s i s T e R s
C h a R i T y
C i n C i n n aT i
A Letter From Our Sister
Dear Sisters, Associates and Friends,
Celebrating Our Partners in Mission.......................................... 6 SC Ministry Foundation marks its 20th anniversary.
Summer gifts us with the longest days, shortest nights and hottest temperatures of the four seasons. If we are fortunate during these warm summer months, we can refresh our souls in the cool waters of rivers, lakes and oceans that are still clean, healthy and secure. At those times, we are reminded of water’s age-old potential to heal and soothe. Social activist Langston Hughes describes the energizing power of rivers in his poem, “A Negro Speaks of Rivers.”
Staying Alert to the Needs of Others.......................................... 10 Associates Gary and Chess Campbell’s merciful service. Following Her Call........................... 13 S. Joanne Burrows discusses her ministry at Clarke University. Three Times Blessed......................... 16 Tim Ray, an adoptee of the Vietnam Operation Babylift, reflects 40 years later. Sister Blandina and the Road to Sainthood......................................... 24 S. Blandina Segale’s Cincinnati story.
Departments Moments in Ministry.............................3 Mount St. Vincent Academy Vocation/Formation.............................19 Radical Hospitality OPJCC................................................22 Acts of Green are Practiced Here Timeless Treasures................................26 S. Anthony O’Connell’s medical bag On the Cover: Since 2010, the SC Federation’s House of Charity in New Orleans, Louisiana, has partnered with the St. Bernard Project to repair New Orleans through home construction. Read more on Page 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.
I’ve known rivers: I’ve known rivers as ancient as the world and older than the flow of human blood in human veins. My soul has grown deep like the rivers. In this issue of Intercom, we explore the rivers flowing through the lives and ministries of the Family of Charity. Among these rivers are the annual gathering of the SC Federation, a reunion of the survivors of the Vietnam Operation Babylift and a post-Katrina housewarming in New Orleans, Louisiana. We dive into the changes taking place at EarthConnection, our center for living lightly on the Earth, as well as the current research regarding the Associate-Sister relationship in the United States and Canada. We highlight our Green Spot Initiative, “Acts of Green Are Practiced Here,” which celebrates Sisters, Associates and employees who demonstrate, in practical ways, their concern for the Earth. We sprinkle the waters of blessing on S. Judith Metz who is retiring as our Archivist this summer. S. Judy has been connected with the Archives for 40 years, serving as lead archivist, curator and Community historian for the past 20 years. Our “Mercy in Motion” series flows with stories of Sisters who show us that extraordinary acts of love are possible in a world that can often feel polarized. Their stories are direct responses to Pope Francis’s declaration of a Year of Mercy from December 8, 2015-November 20, 2016. We hope that these stories of ministry and mercy heal our souls in these warm summer months.
S. Louise Lears Source: poetryfoundation.org/poems-and-poets/poems/detail/44428
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. S. Catherine Mary Cohara July 8, 2016
S. Paula Gonzalez July 31, 2016
moments in ministry Mount St. Vincent Academy, Cincinnati, Ohio By S. Judith Metz
Mount St. Vincent Academy remained at the old Plank Road site (now Glenway Avenue) from 1857 until 1927. Watercolor by S. Augusta Zimmer.
Students at Cedar Grove Academy in the early 1920s.
Cedar Grove Academy began to offer courses in music in the 1920s.
S ummer 2 0 1 6
The Sisters of Charity purchased “Mount Harrison,” a large home in Price Hill for their motherhouse and a boarding academy. They added a third floor and porches to the building and named it Mount St. Vincent.
Having outgrown the original site, Mount St. Vincent Academy moved a short distance to the 33-acre Alderson estate on the old Plank Road (now Glenway Avenue). Sisters named the property Cedar Grove, and the original home on the property “The Cradle.” In October the cornerstone for a new five-story brick academy building was laid.
The property on which the Academy was located was enlarged to 56 acres with the purchase of adjacent land. The Academy was now bounded by Plank Road on the north, St. Lawrence Church on the east, West Eighth Street on the south, and beyond what is now Iliff Avenue on the west.
The “Glass Hall” or chapel building was added to provide more classroom space for the Academy.
Mount St. Vincent Academy included boarding and day schools for girls, and a kindergarten for boys. According to one student, they were “educated and trained not for self alone but for a world hungry for their generous and uplifting services.”
Mount St. Joseph Academy opened and boarding students moved to Delhi. The Mount St. Vincent facilities were upgraded and the day academy continued at Cedar Grove.
A two-year commercial course was introduced into the curriculum; the Academy was presented with a Ford touring car to replace their horsedrawn vehicle.
Mount St. Vincent Academy advertised itself as “affiliated with The Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C.” whose “courses conform to the University of Cincinnati and Ohio State University.” In addition to the academic curriculum, the Academy offered courses in art, elocution, music, and domestic sciences.
The Academy closed to allow for the organization of a diocesan high school system. In a final tribute a graduate saluted her alma mater: “From the first commencement in 1855 to the last in 1927, Cedar Grove was the pulse of higher education and spiritual development. …” In the fall of 1927 the buildings of Mount St. Vincent reopened as Seton High School.
Deepening Relationships By S. Joan Elizabeth Cook
pringtime is networking season for the members of the Leadership Council. Meetings with leadership groups of other Congregations give us the opportunity to deepen relationships, share ideas, and make decisions about how we can collaborate to make a difference in today’s world. In April, we hosted the Sisters in Region 6 of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR). This group of about sixty elected leaders in Ohio and Kentucky Congregations gathers each fall and spring to pray together, reflect on topics of interest and concern to us, and conduct the Region’s business. Our guests enjoyed coming to Mount St. Joseph because they appreciate the warm hospitality of our Motherhouse Sisters, our beautiful chapel, and our lovely campus. This time we welcomed S. Mary Hughes, OP, who serves as LCWR Director of Transitional Services. She spoke with us about creative ways to plan for the future, and ways of negotiating various levels of transformation as Congregations become smaller. We agreed as a group to support several social and ecological issues. We formulated a resolution, “The Sisters of Leadership Conference of Women Religious, Region 6 (Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee) resolve to bring the message of Laudato Si’ to hear the cry of the earth and cry of the poor to all our ministries and spheres of influence.” In addition we prepared a press release calling for the creation of healthy communities by eliminating harmful agricultural and industrial practices such as fracking. Then in May, I had the opportunity to participate in the Assembly of the International Union of Superiors General (UISG). This organization includes the Superiors of about 1300 women’s congregations, and represents over half a million consecrated women all over the world. Approximately 850 members participated in the Assembly around the theme, “Global Solidarity for the Life of the World.” This gathering marked the fiftieth anniversary of UISG, which was founded on the last day of Vatican Council II, December 8, 1965. It was thrilling to come together as a global group to reflect together on how we can all support one another to alleviate the destruction of our planet, trafficking, and forced migration. Each Constellation, or geographic group, agreed on an action we can take to strengthen our solidarity with one another throughout the world. We in the US Constellation pledged, “We your Sisters from North America Constellation 3 affirm our support for the work of UISG and request to partner with a Constellation in the 4
During the June Annual Meeting of the Sisters of Charity Federation liturgy was celebrated by Baltimore Archbishop William Lori in the Basilica of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton in Emmitsburg, Maryland.
global South to build mutual relationships and work together in the furtherance of our mission.” (The plenary presentations can be found at internationalunionsuperiorsgeneral.org/ meetings/assembly.) During the Assembly we had an audience with Pope Francis, during which he responded to questions we had submitted ahead of time. Our questions concerned our eagerness for a greater role for women in leadership and decision-making in the Church. The Pope assured us that he shares these concerns, and will take steps to clarify what were the historical realities (for example, regarding female deacons in early Christianity) as a first step in capitalizing on the gifts women bring to the table. In June we traveled to Emmitsburg, MD for the Annual Meeting of the Sisters of Charity Federation, attended by over one hundred elected leaders, Associates, Archivists, Social Justice representatives, and Formation personnel. The theme was “Deepening Charity for the Life of the World,” an invitation to look together at ways we can embrace our shared future. (Details of the meeting are available at SistersofCharityfederation.org.) Our relationships with one another in the SC Federation and with our Sisters throughout the world are deepening, and our shared eagerness to serve is growing, as we strengthen our solidarity for the life of our planet and all of us who live on it. The charity of Christ truly urges us! I ntercom
BEGINNING A NEW STORY By S. Regina Kusnir
Judith Metz began her love of history in the early 1970s while teaching at Seton High School in Cincinnati, Ohio, and taking history classes. During the 1980s S. Judy compiled an early history of the Sisters of Charity, worked on the life of Mother Margaret George and began giving presentations to the Sisters. Historical research led her to meet other Sister archivists. The early 1990s found S. Judy becoming an assistant archivist. In 1995 she became director of the Archives, a ministry she held until 2016. S. Judy now assumes a ministry devoted entirely to the history of the Sisters of Charity.
d A good story is something to treasure. History imparts to it a value of measure. Its substance deﬁnes its place in the future. Historians relegate meaning and nurture. A charity legacy thrives on stories well told Of faith-ﬁlled women – courageous and bold. Women, inspiring others by their deeds from the past, Imbuing the future of charity with gifts that do last.
“I feel like in my own research, reading letters and documents from the past have enriched me in my vocation. I know Elizabeth Ann Seton, Mother Margaret George, Mother Regina Mattingly, S. Anthony O’Connell, and S. Blandina Segale as wonderful models of Sisters of Charity. Saints always have been an inspiration to my spiritual life and there is an intimate connection by way of research. Dealing with their material is so personally enriching. I hope my own ability to communicate this richness to others inspires them to live out their own vocation, be it as a Sister of Charity or as a Christian. “Another energizing gift from being a spokesperson for this history is the responses you receive from outside people,” she continues. “This helps me to appreciate what we have in a deep way. I am energized when taking people on tours. We bring them to the Motherhouse and take them to the chapel, where they gasp. They are in S. Judith Metz began her years awe of the beauty and the of dedicated historical research in history. They remind me the SC Archives in the 1980s. SUMMER 2016
to appreciate this wonderful heritage that we have, accomplished by our Sisters over the years.” S. Judy will continue giving heritage tours. She has great interest in doing research and writing, both which require extended periods of time to focus and put the story together in a way that is meaningful for others. A few visions she has for her historical work include: 1) continuing the research begun last year marking 150 years that the Sisters went West; 2) writing a biography of S. Blandina Segale as her canonization efforts move forward; 3) investigating more about Elizabeth Ann Seton.
S. Judy is excited about this new direction. “We have a wonderful story as SCs. Getting the whole story of Sisters out there is imperative. Now that there are fewer Sisters, lay historians and others are increasingly interested in our story. We have the perspective of meaning for why we do what we do and we have numerous resources here to start telling the story. “Thank you to all who have helped me, cooperated with me, shared your stories and oral histories,” S. Judy said. “What others have done through the years makes all the difference in having a marvelous story to tell.”
Members of the Sisters of Charity Archives – past and present – gathered to celebrate S. Judith Metz’s (left) retirement in June 2016.
C E L E B R AT I N G O U R
PARTNERS IN MISSION By Amelia Riedel, Communications director, SC Ministry Foundation
his year marks the 20th anniversary of SC Ministry Foundation as a public grant-making organization. This important milestone recognizes the generous and socially conscious spirit of the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati, who established the foundation to promote their mission and ministries. Over the past 20 years, SC Ministry Foundation has supported nearly 1,000 nonprofit organizations locally, nationally and internationally that align with the mission of the Sisters of Charity in promoting social justice, addressing the root causes of poverty, and advocating for better lives for all people through improvements in education, income, and health, while minimizing inequity and racism.
Working to strengthen Communities Within our local community, SC Ministry Foundation has been an integral part of Greater Cincinnati through collective impact initiatives and grant-making. The foundation has supported nearly 200 nonprofits within the City of Cincinnati, with significant investments dedicated to holistic community development in Cincinnati’s Price Hill neighborhoods, which has been a focus of the foundation since its inception. The current reality that 32 percent of Price Hill families live in poverty, according to the 2013 American Community Survey, continues to direct the foundation’s attention there. “The Sisters were foundational in getting our organization started,” explained H.A. Musser, president/ CEO of Santa Maria Community Services. “Next year will be our 120th anniversary. Sisters Blandina and Justina Segale were our founders and were Sisters of Charity. Our services
SC Ministry Foundation staff (from left) Michael Heckmann, Amelia Riedel, Marybeth Schroer, S. Sally Duffy, and Donna Jo Smiley. Not pictured: Maureen Maxfield.
have increased during the last couple decades because of the investment of the foundation. There is investment in early childhood education and kindergarten readiness, in lead prevention, healthy children, with our income and workforce areas, housing, and, in a broader context, the commitment that they’ve made to support the whole Price Hill community.” The support for the community of Price Hill and for the people of Cincinnati was recognized by Cincinnati’s Mayor John Cranley on June 23. In a room filled with representatives from local nonprofits, funding partners and Sisters of Charity, Mayor Cranley shared, “I can tell you without any hesitation that SC Ministry Foundation has made a huge difference in the life of this community, in the life of our city and in the lives of people who don’t always have people fighting for them.” Mayor Cranley, who was taught by Sisters of Charity at St. William School in Price Hill, proclaimed June 23 as “SC Ministry Foundation Day in the City of Cincinnati.”
supporting Catholic education
More than 100 guests attended SC Ministry Foundation’s 20th anniversary celebration including many Sisters of Charity, nonprofit leaders and community partners. 6
Following in the footsteps of St. Elizabeth Seton, SC Ministry Foundation has diligently invested in Catholic schools and in programs to make Catholic education accessible. While the support has been spread to many areas where Sisters have ministered from Colorado to Michigan, a significant investment has been made through the Archdiocese of Cincinnati where SC Ministry Foundation has directly supported 34 Catholic schools, including three Sisters of Charity sponsored ministries: Seton High School, DePaul Cristo Rey High School and Mount St. Joseph University. I N T E RC O M
“SC Ministry Foundation was critical to the launching of this school,” shared S. Jeanne Bessette, OSF, president of DePaul Cristo Rey High School, which opened in 2011. “This was really the brainchild of the Sisters of Charity, who wanted to extend their mission and saw education as a natural way to do that. And when they thought about education as their next project, I think they went back to their roots and decided to educate some of the people most in need of it, and those were the kids that society kind of forgets.”
Fearless advocates for social Justice In a letter congratulating SC Ministry Foundation on 20 years of service, Most Reverend Dennis M. Schnurr, Archbishop of Cincinnati, wrote: “As we all know, issues of poverty and social injustice are immense and pervasive. Yet, our Catholic faith calls us to never tire from spreading the love of God through word and deed to the ends of the Earth, especially in those places where suffering is greatest. SC Ministry Foundation has provided the financial backbone for nonprofit organizations to more effectively tackle the social concerns of poverty, education, health, immigration and racism. These efforts of solidarity boldly evoke for us the enduring spirit of the Sisters of Charity’s foundress, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, and her prophetic compassion for the poor and vulnerable.” Catholic Charities agencies locally and nationally, including three in Colorado, have received support from SC Ministry Foundation, as well as organizations dedicated to changing systems and policies to make steady progress with enormous issues such as immigration reform, racism and inequity. “SC Ministry Foundation has been a fearless supporter of Ohio Justice and Policy Center, even when some would say that our work is controversial,” shared Stephen JohnsonGrove, program director for Ohio Justice and Policy Center (OJPC). “Going to the margins seems to be in their DNA and that speaks to their mission … Both OJPC and SC Ministry Foundation believe so deeply in the possibility of redemption.”
Faithful stewards of god’s Resources S. Roslyn Hafertepe served as the foundation’s first chairperson of the board of directors. She recalls, “I always thought the Charities responded to the call ‘Stay true to your charism. Stay true to your roots.’ And so Sisters were responding to that and identifying new ministries, new ways of serving … A number of these new ministries required funding. It was in that kind of environment that the concept of the foundation emerged.” “I think the SC Ministry Foundation is a perfect expression of the charism of the Sisters of Charity, and allows our influence and outreach to be made available to many other places that the Sisters themselves, at this point in history, cannot be physically present,” remarked S. Judith Metz, historian for the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati.
Mayor John Cranley (second from left) proclaimed June 23 as “SC Ministry Foundation Day” in the City of Cincinnati to commemorate the foundation’s contributions over the past 20 years. Representing SC Ministry Foundation were (from left) S. Sally Duffy, president and executive director, SC Ministry Foundation; S. Joan Cook, president of the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati and vice-chair of the foundation’s board, and Michael McGraw, chair of the foundation’s board of directors.
Twenty years and nearly 1,000 organizations later, SC Ministry Foundation continues to be a vehicle through which the mission of the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati influences many lives. “We can talk about the number of grants and the dollars that have been awarded over the past 20 years. And $158 million is significant,” reflects S. Sally Duffy, president and executive director of SC Ministry Foundation. “But it’s really the people who were taken down from their crosses that are important. Whether it’s the cross of poverty, oppression, marginalization, systemic injustice or racism, these people now have the ability to experience their God-given dignity and shared membership in our society. So I really want to thank the organizations that we have partnered with and collaborated with over the past 20 years, as well as our past and present board members, our staff and all Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati.” S. Sally adds, “We give thanks to God, for truly these resources are God’s resources, not ours. We ask for God’s continuing grace and guidance as we work to bring about the reign of God.”
Joining S. Sally Duffy in the celebration and recognizing the foundation’s contributions to Price Hill were S. Mary Marcel DeJonckheere (left), former teacher at Holy Family School, and Kathy Ciarla (right), president of Seton High School. SUMMER 2016
New Life from the Rubble By Associate Vicki Welsh
ugust 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina packed a deadly and disastrous punch to 90,000-square miles of the Gulf Coast. The storm intensified to a Category 5 hurricane with winds reaching 175 mph. As if the winds and the initial impact of the storm were not enough, the final death knell to the Louisiana/Mississippi coast occurred when the levees could stand no longer and covered 80 percent of New Orleans in up to 20 feet of water. The death toll was 1,836. The hurricane affected some 15 million people. The final regional economic loss was $150 million. The people left homeless, jobless, hopeless.
Life, and it was the 40th anniversary of the canonization of St. Elizabeth [Seton]. All those things were coming together and we wanted to do something that would address them all. We went to the St. Bernard Project and said we’d like to bring a family home in honor of all these anniversaries and we’d like to help build this house with all the volunteers that come through the house.”
Pam M. remembers her first meeting with S. Monica. Pam had lost all hope of ever getting her house (From left) S. Monica Gundler, Pam M., homeowner, S. Mary Lex fixed. She says it was an unbelievable Smith, SCL, S. Claire Regan, SC (New York), S. Theresa Joseph Kramer, SC (Halifax) celebrate the homecoming of Pam and her family. moment when S. Monica said, “We’re going to rebuild your house!” Photo courtesy Christine Bordelon, Clarion Herald Pam shares memories amid tears. The nearby parish of St. Bernard was declared 100 percent The volunteers providing the labor came from members and friends uninhabitable. The St. Bernard Project was set up to assist victims of the 12 Sister congregations of the SC Federation. Financing who once lived in the parish to acquire the resources they needed was acquired and a year’s worth of construction and rebuilding to repair or rebuild and return to their homes. After 10 years, there completed to bring Pam and her son and daughter back home to are still some 6,000 families who have not acquired the assistance Orleans Parish on May 11, 2016. Pam says that her daughter was needed to rebuild their lives in the parish. Often families are prey to 2 when Katrina struck. She has no memory of living in the home. an abundance of red tape and fraud. “The Sisters of Charity restored a life to us.” Pam adds, “I will forever be in their debt. If they need anything, I will help.” One such family was Pam M. and her family from Orleans Parish. In her journey back to the parish, she has had to move seven different times in these last 10 years. Forced to ask favors and wear out the welcome with friends and family, her own attempts to hire a contractor in an attempt to rebuild were thwarted by much of that fraud and red tape. Meanwhile, in 2010, several Sisters from the Sisters of Charity Federation dreamed of a collaborative ministry where “discerners and young adults could visit, learn, and volunteer together.” So, the House of Charity New Orleans was born and found its permanent home in 2013. Our own S. Monica Gundler was one of those dreamers. “New Orleans is a city that captures your heart with its people, its unique history, faith and culture, and yet it is a city with great challenges,” said S. Monica. “The opportunity to collaborate with others in serving the needs of the community has continued to expand our mission of service to those in need.” In 2015, The Seton Homecoming Project was born. “The idea came from the gathering of the Federation vocation and formation personnel last year and some talk at the House of Charity about the anniversary coming up.” S. Monica continues, “It was 10 years since Katrina, last year was the Year of Consecrated
Pam says she had originally bought the house because it had so much “character.” Those wonderful ladies maintained that charm plus added some updates she asked for. Because of the poor shoddy workmanship of the disreputable contractor, a lot of demolition needed to be done, like the flooring ripped up. The Sisters of Charity and their volunteers found no job too big to tackle. On that May 11 day of celebration, the volunteers and staff from the House of Charity blessed Pam’s house, as only fitting and proper. So New Orleans continues to arise above the flood water ravaged rubble created by Hurricane Katrina. Thanks to the St. Bernard Project, the Sisters of Charity Federation, the House of Charity, and hundreds of volunteers, New Orleans is resurrecting. One house at a time, families are returning to the basin they love to continue their life’s journey. Welcome home, Pam M. and family! SOURCES: sistersofcharityfederation.org – “Homeowner Pam comes home, thanks to the Seton Homecoming Project” www.stbernardproject.org – “New Orleans, St. Bernard Project” www.dosomething.org – “11 Facts About Hurricane Katrina” www.theeneworleansadvocate.com – “St. Bernard Parish rebuilds itself…” www.wunderground.com – “Katrina’s Surge, Part 5”
CHARITY FAMILY ‘sOle sisTeRs’ Raise MOney, aWaReness Sisters Sally Duffy, Tracy Kemme, Annie Klapheke, Andrea Koverman, Louise Lears and Joyce Richter participated in the weekend events of the 18th annual Cincinnati Flying Pig Marathon April 30-May 1, 2016. While doing so the women raised money for the Intercommunity Justice and Peace Center (IJPC) in Cincinnati. For more than 30 years, IJPC has been educating and advocating for peace, challenging injustices, and promoting a nonviolent society.
S. Joyce Richter was one of the six Sisters of Charity participating in the events of the Cincinnati Flying Pig Marathon.
assOCiaTe DeBBie WeBeR ReCOgniZeD Congratulations to Associate and director of the Sisters of Charity Office of Peace, Justice and Care for Creation, Debbie Weber, who was honored April 27, 2016 as one of the recipients of Mount St. Joseph University’s Future Five Award. Recipients of the award are recognized for excelling in their professions and serving their communities post-graduation.
Associate professor and chair of Sociology and Social Work Judy Singleton (left) nominated Debbie Weber for the MSJU Future Five honor.
sisTeRs paRTiCipaTe in LEADINGAGE OhiO aRT anD WRiTing shOW Congratulations to S. Mary Fran Boyle who received third place for her poem “Snowbound” at the LeadingAge Ohio South/Southwest Region’s Art and Writing Exhibition on May 25. Works of art and writing were submitted by residents and clients of LeadingAge Ohio organizations, including many Sisters of Charity. S. Mary Fran Boyle was honored at the May LeadingAge Ohio South/ Southwest Region’s Art and Writing Exhibition. SUMMER 2016
S. Eileen Therese Breslin celebrated 100 years on June 4, 2016.
happy 100Th BiRThDay S. Eileen Therese Breslin celebrated her 100th birthday on June 4, 2016. Born in Maysville, Kentucky, Sister entered the Community in September 1934. Her ministry of education took her to schools all over Ohio as well as Michigan, Maryland, and Illinois. She retired from active ministry in 1983, continuing to serve in the ministry of prayer and volunteering where she could. One of Sister’s more unique accomplishments is her title as a “Kentucky Colonel.” The title and accompanying medal were bestowed upon her on her 90th birthday. Those whose lives have been touched by S. Eileen Therese know that she was a worthy candidate for the title. Remembered as loving and full of “Irish wit,” Sister continues to be a cherished member of the Sisters of Charity Community. s. ROslyn haFeRTepe hOnOReD In April, the Board of Directors of Bayley, a sponsored ministry of the Sisters of Charity, announced a room in the new Memory Care addition of the facility will be named in honor of S. Roslyn Hafertepe for her vision and leadership to Senior Care Corporation. Upon completion of the new addition a permanent plaque will be installed.
S TAY I N G A L E RT TO
THE NEEDS OF OTHERS By Josh Zeller, Communications intern
s the Year of Mercy progresses, reflections continue on grace given and received. Chess and Gary Campbell, as they celebrate 25 years of Association with the Sisters of Charity, contemplate the time they have spent serving disadvantaged Latino Christians, and are grateful for the devoted service that has been given to them in turn as they have faced new trials in recent years.
funding the rebel Contras—with money from weapons sales to Iran—to fight the Sandinista government (the Iran-Contra Affair). Gary was working for another progressive Catholic organization, and Chess was assigned to an Evangelical organization’s communications department, where she helped Nicaraguans to receive delegations. “It was a difficult time,” says Chess. “In Mexico Gary and Chess Campbell spent 22 years in Mexico; it was there that City we had protested these By the time the Campbells they first met Sister of Charity Stephanie Lindsey. U.S.-supported wars and now first encountered the Sisters of we were living in the midst of its Charity in the early 1980s, they had already been serving horror.” At that time, they crossed paths with S. Jean Miller, others for years as Presbyterian mission workers. Living who came to Nicaragua not long after they did. A fellow with their two children in Mexico’s Federal District, Gary missionary, S. Jean worked with an educational program was working for a progressive Catholic organization as a developed by the United States whose goal was to provide journalist, and Chess had a demanding prison visitation “alternative learning experiences” to students and others. ministry. “… I was approached by S. Stephanie Lindsey to be a part of her dream to establish an immersion experience “We were bonded by the blessings of many little people program in Mexico,” Chess Campbell remembers. who suffered the consequences of our warring ways and who “Connecting with Stephanie provided me the unique re-enforced our commitment to the Gospel’s mandate for opportunity for spiritual growth and renewal.” non-violence,” Chess relates. The Sisters of Charity, ably represented by Sisters Stephanie and Jean, showed that the This program became known as GATE (Global Campbells were not alone in their disappointment with the Awareness Through Experience), formed at a time when political decisions of the U.S. government; they too had a the approach to evangelization and relief in Latin America strong, Gospel-motivated commitment to the people, and an had become increasingly ecumenical, chasing behind the urgent desire for peace, love, and understanding. This strong reforms of Vatican II; since its inception, the program has correlation of values was a factor in the eventual decision of expanded beyond Mexico to Nicaragua, Cuba, the Czech Gary and Chess to join the Associate program in 1991. Republic, and several other countries. With “Offering a Spirituality of Solidarity” as its motto, the organization’s Wherever they have been—whether in the Washington mission is to “create an awareness of other cultures and Metropolitan area, Mexico, or Nicaragua—the ministries their realities through people-to-people connections.” of Chess and Gary Campbell have always required them to In the beginning, the GATE program was housed at the face challenges. Now, 25 years after their commitment, they Lutheran Center in Mexico City’s Theological Community, are facing a new one: in their 80s they have had to become and Chess and S. Stephanie worked to bring in the first parents again. Following the passing of their daughter from delegation of eight individuals. The group got to learn cancer in 2013, and then the sudden death of their son-inabout the country’s culture not only from the people, but law four months later, they were entrusted with the care of also “social analysts, teachers, theologians and economists.” two of their grandchildren: David, who has special needs, and Daniel, who is approaching his final year in high school. After 22 years in Mexico, the Campbells found themselves missioned to Nicaragua, relocation being the The Campbells had already been living with their nature of missionary work. At that time, the U.S. was daughter and family for several years to give them support, 10
COMMUNITY WELCOMES NEW ASSOCIATES
S Associates Chess and Gary Campbell with their grandsons David (left) and Daniel.
isters, Associates and friends of the SC Community joined together on Sunday, June 5 and Sunday, June 17 to welcome Nancy Bick Clark, Sue DiTullio, Janet Dwyer, Pamela Korte, Patricia Stetter and Linda Trenn as Associates in Mission. During the June 5 celebration, long-time Associate Carol Herbert also made her lifetime commitment to the Community. Congratulations to all of the above-mentioned Associates and to those who accompanied them on their journeys.
but the new transition, Chess asserts, has been difficult: “Not until we had full responsibility did we better understand the challenges faced by families with special needs children.” However, as in their ministries, this is a challenge that they have been able to meet, though it has meant many changes. David participates in an afterschool program for the disabled, takes swimming lessons, and is an “active church goer”; Daniel is taking three Advanced Placement courses at his high school, has gotten to make trips to Europe with the Campbells’ son and family, and is actively touring college campuses through the aid of his godmother. The mercy that the aforementioned groups, family, and friends have shown to the Campbells has been invaluable, and has made the challenge of renewed parenthood a “loving and healing one.” The Associate program, another important element of their support group, has also been helpful in weathering the obstacles: “With much gratitude we read the mailings from the Sisters that remind us of their commitment to and focus on the disabled and for their including us on their annual list for special prayers,” Chess affirms. In today’s materialistic world, they are encouraged by the message of the serviceminded Sisters to focus more on “being” than “having”, and try in turn to impart this energy and wisdom to David and Daniel: “Frequently we remind our grandsons that their parents did not sleepwalk through this world—both our daughter and her husband were aware of their surroundings and were active participants in service/empowerment ministries locally and internationally. The Sisters of Charity don’t sleepwalk either.”
New Associate Linda Trenn (center) first served as an Associate in Volunteer Ministry in Guatemala teaching English to children and adults.
SOURCES “History of GATE.” GATE (Global Awareness Through Experience). GATE-Global Awareness Through Experience, 2006. Web. 25 May 2016. <http://gate-travel.org/Articles/Story_of_Gate>.
Five newly committed SC Associates are pictured with their companions following their June 5 commitment ceremony.
Sabato, Larry J. “The Iran-Contra Affair - 1986-1987.” Washington Post. The Washington Post, 1998. Web. 25 May 2016. SUMMER 2016
deepening awareness By S. Caroljean Willie This ecospirituality calls us to integrate our growing understanding of the Universe Story in the context of our faith lives. It views science and theology as complementary, each playing a key role in an evolving consciousness of the interconnectedness of all Creation. It challenges us to restore a sense of the sacredness in our lives and expand our consciousness of the Divine Mystery who is at the center of all. EarthConnection will offer programs on our site, but also be available to do programs at schools, parishes and civic venues. Topics available include the following:
School trips to EarthConnection can be arranged on a variety of environmental topics.
s the NGO representative to the United Nations for the Sisters of Charity Federation for eight years, I had the opportunity to visit many countries throughout the world and learn first-hand the havoc that climate change is causing, especially among those who live in conditions of extreme poverty. As my second term of office as NGO was coming to an end, I felt called to move into a ministry which addressed the issue of global (and local) sustainability. I approached our Leadership Council and asked if it would be possible to do programming at EarthConnection and was given the encouragement to do so. EarthConnection was founded by S. Paula Gonzalez, Ph.D., as a center for learning and reflection about living lightly on Earth and continues today as a ministry of the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati. S. Winnie Brubach has been the facilities coordinator for a number of years. She is also a master gardener and has organized a group of volunteer gardeners who plant and maintain an organic vegetable garden whose produce of more than 1,000 pounds of vegetables per year is given to local food pantries. S. Winnie and I will work together to continue the work that is already taking place, but also add programs to develop an awareness and understanding that will not only provide participants with current information about climate change and environmental sustainability, but also make the connection between sustainability and spirituality. Pope Francis, in his encyclical, Laudato Si’, challenges all of us to recognize that “care for creation is not something optional, but rather an essential element of a faith-filled life.” He reminds us repeatedly throughout the encyclical that everything is connected. “Everything is interconnected,” he says, “and this invites us to develop a spirituality of that global solidarity which flows from the mystery of the Trinity.” He states clearly that “the ecological crisis is also a summons to profound interior conversion.” 12
• A Call to Ecological Conversion • Alternative Energies (Since the EarthConnection building is an example of the use of alternative energies, this program is best offered on our site.) • Catholic Social Teaching and the Environment • Celebrate Creation through Music and Dance • Climate Change • Climate Change and Poverty • Climate Change, Immigrants and Refugees • The Earth Charter • Eco-Art • Ecojustice • Ecospirituality • Gardening with Native Plants • Healing Drumming • How to Educate for Sustainability (for teachers at the elementary and/or secondary level) • Laudato Si’ • Microfinancing and Sustainable Development • Spirituality and Sustainability • Sustainable Agriculture • The United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (2016-2030) Other (available for both the elementary and secondary level) • Classroom presentations on multiple environmental topics • School trips to EarthConnection can also be arranged on a variety of environmental topics • In-service workshops for educators on how to integrate sustainability into the curriculum
In addition to programming and gardening EarthConnection also hosts a website which will provide information about sustainability, voices that challenge us to live more sustainably, quotes to ponder, and multiple resources, videos, books, and bibliographies for further reflection and study. Visit the website at www.scearthconnection.org.
“My belonging is grounded in carrying
out our mission and contributing to our communal desire to make real the Kingdom.” - S. Joanne Burrows
FOLLOWING HER CALL
rawn by a desire to be of service like the vibrant and alive women who taught her at Holy Redeemer in Kensington, Maryland, Sister of Charity Joanne Burrows entered the SC Community in March 1976. Forty years later she says that she is moving toward the woman God calls her to be by living that mission in the work that she has been privileged to do. In her 10th year as president of Clarke University in Dubuque, Iowa, S. Joanne worked in a variety of professional roles in higher education before coming to Clarke. She served first in admissions and then as the assistant dean of student life at the College of Mount St. Joseph in Cincinnati. She was the assistant academic dean at Holy Names College in Oakland, California, and a faculty member and then a department chair at Indiana State University in Terre Haute. S. Joanne also served as the vice president of academic affairs at Saint Mary-of-theWoods College in Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, Indiana. She credits having the SC after her name as opening many doors and providing opportunities she might not have had otherwise. Quick to take advantage of them, she said, “Each position in higher education introduced me to a new area of the enterprise and brought with it expanded and elevated responsibilities and opportunities. Each took me out of my comfort zone and that is where growth happens. Each was a gift for which I am grateful.” Early on, S. Joanne knew that she wanted to be a college president, seeing the power of institutions to shape lives and systems. She told the March issue of The Witness that when the opportunity to lead Clarke was presented, it “was just clear that it was a good fit. I wanted an institution that was Catholic. I liked that it was smaller in size, that it had adult and graduate and traditional enrollment. I wanted something that was founded by women religious, and Clarke had a great connection with the BVMs (Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary),” she said. She continued, “Faith at Clarke has very much been influenced by the BVMs. They are the fabric in the fabric of this place and their core values are our core values. The values SUMMER 2016
S. Joanne Burrows, president of Clarke University, hosts incoming freshman students in her home on the university’s campus.
of freedom and education and charity and justice and being for the common good are very much things that students are taught about and think about here.” She is quick to point out that higher education is not just for the young. “Schools like Clarke (and Mount St. Joseph University) are about lifelong learning and engage learners across the adult life span. I have worked with traditional and nontraditional undergraduates and doctoral students of all ages and from varied backgrounds. It is the human capacity and desire to learn and grow that challenges me to do the work I do. From reluctant learners to eager scholars, it is the reality that each of them can be engaged in learning and change and grow that keeps you coming back.” In the last 10 years she has seen hard decisions come far more regularly and frequently. Economic conditions, declining populations, increased competition and society’s devaluing of education weigh heavy. What experiences get her out of bed each morning? “Little things like acts of kindness, going the extra mile, striving for understanding not judgment. Some of those small things accumulate into bigger moments. I have watched a transgender student gradually journey from female to male with amazingly little drama and incredible poise. Truly humbling to witness. Years ago, I encouraged a female faculty member to get her doctorate so she could fulfill the leadership potential I saw in her. Today, she is president of that college.” In the March article, S. Joanne said she’s optimistic about the university’s future and its ability to shape the lives of its students. “When you listen to students who graduate from here and you hear them talk about our core values and what they mean to them and how they live them through outreach and service, it’s very inspiring,” she said. “Our students learn how to be in right relationship with one another and build up relationships in the world around them. And it is through relationships that people are pulled beyond themselves to do things that they never thought they could do before.” 13
Mercy in Motion By Carolyn Kesterman, Communications intern
ope Francis has declared Dec. 8, 2015-Nov. 20, 2016 the Year of Mercy, inviting us all to show others the mercy of God. God is compassionate and full of love, but our actions can also reflect God’s mercy. The Sisters of Charity, in their daily lives, show us that extraordinary acts of love are possible. Their actions speak! In this and following issues of Intercom, we will spotlight our Sisters and their MERCY IN MOTION.
that has strengthened in her time volunteering at MMH: “Over the years, I’ve realized that everything that lives is an incarnation of one God, and we spend a lifetime figuring out that we all are a presence of God. So standing in there in that chapel playing with S. Joan, praying with all of my Sisters, and realizing that we all share one life in God, helps me in that lifelong transformative process of realizing who we really are.
To the Sisters at Mother Margaret Hall (MMH) nursing facility, Sisters Annette Muckerheide and Joan Wessendarp are familiar sources of mercy as they lead the Sisters in song every Sunday. The two Sisters had been creating and playing music together for years – S. Annette with her flute and S. Joan with the piano and organ – when they were first approached to share their musical talents with the nursing facility for their Thanksgiving Mass several years (From left) Sisters Annette Muckerheide and Joan Wessendarp share their musical talents with Sisters Lifting Each Other Up ago. “After it was known that we could in Mother Margaret Hall. and would, the people in charge of music “Mercy to me is lifting somebody up,” there would ask us to substitute periodically,” S. Annette says S. Terry Thorman. “I had so many people in my life that says, and when it was decided four years ago that the MMH encouraged me with music, and at Peaslee, we can be that for music ministry position would be split up among volunteers, those who don’t have that influence.” Sisters Annette and Joan said that they would take Sunday For over 20 years, S. Terry has been teaching piano lessons Masses and major holidays. to children and adults with low economic resources at Peaslee As much as the Sisters at the nursing facility appreciate Neighborhood Center in downtown Cincinnati. “When the merciful love of their musical volunteers, though, Sisters people don’t have money, the first thing that gets cut is music Annette and Joan say that mercy is a two-way street. “What and the arts,” she says. With help from grants and devoted we have found,” S. Joan says, “is that while the Sisters love teachers like S. Terry, Peaslee offers lessons at as little as $4 a our music, we also try to help them with prayer, and that is week and keyboards to rent and take home. really our reason for wanting to do it. We love them. They’re S. Terry got involved at Peaslee in 1990 after an anonymous our Sisters, and we want to be there; we want to do anything person gave her name to the center as a possible music teacher. we can for them.” “I couldn’t believe it, it was what I had always wanted, to bring S. Annette agrees, saying, “They give us as much as we give music to the economically disadvantaged, and it sort of fell in them. They’re struggling with all sorts of physical limitations, my lap. People talk about discernment; it was sort of instant yet they come and they sing, and they smile at us and want to discernment. It was what my heart knew it wanted.” know how we’re doing. We help them with their prayer, but Sister’s lessons help her students in countless ways, their prayer really helps us, too. It’s not a one-way street at all.” teaching them the values of focusing and committing to In each Mass that the Sisters play for, there is a strong goals while they are blessed with the gift of music. She’s sense that their actions are not those of an individual, but had students whose lives have been changed after learning those of a Community. “Music is a gift from God. God does the piano. A teenage girl’s life was changed when she heard it through us,” S. Joan explains, and this belief stays with one of S. Terry’s students playing one day and signed up them as they go in front of the Sisters every week. S. Annette for lessons of her own. She started pushing herself more shares her understanding of this sense of Community and more after Peaslee’s influences, going on to become an 14
S. Terry Thorman has taught piano lessons at Peaslee Neighborhood Center for more than 20 years.
S. Dorothy William Englert tutors students at Corryville Catholic Elementary School in Cincinnati.
exchange student and enrolling in college for engineering. “I really believe that Peaslee gave her a lot of encouragement, and it was the piano that got her in the door,” S. Terry says. “If I hadn’t had music and piano lessons in my life, I’d be a whole different person, not as happy a person, so I want to give that to others who can’t afford it.”
Meeting Needs For years, S. Dorothy William Englert has been adaptive in meeting whatever needs arise around her, from tutoring to aiding food banks. “I think mercy means trying to be available for whatever needs people have at the time, to be sensitive to what people are experiencing,” she says. Currently, S. Dorothy William volunteers at Corryville Catholic Elementary School and Holy Family Catholic School, both in Cincinnati, tutoring students who come from inner-city, often low-income backgrounds, many of them second generational immigrants. “Many of the parents can’t help them with things like multiplication tables since they didn’t grow up learning them,” she says. “The kids are very excited when they finally know them all.” Her understanding of mercy came when she was staying with other Sisters in an inner-city home. Every day, they made bags with sandwiches and juice boxes to give to the homeless that would come to the door. At first, S. Dorothy William says her heart wasn’t in the task, but as she saw one of the other Sisters who had been there longer calling each person by name and chatting with them, she realized the world that could be opened for her. “I thought, I really should be doing that,” she says. “I shouldn’t be just handing out food, I should be interacting with these people. So I got to the point where I knew everybody by name and would talk to them a little bit and ask them about their family. It was nice to be able to have a relationship with some of them and not just see them as people that needed a hand out. I think that’s part of what mercy means: accepting people as they are and allowing them to be who they are, recognizing S ummer 2 0 1 6
Sisters John Michael Geis (left) and Jane Bernadette Leo with St. Rita School for the Deaf student Cole Gross. The two walked with Cole through all of his years at the school.
that in spite of their difficulties in life, they have very good, very positive aspects to them.”
Understanding Hearts To the children who have learned at St. Rita School for the Deaf in the past six decades, the Sisters of Charity have been nurturing expressions of God’s mercy, including Sisters John Michael Geis and Jane Bernadette Leo. The two Sisters have been committed to the school in many capacities since their early days teaching, S. Jane Bernadette starting in 1955 and S. John Michael starting in 1968. “It was like going into a foreign country and not knowing how to speak their language. I was definitely a student, learning from all those who came before me and those with whom I have journeyed,” S. John Michael says. “The students themselves opened my eyes and heart to their world.” S. Jane Bernadette also had to learn American Sign Language going into St. Rita. “With the help of a wonderful Sister, S. Mary DeLourdes Ryan, I was able to learn a new language and help children who could not hear to achieve success in their young life. Many came from homes where there was no communication. Now, the students at age 6 can communicate, play, and smile with friends. Life gained a purpose for them – and for me.” Both Sisters are now retired, but they continue to volunteer and to be present in the activities of the school since their hearts are so tied to their callings there. “The role I loved most was to be a presence of support to the kids who needed an understanding heart to walk with them and their families through their joyful, fearful, and challenging times,” S. John Michael says. “I have grown educationally, emotionally, and spiritually through all the years I have been blessed to be here. I have been fed well by God and the countless souls with whom I have shared life, and I believe God has fed others through my presence in their lives.” 15
THREE TIMES BLESSED By S. Georgia Kitt
his spring we were moved by President Obama’s visit to Vietnam and how he reframed the Vietnam War as one painful chapter in a longer history of friendship and cooperation that is often overlooked. President Obama came of age after the war as did the survivors of the Vietnam Operation Babylift. Forty years later we reap the benefits of the mass evacuation of Vietnam children coordinated by S. Kateri Maureen Koverman through Catholic Relief Services. More than 2,500 lives were given a chance to flourish in a new country. At a 2015 reunion at the Mount St. Joseph Motherhouse, hosted by S. Kateri, adoptees came together; an interview with adoptee Tim Ray follows. When attending the weekend was it difficult to comprehend your beginnings in Vietnam, now hearing about it as a survivor? explain as best you can.
Tim Ray with his wife, Gina.
It was not difficult to comprehend. I enjoyed hearing everything there was to know about what took place, whether the Since I was 5 weeks old, when I was material was happy or sad. I flew out of airlifted, I do not have any memories of Saigon when I was 5 weeks old so this was my early years. I was told by my adoptive my first time hearing about my beginnings parents that I was on one of the last in explicit detail. This part of my life is a babylifts. They also told me that my mother whole new chapter in my book of life that I’d Tim Ray came to the United States was Vietnamese but she didn’t sign any of like to write/read/fill out, so I welcome any when he was 5 weeks old through the the hospital documents, and that a father and all information that comes my way. The Vietnam Operation Babylift. wasn’t listed. Therefore, it was likely I was stories and weekend in general helped me have of mixed blood, and having mixed blood in a greater appreciation for those who sacrificed their love, Vietnam at the time would not have been favorable for me time, and energy for us babies. Although I had an authentic had I remained. The only other thing my adoptive parents birth certificate, I couldn’t believe my ears when Sister told told me was that I was adopted through Catholic Charities us about going to the black market and obtaining birth and my naturalization records were kept at the courthouse. certificates of babies who had already died. That was so They shared some newspapers and magazines about Vietnam sad and such a sacrifice! So I remember those babies in my at the time but I was too young to comprehend what really prayers as well as the folks who weren’t in Vietnam but were took place. able to help us with our journey, e.g. in Manila during the stopover, San Francisco when we arrived, etc. You have roots in a wonderful culture. What have you come to most appreciate about your Vietnamese roots? You were part of this international, historic, adoptive How are they manifested in your life today? How do you event as a young child. Looking back do you have any plan to share them with your own family going forward? memory of your early days, years? or as told to you by your adoptive parents?
I N T E RC O M
Then and now pictures of Tim Ray and his family.
Honestly, I did not know how wonderful the culture was when I was growing up. I grew up in a suburb that contained mostly Caucasians; the Asian population was very small at the schools I went to. Given that I was only 5 weeks old when I arrived and was adopted, I pretty much grew up as an American kid who had Asian features. I ate American food, spoke and acted as an American, and watched American TV. The portrayal of Vietnam was not very favorable in movies at the time, so when I watched them, I walked away with an indifferent attitude towards Vietnam. Although I can’t remember the exact conversation, I believe that when I asked my parents why they didn’t teach me more about my heritage, the simple and short answer was that it was a life I left behind so I could begin a new one here. Also, I don’t recall asking or pestering my parents about my heritage; after all, I felt like I was just like everybody else in the family. So I did not have any longing nor desire to want to learn about my past, and my parents didn’t impose it on me – they allowed me to make the decision on my own if/ when I wanted to learn more about it. It’s not a priority to do so right now; like any other culture, I will learn about it if I visit the country and/or meet family/good friends who want to share it with me. On the weekend here you were with others who came from the same setting in Vietnam, at approximately the same time. Is there a ‘felt connection’ with one another? Is there a bond you share that has come out of this common experience? Do you have the desire to further foster this connection among you? I don’t feel like there’s a “felt connection” with the others. That’s not to say we don’t have good friendships with each summer 2 0 1 6
other, which we totally do. I know that we were part of a significant and historic event, but since that was so long ago and we all just met, there hasn’t been enough time with each other to build a strong relationship. We all live in different parts of the country and have our own lives/families, so it’s not easy to bond when there is so much space and time in between. Most of our bonding is done through instant messaging and email, and a visit if logistically possible. However, we decided at the reunion to meet on an annual basis in Cincinnati so we could see Sister and continue to foster our relationship with her and each other. But regardless of time and space, we all know that we are a special group and will always have that bond with each other. Was the July weekend the first time you met S. Kateri Maureen Koverman? It would be good if you could share a little about meeting her or your relationship with her, personally, or through your adoptive parents. She has been an instrumental figure in all that has happened related to the babylift, the adoptions that occurred and occasional reunions that have taken place since. We, as Sisters of Charity, are proud of her sense of mission on your behalf over these 40 years. This was the very first time I met S. Kateri in person. I had sent an email about a year prior to the reunion letting her know that another one of her Vietnam babies is alive and well! But I had no idea she existed until five years ago. It wasn’t until 1999 when I decided to look more into my adoption. I knew that Catholic Charities played some part in it but to what extent, I had no idea. I contacted the Catholic Charities office in my hometown 17
In July 2015, S. Kateri Maureen Koverman hosted a reunion for Operation Babylift adoptees and their families at the Mount St. Joseph Motherhouse. Note: Since this article was written a second reunion for adoptees took place in July 2016.
of Portland, Oregon. I told them that I was adopted through their agency back in February 1975, and the case worker said she’d find what she could and notify me. [She put together a document and emailed it to me]. I did an Internet search on the geographical locations as well as the Good Shepherd Orphanage at the time. Unfortunately, the Internet was young with very little information, so my search result turned up with 0 hits (there was no such thought of “googling” people at the time). It wasn’t until 2011 that I decided to try my search again (given that I was so disconnected from my past, finding out anything more about it was not at the forefront of my mind). When I did the search this time, I put in the names that were in the document. I got a hit on S. Kateri and I recall that it said she was in Ohio. When I did the search on GSO, I got a hit – someone had written about it in an article that was published online. It turns out that article was Bill Yaley’s when he wrote it for Notre Dame Magazine. The article was about his experiences going to Saigon as a soldier and then back again as a father of an adoptee, who also came from the same orphanage as I did. 18
This was the closest hit I had ever gotten with my search about my past, so I just had to reach out to Bill and find out more. I also graduated from Notre Dame, so it was easy to contact him using our “ND” connection. When I told him who I was and what I had found regarding my adoption, we became instant friends and they told me they named their daughter after Sister. Arlene (his wife) was the one who used Facebook more than the others so she and I became Facebook ‘friends’ and have kept in touch since. One day, Arlene sent me an email about a reunion that was being hosted by S. Kateri (the 40th reunion). At the time, I had mixed feelings about going … I just wasn’t sure it was a part of my life I wanted to dive into right then, but I decided to go anyway. So that is how I finally met the one person (among many others of course) who had a hand in my survival. She was and is such an instrument of God and it amazes me how much she has helped others in her lifetime. What a blessing! It has been a real pleasure and honor to have met her, and I am so thankful that we were able to meet in person after all these years.
RADICAL HOSPITALITY By S. Monica Gundler
n defining the term “radical” Merriam-Webster gives a simple definition: very new and different from what is traditional or ordinary.
Synonyms for “radical” include “thorough, complete, total, comprehensive, far reaching and profound.” This is not an exhaustive list, but at least a somewhat helpful description. Many of us are well versed in hospitality. We are friendly, open and present to guests who come to our homes for a meal or visit. We are familiar with the practice of hospitality. So what does this radical hospitality look like? We have known that long gone are the days of entering at the Motherhouse and being formed in large groups. But also gone are the visiting of many houses of Sisters and “coming to see” at the Motherhouse for a weekend experience. Now our hospitality involves periods of living with those discerning over time and maybe multiple experiences and visits before seeing much forward movement. It is the more that we strive for in opening our lives to discerners and new members. It is the Gospel mandate to welcome the stranger.
(From left) S. Lois Goettke and Associate Ann Laiche are two of the many guests to visit the New Orleans House of Charity.
A few weeks ago Sisters from the Novitiate and Affiliate houses gathered for a weekend together at Lake Lorelei (Brown County, Ohio) along with other members of the Formation Team. It was a time to share about the joys and challenges of being formative communities and about the learnings along the way. It was about radical hospitality— opening not just our doors for a visit, but our homes and our way of life over the “long haul.” This was time for sharing the depth of experience in welcoming into our lives discerners and new members. Radical hospitality involves vulnerability, inconvenience, sharing that sometimes means giving away what we can think of as our own, perhaps time or possessions as well as coaching, mentoring and walking with on what for them is not only new, but so very different from life before. It means changing, even when sometimes we are not the ones initiating the change. It may mean new ways of praying, eating, using technology and spending our free time. It has brought life, hope, excitement and awareness. It is challenging, stretching and sometimes just plain hard work. It is realizing that God is really the one in charge and that all we are and have are God’s alone. SUMMER 2016
At the House of Charity in New Orleans, Louisiana, we share our time and space – bathrooms, food, prayer and schedules for days at a time with a variety of visitors. In order to be present to those in the house, it means that some of the things on “my” list of to do’s or want to do’s go aside. It might mean earlier mornings, different schedules, later nights and different foods and ways of spending time together. The adventure is wonderful and it can also be exhausting. We Sisters who live here have learned much and depend on one another as it takes the team to make this ministry “work.” We have become aware of our gifts and of our limitations. We talk over what is going well and what might be a concern. We offer our guests an experience of community with prayer and service. It is a place of encounter that can be so rewarding when connections are made that deepen spirituality or a commitment to the poor or to the Charity charism. All these things happen for our discerners and those who journey with us for a short time or for much longer because of a willingness to give of our whole selves. It is certainly not without its times of frustration or wondering if we have it in us to do it all again, but it is where we are called. It is the place God wishes us to be. Radical is knowing that we do what we can and let the Holy Spirit do the rest.
partners in mission An updated profile of Associates and religious in the United States and Canada By Mary Jo Mersmann, director of Associates
n summer 2015, the North American Conference of Associates and Religious (NACAR) commissioned the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA) to produce a longitudinal study of Associates and religious in the United States and Canada. The study replicated a 2000–2002 CARA study of the Associate relationship with vowed religious. The first CARA study identified more than 25,000 Associates in the United States and its purpose was to document the growth and potential of the movement into the future. The 2000–2002 CARA study, which was also commissioned by NACAR, was the first study ever conducted of the Associate relationship in the United States. For that study, CARA contacted all 1,100 major superiors in religious institutes that belong to the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR), the Council of Major Superiors of Women Religious (CMSWR), or the Conference of Major Superiors of Men (CMSM) with a questionnaire to be completed by the director/coordinator of Associates in their institute. A total of 812 units responded to the survey and 429 (53 percent) reported that they had Associates. Another 43 institutes reported that they planned to have Associates in the future. A report of the findings from that study was completed in May 2000. In 2002, CARA also surveyed Associates and vowed religious in those 429 institutes with Associates. A separate report of the Associates and vowed religious was completed in September 2002. For the 2015 study, CARA again contacted all of the major superiors that belong to LCWR, CMSWR, and CMSM as well as the Canadian Religious Conference (CRC)—a total of 918 religious superiors. CARA emailed each superior a link to a survey and asked them to distribute it to their director/coordinator of Associates to complete. CARA received 588 completed responses and 378 (67 percent) reported that they have Associates. CARA also sent each of the directors/coordinators an electronic copy of a questionnaire specifically for Associates and vowed religious and asked these directors/coordinators to forward the survey to each of the Associates and vowed religious in their institute. CARA received responses from 5,667 vowed members, 4,200 Associates, and 207 Third Order/Oblates, for a total of 10,074 respondents.
According to the most recent CARA Report commissioned by NACAR, there are a total of 55,942 Associates in the United States and Canada. Most Associates are women and most are married. The number of Associates has doubled since 2002 and is now about equal to the reported number of vowed religious. Most congregations have a formal commitment for their Associates and 97 percent renew their commitment. A formal orientation program is seen as important for advancing the identity of Associate relationships, including the study and reflection on the charism, history and spirituality of the congregation.
Both Challenging and Rewarding “The love of the Associates for the charism and mission is contagious. Their living of the charism questions us and calls us to be more fully alive in the spirit of our own Institute. Their love for the poor (a dimension of our charism) is lived with real passion. The Associates often bring us a new conversation and many of our men appreciate their presence at local community meetings, ongoing formation and retreats. We offer them formation and mission possibilities, but it seems we receive much more than we give,” one vowed member commented in the recently released CARA Report. This was one of the more than 10,000 responses from Associates and vowed members to the question, “What do you find most rewarding about the Associate-religious relationship?”
I nt e rcom
Here is a response from an Associate, “An ability to pray, work, study and socialize with my religious brothers and sisters. This helps me feel grounded and nourished so I can grow. It also gives me a place to ask questions and feel like I can trust the answers. The ability to express ideas that will be looked at with interest and truthfulness. This deepens my confidence in my faith and ability to express it and deepens my love of faith and community.” Responses to the question, “What do you find most challenging about the Associate-religious relationship?” ranged from “Continuing to define the role of the Associate in the religious community” (vowed member) to “There is no designated leader of our group or formal leadership, which sometimes means that things don’t get accomplished” (Associate). One of the biggest challenges voiced was, no surprise, aging of vowed members and Associates. We look around and see that is true but it is also true that there has been a substantial growth in the number of Associates since the year 2000 and the average age of Associates continues to drop slowly. Another challenge is distance. Most congregations find that there are Associates who live at a distance from the majority of vowed members and Associates but are using technology in many ways to deal with this.
The Future NACAR has identified four concerns that will be the focus of ongoing study, discussion and workshops as we move toward the future of the Associate relationship. When directors/coordinators were asked about the lessons they have learned about the sustainability of the Associates’ community, the greatest number responded the spirituality of the institute. A deep understanding and ownership of the charism and spirituality of the congregation itself for Associates is at the very heart of this. Associates must be steeped in the charism and recognize their role in carrying it forward.
S ummer 2 0 1 6
Inviting others to consider association is vital for the sustainability of the Associate community. Recognizing the charism within another and inviting that other to consider association no matter their age or culture or background. We, as Associates, must continue to invite and to help in the formation process of those interested in becoming a part of the Charity Family. Empowering and training leadership among Associates is one of the most serious challenges we face moving into the future. Associates do not come to the congregation as empty vessels. They are richly gifted in many ways but often do not accept leadership roles or recognize how they can serve in that role when they are invited. Perhaps helping Associates to recognize their giftedness and engaging them in workshops that will build their skills in preparing and leading prayer services, serving on committees, etc. will serve us well into the future. Financial sustainability for Associate communities will definitely be a topic of consideration over the next several years as congregations are unable to offer total financial support for Associate budgets. As one Associate shared: “My firm belief is that association will continue to grow, as we carry the charism into the future with a firm direction in mind—the mission of our community. But less and less women are entering religious life in North America and those who we have are aging rapidly. That is so sad–tragic–and points us in the direction of making sure each Associate knows her/his responsibility as an Associate. Our covenants are to be taken very seriously, and to be renewed often as we move into different stages in our lives. Associates are aging, also, but new ones are joining us and adding new spirit to our ranks. Our ‘call’ remains and will not fade away even if the number of Sisters drops drastically.” As a vowed religious wrote: “We could be on the threshold of looking at the Associate program with fresh eyes and seeing the possibilities of a new way to be associated with the community. Our challenge is to take those initial steps of exploring the possibilities of how this new way could be practically lived out by those individuals and/or families called to serve Jesus Christ associated with our community.”
acts of green
are practiced here By Debbie Weber, OPJCC director
The Motherhouse clinic is one of the many places around the Mount St. Joseph property that is considered a “Green Spot”.
f you have visited the Motherhouse or Mother Margaret Hall recently, you may have noticed Green Spot signs on doors, walls and desks. It is our way of saying, “acts of green are practiced here!” Green Spot is not a new idea. The City of Columbus, Ohio, launched their GreenSpot Program as a way to recognize area residents, businesses, and community groups who are working to use resources in a responsible manner that will conserve and protect them for future generations. At a Sustainability Summit last year, the mayor of Columbus challenged other cities to initiate their own GreenSpot program. EarthConnection, the Office of Peace, Justice and Care for Creation and the SC Spirituality Center decided to adapt this GreenSpot idea for Sisters who live at the Motherhouse and our employees. In April, the SC Green Spot Initiative was launched in honor of our Sisters and staff who demonstrate their love and concern for our Earth. For our purposes, a Green Spot is a Motherhouse or Mother Margaret Hall office, department, work area, or Sisters’ living area that practices at least three “acts of green.” Each department and Sisters’ living area received a form listing several ways individuals and groups are sustainable and Earth-friendly. In most cases, employees and Sisters checked off more than the required three ways they practice “acts of 22
green.” And, many added their own green practices if not found on the list. Participants then received a Green Spot certificate to proudly display. Sisters in the Motherhouse and Mother Margaret Hall live the mission of caring for all creation, every day. And employees support that mission every day, too! As of this writing, there are 152 Green Spot certificates displayed throughout the building. This does not go unnoticed. Visitors have commented about the Green Spots they have seen. They appreciate knowing that Sisters and employees do not take our shared Earth for granted. After inquiring about our Green Spots, one visitor was inspired to do three “acts of green” in her home. Two Sisters from other congregations have asked for assistance in adopting and adapting our Green Spot initiative to their congregations. And, by displaying their Green Spot, our employees show our Sisters, and each other, that they honor the SC mission of caring for creation. If you are a Sister who just moved to the Motherhouse or a new employee, you may pick up a Green Spot checklist form from OPJCC or online at www.srcharitycinti.org/opjcc/ earth.htm. Return it to OPJCC and you will receive your Green Spot certificate. I ntercom
Serving Those Who Served By Carolyn Kesterman, Communications intern
heresa Petit keeps finding herself coming back to the Sisters of Charity throughout the changes in her life and career. Currently a nurse at Mother Margaret Hall nursing facility, her journey with the Sisters began 15 years ago at the age of 16 in a very different position. “My next-door neighbor was a nurse here, and she mentioned that there was a pool and that they needed a lifeguard, so that’s where it first started,” she remembers. Having grown up in Delhi (Cincinnati, Ohio), she was familiar with the Sisters and the location, so she decided to try it out, a decision she’s glad she made. After four summers working as a lifeguard, Theresa applied to become a nurse aide at Mother Margaret Hall while she studied nursing. Her five years spent in that role taught her more than could be learned in a classroom, and the spirit and wisdom of the Sisters provided her with guidance that couldn’t be experienced anywhere else. Even seemingly little instructions made lasting impacts on her. “Every morning when I would get everyone’s breakfast ready, I would Theresa Petit, a registered nurse at Mother Margaret Hall, enjoys all aspects of her job at the Sisters of Charity nursing facility. prepare their hard-boiled eggs, and I was really bad at taking the shells off of the eggs. One Hall, but by the friends and loved ones who come to the day, this one Sister noticed and taught me a facility. S. Georgia Kitt, director of Communications, sees trick to doing it. It was just a little thing, but I was touched Theresa often as she visits on her floor and has been touched by the way she helped me.” by the qualities she sees in her. “As a nurse, Theresa brings a After moving to Germany for a short period and getting joyful, gentle spirit to the Sister residents under her care,” married, Theresa returned to Mother Margaret Hall as a S. Georgia says. “She has an inherent understanding of Sisters registered nurse on March 17, 2015. She works as a charge of Charity values learned over her years of association with us. nurse mainly on the fourth floor and also assists with We appreciate her dedication.” supervising, a job she says is “challenging and rewarding” When asked what keeps her returning to work with the because she knows her actions help out the whole facility. Sisters of Charity, Theresa describes the immense amount of Her time around the Sisters has influenced not only her respect she has developed for the Sisters over the years. “I love professional life, but her personal life as well. As she juggles every part of it, coming in and knowing that I’m going to her busy days taking care of her 1-year-old son and finishing help serve those who have served their whole life. I find that her BSN, the positivity and calm demeanor that she picked really rewarding. Every day, there’s lots of little things that up from the Sisters comes into play and helps her to succeed. help reaffirm my love for the Community and the work I do. “They make me want to be a better person,” she says. Especially after providing care; a lot of Sisters say ‘God bless you’ and ‘thank you.’ At a lot of places, you won’t get that. It’s The traits Theresa admires in the Sisters are witnessed every day not only by the Sisters residing in Mother Margaret really unique here.” S ummer 2 0 1 6
Sister Blandina and the Road to Sisterhood By Linda Vaccariello
The following excerpt is reprinted with permission from an article appearing in the April 2016 issue of Cincinnati Magazine.
She captures Blandina in action in the daily challenges of their mission: searching for rooms to hold classes for children and their parents: entreating priests and parishioners to help with funds; finding homes for orphans, food for desperate mothers, medical care the indigent and aged. By the early 1900s Blandina and her colleagues were working with the juvenile court, taking custody of miscreant children to keep them out of the penal system and assuming responsibility for women released from prison. Blandina also began visiting the city hospital’s notorious Ward O, where, according to Minogue, the “girls of the underworld” were treated to “refit them for their occupation.”
hile her Queen City setting was less cinematic, [S. Blandina Segale] ended up using the muscle she’d flexed out west to launch a second – less storied but just as vigorous – assault on human indignity. By the 1890s Cincinnati was receiving its share of the new wave of Italians flooding the U.S. Unlike Blandina’s Northern Italian clan, the newcomers were largely from southern Italy. Still desperately poor and mostly illiterate, many were also fairly indifferent to the Catholic Church. Concerned with news of Methodists and Together S. Blandina Segale (left) and her Presbyterians setting up missions for the sister, S. Justina Segale, founded Santa Maria Justina did not have her sister’s Institute, one of the first Catholic settlement newcomers, the diocese asked Blandina fl air for storytelling, and her journal is houses in the United States. and Justina to go to work. With $5 for more of a (heavily spiritual) business carfare and the “unbounded confidence of document than a dramatic narrative. But there are entries God in their hearts,” they set off to see what they could do. that open a window into the life of our city in the early Writing in 1922, journalist Anna C. Minogue 20th century. Case in point: October 1918 – the height of documents their efforts in The Santa Maria Institute, a the Spanish Influenza epidemic. On October 28, Justina book about the beginnings of what became one of the first records that everything is closed down – churches, schools, settlement houses for Italian immigrants in the U.S. The any public gathering. Blandina was sent to a family in need: “unbounded confidence” that Minogue refers to sent the the father had died in a hospital and his wife passed away at women into tenements where the Sicilians and Southern home not knowing her husband was deceased. Blandina went Italians were clustering–the East End, Walnut Hills, and to take charge of their three orphaned children, and while in Fairmount along Queen City Avenue. Pretty quickly she was there the woman’s brother came to make funeral their efforts to protect their countrymen from proselytizing arrangements. By the time he returned home, his own wife Presbyterians were overshadowed by the newcomers’ profound was dead. needs. The sisters found an uneducated and marginalized In 20th century Cincinnati, Blandina’s work was less population in a community that, Minogue implies, largely shoot-from-the-hip than it had been in the Southwest. treated them with disdain. Other immigrants had been She was part of an emerging culture of social workers and assimilated into Cincinnati without coddling: why should probation officers in the increasingly modern city. The these be treated differently? The Segale sisters’ memories of frontier DNA that sent her to face a lynch mob occasionally coming to America might have been dim, but they saw what resurfaced and ruffled feathers. The most famous incident needed to be done. involved an encounter in Ward O. In addition to Minogue’s writing, the story of Blandina She had gone there intent on talking with the women in Cincinnati is documented by Sr. Justina, who, until her and girls who were (according to Minogue’s account) getting death in 1929, kept the records for the Santa Maria Institute.
I N T E RC O M
treated for sexually transmitted Last December, it was diseases. It was a soul-saving Blandina whose heroic virtues – mission, but in the course of including copies of the copious evangelizing, Blandina was material in Metz’s office – were confronted with the reality of delivered to the Vatican. A these women’s lives. A teenager representative from the Sisters of confronted Blandina and told her Charity of Cincinnati was there, story: She was lured to Cincinnati along with [Allen Sanchez] and from a small town with the Bishop Ricardo Ramirez of Las promise of domestic work; when Cruces, New Mexico. Ramirez is she arrived she was virtually “Postulator of the Cause” – the enslaved. If Blandina wanted to church official who had to make save women’s souls, the girl said, sure the material was gathered why didn’t she put her energy and presented correctly to the S. Blandina Segale was involved in issues such as human trafficking, into nailing the madam who had Vatican. He spent time in the juvenile delinquency, care for unwed mothers, and establishing outreach ruined her? Blandina got the Sisters of Charity Archives (“Her centers in Italian neighborhoods, like Santa Maria Institute (pictured). woman’s name and address, went life is very well documented,” he to the brothel and told the owner says), and he visited her grave. to close down, warning her that an informant was ready to Part of his job, he explains, was to make certain that she testify against her. The brothel owner countered by feeding a actually existed, that she is now dead, and that no cults have story to the newspaper that someone “disguised” as a Sister of grown up around her person. Charity had tried to extort money from her. One reason the wait for canonization is usually long A bit of a public brouhaha followed. Asked by her superior if she had been the nun in question, Blandina said that she had. The superior, “timorous of unpleasant publicity,” according to Minogue, told her to drop it. And she did. Ultimately she battled human trafficking in more conventional ways, finding shelter for girls escaping prostitution and pushing for legislation that would hold railway porters responsible if they guided new arrivals to procurers at the station. But Minogue laments that Cincinnati, not Chicago, might have become the epicenter of what she calls “the anti-white slavery movement” if Blandina had had her way. Her Cincinnati exploits were not the stuff of legend, but she knew that her experience out west had been unique. She wrote about it in a series of short stories for a Catholic publication that were collected and published as a book in 1933, the year she retired. [Sister Judith] Metz uses air quotes around “retired” when we talk in her office at the Sisters of Charity motherhouse. While Justina died in 1929, Blandina lived to be a feisty 91. We’re standing next to a cart crammed waisthigh with boxes and files – the local Blandina dossier, a stack that does not look like it could be attributed to anyone who spent time idling in old age. Which she did not. In 1931, at the age of 81, she met with Pope Pius in Rome to plead the sainthood case of Elizabeth Ann Seton – Mother Seton, the founder of the Sisters of Charity, who was ultimately canonized as the first American saint in 1975. SUMMER 2016
is the effort to identify the miracles which, to the faithful, confirm that a Servant of God (Blandina’s designation now) is at work answering prayers in heaven. Plus, there is what the secular world would call the vetting process – “Making sure there is absolutely nothing to tarnish the cause,” Bishop Emeritus Ramirez says. And in modern age where it is comparatively easy to document good works, there are a remarkable number of men and women up for sainthood – 30 people under consideration for beatification and canonization from the U.S. alone, including Fr. Stanley Rother, a priest from Oklahoma murdered by a death squad while serving in Guatemala 35 years ago. So, even though canonization isn’t a competition, it’s a crowded field. Still, Blandina has been noticed. “Apparently, after we left, the Vatican began working on it right away; there was a hearing in January,” Ramirez says. “We thought that was remarkably soon.” Allen Sanchez sees Blandina as “a saint for our time” and has high hopes that her good works – her passion for the poor, children, immigrants, and the disenfranchised, and her battles against human trafficking – will stand her in good stead with today’s Vatican. It may take years. For some, it has taken centuries. Roland [Sister Blandina’s great-great nephew] and Nancy Becker and 36 family members went to Italy in 1998 when a piazza in Cicagna, Blandina’s birthplace, was dedicated to her. That alone was a thrill. So it’s hard to conceive what sainthood would feel like. But, says Roland, “I’ve been told, ‘Don’t hold your breath.’” 25
S. Anthony O’Connell’s medical bag and the many items that are believed to be carried in it.
Timeless Treasures By S. Judith Metz
brown leather satchel – hardened with age, stained with use – worn and weathered by years of wear – mottled as black veneer gives way to brown leather.
To many this simple black bag served as a sign of hope, the symbol of a healing presence – of tender hands and a soothing voice offering relief in times of great pain and suffering. The approach of S. Anthony O’Connell carrying her battle-proven bag must have elicited a sigh of relief and a peaceful feeling for many a stricken body and troubled spirit. This Angel of Mercy exuded a sense of confidence as well as an aura of empathy as she ministered to many over her lifetime; first as a mother of orphans, then as a hospital administrator, battlefield nurse, and comforter of unwed mothers and their newborns. To how many homes, bedsides, barracks, floating hospitals, and wards of hospitals did she carry her little bag? And what did she have tucked away in its little pockets? Besides her rosary, sewing kit, and personal necessities, the stains in the bottom of the satchel leave evidence of bottles, probably of ointments and herbal potions used to relieve her patients’ sufferings. And surely she carried notions and items that would provide comfort and help her patients pass the hours – a plug of tobacco, a deck of cards, writing paper and pens. S. Anthony’s spirit of humility, simplicity, and loving service led her to become an outstanding example of compassionate outreach driven by the love of Christ modeled after Saints Vincent de Paul and Elizabeth Seton. The mission 26
of embracing the care of the sick poor as a “blessed art” and a sacred calling was embodied in her ministry as symbolized by her black satchel. Not only her accumulation of knowledge and skillful hands, but her untiring and unselfish giving of herself endeared her to her patients. Midnight vigils, championing the unserved, and praying with the dying were remembered and revered by those for whom she cared, and by witnesses of her care. Courage was her hallmark. This stalwart minister was undaunted by fear, weariness, skepticism, or rejection. She trudged over miles among the victims of a measles epidemic, took on the care of those whom others feared to approach, assisted at surgeries to save war casualties, and faced criticism when she reached out to the most scorned and rejected. Her compassion and courage are long remembered and celebrated. Her story has been told in numerous accounts. She was awarded membership in the Grand Army of the Republic and for years Civil War veterans visited her gravesite to honor her. The women’s auxiliary of the local chapter of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War is named in her honor, and her medical bag was chosen as a featured artifact to tell the story of Catholic Sisters in the Women in Spirit exhibit that toured the country. Truly an amazing woman! S. Anthony O’Connell, model of Charity!
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.”
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 310 Sisters are joined in their mission by 206 Associates (lay women and men). Sisters, using their professional talents as ministers of education, health care, social services and environmental justice, live and minister in 26 U.S. dioceses and in Guatemala, Mexico and the West Indies. They also sponsor institutions to address education, health care and social service needs, with particular concern for direct service to the poor.
Reaching a milestone A look at the fascinating Sisters of Charity who have celebrated their centennial birthdays.
Avian Visitors to Motherhouse Sustained through Donation The Clifford Bird Observatory in the Motherhouse courtyard thrives from the generosity of Wild Birds Unlimited.
S ummer 2 0 1 6
artistic expressions Read about the artwork and lives of our SC artists Sisters Ruth Jonas, Leona Marie Berens, and many more.
the call Sisters Mary Germaine Maximovich, Mary Barbara Philippart, Diana Durling and more reflect on their decisions to enter the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati.
John Bender and the sisters of charity The property where the Sisters of Charity Motherhouse is located can be traced back to John Bender and his family. Today, the Bender legacy is still kept alive through S. Annette Frey, the great granddaughter of John Bender.
Editor Erin Reder Graphic Design/Layout Michelle Bley Director of Communications S. Georgia Kitt Executive Council Liaison S. Mary Bookser Advisory Board Members: S. Mary Ann Flannery Mary Jo Mersmann S. Joyce Richter S. Frances Maureen Trampiets Vicki Welsh Letters to the editor, articles and photos are welcome. The staff reserves the right to edit for space and readability. Make submissions to: Communications Office 5900 Delhi Road Mount St. Joseph, OH 45051 Phone: 513-347-5447 Fax: 513-347-5467 Email: email@example.com Subscriptions: $15 per year
a legacy of mercy The late S. Helen Miriam Gunn’s legacy as director of the Reading Lab at the College of Mount St. Joseph continues through her former student.
5900 Delhi Road Mount Saint Joseph, OH 45051 www.srcharitycinti.org www.facebook.com/ sistersofcharityofcincinnati
5900 Delhi Road Mount Saint Joseph, OH 45051 http://www.srcharitycinti.org www.facebook.com/sistersofcharityofcincinnati
More than one-hundred elected leaders, Associates, Archivists, Social Justice representatives, and Formation personnel attended the annual Sisters of Charity Federation meeting in Emmitsburg, Maryland, in June.
4 6 Cincinnati Bishop Joseph Binzer greeted many guests at the 20th anniversary celebration of SC Ministry Foundation and exchanged memoirs with Sisters with whom he had shared in ministry.
8 S. Monica Gundler and members and friends of the Sisters of Charity Federation welcome home Pam M. and her family.