Intercom Vol. III, 2021

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Volume III, 2021

S i s t e r s

o f

C h a r i t y

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C i n c i n n at i

A Letter From Our Sister



Dear Sisters, Associates and Friends,


ur winter months have arrived and the sun sets earlier each day. In this edition of Intercom we will reflect back on the sunny days of late summer, the beautiful colors of fall and our congregation coming together to celebrate.

Contents Features Following Her Heart.......................... 6-8 S. Andrea Koverman professes final vows. Golden Opportunities............................9 S. Teresa Dutcher reflects on 50 years as a Sister of Charity. Loving Relationships...................... 14-15 S. Mary Ann Donovan celebrates her 70th anniversary. Justice Through Action.................. 20-21 S. Louise Lears’ ministry of action and advocacy. If You Build It, They Will Come.... 26-27 Sisters of Charity enjoy Motherhouse community garden. A Century Blessed.......................... 28-29 S. Mary Loyola Mathia celebrates 100th birthday.

Departments Timeless Treasures.............................. 4-5 S. Blandina Segale bust gifted to Sisters of Charity.

Looking back to the year 2020-’21, we have lived through many experiences as a result of our global pandemic. Celebrations were few and far between, but with the vaccine we attempted to get back to more normal activities. On occasion, though, we donned our beautiful masks to be safe, but overall our lives are beginning to look more hopeful. The vaccine brought us more security against the COVID-19 virus and a whole new look at life. The vaccine is truly a game changer. We had more opportunities to come together and celebrate in 2021 – and celebrate we did! S. Andrea Koverman professed her final vows at a beautiful ceremony in our Motherhouse chapel in August. You will find stories of some of our Sisters celebrating their significant Jubilees. S. Teresa Dutcher headed up our cast of stars celebrating her 50th Jubilee, followed by celebrations for Sisters reaching their 60th, 65th, 70th, 75th milestones, and at the top of the all-star cast was S. Rita Schmutte, celebrating her 80th Jubilee. In total, these 42 Sisters marked 2,815 years of service, dedication and commitment as Sisters of Charity. To bring the weekend celebrations together, we topped it off with a boat ride down the Ohio River. That weekend put a new spin on the year we had just lived through. One Sister in Mother Margaret Hall said to me, “We really are alive.” Celebrations and gratitude to lives of service are featured in additional articles included in the magazine: religious communities of both women and men coordinated a special service day, “Let Your Service Shine,” to commemorate the Archdiocese of Cincinnati’s 200th anniversary; S. Mary Loyola Mathia celebrated her 100th birthday; and Sisters and Associates came together in Trinidad, Colorado to take part in the dedication of the Sister Blandina Wellness Gardens. I invite you to enjoy the many pictures, words and celebrations included in this issue of Intercom. They are truly life-giving.

EarthConnection.................................24 Caring for Our Common Home OPJCC................................................25 The Pursuit of Justice and Peace On the Cover: Sister of Charity of Cincinnati Andrea Koverman professed perpetual vows with the Community during a prayer service on Aug. 14, 2021 in the Chapel of the Immaculate Conception. Read more on pages 6-8. 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. Patricia Hayden, SC, Sisters of Charity president 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. Jeannette Cochran November 8, 2021

S. Kathleen Stang October 16, 2021

S. Maria Dolorata Felix September 5, 2021

S. Barbara Jean Maniaci November 7, 2021

S. Rose Cheng October 1, 2021

S. Frances Maureen Trampiets August 11, 2021

S. Mary Frances Boyle November 5, 2021

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People of Hope By S. Monica Gundler

“The future enters into us, in order to transform itself in us, long before it happens.” Rainer Marie Rilke


his quote was part of a talk given by Sister of Charity Maryanna Coyle more than 20 years ago. She also reminded the gathered assembly that we were “not too old, too tired or too few” as even then we were aware of the shifting realities confronting religious life.

In those days the talk of diminishment was part of the lexicon like “paradigm shift.” We knew it at a head level, but it had not yet entered our vision up close and personal. Today as so many congregations are living through completion and fulfillment, we too are much more attuned to our vulnerability as well as our ever-changing landscape. Our shifts over the past two years have included the demolition of Seton Hall, the relocation of offices, the closing of our campus due to the global pandemic, the death of many of our members when we were unable to gather, as well as the global realities of climate change, migration, and economic upheaval all over the world. Our own country has also endured the unimaginable assault on the Capitol, racism that has been as much of a plague as the pandemic, and the overwhelming needs of our people and the planet for deep change in how we live on Earth. Yet, with all of this, we move on, for we are people of hope even in these days. We continue our commitment to mission and ministry with a new physical structure, the La Casa del Sol Ministry Center, and our work with immigrants in collaboration with WIN. Our Spirituality Center has endured even the time of separation to continue to companion others. Our Sisters and Associates have found creative ways to minister and gather even in these challenging months. Those on mission in Texas, Colorado, New Mexico, Montana, Michigan, Louisiana, Ohio and Guatemala have continued to serve the people of God with dedication and “love inventive unto infinity” as St. Vincent de Paul reminds us. We have also been involved in our own participation in the LCWR Emerging Future process. The initiative was created to “support institutes of women religious as we explore together how collectively to organize for mission at a time of dramatic change. The initiative provides a path into the future marked by collaboration and creativity, as well as support and solidarity.” We have participated in conversations in person and via Zoom and have also made a significant contribution to help resource the process. Themes of our conversations expressed great hope as well as the desire to address our own racism, embrace and learn more about interculturality, and letting the new emerge. V ol u m e I I I , 2 0 2 1

Sisters of Charity and SC pre-entrants were among those attending the Vincentian Family Gathering in October to deepen relationships and explore racial equity.

The Sisters of Charity Federation is engaging in collaboration through the formation of a new Vocation team and co-directors of a Formation team. Sisters Tracy Kemme and Lois Goettke are our members of each team as well as “home” formators. In addition, there is a new Collaborative Intercongregational Novitiate launching this fall in Chicago, Illinois, in collaboration with the Religious Formation Conference. S. Nancy Gerth, SCN, is one of the directors. This is a new step in emerging collaboration across the SC Federation and in religious life. In the latest edition of the LCWR’s Occasional Papers, S. Joan Chittister says, “Women today feel a very serious call to the spiritual life and are seeking to become their best self, live a happy community life and do productive ministry. We have to be able to let go of the reins and open our arms and love those coming to us, form them, talk seriously to them, and then let go and ask them what they want to do and how they will do it in a way that serves the lives of others.” We have had two Sisters, Tracy Kemme and Andrea Koverman, profess their final vows and one, Annie Klapheke, who will soon join them. We have another, Romina Sapinoso, preparing for final vows and still another, Whitney Schieltz, in temporary vows and two more, Karina Montes and Cassady Allen, who are in the pre-entrance process. We are truly blest with these wonderful women of Charity. They are joining religious life in a time of great change, much as those who came after Vatican II over 50 years ago entered at a time when the future was uncertain, exciting and challenging. God continues to call and generous hearts continue to respond. The journey to the future begins in the present moment. “Hazard yet Forward!” 3

Timeless Treasures By S. Judith Metz


herever Sister of Charity Blandina Segale went, the poor, the outcast, the ill, and the ignorant, regardless of age, gender, race or nationality, were a magnet that drew her into action on their behalf. She left such a lasting impression that wherever she ministered people claim her as one of their own; her exploits a part of their local story. On July 18, 2021, this remarkable woman was honored with the dedication of the Sister Blandina Wellness Gardens in the heart of Trinidad, Colorado, and adjacent to Holy Trinity Church. On a beautiful summer day the deep blue Western sky and fresh air complemented the gardens that were awash in beautiful young trees, flowers and other plantings, some of which would be replaced by a water feature yet to be installed. The focal point of the square is a 5’4” young, smiling statue of S. Blandina by Pueblo-born Fred Darpino. The sculpture is flanked on either side by metal panels listing the names of all Sisters of Charity who served in Trinidad.

The Sister Blandina Wellness Gardens is part of El Corazón de Trinidad National Historic District that encompasses much of central and southern downtown Trinidad. This area is experiencing a remarkable level of restoration of historic buildings and renewed cultural and economic vitality. For years to come the one-acre Blandina Gardens located there will serve as a center for citizens and visitors to stroll through and relax amid beautiful landscaping, or to gather around the fire pit and waterfall. In conjunction with the Mt. Carmel Wellness and Community Center, programming such as wellness walks and fitness stations are being planned for the location. Once again S. Blandina will be at the center of activity in Trinidad!

Trinidad Mayor Phil Rico welcomed attendees by proclaiming: “Today we celebrate Sister Blandina Segale whose self-sacrifice to many communities brought healing, hope and conversion.” S. Judith Metz noted in her comments at the dedication that S. Blandina’s spirit of courage and commitment continue to inspire many today, citing her motto: “My policy has always been to do what you can for others and leave the rest to God.” Jay Camino, whose vision steered the entire project, offered a warm welcome to the Sisters of Charity, noting the enduring influence of the more than 400 Sisters of Charity who served in Trinidad beginning in 1870. Bishop Stephen Berg, bishop of Pueblo, was the main celebrant of the Mass that included a blessing of the Blandina statue. He was joined by Bishops Michael Sheridan and James Golka, retired and current bishops of Colorado Springs. Music was provided by local musicians and joined by S. Alice Ann O’neill. The afternoon and evening program included live theatrical and musical performances as well as dramatic readings from At the End of the Santa Fe Trail. At a banquet following the Mass, the Sisters of Charity who were present were astonished when Jay Camino called them to the front of the room to present a sculpture bust of the Gardens’ statue to be displayed in their Motherhouse. The bust was gratefully accepted by the Sisters who assured Mr. Camino that it would be a treasured possession of the Community. 4

The people of Trinidad, Colorado, gifted the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati with a sculpture bust of S. Blandina Segale during the dedication of the Sister Blandina Wellness Gardens in July. I n t e rcom

Located within the Sister Blandina Wellness Gardens in Trinidad, Colorado, is a 5’4” life-size statue of S. Blandina Segale flanked on either side by metal panels listing the names of more than 400 Sisters of Charity who served in Trinidad.

S. Alice Ann O’Neill joined local musicians to provide the music for the dedication ceremony.

Sisters and Associates attended the dedication ceremony in Trinidad, Colorado in July.

During the July 18 dedication, a dramatic reading of At the End of the Santa Fe Trail was offered. V ol u m e I I I , 2 0 2 1

During her address S. Judith Metz spoke to S. Blandina Segale’s spirit of courage and commitment which continue to inspire today. 5

Following Her Heart:

S. Andrea Koverman professes final vows By Erin Reder


s she stood in front of Community members, Associates and family on Aug. 14, 2021, preparing to profess her final vows as a Sister of Charity of Cincinnati, S. Andrea Koverman’s heart overflowed with gratitude and joy. Looking out into the eyes of so many people who have loved and walked with her through the years, and remembering all those who came before her and their continued presence in her life, she felt their connections, heart to heart.

the connection. The intelligence to recognize an entanglement lies not in one’s brain but in one’s heart, and the field of heart intelligence is making incredible discoveries about just how that works. The thin white lines connecting all the hearts in the image by Gibson depict heart intelligence and Quantum Entanglement.

S. Andrea’s own cloud of witnesses is full of hearts entangled with hers, those she has loved in her lifetime, as well as ancestors, saints, foundresses and guides from way before her time. She explains, A piece of artwork, created by “That is how you know my mother or Grace Gibson and visibly present father when you know me, and how we on the altar on Aug. 14, beautifully know God when we know Jesus. That frames S. Andrea’s journey to that is why Elizabeth [Seton] or Blandina moment. Gibson, a good friend [Segale] can speak to me as clearly of her housemate S. Carol Wirtz, as Sisters Kateri Koverman or Janet This piece of artwork, created by Grace Gibson, had the opportunity to meet with Gildea, and how the words of my Great S. Andrea and capture her experience was visibly present on the altar during S. Andrea Aunt, S. Mary Walburga Koverman, Koverman’s final vows on Aug. 14 and beautifully to religious life. S. Andrea calls it rang true in my 9-year-old heart when frames her journey to that moment. her own sacred icon, and uses it she said, ‘Don’t worry about a thing, to further explain her life and growth into becoming a fully darling. You are going to make a fine Sister. Welcome to the vested member of the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati. Community.’ She knew that someday I would continue our century-old family tradition.” At the center of this artwork, is her tree of life. “I practically grew up in trees, attracted to their strength, beauty and protection,” she explained. “Cradled in their arms far above my earthly cares and closer to the heavens, I would sway day or night consoled in the knowing that we are both in the world and not of it, finite and infinite, human and indwelt with divinity, individualized but inherently interconnected beyond time and space. I could feel and intuit these perennial truths though I wouldn’t have the words, theology or science to express them until much later.” In addition to very personal quotes, Scripture verses and phrases framing the artwork, are her personal cloud of witnesses, those who have had a deep personal influence in her life. She is guided by the principle of Quantum Entanglement, which states that two entities become entangled through a deep and personal exchange of energy, and once that happens, there is nothing that can ever sever 6

(From left) younger members of the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati Whitney Schieltz, Annie Klapheke, Andrea Koverman, Romina Sapinoso and Tracy Kemme gathered for S. Andrea’s vows. I n t e rcom

S. Andrea comes from a long line of Sisters of Charity: great-aunts Mary Walburga and Mary Naomi; aunt Mary Joseph; and cousin Kateri Maureen – all Kovermans. Kindred S. Andrea Koverman professed perpetual vows spirits and entangled on Aug. 14, 2021 in the Motherhouse chapel. hearts recognize one another, and it was S. Kateri who helped S. Andrea to experience that truth as she became more invested in the SC community. She says, “I questioned Kateri when she first asked me to consider that I had a vocation to religious life and pressed her to name what it was that would make her ask me that question. After all, I had a whole family of Sister-aunts that never mentioned it to me after Aunt Teenie all those years ago. She put it so eloquently and so perfectly when she said to me, ‘You’ve shared what you hold in your heart with me, what is always on your mind, what you work for, what you pray for. God creates some hearts to love in exclusive relationships, and others to love broadly, extravagantly. That is what Sisters do, and you are one of us.’” S. Kateri is depicted at the base of the tree, lifting up what she recognized in S. Andrea, her pure self, her essence represented by an infant. The growing iterations of S. Andrea continue to lift up the true self she is striving to bring forth by acting by the ways and thoughts of God. The artwork was at the center of S. Andrea’s celebration on Aug. 14 and directed her heartfelt reflection to her Sisters and congregation, something she wanted to do personally. “I thought so much about the years of formation,” she says, “all of the people who have had something to do with that, V ol u m e I I I , 2 0 2 1

Sisters Brenda Busch (left) and Anne Flanagan (right), SSND, were mentors to S. Andrea Koverman throughout her formation.

who have touched my heart or influenced me in some way or encouraged me. I didn’t want it to be about me so much as about us – and the bigger picture.” The entrance procession set the tone for the service, with groups of wisdom figures and elders, family and friends, Community members and formation people each bringing forth a colored piece of cloth to lay on the altar. “This day was about celebrating with the people that I’m saying ‘yes’ to and who are receiving me,” S. Andrea said. “It’s a reciprocal thing.” Making her final vows in the Motherhouse chapel, in a space that allows her to feel the presence of generations of entanglements, brought her much joy and comfort. Now, as a perpetually professed Sister of Charity of Cincinnati, S. Andrea looks to the future with confidence. She moved to Anthony, New Mexico, in 2019 when she felt a call to be present for Sisters Janet Gildea, Carol Wirtz and Peggy Deneweth. S. Janet was in the final stages of cancer, and as a

The entrance procession for S. Andrea Koverman’s Final Vows included groups of wisdom figures and elders, family and friends, Community members and formation people. 7

most trusted mentor and friend, S. Andrea hoped to be able to help care for her and assist where needed with the many ministries the Sisters were responsible for, including Proyecto Santo Niño in Anapra, Mexico. She remembers S. Janet saying ‘go see what you can do… whatever you can do would be good.” What she soon realized was the clinic, established by Sisters Janet, Carol and Peggy in 2003 to serve children with special needs and their families, was in need of development of their academic and educational programs. With her extensive background in education, she knew she could be of help. Since S. Andrea’s arrival, the clinic has undergone renovations to offer additional classroom space. These designated spaces are now able to support additional educational needs including preparing preschoolers to be successful in the public school, helping special needs students maximize their potential, tutoring school-aged siblings, aiding young adults in getting education certification, and offering English classes. As the clinic’s curriculum coordinator/educator, S. Andrea is currently working on building partnerships in Juarez, Mexico and the U.S. to broaden the clinic’s services to include an accredited school program that is inclusive of but not limited to children with special needs. She and Sister of Charity Romina Sapinoso plan to receive Montessori certification to facilitate the transition when the time arrives. “Our niche is to model inclusive education and to lift up the dignity of people with disabilities; to show that segregating them is not of God and is not good for anyone.” As a member of a congregation founded on education, S. Andrea is inspired to continue this legacy; particularly in advocating for all children to receive the same quality of education, regardless of their financial status or physical/ learning abilities. She and S. Romina hope to put in place something that will be sustainable long into the future. S. Andrea Koverman (left) gives the reflection for her final vow ceremony on Aug. 14, 2021.


S. Andrea Koverman (left) signs her final vows as S. Patricia Hayden, SC president, witnesses.

In addition to her responsibilities at the clinic, S. Andrea coordinates the Sisters of Charity AVE (After Volunteer Experience) program, which provides hospitality and support to young women who have done a year or two of volunteer service and who are discerning their next steps. “I feel very privileged to lead this ministry,” she said, adding that S. Janet asked her to continue the program after she no longer was able. “Like her, I believe it’s a unique program. It has a lot of support in the Catholic Volunteer Network and beyond and has begun to be duplicated elsewhere.” As she looks to the future as a Sister of Charity of Cincinnati, S. Andrea is grateful to all the women that came before her through the many evolutions of religious life, and to those who continue to be welcoming, loving and discerning how God is calling each of them to bring love to life in the world. She appreciates these kindred spirits and the commonality they share in their love of and pursuit of God. As she begins her new journey she treasures these entanglements and holds close the words of her late mother, Sally, “Follow your heart, Andrea.”

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Golden Opportunities By S. Georgia Kitt


all them opportunities or call them challenges, S. Teresa Dutcher seems to sense the appropriate moment and the favorable time. A Golden Jubilarian S. Teresa agreed to look back at some of her life opportunities and the persons of influence who crossed her path.

S. Teresa Dutcher (far left) was one of the many Sisters of Charity in Poland in the mid1990s tasked with teaching the indigenous Sisters English.

at the school (1993-2018), which included ministering as social studies and religion teacher, department chair, administrator and theology chair.

During high school in Leslie, When thinking about her years S. Teresa Dutcher ministered at Seton High School in Michigan, in 1965, a new opportunity working with teens, especially juniors Cincinnati for 25 years, serving as social studies and religion was made available to students who and seniors, S. Teresa said she enjoyed teacher, department chair, administrator and theology chair. wished to enroll as full-time students their curiosity, energy and ability to at Michigan State University for their senior year. S. Teresa said keep her young. They laughed at her jokes. She shared, “It is to herself why not? While at MSU she met a group of Sisters a delightful time of life. They gave me credit for having life of Charity at the Campus Parish Center: Sisters Ann Seubert, experiences behind me. In the classroom they understood that Daniel Miriam (Helen) Flaherty and Annina Morgan. Not being they could disagree, but not be disagreeable.” a Catholic she wanted to learn and know more; they did not In 1995 the Archdiocese of Cincinnati offered the possibility disappoint. She developed a friendship with S. Ann, and soon of volunteering as an educator in Eastern Europe. S. Teresa saw after became Catholic, all while pursuing her studies at MSU. this as a favorable time to offer her services as an educator to She still desired to learn more about this “Sister life” they were Polish Sisters. She had an earlier experience in 1978 while at living. They were authentic, real human beings! Marian High School to visit five Republics in the Soviet Union In the late 1960s, post Vatican II, the Sisters of Charity were not admitting new Sisters, particularly a convert to the faith. S. Teresa corresponded with Mother Mary Omer on several occasions and after asking again she was offered a living opportunity at St. Joseph House and teaching at Marian High School. She entered the Community on Aug. 24, 1971. During this time Sisters Jane Grosheider, Maria Garlock, Laura Mary Liegibel and Mary Ann Humbert entered her life. What followed was the SC Formation Program (Intercommunity with the Oldenburg Franciscans) and the opportunity to learn from an outstanding high school educator, S. Laura Mary, for whom she developed great respect. S. Claire Foken became an important teacher of master scheduling which S. Teresa put to good use. When an opening was posted at Seton High School in Cincinnati, S. Teresa saw this as the favorable time to apply. She liked that it was ‘ours’ [a sponsored ministry of the Sisters of Charity] as well as close and convenient, and she could apply her knowledge of preparing the master schedule, a ‘puzzle’ she enjoyed. This began a career-long 25 years of dedicated service V ol u m e I I I , 2 0 2 1

which lingered in her heart. After one five-week program in Poland she saw that there was still much to be done. With residual feelings of a task unfinished, she volunteered for a second year. She viewed this opportunity as part of the harvest and promise that our growth in understanding and friendship can be promoted across the world. For S. Teresa, Michigan is home and where a few family members remain; her two brothers reside in Arizona and Colorado. Her mother’s advice when she informed her family of her decision to enter the Sisters of Charity, “If you are going, become true.” Her family did not stand in the way. The opportunities to come to know the Sister of Charity women who crossed her path have made all the difference. She values their goodness, their influence and the ways in which they give energy to causes greater than themselves. The initial invitation to be open to Catholic and religious life while at Michigan State University was a most favorable time for a lifetime commitment. It has made all the difference. 9

2 0 2 1 J u bil e e

Celebrating Our 2021 Jubilarians


total of 10 Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati celebrated golden or diamond anniversaries with the Community in 2021. The women represent 590 total years of service in the Cincinnati Archdiocese, in dioceses throughout the United States and beyond. In addition, more than 30 Sisters of Charity celebrated anniversaries of 65, 70, 75 and 80 years of service. On Aug. 15, 2021, the Congregation honored these Sisters and their faith-filled years of service with a Mass in the Motherhouse chapel followed by dinner.

We congratulate Golden Jubilarian, S. Teresa Dutcher, and Diamond Jubilarians Sisters Brenda Busch, Mary Dugan, Sheila Gallagher, Karen Hawver, Teresa Marie Laengle, Jacqueline Leech, Judith Metz, Annette Paveglio and Mary Ellen Roach on their lives of service and their commitments to God’s people. The Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati are most grateful for these women; a video was created to offer those near and far the opportunity to come together to celebrate our Sisters, their special milestones and their lives of service and love. To view visit:

Diamond Jubilarian S. Mary Dugan

“Those 39 years at Holy Name in Cleveland were blessed ones, cementing my relations with family and friends. I was the last in the line of 428 Sisters of Charity to share Elizabeth Seton’s legacy with thousands of ‘Namers.’” - S. Sheila Gallagher, 60 years

Diamond Jubilarians, celebrating 60 years of religious life, are: (front row, from left) Sisters Mary Dugan, Sheila Gallagher, Jackie Leech, (back row, from left) Karen Hawver, Judith Metz, Mary Ellen Roach, Brenda Busch, Annette Paveglio and Teresa Marie Laengle.

“In belonging to a community and pooling our resources, we are able to help others much more than independently. The fact that I belong to a larger group gives me the desire to contribute to the building of our Community, and to be a responsible, loving member.” - S. Jackie Leech, 60 years


Diamond Jubilarian S. Karen Hawver

S. Teresa Dutcher celebrated 50 years with the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati Community in 2021.

S. Catherine Erger (center) enjoyed visiting with Sisters (including Sisters Marcel DeJonckheere (left) and Diamond Jubilarian Mary Ellen Roach) during the August celebration. I n t e rcom

Additional Anniversaries 80 years of service S. Rita Schmutte 75 years of service S. Anna Maria Ahl S. Margaret Marie Anthony S. Ruth Bockenstette S. Rose Cheng S. Helen Cranley S. Jane Frances Diba S. Marie Evelyn Dow

Diamond Jubilarians process into the Immaculate Conception Chapel together on Aug. 15.

“The gift of my Congregation has always been to work to build the Kingdom of God, and to respond to the needs of the time. I trust in this time the Spirit will continue to lead us.” - S. Annette Paveglio, 60 years The Immaculate Conception Chapel was filled to honor all Sisters celebrating anniversaries in 2021.

S. Anna Maria Ahl (pictured with S. Peggy Deneweth in back) was celebrated during Mass and a reception on Aug. 15.

“I entered religious life because, after prayer and reflection, I felt that it was what God was asking of me. … My happiest memories are of working with my Sister-friends on activities and projects that I feel accomplish significant things.” - S. Judith Metz, 60 years

Sisters celebrating 75 years of religious life include (from left) Sisters Margaret Marie Anthony, the late Rose Cheng, Anna Maria Ahl, Jane Frances Diba and Marie Evelyn Dow. V ol u m e I I I , 2 0 2 1

70 Years of Service S. Grace Catherine Aufderbeck S. Marion Agnes Boeddeker S. Mary Frances Boyle S. Kathryn Ann Connelly S. Mary Ann Donovan S. Catherine Erger S. Helen Fox S. Helen Julia Hahn S. Kathleen Houck S. Mary Kathleen Pagac S. Jacqueline Riggio S. Jeanne Roach S. Marie Vincentia Roney S. Rita Maureen Schmidt 65 Years of Service S. Jeannette Cochran S. Barbara Counts S. Dorothy William Englert S. Rita Hawk S. Patricia Hill S. Nancy Hoffman S. Esther Marie Humbert S. Margaret Mach S. Patricia McQuinn S. Sarah Mulligan S. Patrick Ann O’Connor S. Mary Dolores Schneider

S. Marie Vincentia Roney (pictured with S. Romina Sapinoso on right) entered the Sisters of Charity 70 years ago on Sept. 8, 1951. 11




n Saturday, Aug. 14, 2021, Sisters of Charity enjoyed a riverboat cruise down the Ohio River. More than 150 Sisters, including many from Mother Margaret Hall nursing facility, had the opportunity to gather together for a meal, fellowship and to celebrate the 2021 Jubilarians and S. Andrea Koverman’s final vows.

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Loving Relationships By S. Joan Elizabeth Cook


vid reader, lover of music, that time. After teaching for a few years talented cook, gracious at St. Mel’s, Cleveland; Little Flower, hostess, exacting teacher, Royal Oak, Michigan; and Holy rigorous scholar, dedicated Sister Redeemer, Kensington, Maryland, she of Charity, loving family member: was appointed principal at St. Louis, these are only a few of S. Mary Ann Mt. Clemens, Michigan, before being Donovan’s many characteristics. missioned to study Theology at St. Mary Ann was born in Cincinnati Michael’s College in Toronto. Mary in 1933, the eldest of four children. Ann explained that in missioning Her youngest sister, S. Suzanne, her to study Theology, Mother Mary lives in Dayton; her brother Joseph Omer was convinced that only when (Jerry) died in 2016 and her sister the male students in seminaries were Mary Lou Wood lives in Olean, New taught by women would the position of York. Suzanne says about Mary Ann, S. Mary Ann Donovan celebrated 70 years as a Sister women in the Church begin to change. of Charity of Cincinnati in 2021. “Mary Ann was truly a Big Sister. Mary Ann was grateful to accept this She looked out for us three younger appointment because “as students and siblings, and took good care of us – when she wasn’t reading!” faculty, we are called to model the relationships we should practice in ministry in the Church.” After teaching for a year Among Mary Ann’s favorite childhood memories are at the Mount, she was appointed to the faculty at the Jesuit softball games with the boys who lived at Mount Alverno School of Theology in Berkeley, California, where she served in Delhi; hours spent sitting in her favorite tree, reading a for 35 years. good book; practicing for her cello lessons; and going with her father on his business rounds. She grew up surrounded by Sisters of Charity at St. Lawrence Elementary School and Seton High School in Price Hill. After graduation in 1951 she entered the Community, and earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education and Philosophy at the College of Mount St. Joseph-on-the-Ohio, as the Mount was called at

S. Mary Ann Donovan is known for her love of reading, a passion that began at an early age. 14

In addition to teaching in the fields of Church History and Spirituality, Mary Ann was frequently invited to speak to groups of church leaders, scholars, parish groups and others. After she spoke to the men who were imprisoned at San Quentin Prison, she noted that the inmates “model a living understanding of the great work that God’s love can accomplish.” On another occasion, Mary Ann spoke at a Grape Blessing Ceremony at Sterling Vineyards in Napa Valley. The event celebrated the vintage and its bountiful gift to the human spirit. Her topic was Jesus the Vintner at the wedding feast in Cana. She still found time to publish numerous articles and two books: Sisterhood as Power: The Past and Passion of Ecclesial Women in 1989 and One Right Reading? A Guide to Irenaeus, for which she received the 1998 book award from the College Theology Society. Wherever she is, Mary Ann always enjoys welcoming other Sisters of Charity, family and friends. S. Noreen Ellison remembers visiting Mary Ann in both Toronto and Berkeley. She comments about her time on sabbatical in Berkeley, “I met a few Jesuit scholastics and they told me what a great teacher she was.” Several Sisters tell delightful stories of studying at JSTB, enjoying prayer, home-cooked meals, and sightseeing adventures with Mary Ann and other SCs there. Favorite spots to visit were Muir Woods, vineyards I n t e rc o m

in Napa, the beach for prayer and picnics, and other tourist destinations. S. Annette Paveglio remembers that Mary Ann always had flowers arranged at various places in her apartment when she and Sisters Joanne Burrows, Cathy Cahur, Tricia Cruise, Noreen, Mary Fran Davisson and Pat Malarkey gathered there. S. Joanne recalls about her time studying in Berkeley, “Mary Ann was my sister, friend, mentor, teacher and advisor, sometimes all at once.” When S. Mary Fran Davisson arrived with her travel companion, S. Annette Paveglio, for her sabbatical year in Berkeley, her apartment was not quite ready for occupancy, so Mary Ann welcomed both of them in her own apartment for the few days until S. Mary Fran’s apartment was ready. And S. Pat Malarkey recalls that she was there while Mary Ann was interim dean at JSTB. S. Pat commented that during that time, Mary Ann received frequent invitations to speak. S. Pat said, “I have to admit that some of the content was over my head, but I was fascinated by how her sparkling eyes and generous smile drew the whole audience into her topic.” I remember fondly the two of us walking across the Golden Gate Bridge early one Thanksgiving morning, when the bridge was closed to automobile traffic. Later that day we joined Sisters Cathy, Joanne, and Tricia at S. Florence (Rose) Izzo’s house for a delicious Thanksgiving dinner. On another occasion, when we were forming Small Groups, Mary Ann suggested creating a group for those of us who lived at a distance from other SCs; that was the beginning of the

(From left) Sisters of Charity and siblings Suzanne Donovan and Mary Ann Donovan share a special connection.

Somewhere Out There Group. While our membership has evolved, we continue to meet by phone, Zoom and in person to pray together and support one another. Since returning to the Motherhouse, Mary Ann continues to enjoy welcoming visitors and being with the Sisters. She lives her conviction that “loving relationships are what we’re all about.”

S. Mary Ann Donovan developed the idea for the Somewhere Out There Group, a small group for those who lived at a distance from other Sisters of Charity. Pictured are (front row, from left) Sisters Monica Ann Lucas, Mary Ann Donovan, Caroljean Willie, Glenda Reimer, Jean Miller, (back row, from left) Maryanna Coyle, Kateri Maureen Koverman, Joan Cook, Margaret Ebbing and Clarann Weinert.

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Let Your Service Shine! By S. Georgia Kitt


t was a celebration of service! It was a celebration of 200 years of faith! The Archdiocesan-wide day of service on Oct. 9, 2021, coordinated by women’s and men’s religious communities, was a celebration! The sunshine of the day reflected the energy and enthusiasm as persons reported to their chosen service site and entered into the activity. Since the 1800s, the laity and religious have always been vital partners in the ministries of education, health care and social services. It was in that spirit that the religious communities currently serving in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati sponsored a day to “Let Service Shine” with families and individuals, parish groups and schools, neighbors and friends participating. Partnering with and engaging persons of all ages in service was a fitting way to honor and extend the 200 years of service given by Sisters, Brothers and priests. The Sisters of Charity have been serving in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati for 192 of its 200 years. For the day of service, the Community collaborated with numerous organizations (including Bayley, Price Hill Will, Working In Neighborhoods, St. Leo’s parish, and the Recycling Hub, among many others) by giving of their time, hard work and passions. The following pictures and quotes capture the spirit and collaboration of the day. For additional photos please visit:

Bellarmine Chapel volunteers served at the Olivet Food Pantry.

S. Tracy Kemme (center) coordinated painting projects for volunteers at St. Leo the Great parish in Cincinnati.

Participants from Bellarmine Chapel helped with the Nexus Community Garden in Cincinnati, a 34-plot community garden. 16


St. Teresa of Avila (Cincinnati) hosted a parish coat collection.

Bellarmine Chapel volunteers helped with yard cleanup at St. Andrew Church in Cincinnati.

(From left) S. Mary Ann Humbert, Associate Pam Korte and Associate Karen Martin delivered donations from the Associate soup and shampoo collection to Community Matters, Cincinnati.

Sisters of Charity, Bayley and Mount St. Joseph University collected items for BLOC Ministries and Bethany House Services.

Older students served snacks to younger students at Holy Family (Cincinnati) during a Day of Service on Oct. 6, 2021.

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“Taking soup and shampoo to the food pantry reminded me to always have gratitude for the little things, warm bellies and clean hair. For some people these are not assured.” - Associate Pam Korte, Community Matters, Price Hill (Cincinnati)

Associate Karen Martin gets her young grandson involved in boxing up canned food items for Community Matters.

Associate Maureen Maxfield donated items to Santa Maria Community Services and Community Matters through the Associate soup and shampoo collection. 17

Associate Linda Jung drops off donations to the Associate soup and shampoo collection at EarthConnection (Cincinnati).

Associate Nancy Bick Clark donated cleaning supplies to Santa Maria Community Services and Community Matters in Cincinnati.

St. William was one of many local parishes participating in the Archdiocesan-wide service day on Oct. 9, 2021.

“May our parish efforts keep many people warm this winter.” - Maria Williams, St. Teresa parish

(From right to left) Sisters Lois Jean Goettke, Annie Klapheke and Romina Sapinoso at the Recycling and Reuse Hub in Cincinnati. St. William parishioners (Cincinnati) prepared lunches for St. Francis Seraph on Oct. 9.

Sisters of Charity Associates from Springhill, Florida, collected donations for St. Vincent de Paul food pantry. 18

A number of Sisters and volunteers provided outdoor yard work at Working In Neighborhoods (Cincinnati). I n t e rcom

(From left) Sisters Nancy Bramlage, Cookie Crowley, Carol Brenner, Sandy Howe, Marcel DeJonckheere, Peggy Rein and Ann Elizabeth Von Hagel donated their time at Price Hill Will (Cincinnati).

(Front, from left) Sisters Juliette Sabo, Maureen Heverin, Carol Leveque, Donna Steffen and (back) S. Barbara Busch, prepared a mailing at Working In Neighborhoods (Cincinnati).

“Being called to join the ‘Let Your Service Shine’ initiative was an honor. Collecting the items was a group effort and every time the boxes filled up was a joyful experience. Putting the smaller boxes together with the Bayley residents was fun and they felt good about serving others, and delivering the two busloads of items collected was heartwarming. Both the Bethany House and BLOC Ministries food pantry were grateful.”

(From left) Sisters Pat Wittberg and Joyce Richter served at Cincinnati Recycling and Reuse Hub.

(From left) S. Thelma Schlomer, S. Patrick Ann O’Connor, Tom Migely, chair of St. Leo Parish Council, and S. Patrice Vales painted at St. Leo the Great (Cincinnati).

- Rosie Eagle, Bayley

(From left) Patricia Hoffman (SC employee), Rosie Eagle (Bayley) and S. Georgia Kitt load up boxes of donations to deliver to BLOC Ministries and Bethany House Services.

(From left) Sisters Pat Wittberg, Mary Alice Stein and Jo Ann Martini added their signatures to a petition at the Motherhouse calling for an end to the death penalty. V ol u m e ii I , 2 0 2 1

(From left) Sisters Jeannette Cochran, Mary Fran Davisson, Annette Paveglio, Pat Sabourin, Patmarie Bernard and Rita Hawk organized collections for their floor at the Motherhouse.

“The service opportunities I visited were all huge successes with a great spirit and lots of smiles. Much goodness all around. The sense of community experienced will long be remembered.” - S. Georgia Kitt 19




By Erin Reder


ollaboration with others to reach a common goal has always been near and dear to S. Louise Lears’ heart. Most recently she has found the perfect opportunity to bring her passion for justice work to a ministry of action and advocacy.

When she arrived in Washington, D.C., S. Louise began attending vigils, rallies and protests related to current justice issues. This allowed her the opportunity to begin thinking about what groups she might want to work with, and one that consistently was present was the Franciscan Action Network (FAN). She reached out to the organization’s executive director and shortly after found herself on staff in FAN’s Washington, D.C. office.

After eight years in congregational leadership, S. Louise took time during a sabbatical and the pandemic to reflect on her next step. Wishing to be closer to her family in Baltimore, Maryland, and hoping to become more involved in the peace and justice arena, S. Louise found herself being called to the Washington, D.C. area. With the full support of the SC Leadership Council she moved to the nation’s capital to begin a new chapter.

A well-established organization in the area, FAN is recognized for its S. Louise Lears (second from left) is grateful to advocacy efforts within core issues related be living at the Sr. Anne Montgomery House, an to peace making, care for creation, intentional community founded by the Religious of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. poverty and human rights. S. Louise was immediately attracted to the Franciscan spirituality and values – and says she considers herself to also As S. Louise explained, she only knew one thing when be a Franciscan-hearted person, a well-known term amongst moving to the area – where she would be living! As a member Franciscans. of the Sr. Anne Montgomery House in the northeast section of Washington, D.C., she is living in an intentional community founded by the Religious of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (RSCJ). The house is named for longtime peacemaker S. Anne Montgomery, RSCJ, and provides a oneyear experience of community living for two to four young women interested in spirituality and social justice. Currently there are five women living in the house — three women religious, a young woman from Burkina-Faso and another young woman born in the U.S. Both are studying at local universities. The women share morning prayer, cooking responsibilities and chores, and they keep each other up-to-date about what’s going on in the peace and justice world in Washington, D.C. “It is a real gift for me,” says S. Louise. “I am particularly inspired by the faith and desire for community of the young women. It’s a marvelous living community, very welcoming.” 20

In her volunteer role as director of creation care advocacy, S. Louise keeps herself updated on the many facets of care for

S. Louise Lears (second row, right) attends a voting rights rally in Washington, D.C. I n t e rcom

creation, the relevant issues and how we can act. She admittedly says that this was not her area of expertise and so, first thing she did after agreeing to take on this particular action platform, was to call Sister of Charity Caroljean Willie, former United Nations NGO liaison. S. Caroljean was able to offer information and suggest particular hot topics that she should be paying particular attention to. “It’s fun to be in DC and to follow this legislation and to know it’s happening right down the street,” she says. “I read up on a particular topic, then get the word out to FAN and they send the information out to all their Franciscans and Franciscan-hearted people. We have a lot of partners, which is the only way to operate because we are all in this together!”

As the only Sister of Charity living in the Washington, D.C. area, S. Louise Lears (left) expresses

She is inspired by the SC Charism Statement, her gratitude for the opportunity to be present on the Community’s behalf in the nation’s capital. recognizing the needs of those most often left out addition, she is grateful to have the opportunity to be there and seeking ways to challenge the policies in place on behalf of all of her Sisters and Associates. “That’s thrilling that perpetuate injustice. She reminds us that there are many to me, and I’m very aware when I’m there that I’m there on ways that we can act – calling our congresspersons, writing behalf of everyone. I look back on all those years I used to letters or an op-ed, holding a prayer service. “This is the way think I would love to be there in DC – and now I am! I get God is calling me to do that in this time of my life. This is to see how many people are working together on all these what we are supposed to be about and the way to hazard yet issues – racial justice, voting rights, creation care. So much forward. It’s one way of many and I’m very aware of that.” collaboration is going on, especially amongst people of faith, S. Louise says she is most encouraged by the many people and it’s really exciting.” who are collaborating and partnering with one another. In

Connecting the Dots:

Climate Change, Immigration and U.S. Policy


egislation and policies regarding climate change and immigration are priorities for many faith-based justice groups in the United States. Though these two issues may seem unrelated at first, they are closely connected. Consider the climate-related impacts on Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras. Food insecurity, recurring droughts, decline in agricultural production, and water scarcity are main drivers of climate displacement in these countries. Overall disruptions in the climate system result in significant economic losses for smallholder farmers. Coastal areas face an increase in sea level rise and destruction of local ecosystems, which threaten fishingdependent communities. Experts estimate that climate change could displace up to 3.9 million people across Mexico and Central America by 2050. (See and search for “Shelter from the Storm.”) The U.S. is one of the world’s largest emitters of greenhouse gases. We have the opportunity, through legislation and policies, to reduce greenhouse gas Vo lu m e I I I , 2 0 2 1

emissions and help fund climate change adaptation measures for highly vulnerable countries like Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras. At the same time, we can improve our current immigration policies to ensure that those who migrate can do so with security and dignity. In response to the grave threat of climate change and its wide impacts, leaders of the world’s major religions met with Pope Francis at the Vatican in October to issue a joint appeal to government leaders. The faith leaders wrote, “We are currently at a moment of opportunity and truth. We pray that our human family may unite to save our common home before it is too late.” They continued, “Future generations will never forgive us if we squander this precious opportunity. We have inherited a garden: we must not leave a desert to our children.” For legislation regarding climate change from a faith perspective, see For immigration laws and policies, see 21

A Jubilarian’s Story Sister Judith Metz:

By S. Regina Kusnir

Jubilarian Journey ~ Life Story Joy ~ Judy’s Story


ome 60 years ago, a youthful Judith Metz put a ‘yes’ into action. The journey she has traveled since then is a story filled with many chapters all woven around her life as a Sister of Charity.

Chapter 1

S. Judy met the Sisters of Charity at Seton High School in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Sisters were “lovely women, kind, friendly, and good teachers.” While at Seton, she became familiar with Elizabeth Ann Seton and felt like she knew her. Understanding the charism of the Sisters of Charity, when she felt a call to religious life, she chose to enter the Congregation, so “off I went,” she said.

As the Sisters of Charity archivist and now historian, S. Judith Metz (right) has enjoyed the opportunity to share the Community’s history with many visiting groups and individuals to the Motherhouse throughout the years.

Chapter 2

S. Judy always wanted to teach at the high school level and Seton High School was her first ministry. There she taught history and social studies. During those years she studied local history and began doing research on Community history. A growing familiarity with the resources available in the SC Archives and the encouragement of the Sister-archivists led her to a life-long interest in delving further into the history of the Community.

Chapter 3

While working for the Community in the early 1980s, S. Judy was asked to teach Community history to the novices. Soon she was invited to develop Heritage Workshops that she presented throughout the Community. In collaboration with Virginia Wiltse, S. Judy researched a biography of Mother Margaret George, Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati founder. In addition, she organized several Heritage Tours that brought Sisters to St. Elizabeth Ann Seton sites in Emmitsburg and Baltimore, Maryland, and New York. These tours also visited the motherhouses of Federation congregations, even to Halifax, Nova Scotia, and to St. John and Moncton, New Brunswick.

Chapter 4

In the 1990s S. Judy became the Congregational archivist. The availability of professional courses and workshops allowed her to bring new aspects to the role. She, along with a team of Sisters who worked in the Archives, introduced new technology and methodology. S. Judy treasures working with both the Sisters who preceded her as archivist and those she has collaborated with through the years.

S. Judith Metz celebrated her 60th anniversary as a Sister of Charity of Cincinnati in 2021. 22

Early in the 1990s, the Sisters of Charity Federation authorized the Seton Writings Committee to collect and publish the writings of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton. Sisters Judy and Regina Bechtle (SCNY) led the effort and along with a team of Sisters edited the three-volume Elizabeth Bayley Seton: Collected Writings. I n t e rcom

In 2016, S. Judith Metz (back, right) retired as Community archivist; she was celebrated by the many friends and colleagues she has worked with through the years.

Chapter 5

When Veronica Buchanan became SC archivist in 2016, S. Judy continued her role as Community historian. This position is seamlessly woven into her life since her high school days when she first made acquaintance with St. Elizabeth Ann Seton. The dictionary defines an historian as: a writer, student or scholar of history; a writer of history, a chronicler. This is quite the description of S. Judy as she continues to focus on researching, writing and presenting the history of the Sisters of Charity. She is a wealth of information and feels “privileged to bring this to the Sisters, the Associates, and to others in the community. It is a joy to do this work.” There are numerous aspects to the ministry. S. Judy serves on the Saint Elizabeth Seton National Shrine Heritage Committee, and is a consultant to present and former ministries of the SCs especially as they celebrate historical landmarks or events associated with Elizabeth Seton. At Mount St. Joseph University she shares the charism with faculty and staff at the monthly Seton Learning Community meetings, and leads pilgrimages to Emmitsburg each year. She continues to work with the Seton Writings Committee; to prepare presentations on various aspects of Sisters of Charity history as requested; and to write for the Sisters of Charity magazine Intercom. The cause of canonization for S. Blandina Segale has generated interest and requests for information. Recently S. Judy, along with other Sisters and SCs Associates, attended the dedication of the Sister Blandina Wellness Gardens in Trinidad, Colorado, where she offered a reflection on S. Blandina as a Sister of Charity. She also recently completed a book on the nearly 140-year history of the Sisters of Charity in Trinidad. V ol u m e I i I , 2 0 2 1

Early in the 1990s, Sisters Judith Metz (right) and Regina Bechtle (left), SCNY, led the effort to collect and publish the writings of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton. Since, they have collaborated on numerous projects related to the saint and founder of the Sisters of Charity.

Chapter 6

As you celebrate this year of Jubilee, for what are you grateful? “My heart is filled with gratitude as I look over these 60 years,” she says. “My work has always been a vocation and an avocation. I have studied our Charity saints so much in depth that I feel very close to them; they are real models and inspirations to me. In addition, I have had the opportunity to travel, to get to know the Sisters, and to spend time with them. I have a deep appreciation of the wonderful, prayerful, talented Sisters and Associates in our Community.” What do you do for fun? “I love to read and to be outdoors,” she responds. “I read American history, especially focusing on the early national and antebellum periods that give context to the era in which Elizabeth Seton and Margaret George lived. I enjoy walking, especially in the woods. I like being among the trees that I consider a life force. Walking on the earth makes me feel grounded.” Elizabeth, who also loved nature, has a kindred spirit in S. Judy. 23

Caring for Our

Common Home By S. Caroljean Willie


he world’s top scientists are sounding the alarm that climate change is not something that will happen in the future. It is here and it will affect all of us, but those who are marginalized and economically poor will suffer disproportionately and yet, have done little to contribute to the causes of climate change. The recent release of a report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which is the compilation of the work of scientists throughout the world, states that, “Scientists are observing changes in the Earth’s climate in every region and across the whole system. Many of the changes observed in the climate are unprecedented in thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of years and some of the changes already set in motion – such as continued sea level rise – are irreversible over hundreds of thousands of years.” EarthConnection (EC) seeks to keep people informed about the realities of climate change, but also to offer concrete ideas and actions to help mitigate the consequences. A series of webinars, blogs and a newsletter during the past several months have highlighted the Season of Creation (9/1-10/4) whose theme this year was “Oikos: A Home for All”; these include a session on how to reduce the use of plastic by Susan Vogt, a national speaker and writer on environmental sustainability; a program on “Sacred Earth Knowledge: What Indigenous People Have to Teach Us”; and another on the “Medical Consequences of Global Warming” by Dr. Kathleen Downey, MD, a recently retired professor from the University of Cincinnati who has also practiced in Alaska, on the Navajo Reservation, in New Zealand, Guatemala and the Dominican Republic.

EarthConnection has hosted several groups, including students from Mount St. Joseph University, Cincinnati Tech and the National Vincentian Volunteer program, to learn more about the building and ecospirituality.


Sisters Winnie Brubach (left) and Caroljean Willie worked with a number of Girl Scout Troops this fall to earn a variety of earth-related badges.

A number of Girl Scout Troops have visited EC to learn about alternative energies, earn their EC patch and work on a variety of earth-related badges. The “Movies That Matter” series is again being offered on site once a month.

A major emphasis in programming has been the introduction of the Laudato Si’ 7-Year Action Platform initiated by the Vatican. The goal of the platform is to have every Catholic institution, from the family to large institutions, become ecologically sustainable in seven years. According to Pope Francis, “We need a new ecological approach that can transform our way of dwelling in the world … Our selfishness, our indifference and our irresponsible ways are threatening the future of our children.” S. Caroljean (Cj) Willie has been working on the Archdiocesan Creation Care Task Force to introduce the program to parishes as well as with the Charity Earth Network (CEN) to design a webinar entitled: “Boundless Charity Embraces Earth.” CEN also has a dedicated space on the Federation website to keep congregations informed about what they are doing and to share ideas. S. Cj has hosted several classes of students from Mount St. Joseph University at EC who came to learn about the building as well as ecospirituality. She also offered a webinar on EC for the National Vincentian Volunteer program. S. Winnie Brubach has hosted several classes from Cincinnati Tech who came to tour the building and learn about its construction. From S. Winnie on our organic garden: “Two beds of garlic have been planted for harvest in June. The plants are already showing through the straw on top. We have been concentrating on ‘harvesting’ the weeds on the paths and in the beds. We let some of the weeds grow flowers so the bees would have a food source in early autumn. The zinnias continue to flower so the nectar eaters are still being fed. We harvested almost 900 pounds of vegetables the past growing season to donate to the Good Samaritan Free Health Center.” I n t e rcom

The Pursuit of Justice and Peace By Debbie Weber, OPJCC director True humanity, “is not built by turning your back on the suffering of those around you, but in the patient, committed and often even sorrowful recognition that the other person is my brother or sister and that his or her joys and hopes, griefs and anxieties are also mine. To ignore those who have fallen is to ignore our own humanity that cries out in every brother and sister of ours.” Pope Francis, Oct. 16, 2021

of every institution is whether it threatens or enhances the life and dignity of the human person. Another key theme is solidarity and the pursuit of justice and peace. We are one human family whatever our national, racial, ethnic, economic, and ideological differences. We are our brothers’ and sisters’ keepers, wherever they may be. The Gospel calls us to be peacemakers and our love for all our sisters and brothers demands that we promote peace in a world surrounded by violence and conflict.


hen I was in my 30s, I was introduced to the Catholic Social Teachings through the JustFaith Ministry program. JustFaith Ministries is a nonprofit organization that energizes people of faith by offering programs and resources that sustain them in their commitment to build a more just and peaceful world.

In addition to protecting people, Catholic Social Teaching tells us to also protect Earth and to live our faith in relationship with all of God’s creation. We show our respect for the Creator by our stewardship of creation.

I learned that the Catholic Church has a history of social teaching that goes back centuries and provides a moral challenge for living responsibly and building a just society. Modern Catholic Social Teaching is rooted in Scripture and articulated through official written documents issued by popes, bishops, and other prominent faith leaders. It has evolved over time in response to the challenges of the day.

The Gospel, Catholic Social Teachings, and the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati (SC) mission, vision and charism have guided me in my work to encourage all of us to learn more, to take action to the best of our abilities, and to advocate for systemic change when we hear the cries of our sisters, brothers, and our Earth. My extraordinary journey working for and with the SCs in the Office of Peace, Justice and Care for Creation began in 2012. This is my final Intercom article as I am retiring. I am immensely grateful for the opportunities, experiences, and support provided to me throughout my tenure.

It was an “ah-ha” moment for me. I was already passionate about building a more peaceful and just world, and I had a rich spiritual life. The teachings connected the two for me and I realized that they are inseparable. Promotion of ethical choices, just interactions within societies, and the preservation of the natural world are integrated in Catholic Social Teaching. And, of the seven key themes of this tradition, dignity and well-being of all people is at the core. The theme states that every person is precious, people are more important than things, and that the measure

Peace, love, and blessings to my SC family.

Sources: Caritas International Catholic Charities USA JustFaith Ministries United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Vatican News

In 2017 OPJCC Director Debbie Weber initiated a partnership with Catholic Charities of Southwestern Ohio to provide area refugee families with welcome baskets and bins. V ol u m e I i I , 2 0 2 1

The Water With Blessings initiative brought OPJCC Director Debbie Weber to Anapra, Mexico in 2013 to train ‘water women’ at the Santo Niño Project.


If You Build It, They Will Come By Erin Reder


Pat Hayden is familiar with a community garden. As the former vice president of mission integration at St. Anthony North Hospital in Westminster, Colorado, she saw the benefits to health and wellness that came from offering a place for people in the community to come, grow produce and plants in a community setting, and share with others. So as a resident on the Motherhouse campus, and as president of the Community, S. Pat was eager to offer something similar to others at Mount St. Joseph. This spring with the help of the Motherhouse ground crew and employees, the SC garden came to life. With hand-crafted raised beds and space for planting in the ground, the garden was a huge success amongst Sisters and employees. S. Dorothy William Englert has been gardening for years. Her first memories are traced back to being a young child during World War II when families were asked to grow “Victory Gardens” to help with the food supply while

Sisters of Charity gardeners include: (front) S. Kathryn Ann Connelly, (back row, from left) S. Jo Ann Martini, S. Annette Paveglio, S. Dorothy William Englert, S. Jean Miller, S. Marty Dermody, S. Pat Hayden, S. Domitille Ndayisenga, BM, S. Patrick Ann O’Connor, S. Carol Brockmeyer, and Nancy Witschger. Not pictured S. Mary Catherine Faller.

S. Pat Hayden was thrilled to bring the idea of a community garden to the Motherhouse property this year.

many farmers were away serving their country. She says her grandmother also had a large garden behind her home, and Sister has fond memories of helping her. When she learned of this new garden opportunity on campus, S. Dorothy William was thrilled to take part. She grew tomatoes, okra and corn, and also planted zinnias for her prayer space. Sister most enjoyed being out in the fresh air and the opportunity to eat fresh produce straight from the source. Never a gardener in the past, S. Marty Dermody heard about the SC garden and decided to give it a try in memory of her dear friend, the late Associate Rita Wesseling. Rita was a devoted gardener and always known to share her produce with others. S. Marty says she prayed often to Rita to help her garden grow – and the prayers worked! Kale, cucumbers, zucchini and tomatoes all flourished and she was able to share them with other Sisters, the Motherhouse kitchen and food banks at Holy Family and the Good Samaritan Free Health Center. In addition she planted sunflowers to remind her of her friendship with Rita. “I learned God’s in charge,” she said. “It takes work, especially if you don’t have the rain. It is hard work, but productive. The benefits outweigh it all. It’s been a blessing – and it’s been fun to be able to share our produce amongst each other. We get to try the fruits of everyone’s labor.”


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Like S. Dorothy William, S. Jean Miller grew up during the war when families were encouraged to have Victory Gardens. Her interest in gardening began then and continued as she ministered in foreign countries and had the opportunity to try and enjoy their unique dishes and the different ways they were prepared. In fact, S. Jean had always thought it would be fun to have her own restaurant that specialized in preparing vegetables in the various ways that she had learned from her travels. S. Jo Ann Martini enjoyed growing tomatoes in While that dream did not become a reality, her Motherhouse garden plot. she did enjoy the opportunities present at the Motherhouse. S. Jean explained that she and S. Rustica Kayombo, an international Sister living at the Motherhouse a few years back, used a small raised bed plot between the former Seton Hall and Motherhouse to garden. With S. Rustica she felt like she had her little restaurant. They would grow the vegetables, prepare the dishes and then invite others to share in the meals with them. So, when S. Jean heard about the new SC garden coming to the Mount campus, she called S. Pat and asked if she could have a raised bed. She grew lettuce, radishes, herbs, cucumbers, zucchini and tomatoes. And while not all of the crops were successful, she enjoyed getting back to the soil and feeling connected to nature. “A tiny seed produces something that people can enjoy and can prepare in many different ways. It’s a lesson in how nature teaches us that we should relate to one another in ways that are positive, that give life, that show enjoyment, and nurture. A dish brings people together – and that gives life and hope for our world and knowing that God is in the midst of it all.” Mother Margaret Hall’s Activities Department also got involved in the action. Helping Sisters remain physically active and engaged, the garden was an opportunity for department employees to bring a Sister or two out to visit the space and assist as able. Their raised bed included tomatoes, green beans, marigolds, peppers, basil and thyme. Produce harvested (particularly tomatoes) was shared with Sisters in MMH. Nancy Witschger, activities coordinator, said, “It was an opportunity for us to get Sisters outside and doing something different. They were involved. Many had the opportunity to enjoy a fresh piece of produce, and as they were doing so memories would come back to them of growing up or gardens they grew in the past.” Overall S. Pat Hayden is incredibly pleased with the garden’s success. She has enjoyed the spirit that has come with its being and the sharing and learning that has resulted with the trials and successes. She herself grew radishes, carrots, beans, snow peas, and bell peppers and learned what crops tend to work and those that don’t. S. Patrick Ann O’Connor (whose large garden is located right next to the SC garden) has been a source of guidance along the way. S. Pat was also grateful to SC employees who prepared the garden area and built the raised beds for the Sisters. With benches for visitors and gardeners to sit and rest, the SC garden provided a place for community, a place to focus on health and wellness, a connection to nature and a source of fresh produce. The well-known phrase, “If you build it, they will come,” is the continued motto as they look to the future and hope to see the garden and its visitors grow.

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S. Patrick Ann O’Connor has been a source of guidance and inspiration for those gardening at the Motherhouse this year.

Serving as a source of inspiration and guidance to gardeners throughout the planting and growing seasons was S. Patrick Ann O’Connor. S. Patrick Ann started her bountiful garden on the property of La Casa del Sol. When she learned that the property was being repurposed for a new ministry center, S. Patrick Ann was given the opportunity to bring her garden to Mount St. Joseph. Tomatoes, green beans, green peppers, cucumbers, zucchini, red beets, summer squash and Brussel sprouts all thrived with her loving care. She could be seen spending hours weeding and tending her plot and crops. Being outdoors and growing her own produce is something S. Patrick Ann has enjoyed for years. She grew up with a Victory Garden at her family home and through the years has enjoyed the companionship and learning that has come with gardening. She says she learned a lot of from S. John D’arc Evans, who taught with her at St. Lawrence, as well as S. Paula Gonzalez and Associate Rita Wesseling, and she continues to pray to these wisdom figures for guidance. Now she is the teacher as many of her fellow Sister gardeners ask for her advice and learn from her example.


A Century Blessed By Erin Reder


n September the Sisters of Charity Community celebrated the life of S. Mary Loyola Mathia. A Sister of Charity of Cincinnati for 80 years, S. Mary Loyola turned 100 years old on Sept. 14, 2021.

Catholic School (now Saint John Paul II Catholic School), the first Catholic school in Citrus County, Florida. She acted as an influential educator and principal until 1990 when she became the director of development for two years. The school began with 50 students in three grades and added a grade each year; it continues to thrive today serving more than 150 students from pre-K to 8th grade.

A native of Hempstead, New York, S. Mary Loyola earned her bachelor’s degree in history from the College of Mount St. Joseph (Cincinnati) and spent almost 50 years in the field of education. From 1942-’70 she taught at schools From 1991 until 2007, S. Mary in Ohio, Michigan and Maryland. In Loyola served as education coordinator Cleveland, Ohio, she became a high and Rite of Christian Initiation of school teacher of history and social Adults (RCIA) director at St. Scholastica Associate Jane Burdette (back) enjoyed a studies at Holy Name; her efforts did not visit with S. Mary Loyola Mathia on her 100th Church in Lecanto, Florida. In go unnoticed as Sister was asked to serve May 2007 she began ministering at birthday on Sept. 14, 2021. the education office of the Diocese of St. Francis Cabrini Xavier Church in Cleveland as a coordinating consultant. Despite having little Springhill, Florida. There she oversaw the RCIA program and experience in administration, she felt well-prepared. “I served annulments. Throughout her years at both St. Scholastica as the social studies consultant and department chairman for and St. Francis Cabrini she got to know many parishioners; the diocese from 1970-1978,” she remembered. her dynamic personality and deep faith were contagious and as those relationships developed, she walked with many as In 1980 S. Mary Loyola earned a master’s degree in they chose to make commitments as Associates in Mission pastoral studies from Loyola University (Chicago, Illinois) of the Sisters of Charity. Upon her 70th anniversary with the which she says prepared her for a new ministry. She served Community, Florida Associate Rachel Edwards said, “I see as religious education coordinator at St. Benedict in Crystal River, Florida, from 1979-’85. While at St. Benedict several of the charity, humility and simplicity that comes from her very soul. We feel privileged to know and love S. Loyola, as she the parish’s parents approached Sister and Father James Hoge continues to mentor all of ‘her’ Associates.” about building a school. In 1985 they co-founded Central

S. Delia Sizler (left) was a student of S. Mary Loyola Mathia’s at Holy Name High School in Cleveland, Ohio. 28

Associate Jane Burdette recalls meeting S. Mary Loyola and their relationship that followed: “I met S. Loyola around 1993 when she was at St. Scholastica. I was raised Southern Baptist but had always felt called to the Catholic faith. I had no idea where to start my journey but was directed, quite by chance, to Father Tom Morgan. It just so happened that S. Loyola was in charge of RCIA. The first time I met her we had a good laugh and I knew she was special. My family owns a Papal Indulgence so I took a copy with me to her class and told her I was grandfathered in. She thought it was hilarious … Sister has a great sense of humor and we have had many more laughs and adventures over the years. Of course, there were some bumps in my road to the faith. My family was not on board with my choice so I remained a catechumen for about eight years before all was sorted out and resolved. In the meantime, S. Loyola would lift me up whenever I got I n t e rcom

discouraged and I joined her Associate group. It was a lovely time. I continued to learn from her and feel like I had the best preparation anyone could possibly have to enter the faith. She took hold of my hand and has never let go.” In June 2014 S. Mary Loyola retired from St. Francis Cabrini and prepared to move back to the Mount St. Joseph Motherhouse in Ohio. Approximately 1,200 friends and acquaintances filled St. Francis Cabrini Church to celebrate Sister and say thank you for her life and dedication to the Church. Sister said she has enjoyed many blessings throughout her life, particularly those as a Sister of Charity. But it is those she has met along the way that consider themselves blessed. S. Delia Sizler met S. Mary Loyola in the 1960s as a student at Holy Name High School in Cleveland. When she made the decision to enter the Sisters of Charity in 1965, it was S. Mary Loyola who prepared her. “She was so helpful,” recalls S. Dee, “that really bonded us.” While their ministries took them to different parts of the country, it was their involvement with the SC Associates that brought them closer together again. “I remember when I moved to Alaska she was so faithful to keeping in touch. We would compare notes about what was going on,” said S. Dee. “I admire her. She is very thoughtful and her ability to foster friendship and spiritual growth is very important to me. We have had our differences, we have different politics. But she puts up with me, and listens to what I say. And now the tables have turned, and I get to be the one to do things for her.”

Intercom Subscription Available!


ift and individual subscriptions to Intercom, the magazine of the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati, are available through the Communications Office for $15. r Yes, I would like to receive a personal copy of Intercom. Enclosed is the $15 subscription fee for the publication. Name:

S. Mary Loyola Mathia celebrates her birthday with her Associate companions in the Florida area over Zoom.

During her birthday week in September, S. Mary Loyola was showered with love, phone calls and messages from near and far. She enjoyed her first Zoom gathering with Associates in Florida, and celebrated with Sisters at the Motherhouse and Mother Margaret Hall. Sister even had the chance to enjoy a birthday breakfast with dear friends S. Dee and Jane. As she reflects on her 100 years of life, S. Mary Loyola says, “I’ve had a long life and a very pleasant life and I thank God for all the blessings that have come my way.”

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Believe. Achieve. Become. By S. Georgia Kitt


arking the 10th anniversary of DePaul Cristo Rey High School’s presence in the Cincinnati community was truly a celebratory event. The October celebration included students, current and former school leaders and staff, donors, and many Sisters of Charity. As the retired superintendent of Catholic Schools for the Archdiocese of Cincinnati and member of the original steering committee, S. Katheryn Ann Connelly reflected on the Oct. 27 event, saying, “Education has been a love in my life and it was important to see a Catholic college-prep high school education be a possibility for all families and students who desired it.” She recalls memories from the early feasibility study – deciding the right model, having the full support of the Sisters of Charity congregation, seeking the best location, initiating broad contacts in the Greater Cincinnati community, and securing the corporate workstudy opportunities with area business leaders – all led by faith-filled leadership and steady relationship building! S. Barbara Hagedorn, who was president of the Community during the early and developmental stages of the school and a key supporter of the endeavor, remarked, “Faith has always been the cornerstone of the DPCR community. It inspired and guided the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati in 2007 as we began exploring the idea of opening a school that would offer an alternative model of education to the traditional Catholic school. … It was the faith and dedication of many that brought the school into being. The existence of the school and its continued success attest to the fact that its spirit is strong and that faith has remained the cornerstone.” Today, the two women are filled with joy. “It has been amazing to watch it grow,” says S. Kathryn Ann, “making a difference in the lives of families and individuals. I am grateful for the motivation of my dear friend and fellow educator, S. Catherine Kirby, who was totally convinced that education is the way out of poverty. It has happened before our eyes. The hand of God was and is in it.” S. Barb added, “I had such a flood of memories going back to the beginning when the idea of starting the school was still a ‘mustard seed,’ the smallest of all seeds that eventually grows into something great. That is the perfect image for DPCR. From the very beginning, there were many people involved in the planning and preparation to move DPCR from an idea, to developing all aspects of the school, to welcoming the first class of students. It truly ‘took a village.’ Many of the people who were involved in the school’s beginning are still faithful volunteers, donors and ambassadors. It was so good to reconnect with them and thank them for believing in the school. We remain an essential part of ‘the village’ that moves the school into its second decade.”

S. Barbara Hagedorn reflected on DePaul Cristo Rey High School’s history and success during its 10th anniversary party on Oct. 27, 2021. 30

Throughout these foundational years, school administrators, board members, volunteers, cooperate work study partners, parents, staff and students have developed a faith-based, cooperative spirit. We, as a sponsoring community, are most grateful for the trust placed in us as educational leaders. Today DePaul Cristo Rey students are believing, achieving, becoming! I n t e rcom

Charity Family ground blessing at New Ministry Site A group of Sisters of Charity attended the Aug. 15, 2021 ground blessing for the La Casa del Sol Ministry Center. Site work and groundbreaking at the new ministry center, located at the site of the former La Casa del Sol on the corner of Bender Road, began shortly after and has continued to progress in the following months. Family Reunion Smiles filled the Mount St. Joseph Motherhouse on Aug. 7, 2021 as the Sisters of Charity welcomed Associates to the Motherhouse campus for the first time in 16 months. Associates were treated to an Ice Cream Social and tours of the new locations of the congregational offices on the first and second floors of the Motherhouse and Marian Hall. Charity Speaks Sisters of Charity Federation archivists have compiled and organized oral histories of Sisters into an interactive, searchable online digital archives. The new website is The Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati has a featured Sister in each exhibit section. As a part of the collection’s format, each Community has its own tag for all of the interviews. To view the Cincinnati submissions visit: Racial Equity: A Personal Call to Love as christ loves Sisters Andrea Koverman, Romina Sapinoso and Tracy Kemme and pre-entrants Karina Montes and Cassady Allen traveled to Atlanta, Georgia, to attend the North American Vincentian Family Gathering, Oct. 22-24, 2021. This year’s theme was “Racial Equity: A Personal Call to Love as Christ Loves.” Participants spent the weekend S. Romina Sapinoso (right) visits with deepening relationships with one another by Vincentian Family members at the October engaging in meaningful and respectful dialogue gathering. concerning individual and collective experiences of race, diversity and inclusion in the Vincentian Family and beyond; exploring how racism denies human dignity in our relationships and social structures, affirming that the lives of men and women of color matter, and examining how white privilege and white supremacy are imbedded and manifested; and learning skills to foster our ability to give voice to our experiences so that we may heal the wounds of racism and create effective change. V ol u m e I I I , 2 0 2 1

Intercom is the official 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 213 Sisters are joined in their mission by 206 Associates (lay women and men). Sisters, using their professional talents as ministers of education, health care, social services and environmental justice, live and minister in 17 U.S. dioceses and in two foreign countries. They also sponsor institutions to address education, health care and social service needs, with particular concern for direct service to the poor.

Intercom Staff Editor Erin Reder Graphic Design/Layout Michelle Bley Director of Communications S. Georgia Kitt Executive Council Liaison S. Monica Gundler Advisory Board Members: Veronica Buchanan S. Mary Ann Flannery S. Tracy Kemme S. Joyce Richter Debbie Weber Vicki Welsh Letters to the editor, articles and photos are welcome. The staff reserves the right to edit for space and readability. Make submissions to: Communications Office 5900 Delhi Road Mount St. Joseph, OH 45051 Phone: 513-347-5447 Fax: 513-347-5467 Email: Subscriptions: $15 per year

5900 Delhi Road Mount Saint Joseph, OH 45051 sistersofcharityofcincinnati 31

5900 Delhi Road Mount Saint Joseph, OH 45051

16 The membership of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, including many Sisters of Charity and SC Associates, came together for a day of service to celebrate its 200th anniversary in October.

22 Community Historian S. Judith Metz (left) celebrated 60 years as a Sister of Charity of Cincinnati in 2021.


Sisters of Charity and Associates attended the October celebration for the 10th anniversary of DePaul Cristo Rey High School.

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