, OSF, skillfully facilitated a day on Women of Beauty.
“Do we have the same passion for our people, are we close to them to the point of sharing in their joys and sorrows, thus truly understanding their needs and helping to respond to them?” - Pope Francis
Pope Francis’ words clearly remind us to closely examine our planning for retreat and programs by listening to our people, and trying to respond to needs. It is our continued hope to “live the mysticism of encounter.”
Agents of Change By Debbie Weber, OPJCC director
or the 2015 fiscal year, the Sisters of Charity Office of Peace, Justice and Care for Creation (OPJCC) continued its focus on “waking up the world.” We have something to say to the world when it comes to the injustices of our sisters and brothers and to our Earth.
“Wake Up the World! Today’s religious men and women need to be prophetic, capable of waking up the world, of showing they are a special breed who have something to say to the world today.”
Collaborating nationally, OPJCC director Debbie Weber was involved with the Vincentian Family social justice representatives, the LCWR justice and peace promoters and the Sisters of Charity Federation NGO representative to the United Nations.
The mission of OPJCC is to move OPJCC staff and Advisory Committee the work of justice through education, members were involved with several advocacy and action rooted in our Sisters local collaborations such as the Climate of Charity charism, which calls us to be Change Task Force of the Archdiocese of agents of change. Our areas of focus are Cincinnati, the Intercommunity Justice many and include active non-violence, and Peace Center’s Human Trafficking Pope Francis anti-racism, Earth, human trafficking, Committee, the Metropolitan Area immigration, political and church systems, Religious Coalition of Cincinnati, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and women. the Sisters of Charity Corporate Responsibility Committee. OPJCC strives to provide education, advocacy and action OPJCC partnered with Mount St. Joseph University, opportunities for our Sisters, Associates and employees as well mentoring and working with a service learning student and as the local, state, national and international community. We a social work student-intern. have an Advisory Committee of Sisters and Associates and OPJCC hosted in-house events that involved local several subcommittees of Sisters, Associates and friends of the collaborations. Our Mary of Magdala Prayer Service and Sisters of Charity. Congo Week activities reflected how people of diverse cultures Collaboration is at the heart of OPJCC. Much of what we do involves working with our city, state, national and international neighbors. OPJCC partnered with Water With Blessings, an international, clean-water nonprofit founded by an Ursuline Sister. Working with Water With Blessings and the Sisters of Charity Federation, we have thus sponsored women, their families and their communities in Mexico, Belize, Haiti, Nepal and the Philippines.
and religious backgrounds could come together to learn, share and celebrate. The collection of personal care items for End Slavery Cincinnati was a success due to the overwhelming generosity of Sisters, Associates, employees and friends. Our “care bags” full of basic essentials and notes of encouragement were given to women in Cincinnati who are being trafficked. Three Sisters of Charity Congregational offices began to intentionally integrate their ministries. EarthConnection, OPJCC and the Sisters of Charity Spirituality Center partnered to host the second annual Earth Day Fair. The Sisters of Charity family celebrated the positive ways we honor Earth as well as educated each other about steps we might take to further our care of all creation. These three offices also held a prayer service in honor of Pope Francis’ environmental encyclical, Laudato Si’, On Care of Our Common Home. EarthConnection, OPJCC and the Sisters of Charity Spirituality Center anticipate many endeavors together. OPJCC staff, committee members and collaborators look forward to another year of “waking up the world”! Together we are moving the work of social and Earth justice in our city, state, nation and world.
Water With Blessings in Haiti, December 2014. A N N U A L R E P O RT 2 0 1 5
A Special Breed for the World Today By Sisters Janet Gildea, Monica Gundler and Donna Steffen
s Pope Francis encouraged religious women to “wake up the world,” the Sisters of Charity Federation gathered members in discernment, Sisters in initial formation and professed Sisters who had made Final Vows in the past 10 years at the House of Charity in New Orleans for a first-ever Future of Charity sharing event. Since then, the group has met in South Carolina, started a blog and made plans for continuing to share the charism together and support each other. The blog has been read far and wide and is indeed witnessing that in the words of Pope Francis: “Religious men and women … are a special breed who have something to say to the world today.” The weekend following this Future of Charity gathering, the Sisters of Charity Federation again assembled in New Orleans to welcome discerners in religious life at the annual fall “Come and Serve” weekend. Whitney Schieltz attended and began her pre-entrance with the Sisters of Charity as the New Year began; another attendee, Melissa Fisackerly has begun a journey with the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth, Kentucky. Denise Morris also began pre-entrance in the fall as she continued to teach in Kansas with S. Lois Jean Goettke as her contact, joining Romina Sapinoso in pre-entrance in California with S. Louise Lears as her contact. An Advent Adventure/Nun Run was held in December in New Orleans along with the Daughters of Charity and the Marianite and Mount Carmel communities. S. Monica Gundler was emcee for the diocesan-wide Calling All Fifth Graders in New Orleans while Sisters Tracy Kemme, Andrea Koverman and Annie Klapheke spoke to schools and at Theology on 8
The first-ever Future of Charity gathering took place in New Orleans, Louisiana, in August 2014.
Tap in Cincinnati. S. Lois Jean Goettke also participated and encouraged two Martha Dinners for women interested in religious life in Cincinnati and represented the Congregation with other vocation ministers in the Cincinnati area. S. Pat Wittberg was honored at the gathering of the National Religious Vocation Conference in Chicago, Illinois, for her work in vocation ministry. It was a wonderful evening to give tribute with Sisters Lois, Donna Steffen, and Monica Gundler in attendance. Sisters Janet Gildea, Lois Jean, Donna, Monica and Associate Director Mary Jo Mersmann all attended the annual Company of Charity Formation Personnel gathering in Moncton, New Brunswick. The idea of building a house in New Orleans –“The House that Elizabeth Built” – in honor of the Year of Consecrated Life as well as the 40th anniversary of the canonization of Elizabeth Seton and 10year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina seemed to call for a common project. The idea was taken back to the House of Charity with the hope that the Sisters of Charity Federation can bring a family home as a tribute to these special days. As Pope Francis invites: “Be witnesses of a different way of doing things, acting, living! Show it’s possible to live differently in this world.” What better way to witness than “celebrating by serving”? S. Annie Klapheke completed the second half of her Affiliate experience at Casa de Caridad in Anthony, New Mexico, discovering the charism of Charity as it is “lived according to the place, times and people” of the U.S.-Mexico INTERCOM
border. She participated fully in the life contributed a monthly reflection for of the local community while ministering “Horizons,” as part of Global Sisters at New Mexico State University in the Report, an electronic newsletter for the nutrition and dietetics department and National Catholic Reporter. During the volunteering at the Santo Niño Project fall, Tracy and Andrea engaged in the for children with special needs in Mexico. vow reflection process, incorporating Annie participated in the emergency readings on each vow, discussions with response to the refugee families that small groups of Sisters, and also sharing crossed the southern border in the in their Novitiate community. Andrea summer 2014 and in the advocacy also participated in Water with Blessings efforts on their behalf. She transitioned for a week with Debbie Weber, OPJCC to Cincinnati to begin the Canonical director, in Haiti. (From left) Sisters Tracy Kemme and Andrea Novitiate in January 2015. Sisters Annie, Tracy, and Andrea Koverman professed First Vows in June 2015. Annie moved into the Novitiate house participated in the Chapter of affairs community, and began ministering at Healthy Moms & and Elections as non-voting members. Each of them Babes with mentor S. Tricia Cruise. She participated in the contributed in various ways through writing and in liturgical intercommunity novitiate with five Franciscans and a Divine ministries. Providence Novice. She, along with Novice Director Donna After Chapter, Andrea and Tracy applied to make First Steffen, went to the St. Louis Intercommunity Novitiate for Vows. They were both approved by our President S. Joan a five-day workshop on Spirituality and Sexuality in early Elizabeth Cook, in consultation with the Leadership Team, February. on April 21, 2015. This set in motion preparations for the “A charism needs to be lived according to the place, celebration of First Vows. As part of their preparation, they times and people. The charism is not a bottle of distilled made a directed retreat. Sisters Tracy and Andrea professed water. It needs to be lived with energy, rereading it their vows for three years at a Eucharistic Liturgy on June 27, culturally, too.” 2015. Their vows were received by President S. Joan Cook. A dinner and party followed. Sisters Tracy Kemme and Andrea Koverman began their Apostolic Novitiate year on June 28, 2014. Along with some During May, Sisters Annie and Donna spent 10 days with needed vacation time, Tracy spent several weeks ministering with S. Sarah Mulligan in Guatemala, and besides engaging in S. Sarah Mulligan in Guatemala. Andrea helped with the mother various programs at the clinic and school, assisted S. Sarah and and children refugees in the El Paso area for a week, and explored staff as they moved the clinic to a neighboring facility. After how religious communities live in a more sustainable way. returning to Cincinnati, Annie and the Divine Providence Novice enjoyed various spirituality and theology classes. After Labor Day the ordinary time of living in the Novitiate community, ministering 20-25 hours per week, and These fine women certainly have taken to heart the words taking some weekly reflection time began. Andrea ministered of Pope Francis: “Today’s religious men and women need to at the Intercommunity Justice and Peace Center and Tracy be prophetic, capable of waking up the world, of showing with the Catholic Campaign for Human Development they are a special breed who have something to say to the internship through the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. Tracy also world today.”
S. Annie Klapheke (front, center), along with Novice Director Donna Steffen (back, right), went to the St. Louis Intercommunity Novitiate for a five-day workshop on Spirituality and Sexuality in early 2015. A N N U A L R E P O RT 2 0 1 5
Sisters Lois Jean Goettke (left) and Monica Gundler (right) welcome Denise Morris into pre-entrance in September 2014.
Living the Charism with Energy By Mary Jo Mersmann, director of Associates
very fall and spring, when the Associate Advisory Committee meets in the Halloran Room at the Motherhouse, the air is filled with energy, creativity and excitement! That is because each of the members of the committee shares all that is happening among the Charity Family in their part of the country. This past year was no exception as Pat Grubelnik communicated the close connection between Associates and Sisters in Colorado sharing an annual Thanksgiving celebration, Elizabeth Seton prayer service and helping with transportation for those who need it. Geri Anderson told us about the growing group of Associates in Florida even though their long-time spiritual leader, S. Mary Loyola Mathia, moved back to the Motherhouse. They meet regularly and keep the spirit of charity alive through their volunteer activities and outreach. In New Orleans, the House of Charity brings so many people together for prayer and service, shared Ann Laiche. She has gotten to know so many members of the Charity Federation through this connection. There are struggles, as well. Jamie Kelly from Michigan laments that the group there is no longer able to meet but she keeps connected through the website, Update, Facebook and other technology. The Skype Small Group continues to meet monthly with Associates from New Mexico, Colorado, Pennsylvania and Cincinnati. And the Cincinnati Associates remain steadfast in connecting with the Sisters by treating them to four special social events each year, S. John Miriam Jones told us.
“The charism needs to be lived according to the place, times and people ... It needs to be lived with energy, rereading it culturally, too.” Pope Francis told us,
This was so very evident during the “Sharing Our Stories/Dreaming Our Dreams” event last fall when over 100 Sisters and Associates shared their passion for the charism and dreamed about the future. Cathy Colque, S. Mary Ann Humbert and S. Sheila Gallagher communicated responses from the event related to empowering leadership among Associates. S. Andrea Koverman told us how we could get involved in the work of Intercommunity Justice and Peace Center and the Year of Consecrated Life. Associates served in many capacities during the YCL Open House in February. Chanin Wilson and Carla Rush expressed their gratitude for being a part of the Collaborative Leadership Development Program at our spring advisory meeting. They had been participating in this 18-month program for about 10 months at the time and stated that it was “life changing” for them. S. Louise Lears congratulated the Associates for their participation in the 2015 Chapter in new and exciting ways. Those who met in the Rose Room or watched through livestreaming were able to share their thoughts and insights with the delegates. The Chapter Direction statement clearly affirms that Sisters and Associates are responsible for making it come to life! We welcome all Associates across the country to jump in with both feet to carry it out. Over the past year, 12 people have made their original commitments as Associates in Mission and five more have joined the group of those in Lifetime Commitments. There is no still water among Associates, we keep it all stirred up!
Through technology, Sisters and Associates were able (From left) S. Mary Barbara Philippart, Associate to watch Chapter sessions via live-streaming and to Barbara Raymond and Associate Mary McHale share their thoughts and insights with the delegates. connect during the annual Associate Picnic in August 2014.
Associate Lynnessa Gallagher (left) made her Lifetime Commitment as an Associate in the fall 2014.
The Year of Blandina By S. Judith Metz
mong the many projects as well as responses to requests for information, photographs, and tours that are the daily fare of the Archives, this year could truly be called “The Year of Blandina.” From the time the Archdiocese of Santa Fe, New Mexico, began the process of introducing S. Blandina Segale’s cause for canonization to the Catholic Church, we have been integrally involved. In addition the Archives, in collaboration with the Sisters of Charity Communications Office, published a new edition of At the End of the Santa Fe Trail for which we held a booklaunching event. Working with the Promoter of Sister Blandina’s cause, Archives staff has hosted officials from the Santa Fe Diocese twice. We have also transcribed, scanned, and photocopied S. Blandina’s writings as well as located photographs and oral histories stored in the Archives. In addition, we have scanned 21 volumes of the Santa Maria Journals, and are working on verifying the transcriptions against the original manuscripts. Archives staff members have responded to many requests from the Promoter of the cause, testified for a public hearing, and participated in depositions conducted by a canon lawyer. Since the introduction of S. Blandina’s cause, there has been a large amount of public interest in her life. We have responded to numerous requests for information, prepared programs, and made presentations for such groups as the Cincinnati chapter of the Victorian Society of America and visitors to the Flats Art Gallery. We created a display in a second-floor parlor at our Mount St. Joseph Motherhouse, and arranged with the New Mexico History Museum (Palace of the Governors) in Santa Fe to borrow the original ‘carte de visite’ case and photograph of S. Blandina that they hold in their collection. We also manage the sale of At the End of the Santa Fe Trail that entails processing order forms and packaging books for shipping. We collaborated with the Communications Office to produce publications such a pamphlet and a fact sheet about S. Blandina. Other aspects of our work include collecting and organizing material currently being written or produced about S. Blandina that has appeared in such publications as the New York Times, Washington Post, and London Times. We maintain communication with groups involved with S. Blandina such as Santa Maria, San Antonio parish, Segale relatives, and members of the media. With all of the attention being placed on S. Blandina’s life and her cause for canonization, the Archives staff has wholly participated in “waking up the world” to the charism and mission of the Sisters of Charity as demonstrated by the life and works of S. Blandina!
Tours Given During Fiscal 2014-2015 Year of Consecrated Life Open House All Saints Parish Santa Maria White Notebook Group All sections of MSJU freshmen orientation class Girl Scout Troops Resurrection School (Cincinnati) St. Brigid School (Xenia) Ohio High Point High School Sophomore Class Seton High School MSJU Homecoming MSJU faculty, staff, and family members MSJU orientation for new faculty and staff members Bayley St. Joseph Home DePaul Cristo Rey High School Delhi Township staff members Sisters of Charity Federation archivists Tri-State Catholic Archivists Relatives and friends of Sisters
(From left) Sisters Victoria Marie Forde and Judith Metz sign copies of the reprint of S. Blandina Segale’s At the End of the Santa Fe Trail.
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Act Differently! By S. Lois Jean Goettke
ope Francis continues to call each of us to “wake up the world”! In this Year of Consecrated Life, Pope Francis addressed consecrated religious, “Today’s religious men and women need to be prophetic, capable of waking up the world, of showing they are a special breed who have something to say to the world today.” In our world today, we see what we want to see. We practice selective hearing and even more selective seeing, blindness. We are stuck in a certain way of doing things, ‘so please don’t change the script.’ However, our God loves us, approves of us and expects the best from us. We are called “to be witnesses of a different way of acting, living! Show[ing] it’s possible to live differently in this world.” In Matthew’s Gospel, we read of the landowner who went out several times throughout the day hiring workers. Then, at the end of the day, all received the same pay! How radical is that! How generous! Living differently, with new eyes and generous hearts, is stretching Sisters and Associates as they minister with and to those who live on the margins: immigrants, trafficked persons, those living in poverty and all of creation. Pope Francis reminds us, “A charism needs to be lived according to the place, times and people. The charism is not a bottle of distilled water. It needs to be lived with energy. …” Energy is pouring out of the Sisters of Charity through our ministries of education, health care, retreat work, parish, social justice offices, social work, missionaries in Guatemala, Dominica (West Indies) and Mexico, ministry of prayer, volunteering and Congregational service. We say through our ministries that God’s people cannot close their eyes to the pain and suffering of others. We are to live lives of compassion and gratefulness. The Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati are 323 members strong, serving in 26 U.S. dioceses (15 states) and three foreign countries, going where God is already present, making God more visible. We are blest to have 200-plus Associates join us in promoting the mission and ministries of the Sisters of Charity.
S. Monica Gundler (back) with a group of volunteers at the House of Charity.
S. Monica Gundler, vocation ministry, House of Charity, New Orleans, Louisiana Pope Francis calls us to be willing to go out and adapt the charism for these times. Ministry to those on the margins is often in very unusual places. Inviting others to share in our service and be a part of our efforts to make a difference in the world keeps our charism alive. Vocation ministry, volunteer ministry at the House of Charity and healing ministry all work together in inviting the next generation to come and see and serve. When the young people wash the feet of the homeless or spend a day in the heat building a home, they are stretched and humbled. When they share our homes, meals and prayer they learn what religious life is about and how they too can live our call from God in their own lives.
S. Regina Kusnir, director, pastoral and special ministries, Light of Hearts Villa, Bedford, Ohio Religious women have a long history of breaking apart stereotypes. We bring together people from diverse backgrounds and help them appreciate each other. We are not hampered by “no one has ever done it” or “that’s impossible.” Rather, we discern needs and bring together the needy and those who can meet those needs, revealing the unbelievable mystery of God in our midst. The joy and passion with which we do this is the witness that awakens a response in others.
As you read what several of our Sisters share about their ministry, may your eyes S. Regina Kusnir (right) is the director of pastoral and special and hearts be open to living differently in ministries at Light of Hearts Villa in Bedford, Ohio. all ways. 12
S. Teresa Marie Laengle, spiritual direction, Centerville, Ohio Religious are a special breed who don’t fit into the model of society today. By loving all of creation, they are a model of acceptance and appropriate interactions between Earth and all peoples of Earth, no matter who they are. Religious set an example to the world of how to live in harmony with the Earth and all humankind, especially the marginalized – the poor, the homeless, the immigrants, the trafficked, the imprisoned and the suffering. They have the ability to advocate for justice for those who are underserved and abused by the systems that exist in our world today.
S. Teresa Marie Laengle (back, right) offers spiritual direction and retreats for a variety of groups, including women and men who have been homeless and are in recovery.
S. Pat Malarkey, pastoral care, Bayley Senior Living, Cincinnati, Ohio
S. Pat Malarkey (standing) ministers in the pastoral care department at Bayley, a continuing care retirement community sponsored by the Sisters of Charity.
Each day I strive to be aware of the Spirit replenishing my energy to serve as I visit, listen, console, encourage and just enjoy each resident I meet while I travel the halls of Bayley. I’m aware again as I plan prayer experiences for individuals and/or their families, small groupings of residents for shared prayer times, sacramental offerings, or educational opportunities – each moment calls for an openness to so many diverse needs. Just a few weeks ago one of the residents, a devout, life-long Catholic, said to me, “Sister, all of my life I have been aware of a judgmental God watching every move and holding me accountable for my actions. You have helped me to know and to feel God’s love for me as I am. I am no longer afraid of what is to come. Thank you.” I am grateful to be able to do my part to wake up a fear-filled world.
S. Clarann Weinert, professor emerita, Montana State University, Bozeman, Montana
Our charism remains constant and relevant, enabling flexibility and attentiveness to the signs of the times. By nurturing the God-given talents of each member, the charism of the Sisters of Charity is alive and flourishing. With such rich diversity we are able to address local and more global concerns from multiple perspectives – systemic change to direct assistance. Our charism is reflected in the words of S. Joan Chittister, OSB, “People should be able to see in us what God is like. Whatever, we do, we do as a sign to others of the continuing presence of a caring and courageous Christ.” We do reflect what God is as we dare to risk a caring response – we are waking the world to the Joy of the Gospel.
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S. Clarann Weinert (front row, second from left) has served on the Board of Directors of Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing for six years.
Adapting to the Times By Tim Moller, CFO
iscal 2015 Congregational financial results were disappointing primarily due to modest investment returns of about 3 percent for the year. This modest level of return, although positive, was not enough to offset the year’s gap between operating revenue and expense.
the Sisters have read the signs of the times. They call us to join them as they joyfully share the Gospel with a world in need of hope.
Operating inflows were lower than last year primarily due to a demographically driven reduction of support payments transferred from the Sisters’ Charitable Trust, a reduction in Sisters’ salaries due to retirements, lower grant revenue and a smaller surplus from Sisters’ houses and savings.
On the Source side, Investment Income, which includes interest, dividends and realized gains, amounted to 28 percent of Total Income. Retirement Income provided 51.3 percent of Total Income, and includes support payments from the Sisters of Charity Charitable Trust, Social Security and Sisters’ pensions. General Congregational Income amounted to 17.5 percent of Total Income and is primarily comprised of Sisters’ earnings, bequests and support from benefactors. Other Income sources, including the positive impact of actuarial projections related to the lay employee pension plan, totaled 3.2 percent. This plan has been terminated and will be cashed out in Fiscal 2016.
Operating outlays were higher in Fiscal 2015 mostly due to a large retroactive property tax assessment related to the Congregational property in Bedford, Ohio, significantly higher legal fees and health insurance costs, higher payroll cost due to several retirement related payouts as well as salary overlap to allow for an orderly transition to new employees in key positions, significantly higher FAS 87 pension expense, and expenses associated with Congregational committees and related events occurring in Fiscal 2015. The Mother Margaret Hall renovation project was completed and fully operational in May and came in on budget, as revised to provide for delays in state inspections and to reflect increased costs related to adopting a slower construction approach to reduce resident disruption. Looking ahead to Fiscal 2016, investment markets are volatile and mostly negative due to concerns about a global recession, particularly China and the emerging markets. Sisters of Charity cash reserves are sufficient to meet operational needs for the year, in case of a protracted downturn. The Sisters of Charity have adapted to the times over and over again. From ministering to needy immigrants in the mid-1800s, to caring for soldiers on the battlefields of the Civil War, to educating baby boomers and advocating for today’s trafficked and marginalized,
The charts below depict the categories of Congregational income and outflow for Fiscal 2015.
On the Use side, Retirement Related Expenses was the largest expense category at 46.2 percent, and includes costs associated with the care of our retired Sisters. Local House Expenses, which includes living expenses for Sisters living away from the Mount St. Joseph campus, amounted to 14.8 percent of Total Expense. The cost of maintaining Sisters of Charity facilities is reflected in Property Expenses, which totaled 11.1 percent of Total Expense. General Congregational Expenses, primarily comprised of administrative costs, legal and audit fees, insurance premiums and contributions, amounted to 9.0 percent of Total Expense. Unrealized Losses on Investments also amounted to 9.0 percent of Total Expense. Service Department Expenses, net, amounted to 8.0 percent of Total Cost and includes the unallocated costs of Shared Services such as Maintenance, Grounds, Finance, Human Resources and Information Services. Bedford Campus Expenses totaled 2.3 percent of Total Expense; the Congregational residence in Bedford has been closed and alternative uses or a sale continue to be explored.
Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati, Ohio, Inc. Source and Use of Funds June 30, 2015
1 2 3 4 5
Source of Funds Retired Income Investment Income General Congregational Income Pension Actuarial Adjustment Other Income
51.32% 28.04% 17.47% 2.44% 0.73% 100.0%
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Use of Funds Retirement Related Expenses Local House Expenses Property Expenses General Congregational Expenses Unrealized Losses on Investments Service Department Expenses, net Bedford Campus Expenses
46.19% 14.76% 11.11% 8.98% 8.67% 7.95% 2.34% 100.0%
L I V I N G T H E G O S PE L ,
Sharing Our Resources By S. Louise Lears
ith his challenge to “Wake Up the World,” Pope Francis reminds us that the Gospel must be lived radically; it must be the “manual” for our daily living and decisions. Our Congregational Social Justice Fund is a precious resource that allows us, as Sisters and Associates, to practice the Gospel by witnessing to how Jesus lived on this Earth.
“The Gospel is demanding: it demands to be lived radically and sincerely. It is not enough to read it, nor is it enough to meditate on it. Jesus asks us to practice it, to put his words into effect in our lives.”
we shared our resources with national and international organizations that address the root causes of poverty and oppression. Among other strategies, these dedicated groups educate and advocate for the prevention and abolition of human trafficking in all its forms; publish newspapers that are distributed by individuals who are currently without a home; help English language learners become successful in their academic lives; and support efforts to heal our planet.
The needs of our planet are great and some are immediate. During this past year, individual Sisters and Associates In his letter, “To All Consecrated requested funds for clients and others in People,” Pope Francis notes, “In a polarized (Pope Francis’ Apostolic Letter need of assistance with rent, utilities, car society, where different cultures experience “To All Consecrated People”) repairs, medical bills and funeral expenses. difficulty in living alongside one another, They became aware of these emergency where the powerless encounter oppression, needs through their places of ministry and other relationships. where inequality abounds, we are called to offer a concrete During the season of Advent, we sponsored a special program model of community which, by acknowledging the dignity of of matching funds for the not-for-profit organization(s) of each person and sharing our respective gifts, make it possible to each Sister’s choice. live as brothers and sisters.” We were privileged to collaborate with other faith-based Our Congregational Social Justice Fund is one expression groups who share a similar mission to assist people with their of our desire to model community, to make it possible for all immediate needs. Among other opportunities, we were able to to live as brothers and sisters on our beautiful planet Earth. send supplies to a mission group in Liberia to treat those with the Ebola virus; fund legal assistance for families with children from Central Social Justice Fund Expenditures America seeking safety in the United States; provide monies for medications, Fiscal 2015 clothing and other living expenses not covered by Medicare/Medicaid Contributions to for seniors with disabilities; purchase organizations/groups 5% a hot water boiler for Sisters of another that advocate for justice congregation who live and minister in 24% Ukraine; and send financial support Contributions to 44% to Sisters in the SC Federation who advocacy efforts of sponsored ministries minister in Nepal, after the devastating 27% earthquake struck in the spring. Beyond addressing immediate needs, we recognize the necessity to advocate for change in the unjust structures that keep people in poverty. To this end,
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Emergency assistance/ disaster relief Advent Matching Fund
WAKE UP THE WORLD ! 2015 Year of Consecrated Life
Wake Up the World!
4. 1. Guests enjoyed the beauty and unique treasures found in the Motherhouse Art Room during the Feb. 8 Open House. 2. S. Joyce Richter (left) visits with guests prior to their Motherhouse tour on Feb. 8.
3. February Open House volunteers helped in the children’s area where visitors were able to have their faces painted, play games and listen to stories.
4. S. Alice Ann O’Neill’s Suzuki cello students performed in the dining room during the February Open House. 5. Servant of God S. Blandina Segale would have been 165 years old on January 23, 2015. Visitors to the Open House celebrated S. Blandina’s birthday with the Community, as well as her family members (pictured).
7. Elizabeth Riedel (left) was one of the volunteers at Community Matters during the SC-sponsored Day of Mission and Service on June 13. 8. The Year of Consecrated Life volunteers were involved in painting, sanding, staining and garden work at Working In Neighborhoods on June 20.
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6. Friends of the Community joined Sisters on Sunday, Sept. 13 in lifting up their hearts for a Day of Prayer. The Prayer Day was the last of the three Days with Religious planned by the SC Community; S. Judith Metz gave the reflection at the celebratory Mass in honor of Elizabeth Seton.
9. S. Karen Hawver led guests in prayerful song during the Community’s Day of Prayer at the Motherhouse on Sept. 13. 10. Volunteers at Resurrection School in Price Hill worked alongside the Sisters of Charity in June to help plant and weed the school’s grounds. The time spent together enabled lay volunteers to learn more about the contributions the Sisters of Charity are making to the world. 11. Susan Haumesser performed the onewoman monologue “St. Elizabeth Seton, Woman of Faith” in the Motherhouse chapel on Sept. 13.
12. An exhibit celebrating Elizabeth Seton, founder of the Sisters of Charity, was on display in the Cedars Auditorium during the September Day of Prayer. The 40th anniversary of Elizabeth’s canonization was being celebrated that weekend throughout the country and world. 13. Employees and residents from St. Joseph Home of Cincinnati (a sponsored ministry of the Sisters of Charity) gathered at the Motherhouse on June 20 to make cards for trafficking victims and women and children in detention centers.
Building Loving Relationships By S. Joan Elizabeth Cook
he SC Corporation Board for Sponsored Ministries sponsored the biennial All Boards Retreat in October 2014, inviting board and senior staff members to look creatively toward the future as the relationship between the Sisters of Charity and our sponsored ministries evolves. Sister Peggy Ann Martin, O.P. introduced the group to the concept of Public Juridic Person. This type of entity is one way to assure that an organization maintains its Catholic identity as the presence of members of religious congregations diminishes. The CEOs of our sponsored ministries decided to focus together on Building Loving Relationships, one of the values we highlight in the SC mission statement. The following summaries of each ministry’s activities demonstrate their efforts to reflect on the ways they highlighted that value throughout the 2015 fiscal year.
DePaul Cristo Rey High School celebrated its first-ever commencement ceremony, with forty-eight seniors graduating.
DePaul Cristo Rey High School celebrated
a major first-time event: the first commencement ceremony, with forty-eight seniors graduating. Every graduating senior was accepted into college, with a total of $2.9 million in financial aid. This was a milestone for the school, the students, and their families. Throughout the academic year, steps to Build Loving Relationships were integrated into the life of the school in several ways. Campus Ministers and other teachers led students in reflecting on the dignity of the human person, one of the Catholic Social Teachings, in the Humanities Symposium and Friday morning prayer services. Engagement with the Cincinnati community continued to be an essential element of the DPCR experience. Family members participated in volunteer opportunities and parent clubs. Corporate Work Study Partners, numbering 104 at the end of the academic year, provided weekly work experiences for students; end-of-year assessment showed that 91% of students met or exceeded expectations in their CWS placements. This aspect of DPCR’s success continues to depend on a larger number of Partners as the school’s enrollment grows. The school continues its careful stewardship of finances, accommodating the needs of a growing student body with the need for enhanced facilities and a larger faculty. Additionally, DPCR continues to look for the best ways to address often-serious needs of students: poverty, food insecurity, homelessness, and mental health issues are significant social and economic realities. 18
Mount St. Joseph University continued to hone its Vision 2020 strategic plan in light of the challenges to higher education: shifting demographics, financial challenges, and the role of technology in education all have made a significant impact on the University. The Mount answered the call to Build Loving Relationships in a variety of ways. The Mount embraced and supported Lauren Hill in her determination and generosity as she lived with the realities of incurable brain cancer. The University strengthened relationships with DePaul Cristo Rey High School by participating in the Corporate Work Study Program and hosting DPCR’s first commencement ceremony. The Mount continued to build relationships with the Cincinnati community through programs offered by the Center for Ethical Leadership and Social Responsibility and Employee Service Days. In the larger, global community the Mount hosted a group of Tibetan Buddhist monks from the Drepung Gomang Monastery in South India. The monks created a sacred Mandala during their visit. The Education At Work program took a significant step forward when the Mount opened an on-campus Call Center; other co-op and summer work programs provided additional opportunities for students to meet the financial challenges of education. Underserved students and those with learning disabilities can complete college at the Mount through the Upward Bound and EXCEL programs. With the resignation of President Tony Aretz, Joel Thierstein accepted the position of Interim President on INTERCOM
campus and in the local community. In addition, the Adult Day Program on the Bayley campus continued to grow. Several initiatives strengthened administrative and management areas. A new Director of Pastoral Care was appointed to serve the spiritual needs of residents, families, and staff members. A new Vice President of Finance implemented a fully integrated accounting system, and a new clinical software program, Point Click Care, integrates financial and medical records for greater accuracy, efficiency, and security. Joe, one of the four residents of St. Joseph Homeâ€™s first Community Home, cuts the ribbon during the house blessing ceremony.
June 1. The board took preliminary steps in its search for the next President of the Mount.
Saint Joseph Home embraced the challenge of creating a home for non-ambulatory children and adults who have severe/profound developmental disabilities in a variety of ways. It served residents with more complex medical needs than in past years, welcomed a larger number of respite guests, and saw the growth of the new adult day care program. In addition, in January, the first Community Home welcomed four residents who are able to live with less assistance than most of the other SJH residents. All these steps contribute to building loving relationships among staff, residents, and families, for which The Cincinnati Enquirer recognized SJH as a Top Workplace for the third year in a row. Several of these initiatives were taken in response to changing state regulations that encourage smaller settings for those with severe disabilities. The board of directors engaged Plante Moran and GBBN Architects to assist in creating a Ten-Year Facilities Master Plan in order to implement state-mandated changes. At the same time Michael Rench, President/CEO, worked closely with the Values and Faith Alliance to advocate with the state of Ohio during budget negotiations. They focused on the need to continue providing compassionate, loving care to the vulnerable population it serves. Michael will continue his advocacy work after his retirement, scheduled for August 1 when Dan Connors will assume the responsibilities of President/CEO.
Looking to the future, Bayley began a new gift-giving opportunity in the form of charitable gift annuities. And the Mother Margaret George Society reached an enrollment of seventy-five members whose donations pay tribute to loved ones. In addition, Bayley made plans to improve the heating and cooling system and add new memory care units during the coming year.
Seton High School highlighted its hallmark sisterhood, emphasizing mutual respect, compassion, and care for one another in building loving relationships. The school continued its strong academic program, including opportunities for college credit; community service projects involving clean-up efforts and work in the Price Hill community garden; and mission trips to New Orleans and Liberty, KY several times a year. Successes in advancement included growing alumnae involvement, increasing the number of endowed scholarships, and significantly increasing the proceeds from the Annual Fund. The school looked to the future in a strategic planning process that created an administrative team, separating the responsibilities of president and principal. Incoming President Kathleen Allen Ciarla and new principal Karen White, both Seton alumnae, were scheduled to begin July 1 with the retirement of Principal/CEO Donna Brigger. We are grateful to all who serve in our sponsored ministries during these challenging times, and we assure them of our continuing prayers that God will bless them and all the people they serve.
Senior Care Corporation, also known as Bayley, began a year-long celebration of its 25th anniversary. Events included the Fall event, Community Concert, celebratory Masses, Bayley Mission Award, and re-enactments of Saint Elizabeth Bayley Setonâ€™s life and writings. Residents, staff, families, and friends enjoyed participating in these events that strengthened the loving relationships among members of the Bayley community. Bayley continued to serve the growing senior community in the Cincinnati area, opening Bayley Home Services to provide in-home care for clients who live on the Bayley A N N U A L R E P O RT 2 0 1 5
(From left) Jodi Mayhaus, Paul Kocsis and Adrienne Walsh take part in the celebratory Mass at the Motherhouse on Jan. 25 commemorating Bayleyâ€™s 25th anniversary.
Called to Respond By S. Jean Miller
o many opportunities in immigration have called for prophetic action during this 2014-15 year. When 70,000 migrants began entering the United States from Central America and turning themselves over to the Border Patrol, it was obvious that something different was happening. These were women with their small children and unaccompanied minors making long dangerous trips. They weren’t coming to hide in the “shadows”, but openly asking to be received as asylum-seekers fleeing violence in their own countries and danger for themselves and their children. At the same time Pope Francis’ call to religious men and women to “wake up the world” by prophetic action was before us in our hearts and minds as we watched and asked, “How are we called to respond?” These mothers with small children walking across countries with no place to eat or sleep so that they could flee violence tore at our hearts. Where would these women go with no common language, no map showing the way, and with extraordinary debts to “coyotes” who left them in dangerous situations? Parishes, dioceses, religious congregations, other denominations and non-profits all went into action by volunteering to help house and feed the asylum-seekers, challenging the government’s plans to deport, detain or charge exorbitant bonds. Some of the Family of Charity went to help the Sisters in El Paso; Sisters and Associates sent money, clothes, drove to hearings and offered homes, etc. Everybody prayed, wrote, emailed, called and challenged the government to provide dignity, respect and asylum. Together we were all Church “waking up the world! Being witnesses of a different way of doing things, acting, living!” It was one voice responding.
A large group gathered at the Mount St. Joseph Motherhouse on Saturday, June 13 to make cards for trafficking victims and women and children in dentention centers.
Also, a limited comprehensive immigration bill was passed by the U.S. Senate and we worked to encourage the House of Representatives to pass it, or, at least, discuss it. Our legislators received many emails, visits, calls to move forward on the need for legislation. Silence and more silence was the answer to comprehensive immigration reform. Due to the need for reform and the inability to get movement in Congress, the president began announcing executive actions to help parts of the immigration population that could eliminate some of the fear of deportations. Two years ago, we had the opportunity to hear the stories of young immigrant dreamers, who had applied for Deferred Action for Childhood arrivals. They benefited from the executive action. Now we watched with gratitude and excitement for the executive action of the president for the parents of the DACA students. They can be legalized and come out of the “shadows” as they contribute to U.S. society. Unfortunately we have had to watch the Deferred Action for Parents of DACA be blocked. Fear of immigrants exists in our country today as it did throughout our history. The calls for walls, deportation, and detention as solutions touch our hearts and demand new responses. Since our charism calls us “to pray for the wisdom to know the needs of our sisters and brothers and to risk a caring response,” immigration has been a deep and important part of our ministry and concern since our founding in Cincinnati to the present moment. We have responded through prayer, legal action, advocacy and direct service such as education, social service and health care. A more recent corporate stand unites us in this ministry today so as we watch the various needs of immigrants from different countries, we remember Pope Francis’ words in the statement for the Year of Consecrated life, “Inculturating a charism is fundamental, and this does not mean relativizing it. We must not make a charism rigid and uniform. When we make our cultures uniform, then we kill the charism.” It seems through the years this issue keeps appearing in various forms as our response has also changed according to the situation. Today we hear the fear in society and yet put ourselves in situations and places that help us understand in new ways the plight and situation of those asking entrance into our country and our hearts. May we continue to Wake Up the World, especially those who live in fear, to the beauty and gifts of those who come to join us in changing our world while changing each other.
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Sister Blandina Segale...year in review By S. Georgia Kitt
“Today’s religious women and men need to be prophets, capable of waking up the world, of showing they are a special breed who have something to say to the world today.” - Pope Francis
s this not true of our Sister Blandina Segale? More than 150 years ago as she was ministering to the Native Americans, immigrants, prisoners and pioneers of the Southwest (1872-1893) and later while assisting the Italian immigrants in Cincinnati (1897-1930) she woke up the world. Her works are relevant and inspire our responses to needs and issues today. Together we do have something to say to the world.
of status.) The reader’s soul is connected to Gospel service and a sense of humor as well. Five of our Sisters have given depositions on S. Blandina’s behalf to canon lawyer, Father Oscar Coelho, promoter of justice, for Blandina’s cause. They are: Sisters Loretto Burke, Janice Ernst, Victoria Marie Forde, Annina Morgan and Judith Metz.
Our Sister of Charity Archives has shared interviews regarding her life and helped prepare countless materials of valued writings, letters and personal information that are required in preparation for the Vatican hearing. Advanced art students at Mount St. Joseph University continue to narrow their considerations for a design sculpture, representing this inspirational woman. Sister of Charity Roberta Westrick has completed a santo depiction of Sister Blandina As we recap the happenings in her cause which is included in the newly completed Sister Santo by S. Roberta Westrick, SC for canonization over this past year we find Blandina parlor on the second floor of the many interested in S. Blandina’s writings and her good works. Motherhouse. Other items include valued artifacts, a short They are fellow pilgrims, young and old, classroom teachers video about her life and a current portrait of Sister Blandina, seeking inspirations for their students, graduate students on loan from the Palace of the Governors, Museum of New attracted by her virtues. They have connected with us from Mexico. Her family members, living in the Cincinnati area, Idaho, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, England and the have been active, attuned to new findings and involved. Philippines, to name a few. They see and support her consistent The New Mexico Chapter of Physicians for a national ethic that all deserve justice and a right to a better life. health plan have named Sister Blandina as patron saint for We have continued to create channels for Servant of universal health care. They see in Blandina a woman seeking God Sister Blandina Segale to become better known. The solutions when she came upon controversy. “The genuine Community’s social media vehicles are frequently updated, charity of the mission makes me forget the hardships attached along with a landing page offering resource listings (including to it,” says S. Blandina. educational materials for children), links, narratives, prayer As the time to present her cause to the Vatican, led cards and a novena. We have worked with local media to by the board of St. Joseph’s Children, Albuquerque, New make her story known. Print articles in each issue of our Mexico, nears the Historical Commission (appointed by the quarterly magazine include features to better acquaint our Archdiocese of Santa Fe) collects documents on her life and readers with S. Blandina’s life and ministry. Two local TV ministry and is preparing testimony from dozen of witnesses affiliates have aired features on her. of persons who knew her ministry. The first session of three The reprint of her book, At the End of the Santa Fe Trail, was held in Albuquerque in August; they are to prove, on has been well-received. More than 1,525 copies have been a diocesan level, the heroic sanctity of S. Blandina. The sold to date, with requests for more than 1,000 in the coming plans include gathering information on her heroic virtues months. The values she ascribed to in her journal are most and witness’ testimonies in time for a December meeting in applicable to any generation. (Whether she is bandaging Rome. Two miracles are required to be canonized as a saint injured gang members, educating those written off or in the Catholic Church. forgotten, or challenging prejudice, racism or a question A N N U A L R E P O RT 2 0 1 5
SETON ENABLEMENT FUND
Living Differently By S. Martha Walsh
s this report is being prepared, part of my time has been spent watching Pope Francis on television as he stirs the thousands of people who have come to see him. They are electrified by the generous, deep joy that he shares with all. Recently he has suggested that as consecrated religious we must be willing to, “Wake up the world! Be witnesses of a different way of doing things, acting, living! Show[ing] it’s possible to live differently in this world.” When the Seton Enablement Fund was being talked about in our Sister of Charity Chapter of 1979, there were those who suggested to us on more than one occasion that we were being foolish and naive. They cautioned us that in doing what we were proposing, people would take advantage of us, not repay their loans, and we would lose our money. Here we are, some 36 years later, and our revolving loan fund (Seton Enablement Fund) continues revolving, with very little loss of capital. We see this as “doing things,” showing “it is possible to live differently.” The Seton Enablement Fund is counterintuitive in the sight of most in the world. We serve primarily not-forprofit organizations who are unable to get reasonable loans, if any, at banks. This affords us the opportunity to meet with, at least on the phone and through email, the leaders of these organizations. They are dedicated men and women who could probably get a higher paying job in the for-profit sector, but have chosen to do this work for the sake of the kingdom.
world.” And I would like to suggest that we, Sisters of Charity and Associates, are being awakened by these groups we serve. They are often in the position of begging for a loan from us so they can continue to strengthen their ministries. They come humbly. This in turn calls us to humbly respond. In Article 10 of our SC Constitutions, we are reminded of the words of St. Vincent de Paul: “It is only for your love alone that the poor will forgive you the bread that you give to them.” The Article goes on to say that, “we also acknowledge that those we serve have gifts which they minister to us.” We receive their gifts as graciously as we serve. Below are examples of some of the people we are serving through our loans. While this is certainly a response to Pope Frances’ call, it is also a response to our 2015 Chapter Direction statement: “Called from the beginning of our foundation as Sisters of Charity to address the needs of our world, we move intentionally and creatively toward the vulnerabilities of our Earth and our sisters and brothers. Infused by a spirituality of union with Divine Mystery within and around us, we journey together toward wholeness.” The Seton Enablement Fund is as relevant today as it was when it was created in response to the 1979 Chapter mandate “… to witness to our corporate call to justice … to invest a portion of the total unrestricted investments … for enablement of the oppressed in developing themselves.”
We are being encouraged by the pope to “wake up the
HERO, the Greensboro, Alabama-based member of the Fahe Network, is engaged in an historic renovation of Greensboro’s Martin School.
When finished the school will provide before and after school programs for 100 children, YouthBuild classes during the school day for 28 out-of-school youth, community access to the commercial kitchen to develop new products, and a community room for meetings and classes.
Yamileth received a loan from Working Capital for Community Needs through MiCredito to start a small fish shop. Photo by Michael Kienitz.
STATISTICS AND DOLLARS ALLOCATED AS OF JUNE 30, 2015 Total loans/investments
Locations of loans/Investments
Arkansas California Colorado Connecticut Florida Illinois Indiana Kentucky Maine Massachusetts Michigan Mississippi Nebraska North Carolina New Hampshire
Committed funds distributions Low-Income Housing Community Development, Co-Ops, Land Trusts Business Ventures Other
25 16 22 6
Total Current Loans and Deposits as of 6/30/15
Since Inception of the Program (1979) Cumulative Number of Loans / Investments = 366 Cumulative Dollars Loaned / Invested = $25,800,500
2 1 3 2 1 1 2 2 2 2 4 1 2 1 1
New Mexico New York Ohio Oklahoma Ontario, Canada Oregan Pennsylvania South Carolina Texas Vermont Wisconsin Washington Washington, D.C. Zambia, Africa
6 6 9 1 1 2 3 1 1 1 2 3 5 1
There are loans that are domiciled in the United States but serve foreign countries including: Ecuador, Haiti, Peru, Malawi, Uganda, South Africa, Armenia, Georgia, Guatemala, Nicaragua, India, Botswana and Nigeria, among others.
Loans/Investments for FY 2015 • Fahe, Inc. • Fonkoze • Global Partnership Microfinance Fund #4
• HDC Community Fund • Midlands Housing Trust Fund • Shared Interest #6
Organization Spotlights Fahe According to its website, Fahe is a not-for-profit based in Berea, Kentucky, that serves Appalachia through affordable housing, community development, and job creation. Fahe is a network organization with members and partners operating throughout the Appalachian region. HERO is the Greensboro, Alabama-based member, focusing on housing, community development, and the utilization of local resources for unique economic opportunities in Alabama’s Black Belt where one-quarter of the residents live below the poverty line. Presently HERO is engaged in an historic renovation of Greensboro’s Martin School. When finished it will provide before and after school programs for 100 children, YouthBuild classes during the school day for 28 out-of-school youth, community access to the commercial kitchen to develop new products, and a community room for meetings and classes. The mission is to create life-changing opportunity by providing a platform for peer exchange, training, technical assistance, and access to capital and finance opportunities. Its network serves tens of thousands each year through this collaboration, bringing hope to Appalachia, at scale. The Fahe Membership Network consists of 50-plus nonprofit
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housing organizations across the six states of Kentucky, Tennessee, West Virginia, Virginia, Alabama, and Maryland. By collaborating with organizations that are an established part of the community Fahe can more effectively impact regional issues such as energy efficiency, health, education, and the growing need of our large elderly population. Working Capital for Community Needs (WCCN) Nancy Metzger, executive director of WCCN, says in her annual report, “At WCCN, our definition of investing goes beyond expending money with the expectation of achieving a profit or material result. We believe investing is a two-way experience. It is sharing, trading and receiving something valuable, material and nonmaterial, from each other. We select our partners with that principle in mind and I believe our supporters select WCCN with the same prin¬ciple in mind.” Indeed we do. Here is the story of one woman in Nicaragua who is benefiting from the loan she received from WCCN through MiCredito: Yamileth said she had nothing until she got her first loan from MiCredito, a partner of WCCN. With the money she received, she was able to procure the materials she needed to start a small fish shop. Now, she is able to feed her three children, clothe them, and send them to school. She hopes they will continue improving her fish-selling business when they grow up. (WCCN annual newsletter)
Waking Up the World T H RO U G H PH I L A N T H RO P Y By S. Sally Duffy and Amelia Riedel
“‘Go into all the world;’ these were the last words which Jesus spoke to his followers and which he continues to address to us. A whole world awaits us: men and women who have lost all hope, families in difficulty, abandoned children, young people without a future, the elderly, sick and abandoned, those who are rich in the world’s goods but impoverished within, men and women looking for a purpose in life, thirsting for the divine…”
he above passage from Pope Francis, taken from his apostolic letter on the occasion of the Year of Consecrated Life, describes many of the needs that are being addressed by the nonprofit organizations which receive support from the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati and SC Ministry Foundation. The fundamental purpose of SC Ministry Foundation is to support the organizations identified with the Sisters of Charity through grants, capacity building and collaboration, with the aim of increased viability and growth. In the fall of 2014, a new funding channel was created to provide new opportunities to support those organizations, and to engage more Sisters in the ministry of philanthropy.
The Sister Elise Grant
S. Elise’s strong, innovative spirit and model for stewardship was the reason she was chosen as for the first funding channel to be named after a Sister of Charity. The process of requesting a Sister Elise Grant is unique in that a Sister initiates the request through consultation with a nonprofit’s executive leader. Together they complete a onepage application form, described by Sisters Janet Marie Wehmhoff and Sue Verbiscus as “wonderfully simple.” During the pilot year for the Sister Elise Grant, 29 grants were awarded to 19 nonprofit organizations, including three sponsored ministries. Grant amounts ranged from $500 to $3,000 per Sister, for a total of $65,800 awarded in the 2014-15 fiscal year. Thirty-six Sisters of Charity participated in the new grant process, with many of them collaborating to support a common organization.
The Sister Elise Grant was designed as a small grant to support programs or projects where a small amount of money can make a big difference. The grant was named in honor of S. Elise (Elizabeth) Holleran, (1894–1970), who entered the Sisters of Charity in 1912. She ministered as a teacher and principal in Tennessee, Ohio and Colorado before earning her master’s degree in business administration from Columbia University in New York City. She returned to Cincinnati to teach business at the College of Mount St. Joseph and served as chair of the business department until 1944, when she was elected treasurer for the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati. During her tenure as treasurer, S. Elise was widely respected for her financial acumen and stewardship of investments. She advised Catholic hospitals across the country and lectured to various groups of investors, business managers, and administrators. Among her Sisters, she was known for her strong faith, perseverance, personal kindness, support of education and for the poor. 24
(From left) Sisters Janet Marie Wehmhoff and Sue Verbiscus participated in the Sister Elise Grant request for the Women’s Homeless Initiative at St. Ignatius Loyola Church in Denver, Colorado.
A Small Amount of Money Can Make a Big Difference The inaugural Sister Elise Grant, initiated by S. Teresa Marie Laengle, was awarded to the Ignatian Spirituality Project in Dayton, Ohio. S. Teresa serves as a retreat minister for homeless men and women recovering from addiction. The funding provided Bibles, candles, and other materials needed to facilitate transformational experiences. The Ignatian Spiritualty Project reported, “Participants in the retreats achieved peace, a sense of hope for the future, and came to realize that they are loved by God and can accomplish anything with God’s help.” Eight sisters who serve as members of the staff or board of Seton High School collaborated to request Sister Elise Grants to enhance student life. Sisters Teresa Dutcher, Sally Duffy, Mary Jo Gasdorf, Mary Dolores Schneider, Sandy Howe, Annette Paveglio, Patrick Ann O’Connor and Thelma Schlomer participated in the request to help Seton students increase their community involvement and mentoring skills through the Adopt-a-Class program; deepen their faith and social awareness through mission trip experiences; participate (From left) Sisters John Michael Geis, Marianne Van Vurst and Jane Bernadette in advocacy for the unborn through the March for Life; and Leo at St. Rita School for the Deaf. increase awareness for stewardship of the Earth through a field trip to the Rumpke landfill and recycling center. In addition, services, the national staff had the unique opportunity to the funds provided liturgical materials, science equipment, interact directly with the immigrant women and gain insight and technology improvements. S. Sandy Howe, Seton’s on the legal process that can be shared with other CLINIC community service coordinator, shared, “This funding made staff and affiliates. a difference for our students and staff by enhancing student These are only a sampling of the many success stories that learning, enhancing our liturgies, and providing opportunities have resulted from a Sister Elise Grant. As this small grant for students to engage in activities with others in our continues to make a big difference in the lives of others, the community and beyond.” mission of the Sisters of Charity will continue to “go forth Students at St. Rita School for the Deaf are benefitting into the world.” from the support of Sister Elise Grants for classroom technology that utilizes projectors and dual boards for With Gratitude for our Sisters multi-sensory instruction. Sisters John Michael Geis, Jane SC Ministry Foundation is deeply grateful to all Sisters of Bernadette Leo, and Marianne Van Vurst participated in Charity of Cincinnati for their dedicated service and faithfulness. the requests. Their commitment to the students at St. Rita’s We appreciate the 36 Sisters who “dared to risk a caring response” was illustrated in remarks from S. John Michael, “I shouted by participating in the pilot phase of the Sister Elise Grant to with joy when Greg [St. Rita’s executive director] told me of support the ministries for which they are so passionate. the recent check you sent to our school. It touches my heart We are grateful for the service of the Sisters who serve on deeply.” S. Marianne added, “I am sure S. Elise gives a smile our board and board committees, and who shepherded the every time a grant is awarded in her memory.” process of creating a new funding channel: Sisters Joanne Vulnerable women and children who have been Burrows, Joan Elizabeth Cook, Mary Marcel DeJonckheere, imprisoned in the detention center in Dilley, Texas, are Sally Duffy, Lois Jean Goettke, Karen Hawver, Maureen getting the legal assistance they need thanks to a Sister Elise Heverin, Louise Lears, Carol Leveque, and Patrick Ann Grant to Catholic Legal Immigration Network (CLINIC). O’Connor. S. Sally Duffy, who serves as a board member for CLINIC, In the words of Pope Francis, “You will find life by participated in the grant request to provide the opportunity giving life, hope by giving hope, love by giving love.” for trained legal staff from CLINIC’s national headquarters in Washington, D.C. to travel to assist the local staff in Texas. May all that you give come back to you in overflowing While relieving some of the overwhelming demand for legal bounty. A N N U A L R E P O RT 2 0 1 5
Waking Up to the R E A L I T I E S A RO U N D U S By S. Caroljean Willie
the Integrity of Earth and multiple n Pope Francis’ letter to task forces. S. Faith Colligan, DC, religious for the Year of has represented the Federation Consecrated Life he states, on both the Committees on “Today’s religious men and Financing for Development and women need to be prophetic, Social Development. capable of waking up the world, of showing they are a special This past year I attended breed who have something to the Sisters of Earth Conference say to the world today.” One of in Leavenworth, Kansas, and the venues in which religious men gave a presentation on the work and women, and specifically in of Catholic Sisters at the UN. this article the Sisters of Charity While in South Korea to present seminars on systemic change and This biannual gathering brings the Vincentian Family’s commitment to engage in systemic change, Federation, hope to “wake up together women from across the S. Caroljean Willie visited more than 20 of the missions of the Korean the world” is through the United United States and Canada who Sisters of Charity of Greensburg, Pennsylvania. Nations (UN). Participating on a have a special interest in and daily basis in this global arena gives commitment to environmental sustainability. This is a key issue us the opportunity to put a human face on the very real needs for many religious at the UN. and sufferings of the people we serve. I received an invitation to give two week-long seminars to One of the gifts we bring to the UN is our international the Sisters of Charity in South Korea. The presentations were presence. We often work in difficult places with few resources, on systemic change and the Vincentian Family’s commitment to but with a firm belief in the dignity and value of every person. engage in systemic change in ministries throughout the world. I The Sisters of Charity Federation, 3,400 members working in 28 also had the opportunity to visit more than 20 of the missions of countries, is an official non-governmental organization (NGO) the Korean Sisters and attend an audience for religious by Pope at the UN with special consultative status with the Economic Francis during his Korean visit. and Social Council (ECOSOC). As the main representative of The Department of Public Information (DPI) held its annual the Federation for the past eight years, my primary objective conference in New York again after holding it a number of years was not to promote the work of the Federation, but to bring the concerns of our members and all those with whom and to whom in other countries due to the UN renovation. Liaisons from congregations throughout the Federation attended. they minister throughout the world to this global stage and to connect the lived experience of our members at the grassroots with world decision-makers. I have also been part of an informal group called Religious at the United Nations (RUN). The members of RUN (55 Catholic religious congregations of which 40 have full-time representation at the United Nations) increasingly recognize the importance of collaboration, not only among ourselves, but also among our members at the grassroots level. Collectively we are present in 159 countries. Committee membership provides the opportunity to work with other NGOs on issues that are of importance to our members. I have served on the Committee for Social Development, the Committee for Sustainable Development, the Sub-Committee for the Eradication of Poverty, the Committee of Religious NGOs, an interfaith collaborative, the Education Committee, the Working Group on Poverty and Climate Change, the Working Group on Sustainable Development and 26
UN orientation sessions were held for women in formation from the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati and Leavenworth and for the Associates and Sisters of Charity of Nazareth. Participants heard from a variety of NGOs about their work at the UN in the areas of human trafficking, international law, global citizenship, migration, interreligious dialogue, social development, financing for development and environmental sustainability among other topics. Tours of the UN were also included. I was asked to be one of two key-note speakers for the 60th anniversary celebration of the Religious Formation Conference at gatherings in Albany, New York, Seattle, Washington, Chicago, Illinois, San Antonio, Texas, and Atchison, Kansas. The topic was “Living on the Margins of Possibility” and allowed me to include not only my own experiences in religious life, but also highlight what religious women are doing throughout the world using examples of very innovative projects shared by other NGO religious at the UN. INTERCOM
Through relevant adult education programs, effective partnerships, and applicable research, the Coady Institute is equipping community leaders and their organizations with the knowledge and practical tools needed to bring about the change they want for themselves. This past fall the Coady Institute, established at St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, Canada, in 1959, invited me to be the guest social justice chair. Coady is a world-renowned center of excellence in community-based development and leadership education. It is committed to reducing poverty and transforming societies by strengthening local economies, by building resilient communities, and by promoting social (From left) Sisters Julie Cutter, DC, and Caroljean accountability and good governance. As the social justice chair I worked with staff and students from Willie in Paris, France, for a meeting of the multiple countries to share insights about the UN, International Vincentian Family. microfinancing, sustainable development and systemic change. It was definitely a mutual sharing as I learned a great deal from both staff and students about organizational strategies, leadership development, and the realities in countries as diverse as Ethiopia, Eritrea, Belize, India, Bangladesh and many others. The information they shared proved invaluable in my work at the UN. Throughout this year a great deal of emphasis was placed on the formulation of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). These goals are one of the main outcomes of the Rio+20 Conference. These goals will build upon the Millennium Development Goals (MDGS) and converge with the post 2015 development agenda. It was decided to establish an “inclusive and transparent intergovernmental process open to all stakeholders, with a view to developing global sustainable development goals to be agreed by the General Assembly.” In contrast to the MDGs which were a product of member states and placed the burden of responsibility for the eradication of poverty on the poor countries themselves, the SDGs are a product of the input of thousands of NGOs and their constituents throughout the world as well as global leaders. The 17 SDGs which will be presented to the General Assembly in September 2015 for ratification, place the burden of responsibility for the eradication of poverty, sustainable and social development on all countries citing the need for “common but differentiated responsibilities.” I completed my two four-year terms of office at the UN at the end of January 2015. My successor is S. Teresa Kotturan, a Sister of Charity of Nazareth originally from India. S. Teresa brings a wealth of experience to the position having served as a congregational leader in India and as the congregational vice president headquartered in the United States. She brings a very concrete understanding of the realities confronting those who live in poverty through her many ministries throughout India. This understanding will be invaluable as the Federation NGO. S. Teresa is continuing to follow the issues which are of greatest importance to Federation members: social development, the eradication of poverty, sustainable development, trafficking and migration. Since S. Faith Colligan, DC, who followed financing for development for the Federation retired in March, S. Teresa has continued our presence on that committee. Religious men and women do indeed have something to say to the world today. Daily at the UN they are reminding world leaders to “wake up” to the realities of poverty and environmental degradation as well as the very concrete connection between climate change and poverty. They truly are witnesses to a different way of doing things and remind those around them that it is possible to live differently in this world, not only through their words, but by sharing the concrete examples from their members and those with whom and to whom they minister in more than 150 countries. A N N U A L R E P O RT 2 0 1 5
Intercom is the quarterly magazine of the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati. This apostolic Catholic women’s religious community exists to carry out the Gospel of Jesus Christ through service and prayer in the world. Approximately 320 Sisters are joined in their mission by 206 Associates (lay women and men). Sisters, using their professional talents as ministers of education, health care, social services and environmental justice, live and minister in 26 US dioceses and in Guatemala, Mexico and the West Indies. They also sponsor institutions to address education, health care and social service needs, with particular concern for direct service to the poor.
Intercom Staff Editor Erin Reder Graphic Design/Layout Michelle Bley Director of Communications S. Georgia Kitt Executive Council Liaison S. Mary Bookser Advisory Committee Members: S. Mary Ann Flannery S. Karen Hawver Mary Jo Mersmann S. Joyce Richter S. Frances Maureen Trampiets Vicki Welsh Letters to the editor, articles and photos are welcome. The staff reserves the right to edit for space and readability. Make submissions to: Communications Office 5900 Delhi Road Mount St. Joseph, OH 45051 Phone: 513-347-5447 Fax: 513-347-5467 Email: email@example.com Subscriptions: $15 per year
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“Today’s religious men and women need to be prophetic, capable of waking up the world, of showing they are a special breed who have something to say to the world today.” - Pope Francis