S i s t e r s
C h a r i t y
C i n c i n n at i
Dear Sisters, Associates and Friends,
In the winter issue of Intercom, the article, “Our Legacy: The Work of Elizabeth Seton’s Mustard Seed,” included the thought, [p.16] “…blessings never get old, they just multiply.” This issue of Intercom verifies that.
The Work of Elizabeth Seton’s Mustard Seed...........................................10 Leaving our legacy in Albuquerque, N.M. Getting to Know Michelle Montez...........15 A day in the life of the New Mexico Associate. Lives Changing Lives................................16 S. Nancy Crafton’s ministry to farmworkers in Avondale, Colo. Sister Moms.............................................20 Sisters tell of their journey from motherhood to mother and Sister of Charity. The Convergence of the Charity Charism......................................24 Sisters celebrate the appointment of Kelvin Cardinal Felix. Departments Vocation/Formation...................................8 New Generations of Catholic Sisters OPJCC......................................................9 Witnessing Hope Motherhouse/Mother Margaret Hall........19 Made With Love From the Archives....................................26 S. Blandina Segale
This spring issue highlights the work of the Sisters and Associates in the Albuquerque, N.M., area over many years. Also are told a few current works and learnings of Sisters. One of the works is preparing for the Chapter of February 2015. The 11-member planning committee meets almost monthly with Chapter facilitators to gather information, organize and prepare processes for the Sister delegates to set the course for 2015-2019 and to elect a president and members to the Leadership Team for those four years. S. Mary Bookser will tell more about the Chapter; S. Pat Wittberg explores what women are searching for in a religious community today; S. Fran Trampiets will look at the reality of Sister Moms; and S. Jean Miller will highlight S. Nancy Crafton’s ministry among people facing poverty. Sisters Benedicta Mahoney and Victoria Marie Forde share flashbacks of memories, especially of a creative and persistent pioneer of the West, S. Blandina Segale. There are notes from the Office of Peace, Justice and Care for Creation, descriptions related to National Catholic Sisters Week, and our Sisters’ connections to a newly appointed Cardinal. On the Cincinnati scene, you will begin (if you do not already know him) to appreciate Dave Thorsen, the person in the employee spotlight. Finally you will learn a little about a request from Good Samaritan Hospital that has blanketed the community with creative expressions.
Photo courtesy of Margot Geist
On the Cover: Angelitas de Caridad, a sculpture honoring the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati for their years of service to the citizens of Martineztown and Albuquerque, N.M., was dedicated in 2011. To read more about our Sister’s legacy in the Diocese of Albuquerque, N.M., visit “The Work of Elizabeth Seton’s Mustard Seed” on Page 10. Cover photo courtesy of S. Jeannette Cochran
Be assured that the multiplied blessings you read about include you, our dear reader! Enjoy being with us, even if you can do it only in print and prayer. We ask you to continue multiplying blessings for others in the living of your life.
S. Christine Marie Rody
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? May 10, 1927 – S. Immaculata D’Arcambal, a native of Kalamazoo, Mich., died at age 75. Sister had spent the last 14 years of her profession as a pharmacist, managing the Seton Hospital Clinic in the near Westside of Cincinnati. It was here that she became noted for her untiring service to the sick poor.
The Aspirant Class in 1944, as printed in Lotus Leaves.
September 1930 – The Aspirant School of the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati opened for girls of high school age who felt they might have a religious vocation. The class was a part of the Academy of Mount St. Joseph. First directors were Mother Mary Florence Kent and S. Ernestine Foskey. In the first 15 years of the school, 40 members entered the Congregation.
September 1960 – The first elementary school named for Elizabeth Ann Seton opened in Milford as an offshoot of St. Andrew School, Milford. S. Mary William Pendergest was principal of both schools.
In Memoriam Please visit “In Memoriam” at www.srcharitycinti.org 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. Sister Mary Michael Chizmar April 18, 2014 Sister Mary Josetta Boeing March 31, 2014 Associate Father Joseph Bruening March 31, 2014 Sister Mary Josephine Bensman March 11, 2014 Sister Mary Raymond Balash March 9, 2014 Sister Rita Margaret Kroger February 19, 2014
Elizabeth Seton School, Milford, in 1960.
Dec. 3, 1971 – An official announcement stated that plans were underway at the Motherhouse to use the former College Dining Room for an Employees’ Dining Room. There were more than 150 Motherhouse employees at that time.
Into Our Future Together By S. Mary Bookser Who will offer the dance of their own life, as a creation of devotion and beauty? Only those who … walk now in the Light can offer their lives in Service to build the new world, where justice and freedom will truly flourish. Awaken, all you who are yet asleep, let us plant seeds for the commingling of heaven and earth; for the Energy of Love radiates in everything. … (Psalms for Praying, Nan Merrill, 220)
e are solidly into our planning for our next General Chapter, scheduled for Feb. 27 through March 7, 2015. Our excellent Chapter Planning Committee has been involving us all in the process of planning. The theme, “Hazard Yet Forward!,” is not a new theme, but it is leading us into a new future, together, as a Charity Family. We know that what we choose together in this coming Chapter will impact us and our vulnerable brothers and sisters, as well as our Earth home, for years to come. As a Leadership Team we shared a recent DVD from the Religious Formation Conference. Throughout her talk, the conference speaker, S. Nancy Schreck, wove the first question asked humans by God. “When they heard the sound of God moving about in the garden the man and his wife hid themselves. … The Lord God then called to the man and asked him, ‘Where are you?’” (Genesis 3). S. Nancy noted four global trends which impact all our world: the number of people on our planet whose needs cannot be met, the increasing scarcity of finite natural resources, global communication through technology, and the desire for the “good” which is ever growing. She asked us what are our 4
dreams for making a difference in this future and called us to reach out to the “margins,” noting that God continues to ask us “Where are you?” She intimated that God expects to find us there, at the margins, in our prophetic role. The Feb. 7, 2014, issue of Commonweal magazine had an excellent article by theologian Elizabeth Johnson, CSJ, entitled “At Our Mercy: The Tree of Life Now Depends on One Twig.” In the article Dr. Johnson writes of our wonderful capabilities to “respond to other beings, to imagine the perspectives of others, to respond aesthetically to the beauty of nature, even to praise the Creator of that beauty” (14). She tells us that “Social injustice and ecological degradation are two sides of the same coin,” and reminds us that Pope John Paul invited us to extend the belief in the dignity of the human person to all creation. Dr. Johnson states that we are past the time when we can ignore the impact of our decisions on that which is our life support system, our Earth. We who have a special call to aid those who live in poverty in our world, must see the relationship between the greed which destroys our Earth and that which destroys the lives of so many of those on the margins. We are the “one twig.” As God continues to invite us, through our Chapter Planning Committee and one another, into our future together, let us be open to God’s Spirit, calling us to unity with all Life. Let’s listen to God’s call, asking each of us “Where are you?” and let’s move forward together, as the heart, hands and voice of Christ made visible in the here and now. Isn’t that our Gospel call? Intercom
Charity Family The Singing Circle By S. Mary Bodde Scs Attend Los Angeles Religious Education Congress (From left) Pre-Entrant Romina Sapinoso, Carmen Zuniga, Denise Morris, Affiliate Annie Klapheke, S. Janet Gildea, Sandra Gutierrez and S. Carol Wirtz attended the 2014 Los Angeles Religious Education Congress held March 14-16 in Anaheim, Calif. The three-day weekend offered more than 200 speakers presenting more than 300 workshops, and provided the opportunity to share faith with 40,000 other Catholics from around the world. Seton High School participates in Water with blessings On March 18, 2014, OPJCC Director Debbie Weber presented the Water With Blessings project to the Seton High School student body as part of the Campus Ministry Lenten series. Debbie showed slides of places where the WWB filtration system is being used as she explained the process, the results and the excitement that follows. Afterwards, students were able to come to the stage and see the bucket of dirty water, watch it being filtered, and then taste the clean water. Sisters, Associates, Employees Assist Community with Tax Help
(Back from left) Sisters Kathryn Ann Connelly, Patrick Ann O’Connor and Patricia Malarkey volunteered their time to the Price Hill Tax Preparation Site in 2014.
Since 2006, Sisters, Associates and SC employees have donated their Saturdays during tax season to the Price Hill Elder High School Tax Preparation Site. The volunteers offer support to low- to moderate-income families by providing free help preparing and e-filing their tax returns.
Director of Associates Mary Jo Mersmann leads a group of Florida Associates in a virtual day of reflection.
VIRTUAL DAY OF REFLECTION A SUCCESS On Saturday, March 8, a group of Florida Associates participated in a Day of Reflection “at the Motherhouse.” This was no ordinary Spirituality Center offering, this virtual day of reflection was made possible through the miracles of technology as S. Teresa Laengle’s “The Wisdom of the Cross” was livestreamed from the Cedars auditorium in the Motherhouse to 20 Associates at Corpus Christi Church in Spring Hill, Fla., watching a large screen and participating in their own small groups. Director of Associates Mary Jo Mersmann led the group in Spring Hill. They had the same prayer table, handouts, prayers and discussion questions. The group listened to S. Teresa’s presentation and participated in a beautiful ritual at the end of the day. There were a few glitches but this was the first time trying something so adventurous. There were learnings about what to change, add or eliminate the next time this kind of event is attempted; it is hoped that others will consider trying this in their locations. 5
National Catholic Sisters Week launched in march
s part of Womenâ€™s History Month, the first-ever National Catholic Sisters Week was celebrated March 8-14, 2014. Made possible through a grant to St. Catherine University from the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, the week was initiated to bring a greater awareness to Catholic Sisters â€“ to make them more known and visible on a broad national level. In addition to highlighting the significant role that women religious have played in our world histories, it also made visible a contemporary view of Catholic Sisters, their lives, their mission and their works. Many activities were planned throughout the week at the Mount St. Joseph Motherhouse, including an ice cream social hosted by the employees for the Sisters, a thank you video, and letters from friends, colleagues and former students celebrating their relationships with the Sisters of Charity. The following letters are just a sample of the many received in the Communications Office from those who have come to know Sisters Maureen Donovan, Julie Gatza and Pat Wlock at St. James Elementary School in Bay City, Mich., and S. Pat Hayden at St. Anthony North Hospital in Westminster, Colo.
For more than 140 years the Sisters of Charity have graced the halls of St. James Elementary School in Bay City, Mich. We as lay teachers are honored to be part of this great mission and history. Sisters Maureen Donovan, Julie Gatz a and Patricia Wlock are loving, dedicated and totally committ ed to their calling. They have taught us all the true meaning of love of God, service to others, grace under pressure, com passion, humility, dedication and perseverance. These wom en do this effortlessly with love that comes from deep within their hearts. They inspire us daily to work hard and be good to one another. At the same time, they help us to enjoy the good things in life, like laughter and friendship. The se women are positive examples of the word CHARITY. No matter how long or how little you were a part of this school family, you will always be a part of their lives and the lives of all the former Sisters of Charity on whose faith and dedication this school was built. We have been truly blessed by these wonderful women of God! St. James Elementary Staff
ration for S. Pat Hayden, vice president of mission integ extending the for r pilla a St. Anthony North Hospital, has been unity of comm healing ministry of Christ for associates and the responsible for Westminster for more than 25 years. S. Pat is and the families bringing love, compassion and joy to patients s ago when I year two she serves. We love S. Pat! I met her just first came to St. Anthony North Hospital. ital. I’ll never I was thrilled to be joining a Catholic hosp wait until you forget my CNO, Carol Butler, saying, “Well… and she was – ” meet S. Pat, you will love her! She’s the best, and dear friend right! S. Pat has been a mentor, coach, leader or anyone who to me since I met her. She is always there for me how much she needs her, day or night. Words cannot express means to me and this community. She helps me If I need a piece of advice, she is there for me. ng my thinking, work through the pros and the cons – challengi g me get away helping me to grow in leadership, never lettin best version with anything, pushing me to become the very Pam Vigil, has of myself. My colleague and quality manager, become like known S. Pat a lot longer. The three of us have and always ittee comm s a little family; we are all on the ethic her. toget looking for ways to work on various projects years of servant Thank you, S. Pat Hayden, for your many those you serve. leadership. May God continue to bless you and Diane M. Rossi MacKay, RN, MSN
To learn more about National Catholic Sisters Week, and to read more letters to our Sisters, please visit www.srcharitycinti.org/news_events/NCSW.htm. spring 2 0 1 4
New Generations of Catholic Sisters By S. Patricia Wittberg
new book, New Generations of Catholic Sisters, has just been published by Oxford University Press. S. Pat Wittberg is one of the three authors, together with S. Mary Johnson, SNDdeN, and Mary Gautier of the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate. The book compares the 2009 National Religious Vocation Conference (NRVC) survey of women entering religious life today with an older study of women who had entered between 1965 and 1980. In comparison with those who had entered in the 1960s and 1970s, relatively few of the women entering today cited their community’s size, geographic location, ministries, or international scope as attracting them, and these characteristics were the least important to the youngest Sisters. The age composition of the community did matter, however. More than three-fourths of the new entrants, no matter how old they were when they entered in the early 2000s, preferred to live with members of different ages. The younger the woman entering today is, the less likely she is to have had any prior contact with the Sisters in her community, whether by being taught by them in school, by working with them, or by having relatives who were also members. The youngest Sisters in the 2009 survey were more likely to have learned of their institute from a media story, and to have searched many communities online before contacting any of them. Fully 30 percent of the youngest Sisters first learned about their communities through a media story, as compared to 10 percent of the new entrants who were older than 40.
institute’s mission, its spirituality, or its community life as attractive than they were to cite its size, location, or international character. Those entering were also attracted by Sisters who were joyful, welcoming, loving to each other, and kind to those to whom they ministered. The problem is that these “intangible” characteristics are not easily conveyed online; they need personal contact with members of a community – which is precisely what the youngest entrants were less likely to have had. What does this mean for religious communities today? First and foremost, it means that a vibrant online presence is essential in today’s hyperlinked world. Our Communications Office has been a leader in making our SC website one of the more attractive sites to visit and navigate, and several Sisters, such as Janet Gildea and Tracy Kemme, are active bloggers. Facebook has enabled visitors to learn more about the SC Community, and offers a way to engage with our Sisters, if they so choose. E-Voc, the monthly e-newsletter for discerners, also continues to be a helpful resource to women at any stage of the journey. But equally important, is to be joyful and welcoming in our encounters, with those whom we meet. We never know who is watching us, in person or electronically!
When women today search for a religious community to enter, what do they look for? Respondents of all ages were more than twice as likely to cite their
A religious community’s online presence is essential in today’s hyperlinked world.
Witnessing Hope By Debbie Weber, OPJCC director
lmost nine years ago, more than one million people in the Greater New Orleans area were affected by Hurricane Katrina. According to the St. Bernard Project, a nonprofit that assists disaster-impacted communities rebuild and recover, approximately 6,000 families still cannot afford to rebuild the homes that they own due to overwhelming costs, contractor fraud, disabilities or any one of a number of other obstacles.
f Who’s to say where the ‘Breath of Life’ will take me? If I bend to the movement of Her – I will go on this journey of surprises. I am not so trusting in the beginning but I stand in amazement as I go. Today a beautiful haven, painted yellow – a peace-filled happy home for us pilgrims.
S. Monica Gundler (left) and Susie Nyp, The SC Federation’s House of an Associate with the Sisters of Charity of I feel surrounded in love and welcome Charity in New Orleans, La., works Leavenworth, Kan., during the first-ever – most profound for me, me who once with the St. Bernard Project, and Associate Build in New Orleans, La. didn’t recognize these gifts. house-by-house, they are rebuilding and helping families return to their I am so grateful for life’s journeys hospitality and ample opportunities to homes. Many of you have probably and to the God who wants to make pray and reflect upon our time in New heard about, or participated in, Nuns my cup even more full. Orleans. Build where each year Sisters from - Associate Moe Nieman Despite mass devastation of homes across the country join St. Bernard and communities along with the Project in New Orleans to help rebuild physical and emotional hardships the houses damaged by Hurricane Katrina. The first-ever survivors of Hurricane Katrina incurred, and still incur, there Associate Build was held in February 2014! Cincinnati SC is hope. We witnessed hope at the St. Bernard Project center Associates Moe Nieman, Mary Jo Mersmann and myself where approximately 80 volunteers from all over the country worked and prayed with Leavenworth, Kan., SC Associates. gathered for an orientation before we were assigned houses We stayed at the House of Charity where S. Monica to restore. We witnessed hope talking to local survivors and Gundler along with S. Renee Rose, DC, and S. Claire Regan, working with Mary the homeowner of the house we painted. SC of New York, provided us with wonderful southern We witnessed hope when we visited the Marianites of Holy Cross, as they too are survivors who rebounded from the disaster and aided locals traumatized by the devastation. And we witnessed hope when we and other Vincentian Family members gathered together on our last night in New Orleans for prayer, dinner and sharing. Despite Hurricane Katrina, there is hope.
Three Cincinnati SC Associates traveled to New Orleans as representatives of the SC Federation to help a woman restore her home. We returned home tired and sore yet spirit-filled and humbled knowing that we are part of something greater. Associate Debbie Weber (left), with homeowner Mary during the February Associate Build. spring 2 0 1 4
Our Legacy: T he W ork of E lizabeth S eton ’ s M ustard S eed
his article continues a series on the cities where Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati have left our legacy, places where we have put down our roots in responding to God’s call to serve. How did it begin in Albuquerque, New Mexico? The daughters of Mother Seton chose the “Gilded Age” of the 1880s for their initial foundation in Albuquerque. Billy the Kid had just been shot to death in a dramatic encounter; luxury and extravagance, prominence of the middle class, defiance of the poor class, and mastery of the upper financial strata characterized the period. The work of the Sisters of Charity in Albuquerque was to embrace many phases of charity including the care of the sick and destitute and the education of youth. The Jesuits who came to New Mexico in 1867 opened a day school in Old Town in 1875; they invited the Sisters of Charity to take over in 1881. The Jesuit in charge, Father Gasparri, is to have said: “I hope Bishop Elder will not have to plea so hard to gain an entrance into Heaven as I had to beg to get the Sisters for Albuquerque.”
Faculty of St. Vincent Academy and Sisters teaching in the Albuquerque area gather in 1936.
Sisters Mary Josephine Irwin and Agnes Cecilia Stanley left the Motherhouse for far-off Albuquerque on Aug. 21, 1881. After a delay in securing housing, Our Lady of the Angels School opened in Old Albuquerque on Sept. 21, 1882. Six Sisters conducted a boarding and select day school and taught the girls in the adjacent Old Town public school while the Jesuits continued to teach the boys. In 1884, Our Lady of the Angels moved to New Town and became known as Public School, Precinct Number Twelve. The Sisters house was built up against the famous ole Church of San Felipe de Neri. During the first two years a cubeshaped brick house nearby provided a home for abandoned children, sick vagabonds and for all emergencies; Sisters Emerentiana Corby and Catherine Mallon cared for all who came. In the summer of 1883 Sisters Blandina Segale and Pauline Leo made a trip to Chihuahua for the purpose of soliciting funds. They were urged to remain in Albuquerque, being offered incentives and art treasures; the Sisters refused the offers, but remained to serve. During the first 10 years in Albuquerque the Sisters taught under public school auspices; in 1891 a public school was opened with secular teachers in charge. The Board of Education 10
minutes of that year indicate the Sisters refused to meet the new requirement of secular garb. They would not have been permitted to wear their religious habits in the schools so they discontinued teaching in the public schools in 1892. In 1885 Old and New Albuquerque were separated, paving the way for San Felipe School and St. Vincent Academy. The Sisters purchased 64 lots in the most desirable part of New Town and opened the first free school in Albuquerque in 1885 in an adobe building on the site of the future St. Vincent Academy. St. Vincent Academy opened in September with a full academic course of study, including music and art and modern languages; S. Blandina was in charge. Exhibits at the territorial fairs stimulated a demand for adult instruction in arts and crafts, and S. Ernestine Foskey’s services were secured in 1887 to open an art department. They had 34 student boarders at this time with 20 of them being in the primary grades. With transportation being difficult, many of the Academy girls spent the holidays at school. They employed time in embroideries, knitting, repairing their clothes and sometimes feasting and dancing. The Sisters took recreation with them and furnished the music and dancing. Students from the best Intercom
families in Albuquerque enrolled; they were of Jewish, Protestant and Catholic faith. By 1893 enrollment increased and called for expansion including two new wings. By 1900 they added 13 rooms and a chapel. Curriculum was demanding, but they were always careful to include painting, drawing, violin, vocal and piano, ceramic art, embroidery and elocution.
Club, A Cappella and Orchestra. An additional wing in 1938 showed enrollment increase to 181 by 1942. A generous factor in this development was Perfilia Baca, the mother of S. Mary Juanita, who was on the faculty. Their family made possible the first sewing department and the first automobile used at the academy, which closed in 1969.
Nineteen-eighteen brought the epidemic of influenza, which took a heavy toll among both the children and the adults. The Academy closed in November and the Sisters offered their services in the hospitals, homes and in the barracks where a temporary infirmary was set up to care for the soldiers. Many of the Sister volunteers had no training, but through their indomitable courage they became indispensable to the doctors and nurses bringing relief and comfort to the suffering. Though that season of death and anguish was tragic, in retrospect it became one of the most illustrious periods in the Community’s history, a period in which many members fulfilled to the utmost the role of Charity. Classes resumed after the Christmas holidays.
Current SCs with fond memories of their student days at St. Vincent Academy include Sisters Paula Gonzalez, Victoria Marie Forde and Linda Chavez. S. Paula reflects on the profound influence that S. Victoria Waldron, her Latin teacher for four years, had on her. “She was tall, stately and had a bit of red hair showing from under her cap. … She was a magnificent teacher; she helped me obtain a scholarship to attend the College of Mount St. Joseph and persuaded my parents that it would be a good thing. This led to me working at St. Joseph Hospital (where I was born), teaching at Regina School of Nursing and eventually entering the Sisters of Charity.”
In the first 50 years St. Vincent Academy grew by degrees from the one-teacher high school to the high school with a teacher for each grade to the high school with specialized teachers. Academic branches were supplemented by extracurricular activities, including the Sodality of Our Lady, the S.V.A. Sunbeam (named by S. Rosarita McKeone), Athletic
S. Victoria Marie Forde’s family came West to find relief for her mother’s asthma. “The imposing building, three stories, was situated in green grass with trees in an area of two city blocks, quite different from the sandy areas in neighborhoods around it. The large sandy playground had a cement circle of sidewalk for Sisters on duty. First floor was classrooms; second, dorms; and third, the convent. If we were ever sent to get a Sister, we had to call, ‘Girl coming up,’ yet hoping to catch someone without her veil! Homesick ‘Easteners’ felt a great comfort in the small chapel. “For the first months until my family decided this was the place and bought a house near SVA, my two sisters and I were boarders. For me that meant hearing stories about China at night from S. Winifred Keyes. … S. Victoria Waldron was a gift from God. She taught Latin and history with extra books to read as a reward.” S. Linda Chavez is a 1943 graduate of St. Vincent Academy whose tuition for herself and her sister Priscilla, as well as her weekly piano lessons, were paid to the Sisters in the form of milk and other dairy products; S. Linda’s father had a dairy. S. Alice Joseph McAuley was her piano teacher, later math and helped her get ready to enter the Sisters of Charity in 1947. “I loved school!” she recalled. “You might say we had individualized instruction; my classes ranged from five to 15 girls. My parents insisted that we speak English at home, but thanks to frequent visits to my grandmother’s I had good practice in speaking Spanish. In my early years of teaching I was especially proud to be bilingual and to teach Spanish. The students and parents in Ohio so enjoyed the plays we wrote and performed; it made the language come alive for them.” Sisters Sheila Gallagher and Mary Jane Kenney (right) greet students of St. Vincent Academy in 1968.
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S. Linda served one-half of her ministry life in her native Albuquerque, including 20 years at St. Pius X as theology department chair, as associate vicar for religious for the diocese and as director of senior well-being clinics as part of St. Joseph Community Health Education. “I am proud of the beautiful city it has become, especially the spectacular mix of cultures,” she said.
her students exercise in the upper auditorium with small barbells to the music of ‘Stars and Stripes,’” Emma remembered. “In her classroom Sister would stop what she was doing when a military plane flew close by, and had us pray immediately for the safety of the pilots. It became so engrained in us that we still pray when a plane flies by.”
San Felipe School opened in September 1882 with five classrooms on the first floor to accommodate the demand; they used the third floor for plays, programs and meetings. By 1956 the new junior high building was blessed and dedicated by Archbishop Edwin Byrne. Three years later enrollment numbered 400 children, five Sisters of Charity and five lay teachers. For the move each child had to pick up a desk and their belongings and walk to the new building; by noon hot lunches were served in the new cafeteria at a cost of 25 cents. In 1972, still located in the historical Old Town Plaza, San Felipe School boosted a bilingual program, ungraded math and reading and a strong emphasis on Christ-like living. S. Grace Catherine Aufderbeck served as principal from 1973-1979. The last Sisters of Charity to teach there were Sisters Terese Sherritt and Ann Reimund; the school closed in 1987 following more than 100 years of ministry to the children of the area.
St. Francis Xavier Mission opened in 1927 and the Sisters of Charity opened the school the following year under the direction of S. Mary Walburga Koverman. It was an extremely poor Spanish mission with little known about its early years. In the 1930s the Sisters lived at St. Vincent Academy and each weekday morning the pastor, Father Weeks, called for the four SCs in a rattle trap car, which, in spite of its appearance and many halts along the way, got the Sisters to and from school. A Jesuit Brother started the wood and coal fires in each classroom in the early morning in the winter. It was up to the Sisters and the children to rebuild them. Even tiny first graders used to trot down the old wooden steps each afternoon to empty the ashes and bring up the coal for the next day.
Stories are told of S. Mary Nolasco Sanchez by a former San Felipe pupil, Emma Moya; she was regarded as a legend in the parish. Emma remembers S. Mary Nolasco being very patriotic, writing to President Roosevelt during World War II and receiving a letter from his secretary, Grace Tully, which was proudly shared with the third and fourth grade class. “She had
The parish – church and school – had a facelift in the 1940s, and in 1950 a pre-first grade was introduced. The children came from old Spanish families; they were poor or in moderate circumstances and had bilingual difficulty. Spanish was the only language spoken in the home. Sisters De Paul Sandoval, Rita Patrick, Alice Glutz and Catherine Roberta (Marge) McCullough were faculty members at that time. Enrollment reached 600 in 1955. By 1978 the school closed after financial difficulties.
In 1892, two Sisters of Charity arrived at St. Mary’s to open a school for boys. The parish was a mission of the Jesuits of Old Albuquerque. Twenty years later, the school became co-educational with the curriculum including high school subjects. S. Francis Regis Poll was the principal. In 1941, a new two-story building at Seventh and Kent streets became home. More expansion continued as enrollment increased throughout the 1940s and 1950s. In the late 1960s St. Mary’s became a regional high school drawing students from throughout the valley. Strong SC educators who served St. Mary School for lengthy periods over the years include Sisters Anne Hermine Gerver, Bernadette Kambeitz, Mary Christine Falsetto and Isabella Glenn. S. Barbara Padilla is a proud graduate. Fifth grade students of St. Francis Xavier School take a class picture with their teacher S. Ann Pierre Brunelli in 1975.
With the arrival of the first passenger train into Albuquerque in 1880 came a steady increase in the population. That same year the SCs rented an 18-room house in Old Town which they called the Wayfarer’s House. They lodged sick and needy people and took care of them; from that beginning came the realization of a need for a hospital in Albuquerque in addition to the one in Santa Fe. In 1889, the Jesuits offered the Sisters a tract of land in the northern part of the highlands; S. Hyacinth Sullivan arrived with plans and specifications for the new venture. The cost was estimated at $30,000, eventually reaching $50,000. The people of the city were so excited that they enthusiastically supported bazaars, took collections or presented gifts outright. A three-story building, one of the largest of its kind in the Southwest, emerged; since the major portion of the expense was met by the Motherhouse of the Sisters of Charity, the building was named St. Joseph Sanatorium. On May 30, 1902, the new facility was dedicated with Mass in the small chapel on the first floor. S. Zita Deneman, who supervised the completion of the building, was placed in charge; S. Henrietta Hebert, pharmacist and supervisor of nurses. There were 17 doctors on staff. Thirteen patients were admitted as the hospital opened; cash on-hand amounted to 75 cents. However, by autumn, work on a hospital annex had begun.
S. Michael Mary Egan, principal, meets with a family from St. Mary’s School in Albuquerque in 1966.
S. Marianella Domenici was the last SC principal; she served in that capacity for 23 years, retiring in 2012. Sisters Marie Vincentia Roney and Teresa Atencio were the last SC teachers in the school. St. Mary School continues today, ever conscious of its Sisters of Charity influence and legacy, spanning 120 years. In 1956 St. Pius X High School opened on Mesa Street, using St. Charles School as temporary quarters. In 1960, five appointed Sisters of Charity joined a staff of 23 lay teachers. The school campus consisted of seven buildings, covering 33 acres and serving seven parishes in the area. They experienced a recordbreaking enrollment of 638 students, with an equal number of girls and boys. The curriculum was geared to college preparatory work with a wide variety of extracurricular activities. More recent Sisters assigned to the school included Sisters Benedict McDonald, Benedicta Mahoney, Jackie Leech, Rita Ann Griffin, Sarita Cordova, Mary Jane Kenney, Linda Chavez and Rose Therese Wich. S. Rose Therese Wich considered it a privilege to be in the ministry of education in the diocese. She served more than 30 years in administration at St. Mary junior and high schools and Our Lady of Annunciation. spring 2 0 1 4
The Lantry Sharp Construction Company obtained a contract from the railroad from Belen, N.M., to Amarillo, Texas, to send their sick and injured to St. Joseph Sanatorium. By the following year, the men were coming in large numbers making the accommodations inadequate. A contract was made with the company and a new two-story brick building was erected, called the Hospital Annex (eventually Fatima Hall), to serve tubercular cases. Rates for patients were very low and a great many of the cases were for charity. One of the first doctors to admit patients, Dr. M.K. Wylder, once told S. Alexandrine Kennedy that she might have to insist on patients paying at least a part of their bills. He stated that he would never forget her answer: “Doctor, when I have to turn a sick patient away from the door, I will lock the door.” As the population of Albuquerque continued to grow, the hospital expanded to meet the needs of the community. By 1944 the St. Vincent School of Nursing in Santa Fe and the St. Joseph School of Nursing in Albuquerque merged and became known as Regina School of Nursing; it remained the only nurses’ training school in the State of New Mexico for a number of years. The last class to graduate did so in 1968. S. Paula Gonzalez taught there, prior to entering the Congregation and S. Ramona Chisholm is a graduate. In the 1950s, St. Joseph was the first to open a Blood Bank, to begin training students in X-ray and laboratory technology, and to open a maternity wing. The Margaret Bullock Maternity Wing was opened to the public in the Golden Jubilee year of 1952.
“As a family nurse practitioner I was privileged to work with a Navajo nurse who lived in Albuquerque with her family,” S. Jeannette continued. “She showed respect and compassion to every client and never attempted to impose her cultural beliefs on anyone. As we became friends I began to understand how much her Navajo background meant to her. She owned a piece of land on the reservation in Arizona and was very attached to the earth and nature. I learned from her how important it is to give back to the land and to stop taking from it. The balance has to be preserved at all costs. This is one example of how I became somewhat immersed in the rich cultures all around me.” A more recent ministry came to be in 1987 with S. Ann Reimund, a certified (From left) St. Joseph Hospital Sisters Celestia Koebel, John Stephen Haubert, Jeanne de Paul Esser, psychotherapist, teaming with other faithMarie de Sales Zanini, Benigna Zamora, Marie Sebastian Wenzel and Jean Hickey meet former First based professionals to form Samaritan Lady of the United States Lady Bird Johnson in the mid-1960s. Counseling Center, specializing in emotional and relational healing and growth. S. Ann In 1964, S. Celestia Koebel became the administrator and had worked in the field of mental health and saw the desperate plans for a new St. Joseph Hospital were begun shortly after. Four need for healing and reconciliation services to families. With years later, a 10-story, $11-million building opened to the public. S. Ann’s untimely death in 2009, the Congregation lost direct In subsequent years the hospital’s services continued to expand contact with the Center but understands it is offering expanded with the opening of a Neurology Center; psychiatric hospital, services today to people seeking opportunities to integrate Nazareth; and additional health care for the homeless, elderly and spiritual and medical difficulties in the form of retreats, testing, immigrant children who had no access to medical care. S. Monica assessment and continuing education. Lucas served in pastoral care here from 1974-1989. Of the more than 120 native vocations resulting from the Many changes occurred in the 1990s. In 1992, the four influence of the Sisters of Charity in Albuquerque, 15 are living licensed hospitals and 13 subsidiaries were consolidated into today. Some remain in ministry in the Albuquerque area, and along one staff. In 1993 the Celestia Cancer Pavilion was dedicated, with more than 10 Associates, continue the legacy of Elizabeth honoring S. Celestia Koebel, who served as administrator of Seton; it may be in retreat direction, counseling, tutoring, ministry St. Joseph from 1964-1985. Three years later the St. Joseph to the elderly or parish service. This includes Sisters Teresa Atencio, Health Care Corporation became part of CHI, Catholic Health Marie Vincentia Roney, Marianella Domenici, Annette Frey, Grace Initiatives, and was no longer directly sponsored by the Sisters of Catherine Aufderbeck, Marie Evelyn Dow and Carol Marie Power. Charity. After 95 years of direct service, the influence of Sisters The Sisters who served in New Mexico have left and continue to and the legacy of Charity remains. leave the legacy of their presence wherever they have served. S. Jeannette Cochran came to serve as director of nursing In these pages we have tried to capture the spirit and drive services at St. Joseph Hospital in 1968 and found a fondness for of the Sisters who came to serve in Albuquerque over these the region and the people. “Most of my adult memories were past 130 years. This brings us to a new understanding and made in Albuquerque where I was fortunate to live for 45 years,” appreciation of the Charity mission, charism and legacy and the she said. “Although I experienced many diverse ministries in the dedication of those women and men with whom we served over nursing profession, my most memorable times were living closely that time. The work of Elizabeth Seton’s mustard seed continues. with unique cultures including Hispanic, Native American, and others. Liturgical and other religious ceremonies informed by Want more tales from Albuquerque? Visit our website and find past cultural traditions and practices will always be remembered. A articles written on S. Marianella Domenici, Marie Vincentia Roney, remarkable SC and Associate group supported and continues the Angelitas de Caridad statue in Martineztown and more! Go to to support each other during times of need. Our gatherings http://www.srcharitycinti.org/news_events/features#albuquerque promoted an exceptional sense of community serving to enhance our lives as women religious. 14
Getting to Know Albuquerque
Associate Michelle Montez
Youth of the Archdiocese of Santa Fe, N.M., where Associate Michelle Montez serves as a professional lay ecclesial minister, make the annual pilgrimage to the Santuario of Chimayo.
Written By Associate Vicki Welsh
s an Associate with the Sisters of Charity vests and take our prayer cross with them. of Cincinnati, it’s been my privilege We bless them on down the dusty road. to journey with the Sisters and rely on 10:30 a.m.: The bus continues another their prayer and love, as I serve the Church. I eight miles and pulls over. Here, all that are able am a professional lay ecclesial minister of the get off the bus to walk the final three miles. Archdiocese of Santa Fe, knee deep in promoting Laden with our safety vests, water, and snacks, the Gospel and instructing the Faith. Over the we head down the road. The wind and dust is last 26 years, as a Confirmation catechist/youth blowing, the clouds are scuttling across the sky, minister for my parish, as the evangelization and and small purple flowers dot the berm of the pastoral planning director for the Archdiocese, and highway … it is springtime in New Mexico! most recently, as the executive director of pastoral New Mexico Associate Michelle Montez ministries, I have had a number of opportunities 12 p.m.: Both groups of pilgrims arrive to see the work of God first hand … how he safely in Chimayo, happy for the journey. Mass will begin at 1 p.m. touches, loves and heals. One of the most memorable events is when Until then some teens will begin to study their St. Francis our youth are taken on our annual pilgrimage to the Santuario of workbooks, eat lunch, and others will visit the “Capilla” dedicated Chimayo. The youth, along with their parents and/or sponsors, are to the Santo Nino de Atocha, the Christ Child as pilgrim. given a firsthand experience of a bodily and spiritual journey to this 1 p.m.: Mass in the Santuario. Our youth serve as choir, ushers well-known Shrine, inviting them to enter deeper into the mystery and lectors. One reading is in Spanish, since many in our group of God. I want to share that day with you. are native to the Spanish language. This building is centuries old, 8 a.m.: The Leadership Team arrives blurry-eyed, but excited. with beautiful statues and Spanish artwork that reminds those who They are experienced, and get right to work loading the bus with enter that the Catholic faith has been dwelling here long before we all necessary supplies; water, snacks, and most importantly, a 6-foot arrived. Our youth are quiet now, growing peaceful, away from the cross with our prayer petitions attached. noise of their world and the pull of technology. They have slowed 8:30 a.m.: Pilgrims and adults arrive, even more blurry-eyed. down enough to just be in the moment. Spirits are high, though the teens are a little nervous. Gathering in a 2:15 p.m.: Everyone is back on the bus for the nonstop return circle, we remind them that they are about to experience an ancient trip to Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary—home! Teens are quiet practice of the Church called “Manda” (a promise made and fulfilled and napping. Just before our arrival, we all join in the singing of after God’s great favor). It is practiced by pilgrims even today all over “Happy Birthday” to our bus driver. It’s probably not his birthday, the world. Fr. Peter blesses the shells and all participants before we but it is our small gesture toward showing him our gratitude. begin our journey. 4 p.m.: Arrival. Before the teens leave they help clean the bus 8:45 a.m.: Once loaded on the school buses, the teens begin thoroughly and carry any leftover supplies back to the church. We to whine about the length and discomfort of the trip … we remind are happy, tired, and grateful. God is good! them it’s a journey of one day and they will survive! As we near Editor’s Note: El Santuario de Chimayo has been called the Santa Fe, one of the team members leads us in praying the rosary; “Lourdes of America.” The Shrine was built between 1814-1816. everyone joins their hearts and voices. El Santuario was a privately owned chapel until 1929. At that time 10:15 a.m.: Our first stop is close to the Nambe reservation, several people from Santa Fe bought it and turned it over to the Archdiocese of Santa Fe. To learn more about the Shrine and the stories 11 miles from Chimayo. At this point, three youth and two adults leave the bus to complete the final 11 miles on foot. They don safety passed down by the people of El Potrero, Google“Chimayo.” SPRING 2014
Lives Changing Lives By S. Jean Miller
ll of us have important people in our lives that lead us to people who change our lives in unexpected ways. Sister of Charity Nancy Crafton was ministering at St. Mary-Corwin Hospital in Pueblo, Colo., when she had a life-changing encounter. As a clinical nurse specialist in neurosurgery, S. Nancy worked with so many different kinds of people – other nurses, doctors, all kinds of patients, religious, non-religious, etc. She was able to accompany many patients as they suffered great pain and journeyed through illness. This was a privilege. Another person that worked at St. MaryCorwin was Father Maurice Gallagher, who received a salary there so that he could minister at the rural Avondale Church. He would invite S. Nancy and some other Sisters to his house in the rural area for dinner. During dinner the doorbell would ring and Father would disappear for a bit. One day S. Nancy followed him to see who was at the door. This act of curiosity changed her life and caused her to change the lives of many people from that moment on.
S. Nancy Crafton (right), with S. Jean Miller, was one of the featured participants in a panel discussion on “Immigration and Integration” on March 20. SC Ministry Foundation hosted the discussion for more than 30 community advocates and nonprofit leaders interested in immigration issues.
The farmworkers at the door came in search of needed clothes and food. S. Nancy observed and recognized new ways to organize and meet the needs of these people all awhile building relationships with them. For six years she continued her ministry at the hospital but added the task of writing for small grants that could improve the distribution process and centers for the farmworkers. In 2000, S. Nancy left the hospital and changed her focus to ministry to these vital rural workers. The project grew and moved to a shed behind the Church where distribution continued. However, questions arose as to how many farmworkers were in the county and what farms were they working. With the assistance of an attorney, some pictures and a registration form, they identified 128 families at that time receiving help from the ministry. And new people kept showing up as word spread. More room was needed, so in 2002 the Packhard Foundation provided a grant for a new large building that would be able to serve 1,100 families from five counties. That was the beginning of Los Pobres Center. S. Nancy had changed the lives of those families. Now each of these families had a friend, dignity, a place to feel 16
S. Nancy Crafton founded Los Pobres Center in Avondale, Colo., ministering to migrant farmworkers and their families in the area.
welcome, trusted and some of their basic needs were met.
Other people’s lives were changed at Los Pobres because they came to help, to serve, to know and to acknowledge the needs and lives of others. They came from Our Lady of the Pines in Colorado Springs with various forms of assistance, from St. Mary-Corwin Hospital to provide medical care, from Southern Colorado Family Medicine, and from schools, professors and students came to see clients and develop their skills. Agencies of all kinds came to offer service and change lives. A network of people grew and grew according to the needs and many lives changed, both those receiving assistance and those giving assistance. “As Los Pobres grew so did the financial needs for the building, telephone, special needs of clients, etc.,” S. Nancy said. “However, I knew when you start worrying it is no longer God’s work so we kept looking at the needs and how to respond. We continued to get small humanitarian grants, as well as small donations from those who had life-changing experiences.” Some very important changes will happen for the 40 teenagers that Los Pobres was able to help get Differed Action Status because of a grant from SC Ministry Foundation. Each application cost $465. For two years the students are Intercom
eligible for in-state tuition, employment, etc. Two farmworkers of the 40 teenagers have already applied for in-state tuition and will study in a university because of Differed Action and the Dream Act. This will be life-changing for them in the present and in the future. So many farmworker immigrants have been deported due to a cracked windshield or broken tail light. Families are then required to find alternative ways to support their families. Mothers with children are cleaning hotels, houses, etc. with the hope that their husband will be able to return to the family. May our lives be changed so that compassionate laws may unite not divide families.
S. Juana Mendez honored
S. Nancy is also attempting to make changes in the electric company, a monopoly. She offers education in various areas explaining the injustice of this company which can leave families without electricity as well as possible eviction from their houses. The company continues to make a large profit while expecting the poor to live in Third World conditions. This change is much more difficult because the corporate decision-makers are far from the people served. People might ask, “Why do people leave Mexico, Peru, Guatemala, El Salvador to suffer the journey and the economic survival system here?” S. Nancy replies that people’s livelihood in their home countries was destroyed by (NAFTA) North American Free Trade Agreement and (CAFTA) Central American Free Trade Agreement. So they are encouraged to cross the Border to find cheap labor and housing. How can they do this? S. Nancy says that we don’t see them, they are invisible to us and they have an indomitable spirit that takes life one day at a time; they accept poverty, are grateful for anything and have a human spirit that can tolerate so much for their children who they consider their Social Security. At times S. Nancy just can’t help them so she needs to say, “I am so sorry. I can’t help you.” Their response is, “That’s OK, Sister. Thank you.” She says, “They trust me. They know I won’t cause them any more pain or hurt.” Life-changing experiences abound in that rural area of Pueblo because S. Nancy gathered a network of people and organizations who built community across economic, cultural and social boundaries. If it works in one area, can’t we believe that it can work in our world?
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ongratulations to S. Juana Mendez who received the Su Casa Hispanic Center’s Cesar Chavez Award for extraordinary contributions in the area of social justice for the immigrant community. She was honored at Su Casa’s 15th annual silent auction and awards dinner on April 9. S. Juana has been the pastoral associate at Cristo Rey parish in Erlanger, Ky., for almost 14 years. In addition she is an immigration specialist, accredited to do limited immigration work under the authority of the Department of Justice.
Hazard Yet Forward! By S. Janet Gildea
new chapter of our Congregational life is beginning. Although Chapter 2015 will not officially “open” until Feb. 27 and continue through March 7, we have already read the first words of what promises to be a true adventure story: “Hazard Yet Forward!” The Seton family motto expresses the hopes of the Chapter Planning Committee that conscious of the challenges of our times, we will move into the future “impelled by the love of Christ.” The Chapter Planning Committee (CPC) was appointed by the Leadership Council in November. Sisters Marty Dermody, Suzanne Donovan, Mary Kay Faller, Janet Gildea (co-chair), Sandy Howe, Marge Kloos (co-chair), Ruth Kuhn, Mary Caroline Marchal, and Marianne Van Vurst discerned the call to serve on the committee, along with Sisters Lois Jean Goettke and Christine Rody, who are the liaisons to Leadership Council. Donna Fyffe and Mark Clark of CommunityWorks, Inc. are the Chapter facilitators. As a first step on this journey, the CPC chose to use a survey to gather information from Sisters and Associates about the issues we have considered since the last Chapter and to get a sense of future directions and concerns. Although many of the issues continue to demand our attention, advocacy and action, the survey gives the Chapter Planning Committee a head start in working with the small groups since all of us have refreshed our memories about the work we have done. Our next assignment in preparation for Chapter will be a “trilogy” of conversations to co-initiate the agenda. Small group processes will take place in April/May and June/July. These two processes will invite us to observe the hazards that confront us, the forces that hold us back from taking the necessary risks, and the values that give us courage to go forward. With these observations we will come to the Fall Congregational Days ready 18
Members of the Chapter Planning Committee include (front, from left) S. Janet Gildea, S. Marge Kloos, S. Marty Dermody, (back, from left) S. Ruth Kuhn, Donna Fyffe (facilitator), S. Suzanne Donovan, S. Mary Catherine Faller, Mark Clark (facilitator), S. Christine Rody, S. Marianne Van Vurst, S. Mary Caroline Marchal, S. Lois Jean Goettke and S. Sandy Howe.
for a deeper listening in order to sense God’s call. Our Constitutions state that Chapter in session “offers the direction necessary to challenge and strengthen the Congregation in its work of building the Kingdom of God” (72). Our work in advance of Chapter is essential to prepare for this task. In May, all Sisters and Associates will be asked to discern their mode of participation in Chapter. Delegates will be chosen in July. All of this is earlier than previous years because we want supporters, collaborators and delegates to deeply engage in the preparatory work. We are choosing to use two models for understanding change in organizations that were introduced at the last Chapter, at the Gathering and during the Fall Congregational Days. A video featuring one of our facilitators, Donna Fyffe, will be available on the website and as a DVD to reacquaint us with Theory U and Two-Loop Change Theory. We have found them helpful in our efforts as a committee to enter into communal discernment, which is at the heart of the sacred work of Chapter. Hazard Yet Forward! The words convey both fear and hope. Such are the times in which we live, full of risk and possibility. Elizabeth took up her pen to write these words of encouragement to S. Cecilia O’Conway, “…we must be so careful to meet our grace – if mine depended on going to a place to which I had the most dreadful aversion, in that place there is a store of grace waiting for me …” We take up the pen of our own times, ready to write down the vision that the Spirit is revealing to us, confident that same store of grace awaits. Intercom
Made With Love By S. Kathryn Ann Connelly
lankets come in many sizes and are made from many different materials. However, their purposes are mostly the same – to provide comfort, warmth, and maybe protection. Sisters of Charity, in meeting unmet needs, have provided comfort, warmth and protection to others since the inception of the Community. Recently, a call went out to our Sisters and Associates to meet a wonderful, unique need – baby blankets! When S. Lynn Heper returned to minister at Good Samaritan Hospital in September 2011, Becky Morris, assistant nurse manager on the Moms and Baby Unit, asked her if she knew anyone who could make baby blankets. For a number of years, Becky made certain that handmade baby blankets gifted certain new arrivals Baby Madelyn enjoys cuddling with her parents Andrea and Jeff after receiving a at Good Samaritan Hospital. It seems that some of the newborns are brought into this world to families who have blanket made with care by S. Mary Catherine Faller. very little. They don’t even have a blanket to wrap the little Each handmade blanket has been made with loving care one in for the journey home. Other babies are brought into and prayer. At the hospital it is blessed and given to a precious this world facing some difficult health issues. Their parents infant in need. Parents and families experience the power of are distraught at seeing their cherished infant taken to the such support, giving them courage and a reason to smile at Newborn ICU. To receive a blanket is comforting, not to the infant alone, but to families knowing it was made by someone the goodness of God. And it has become just as important to those making the blankets. who cared, and has prayed for the recipient of this blanket. “This has become a very meaningful, prayerful ministry But the blankets were few, since only one person had made for me,” said S. Mary Catherine Faller. “To hear stories of them and she was no longer able to continue. Thus Becky’s how grateful parents are to receive a blanket is humbling. call to S. Lynn. One father even told one of the nurses that his very sick baby The need was great, and as usual, Elizabeth Seton’s was getting better in the Newborn ICU – and he was sure it daughters promptly responded. S. Lynn, along with S. Mary was because of the blanket I had made! I have never met any Catherine Faller and a couple friends, began to meet the of the parents who have received these blankets, but I did need. Yarn was made available through Becky’s ingenuity of recently receive a picture of a couple with their baby wrapped providing an incentive to the nurses on staff, which in turn, in the blanket I had made. Seeing the smiles on their faces produced more than 40 skeins. The call for help with the was priceless.” knitting or crocheting provided a response from 14 Sisters and three Associates plus a promise of prayers from many. S. Mary Bookser contacted Mary Mazuk at the College of Mount St. Joseph Academic Advising Resource Center. Mary’s twin daughters, born prematurely, were recipients of blankets. (They are now third graders and are doing wonderfully well.) Mary, in turn, contacted the “Stitchers of Charity,” a group of College faculty and personnel for help. To date, Becky has received nearly 100 blankets! Yarn is now supplied through Lisa Bryant at the Volunteer’s Office at the hospital. Beautiful blankets have come from New Mexico, New York, and Columbus, Piqua, and of course Cincinnati in Ohio. spring 2 0 1 4
This whole project began a number of years ago when a baby was born with a serious heart problem. The mom was one of seven sisters, all of whom were present, crying and inconsolable. Nurse Becky, herself distraught at this point, told them to hold hands and pray. The crying continued. Becky then placed a tiny hat, made by S. Maura Jean Tapke (who, by the way, has hand made hundreds of such hats over the years), on the child and the women’s wailing ceased, the baby went to the NICU and today is a healthy human being! Becky’s thought was if a hat can do that much, what could a blanket do?
Sister Moms By S. Frances Maureen Trampiets “ ... Here I stand with hands and eyes both lifted, to wait the adorable will - the only word I have to say to every question is, I am a Mother, whatever providence awaits me consistent with that plea I say Amen to it.” ~ Elizabeth Seton to George Weis, April 27, 1811
lizabeth Seton established the first active religious community of women in the US in 1809, with the encouragement and guidance of Archbishop John Carroll. She had been widowed six years earlier; the youngest of her five children was 7 years old. Thus the Sisters of Charity of St. Joseph was founded and Mrs. William Seton became Mother Seton, continuing to care for her five young children even as she fostered the development of her young religious community. In “Sister Moms” we conclude a two-part article on women who, like Elizabeth, married, raised a family and then became a Sister of Charity. In this issue we interview Sisters Juana Mendez, Louise Zaplitny and Margarita Brewer. Prompted by a few questions, each tells her story, in her own words, of the journey from motherhood to mother and Sister of Charity.
S. Juana Antonio Mendez “Being the mother of three children, having six grandchildren and being a Sister of Charity has been a blessing and a challenge for me,” said S. Juana Mendez. “As a mother I am always pulled toward resolving my children’s problems. In my work at Cristo Rey Parish in Erlanger, Ky., people come to my office every day looking for help, and I do everything I can to help them. I usually have a lot of objectivity in these cases. But when one of my children is in crisis, it’s a crisis for me. I want an immediate solution and resolution to their pain. “My oldest daughter Maira lives with my mother in Columbus, Ohio; my second daughter Jane is in California and always comes to share the holidays with us. My son Eddie lives in Cleveland, Ohio. They all have beautiful children! On Thanksgiving and Christmas we always get together as a family. I talk to my children almost every day.” When asked what drew her to religious life and the Sisters S. Juana Mendez with her grandson Cesar. of Charity, S. Juana said, “I decided to join the SC family after many years of prayer. As a young person, being a nun approached by S. Florence. That was the beginning of our was always in my heart. Life took me on a different road and friendship and my path to the Sisters of Charity. I thought it all ended. Then later, reading about Elizabeth “One day I told S. Florence that I wanted to be a Seton inspired me to continue to follow my heart. “Are missionary and she invited me to the Motherhouse. It was a you leaving us?” was a response when I told my children. I promised them I would never leave them. My son was 18, the dream come true. It felt like home and everyone was friendly and loving. There was no doubt in my mind that God was girls were 19 and 20. calling me to enter the Community. “The first two Sisters of Charity I met were Florence “Since becoming a Sister of Charity I have been a pastoral Cremering and Ann Dorenbusch. They were working at associate at Cristo Rey parish for almost 14 years. I am also an San Juan Bautista, my parish community in Cleveland. immigration specialist, accredited to do limited immigration They needed volunteers for the CCD program and I was 20
work under the authority of the Department of Justice. Immigration work has been the bulk of my ministry in recent years.
that my younger son had emotional issues. I tried, but to no avail, to get him to go for help. He died from suicide in May 2003. It was devastating for my older son, Mark, and for me.
“The people I minister to have many issues; missing family members and the homes left behind top the list. Another issue they have is fear they will be deported or mistreated because of their illegal status. As a religious they turn to me whom they can trust and befriend, as someone who is always willing to listen and not judge.
“Just two years later Mark complained of back pain. It was Memorial Day; the only place open was the Emergency Room. They insisted on his being admitted to the hospital because he had an infection. Mark died June 14, 2005.
“I have been an SC for 18 years. I love sharing my life with a group of people with such high standards. Our work is often very draining and difficult but there is always Elizabeth Ann Seton to remind us that it is all worth it. “Besides that I have always found my Sisters to be very enthusiastic and supportive of my ministry. And the many events that are provided in the Community always give me new energy to continue my work and deepen my commitment to grow spiritually.”
S. Louise Zaplitny “In the fall of 1992 I started a retreat program called Annotation 19 of the Ignatian Exercises; S. Kay Tardiff was one of the retreat directors. It was during this time that I discerned religious life and met with several religious groups. In January while visiting my mother in Arizona, she gave me a book to read on the plane, it was the life of Elizabeth Ann Seton. That summer S. Kay and I went to the Motherhouse for the first time and I met with S. Maureen Heverin to talk about pre-entrance.
“Many people ask me why I didn’t get mad at God. It’s my faith in God that got me through the pain of the loss of both of my children and my husband. St. Elizabeth Ann Seton didn’t lose her faith; she deepened her faith through her losses, and her writings help me with that. “Today, my career as a chaplain is a rich and rewarding one. My first job was in hospice, then I went into hospital work in Cincinnati, then in Michigan. I moved back to Springfield, Ohio, after both of my children died in 2008 and took the job in long-term care in 2011 when I moved to Dayton. “As of last October I have been a Sister of Charity for 20 years and I feel that I have the support of all the Sisters around me. This is my family now and they have supported me through pain and laughter. I graduated with a M.Div. in 2001 and later became Board-certified as a chaplain. Living in Dayton has been a blessing because I live next door to other Sisters of Charity on Sherwood Drive, near Good Samaritan Hospital. We are just good neighbors helping one another. I feel that Elizabeth Ann Seton continues to live on in all of us.”
“It was also during this same time that I discerned my career. For most of my 27-year career in accounting I worked in different manufacturing plants in the Detroit, Mich., area. After my husband’s death I felt that I wanted a career where I could care for people. My current job as a chaplain at Siena Woods, a long-term care facility in Dayton, Ohio, is a blessing. The residents also feel blessed to have a Sister on the staff. “My children were there for my first vows, and for my final vows in 2001; they were a part of the ceremony. My sister, Emily, even did the Gospel reflection. “Two years later I moved back to Michigan because it became difficult to get time off to visit my children. As soon as I moved back I became acutely aware
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S. Louise Zaplitny celebrates final vows with her sons Mark (left) and Fred in 2001.
S. Margarita Maria Brewer “Being a mother and grandmother of two and at the same time a Sister of Charity has been for me a blessing, but at times difficult. Leaving all my possessions behind was easy; the hard part has been being away from my sons and later my daughters-in-law and granddaughters. Although I visit them in the summer and during the Christmas holidays, because of distance and ministry, I have never attended any birthdays and other special events in their lives. I only have pictures. “I considered entering religious life when I was 16 years old while attending college in Panamá City. Due to the strictness and, in my opinion, the little joy I saw in the Sisters, I decided to study architecture. After my annulment of a 12-year marriage and when my sons were attending North Carolina State University, again I considered religious life. “When my sons had completed their undergraduate studies, I talked to them about my plans to enter religious life. That was very hard for them to understand. ‘Why? You have worked so hard in your career to let it go.’ But the hardest for them was: ‘We will not have a home any more. Where are we going to be during the holidays?’ “A year later (1988) when they were in graduate school, and with their blessings, I entered the Sisters of Charity. My sons have been involved in all the milestones of my religious life. At my Silver Jubilee my daughters-in-law and my two granddaughters also were present. ‘To everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under the heavens.’ Ecclesiastes 3:1.”
When asked about her ministries, S. Margarita said, “Before I entered the Community, I had a career in the architectural field for 23 years. My last employment was with Duke Energy in Charlotte, N.C. [As a Sister of Charity] I started ministering as a volunteer coordinator for our archdiocesan Catholic Hispanic community. In 1993 after earning a B.A. in religious pastoral ministry from the College of Mount St. Joseph, I left Cincinnati to minister as pastoral associate/Hispanic minister at Outer Banks Catholic Parish, North Carolina, and later at St. Joseph Parish in Waycross, Ga. Returning to Cincinnati I worked in a Community Center as Hispanic coordinator, and in 2001 became the first director of Su Casa Hispanic Ministry Center. “From 2003 to 2011, I was employed by Cincinnati Public Schools and became the educational services coordinator for the Office of Second Language Acquisition. I am a founding member and president of the English Language Learning Foundation (ELLF), incorporated in 2006. “Retired, I continue working with ELLF and will be volunteering services to ELL students. On my wish list is time to travel and spend more time with my family, especially my two sons and my granddaughters. Within the Congregation I plan to be more active in different areas for social change. For the Church I feel full of hope, especially with Pope Francis. “I believe in God’s Providence. Being a Sister of Charity has enriched my life because I feel closer to God and grateful for the support I receive from the Community in my ministry with immigrants from around the world. I understand how hard it is to leave your country of origin, your family and your language. I think this is why God has blessed me with this ministry. Being a mother and a Sister of Charity have been the greatest gifts from our Creator.”
The Brewer family gathered together at the Motherhouse in 2013 for S. Margarita’s Silver Jubilee. Pictured are (from left) Emily, Amanda, Abigail, Dan, S. Margarita, William and Claire.
od bless the whole world. No exceptions.” “Fight racism.” “Driven by faith, Not by fear.” The bumper stickers on Dave Thorsen’s vehicle offer a glimpse into his character and convictions. The Northern Kentucky native and Colerain Township resident has served as the organization’s director of long-term care accounting and special projects since January 2002. But his relationship with the Sisters of Charity spans more than 30 years.
Hospital. And it’s the relationships he’s formed today that have increased his passion and interest in the social justice arena. “Seeing what [the Sisters] are doing, what problems are in the world, my involvement has increased. I got involved with the West Side Free Tax Preparation Site where many Sisters and SC employees volunteer on Saturday mornings to help prepare taxes for low-income individuals who are unable to do them on their own.”
Dave first met the Sisters of Charity while employed at Good Samaritan Hospital in Cincinnati, Ohio. As budget director and eventually controller he worked with many Sisters of Charity, including Grace Marie Hiltz, Trish Mirsberger, Maria Dolorata Felix, Grace Murphy, Roslyn Hafertepe and Glenda Reimer.
The awareness Dave finds as an employee allows him to bring it home to his wife, Nancy, who also shares his passion for social justice. Together the couple has completed the 30week JustFaith program offered through Bellarmine Chapel, which allowed them to explore and experience care for the poor and vulnerable. They have participated in many annual Call to Action conferences and been part of a Dismantling Racism team.
So when the opportunity arose to work directly with the organization, it was an easy choice. The family atmosphere that Dave found at Good Samaritan Hospital he also found at the Motherhouse and Bayley. “Everybody works together well,” Dave said. “There are no rivalries, no one person trying to take all the credit, and the affirmations from the Sisters for the work you do is just remarkable. I have never been in a job where people thank you for doing what you’re doing. Usually you just hear what you’re not doing right.” In his current position, Dave says 80 percent of his work involves the accounting for Bayley, a Sisters of Charity sponsored ministry and continuing care retirement community, and the other 20 percent is devoted to working with S. Martha Walsh and the Seton Enablement Fund, which provides low-interest loans to organizations and projects unable to qualify for conventional financing. In that capacity he is also responsible for the accounting as well as participates in discussion of new loan applicants. Dave says it’s been a pleasure reconnecting with many of the Sisters he met and worked with at Good Samaritan
“It warms your heart to know that you’re working for something good,” Dave says. That can be said both personally and professionally in his case. While he has treasured his 12 years with the Community, Dave is looking forward to the next step in his journey. He is set to retire in October 2014. The father of three and grandfather of eight is ready for what lies ahead. “I will miss the people,” he said. “I’ll even miss some of the work; I enjoy my job, but I’d like to have more time to do some other things, like travel, spend time with my family, and volunteer more than I do now.” It is clear that Dave walks the walk. His faithful service coupled with his dedication and devotion to justice issues let you in to the person Dave Thorsen is. His respect for the individual human being and concern for the poor and vulnerable align with the SC mission. His presence and contribution to the SC Community will be greatly missed.
S. Martha Walsh and Dave Thorsen work closely together in relation to the Seton Enablement Fund.
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The Convergence of the C harity charism By S. Regina Kusnir
t was 5 a.m. in Cincinnati, Ohio, and eyes were glued to the television. “It felt up close to be there through this medium!” said Sisters Carol Brenner and Agnes Ann Gardt, who had front-row seats for the special event on Feb. 22, 2014. A little more than 4,800 miles away, S. Mary Gallagher and six others had accompanied their Dominican Bishop, Gabriel Malzaire, to Rome, Italy where they were joined by a priest from Dominica who is studying in Rome. Distance was irrelevant as these Sisters participated in the public consistory inducting 19 new cardinals. After all, Pope Francis had chosen a bishop they knew and served with to become, at age 81, Kelvin Cardinal Felix. Kelvin Cardinal Felix is well known by the Sisters of Charity. In 1979 Sisters Mary Gallagher, Carol Brenner and Caroljean Willie responded to a need and went to St. Lucia, West Indies to minister. Sisters Mary and Carol did catechetical work while S. Caroljean taught in a school to earn the money to finance their efforts. Two years later, Bishop Felix was appointed to St. Lucia and had an early conversation with the Sisters who were impressed by a story he told at his installation.
then Bishop S. Mary Gallagher (front) and (back, from left) S. Carol Brenner, Lucia. St. s, Castrie in r Gardne Ann Ellen S. and Felix Kelvin
S. Mary Gallagher (right) attended the appointme nt of Kelvin Cardinal Felix on Feb. 22, 2014.
The bishop was born in Dominica and his father was a fireman. His father once was sent to fight a fire in St. Lucia because it had no fire department. Bishop Felix reflected that he had been sent to St. Lucia to “set the Church on fire.” He sought to do this by serving the poor, increasing the participation of the laity, and training the laity for service to the Church. The conversation with the Sisters revealed him to be a man of his word. Bishop Felix asked the Sisters to stay on and hoped they could find four others to join them. His vision was to establish a pastoral center as a hub for all Archdiocesan activities, to continue the development of the catechetical center and to have the two parishes without priests each staffed with two Sisters. S. Caroljean returned stateside for other work. Sisters Ellen Ann Gardner and Agnes Ann Gardt answered the call for parish ministry. Together, the bishop and the Sisters delighted in nurturing the faith life of the people. The bishop later looked back and told the Sisters that they had captured the energy of Vatican II and willingly brought that vision to life on the island. The Sisters saw in the bishop a pastor who loved the poor, loved the people and was a masterful bridge builder. As leader of the Episcopal Conference, Bishop Felix managed to arrange for Pope John Paul II to spend seven hours in St. Lucia during his visit to Columbia. The bishop arranged for a Mass in an open Intercom
field where everyone was welcome and a stop in the Cathedral where the Pope could touch the sick and infirm. Each summer the Sisters would return to Cincinnati for a month and would make parish mission appeals to help support the ministry in St. Lucia. When the majority of the Sisters returned to the United States, the bishop came to Cincinnati to do the mission appeals the Sisters had done. While there he visited Mount St. Joseph and had Mass in the Immaculate Conception Chapel. Years later S. Ellen Ann invited him to her Golden Jubilee Mass in Detroit. He happily attended. Ties with the Sisters continue. S. Mary Gallagher currently ministers in Dominica and small groups go to Dominica for weeks at a time. S. Marie Pauline Skalski reflected that while the Sisters may offer pastoral care, Bible school, visits to the elderly in a state-run nursing facility, and perform other activities, Sisters Mary Gallagher (front), (from left) Carol Brenner, Ellen Ann Gardn er and Agnes Ann Gardt ministered in St. Lucia in the 1970s and 1980s in turn, they receive the warm, lively faith of the with then Bishop Kelvin Felix. people whose music, simplicity and culture are rich and rewarding. Poverty marks the lives of most people aisle up to the altar. The faces of the newly appointed prelates in the area who survive by living off the land, but they are seemed to reflect the same joy and gratitude for the affection blessed to have a retired bishop who, as pastor, asks to be of their people and the honor bestowed on them and their called, “Father Felix.” own local church. The humility, simplicity and charity of Saints Vincent de “The words of Pope Francis, thanking them for being Paul, Louise de Marillac and Elizabeth Ann Seton are alive witnesses of service to their people, and exhorting them to and active to this day. The love of God’s little ones is rooted continue giving of themselves to the poor and needy, clearly in the hearts of Cardinal Felix and the Sisters of Charity. emphasized the reason why these cardinals were appointed. It Those are the ties that truly bind us in love. made our group from Dominica and St. Lucia proud for our S. Mary reflected on her experience in Rome: “To be own Kelvin Cardinal Felix, who serves as a pastor of a parish present in St. Peter’s Basilica on Saturday, Feb. 22 for the in a village in Dominica. elevation of 19 bishops to the College of Cardinals and to join in the celebration of the Mass on Feb. 23 with thousands “It was a moment of great grace, those days in Rome. To belong to this Church universal, to have a sense of God’s love of others from across the globe is a never-to-be-forgotten and faithfulness to us through thick and thin, for more than experience. 2,000 years will remain with me. “I think we all “The Holy Father ended his homily saying: ‘I ask all of mirrored each other’s you, bishops, priests, deacons, consecrated men and women, deep joy, excitement and gratitude for this moment and laity, together to implore the Holy Spirit, that the College of Cardinals may always be ever more fervent in pastoral and the privilege to be charity and filled with holiness, in order to serve the Gospel part of it. Our love and support for ‘our Cardinal’ and to help the Church radiate Christ’s love in our world.’” shone in each other’s In response to S. Carol Brenner’s congratulations, faces as we strained to Cardinal Felix replied, “Pray I’ll be able to do the get a glimpse as they responsibilities this honor bestows on me.” processed down the long Indeed, the Charity of Christ urges us. Kelvin Cardinal Felix spring 2 0 1 4
S.Blandina Segale from the archives –
By S. Victoria Marie Forde
illy the Kid and S. Blandina Segale–names coupled by most admirers of the intrepid young Rosa Segale who left Cicagna, Italy, with her family, joined the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati, and was sent West alone in 1872. Over a century later her letters to her sister, S. Justina, published in At the End of the Santa Fe Trail are still generating plays, articles, TV drama, online references, and numerous SC Archives requests. This past March scholar Donatella Ruggiero lectured to more than 400 in Italy about this beloved compatriot. But when young Rosa left Cicagna, she never dreamed she would become so famous that the square in her hometown would be dedicated to her. In this Albuquerque issue it seems fitting to report lesser known Albuquerque events. She was sent from Santa Fe in 1881 to open a school in Old Town, Albuquerque. Instead of giving up on the run-down convent in Old Town, she hired Italian stonemasons who not only shored up the corners of the adobe building, but built a second story, unheard of in that era. She quickly realized the town was moving east toward the new railroad, so she wisely looked for land for a school in New Town. But when she saw that the property was being divided into neat town squares, not big enough for what she envisioned, she went into action. Approaching a land owner, she promised to educate his daughters for no fees if he would sell his land to the Sisters. Senor Armijo agreed, and the proposed dividing road was condemned legally. The “debt” was liquidated when Miss Victoriana and Candelaria Armijo attended the Academy in Cincinnati. St. Vincent Academy had S. Blandina to thank for the expanse of undivided land that included tennis courts and gardens. She herself helped design and build one additional adobe building with the Navajo Jose Apodaca.
Catholic settlement house. Her directive was to help furnish each room in St. Joseph Hospital with one white bed, white chair, and white dresser. S. Blandina wrote back that as well as asking all the Catholic women for funds, she would have to ask the Protestant and Jewish women who were eager to help. But one more Albuquerque event is typical: Always foresighted, S. Blandina saw it would be advantageous to have sewer lines brought from Railroad Avenue to the hospital door on Grand Avenue. When she asked an official to present that request to the City Council, he, “deep in politics,” was “slow to broach the subject.” Asking the sheriff to present her proposal, she added an enticement. She had been visiting the jail as she always did, feeding the hungry and helping the sick. Now she offered that the hospital would care for the sick prisoners if the well ones would dig the trenches for the lines. The deal was made. After all, her motto was “Do what presents itself”—and she certainly did.
S. Blandina Segale died Feb. 23, 1941, at the age of 91.
ne historical event, an archival treasure, is verified by a scrap of paper. S. Blandina had attended a deafmute conference with “almost 100 percent permission” and apparently asked Thomas Edison for any idea of how to help deaf people hear. Here is his response:
From 1881 to 1889 she was missioned back and forth between schools in Old and New Town, sometimes a superior of both when Sisters lived in one convent. She finally left the West from Pueblo, Colo., in 1893 after she had told the Public School Board the Constitution of the United States gave her as much right to wear her habit as it gave them to wear their trousers. She returned once more to Albuquerque in 1900 when Mother Sebastian asked her to leave the Santa Maria Institute, Cincinnati, in the hands of S. Justina and return West. The two sisters had founded Santa Maria in 1897, probably the first 26
On the Web For full articles, please visit the News/Events section of the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati website at www.srcharitycinti.org, and click on “Feature Articles.” Associate Spotlights Meet Associates Brother Gary Sawyer and Alice Graham. We Belong to Each Other S. Carol McCarthy is a 34-year kidney transplant survivor. Her precious gift was donated by her twin sister, Eileen. It’s a touching story of survival and sisterly love.
Intercom Staff Editor Erin Reder
Standing On Their Shoulders During National Catholic Sisters Week Novices, Sisters Tracy Kemme and Andrea Koverman took the opportunity to reflect on their time spent with many of the Sisters living in the Motherhouse and Mother Margaret Hall.
Graphic Design/Layout Michelle Bley Photographer S. Marty Dermody Director of Communications S. Georgia Kitt Executive Council Liaison S. Mary Bookser
Ministry in Motion
his year, the Sisters of Charity website has featured video of and interviews with Sisters in ministry throughout the country. Hear more about the people they serve and how the Spirit is working through them. Visit the Ministry in Motion section on the SC website at www.srcharitycinti.org/ministry/ ministrymotion.htm. S. Mary Ann Flannery, the first woman director of the Jesuit Retreat Center in Parma, Ohio, is the featured Sister for the month of May.
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Intercom is the quarterly magazine of the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati. This apostolic Catholic women’s religious community exists to carry out the Gospel of Jesus Christ through service and prayer in the world. Approximately 339 Sisters are joined in their mission by 187 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 28 US dioceses and in Guatemala, Mexico and the West Indies. They also sponsor institutions to address education, health care and social service needs, with particular concern for direct service to the poor.
Advisory Board Members: S. Mary Bodde S. Mary Ann Flannery S. Karen Hawver Mary Jo Mersmann S. Joyce Richter S. Frances Maureen Trampiets Vicki Welsh Letters to the editor, articles and photos are welcome. The staff reserves the right to edit for space and readability. Make submissions to: Communications Office 5900 Delhi Road Mount St. Joseph, OH 45051 Phone: 513-347-5447 Fax: 513-347-5467 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Subscriptions: $15 per year
5900 Delhi Road Mount Saint Joseph, OH 45051 www.srcharitycinti.org www.facebook.com/ sistersofcharityofcincinnati
5900 Delhi Road Mount Saint Joseph, OH 45051 www.srcharitycinti.org www.facebook.com/sistersofcharityofcincinnati
In February Associates from the Cincinnati and Leavenworth, Kan., Sisters of Charity gathered in New Orleans, La., for the first-ever Nuns Build to help families rebuild after the destruction of Hurricane Katrina.
19 S. Pat Dempsey is one of the many Sisters and Associates responding to a call for knitted or crocheted baby blankets for newborns at Good Samaritan Hospital in Cincinnati.
Sisters and Associates in the Albuquerque, N.M., area welcomed a group of visiting Sisters and an Affiliate during a recent trip to learn more about the stories and celebrate the lives and ministries of our Sisters in the West. The Sisters of Charity were invited to serve in Albuquerque in 1881, leaving a legacy of charity that continues to this day.