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Annual Report 2011






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


Contents 2011 Chapter of Elections and Affairs.................................. 4-5 Leadership......................................6 Vocation/Formation.......................7 Spirituality.....................................8 Peace, Justice and Integrity of Creation.....................................9

t has been an eventful year for the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati! Our 2011 General Chapter was the focus of many of our efforts, as we reflected together on our identity as a Congregation, our purpose as ecclesial women, and our stewardship of our resources. Throughout our deliberations we set the direction for our next four years, and elected Congregational leaders. As I look back over that entire process, I am increasingly aware that we are made for service. In the words of S. Carol Zinn, SSJ, “Women religious are all over the place; in hard places; have long histories (in hard places); don’t leave when the going gets tough; do a lot with a little; and come to the table about issues that are not about us (women religious).” This 2011 Annual Report documents our service during the past year. Our Sisters have served in a variety of ministerial settings, and our sponsored ministries have focused intently on carrying forward the history, spirit and mission of the Congregation. The Archives Office; Office of Peace, Justice, and Integrity of Creation; SC Federation NGO; and Spirituality Center sponsored programs and provided materials to strengthen our knowledge of our history, to deepen our spirituality, and to intensify our commitment to justice.

Archives.......................................10 Associates.....................................11 Ministry................................. 12-13 United Nations NGO..................14 Immigration........................... 16-17 Corporation Board for Sponsored Ministries.............. 18-19 Social Justice Fund.......................20 SC Ministry Foundation........ 21-23 Seton Enablement Fund......... 24-25 Stewardship............................ 26-27 On the Cover: (Top left, clockwise) Associate Patrice Harty (left) with Maria Mercedes on a mission trip to Guatemala in 2011; S. Jane Bernadette Leo at St. Rita School for the Deaf, Cincinnati; S. Winnie Brubach at EarthConnection, a multi-faceted entity built to address the adverse ecological effects of our consumer society; and S. Peggy Deneweth at the Santo Niño Project, a ministry in Anapra, Mexico, started by the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati for poor children with special needs and their families.

The offices and organizations directly responsible for the stewardship of our financial resources have persisted in meeting the needs of society during these difficult economic times. The Finance Office, Corporation Board for Sponsored Ministries, Seton Enablement Fund, SC Ministry Foundation and Social Justice Fund made sure that our resources benefit people in hard places and difficult circumstances. Our Associate program continues to grow, both in numbers and in commitment to the SC mission. Our Vocation Team collaborates with other congregations in the SC Federation to promote awareness of the Sisters of Charity and to encourage women in the process of discernment of their vocation. As you read the stories of our service, we ask you to pray with us in thanking God for the countless blessings we have received. And we hope you will pray with us that we remain committed to the life of service to which we commit ourselves. Gratefully,

S. Joan Elizabeth Cook

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.



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? nov. 21, 1872 – S. Sophia Gilmeyer died on this date at the age of 65. One of the original Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati, S. Sophia served in Sisters of Charity hospitals in Philadelphia, Pa., and in New Orleans, La., before becoming the first administrator of St. John’s Hospital in Cincinnati. She also served some time as a Civil War nurse.

S. Sophia Gilmeyer

July 18, 1886 – The novices moved back to the rebuilt Mount St. Joseph Motherhouse after a year’s stay at the vacated Mount St. Mary’s Seminary on Grand Avenue. The Archdiocese had offered the use of the building after the Sisters’ historic fire of 1885.

June 12, 1929 – The Powell twins, Sisters Miriam Regina and Miriam Teresa, entered the Sisters of Charity Congregation – the first set of twins to enter on the same day.

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.

Aug. 15, 1965 – S. Edwardine Durbin assumed the responsibility of Local Superior of the Motherhouse – the first time a Sister other than a General Council member held this position. september 1989 – Light of Hearts Villa, a residential care facility, opened in Bedford, Ohio, in the building once used by Lumen Cordium High School.

In Memoriam

s. Mary Xavier sercombe November 21, 2011 Sisters Miriam Regina (left) and Miriam Teresa Powell

s. Margaret seton Williams November 8, 2011 s. Mary Louise Gattes October 18, 2011 s. Carita Kemble October 9, 2011 s. Florence Brotzge October 8, 2011 s. Martha Farlow September 27, 2011

Light of Hearts Villa in Bedford, Ohio

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CHAPTER 2011: Embracing Our Transformative Journey for These Times By S. Judith Metz


eeing things whole and going deeper into our experiences, encounters and reflections were the hallmarks of our approach to our Sisters of Charity 2011 Chapter of Affairs and Chapter of Elections. The journey began in the spring 2010 when the Chapter Planning Committee met with the Leadership Council, the Future Planning Committee and the chairs of our five focus committees. This gathering initiated the process of naming the issues and concerns the Community would consider throughout the months leading to the April 2011 Chapter meetings. The Chapter Planning Process was launched for the Sisters and Associates at the Fall 2010 Congregational meetings. Participants were introduced to two tools that would be used to enable us to prepare for Chapter in a contemplative and discerning spirit. The first of these was the “Seeing Things Whole” framework. Using this approach we looked at our Congregation as a system containing three critical dimensions: identity, purpose and stewardship. The second tool was the “Theory U” communal discernment process of listening, observing, praying and acting together. The design of this process encourages consciously cultivating an open mind, an open heart, and an open will that leads to Spirit-filled discussions and actions. Opportunities for Chapter participation that were presented at these meetings included the traditional ones of small group discussions, serving on a Chapter committee, and choosing to be a delegate, an observer, or a pray-er. They also included several possibilities utilizing electronic media. For instance, the Chapter Planning Committee published an online newsletter after each of their meetings to provide updates on progress toward the Chapter. In addition, Chapternet, a listserve dedicated to discussions related to Chapter issues, was initiated, as was a Message Board created to post results of the Sisters’ small group discussions.


(Front row, left) Sisters Lois Jean Goettke, Patricia Dittmeier, (back row, left) Christine Marie Rody, Judith Metz, Mary Ellen Murphy, Barbara Davis, Georgia Kitt and Joan Deiters served on the Chapter Planning Committee.

One of the most innovative features of the Chapter preparation process was the possibility of individuals or groups creating “Self-Organizing Groups” (SOGs) by identifying an issue they wished to discuss and inviting all interested parties to join in the discussion. Five of these groups assembled. One was titled “Aging SCs – Designing our Future” in which 48 Sisters participated. This was followed by a two-part discussion on “Sharing our Vision of the Future.” A SOG on “Membership” included the possibility of participating via conference call, and one on the “Sister/Associate Relationship” that attracted 95 people. Each one of these SOGs Intercom

posted the results of their discussions, some of which generated extensive conversations on Chapternet. The Chapter Planning Committee provided a reflection during Advent and a “Discerning Leadership” booklet that asked each Sister to pray about how the Spirit might be calling her to participation in our Community life, and who she wished to nominate for Leadership positions. Governance small groups met throughout the months leading up to Chapter using materials provided by the Mission Focus Committee and the Governance Committee. They also discussed the Leadership Council’s Four-Year Report and articles provided by the Chapter Planning Committee. In the final days before Chapter, they participated in a process of nominating Sisters for Congregational leadership positions.

Members of the newly elected Leadership Team of the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati are (from left) Sisters Lois Jean Goettke, councilor; Louise Lears, councilor; Mary Bookser, councilor; Joan Elizabeth Cook, president; and Christine Marie Rody, councilor. The president and councilors will serve a four-year term from July 1, 2011, through June 30, 2015.

By the time the Chapter convened April 8, 2011, the room was filled with excitement and anticipation. We reminded ourselves that we wanted to be contemplative, discerning, respectful, listening, communal and transformative, and we prayed that this would be the spirit in which we would act over the next eight days. The adoption of a newly worded Mission Statement was one of the first actions Chapter delegates took. The Mission Focus Committee proposed several changes to our 1979 Mission Statement that the group felt better expressed the current reality of the Community. This material had been discussed in small groups and in Chapter sessions before the decision was made to adopt the new wording of the Mission Statement: Urged by the love of Christ, and in the spirit of our founder, Elizabeth Ann Seton, we Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati strive to live Gospel values. We choose to act justly, to build loving relationships, to share our common resources with those in need, and to care for all creation. Delegates also affirmed the recommendation that the Leadership Team give sustained focus and attention to promoting the Sisters of Charity mission by assigning specific responsibility for this function. Following this decision, the Chapter next heard from four of our lay partners in mission. Each one expressed the meaning of his or her relationship with the Sisters of Charity and how they see their work extending the Charity mission. Their insights led the delegates into a deeper conversation about the relationship between Sisters and our Associates. Delegates agreed there should be a process of mutual exploration of the relationship between Sisters and Associates as a follow-up to the Chapter discussion. Receiving recommendations from the Governance Committee, delegates approved several changes in our government structure. Among these were: the elimination of Networks; the formation of small groups that could include Associates for faith sharing, support, discussion and socialization; and authorization of the new Executive Council to utilize new ways to meet the needs of the Sisters and to provide opportunities for Sisters to gather. In the area of general governance, the delegates approved the

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length of term remain at four years renewable, and that the secretary and treasurer be appointed from among the elected members of the Executive Council. In a period set aside for consideration of membership, delegates contemplated questions related to our own living of our Sisters of Charity life: how do we experience it, are our living situations places of welcome and witness to the mission and Charism of Charity? The group directed that the focus for the next four years be on the question: As a Congregation, what choices and changes do we need to make in order to strengthen our witness of consecrated life? Results of other discussions led to the following affirmations and commitments: 1) we affirm that authority in its fullest sense is mutual accountability and responsibility on the part of membership and leadership, and 2) we commit to ongoing education and development about the use of information technology for the sake of the mission. With these actions in place, the Chapter delegates proceeded to the nomination phase of the Chapter of Elections. After consideration of our expectations of leaders over the next four years, delegates offered their nominations. The list of those nominated was combined with the names that the small groups had submitted in their nomination process. With the complete list of nominees available, the following day was set aside as a time of quiet prayer and discernment after which the nominees indicated their willingness to remain in the election process. An extensive process of discernment among the delegates and nominees preceded the elections after which the elections were held. The results were: President: S. Joan Elizabeth Cook Councilors: S. Lois Jean Goettke S. Louise Lears S. Mary Bookser S. Christine Marie Rody Chapter delegates and others present then proceeded to the Motherhouse chapel for a blessing of those who had been chosen to lead us for the next four years. 5

As Big as God Wants to Be

By S. Georgia Kitt


n the final year of our leadership term, we, Sisters Barbara Hagedorn, Nancy Bramlage, Lois Jean Goettke and Georgia Kitt, took our lead from Margaret George’s banner phrase “God is All” and accepted LCWR President Marlene Weisenbeck’s directive “Let God be as big as God wants to be.” Margaret’s courage and God’s guiding hand led us forward. As a committed community of women, made for service, we felt the support of our Sisters in fostering right relationships – be it in issues of immigration reform, elimination of the death penalty, or the unequal distribution of basic needs across our world. We are assured the Gospel will show us what to do and how we must act. This was true in our preparation for the April 2011 Chapter, as well; we called on the Spirit and one another to learn who God is calling us to be at this time in our history. The annual leadership events began in Dallas, Texas, in August 2010 and ended in May 2011 in Charleston, S.C., where we experienced true southern hospitality provided by our Federation sisters, the Sisters of Charity of Our Lady of Mercy. In Dallas we met for the annual Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) meeting, joining in solidarity with 750 other women religious leaders to further explore our identity and role in the church. Two theologians provided insights about our Catholic identity and the unique function of religious life in today’s church. Dr. M. Shawn Copeland, Ph.D., of Boston College pointed out the Catholic tradition is in crisis globally. She challenged: “Prophetic ministry by women religious is imperative to the future of the Catholic Church. We are in a situation where nothing seems to be moving forward; life-giving possibilities for the future seem beyond immediate realization.” Richard Gaillardez, then a professor at the University of Toledo, supported this view and added that the laity are looking to us: “The way you respond to the ecclesial tensions you are experiencing will be a witness to all Catholic Christians instructing all of us in how to meet fruitfully and productively respond to the inevitable ecclesial tension that we undergo,” he said. 6

In August 2010, Sisters of Charity Leadership Team members joined together with other members of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious in Dallas, Texas, for a public prayer service to call for the abolishment of the death penalty.

We joined others in a public prayer service to call for the abolishment of the death penalty. This again deepened our appreciation of our unique public witness as vowed women religious. Our contemplative call continues to be valued. We take our power from the Word of God. The regional LCWR gatherings embraced this theme in both the fall 2010 and spring 2011. We challenged ourselves as to how we might be Church in the midst of the current darkness. Hope was prevalent among us – hope in our prayer, our conversations and in our future. Questions that come to mind: “Who are we when we are no longer who we used to be? What would we not do for the future?” At the annual SC Federation gathering in May 2010 we learned more of the commonalities among our founding Spirits. We were heartened by the breadth of activities undertaken by our United Nations NGO representative S. Caroljean Willie on our behalf. In “Weaving the Vision” we heard how our vision of the Federation has evolved over time, updating us on the current company of Charity formation programs for both vowed members and Associates. We expressed a strong desire to move forward with more grassroots opportunities and collaboration. We shared pride in the welcoming activities and successful outreach realized in the second year of the Federation’s House of Charity in New Orleans, La., an intentional community that offers visitors the opportunity to experience the Charity charism; and we learned of a secured future for the Elizabeth Ann Seton Heritage Ministry in Emmitsburg, Md. The weaving continues as the connections deepen. We close out our year knowing that witnessing to the Gospel must be our consistent stance in relationship to the sacred and to the Earth, the Church, and especially to the world that needs healing all over the globe. We realize that choices we make are critical. In all our actions we will rely on our Provident God, letting God be as big as God wants to be.



RELATIONSHIPS By Sisters Janet Gildea and Monica Gundler


ur Sisters of Charity ministries in vocation and initial formation take us, quite literally, “all over the place.” Although we have enhanced our connections with technologies, using Facebook, blogs and texting, real face-to-face encounters with those discerning are still essential. Increasingly, we find that vocation promotion requires that we extend an invitation to women who want to work shoulder-to-shoulder with us in “the hard places” doing the tough jobs that others prefer to avoid. We have discovered that we encounter women motivated for service to the poor and most marginalized in out-of-the-way places. Many are giving one year (or more) of volunteer service. Some come to these places to study. The desire to give their lives and use their ministerial skills in service to the poor is central to the Charism of Charity, and we need to be in those places to build relationships with those who might be sensing a call to religious life. The House of Charity in New Orleans, La., hosted two Federation vocation events in 2011. In January the sixth Service and Spirituality trip included Sisters from Seton Hill, Greensburg, Pa.; Convent Station, N.J.; New York; Halifax, Nova Scotia; Nazareth, Ky.; and Cincinnati. Fifteen young women from around the country joined us for an incredible work experience, clearing an entire parochial school building so that it could be transformed into a community center. Morning and evening prayer introduced the women to our Charism of Charity through a focus on the founders and included reflection on the ministry experience of the day. The opportunity to serve together with others in discernment

In June 2011, (back, from left) S. Miriam Genevieve Nwaizu (discerning with the Sisters of Charity of New Jersey), Andrea Koverman, Tracey Horan, Romina Sapinoso and Tracy Kemme (front) participated in the first Sisters of Charity Federation Vocation Discernment Weekend in Emmitsburg, Md. A N N U A L R E P O RT 2 0 1 1

S. Peggy Deneweth (left) and Associates in Community Tracey Horan, Romina Sapinoso and S. Carol Wirtz play outside the Santo Niño clinic in Anapra, Mexico.

enabled participants to work together, as well as share wisdom, questions, and hopefully some laughter and relaxation. Another collaborative vocation opportunity was the Come and Serve event in September 2010. A small group of women participated in the discernment weekend which included a day of service. In June 2011, we returned to our roots for a Federation discernment retreat for women in serious discernment at the Daughters of Charity Provincial House in Emmitsburg, Md. Five women explored the connections between Elizabeth Seton’s life journey and their own as they visited the Seton historic sites. SC Associates in Community and Volunteer Ministry lived and ministered with the Sisters at Casa de Caridad in Anthony, N.M. While the explicit focus of these forms of Associate membership is not the discernment of a vocation to the religious life, the three women who have chosen this commitment each acknowledged that it is an opportunity to explore the possibility. They participated in ministries with the Sisters at the Santo Niño Project in Anapra, Mexico, a clinic that serves children with special needs and their families; the Villa Maria Home for women in crisis; and young adult ministries in the Diocese of El Paso, Texas. As of July 2011, Sisters Monica Gundler and Janet Gildea exchanged positions with S. Monica assuming responsibility for vocation promotion activities and coordinating the Vocation Team and S. Janet serving as the director of affiliates. Casa de Caridad has been designated the initial formation community for women in affiliation. These ministries will be directed from New Orleans, La., and New Mexico and will continue to depend upon the involvement of Sisters and Associates around the country to represent us at “one-time” events such as vocation fairs, school vocation talks or diocesan vocation councils. Our priorities are opportunities to build relationships and connections to real Sisters and our Mission of Charity. Collaboration with Federation congregations is key to extending our vocation and formation efforts for the future. The connections of the Charity Family make visible to women in discernment our commitment to continue being all over the place, in hard places where we have been for many years, as well as where new needs beckon. 7


Gathering In By S. Annette Marie Paveglio


athering “in” is the goal of the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati Spirituality Center’s programs and retreats. All of us can gather our bodies together in a group, in time and in space, but how do we reach into the depths of our being to allow ourselves to experience the lost and broken in us? Hopefully, the environment provided at the center allows participants to do so in a safe place with the loving presence of God. We are made for service. This is not something taken lightly when pondering what retreats and programs to offer. Those who come to our doors to be nurtured look for experiences that will address issues they encounter on their spiritual journey. Some of those nurturing experiences are summarized below.

Prophets of Hope in Difficult Times was the theme of the August 2010 six-day retreat led by Fr. Al Naseman, CPPS. In May 2011, Tending the Garden of Love, a six-day guided retreat, was facilitated by S. Maureen Heverin. Directed retreats also were offered during both of these six-day retreats. The Triduum Retreat provided the opportunity for those wishing to spend the sacred three days in a special way walking with Jesus.

Annette Georgin (back) teaches Introduction to Yoga to participants.

The popular Sundays of Reflection focused on Community virtues and deepened awareness of the long history of the Sisters of Charity. Presenters were creative, reflective, challenging and humorous. S. Dorothy Ann Blatnica addressed Humility; S. Montiel Rosenthal on Simplicity; S. Barbara Hagedorn on Charity; and S. Mary Ann Flannery on Remember God is Ever Present.

Other programs offered to meet the various needs of individuals were Are You Talking to Me, God?, Book Sharing, Forgiveness, Introduction to the Labyrinth, Spiritual Autobiography, and Engaging the Shadow.

All Campus Prayer provides time for employees, Sisters, Associates and volunteers alike to gather for a 20-minute prayer session five times during the year, alternating space between the Motherhouse chapel and Bayley Enrichment Center. Employees do not have to use their break or lunch time for these sessions. The Liturgical season dictates the theme of each prayer session.

God is present to everything, like the eye of a camera that sees everything just as it is. Yet, we, in our turn, may not be present to God. To help address this, the Spirituality Center offers opportunities for centering prayer. On Wednesdays all are invited to come together for one 20-minute period of centering prayer followed by sharing on a book related to centering prayer. A Centering Prayer Retreat Weekend and Introduction to Centering Prayer also are offered.

“Stemming from a belief that all of life is sacred, our purpose is to unite faith with life experience in a wholistic approach.” (Spirituality Center Mission Statement) To this end S. Mary Fran Davisson, licensed massage therapist, offers various kinds of wholistic massage and energy work. Additionally, S. Mary Ann Humbert presented Tai Chi, and Annette Georgin offered Introduction to Yoga sessions.

Lent is a time when many are looking for “something extra” to enrich their spiritual lives. The Rev. Tim Schehr hosted four sessions of Biblical Conversations. A Directed Retreat Weekend also took place during Lent. Sisters Maureen Heverin and Rita Hawk facilitate an RCIA retreat day annually for candidates, catechumens and sponsors from various parishes. Communal Reconciliation Services are sponsored both in Advent and Lent annually.

Bridges to Contemplative Living with Thomas Merton has continued to draw steady groups for both the Sunday and weekday afternoon sessions. The Sacred Art of Listening was offered in two sessions to emphasize that listening is much more than hearing. Collaboration with the Moye Spiritual Life Center in Melbourne, Ky., allowed us the privilege of hosting Macrina Wiederkehr, OSB, for an Advent evening of reflection and meditation.

The Spirituality Center services hundreds of people of all faiths and walks of life during the course of its annual offerings. We are grateful to all who collaborate with us as presenters to help others experience God in a deeper way. We are made for service, and although struggles are sometimes present, we keep trying to “gather in.”




Service for the Long Haul By S. Jean Miller


ervice takes many forms but the Office of Peace, Justice and Integrity of Creation’s focus is advocacy. This is a different form of service from giving food, financial support or comfort. This is the kind of service that examines causes of situations, and tries to address the reasons why some people’s rights are denied or why they need material assistance. This requires education and analysis before action. It is the kind of service that can threaten the power structures that are at the root of the cause for poverty or denial of human rights. It is the kind of service that was responsible for the crucifixion of Jesus, the martyrdoms of Dorothy Stang and others, who challenged power structures. Advocacy can include legislation that changes unjust laws, speaks on behalf of new laws, or eliminates laws that exclude or discriminate. Sometimes it creates new structures, such as cooperatives or shared decision-making that will enable models of power shifts. Education and advocacy for women has taken a variety of forms during this year. Some events included a celebration of the global achievements of women’s hundred years of advocacy, and a prayer service for St. Mary of Magdala, the woman who was one of the first witnesses to the resurrection and whom the early Church Fathers called the “Apostle to the Apostles.” S. Marge Kloos gave the reflection in July 2010 for the many men and women gathered to celebrate women’s participation in the Church. Our Congo committee has been working very hard to educate about the terrible situation women in the Democratic Republic of the Congo are experiencing. As a result of our Congregational Stand on the Congo, the committee has provided much education through videos, DVDs, displays, monthly prayer cards and suggested advocacy and actions through signing of postcards about conflict minerals and special envoys. Meetings with our sponsored ministries have brought this issue to their attention, as well. One of our most extensive service projects supporting women this year is the research, education and recognition of women as change agents throughout the world in our 2012 Celebrate Women’s Calendar. It will provide for ongoing education and reflection regarding the role of women in power shifts throughout the world during the next year. One of the groups currently suffering in our society is the immigrant population. The violence toward people doing the hard, dirty jobs in our society is being displayed in the passage of state laws, which will eventually be decided by the Supreme Court. Right now so many A N N U A L R E P O RT 2 0 1 1

immigrants are unjustly jailed and deported causing the separation of families. The office has been educating about their situation, planning events and encouraging humane legislation. S. Marge Kloos was the reflector for the July This year a dialogue 26, 2010, Mary of Magdala prayer service. event on the DREAM Act is being offered for employees, our sponsored institutions’ employees as well as Sisters and Associates. Our follow-up may be the Arts Wave dramatization called Cincinnati: City of Immigrants. Some of us assisted at this play which the office worked to publicize and accompany Sisters and Associates to performances.

In order to strengthen our voice of advocacy, the justice offices of the Sisters of Charity Federation are working together especially in the area of immigration. The climate crises during this year have given the world a warning that our lifestyle needs to change radically. Our office has been involved in educating through programming, book discussions, environmental and grounds committee actions and legislation. Collaboration with various organizations in the area has made the topic more urgent. One of OPJIC’s new endeavors this year has been education through Facebook. Initial attempts were videos on Earth, War, Immigration, Mary of Magdala, Guatemala and Labor Day. OPJIC has been pleased with the way this medium has been used for service in the area of advocacy, and will continue to develop its use of social media throughout next year. Collaboration with Cincinnati’s Drop Inn Center, through the board memberships of Sisters Louise Akers and Jean Miller, has been an important part of our ministry due to the changes that are coming to the core of the city and the place of shelters that have a history serving the homeless population there. This will be an ongoing challenge as the DIC Board struggles to speak for those without voice in the process of change. As the statistics about the economic situation in our country become more dire as the increased suffering of people is revealed, we will continue to ask ourselves, “How can our office best perform the ministry of service that shifts the structures of power in favor of those who are suffering the most?” 9

True Service of the Heart By S. Judith Metz

“Do we consecrate ourselves to God as our All in all with the true service of the heart?” ~ St. Elizabeth Ann Seton


he Archives is very fortunate to have five Sisters of Charity who are willing and anxious to volunteer to serve the Community by rendering “true service of the heart” in many ways. They are Sisters Joyce Brehm, Mary Lucia Dudzinski, Victoria Marie Forde, Benedicta Mahoney and Patricia McQuinn. To “make available the records that pertain to the history and spirit of the Congregation” is one of the purposes of the Archives. Although this is often carried out by delving into old materials, the more pertinent challenge is how to utilize our ever-emerging technology to do it more effectively and more efficiently. Each one who works in the Archives has accepted this challenge. Each one is contributing to the digitization of our collection by transcribing documents and audio tapes, by transferring videotapes to DVDs, by continuing to digitize our entire photographic collection, and by creating searchable databases. We are awed at the large number of requests for access to our materials and through our responses learn to appreciate our rich legacy. With 2011 marking the 150th anniversary of the outbreak of the Civil War, this has vividly come home to us. We have entertained researchers on our Sisters’ nursing work in the war, provided resources for exhibits to the St. Elizabeth Seton Shrine in Emmitsburg, Md., (left) and to the Delhi Historical Society here in Cincinnati, Ohio, and prepared our own exhibit which is on display in the Heritage Room at the Motherhouse.


S. Patricia Sabourin reads from one of the Sisters of Charity Civil War journals during a dulcimer concert held May 1, 2011, in the Motherhouse chapel. The Hills of Kentucky Dulcimers performed period pieces for Sisters, Associates and members of the community to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War.

In April 2011, we collaborated with the Hills of Kentucky Dulcimers to commemorate the beginning of the war with a program of period songs and readings from the Sisters’ Civil War journals. More than 200 people attended the program held in our Motherhouse chapel. Future plans include collaboration with the Communications Office in producing a booklet containing all of the Civil War journals as well as material for our SC Web site. The spirit of “true service of the heart” so nobly demonstrated by our Civil War nurses continues to be an inspiration for all of us. Intercom

Grounded in the Charism By Mary Jo Mersmann, director of Associates

Associates in Community Romina Sapinoso (left), Tracey Horan (center) and Associate in Volunteer Ministry Tracy Kemme (second from right) lived in community with Sisters Peggy Deneweth and Carol Wirtz (right) this year.


n cities and towns across the United States, Associates make a difference in the lives of their families, coworkers, parishes and communities through their lives of charity and dedication to service. Associate in Volunteer Ministry, Tracy Kemme, completed a year of service at the Santo Niño Project in Anapra, Mexico. Romina Sapinosa and Tracey Horan shared their lives, prayer and service this year as teachers and Associates in Community in New Mexico. Eighteen Associates in Mission joined the Charity Family in Dayton, Ohio, Cincinnati, Ohio, Bedford, Ohio, Juneau, Alaska, and Spring Hill, Fla., so they too may share in the mission of charity. Twenty-one candidates continue on their formation journey.

Plans are currently underway for Sisters and Associates to meet one another in Cincinnati at the Motherhouse in the summer of 2012. A Steering Committee is already hard at work making plans for “Caritas Convocation: convening, complementing, committing” to be held June 27 through July 1, 2012. It will be an opportunity to meet one another, gather in prayer and ritual, share our stories, dream our dreams and talk with one another about how we can be supportive on the journey ahead. Our goals and hopes are to generate 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 to have a great time while doing so. Financial assistance will be available to Associates through our Associate in Mission Fund and registration information will be available in January 2012. Continue to watch the Associates and Sisters passwordprotected sections of the SC Web site for more announcements and information.

In celebrations of their Charity commitments 25 years ago, five Associates were honored for their Silver Jubilees of service and charity. Viola Elizondo, Anna Marie Pacheco and Edith Hendrix in the West; Karen McMichael in Cincinnati; and Helen Duffy in Florida are examples of the loyalty and dedication to the Sisters of Charity that Associates hold onto throughout their lives. As we look to the future and our journey together as Sisters and Associates, it is evident as our numbers continue to grow that even though we believe in the same mission and are dedicated to the same Gospel values, we don’t know one another. Associates in Alaska have never met those in Florida or Michigan. Albuquerque Associates don’t know the Dayton group or those in Bedford; and even though many of us live in and around Cincinnati, we don’t know one another. A N N U A L R E P O RT 2 0 1 1

Pat Murdock (left), with S. Jean Patrice Harrington, made her commitment as an Associate in Mission of the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati on June 26 in the Motherhouse chapel.


God’s Call to Service By S. Lois Jean Goettke


rom our very beginning in 1852, the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati were called to service. The Congregation sent Sisters in all directions, nationally and internationally, to perform the spiritual and corporal works of mercy. Our community motto, “The love of Christ urges us,” along with our mission and charism statements, challenge each Sister and Associate to listen deeply to God’s call to service and to a loving, generous heart.

“Twinning parishes are called to rejoice in their diversity, gain greater understanding and love for each other, and celebrate their oneness in the body of Christ.”

As Spanish teacher at Fenwick High School in Middletown, Ohio, Associate Patrice Harty for several summers has organized groups of Sisters, Associates and students to volunteer with S. Sarah in a variety of activities. In 2011, Sisters Noreen Ellison, Donna Steffen, Pat Hill, In the past four issues of our Mary Ann Humbert and Associate quarterly magazine, Intercom, we Jamie Kelly helped S. Sarah with focused on education (kindergarten several projects, including recycling through university level), health care and cleaning/preparing two rooms and social work. What wonderful for 15 sewing machines. During the stories of Sisters and Associates trip they observed several programs listening and staying focused on that focused on women – women Christ’s presence in all persons. In with children under age 3, a women’s these stories, along with the many senior center, a boarding school for others not published this year from high school girls and a school for our pastoral associates, spiritual adult women with no education. The Retired S. Roberta Westrick used her artistic talents to create directors, youth ministers as well as trip allowed each participant to not the decorative santos adorning the reredos at St. Pius X those who are working in the areas only “see” what S. Sarah is doing, Catholic Church in Weslaco, Texas. of helping our earth and nonviolent like the clinic, but also to learn how communication, one knows that we are working hard to help S. Sarah’s deep listening to the needs of the people responded create a better world. Enjoy these stories at our beautiful SC with the creation of new programs. Web site: Our Sisters at the Motherhouse warmly welcome With deep listening often comes a new place to minister. S. Mary Gallagher felt the call to return to missionary work in Dominica, West Indies. As coordinator of Catholic teacher education in the Diocese of Roseau, she is training teachers to teach religion. This summer she invited Sisters and Associates to join her in a Vacation Bible School. Three answered the call for the three-week program - Sisters Marie Pauline Skalski, Marie Tessmer and lay woman Joan Hilton. Not only did the time in Dominica open the eyes of the volunteers to the beauty of the people, land and its poverty, but to the possibility of joining her as a missionary in Dominica. Our S. Sarah Mulligan in Guatemala encourages the coming together of different cultures by twinning with parishes in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. Mike Gable, director of the archdiocesan Mission Office, explains, 12

retreatants, groups utilizing our rooms for meetings, Sisters from other religious communities who are studying at the College of Mount St. Joseph, and recently, teachers from Palestine with our SC hospitality. Our retired Sisters use their gifts in many places in Cincinnati and around the country, tutoring, visiting in hospitals or welcoming visitors at the reception desk, translating for our Hispanic brothers and sisters, serving at soup kitchens, ministering at prisons, acting as guardians at St. Joseph Home in Cincinnati, volunteering at health clinics or faithfully writing letters to their representatives in Congress on many different issues. And our ministry of prayer for individuals and our world continues daily. Our Sisters of Charity Constitutions state: “By 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 Intercom

During the past year that she has been living at the Motherhouse, while attending the College of Mount St. Joseph, S. Petra Mkongwa (right), an African Benedictine Sister of St. Gertrude, has learned to crochet from S. Marie Irene Schneider.

love and reinforce by the testimony of our lives that God is present in and concerned about human affairs… Through our ministries we seek to transform the world into a more just one and to uncover and nurture what is good and beautiful in the world.”

This wonderful document reminds us, “In the light of Gospel values, we express our sense of the Divine presence through our personal lives and ministries …” [SC Constitutions, 5-7, p. 8] Currently we are working to help pass comprehensive immigration reform, starting with the DREAM Act, which opens options for undocumented persons who have been here for at least five years prior to the passing of this act, who came to this country before the age of 15, and who are currently under the age of 32-35 (different ages in the House and Senate acts). The Act would offer conditional sixyear permanent resident status, allowing our sister and brother immigrants to attend college or join our armed services. There are other proscriptions attached to this act, and for more information, visit the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Web site at, or the Catholic Legal Immigration Network at Our Mission Statement calls us to strive to live Gospel values, each and every day, so that we can work through the love of Christ to help transform our world. At the end of the day, we can only hope that we cooperated with all the abundant generosity of our God, to help make this a reality. Our prayer is that we live what we have vowed together in our individual and communal lives.

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S. Mary Gallagher (back, right), with second grade children of St. Mark parish in the Village of Soufriere, began ministering in Dominica, West Indies, in January 2011.

There are currently 384 members of the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati serving in 33 U.S. dioceses (16 states) and three foreign countries. A total of 293 Sisters serve in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. Ministries of the Sisters of Charity include education, health care, retreat work, parish, social work, ministry of prayer and Congregational service. Dioceses Brownsville Cincinnati Cleveland Colorado Springs Columbus Covington Denver Detroit Dubuque El Paso Fort Wayne Helena Indianapolis Juneau Kalamazoo Lansing Las Cruces Louisville Miami

Newark New Orleans New York Oakland Paterson Pueblo Saginaw St. Petersburg San Diego San Francisco Santa Fe Toledo Venice Wilmington Foreign Countries Guatemala Mexico West Indies


Seeking a World of Progress By S. Caroljean Willie


ormer Nobel Laureate Ralph Bunche once said, “The United Nations exists not merely to preserve the peace but also to make change – even radical change – possible without violent upheaval. The United Nations has no vested interest in the status quo. It seeks a more secure world, a better world, a world of progress for all peoples. In the dynamic world society which is the objective of the United Nations (UN), all peoples must have equality and equal rights.”

Committee of Religious NGOs, an interfaith collaborative; the Working Group on Poverty and Climate Change; the Working Group on Sustainable Development and the Integrity of Earth; and the task force on writing the Civil Society Declaration for the Commission for Social Development. Sisters Faith Colligan, DC, and Marie Elena Dio, SC, represent the Federation on the Financing for Development Committee.

To keep members informed of our UN work, I communicate regularly with the Although these words were uttered liaisons from each congregation; develop over one-half century ago, they still a monthly action alert or education piece, reflect the mission and purpose of a quarterly newsletter; and have a section the UN today – and clearly reflect on UN activities on our Federation Web the reason for the Sisters of Charity site ( Federation commitment to having I work closely with Sisters Germaine a presence in this world body. Our Price and Patricia Connolly from the S. Caroljean Willie, NGO representative, center, visits Sisters of Charity Federation is an Daughters of Charity UN office as well as the Taj Mahal during her month in India visiting the 235 official NGO at the UN with special with Father Joe Foley, the Congregation Indian members of the Sisters of Charity Federation. consultative status with the Economic of the Mission representative. Together we and Social Council (ECOSOC). As the offer a Vincentian Family UN orientation main representative at the UN in New York, I represent our for membership bi-annually. 4,000 members working in 26 countries. The Federation also seeks to bring the voices of those living One of the gifts we bring to the UN is our international presence. We often work in difficult places with few resources, but with a firm belief in the dignity and value of every person. This past year I spent one month in India visiting the 235 Indian members of our Federation and also visited Sisters in Canada in Antigonish, New Brunswick, Edmonton and Vancouver as well as members in Boston, Mass., and Cincinnati (Mother Margaret Hall and the College of Mount St. Joseph). I attended and/or presented at both national and international gatherings related to both congregational interests and the systemic change initiative of the larger Vincentian Family. These trips afforded me the opportunity to hear the issues of those with whom and to whom we minister and bring those issues to the UN. Committee membership provides the opportunity to work with other NGOs 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 14

in poverty to speak for themselves at the UN. This past year we hosted Susan Saiyiorri from Kenya at the Civil Society Forum of the Commission for Social Development as well as hosted side events featuring S. Leena Kumari, SCN, from India and Susan. S. Leena also served a six-week internship with our office. S. Faith co-chaired the Civil Society Forum and I gave a presentation on micro-financing as a tool for social development. Recently, I attended two events in Bonn, Germany: the annual NGO conference as well as a UN Environmental Program (UNEP) global consultation in preparation for Rio+ 20, the upcoming Earth Summit to be held in Brazil in June 2012. Despite an abundance of red tape and frequently seemingly insurmountable obstacles, I believe, like Trygve Lie, the first UN Secretary General, that: “The one common undertaking and universal instrument of the great majority of the human race is the United Nations. A patient, constructive long-term use of its potentialities can bring a real and secure peace to the world.” Intercom

Members of the newly elected Leadership Team of the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati receive congratulations from the Community following the 2011 Chapter in April.

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Service to Immigrants IS IN OUR DNA By S. Jean Miller


isters of Charity have always taken the Scripture message to “Welcome the stranger” seriously as they educated, comforted, stood with and advocated for the immigration population. In Scripture St. Paul shows us how to minister and then move on. However, when it comes to service to the various newcomers in our country, that ministry has carried on throughout the century. There have always been people coming from other countries, other continents, other religious traditions and other cultures. Despite the fact that the United States is a country of immigrants, we, as a society, don’t welcome or include them among us without years of discrimination, oppression and exclusion. “Give me your tired, your poor ….” is a wonderful saying and a powerful sign of our inter-dependence. However, each new group has suffered to gain entrance, acceptance, equality and political, economic and social inclusion. Today our Sisters and Associates in Colorado, Michigan, New Mexico, Ohio and Texas continue ministering to the “stranger” in all its forms. Our Public Statement on Immigration, issued at the 2007 Chapter, calls us to be active in speaking out to challenge all that keeps our immigrants in the shadows, in poverty and in deportation centers. Some of our advocacy service today is in the following areas: • The DREAM Act is a way to include and educate young people who have grown up in our midst. We work to pass it as a first step to Comprehensive Immigration Reform. • The most important change that would relieve some of the suffering of our brothers and sisters is passage of the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Bill that insures the following: • Persons have the right to find opportunities in their homeland; • Persons have the right to migrate to support themselves and their families;

• Refugees and asylum seekers should be afforded protection; and • The human rights and the human dignity of undocumented migrants should be respected. • At the same time we work to improve or eliminate the Secure Committee process and E-Verify, an Internet-based program run by the United States government that compares information from an employee’s Employment Eligibility Verification Form to data from U.S. government records. Both are enforcement tools used to avoid fixing the problem in a just and humane way. Join us in walking with the people from other cultures so your heart can be touched, your faith can be strengthened and your hands can be opened to our neighbors and their need.

Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati Public Statement on Immigration We, Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati, support the pastoral letter of Catholic Bishops of Mexico and the United States, Strangers Together on the Journey, which acknowledges that the current immigration system cries out for change. We recognize the rights of all our immigrant/ refugee sisters and brothers. We believe the resolution of immigration/refugee issues must be viewed through the lens of economic analysis. Therefore, we call for change in unjust immigration policies and unfair trade agreements by our nation, and we will continue our direct outreach to immigrants and refugees.

• Sovereign nations have a right to control their borders;



Sister Service S. Pat Marie Bernard reflects on her volunteer ministry serving the immigrant population at Santa Maria Community Services in Price Hill (Cincinnati, Ohio).


e have a long Sisters of Charity history (113 years) serving immigrant populations through the outreach of Santa Maria Community Services. On Dec. 8, 1897, the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati established Santa Maria Italian Educational and Industrial Home, which addressed the urgent needs of Italian immigrants for housing, education, language training, employment and family stability. Services, along with a name change, later shifted to new immigrants: the people of Appalachia, African-Americans, and most recently, to a rapidly growing Hispanic/ Latino population. Their needs continue similar to those of earlier years – as do the programs and outreaches with the addition of health care access. Recent collaboration provided housing space at Santa Maria for the Good Samaritan Free Health Center. An “immigrant” myself to the Cincinnati area after 42 years of health care ministry in New Mexico and not having S. Pat Marie Bernard continues the Sisters of Charity legacy of service at Santa Maria Community earlier roots here, I found my “ministry Services in Price Hill (Cincinnati). nitch” at Santa Maria Community Services. As a registered nurse with administrative wellness program we were able to monitor her blood skills, and grant-writing and board of trustee experience, I sugar, blood pressure and other vital signs. We reviewed could continue SC witness and service through Santa Maria. nutrition and safety issues pertinent to her living Following are some recent story highlights with immigrants situation, encouraged her to keep doctor visits, and served via the health/wellness program. made sure she had transportation available to her. As evidenced in her expression of gratitude, helping her to • Upon arrival to the wellness clinic, this senior’s navigate the health system was so vital to her well being. complaints were significant; she couldn’t read bus signs, or even see if the traffic lights were red or green because • This couple arrived with the wife well into her of her blurred vision. The Wellness Team sprinted pregnancy and having had no prenatal care. It’s a scary into action! Medical screening, multiple phone calls, venture when “un-documentation” is part of the story. appointments at the University of Cincinnati Eye Initial health screening, and then multiple phone calls, Program, and enduring a long waiting period due to helped them to navigate the health system and a “safe a limited number of “slots” for low-income patients place” for the eventual delivery of a healthy baby. eventually led to treatment. The process took more than one year, but the good news – the patient eventually had More than 70 Sisters of Charity have ministered to cataract surgery in both eyes and can now see. immigrant populations coming to Santa Maria Community Services. May we long continue this legacy of service! • A frail senior with multiple health problems, this woman’s eyes lit up as the nurse initially listened to her story. She had immigrated from Greece. Through the A nnual R eport 2 0 1 1


Keeping the Mission Alive By Tim Moller, CFO


he Corporation Board for Sponsored Ministries (CBSM) of the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati was established after approval by the 1995 Chapter of Affairs. Essentially, 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. The CBSM plays a key role in the canonical and civil governance and the support of ministries the Sisters of Charity sponsor. “Sponsorship” is a relationship of delegated authority in which the Sisters of Charity Congregation, serving as the canonical steward, ensures that a ministry carries out the work of the Church according to its Catholic identity and the SC mission. Sisters of Charity sponsored ministries are governed by both canon and civil law. As stand alone civil entities, they are separated from the Sisters of Charity from a legal liability standpoint. However, canonically these ministries are still considered to be part of the Sisters of Charity. As such, there are certain “reserved powers” that are held by the Sisters of Charity to ensure canonical control. Using these reserved powers, the Sisters of Charity provide overall direction and ongoing evaluation of their sponsored ministries, largely 18

A number of Sisters of Charity were among the 400 supporters attending the June 5, 2011, dedication and blessing of DePaul Cristo Rey High School, the newest sponsored ministry of the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati. Photo courtesy of Don Denney

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. Legal and financial requirements and other sponsored ministries’ accountabilities to the CBSM are outlined in the Sisters of Charity Sponsorship Manual. The CBSM also provides oversight of trustee education and appointment, and sponsorship education and communication to both the sponsored ministries and to the Congregation. One of the main emphases of the CBSM over the past year has been to encourage our sponsored ministries to focus on mission, both that of the Sisters of Charity and their own. One way the board did this was to sponsor our biennial All Boards Retreat on Oct. 26, 2010. Nearly 100 board members and senior administrators of our sponsored ministries participated in a presentation and discussion led by Vincentian Father Ed Udovic on the topic, “Creating a Mission Culture.” The speaker challenged participants to consider what makes our ministries different from those who offer similar services, and how do we keep the Vincentian/ Setonian mission alive in our ministries? His comments were met with enthusiasm and a lively response. Intercom

A second initiative was the launching of the quarterly electronic newsletter Mission. This publication highlights mission activities of one of our sponsored ministries, offers quotes of our founders and prayers about mission meant to be used as resources, as well as a ‘News and Notes’ section that highlights information about mission activities at the various sponsored ministry sites. This colorful newsletter is meant to offer ideas and encouragement to allow sponsored ministries to be more focused and effective in highlighting mission to their constituencies. The CBSM-created DVD “Mission as a Sacred Trust” focuses on the mission of the Sisters of Charity as carried out through their ministries both historically and in our contemporary milieu. Several of the sponsored ministries are using this for new board member orientation or at board meetings to begin a discussion on mission. With the rewording of the Sisters of Charity Mission Statement enacted by the 2011 Chapter, and the addition of a new sponsored ministry – DePaul Cristo Rey High School, the DVD will be updated in the coming year. DePaul Cristo Rey High School has held two mission orientation sessions at the Mount St. Joseph Motherhouse. In February 2011, the first was held for the staff of the stillorganizing school. After the faculty was in place, another program was held to acquaint them with the Charity mission and tradition. The school also commissioned original art depicting the Gospel and Charity heritage out of which the school was created. This mural was unveiled at the June 5 dedication of the school.

The Sisters of Charity sponsor institutions to address education, health care and social service needs, with particular concern for direct service to the poor. The following organizations are sponsored by our Congregation: Bayley College of Mount St. Joseph DePaul Cristo Rey High School Light of Hearts Villa Seton Family Center Seton High School St. Joseph Home To read more about the sponsored ministries, visit the Sisters of Charity Web site at .

Finally, the CBSM has collaborated with SC Ministry Foundation to provide workshops for the directors (trustees) of the sponsored ministries. The two also have partnered on workshops for Sisters of Charity who serve on boards as well as those who are interested in learning more about board service. As we look ahead, the CBSM will focus on these three areas: • Nurturing local boards in their desire to embrace Gospel values and the history, mission and charism of the Sisters of Charity; • Enhancing relationships with local boards, the Leadership Team, SC Ministry Foundation and members of the Sisters of Charity; • Developing and exploring the nature of sponsorship, adapting sponsorship to the times, and examining future directions. Many thanks to S. Judith Metz for her assistance with this article.

Members of the current Corporation Board for Sponsored Ministries are (from left) S. Pat Saul, S. Mary Jo Gasdorf, S. Katie Hoelscher, S. Judith Metz, Tim Moller, S. Maureen Heverin, S. Brenda Busch, S. Ruth Kuhn and S. Joan Elizabeth Cook.

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R esponding to

The Needs of Others By S. Nancy Bramlage


ur mission calls us to respond to the needs of others. That is what Saints Vincent de Paul and Louise de Marillac were all about. That is why St. Elizabeth Seton founded the Sisters of Charity community. And that is what gets each one of us out of bed in the morning. Our Congregational budget reflects this mission in many ways. This is discussed in three other articles in the 2011 Annual Report: Tim Moller’s financial report, SC Ministry Foundation’s article, and S. Martha Walsh’s piece on the Seton Enablement Fund. In addition to these testimonials on money well spent, we have our Social Justice Fund from which we assist others financially. In Fiscal 2011, we were able to distribute a total of $289,426 to individuals in need and to organizations that are working to relieve people who are financially struggling, and ultimately, working to move those individuals out of poverty. In the pie chart below, you will see how our Social Justice Fund was spent in Fiscal 2011. More than one-half the money went to individuals or local agencies. Many of the requests came from our sponsored ministries or from organizations where our Sisters work or have connections. Some of the money was from the Emergency Fund – set up at the suggestion of Sisters and Associates and funded by them. SC Leadership received $11,149 in donations to the Emergency

Fund, and distributed $9,027 of these funds. This is included in the 57 percent section highlighted in the pie chart. The national and international organizations that received a total of 37 percent of the resources were programs that have solid reputations for working for systemic change as well as responding to urgent needs. A total of $18,000 was spent for natural disaster relief: $5,000 to the Sisters of Loretto for flood relief in Pakistan; $3,000 to the St. Lucia Mission (embassy) for hurricane relief; and $10,000 to Catholic Relief Services for the disaster at the nuclear plant in Japan. There was a significant decrease in the Advent Matching Fund this year. The Leadership Team matched dollar-fordollar the donations Sisters reported; this resulted in sending a total of $17,279 to 111 organizations. In the past Leadership sent $30,000 each year to the Networks to disperse as they saw fit. This decrease in the money sent could be seen as a result of fewer Sisters than when we started the Advent Matching and thus fewer donations. We continue to encounter people all over our world who are challenged by the troubled economy and the growing poverty gap. The new Census Report indicates that 46.2 Americans are below the poverty level, and one out of four are children. We are indeed blessed to have resources set aside to be able to respond to some of their needs.

Social Justice Fund Expenditures Fiscal 2011 Advent Matching Grants $17,279 National Agencies 6% $52,200 18% International Agencies $54,150 19%


Individuals and Local Organizations $165,797 57%


More Than A Grant-Making


By S. Sally Duffy, president and executive director, SCMF, and Loretta Dees, director of communications


n 2011, SC Ministry Foundation celebrates 15 years as a public grantmaking organization that promotes the mission and ministry of the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati. During that time the Foundation has awarded more than $121 million in grants to nonprofits that extend the reach of the Sisters of Charity mission. The focus of these grants was to address poverty and build healthy communities, through providing direct service and changing unjust systems and structures. We hope you continue to learn about these various grants in the Sisters of Charity Update, the Foundation’s newsletter Compelling Witness, and the 2011 annual report, Open the Doors to Christ. SC Ministry Foundation is called by our mission statement to be more than a grant-making organization: we are “Urged by the love of Christ … to build loving relationships.” This unique calling makes us different from other foundations. Because we are urged by Christ to build loving relationships, SC Ministry Foundation is deeply focused on mutual, responsive, candid and learning relationships with the nonprofits with which we partner.

of the programs were Women, Poverty and Public Policy and Communal Hope in Insecure Times. Women, Poverty and Public Policy explored the ways poverty affects women and the important legislation that affects poverty, such as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). Another critical topic discussed by one of the program’s guest speakers, Jean East, Ph.D. (Project Wise, Denver, Colo.), was the “Cliff Effect,” which is the penalty incurred when families living in poverty increase their earnings. For example: “All of the benefits for one of our clients were cut when she started working. She has five children and still needed support after she started working. Her hours are not enough to support her family.” ~ a nonprofit quoted in the National Catholic Social Justice lobby, NETWORK’s, Connection The staggering statistics on poverty and the wealth gap can be overwhelming. Did you know that the wealthiest 1 percent of our population own more than 90 percent of us combined, or that the median AfricanAmerican household has less than 10 cents

of wealth for every dollar of wealth owned by the median white family? This year the Foundation held the program Communal Hope in Insecure Times to help nonprofit leaders understand fears, embrace insecurity and find ways to engender communal hope for their work and the people they serve during these difficult times. The Foundation nurtures the spirituality of nonprofit leaders so that they can garner the leadership needed for impact, fulfilling their missions and “walking the talk” at their organizations. S. Simone Campbell, SSS, returned to Cincinnati to facilitate the program. Encouraging and Assisting with Stewardship and Sustainability SC Ministry Foundation holds nonprofits accountable for stewardship and sustainability and provides resources and support services to assist them in focusing on and developing these areas. In the words of St. Vincent de Paul, “Those who have the management of anything are obliged to manage it well and to use it faithfully, because it belongs to our good God, in as much as it belongs to the poor.”

The Foundation builds loving relationships with nonprofits by offering programs that foster learning around specific issues important to nonprofits, by encouraging and assisting nonprofits to focus on stewardship and sustainability, by convening nonprofits around common causes and projects, and by supporting direct community investments. Fostering Learning What specific issues are facing nonprofits today and how can SC Ministry Foundation foster learning around these topics? This year, a primary issue facing nonprofits was the rising poverty rate and widening wealth gap in the United States. The Foundation provided programs to help nonprofits explore and address these challenges. Two A N N U A L R E P O RT 2 0 1 1

(From left) Jean East was joined in the Women, Poverty and Public Policy presentation by State of Ohio Representative Denise Driehaus, Col Owens, J.D., from Legal Aid Society of Greater Cincinnati, and S. Simone Campbell, SSS, from the National Catholic Social Justice lobby, NETWORK, in Washington, D.C., pictured here with S. Sally Duffy (right).


their governance. The fiduciary obligations of board members fall under four specific duties: • duty of care • duty of loyalty • duty of compliance • duty to maintain accounts.

S. Alice Ann O’Neill, board member of Seton Family Center, Jeannette Bryson from the College of Mount St. Joseph, and S. Judith Metz, board member of the College of Mount St. Joseph, participate in Leading in Turbulent Times: What Your Board Can Do Now.

SC Ministry Foundation requires nonprofits have business plans for new or expanding programs before the Foundation will consider funding. The rationale is it ensures that the individuals hired at nonprofits for new or expanding programs will receive benefits and fair salaries that are sustainable for the nonprofit. It also ensures that people served by the nonprofit will not experience a reduction in services because of lack of sustainability. SC Ministry Foundation, through a partnership with the Health Foundation of Greater Cincinnati, offers business planning workshops twice a year to assist nonprofits with writing business plans. Throughout the grant application process, SC Ministry Foundation staff provides services that strengthen nonprofits’ ability to manage resources well for sustainability and stewardship, including: • one-on-one consultation • technical assistance • site visits • evidence-based best practice referrals • education programs for capacity building • specific issue convenings • funding research assistance using the Catholic Funding Guide, Foundation Directory Online and Guidestar.


Grant applicants also attend the Foundation’s Planning and Development Workshop to assist them in learning how to effectively complete the Foundation’s grant application. This workshop helps applicants to identify and improve measurable outcomes, which are the measures of change in conditions or behaviors of people served by the nonprofit. Measurable outcomes are the major focus of SC Ministry Foundation’s grant application. Demonstration of impact through measurable outcomes strengthens nonprofits’ overall case for support, illustrates good stewardship and is even a reflection of scripture: “Remember your leaders, those who spoke the word of God to you; consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” (Hebrews 13:7-8) SC Ministry Foundation recognizes strong governance also is an essential factor in sustainability and stewardship, and that being a board member of a nonprofit is more than an honor; it is a duty. Board members are required to ensure integrity and accountability in

Throughout the year, the Foundation offers multiple trainings and resources, including some online programs for busy professionals, for nonprofit leaders and board members. These programs are presented by BoardSource to help strengthen governance and by the Fundraising School of Indiana University to increase fundraising capacity. This year programs included: • Leading in Turbulent Times: What Your Board Can Do Now • Leading in Turbulent Times Webinar • Get Your Board Onboard with 21stCentury Fundraising • Guide Your Organization to the Next Generation of Giving Webinar • Board’s Role in Fundraising • Advanced Fundraising: Balancing Fundraising Efforts • Introduction to Fundraising.

(From left) S. Simone Campbell, SSS, with participants Barbara Terry from the United Way of Greater Cincinnati and Kathy Schwab from Local Initiatives Support Corporation at Women, Poverty and Public Policy.


(From left) Lee Patke from Greccio Housing (Colorado Springs) connects with S. Jeannette Kneifel, OSF, and Pam Maier from Women Partnering (Colorado Springs) at SC Ministry Foundation’s Planning and Development Workshop held in Colorado Springs, Colo., in February 2011.

Convening Around Common Causes and Projects SC Ministry Foundation convenes nonprofits and other organizations around common causes and projects. Every year the Foundation hosts a gathering of leaders from the Price Hill (Cincinnati) Catholic elementary schools, the College of Mount St. Joseph, Seton High School, the Cincinnati Archdiocesan Catholic Schools Office, the Catholic Inner-City Schools Education Fund (CISE) and DePaul Cristo Rey High School to share resources, learn and collaborate. This year SC Ministry Foundation also held an affinity meeting called Effectiveness in Catholic Education that brought together principals, pastors and other educational leaders from these organizations to learn about Catholic education in today’s world and how to ensure and measure effective Catholic education, especially as it relates to schools’ sustainability and Catholic identity. SC Ministry Foundation also is part of a community collaboration that emerged to address a lack of access to health care in Price Hill. Other primary collaborators include Good Samaritan Hospital, Santa Maria Community Services, Crossroad Health Center, The Family Medical Group, The Health Foundation of Greater Cincinnati and the Castellini Foundation. For two years, the collaboration planned for and successfully opened a free health clinic in January called the Good Samaritan Free

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Board members and leadership of grantee organizations in a working session of Governance as Leadership and Emerging Trends, presented by BoardSource and hosted by the Foundation.

Health Clinic. The free clinic serves working poor who do not qualify for programs such as Medicaid and earn too little to afford insurance. The Foundation had the privilege of witnessing women religious in New Orleans, La., after Hurricane Katrina who were resilient, hope-filled and believed that God was with them during the storm and through the recovery. When the Assembly of Catholic Foundations (ACF) heard and witnessed their experiences and stories at the annual ACF conference more than a year ago, SC Ministry Foundation catalyzed the idea of creating a documentary about the women religious’ faith and experience during and after the storm. We have garnered enough support and funding from ACF organizations and several other Catholic foundations, organizations and individuals to make the documentary a reality, with hopes of completion next year. Direct Community Investments SC Ministry Foundation is a limited partner in the Catholic Health Initiatives investment program. In order to be a socially responsible steward, the Foundation believes in complementing its grant-making activities by participating in socially responsible investing.

One way to accomplish this is by direct community investments, which channel financial resources to institutions or projects established to promote access to jobs, housing, food, education and health care for low-income or minority populations. A target 3 percent allocation of the Foundation’s total assets at the time of investment is made to direct community investments. Since 2009, the Foundation has exceeded this commitment. Current investments are with the Mercy Loan Fund and Seton Enablement Fund. The Foundation chooses to act justly, to build loving relationships, to share our resources with those in need, and to care for all creation in all that we do.

Fr. Reynaldo Taylor, from St. Joseph School (Cincinnati), and S. Jeanne Bessette, OSF, from DePaul Cristo Rey High School, attend Effectiveness in Catholic Education.


in our Backyard – and Beyond By S. Martha Walsh


ated communities for low-income persons and families? Did we forget to mention that these communities are located in Cincinnati’s Overthe-Rhine, near one of the busiest illegal drug corners in downtown? Yes, that is exactly what St. Anthony’s Village and Friar’s Court are. Cornerstone Corporation for Shared Equity (CCSE), a not-for-profit organization, has rehabbed old homes in the section that borders Green Street on the north, Vine Street to the east, and Race Street to the west. The neighbors on the south are the Franciscan Friary, St. Frances Seraph Church and St. Anthony Messenger Press. CCSE’s next project will enclose a final section bordering Green Street. The Seton Enablement Fund (SEF) – established to provide low-interest loans to organizations and projects unable to qualify for conventional financing – made a loan to CCSE in October 2007 and again in October 2011. The potential renters in ‘The Village’ and ‘The Court’ are required to attend meetings to learn about the possibilities and the responsibilities of living in this safe environment in their own neighborhood. By taking responsibility for some of the maintenance and security of the buildings and courtyards, they grow equity – something that is not usually available for renters. By fulfilling their part of the bargain, after five years they can have earned up to $5,000. Margery Spinney, founder and executive director of CCSE, spearheaded this concept. It has gained national attention and is being considered for duplication in other parts of the country. As Margery says, “This is all about asset building. What really keeps people poor is their inability to build assets. We’re teaching people that they are an asset and that they can build financial assets.” Geographically, moving globally east and south, Shared Interest is an organization to whom Seton Enablement Fund made a fifth loan in June 2011. This organization was founded in 1986, after apartheid, to assist the majority, albeit


(From left) Brooke Hill, Southwest Ohio regional director, office of Senator Sherrod Brown; Cincinnati City Council member Wendell Young; Cincinnati City Manager Milton Dohoney Jr.; Cincinnati Vice Mayor Roxanne Qualls; Mark Reitzes, regional president, Huntington National Bank; Carol Smith, property manager, Cornerstone Corp. for Shared Equity; Margery Spinney, executive director, Cornerstone; Fr. Frank Jasper, OFM, vicar provincial - Franciscan Friars of the Province of St. John the Baptist; and David Hehman, FHLBank Cincinnati president and CEO pictured at the Friars’ Court ribbon-cutting ceremony in 2011. Photo courtesy of Federal Home Loan Bank

the poorest citizens of South Africa. Although they were free, their struggle for economic parity has been a long and arduous one. SEF’s loans provide capital for Shared Interest, which domiciles it in the United States to provide guarantees for loans granted by banks in South Africa to persons who would not have the credit rating to obtain a bank-approved loan otherwise. This is just a sample of some of the projects with which we are involved. The graph explains the breadth and depth of our involvement with organizations serving here in the United States and in many parts of our world. As Sisters of Charity we know that our future depends a great deal on our collaboration with others, and this is not limited to religious groups. It is very rewarding to become aware of so many organizations which share our dedication to persons and societies on the margins. At each of our quarterly meetings, the dedicated committee members share their excitement as we review the current applications before us. As is frequently said, “This is the best committee I have ever been on.” Of course, they make it so! Just as we have always prayed for our Sisters wherever they may be ministering, let us follow these financial resources in the form of loans wherever they may go, with our prayers. We remember the persons in the organizations who serve and the persons they are serving. This way we are strengthening our financial resources by prayer as we strengthen our Sisters. We refer to this as ‘value-added.’ Intercom

Seton enAbLement FunD Statistics and Dollars Allocated as of June 30, 2011 totAL LoAnS/InVeStmentS

LocAtIonS oF LoAnS /InVeStmentS Arizona Arkansas California Colorado Connecticut Illinois Indiana Kentucky Maine Maryland Massachusetts Michigan Minnesota Mississippi Missouri

Low Income Housing Community Development, Co-Ops, Land Trusts Business Ventures Other

38 20 20 8

Total Current Loans and Deposits as of 6/30/11


Marti Barnes, Associate S. Pat Marie Bernard S. Mary Catherine Faller S. Agnes Ann Gardt S. Franette Hyc S. Carol Leveque Tim Moller, ex-officio S. Irene Mraz S. Ruth Ann Rody S. Helen Therese Scasny David Thorsen, ex-officio S. Martha Walsh, ex-officio S. Clarann Weinert S. Marie Josetta Wethington

A N N U A L R E P O RT 2 0 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 5 1 9 2 1 6 5 4 1 3 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.

commItteD FunDS DIStrIbutIonS

Committee Members 2010-2011

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

SInce InceptIon oF tHe proGrAm (1979) Cumulative Number of Loans / Investments = 320 Cumulative Dollars Loaned / Invested = $19,578,000

LoAnS/InVeStmentS For FY 2011 • • • • • • • •

Detroit Catholic Pastoral Alliance Leviticus 25:23 Alternative Fund, Inc. Holy Name Housing FORGE, Inc. Global Partnership Colonias Development Council The Disability Opportunity Fund San Luis Obispo County Housing Trust Fund • Oikocredit

• Bishop Sheen Ecumenical Housing Foundation • Workforce, Inc. • Affordable Homes of South Texas • Citizen Potawatomi • Root Capital • New Mexico Community Development (The Loan Fund) • Foundation for the Challenged • Shared Interest


Doing MORE with Less By Tim Moller, CFO


iscal 2011 financial results were very positive, building upon the financial recovery which began in 2010. Sisters of Charity investments earned a composite 20 percent for the year, comprised of stellar equity returns of 30 percent and relatively robust fixed income returns of more than 8 percent. Cost containment efforts were again successful during Fiscal 2011. Most categories of Congregational expenses were below budget and less than last year, including Sisters’ living expenses. Operating results also benefitted from favorable utility rates, the State of Ohio waiver granted to relieve Mother Margaret Hall of the franchise tax on nursing beds, and an unusually large amount of donations and bequests received. Looking ahead as we begin Fiscal 2012, concerns abound. Markets have been extremely volatile and decidedly negative as the recovery has taken a pause and the Sisters Kay Tardiff (front) and Barbara Huber, at risk of back-to-back recessions has grown. However, our significant cash position the Catholic Worker House in Cincinnati, Ohio, are among the many Sisters donating their time will provide ballast during any prolonged downturn, and conservative, diversified to volunteer service. investment management will provide a sound basis for long-term asset growth. Fiscal 2012 will see the beginning of the long-awaited renovation of Mother Margaret Hall’s nursing floors, front entrance and other related improvements. This multi-million-dollar project is already fully funded so our current debt-free status will remain intact. During this continuing era of “doing more with less” on the Mount St. Joseph campus and within the Congregation, the Sisters of Charity continue to look outward to the needy and underserved. The Sisters provide an impressive level of financial and ministerial support; assistance and advocacy continue even in worrisome economic times. In Fiscal 2011 the Congregation provided more than $700,000 of financial support to many organizations, causes and persons in need. Individual Sisters also donated thousands of hours of volunteer services. Also noteworthy, several million dollars were raised during the last two years for DePaul Cristo Rey High School. These funds were transferred to the school as of June 30, 2011, in anticipation of the first year of school operations. Finally, SC Ministry Foundation continued to conduct business as usual, achieving systemic change through its annual, multi-milliondollar grant programs.

Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati, Ohio, Inc. Source and Use of Funds June 30, 2011

Source of Funds 1 2 3 4

Investment Income Retirement Income General Congregational Income Pension Actuarial Adjustments

Use of Funds 48.7% 31.4% 15.8% 4.1% 100.0%

1 2 3 4 5


Retirement-Related Expenses Local House Expenses Property Expenses General Congregational Expenses Bedford Campus Expenses

49.3% 19.1% 14.9% 14.2% 2.5% 100.0%


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 380 Sisters are joined in their mission by 195 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 33 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 Donata Glassmeyer College of Mount St. Joseph students Tyler Klopfstein (back) and Lee Maurer (right) joined the Sisters of Charity Grounds Department as part of the Summer Student Employment Initiative, one of the many grant programs of SC Ministry Foundation.


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ubscriptions to Intercom, the quarterly magazine of the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati, are now available for the 2012 calendar year. Subscriptions will begin with the winter/spring 2012 installment and cover four issues.


Currently discounted prices on gift and two-year subscriptions to the magazine are available. 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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Executive Council Liaison S. Mary Bookser Advisory Board Members: S. Mary Ann Flannery Donata Glassmeyer S. Georgia Kitt 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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God’s Call to Service: S. Sarah Mulligan (right), with Roderico and Odilia Marroquin, ministers at the Daniel Comboni Community Clinic in Mixco, Guatemala, which provides complete health care, educational programs, and human services to the families and individuals most in need.


Seeking a World of Progress: United Nations’ NGO representative S. Caroljean Willie (third from right) spent one month in India visiting members of the Sisters of Charity Federation.

Embracing Our Transformative Journey for These Times: Sisters offer a blessing to a member of the newly elected Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati Leadership Team during the April 2011 Chapter.

Intercom Annual Report 2011  

Intercom is the quarterly magazine of the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati.

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