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A MAGAZINE OF THE SISTERS OF ST. MARY OF OREGON MINISTRIES CORPORATION

FALL 2020 | WINTER 2021


RESILIENCE & GRATITUDE

Bounce, bounce bounce! An intriguing image of resilience! When one considers the dynamics involved in the simple act of bouncing a ball, one notes the ball’s qualities of morphing upon impact, recuperating and re-orienting – more or less assuming the original shape, though perhaps changed based on what surface was engaged at impact. COVID-19 has provided us ample opportunities to practice our own resilience, to practice “bouncing.” We could choose to become rigid and try to grasp for control. Or, we can be intentional about developing skills which allow us to morph, recuperate and re-orient. Throughout the ages, various people have leaned into the stress of the moment to become better - more gracious, more attentive, more appreciative, more heroic, more forgiving, more prayerful. These are the people who don’t just survive, they develop skills which allow them to thrive. Though these past several months have posed significant challenges, it has been heartwarming to see those who have set aside controlling behaviors and genuinely worked on building the skill of being resilient. Certainly, nobody could have guessed in December 2019 that education, shopping, conduction of business and its inherent meetings, doctor visits, Mass attendance and fundraisers would look so very different by December 2020! Yet, numerous people – Sisters, staff, benefactors, family and friends – have exhibited true heroism! God bless you for making the journey more tolerable and, dare I say, more fun! Keep on bouncing! And when you see someone who needs a little pick-me-up in that department, don’t forget to ask the Master Ballplayer and Coach to grant them a renewed sense of resilience so that they too may bounce away the days, weeks and months ahead!

- Sr. Adele Marie Altenhofen President, SSMO Ministries Corporation

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The Foundresses of the Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon were gifted with resilience and gratitude. Arriving in Oregon, the band of young women overcame many obstacles getting settled in the Jordan Valley, and then, in their humble beginnings in Sublimity. With generous self-giving, the Sisters responded to the request of the Archdiocese to care for orphans near Beaverton. Mother Seraphim Theisen purchased a small tract of land for the growing community. Mother Theresa Heuberger, courageous and forward-looking, purchased the land south of the railroad. During the Great Depression, the Sisters dared to construct a large brick building housing a school, for elementary through high school education, a resident school, music department and chapel. The magnificent structure, our Motherhouse, is a landmark amid the commercial, industrial and residential complexes of Beaverton. Our gratitude and appreciation to our Lord and Savior, through whom we practice our prayer and supplication, are without measure. We are grateful to our friends, colleagues and benefactors whose generosity assists the SSMO Community to minister while living our vows of poverty, chastity and obedience. Our gift of prayer has transformed, to pray always not only for our friends and benefactors but also for the entire world. We are grateful for having the freedom to choose. Our choice is to live the vowed life of our vocation and to minister to the people of the Pacific Northwest. God has given us this freedom. God’s freedom enables us not only to decide freely on particular acts and aims but also to determine our moral self, totally as persons whose orientation toward God is our final destination. In these challenging times, we are grateful and continue to do God’s work, even if we feel tired or despondent. Our choice is to live, with resilience and gratitude, the vowed life as Religious Women in prayer, simplicity, and sisterly love as compassionate joyful servants of the Lord. Blessing to you my friends.

- Sr. Michael Francine Duncan Superior General, Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon

FALL 2020 / WINTER 2021

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Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon Ministries Corporation Sister Adele Marie Altenhofen, President Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon Sister Michael Francine Duncan, Superior General

Editor: Stacy Kean, APR Photographers/Videographers: Will Campbell Ryan McGaughey Lizette Santiago Contributors: Don V. Romanaggi, M.D.

The award-winning Spirit magazine is published on behalf of the Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon and their sponsored ministries. All rights reserved.

Questions, comments or address changes: SSMO Ministries Corporation 4440 SW 148th Avenue | Beaverton, Or 97078 503-644-9181 | spirit@ssmoministries.org

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On the cover: The top picture is an upward view of the iconic sequoia trees which line 148th Avenue on the SSMO campus. The trees were planted by Sister Michael Tavelli over 80 years ago. Adorned with beautiful stained glassed windows, the bottom picture is a view of the inside of the Our Lady of Perpetual Help Chapel.


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Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon Reflect on Resilience and Gratitude

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The Youngest Valiants Bring Joy to the “Grand Friends” at Maryville

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Resilience: The Music Plays on at Valley Catholic Music School

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Gratitude: Valley Catholic Elementary School Students Share Blessings

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Gratitude: Creating a Lasting Legacy at Valley Catholic

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Gratitude: Valley Catholic Sports Super Fan Jake Walsh

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Resilience: Alumni Advisory Committee Helps the Valley Catholic Community Thrive

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Alumni Notes

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FALL 2020 / WINTER 2021

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Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon Reflect on Resilience and Gratitude Sister Angeline: A Historic View of Challenging Times Sister Angeline has been a Sister of St. Mary of Oregon for 77 years. Shortly before entering the congregation, the Second World War was erupting. “I was a student at St. Mary of the Valley and entered the community at the beginning of that war. We experienced rationing of sugar and other imported foods, and of gasoline, which restricted travel. Blackouts were required so that no light would be visible during a possible Pacific invasion.” However, as dramatic and life-altering as the war would be, the immediate effects were not as keenly felt as today’s pandemic. As Sister Angeline explains, the war was preceded by the Great Depression. “Our daily lives were not greatly affected, perhaps because we were accustomed to the frugal use of goods during the Great Depression. The resilience of the Sisters was an example to the students.” During the war, the enemy was known and visible. Today’s challenges are different.

Sister Angeline Sohler Lower Right: Sister Angeline as a novice in 1943

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“In the present time, all of us experience the effects of this elusive COVID-19 virus, unrelenting fires, pervasive smoke, unexpected storms, loss of life and homes, and of jobs.”


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Sister Juana: Teaching Prayer, Patience and Humor Sister Juana Gutierrez teaches third grade at St. John the Baptist Catholic School in Milwaukie. Like so many teachers and students, Sister Juana has had to adapt to teaching remotely, via computer applications, like Zoom. “It’s very different, and now technology is very important. I teach on Zoom daily. It’s nice to see my students’ smiling faces. Things are kind of hard, but worth it.” Sister Juana teaches religion and has the opportunity to provide her students with an opportunity to see the silver linings in these unusual times. “I teach them to be positive about what we have and remember even the small gifts and blessings. I have to have a sense of humor and teach the kids to have a sense of humor too. The kids are always smiling, and they are eager to see each other on Zoom.” Sister Juana’s thoughts on maintaining gratitude at this time are, “Pray, pray, pray – daily prayers and the rosary. With Jesus anything is possible. It is a time to be patient and trust. Adults have to have patience. Children want to connect, so they need to have patience and trust, too.”

Sister Juana Gutierrez Lower Right: Sister Juana with a Valley Catholic student in pre-pandemic days

FALL 2020 / WINTER 2021

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Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon Reflect on Resilience and Gratitude Sister Krista: Learning to Grow During a Challenging Time Sister Krista serves as Executive Director of CYO/Camp Howard. Sister Krista, like several of our SSMO Sisters, works outside of SSMO-sponsored ministries. Below, she shares her reflections on the professional and personal challenges and opportunities during the pandemic. “On March 13 when we made the decision to postpone the CYO basketball tournament, we were having a very difficult time wrapping our heads around what was going on. As things became clearer over the next few days, I realized this was a big deal and we were not going to be postponing the basketball tournament - we were going to be cancelling it. I did not realize even then, that there would be no spring sports or summer camp. As the Director of CYO and Camp Howard for 24 years now, I have seen the organization grow from five employees to 14 in-town employees plus eight cooks at the camp and a Property Director. It has been disheartening for me to have developed a wonderful staff and see things in such disarray. CYO/Camp Howard is one of the organizations where the revenue stream came to a complete halt on March 13 because our business is kids and kids can’t participate in our programs right now.

Sister Krista Von Borstel

However, people have been very generous to us. We had to cancel our annual fundraising dinner, Champions of Faith with Lou Holtz. Most all of our table captains stepped forward and made good on their pledge for this year and promised the same pledge for next year. We have rescheduled Lou Holtz for October 20, 2021. People believe in our organization; they want it to return and they are helping us. I could not be more grateful to our friends for their support. I am looking at this time as a gift. We can come out of this better people if we establish a mindset of learning to do new things, develop ourselves and embrace the situation we are in. I am making use of the extra time to get in more prayer. I have learned to bake pies. I have done a lot of work on the Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machine and wood projects. Next I am going to learn to use yeast and bake breads. My words of encouragement to others are to take advantage of the opportunity to develop your gifts and talents.”

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Sister Josephine: Staying Strong at Maryville Sister Josephine is working at Maryville. There are many precautions in place for skilled nursing facilities during the pandemic, including wearing personal protective gear and restricted visitation for residents. While these increased precautions can be challenging, Sister Josephine has found that it has brought her Maryville colleagues together. “We have a closer working relationship. I see people going above and beyond their job descriptions to keep us safe. I see people pausing to help people understand when we have a new requirement or equipment; they are stopping to help. It’s a tighter team and we are pulling together, and we are able to be lighthearted and realistic at the same time.” The safety measures include tight restrictions on visits. In-person visits inside the facility are not allowed at this time, although many families connect through “window visits.” There are safety restrictions in place that prevent group dining and activities.

Sister Josephine Pelster

“At first it was hard to adapt, but then our activities department got creative. We have facilitated window visits and music outside residents’ windows. People really look forward to the phone call or the window visit. They are living more in the moment and taking it day by day. The residents are now able to have movies and T.V. shows in their rooms. The activities team has played old movies, documentaries, and classic television shows like ‘I Love Lucy’ and ‘M.A.S.H.’ which is enjoyable.” Looking forward to how the pandemic may transform Maryville’s staff and resident community, Sister Josephine is optimistic. “We will be stronger, and we will live in gratitude. Having restrictions on volunteers and visitors has been hard. It shows how important nurturing relationships are to people. We look forward to welcoming people at the front door. Some of the people who work here have survived natural disasters and difficult events and we know this will pass and we are looking forward.” FALL 2020 / WINTER 2021

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The Youngest Valiants Bring Joy to the “Grand Friends” at Maryville

Above: VCELS students display the bracelets they received as gifts from their “Grand Friends” at Maryville Opposite: VCELS students participate in a Gingerbread Man scavenger hunt outside of Maryville

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Prior to the pandemic, the young Valiants at Valley Catholic Early Learning School would visit their “Grand Friends” at Maryville and Maryville Memory Care once a month. Activities included arts and crafts, music and celebrating holidays like Easter, Halloween and Christmas. While the pandemic put a pause on the monthly visits, the students and residents are finding creative ways to keep the connection going despite current restrictions. When Valley Catholic Early Learning School re-opened this summer, the students created cards and artwork for National Senior Citizens Day in August. The “Grand Friends” returned the greetings, thanks to the special efforts of Maryville Resident Shirley, known as the “Bead Lady.” Shirley created bracelets for the students. Janet Lynn, a program coordinator at Valley Catholic Early Learning School shared, “The students really missed seeing everyone at Maryville. They enjoyed receiving the bracelets from their Maryville friends. We really value our connection to Maryville.”


RESILIENCE & GRATITUDE

Kathy Fedr, activities director at Maryville, said the residents had missed their young friends as well. “The residents love seeing them again, and the staff do too! We missed seeing the children on a regular basis. They bring joy and put smiles on the residents’ faces.” In October, the Valley Catholic Early Learning School students participated in a Gingerbread Man scavenger hunt around Maryville and Maryville Memory Care. “They had a Gingerbread Man hunt outside. They gave us paper gingerbread men to hang up around West Annex, the Activity Room, and Memory Care so the children could find them. It was so cute! They let us have the paper gingerbread men to give to some of the residents, too. We look forward to many more imaginative visits in the future,” said Kathy. The Valley Catholic Early Learning School students plan on connecting with Maryville once a month and continuing to find new and creative ways to connect with their “Grand Friends” at Maryville. FALL 2020 / WINTER 2021

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Resilience

The Music Plays on at Valley Catholic Music School

One thing many of us miss during the pandemic is the opportunity to enjoy live music. When we can all come safely back together for live music, many musicians will have honed their talents in new ways.

This page: Collin Heade’s student, Ryan Klein, in a FaceTime photo during a lesson Opposite: Anson Wright provides a virtual guitar lesson

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Collin Heade, a cello instructor at Valley Catholic Music School who has performed, taught, conducted and composed music both in the Pacific Northwest and throughout Europe, shared his thoughts on digital learning. Collin said, “It is encouraging that we are all working to get through this experience together, and have ascended hurdles in order to do so, while still keeping the educational level extremely high.” Both instructors and students have demonstrated adaptability in order to continue to excel in their musical education. Instructors have seen their students grow in their resilience.


RESILIENCE & GRATITUDE

Anson Wright, a guitar instructor at Valley Catholic Music School is not only a well-respected jazz guitarist, but also a composer, poet and novelist. Anson says, “Overall, the students’ resilience has been marked by patience and renewed dedication. They are individually tracking their assignments and making notes when I make suggestions. I appreciate that they have been creating time to practice even when their online school workload and athletic commitments have increased.” Collin says, as instructor, remote music instruction requires a new and heightened level of concentration, “…the biggest challenge of teaching via internet may stem from the lack of a dimensional image. That is to say, viewing the student from varying angles within the lesson. But what I have also found, to make up for this, is an intense teaching visualization where I have total concentration on the student directly in front of me, without any hint of distraction. I am totally focused on the screen and the student realizes this. I’m using a large tabletop computer and the student is right in front of me, where I’m sitting inches away.”

Collin also says he has appreciated the students’ efforts to always be prompt in their lesson attendance and an increased intense focus on their lessons. And, he finds that the music lesson is a welcome activity in a time when some activities and excursions are limited. As we look to the long-term, there are skills and habits that music students are learning now that will serve them well in the future. “I believe many of the attributes experienced during the pandemic may move forward with us in the teaching and work field. Minimally, for example, makeup lessons could more easily be handled via the internet. Also, a combination of internet and in-person lessons could be interchanged in our future. The pandemic has forced us all to slow down, travel less, and realize the importance in life without some of the constant shuffle, while the quality level of the lesson remains intact,” said Collin.

Anson says that some of the adjustments are due to technology, “The biggest challenge has been mastering the technology. Zoom can respond differently depending on the device. Perfecting the settings to reduce latency and improve the sound quality has been the main goal.” FALL 2020 / WINTER 2021

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Valley Catholic Elementary School’s theme for the 2020-2021 school year is “We are Blessed.” Some students in first through fourth grade shared how they are blessed with original written reflections and artwork. In Ms. Rauschenburg’s fourth grade class, students shared the following reflections: eresting “I am blessed for these 3 int fact my dog is reasons. One would be the itional love. with me to give me uncond ve my family Anot her would be that I ha house to with me and that I have a big at I will be live in. The last reason is th ool in a big typing all my friends at sch think Valley place to learn. I personally l. Plenty of Catholic is an amazing schoo ds with. Good student s for you to be frien re than most teachers that teach you mo ssed to go to schools. So, I am really ble Valley Catholic.”

“I am blessed because I have family and friends who care about me. I have wonderful teachers who make me feel blessed because

they are working very hard during digital learning to help all of us. I feel blessed to be a part of Valley

Catholic School. The Lord has blessed us with food, water, a home and has kept us safe during this pandemic.”

am “I’m blessed because I have a brother and a family who loves me. I ates blessed because I can still go to Valley Catholic and meet my classm the and friends online. I am blessed because I am safe from COVID -19 and fire that is near. I am blessed because I have food to eat.”

“I was blessed when I had a hard time and in

the end it came out right. I was blessed when I had trouble with mat h and Jesus helped me. I was blessed when I went to a party and I had no one to talk to and then a friend came and asked me to play.”

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RESILIENCE & GRATITUDE

Other students created drawings to share how they are blessed.

FALL 2020 / WINTER 2021

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Gratitude

Creating a Lasting Legacy at Valley Catholic

Above: pictured left to right: Agnes Romanaggi Albert ’81, Don V. Romanaggi,

On the Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon campus, the phrase “standing on the shoulders” has a special meaning - a recognition of the intrepid and faithful women of the early days of the Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon, who worked hard, took chances and built a ministry of education, healthcare and faith. Key components to this enduring legacy have been wise and thoughtful benefactors who have generously given to ensure a bright future for the Sisters’ sponsored ministries. As we face uncertainty amid the pandemic and its economic fallout, endowed scholarships, such as the Agnes Romanaggi Albert Endowed Fund, will help Valley Catholic students excel.

M.D., Sister Adele Marie Altenhofen, and former VCS president Bob Weber Opposite left: pictured left to right: Rich Baek, Harper Pearse and Don V. Romanaggi, M.D. Opposite right: Don V. Romanaggi, M.D. and his daughter, Anges Romanaggi Albert ’81

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As Patricia Blood, Executive Director of the Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon Foundation explains, “Valley Catholic has a lifelong friend in Don V. Romanaggi. He has demonstrated his passion for the VCS community and education through his generous support of the high school science building, tuition assistance, a challenge grant for a capital project, and now a named endowed fund in honor of his daughter, Agnes Romanaggi Albert, SMV class of 1981.”


RESILIENCE & GRATITUDE

Dr. Romanaggi, a respected doctor whose specialty was allergy & immunology, now retired, is passionate about the value of a Catholic education. He is a proud University of Portland alumnus and a member of the University’s Board of Regents. The University of Portland is where his passion for Catholic education began.

“My time at Valley Catholic was great. Not only did I receive a solid and robust education that definitely prepared me for college, but I also have great memories of fun times with many friends. The Sisters were supportive and actively teaching a number of classes which was wonderful,” recalls Agnes Romanaggi Albert.

Dr. Romanaggi is a Portland native who had a modest beginning in life as the son of Italian Catholic immigrants and recently he recalled that he was considering Reed College when he graduated from Cleveland High School. But a couple of his friends were attending University of Portland.

Agnes reflected on her father’s gift of the endowed scholarship, “I’m excited about providing this scholarship and so grateful that my father is in a position to make such a generous donation and create a legacy where we can support continuing Catholic education which positively impacts a student’s life for years to come. It helps to form a student into a respectful, responsible, kind, caring, and reverent person. Catholic education teaches students to think beyond themselves and to help others.”

Reminiscing about this, Dr. Romanaggi said, “I didn’t know anyone going to Reed, so I thought if I go to University of Portland, I will have a few friends.” This turned out to be a fateful decision in more ways than one. It was at the University of Portland that he met his wife, Agnes Stoffel, and where he received a high quality and challenging education which propelled him into a successful medical career. One of the challenges that Dr. Romanaggi met as a college student was when he took a class from Father John Molter, who offered a dollar to the exceptional student who could earn an A in his science class. Dr. Romanaggi earned the A and the dollar; only two had been given before.

Dr. Romanaggi echoes this principle. Part of his motivation to support various causes is his belief that those who have been blessed with success should give back.

His generosity will make a difference for years to come. Patricia Blood added, “His leadership and creativity make so much possible for students, and this new fund will sustain students-in-need for generations.” She also shared this most telling story: “A few years ago, at the dedication of the high school science building, in the Don V. Romanaggi M.D. chemistry lab, Dr. Romanaggi quietly assured students In raising their children, the Romanaggis placed a high val- in Italian ‘Sono Fortunati,’ or You are fortunate.” ue on Catholic education. Mrs. Romanaggi had attended All Saints Catholic School and Holy Child Academy. She Fortunate indeed. Grazie mille, Don V. Romanaggi, MD! had several family members who had pursued religious vocations. Their four sons and daughter Agnes attended Catholic high schools. FALL 2020 / WINTER 2021

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Gratitude

Valley Catholic Sports Super Fan Jake Walsh

Above: “Grandpa Jake” and a few of his fans circa 2012. Pictured left to right: Allison Lambert, Rebecca Baglai, Molly

During this time when the pandemic prevents us from gathering together for sporting events, it seems likely that we will have a renewed appreciation for the ability to assemble and cheer for the Valiants when restrictions are lifted. This summer, someone who wholeheartedly cheered for the Valiants passed away. We remember with gratitude a special Valley Catholic super fan, Jake Walsh. For over two decades, Jake demonstrated enthusiastic support of Valiant athletes. Known to many as “Grandpa Jake,” he brought a tin of Tootsie Pops to games to distribute to Valley Catholic fans AND the opponents’ fans alike.

Hoffman and Sarah Healy. Opposite left: “Grandpa Jake” and his legendary metal lunch pail full of Tootsie Pops

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Jake’s connection to Valley Catholic goes back to when his three sisters attended school on this campus in the 1940s and 1950s when it was known as St. Mary of the Valley. His grandchildren attended Valley Catholic, and, when Jake’s wife passed away in 1997, attending VC games became his new hobby.


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other team and how we performed. It was not just volleyball that he supported, he was at every basketball game, girls and boys, as well as softball. I know he is up in heaven sitting in the bleachers, with his Tootsie Pop lunchbox and cheering on every VC athlete.” Upon his passing this summer, Liz McDevitt, Director of Campus Ministry at VCHS, and a VCHS alumna, said “It’s a beautiful story of a community member who was a devoted fan and enriched the lives of the people on the court and the field and in the stands.” Liz noted that many alumni were posting pictures of Grandpa Jake on Facebook when news of his passing was known. Grandpa Jake and his tin of Tootsie Pops were featured in the 2012 Spring/Summer edition of Spirit magazine. At the conclusion of that story, Jake said, “I’ve seen hundreds of games, and I have never been embarrassed by a Valley Catholic athlete’s behavior on or off the court. In my opinion, Valley Catholic students and their families are the cream of the crop; truly special people. When I head to my car after games, regardless of the final score, I feel so uplifted! I know I’ve just been somewhere special.”

Becky Kemper, Valley Catholic High School state champion volleyball coach, remembers, “Jake was definitely an ultimate VC fan. It didn’t matter if it was a home match or a tournament in southern Oregon, he would be there. He definitely was famous for bringing his metal lunch pail filled with Tootsie Pops for anyone in the stands, whether they were wearing VC gear or our opponents’ gear. I sure hope he had stock in that company! Even when his grandkids Caitlin, Connor, and Liam were gone and graduated, Grandpa Jake was still in the stands. I always got a smile on my face when he would walk in the gym with his blue VC shirt on, carrying his stadium chair or cushion and give me a smile and trademark ‘Go get ‘em, Coach.’ I will never forget his bolstering voice saying ‘Yeaaahhhhh’ when our team scored a point. You always heard him up there! He loved to talk to me after a match and give his ‘take’ on the FALL 2020 / WINTER 2021

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Resilience

Alumni Advisory Committee Helps the Valley Catholic Community Thrive The pandemic has created a lot of uncertainty, but one thing that became clear in the last several months is the resilience and adaptability of our Valley Catholic Alumni. Kelsey Leonard, the Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon Foundation’s Alumni Relations Manager says, “The Alumni Advisory Committee assists us in reaching out to the alumni community, helps to direct us in understanding what the alumni community wants and needs, and fosters a great connection within the community. Their work is vital. They have been a wonderful way to tap into how our alumni are feeling across the generations.” in that our families would require financial assistance. The video campaign, which was Mariel Zaguins’ idea and formalWhen the pandemic prompted shutdowns and disruptions ized with the help of committee members Meghan Blood to the normal course of life, the SSMO Foundation and the and Julie Newsome, was key to reaching alumni and porAlumni Advisory Committee had just started to launch the traying our message in a way that showed how important largest ever Weston Alumni Challenge. They were faced tuition assistance is on our campus.” with raising $75,000 in matching funds. With the help of committee members, a successful camMeghan Blood, an Alumni Advisory Committee member, paign of social media with a video component, and the outshared thoughts on facing a fundraising challenge amid the reach by the committee and others, the goal of the Weston pandemic, “The fallout of the pandemic has been perva- Alumni Challenge was not only met but was exceeded. sive; no one is immune to social distancing or experiencing sudden loss like the coronavirus has caused. People want Julie Newsome said, “Tuition assistance is a very clear need to help. Whether you’re a parent taking on the enormous already, and when the pandemic hit, it was clear the need task of distance learning or homeschooling, an employee became even more pressing. We’re grateful to the alumni who’s been furloughed, or you’re exhausted from worry, we donors who were able to step forward during a time when all feel it in some way.” not everyone can.” Kelsey Leonard recalled how quickly the committee understood and acted, “The Alumni Committee came in swiftly when COVID-19 lockdowns started happening, knowing that now more than ever, our VC families would need support. They knew that our messaging had to show urgency

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Alumni are being reached in a new way, which is particularly suited to the days of social distancing. “Valiantly Spoken,” the Alumni podcast which was launched this year includes a wide spectrum of guests.


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Meghan Blood said, “The podcast is a great approach to bring alumni back into the VC community that’s different from typical fundraising appeals. Modernizing our communication channels has brought people from all kinds of backgrounds and compelling ideas into the alumni community. We likely wouldn’t have known about their work or stories otherwise.” The podcast has been well received and features diverse experiences across several generations of alumni. In addition to the projects of the Alumni Advisory Committee, there is a wonderful opportunity for connection. Julie Newsome shared, “It’s been great connecting with other alumni from various years and decades for a common purpose!”

FALL 2020 / WINTER 2021

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Alumni Notes

Lindsay Harmon ’11 and Lance Keithley were married May 24, 2020

Nick Gates and wife, Angela, welcomed baby boy, Elliot, a month early on Good Friday, April 10th, 2020 at 8:18 p.m. He weighed 5 lbs 12 oz and was 19 inches long. He spent 3 weeks in the NICU due to a hole in his lungs and breathing difficulties. He also spent a week in the PICU around July 4th due to feeding and swallowing issues. He is now 6 months old and nearly 15 lbs and thriving!

Evan Tait ’12 was married to Micah Beukelman on October 4th of this year in McMinnville. And in true Evan Tait style, they got married at a theatre.

Samantha Kemper Edwards ’11 and husband Warren Edwards welcomed Gunnar Warren Edwards into their family on June 30, 2020 at 3:18 a.m.

Hannah Wilson-Zoucha Walsh ’14 and husband Liam welcomed Henderson Michael Walsh into the world on June 12, 2020 at 8:06 a.m.

Emily Moore Votta ’13 and husband Jake Votta celebrated the arrival of Adeline Sloane Votta on July 9, 2020. She was 8 lbs and 11oz.

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Caitlin Park Shin ’05 and her husband, Andrew Shin, are thrilled to share that they just welcomed their first child. Their daughter, Cecilia Margaret Shin, was born on May 8, 2020 at 9 lbs 1oz and 21.25 inches long. Mom, Dad, and baby are now settled at home in Vancouver, Washington, and all are doing well! They’re especially excited for Cecilia and her cousin Jane, Caitlin’s sister Victoria’s baby girl, to grow up together – the cousins were born only five weeks apart!

Molly Hoffman Donahue ’12 and husband Michael Donahue welcomed Kane Steven Donahue on 03/21/2020 in Enumclaw, Washington at 11:06 p.m. He was 6 lbs 11 ounces, 19.5 inches long.

Greg Kang ’09 and his wife Sophia welcomed their new son Aden on March 13, 2020. They also moved back to Beaverton last year.

Kelsey Frances (Keagbine) Miller and her husband, Ryan, welcomed Madison James Miller into their family on September 22nd, 2020. She was 9 lbs 1oz and 19 inches. Her middle name is in honor of Kelsey’s brother’s middle name, Danny James Keagbine ’08, who passed away in 2011.

FALL 2020 / WINTER 2021

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Hillary Sell Flowers ’06 and her husband Erik Flowers welcomed Jayden Abel Flowers into the world on May 30th at 12:13 pm. He was 7 lb 8 oz.

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Victoria Park Walston ’08 and husband, James Walston, are excited to share the announcement of the arrival of their precious baby girl, Jane Alexandra Walston. She was born on June 16, 2020, and both parents couldn’t be more in love. The Walstons are currently living in Rochester, MN, where Victoria is entering her final year of Internal Medicine Residency at Mayo Clinic and all are looking forward to eventually returning home to Oregon in the future.


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After many years of study, Allison Fuiton ’04 successfully defended her PhD in biology at the University of Oregon in January 2019. For her dissertation, she studied Hox gene evolution in the pipefish and seahorse family. One of the highlights from her time working on her PhD research included collecting wild pipefish and seahorses in Florida and Texas.

Cory Sepich ’00 has earned his Doctorate in Education at Creighton University. Dr. Cory Sepich is Principal at St. Pius/St Leo Catholic School in Omaha, NE.

She started her new position as a post-doctoral scholar in a cancer genetics lab at Oregon Health and Science University in April 2019 and is excited to use her evolutionary biology background to bring a unique perspective to researching melanoma and other cancers.

Kyle Garcia ’16 was awarded first place by the College Media Awards Association Pinnacle Awards. He won his award as Best Sports Columnist for his work with the University of Portland’s newspaper “The Beacon.”

FALL 2020 / WINTER 2021

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