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Annual Report 2012

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“We only need to recognize the movement, step into the flow and be carried by it.� - S. Pat Farrell, OSF

A Letter From Our President Dear Sisters, Associates and friends,


t is a crisp October day here in Cincinnati, Ohio, as I write this letter to you. The sky is a clear blue and the leaves are bright red and gold – autumn’s finest. A few leaves float gently to the ground. The year is coming to an end, and we pause to reflect on its triumphs and challenges. At the annual assembly of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) this summer, S. Pat Farrell, OSF, spoke in the spirit of the seasons in her presidential address. She quoted Christopher Fry:

Contents Leadership.................................. 4-5 Spirituality Center..........................6 Vocation/Formation.......................7 Peace, Justice and Integrity of Creation.....................................8 Associates.......................................9 Ministry................................. 10-11 Social Justice Fund.......................12 Archives.......................................13 SC Ministry Foundation........ 16-18 Stewardship..................................19 Corporation Board for Sponsored Ministries.............. 20-21 Seton Enablement Fund......... 22-23 Immigration.................................24 Congo..........................................25 United Nations NGO............ 26-27

“The human heart can go the length of God. Cold and dark, it may be But this is no winter now. The frozen misery of centuries cracks, breaks, begins to move. The thunder is the thunder of the floes. The thaw, the flood, the up-start spring. Thank God, our time is now when wrong comes up to face us everywhere Never to leave until we take The greatest stride of soul that people ever took Affairs are now soul-size. The enterprise is exploration into God ...” For Fry, winter becomes a metaphor for the suffering that confronts us everywhere: economic hardship throughout the world, political and social unrest in many sectors, religious tension within and among the churches, personal loneliness and anxiety in families and communities. He challenges us to embrace the up-start springtime of our Now. The pages of this year’s Annual Report tell the story of our efforts to do so. Our strides of soul include strengthening our SC identity through the Caritas Convocation and the efforts of our Spirituality Center, Vocation and Formation Teams and Archives staff. Our Corporation Board for Sponsored Ministries; SC Ministry Foundation; Office of Peace, Justice and Integrity of Creation; Seton Enablement Fund, Social Justice Fund, and United Nations NGO presence have organized our efforts to serve as Gospel women. Our Finance Office has called all of us to responsible stewardship of our funds. We exclaim with Christopher Fry, “Thank God, our time is now.” Let us all pray with and for one another as we continue the enterprise of exploration into God.

On the Cover: Cover photograph taken in South Padre Island, Texas, by S. Marty Dermody. 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.



S. Joan Elizabeth Cook President Intercom

Mem-bits This column by S. Benedicta Mahoney offers brief glimpses of the past, tiny bits of memories. Do you remember? Were you there? Did you know? March 8, 1926 – Among the first Sisters of Charity to become naturalized citizens was S. Patrick Sinnott. Kate Sinnott, a native of County Wexford, Ireland, migrated to the United States in 1904. She entered the Sisters of Charity in 1915. In 1926, while she was in Santa Fe, N.M., she became an American citizen. The list of Sisters of Charity naturalized through the years included Sisters from Africa, Canada, China, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Switzerland and Wales.

S. Patrick Sinnott

February 1937 – S. Francina Nichols, one of three Sisters of Charity patients at the Daughters of Charity Hospital, St. Joseph Retreat (for the mentally impaired) in Dearborn, Mich., wrote to Mother Mary Regina Russell, thanking her for sending her to St. Joseph’s for 10 years. She told Mother how nice everything was at Dearborn – Mass every day; movies every week; and “a lovely orchestra of our own.”

Jan. 24, 1939 – S. Marie Genevieve Kallaher died in Colorado Springs, Colo. Sister was commemorated in Eleanor Roosevelt’s syndicated column “My Day.” Before S. Genevieve had become a Sister of Charity, she had been a personal friend of Eleanor’s, whom she had met in Washington, D.C. Sister was then the private secretary of the Secretary of the Navy, Franklin Lane. Eleanor’s husband, Franklin D., was at that time Assistant Secretary of the Navy.

In Memoriam Please visit “In Memoriam” at for biographical information and reflections on the Sisters of Charity and Associates who have died. May our Sisters and Associates enjoy the fruits of their labor as well as peace with their God. S. Dorothy Macey November 18, 2012 S. Genevieve Bankowski November 17, 2012

S. Marie Genevieve Kallaher

S. Mary Carol Wintzinger November 1, 2012

March 19, 1950 – The first issue of Community News Sheet was received in all Community houses. Its announced purpose was to keep everyone posted on happenings at the Motherhouse and in all of the workplaces of the Sisters of Charity – five states, at that time. Among the news items included were the progress of the Motherhouse chapel painting; the groundbreaking for the Guardian Angels convent in Detroit; and the appointment of S. Barbara Geoghegan to the position of supervisor of Sisters of Charity secondary schools.

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A Hopeful Future

“To never do alone what can be done together” is the covenant that the 13 members of the Sisters of Charity Federation made at the June 2012 annual meeting in St. John, New Brunswick, Canada.

By S. Mary Bookser, executive councilor


his “Golden Jubilee” year of Vatican Council II is filled with many blessings; it has contained a few major shock waves, as well. As Sisters of Charity who are subject, as is the whole Church, to the mandates and doctrine of Vatican Council II, we followed the mandate to return to our roots and community charism. This resulted in many changes throughout these past 50 years. What has not changed is our deep “passion for God” – for being so enflamed by our love of God that we strive to become the heart and hands and voice of Christ. This is the embodiment of the Gospel message, wherever we live and minister. In her wise address at the 2012 LCWR assembly, S. Pat Farrell, one of the presidents of LCWR, spoke of our need to navigate the shifts, the large and small changes we have undergone and continue to undergo. She reminds us that we can only do this through contemplation, through solidarity with the marginalized, through community, through speaking with a nonviolent, prophetic voice, and by living in joyful hope. (This address can be found by visiting the LCWR website:

(and men) have called on us to be an authentic, prophetic, Catholic, feminine voice, and to stand in our integrity. LCWR requests that we center ourselves in contemplative prayer, asking for God’s help to navigate the shoals, while seeking productive and respectful dialogue regarding the purpose of LCWR and the mandate of the current investigation. We continue to ask God to guide and direct all involved.

During this past year we have had many moments of joyful, hopeful living, and some others which rocked our “navigational directions” a bit. On a national level, the Sisters of Charity Leadership Team has been part of LCWR, Federation and Vincentian Family meetings and events. The investigation of LCWR, in light of other problems in our Church, has caused a ripple of ramifications felt by many throughout the United States and beyond. It has been a long time since Catholic Sisters have seen such demonstrations of support and so much media attention about who we are and what we believe and do. Women

Our LCWR keynote speaker, Barbara Marx Hubbard, emphasized that in our collaborative methods we have helped in many social justice arenas, but perhaps as importantly, have shown a model of leadership which is desperately needed in our fractured world. On a national level, as in many of our congregations, we strive to be guided by the “leadership of the whole.” At LCWR and at the Federation meetings, as well as in our own SC meetings, we attempt to really listen to one another, and to discern the call of the Holy Spirit together, before moving on major decisions. Dr. Hubbard notes this is a striking model,


The message of the LCWR, Federation and Vincentian family is that we need to collaborate, that we may truly live the call of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We are challenged to collaborate among our congregations and with other Church leadership in our efforts to bring about the systemic change called for in our Catholic Social Teaching documents. We are encouraged to collaborate in addressing so many areas of poverty and ecological destruction in our world. We are called to recognize the “seamless garment” of life rights, from birth through death, for humans throughout our world and for other members of our Earth community.


In our 2011 Chapter Assembly and during our recent Congregational Days we used three interlocking circles to view our lived realities and to look forward to the future. These three circles, of our Identity, our Purpose and our Stewardship, continue to structure our overarching vision. They are interconnected through our Charism, our Mission and our Vision. This model framed the work of Our Chapter Assembly, and continues to direct our leadership today.


and one that must spread, for the good of our world. Identity: Who We Are Together


io Vis

Purpose: Our Mission and Vision Together



Stewardship: How We Do This Together

Associates within our Family of Charity united with us in this exploration. We recognize at the center of this is an ever deepening understanding of our relationship with God, with our Church as “the people of God,” and with the rest of our Earth family (human and non-human). And we ask how this impacts our ways of discerning God’s call in the present, and into our future together. Sometimes this organic and evolving understanding can get a little messy and chaotic, but S. Pat Farrell reminds us that “the Spirit of God still hovers over the chaos.”

As we look back over the past year, we seek to determine how we responded to our Chapter directives and directions. Since we no longer have a pastoral level of Networks, the Chapter assembly directed us to find new ways to help meet pastoral and health care concerns of our Sisters. Through prayer and discernment, and the help of those with time and energy to be involved, we developed an ever-evolving liaison process. At the same time, we offered options in the reformulation of our small groups. Both are part of the many ways we have worked to fulfill the call for a model in which “leadership of the whole” is incorporated.

We have heard the call of our Sisters and Associates for greater involvement in planning our “moving forward” processes. You have seen and will continue to see a request for volunteers to aid in this. We are working to increase our use of social media for the sake of mission and have improved some of the equipment and access to training of our Sisters at the Motherhouse, while encouraging all of us to continue to update in this area. We see on a daily basis how social media has changed our ability to communicate, and how it impacts much of what is occurring in our world today.

In our small group discussions, involving both Sisters and Associates, we continue to look at issues which surfaced through our Chapter assembly, and through needs in our world today. We have met (or engaged in prayer ministry) regarding immigration reform and various aspects of our care for creation. We have been encouraged to use our small groups to continue to deepen our relationships within the Charity Family. Currently we are focusing on the call to look at ourselves as “Ecclesial Women” with authentic voice in our Church. We have two wonderful women who have joined us as Affiliates, others in pre-entrance, and 200

At the beginning of this article we spoke of S. Pat Farrell’s LCWR address. Her message is strong, acknowledging that while navigating all of the shifts in our lives, in our Church and in our world may be painful, it’s a natural part of “evolutionary advance” and it heralds “a hopeful future.” She assures us of her belief that we are “being readied for a fresh inbreaking of the Reign of God.” We only need to “recognize the movement, step into the flow and be carried by it.” Finally, she reminds us “We have a lifetime of being lured into union with divine mystery” and that this is our “truest home” – together.

Throughout the year, small group discussions looked at issues which surfaced through the Chapter assembly, and through needs in the world today. A nnual R eport 2 0 1 2


N avigating with A

Spirit of Contemplation By S. Annette Marie Paveglio


he Spirituality Center, through its annual offerings, tries to encourage people to “step into the flow and be carried by it.” That flow is none other than the mystery of God’s love, alive and well among us. One need only listen to the voice of God within. To that end we have offered a variety of opportunities for this to happen. Longer retreats provided additional time for contemplation Among the eight-day retreats offered were a six-day conference retreat in June presented by Melannie Svoboda, SND, and one in August by Fr. Tim Schehr. Remembering and Living on in Peace was a prayer service commemorating the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Praying Our Goodbyes was a prayerful gathering of Sisters and Motherhouse employees to share memories and their grief around so many deaths of Sisters of Charity, relatives and friends within a few months time.

John Quigley, OFM, presented two Lenten Reflection Sunday afternoons.

Looking for Goodness: The Heart of our Spiritual Journey, a retreat day, was a highlight for the year with Pat Livingston, a nationally known speaker and award-winning author. Pat had the unique gift of opening the 85 participants to the beauty of their own stories with their special truth of God’s present love. There were one- to three-day retreats

The four Sundays of Reflection this past year focused on our vows and the call to be ecclesial women with SC presenters Sisters Mary Ellen Murphy, Carol Leveque, Louise Lears and Mary Bookser.

Among those retreats were The Triduum Retreat presented by S. Carol Brenner; RCIA Retreat facilitated by Sisters Rita Hawk and Maureen Heverin; and Creator, Reshape My Heart: God, Steady My Spirit presented by S. Wanda Smith, RSM.

For those seeking more contemplative opportunities, Introduction to Centering Prayer was offered, and Sisters Annette Paveglio and Mary Jean Fields conducted six follow-up sessions to the introduction. A Centering Prayer Weekend Retreat was presented by S. Carol Brenner, S. Pat Marie Bernard and Associate Liz Maxwell. A continued practice is weekly Centering Prayer on Wednesdays. Bridges to Contemplative Living with Thomas Merton was facilitated by S. Maureen Heverin in a Sunday and Tuesday series, and Lectio Divina took place during Lent.

John Quigley, OFM, presented two Lenten Reflection Sunday afternoons, focusing on Why Does Our Idea of God Change So Much? and The Last Week of Jesus’ Life, which followed the activities and preaching of Jesus during the week before his death as described in St. Matthew’s Gospel.

One-day programs nourished souls in a variety of ways These programs included Teilhard de Chardin: Lessons from a Modern Day Mystic presented by S. Barbara Leonard, OSF; Rumi: Mystical Poet of the Heart presented by S. Donna Steffen; Stitching the Spirit and a Retreat for Mothers and Daughters presented by Associate Judi Sauerbrey; Mysticism and Music presented by S. Mary Ann Humbert; Book Sharing on “Tattoos of the Heart” facilitated by S. Maureen Heverin; Wrestling with God presented by Fr. Norm Langenbrunner, and Walking the Labyrinth led by Sallie Hilvers. An artistic approach to prayer titled Feel Like You’re Going to Pot? was led by S. Jackie Kowalski in a series of three Saturdays providing the opportunity for participants to not only refresh their spirit, but renew their creativity. 6

The Way of Forgiveness, an eight-week program based on the Companions in Christ series, was facilitated by Mary Hallinan and Carol Bourne. It was a small group experience focusing on healing personal, relational and institutional wounds through forgiveness and reconciliation. All Campus Prayer services were offered every other month, and communal Reconciliation Services were provided in Advent and Lent. S. Mary Fran Davisson, licensed massage therapist, continues to offer wholistic opportunities throughout the year. S. Sandra Schneiders, IHM, reflects in her presentation That was Then…This is Now that ministries like the Spirituality Center are “concerned with the thirst for meaning and transcendence of so many people in our world whose urgent personal quest for psychological and spiritual growth and wholeness, for centeredness in a fragmented world, often finds little or no spiritual nourishment in institutional religion of any stripe.” It is our mission in the Spirituality Center to provide opportunities to quench that thirst. Intercom

Navigating the Waters By Sisters Janet Gildea and Monica Gundler


nviting, welcoming, accompanying and forming women in the process of discerning a vocation to vowed membership with the Sisters of Charity can often be an experience of “navigating the shifts.” So much of the work of discernment involves awareness of the Spirit that “blows where it will.” From the initial stirrings of the call, through the choppy seas of uncertainty, into the rapids of relinquishment or the doldrums of God’s silent times, we have the privilege of companioning women who are risking the quest for God in religious life. Our efforts in vocation promotion continued to focus on personal contacts and service projects, especially in collaboration with the SC Federation. Service trips in New Orleans, La., offered the opportunity to share our charism while providing direct assistance to persons still suffering the effects of Hurricane Katrina. Annual events like Chillin’ ’N Grillin’ with the Sisters and the springtime garlic mustard pull give students at the College of Mount St. Joseph and Seton High School a chance to know us in a casual setting. As busy as young people are, they make time for service to others a priority and enjoy working shoulder-to-shoulder with Sisters. Sisters also represented the Congregation at various parish and diocesan vocation fairs. S. Monica Gundler is in contact with many women who have expressed an interest in religious life. Over the Labor Day weekend the Federation vocation directors hosted a “Come and Serve” experience at the House of Charity for women discerning a vocation to religious life. We also collaborated to offer a Federation online discernment retreat during National Vocation Awareness Week in January. Twenty-three women participated from locations as far away as England and Germany. E-Voc, a monthly newsletter for women discerning life directions, is another online resource available on the Congregational website. Our initial formation process aims to find a balance of flexibility and structure that allows women the time and personal support they need to navigate the waters of discernment. The first step of the process, Pre-entrance, is a time of coming to know the Congregation and exploring the call in the context of our SC charism. On the Feast of the Annunciation, March 25, 2012, Tracy Kemme entered into formal discernment with the Congregation with her Preentrance prayer service. She and Andrea Koverman completed their applications for the next stage of the journey, Affiliation, and celebrated the new Affiliate Rite of Welcome with the A nnual R eport 2 0 1 2

Students from Seton High School joined S. Pat Wittberg (second from right) on April 21, 2012, for the annual garlic mustard pull at the Mount St. Joseph Motherhouse. The opportunity provides students with a chance to get to know the Community in a casual setting.

Congregation in the Motherhouse chapel on June 24, 2012. The year of Affiliation offers an opportunity to live in SC community in Anthony, N.M., while continuing in ministry. S. Janet Gildea directs the Affiliate program and will work with Andrea and Tracy as they enter into discernment about proceeding on to canonical Novitiate that would begin in Cincinnati during the summer 2013. S. Donna Steffen accepted the call to Congregational service as director of Novices in January 2012. Her appointment and her work this year to prepare the Novitiate experience is indeed an act of faith as described in Hebrews 11:1: “We hope for things yet unseen.” Bayley House has been designated the site of the canonical Novitiate and the formative community will include Sisters Nancy Bramlage, Maureen Heverin, Carol Leveque and Terry Thorman. For these Sisters, too, this is a time of navigating the shifts of their life in community, as they create a new space together with canonical novices. The challenges of the past few years do not seem to have caused women to question the validity or the viability of religious life in the U.S. To the contrary, the public spotlight and appreciation for women religious and their ministries have emphasized the vitality and commitment of Sisters today. Women called to come aboard at this time in our history will help us navigate the new waters we encounter with a lively faith, joyful hope, and extravagant love. 7

Agents of Change By Debbie Weber, OPJIC coordinator


A crowd gathered on July 22, 2012, in the Cedars auditorium at the Motherhouse for the Mary of Magdala Prayer Service.

his past year the Office of Peace, Justice and Integrity of Creation (OPJIC) has seen many changes. It started with S. Jean Miller filling in as interim coordinator while S. Louise Akers was on sabbatical. Administrative assistant Christy Cauley left for another position in November 2011 and our new administrative assistant, Sue DiTullio, was hired in January 2012. Then came the announcement from S. Louise Akers that she would be retiring. The hiring process for a new coordinator began and that brings us to the newest change for OPJIC: Coordinator Debbie Weber.

(Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors) came to the Motherhouse to talk about their experiences. The office has provided immigration materials for Small Group discussion. Many Sisters and Associates are continually involved in immigration issues.

Despite these administrative shifts, OPJIC carried out remarkable endeavors this past year. The leaders, advisory board and committee members have worked passionately to educate all of us. They offered us ways to advocate for those on the margins and they offered actions so that we too can become agents of change.

As a result of the 2010 Congregational Stand regarding human rights violations in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the office was involved in several awareness-raising events at Seton High School, the College of Mount St. Joseph and the Motherhouse. “Pray for Congo” continues to be the first Monday of each month.

Care of Earth is a priority issue for the office. Three discussion groups formed after reading Lester Brown’s book “World on the Edge: How to Prevent Environmental and Economic Collapse.” S. Paula Gonzalez gave the first of two talks on the controversial and often confusing issue of fracking. S. Paula explained what fracking is and offered alternative energy solutions. Celebrating and honoring women is ongoing for OPJIC. At the prayer service for St. Mary Magdala, Mary Jo Blankemeyer, M.A., gave a moving reflection: “End the Silencing of Catholic Women.” The Celebrate Women Calendar was an extensive project to honor women as agents of change throughout the world. The movie “Not for Ourselves Alone” about Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony was shown on three different occasions. Our Violence Against Women committee began their efforts to bring S. Joan Chittister, OSB, to Xavier University on April 4, 2013. S. Joan has accepted and will talk about the many forms of violence against women all over the world. The 2007 Congregational Stand on Immigration has been, and is, a priority for OPJIC. Two panels of DREAMers 8

During Lent, the office presented an inspiring DVD discussion series. The DVDs featured Anthony Padovano, .. Hans Kung, Joan Chittister and James Carroll who were major presenters at the American Catholic Council in 2011.

The widening income gap, and its consequences, between those who are wealthy and those who live in poverty is alarming. To educate us, and to do so on a personal level, the office offered the Wealth Gap symposium. S. Louise Akers, S. Barbara Busch, Marilyn Evans, S. Ruth Kuhn, S. Louise Lears, Tim Moller and Josh Spring talked about how the widening wealth gap applies to their ministries. The year wrapped up with three movie showings during the Caritas Convocation breakout sessions. “Mary of Magdala,” “The Hidden Tradition” and “Pink Smoke” all drew large attendances as well as lively discussions. These movies are now available in the OPJIC Resource Room. OPJIC continues to navigate the changes in our office, including the physical move of the office to the second floor of the Motherhouse. Despite these shifts, we embrace our mission by moving the work of justice through education, advocacy and action rooted in the Sisters of Charity charism, which calls us to be agents of change. Intercom

Joyful Hope By Mary Jo Mersmann, director of Associates


y far, the biggest event in the past year regarding the Sister-Associate relationship was the Caritas Convocation held at the end of June 2012. The dedicated Steering Committee spent the two years before preparing, developing and implementing those plans. The dream of this gathering became a reality when 150 Sisters and Associates spent four days together in discussion and prayer, laughter and tears. The speakers, breakout sessions and entertainment are still to be remembered and talked about six months after the event. Last year, in an Intercom article, I suggested the June 2012 Caritas Convocation would be a time when we Associates would “get input from those gathered about how we can stay grounded in the charism, how we can stay connected in light of our changing demographics, how we can empower one another to be leaders in creating a network and web of relationships, and have a great time while doing so!” Many conversations at the Motherhouse in June focused on these topics and for sure, those who attended the Caritas Convocation had a great time together. But I think what happened more clearly was that the Caritas Convocation: Convening, Complementing, Committing facilitated the Chapter 2011 mandate to “Create and implement a process for mutual exploration of the relationship between Sisters and Associates.”

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A deeper understanding of the relationship was actually experienced. Does this help us to stay grounded in the charism? You bet! A greater knowledge of one another was apparent. Does this help us stay connected? Undoubtedly! Can we continue to build a web of relationships? Certainly! Over the past year eight women made their original commitments as Associates in Mission. And more than 20 Candidates applied and/or began the process of Initial Formation across the country. And, more than 190 Associates renewed their commitment for another year. Is this a changing time for us, a time of shifts and twists and turns? Certainly! Do we know what is ahead? No, but we are ready to navigate these changing times more than ever before. S. Pat Farrell’s presidential address at LCWR explained, “we can navigate the large and small changes we are undergoing through contemplation; with a prophetic voice; through solidarity with the marginalized; through community; nonviolently; and by living in joyful hope.” The Caritas Convocation participants experienced community in a new way, spent time in contemplation and prayer, spoke together non-violently and gave joyful hope to me, to the Steering Committee members, to the Leadership Team and hopefully to the future of the Sister-Associate relationship for the Family of Charity.


Loving Presence in Chaotic Times By S. Lois Jean Goettke


y our ministry we seek to testify to God’s active presence in and among peoples. We desire to witness to our experience of the Lord’s love and reinforce by the testimony of our lives that God is present in and concerned about human affairs.” SC Constitutions, No. 5 The Sisters of Charity Constitutions describe an awesome mission and challenge. Our lives of service are God’s call to each of us to love our brothers and sisters with compassion, ministerial presence and action. What might those ministries of presence look like today in this time of crisis, yet a hopeful place to be for the Church and the world? In S. Pat Farrell’s presidential address, “Navigating the Shifts,” our world challenges us to face this time of crisis with “contemplation; with a prophetic voice; through solidarity with the marginalized; through community; non-violently; and by living in joyful hope!” A lecture that ties in well with S. Pat’s talk is one given by S. Sandra Schneiders, “Women and Spirit,” that takes the traditional works of religious and places them into four clusters. “Social justice ministries focus on Catholic Social Teaching and systemic or structural change toward justice. Ministries working directly with the victims draw on deep compassion for the suffering Body of Christ. Ministries of intellectuals, scholars and artists involve faith seeking to understand, unfold and express the Gospel in the language of our time. Ministries concerned with the thirst for meaning seek the growth of individuals and groups.” There is fluidity, of course, between the clusters. Women religious can find themselves functioning well in several. Looking over the Sisters of Charity ministries, presently our Sisters are serving in 30 U.S. dioceses (16 states) plus Mexico, Guatemala and Dominica, bringing the love, presence and justice of Jesus to the people. We serve in health care, education, social work, pastoral care, Congregational offices, NGO, prayer ministry and as missionaries. Below are a few reflections from several Sisters and Affiliates on their loving presence in these chaotic times. S. Patricia Dittmeier “Through my ministry [at IKRON, a mental health organization in Cincinnati] I am called on a daily basis to walk with individuals who suffer with mental illness and addiction, many of whom also live in poverty. To walk with such individuals is both a gift and a challenge. It is a challenge because to truly walk with another person, I must allow myself to be touched and 10

S. Mary Ann Flannery is director of the Jesuit Retreat House in Cleveland, Ohio.

transformed by their suffering. My ministry is also a gift because through it I am blessed to see God’s active presence bringing healing and wholeness into broken lives.” S. Mary Ann Flannery “As director of the Jesuit Retreat House [in Cleveland, Ohio], I am in the position of meeting people who have an ‘urgent personal quest for psychological and spiritual growth and wholeness, for centeredness – as well as those with a committed and devotional faith.’ Our center is open to all, even to people of other faiths or no faith at all. We do not distinguish and neither does God. For me, everyone who walks through our doorways has been welcomed by God. So, we are happy to say to any marginalized group: “Please come in.” The average parish cannot provide an environment to help people seek deeper meaning in their lives. Retreat ministry can do this with certified spiritual directors, quiet places to pray and reflect, and educated retreat directors who journey with the soul who is seeking direction in life.” S. Mary Ann Humbert “Since spring 2012 I’ve been serving as the spiritual advisor for the Cincinnati district of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul. Although the primary purpose of the society is the spiritual growth of its members, it’s their dedication to serving the poor that identifies them to most people. Having the occasion to meet new Vincentians during their orientation grounded in St. Vincent’s passion and love for Christ and the Gospel mission Intercom

to the poor, I noticed how frequently the reason for joining SVDP is precisely the desire to grow in spirituality. The Spirit seems to be inspiring the members to ask that we strengthen our attention to the Society’s primary purpose! Following a request from one member, we’re designing small spiritual direction groups for those interested in addition to strengthening the role of the parish spiritual advisor. When the Spirit speaks, we listen!” Tracy Kemme, Affiliate “At Sacred Heart Church in downtown El Paso, Texas, just a few blocks from the physical boundary that separates the U.S. from Mexico, I hear stories of daily struggle from immigrants and asylum-seekers. At Proyecto Santo Niño in Anapra, Mexico, my community and I work to be a spark of light in the lives of children with special needs and their families, many of whom live in situations of extreme poverty. My relationships with people on both sides of the border reveal deep human suffering as well as extraordinary joy, faith and persistence. Here, in these literal and figurative margins, I become closer to the heart of Christ and His mission. These places of struggle call our Church evermore to work for unity and justice and impel us toward a hopeful vision for the future.” Andrea Koverman, Affiliate “Working with young children is the most hopeful of places to be in such a tumultuous time for the Church and the world in general. My fourth-grade students [at Our Lady of the Assumption in El Paso, Texas] come from violence-plagued Juarez, across the Mexican border, or from military parents who bring home the stress and trauma they experienced during deployment. They are full of questions, just beginning to try to make sense out of what even they recognize as affronts to human justice and dignity. I endeavor to instill in their hearts concern and compassion for their fellow man, the suffering Body of

S. Marie Pauline Skalski ministers to the homeless at St. Vincent Catholic Charities in Lansing, Mich. A nnual R eport 2 0 1 2

Affiliate Tracy Kemme travels across the border to Anapra, Mexico, to assist children with special needs and their families.

Christ, just as those senses are aroused in my own heart as they share their fears and injuries, and their hopes and dreams for a better world.” S. Marie Pauline Skalski “On the first day I met the children in St. Vincent Catholic Charities’ homeless program [Lansing, Mich.], I saw a look in their eyes that said, ‘I don’t know who I am or where I belong in this world.’ That bewilderment touched my heart and I knew that I wanted to work with, love and encourage these children. For children who don’t have a home the larger society becomes their caregivers, but at St. Vincent’s they become the family. The people who know you love you and slowly help you to discover who you are – a precious and valuable child of God.” S. Patricia Wittberg “First of all, [as a faculty member at Indiana UniversityPurdue University Indianapolis] I am teaching a population composed primarily of first-generation college students – some with significant financial difficulties. I think that Elizabeth Seton would approve of this aspect of educating the poor and marginalized. “But equally important, in my mind, is that my research involves studying how religious communities, as social groups, function. We have long realized that, because individual Sisters are human beings, they bring their human psychological strengths and weaknesses to their vocation. Psychology involves studying how religious life and spirituality are best lived out by individuals. Sociology maintains that groups of Sisters have specific strengths and needs, as well. In my research and writing, I am trying to help religious congregations become more aware of these strengths and needs, so that they can be kept in mind when congregations plan for their future. Currently, I am working with several other researchers on generational differences among new entrants to religious communities. It is vital that we understand these differences and how/why they arise, because attracting the next generations is vital to our future – and, therefore, to the enrichment of the Church as a whole.”


Sharing Our Resources By S. Louise Lears


n the presidential address to the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, S. Pat Farrell described the mission of women religious as “giving ourselves away in love, particularly to those in greatest need.” The various ways we respond to those who live on the margins are often called “The Two Feet of Social Action.” One foot is direct service, which involves helping people with immediate needs. The other foot is systemic change, which calls for eradicating the causes of social problems. The challenge is to be equally committed to meeting basic needs while working passionately at transforming unjust structures.

f “You will also want to seek out the structural reasons that foster or cause the different forms of poverty in the world and in your own country, so that you can apply the appropriate remedies.”

scholarships for students with financial needs; and advocating to change policies that impede people who are poor.

The remaining 11 percent of our funds is devoted to the Advent Matching Fund and the Emergency Fund. Each year during Advent our Sisters pledge donations to a charity of their choice and the Congregation matches those funds. Sisters and Associates can also contribute to, and request monies from, the Emergency Fund for persons they know in need of immediate assistance. ~ Pope John Paul II During this past year, the Emergency Fund helped a family pay rent while the parents sought work; a physically limited woman buy a used car; a mother pay her immigration lawyer; and a man Our Sisters of Charity commitment to direct service and buy hearing aids so he could return to work. systemic change is demonstrated, in part, by the allocation of our Social Justice Funds. Thirty-five percent of these budgeted St. Vincent de Paul reminds us, “It is only for your love alone that the poor will forgive you the bread that you give funds assists individuals and organizations that provide to them.” We are grateful to those we assist for the gift and direct service: healing survivors of torture; distributing courage that they give us. emergency food; serving the health care needs of uninsured and underinsured adults and children; addressing chronic homelessness through emergency shelter, Social Justice Fund Expenditures transitional living, and permanent housing; assisting with rent, utilities, Fiscal 2012 transportation and clothing; and Emergency helping disaster-affected populations Advent Matching 4% to meet their basic needs and restore their pre-disaster capacities. 7% Fifty-four percent of our funds assists organizations that work for systemic change: training leaders for service in a bi-literate, culturally diverse Church; offering child development and enrichment programs in struggling neighborhoods; providing homeownership training and financial counseling services for those whose homes are threatened with foreclosure; educating a human community that sees all creation as sacred; funding


Systemic Change 54%

Direct Service 35%


Aiming to Serve By S. Judith Metz


e aim to serve – the past, the present, and the future!” This could well be our motto in the Sisters of Charity Archives. Our staff of willing workers responds to every manner of request from a wide variety of audiences. We never know when we start our day what might present itself in the form of emails, phone calls, the U.S. mail, or visitors.

past more accessible to the present and the future. This year we continued to focus on bringing our rich connection with the Civil War alive through the publication of a collection of the journals kept by our Sister nurses in that war, and by working with the Communications Office in commemorating their service on Memorial Day in our Mount St. Joseph cemetery. In addition, we participated in commemorative activities at Camp Dennison, Clermont (From left) Sisters Judith Metz and Benedicta Mahoney of the SC Archives stand County, Ohio. We also We serve the past next to a display honoring our Sisters of Charity Civil War nurses that was part of provide tours and programs by taking care of our the commemorative activities at Camp Dennison in May 2012. for many, many visitors to the Congregational treasures Motherhouse. Some of these that include our written included Palestinian educators visiting Cincinnati parochial records and photographs, and also our art, antique furniture schools, Sisters of Charity from Korea, and members of the and statuary. For instance, this past year we oversaw the Cincinnati Women’s Club and the Cincinnati Women’s Art restoration and placement of statues around our Motherhouse Club. property that were moved from the Villa San Bernardo campus in Bedford, Ohio, and worked with the Maintenance Department in tending to touch-up work that needed to be done to the Mother Margaret George statue on our Motherhouse front avenue. In addition, we work with researchers, whether they arrive in person or contact us through other means of communication. As an example, this year we contributed to an article that appeared in U.S. Catholic Historian on the Catholic Bible schools in which some of our Sisters worked in the 1960s and 1970s. We also responded to numerous requests for information about individual Sisters and the ministries in which we served throughout our history. Serving the past serves the present! We serve the present by helping remember the past. Frequent requests from our former and current sponsored ministries for information, photographs and tours, assists them in reinforcing the mission of the Sisters of Charity that they are working to maintain and broaden in their current workplaces. Through our oral history program we are actively collecting the stories of our past from the memories of our Sisters, and by our digitization program we are making the

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“I touch the future, I teach.” Most of us remember this memorable statement from Christa McAuliffe and might wonder how it applies to the Archives. Actually, Sisters on the Archives staff work quite often with students of all ages. We sometimes host Confirmation classes, visitors from elementary schools, and Girl Scout troops for tours and conversation about the history of the Sisters of Charity. Each year the sophomore class from Seton High School spends a day at the Mount and tours the chapel and other sites, and the College of Mount St. Joseph brings nearly all of the freshman class to learn about the connection of the College with the Sisters of Charity. Last year we had the opportunity to work with the drama club at the College, and even provided them with apparel for their production of the play “Doubt.” The specific events and activities mentioned in this article are, in reality, only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to recounting the many services the Archives provides to a variety of constituencies – verifying our motto, “We aim to serve!”


A Look Back ...

Caritas Convocation, June 2012

2012 Elizabeth Ann Seton Award, January 2012 Affiliate Rite of Welcome, June 2012

“The new Leadership Team and their ongoing theological reflections have drawn us all into a deeper consideration of our role as women of charity in our day and time.” - S. Regina Kusnir

Dedication of the “Angelitas de Caridad” sculpture honoring the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati, Martineztown, N.M., October 2011 Photo courtesy of Margot Geist


Newly elected Leadership Team, July 2011


“By being a liaison, I have gotten to know more of our Sisters. It is great not having Networks but being together again. We have so many wonderful women in our Community and this has been a way for me to get to know some that I did not know.” - S. Lynn Heper

Nuns Build, New Orleans, La., November 2011

2011 Golden Jubilarians, July 2011

Fall Congregational Days, Colorado Springs, Colo., September 2011

“A highlight for me was our participation in ‘Sisters Sing Scripture,’ a concert given by Sisters of Charity and some of our Sisters from Northern Kentucky. We were celebrating God’s word in song in conjuction with the St. John’s Bible art exhibit at the College of Mount St. Joseph.”

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- S. Terry Thorman Civil War Memorial Day Commemoration, May 2012


NavigatingShifts By S. Sally Duffy and Loretta Dees


he philanthropic environment is one of decreased giving (from individuals, foundations and government), fragile nonprofits, increased families in poverty, and a higher demand for nonprofit services and affordability. How does SC Ministry Foundation navigate these shifts in the environment today?

hope. The focus of the Foundation’s strategic plan is on three areas: sponsored ministries, Price Hill revitalization, and leadership and influence. Sponsored Ministries

Much of SC Ministry Foundation’s grantmaking goes to the sponsored ministries. Since the Foundation’s SC Ministry Foundation is steered inception in 1996, the sponsored by its mission: to promote the mission ministries have received 40 percent of all and ministry of the Sisters of Charity of grant dollars awarded. Our top grantee Cincinnati. The Foundation also has a organizations since 2008 include the Vision Statement that guides us: sponsored ministries and most top the list. Knowing we are reliant and dependent SC Ministry Foundation received the 2012 Programs such as the Student Summer on God, and respecting the legacy given to Champion Award from CLINIC for its commitment Employment Initiative, which employs us by all Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati, to support immigrants. Seton High School students at TriHealth SC Ministry Foundation provides leadership and College of Mount St. Joseph students and influence regionally and nationally in changing structures and at nonprofits during the summer, help the sponsored ministries removing barriers that divide and marginalize people. reach their missions. The Foundation is a force for effective innovation by supporting In recent years Bayley and Seton Family Center have creative responses to unmet needs and new opportunities. As a received mission support with emphasis on capacity building – catalyst for collaboration, the Foundation strengthens networks meaning support that develops an organization’s technical skills among organizations with missions similar to its own. and institutional capability to effectively address their mission. Our funding priorities emphasize our mission by giving priority consideration to nonprofits with a relationship to the Sisters of Charity. This includes the Congregation, the sponsored ministries, and organizations where Sisters of Charity serve and where the Congregation’s mission and stances are promoted. Recently the Foundation updated its funding priorities to include “care for creation” and “abolishment of the death penalty,” as these are priorities to the Sisters of Charity. Sisters of Charity are involved with 80 percent of nonprofits that receive grantmaking dollars from SC Ministry Foundation. There are more than 104 Sisters involved in these grants! We continue to proactively reach out to the Sisters of Charity to ensure Sisters are aware of these opportunities. We provide webinars on the grant process five to six times a year for Sisters, feature stories about our grants in every Update, and partner with the Congregation to provide education on topics such as “Immigration Topics Today” with Don Kerwin and “Women, Poverty, and Public Policy” with S. Simone Campbell. SC Ministry Foundation’s strategic plan (2008-2013) is the roadmap that has helped the Foundation navigate large and small changes with contemplation, prophetic voice, solidarity with the marginalized, community, nonviolence and joyful 16

St. Joseph Home and co-sponsored Light of Hearts Villa have received program and infrastructure support. The Foundation strives to be supportive and resourceful to the sponsored ministries as they too navigate shifting times. Affordability of Catholic education and decreased government funding are examples of the current environment. This is why the Foundation is a major supporter of Education at Work, a new opportunity to help the College’s students pay tuition and earn scholarships by working at a new call center, financial aid at Seton High School, and grants for start-up and operations at DePaul Cristo Rey High School, which uses the Corporate Work Study model to help students afford tuition. Price Hill Revitalization – Education Price Hill is a large neighborhood which encompasses three neighborhoods with a population of 30,000. Poverty in the Catholic schools in Price Hill has gone from 59 percent to 80 percent in the past seven years. The highest is at Resurrection School (94 percent) and the lowest is at St. Teresa (31 percent). We know that 66 percent of children in Cincinnati who live in poverty also live in female-headed households. This calls for much support in our Price Hill Catholic schools. Intercom

• Construction Clubs and Summer Camp through Southwest Ohio Regional Workforce Investment Board • Spanish classes at St. Teresa of Avila School • Professional development for educators through Elder and Seton’s “Techreach” Program Price Hill Revitalization – Comprehensive Community Development

Santa Maria Community Services sends budding preschoolers to Summer Learning Camp to prepare them for school.

Since 2008, SC Ministry Foundation has given nearly $2 million to the Price Hill Catholic schools. SC Ministry Foundation funds the counselor and social worker programs at Holy Family, Resurrection, St. Lawrence and St. William. These programs increase academic achievement, reduce behavior issues, increase attendance, and help students graduate successfully. The Foundation also provided start-up funding for St. Lawrence School’s preschool and Learning for Life program for children with special needs, Holy Family’s preschool and full-time kindergarten, and St. William’s academic intervention program, and our staff gives technical assistance in preparing business plans for these new programs. The Foundation funds the Summer Learning Camp to help students minimize summer learning loss and to instill a love of learning. Many partners make the camp successful: Seton provides physical space, the College provides students for teaching assistance, and Santa Maria Community Services sends budding preschoolers to prepare them for school. There are many additional ways SC Ministry Foundation helps align and fund support for the Price Hill Catholic schools: • Breakfast and lunch programs through Whole Again International and Children’s Hunger Alliance

The other primary focus of Price Hill Revitalization is comprehensive community development, which encompasses the physical development, health, arts, youth, and beautification of the neighborhood. The Foundation channels resources to many Price Hill organizations, including Price Hill Will. Through its Buy-Improve-Sell program, Price Hill Will has renovated and sold 40 homes in Price Hill, demolished six, completed three more for sale, and have two under construction. Price Hill Will strategically concentrates its Buy-Improve-Sell efforts in the Incline District, Cedar Grove, and Beech Avenue, a street that borders Seton High School. Price Hill Will has completed seven homes on Beech Avenue while People Working Cooperatively, another nonprofit, has repaired six homes. The values of Price Hill Will homes have a positive impact on the neighborhood. Price Hill Will homes have sold for 140 percent more than other homes on Beech Avenue. Another focus for Price Hill Will is commercial development. Price Hill Will played a critical role in getting a new Kroger grocery in the neighborhood, new streetscapes and façade improvements on St. Lawrence corner, development in the Incline Entertainment District, and the beautifully renovated Elberon (at 8th and Elberon), a formerly vacant building that is now an affordable apartment building for seniors and is 100 percent occupied. Price Hill foreclosures continue to be high. Courageously, Price Hill Will and Legal Aid Society of Greater Cincinnati have filed lawsuit against Deutsche Bank and Wells Fargo for not taking care of their foreclosed properties. Though there has been a motion to dismiss twice, both motions have been denied. Price Hill Will and Legal Aid’s successful advocacy efforts resulted in a Vacant Building Maintenance License, Hamilton County Land

• Coordinator of Latino Outreach through the Archdiocese of Cincinnati • Preparing our Preschoolers though Santa Maria • Museum programs and field trips through Cincinnati Museum Center • Cincinnati: A City of Immigrants play through Cincinnati Children’s Theatre • Lead poisoning prevention through Crossroad Community Health • Early childhood groups through “place matters”


• Homelessness prevention through Stable Families Initiative with United Way

Price Hill Will has renovated and sold 40 homes in Price Hill, demolished six, completed three more for sale, and have two under construction.

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funders, and providing technical support to the fundraising efforts. This helped all congregations and ministries rebuild to pre-Katrina levels. By catalyzing the LCWR and FADICA New Orleans Recovery Efforts, more than $7.3 million was raised, which is exclusive of SC Ministry Foundation grants of $5.9 million. The Foundation coordinated and led the production of a documentary that tells the story of faith and resilience of these women religious. “We Shall Not Be Moved: The Catholic Sisters of New Orleans” celebrates the fact that despite St. Mary Academy President S. Clare of Assisi, SSF, and Principal S. Jennie Jones, SSF, both Sisters of the human tragedies and destruction the Holy Family, pose with members of the school’s award-winning marching band. St. Mary students and of their ministries, the Catholic Sisters teachers spent five years in trailers while the school was completely rebuilt after Hurricane Katrina. They are chose to remain and reestablish their featured in the documentary “We Shall Not Be Moved: The Catholic Sisters of New Orleans,” coordinated ministries or initiate new ministries. By and produced by SC Ministry Foundation. telling their story, all women religious Bank, Person in Control Ordinance, and Vacant Foreclosed are celebrated. Please visit Property Registration Ordinance to combat the systemic issues to find out more. that are undermining the neighborhood’s progress. These Through our collaboration in “place matters,” a changes support all neighborhoods in Cincinnati. comprehensive community development initiative in the three A turning point for health care in Price Hill was the opening communities of Price Hill, Covington, Ky., and Avondale, of Good Samaritan Free Health Center of Price Hill in January $20 has been leveraged in Price Hill for every $1 SC Ministry 2011. The center is a medical home for adults without private Foundation has committed. “Place matters” is an example of insurance and without Medicaid or Medicare coverage that how we partner for collective impact. In the past three years, the establishes an electronic medical record. Because of high demand amount is higher – $32 for each $1 invested by the Foundation. and success, the center is moving to a larger location this year As part of leadership and influence, SC Ministry and is adding dental services. Foundation offers capacity building and fosters learning. We do this through: Leadership and Influence Through Leadership and Influence, SC Ministry Foundation focuses on specific areas where the Foundation’s resources can have significant societal impact. The Foundation’s leadership and influence in immigration is a strong example of how the Foundation navigates shifts using a prophetic voice and maintains joyful hope – and hope in others – that the immigration system will change. SC Ministry Foundation supports multiple immigration efforts nationwide and in Cincinnati. More than $1 million was invested in immigration grants in 2012. These include grants to: Center for Migration Studies, Catholic Legal Immigration Network (CLINIC), numerous Catholic Charities, Los Pobres, and many others. SC Ministry Foundation received the 2012 Champion Award from CLINIC for its commitment to support immigrants over the past decade. Another area of leadership and influence is New Orleans recovery. SC Ministry Foundation responded by initiating early funding for women religious after Hurricane Katrina, catalyzing collaboration between LCWR and FADICA (Foundations and Donors Interested in Catholic Activities), engaging other 18

• • • • •

Capacity building grants Education programs Communication Internal Professional Development Technical Assistance

We provide programs that call us deeper to mission and contemplation. For example, this year we hosted “Systemic Bridges Out of Poverty” to examine the challenges of understanding poverty and “Our Mission Urges Us to Excellence” to discuss with executive directors and board members what it means to carry out nonprofit work in changing times. SC Ministry Foundation’s staff and board remain prayerful, mission focused, and committed to the Sisters of Charity mission. SC Ministry Foundation has been able to grant $129.5 million since inception. Through our mission, vision, relationship with the Sisters of Charity, our strategic plan, and our staff and board, we have been blessed with abundant blessings and steered by a deeper reliance on God. We have indeed been on an exploration that relies totally on God and bringing about the Reign of God. Intercom

Navigating the Investment Seas By Tim Moller, CFO


iscal 2012 financial results were muted; well below the last two years’ results. This was due to flat investment earnings, reduced funding from the Sisters of Charity Charitable Trust, and higher pension expense. The new fiscal year, however, is off to a good start as investment returns have improved significantly since June 30, 2012. The “new normal” is upon us and successfully navigating the shifting investment seas is a constant challenge. Other than the unfavorable pension expense mentioned, most categories of Fiscal 2012 Congregation expense were below budget and less than last year, including Sisters’ living expenses. Operating results also benefitted from ongoing cost containment programs such as centralized checking, as well as from the modest inflationary environment, most notably relatively low utility costs. Looking ahead for Fiscal 2013, Congregational finances are stable, with sufficient cash reserves to weather any investment storm or “fiscal cliff ” the politicians may push us over. We have begun the Mother Margaret Hall renovation project which will result in a state-of-the-art nursing facility. This project will be completed in mid-2014, and is fully funded by reserves. As many in our society struggle with the fallout caused by the Great Recession and jobless recovery, the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati remain committed to social justice and care for the needy and underserved. The new DePaul Cristo Rey High School is into its second year providing a quality education to 150 students with economic need. The other six sponsored institutional ministries continue to deliver the Sisters of Charity mission to several thousand individuals each day. Individual Sisters continue to work as social workers, teachers, counselors and administrators, many in unpaid positions. Additionally, through Congregational giving and the grant program of SC Ministry Foundation, millions of dollars were provided to mission-centered organizations during the year.

The charts below depict the categories of Congregational income and outflow for Fiscal 2012.

Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati, Ohio, Inc. Source and Use of Funds June 30, 2012

Source of Funds 1 2 3 4

Retirement Income General Congregational Income Investment Income Property Income

58.4% 24.0% 16.9% 0.7% 100.0%

Use of Funds 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

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Retirement-Related Expenses Unrealized Losses on Investments Local House Expenses Pension Actuarial Adjustment General Congregational Expenses Property Expenses Bedford Campus Expenses

39.9% 15.0% 14.2% 10.3% 10.0% 10.2% 0.4% 100.0%


Committed to the Mission By S. Maureen Heverin


he Corporation Board for Sponsored Ministries (CBSM) of the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati was established in 1995. Stewardship responsibility for the Sisters of Charity sponsored institutions was transferred from the Leadership Council to the CBSM, except for certain major responsibilities retained by Leadership Council, e.g., change in sponsored ministry mission, termination of sponsorship, purchase or sale of property larger than specified dollar amounts, etc. Using these reserved powers, the Sisters of Charity provide overall direction and ongoing evaluation of their sponsored ministries, largely through the oversight of the CBSM. A local board of directors, however, is responsible for governing the day-to-day operations of each sponsored ministry. There is a Sister of Charity who serves as liaison between each sponsored ministry and the CBSM. Each of our liaisons offers her perspective of how the sponsored ministry has “navigated the shifts” for this ministry during the past year.

Seton High School

Liaison: S. Annette Marie Paveglio “Strength of Sisterhood” is Seton’s motto that continues to produce “soul-sized affairs.” A new club, Seton Helping Saints: A Student Philanthropic Society, is completely student led and is focused on helping students and others connected to Seton. Students worked on their third Habitat for Humanity project, and had three opportunities to take mission trips. Girl Power was created as a camp for fifth through eighth grade young women from 23 different grade schools to help girls find their inner strength. Additionally, more than 20 schools were represented in Seton’s Summer Theatre Camp productions of “Godspell, Jr.” and the “Wizard of OZ”. Seniors are now required as part of their English credits to participate in a Senior Project to apply all they have learned to a topic of their own personal interest. Besides incorporating academic skills, it is meant to strengthen their social skills. Continued advancement in the use of technology finds all students using a tablet laptop on a daily basis.

College of Mount St. Joseph Liaison: S. Judith Metz

Declining demographics, public debate over the value and content of higher education, competition from for-profits, and discussion over the burden of debt that college students accumulate are all pressures and challenges to which the College of Mount St. Joseph is responding. In the curricular area, the College is in the process of revising its core curriculum as well as developing adult online programs through a partnership called New Ventures Initiative. Coupled with these efforts will be an increased emphasis on opportunities for faculty development. The College is also a participant in Education@Work that provides part-time jobs to students. For the long term, the 20/20 Visioning Process is a future planning process that reaches across all fronts. Bold new ideas are being gathered from various constituencies. These will form the basis of a strategic plan that will lead the College forward to its 100th anniversary. 20

Seton Family Center moved to a more central location in Western Hills (Cincinnati) in December 2011.

Seton Family Center Liaison: S. Joyce Richter

Seton Family Center (SFC) has provided high-quality mental health and educational services to children and families in the Cincinnati area, with a special emphasis on low-income families, for more than 23 years. To strengthen the organization and position it to meet the growing needs of our time, the Center’s Board and director created several strategic challenges for the organization. In December 2011, the center moved its location in the western part of Cincinnati to a place which would better serve the needs of its clients. The response to the new location has been overwhelmingly positive. The new center is larger, on the bus line, easy to find and has off-street parking. Another change for SFC has been the recent addition of a new staff person to assist with individual and family counseling. This addition was made easier with the move to a larger facility. These two changes will assist the center in carrying out its healing ministry of counseling in a home-like atmosphere that is welcoming to children and family members. Intercom

Senior Care Corporation

Liaison: Sisters Ruth Kuhn (past) and Patricia Sabourin Senior Care Corporation continues to hold a reputation as the premier health care facility for the elderly on the west side of Cincinnati. The mission of the Sisters of Charity as well as that articulated for Bayley is stated well in the theme of the 2011-2012 Bayley Annual Report, “Ensuring the Legacy in Changing Times.” The legacy is to provide the residents with care in keeping with the core values of respect, compassion, integrity and excellence – all within cost containment. The challenges that were given to us by the Sisters of Charity help us to shape the services we offer and encourage administration and staff to look for creative ways and means to do this. We continue to look forward and implement various new and creative services in keeping with strategic planning. As stated in our annual report, “This commitment to planning has benefitted Bayley in the past, and with the same level of attention, will guide us into the future.”

Light of Hearts Villa Liaison: S. Pat Saul

As I read Christopher Fry’s poem and think of Light of Hearts Villa’s (LOHV) issues and management through the CSA’s Health System, I can only think that LOHV is trying to recognize its moment and flow with the needs of the area and the residents it serves, to change if needed to address those needs, yet maintain the quality of care to its population and employees amid challenging times.

St. Joseph Home

Liaison: S. Maureen Heverin Navigating change describes this past year at St. Joseph Home. For the first time in its long history the leader of the Home is not a Sister of Charity. Michael Rench was named CEO/president in June 2011. The year has been filled with challenges and accomplishments. Challenges include adjustment to a new management style, reorganization of staff responsibilities, staying abreast of and trying to influence impending changes in Medicaid/Medicare as they affect resident care and looking to the future sustainability of the mission. Accomplishments include a focus on staff involvement and retention as well as formation of a family/guardian group that provides support and communication in order to better meet residents’ needs.

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DePaul Cristo Rey High School students Erika Hernandez (left) and Austin Smith with their teacher Paul Ebert.

DePaul Cristo Rey High School Liaison: S. Brenda Busch

The Sisters of Charity haven’t begun a new sponsored ministry in more than 20 years. Every facet of beginning a new Cristo Rey high school in Cincinnati was filled with more unknowns than knowns. This is a “start-up” ministry with no history that feels “soul-sized” – and it is! Would we be able to recruit and retain underserved students who would be willing to spend longer days, be open to working at a corporate office, and comply with job expectations one day each week? What would the financial picture look like? Would the director of the Corporate Work Study Program be able to recruit enough corporate partners in Greater Cincinnati? Would the president, principal, faculty and staff work together to cultivate a strong, disciplined, vibrant academic atmosphere where openness and support is felt and experienced by each and every student. Graduating from high school and college is the goal for each DePaul Cristo Rey student. We are a work in process and we had an excellent first year. All of our sponsored ministries are “works in process” guided by dedicated staffs who are committed to the mission of their particular ministry and the mission of the Sisters of Charity. The “affairs are soul-sized,” so we work hard and place all in God’s care.

S. Joan Carole Schaffner visits St. Joseph Home daily to spend time with Zoe, the resident she volunteers with.


Investing in the Oppressed By S. Martha Walsh


uring 2012 representatives of the Seton Enablement Fund (SEF) of the Sisters of Charity, established to provide low-interest loans to organizations and projects unable to qualify for conventional financing, were able to visit Nicaragua along with SosteNica staff. S. Martha Walsh, administrative director, was accompanied by S. Jean Miller, who had an extended living experience in Nicaragua, to visit some of the projects that SEF had helped finance through SosteNica’s relationship with Ceprodel, a local organization. SosteNica is a not-for-profit organization that SEF has been invested in for about 10 years. They are dedicated to microlending projects in Nicaragua to assist low-income people achieve sustainable economic development. Credit would not be available to these persons otherwise. They make every attempt to assure that the Nicaraguan culture and way of life have a sustainable future despite the homogenizing pressures of the integrated global economy. In Nicaragua, housing is considered a “human right” not merchandise to acquire wealth. We were able to visit communities of people who are enjoying cooperatives for affordable housing, and also gardens for sustainable agriculture. On the home front, SEF was recognized by Holy Name Housing in Omaha, Neb., during their 30th anniversary celebration, for their long-standing support through many loans, which were repaid and new loans granted. Sisters Joan Cook and Martha Walsh attended the celebration and received the award in the name of all Sisters of Charity. They were also able to visit some of the affordable housing which has been made possible by Holy Name Housing. According to an anecdote in their early beginnings, they found themselves needing a quick loan. They heard about the Seton Enablement Fund and contacted S. Mary Assunta Stang. In the return mail they received a check with a note saying they would then proceed to get the forms completed to make the loan ‘legal.’ This was not long after the SEF began and as we all know S. Mary Assunta was most anxious to get the money moving to help those with less!

This “wrap-around” approach greatly increases the chance of sustained future employment and decreases the instances of re-offending. SEF made a loan to them in 2011, as part of its commitment to serving those persons who are the margins of society. RecycleForce held what they characterize as an ‘event’ at the Mount in April. In collaboration with the Sisters of Charity Motherhouse and the College of Mount St. Joseph they brought a truck from Indianapolis on a Saturday morning to collect recyclables. Before the afternoon was over they had sent for two more trucks in order to handle all the materials. During Fiscal 2012, $1,213,000 was loaned among 11 different organizations. Although, as can be seen from the chart, our total outstanding loans decreased. This is a result of the on-time repayment of loans. The committee is going to have to work harder to keep up! The goal is to have the funds available to us out there working for those in need. A couple new areas of the country where we now have investments are New York City, N.Y., upstate New York, and San Francisco, Calif. The San Francisco Community Land Trust is a small organization with a lot of zeal. They have been able to reclaim housing that was slated for demolition and rehabilitate them for low-income citizens and in some cases senior citizens. SEF has been able to navigate the volatile economy and continue to put our designated funds to good use helping others. It seems at times that the number of organizations wanting to borrow wanes, but then an upturn materializes. They continue to respond to requests and also seek out organizations that may have a need. As we enter our 35th year, the Sisters of Charity can look back to 1979 when “[u]rged by the charity of Christ, we Sisters of Charity, to witness to our corporate call to justice during our Jubilee Year of 1979, propose to invest a portion of the total unrestricted investments at the end of each fiscal year for enablement of the oppressed in developing themselves” (Chapter decision).

RecycleForce is an Indianapolis-based company committed not only to safely recycling materials, but also to ‘recycling’ formerly incarcerated individuals by providing transitional jobs for up to six months, as well as comprehensive services designed to get their lives back on track. The RecycleForce model offers program participants an integrated focus on job skills, character development and personal counseling. S. Martha Walsh accepts an award from Holy Name Housing in Omaha, Neb., for the Seton Enablement Fund’s long-standing support.



Seton Enablement Fund Statistics and Dollars Allocated as of June 30, 2012 Total loans/investments

Locations of loans /Investments Arizona Arkansas California Colorado Connecticut Illinois Indiana Kentucky Maine Maryland Massachusetts Michigan Minnesota Mississippi Missouri

Committed funds distributions Low Income Housing Community Development, Co-Ops, Land Trusts Business Ventures Other Total Current Loans and Deposits as of 6/30/12

Committee Members 2011-2012 Associate Marti Barnes S. Pat Marie Bernard S. Mary Ann Donovan S. Mary Catherine Faller S. Franette Hyc S. Marie Patrice Joyce Associate Jackene Laverty S. Carol Leveque Tim Moller, ex-officio S. Irene Mraz S. Patricia Sabourin S. Helen Therese Scasny Dave Thorsen, ex-officio S. Martha Walsh, ex-officio S. Marie Josetta Wethington

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41 22 18 5 86

1 3 4 1 2 1 1 5 1 3 7 3 1 1 1

Montana Nebraska New Hampshire New Mexico New York North Carolina Ohio Oklahoma Oregon Pennsylvania Texas Vermont Wisconsin Washington Washington, D.C.

1 3 2 5 9 1 8 1 1 5 4 4 1 2 4

There are loans that are domiciled in the U.S. but serve foreign countries including: Ecuador, Haiti, Peru, Malawi, Uganda, South Africa, Armenia, Georgia, Guatemala, Nicaragua, India, Botswana and Nigeria, among others.

Since Inception of the Program (1979) Cumulative Number of Loans / Investments = 321 Cumulative Dollars Loaned / Invested = $20,791,000

Loans/Investments for FY 2012 • Cornerstone Corp. for Shared Equity (two loans) • Worcester Community Housing Resources • Bishop Sheen Ecumenical Housing Foundation (two loans) • Cooperative Fund of New England

• SosteNica • Frontier Housing • Washington Area Community Investment Fund • Upwardly Global • San Francisco Community Land Trust


Stepping into the Future with Conf idence By S. Jean Miller


ne of the ways that S. Pat Farrell, LCWR president, suggests that we may be able to manage the shifts in our lives at this time of change is through solidarity with the marginalized. What does the immigrant community teach us about walking into the unknown? The immigrants leave community, which is one of the essential elements that S. Pat recommends for managing change.

They leave family, friends, Church. They leave violence of war, gangs, hunger, struggle, celebration. They leave small villages, crowded city slums. They join others, walking, riding, hiding, dying, starving, crossing rivers, deserts, mountains, borders. Their community has shifted from familiar to stranger. They find fences, unjust laws, misinformation, border patrols, arrests, deportation or maybe, nonprofit Welcome Centers, food, bed, hard work, low pay, supporters. Again their community has shifted from stranger to supporter. How did they manage the shift of leaving community of finding hostility of unjust laws of fear of arrest and deportation? They trusted in God, who makes the journey, too. Traveling with a Peruvian once when we had no food, he reminded me, “not by bread alone … ” They held on to the dream. A Salvadoran woman fighter answered my question, “why do you risk?” by reforming my question, “What are you willing to die for?” and answering, “My children’s future.” So many Guatemalans, Mexicans and others say, “I come for education of my children” or “Life will be better for my family in Guatemala, etc.” 24

Sisters Jean Miller (second from right) and Juana Mendez (second from left) hold a prayer service for immigrants in the Motherhouse chapel.

And they walked and walked and suffered and suffered and continue living in hope. In hope that the temporary Dream Act will become permanent after the election that we will recognize their contributions to this country and pay accordingly that the Secure Community policy will become a Welcoming Community that separation of family will be a thing of the past that the unjust immigration laws will be reformed into a comprehensive immigration policy. So why did S. Pat tell us to go to the people on the margins? To learn to dream; To walk, even to new communities in new places, at times; To trust that God is in the journey; To continue to create the future like others created the path we’ve been on; To make sure we are walking and listening, and listening and walking, and walking and listening.

Communications Office Names Director


he Sisters of Charity Communications Office welcomed S. Georgia Kitt as its director in 2012. S. Georgia comes to the position after eight years in Leadership. During those years, Sister served as the Leadership liaison to the Communications Office. Prior to Leadership, S. Georgia was the director of guidance at Bishop Fenwick High School in Peabody, Mass., from 1992 until 2003. Since February, S. Georgia has brought much energy and enthusiasm to the Communications Office. We welcome her into the role and are grateful to her for sharing her many gifts. Intercom

Keeping Our Commitment By Rita Wesseling, Associate


hank God, our time is now When wrong comes up to face us everywhere Never to leave until we take The greatest stride of soul that people ever took ...” These words of Christopher Fry, used by S. Pat Farrell in her LCWR presidential address, sum up the reason for the Congo Committee. When a wrong comes up (in the Democratic Republic of Congo) to face us, we will never leave until we take the greatest stride in helping the Congolese people. The Sisters of Charity and Associates committed to keep informed about the human rights violations in the Democratic Republic of Congo and call on the government to do everything in its power to end the violence. The Congo Committee helps the Community to keep this commitment. The best thing we can do for the Congolese people is pray. So the community sets aside the first Monday of every month to pray for the Congo. I compose a prayer intention and include a short video to be sent to the Sisters and Associates.

S. Katrinka Gunn was so touched by the Shattering the Silence presentation at the Motherhouse, she set up a womanto-woman prayer partnership. The idea of the program was to stand in solidarity with the women of the Congo in their suffering. Because of language and mail difficulties, it took a long time to get the project started. We now have 19 Congolese women and 19 Sisters and Associates praying in solidarity. The Congo is home to 70 percent of the world’s supply of coltan, a mineral needed in mobile phones. The large country also has massive amounts of tin, gold and copper. Armed groups vying for control of these riches have attacked the country.  S. Ruth Kuhn helped us understand what conflict minerals are and how Region VI Coalition for Corporate Responsibility pressures companies to disclose the origin of their minerals.  Motorola received high points in using “conflict free” minerals. Cindy Browne, our liaison with the Comboni Missionaries, wrote a letter of encouragement to this company. Monique Muadi, a Congolese woman on the Congo Committee, kept us informed about her Congo Women’s Group: Excellences Congolaises. The group’s mission is to build bridges between the Democratic Republic of Congo and the United States to preserve traditions and values of both countries.  As we look to the future the Congo Committee made plans for a Teach Congo! workshop at St. Monica/St. George Parish Center. The purpose is to provide attendees with educational tools and resources to teach about the Congo. Cindy Browne and S. Louise Akers have created an educational packet with lesson plans and handouts about ongoing issues, action ideas and DVDs. Gwen Peerless will present her Awareness Quilt. Gwen, with the help of 50 women, created a quilt to bring awareness to rapes in the Democratic Republic of Congo. She gives speeches and shows the quilt to raise funds for medical, mental, and educational help for these abused and devastated women.  The Congo Committee is dedicated to keeping everyone informed about the human rights violations in the Democratic Republic of Congo and helping however we can to end the violence. Jesus said: “Amen, I say to you as long as you do it for the least of my brethren, you did it for me ...” A Congolese woman displaced by violence returns from collecting firewood at a camp near Minova in eastern Congo. (REUTERS/Finbarr O’Reilly)

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and Transformation A time of turmoil , transition

By S. Caroljean Willie, Ph.D.


ecretary General Ban Ki-moon recently stated to world leaders, “I am here to sound the alarm about our direction as a human family. We can all see widespread insecurity and injustice, inequality and intolerance. … The severe and growing impacts of climate change are there before our eyes. ... This is a time of turmoil, transition and transformation ­– a time when time itself is not on our side.” These words present clearly the challenges facing the world today.

Committee membership is the means through which NGOs collaborate, prepare for yearly commissions, and lobby country missions to advocate on issues that are of importance to our members. I currently serve 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 Working Group on Poverty S. Caroljean Willie (left) with UN intern Phone Myat Tharaphy from Myanmar. and Climate Change; the Working Group on the Integrity of Earth; and the Education Committee. I also actively participate in the Religious at the UN It is precisely because of these challenges that the Sisters of group (RUN), which includes more than 40 Catholic religious Charity Federation is at the United Nations (UN). We believe congregations. in the sanctity of all life and we see in this organization, despite its very human frailties, the best hope for bringing together all nations and providing an opportunity to hear all voices. Our Federation is an official non-governmental organization (NGO) at the UN with special consultative status with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). Because we are non-governmental our concerns do not stop at national borders, but encompass the needs and concerns of all those with whom and to whom we minister throughout the world. As the main representative at the UN in New York, I represent the Sisters of Charity Federation’s 3,500 members working in 26 countries.

Our office brings the voices of those living in poverty to speak at the UN because we truly believe that “the vantage point of marginal people is a privileged place of encounter with God.”1 This past year we co-sponsored side events at the Commission for Social Development and the Status of Women as well as at the Earth Summit in Rio. We also hosted briefings by two Sisters of Charity of Nazareth from India on their work in the control of malaria and human trafficking. Four interns, two from India and one each from Syria and Myanmar, shared their wealth and lived experiences with the UN community through our office.

This past year a great deal of work dealt with preparing for the Rio+20 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, which I attended in June. Although the final outcome document was disappointing to civil society in that it did not have any concrete commitments, it did provide a framework for the development of Sustainable Development Goals that will build upon the Millennium Development Goals (which expire in 2015) and converge with the post-2015 agenda. Sustainable development will continue to be a key consideration in the UN agenda and civil society will ensure that the issue remains at the forefront of government deliberations.

This past year I visited Les Religieuses de Notre-Dame-duSacré Coeur, the French-speaking member of the Federation in Moncton, Canada, to give a presentation on our work at the United Nations and to visit several of their ministries. I also attended the Canadian Conference of Religious National Justice and Peace Gathering in Montreal to gain greater insight into the realities of our four Canadian-based congregations.


I presented at a number of regional and national conferences in New York, New Jersey, Chicago, Ill., Nazareth, Ky., Seattle, Wash., Denver, Colo., Indianapolis, Ind., Cincinnati, and New Brunswick, Canada. Topics included our work at the


UN, systemic change, Catholic Social Teaching, global citizenship, human trafficking and environmental sustainability, and represented the Federation with S. Julie Cutter, DC, at the international heads of the Vincentian Family gathering in Rome, Italy. Our office keeps membership informed about our UN work S. Caroljean Willie (left) with UN colleagues at the Earth Summit in Rio de through communications Janeiro, Brazil. with congregational liaisons, monthly action/education pieces, a quarterly newsletter, the UN section of our Federation website, invitations to attend UN commissions and bi-yearly UN orientations for members. The current president of the General Assembly, S.E.M Vuk Jeremi of Serbia, challenged world leaders with these words: “The geopolitical landscape of our time is unlike any the world has ever seen, one of truly global interdependence ... Rarely has it been more necessary for the world to draw closer together. It is to this endeavor that I believe we should devote the full scope of our resources.” It is to this endeavor that the Sisters of Charity Federation is committed. In the words of S. Pat Farrell, OSF, “We are in a time of crisis and that is a very hopeful place to be … our time is holy, our leadership is gift, and our challenges are blessings.” Farrell, Sr. Pat. “Navigating the Shifts”. Presidential Address, LCWR Assembly 2012.



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urrently discounted prices on gift and two-year subscriptions to Intercom, the quarterly magazine of the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati, are available for the 2013 calendar year. Subscriptions will begin with the winter 2013 installment and cover five issues. Please be sure to carefully read the form for additional information.


To send in your subscription information, simply fill out the form and mail to: Sisters of Charity Communications Office, 5900 Delhi Road, Mount St. Joseph, OH 45051. Please make checks payable to Sisters of Charity. Thank you for your support.

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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 360 Sisters are joined in their mission by 198 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 30 U.S. 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 Photographer S. Marty Dermody Director of Communications S. Georgia Kitt Executive Council Liaison S. Mary Bookser Advisory Board Members: S. Mary Bodde S. Mary Ann Flannery Mary Jo Mersmann S. Emily Anne Phelan S. Therese Ann Reis S. Joyce Richter S. Frances Maureen Trampiets 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 E-mail: Subscriptions: $15 per year

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Navigating Shifts: SC Ministry Foundation provided start-up funding this fiscal year for St. Lawrence School’s preschool in Price Hill (Cincinnati).

Navigating the Waters: On Sunday, June 24, 2012, Andrea Koverman and Tracy Kemme were formally welcomed as Affiliates of the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati.


Joyful Hope: Associate Gloria Cordova takes part in the opening prayer service for the June 2012 Caritas Convocation.

Annual Report Intercom 2012  

Annual Report for the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati

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