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

SPRING | SUMMER 2019

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

SPRING | SUMMER 2019


I N N OVAT I O N + T R A D I T I O N

“Tradition” and “Innovation” may seem like odd words to pair. One word seems to be mired in the past and one seems to quantum leap into the future. However, in reality, the Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon and their entire campus are a perfect illustration of how these two words and the values which they represent synchronize harmoniously. “Tradition” conjures images of lasting values, permanence, everlasting significance and groundedness. The Sisters profess perpetual vows. SSMO campus buildings are constructed “to last” with steel framing, brick and rebar. The campus commits itself to core values that are all encompassing and “tried and true” over the centuries. The care of individuals – whether students, residents or staff – is hallmarked by “service with love” and a sense that “your family is our family.” No matter the era, these “traditions” will never go out of style. “Innovation” evokes visions of forward thinking, inventiveness, change and nimbleness. The Sisters constantly seek to read the signs of the times and respond to them. The SSMO campus community has updated, renovated, embraced technological advances and been proactive. New programs and initiatives at the Motherhouse, Valley Catholic and Maryville seek to provide education, rehabilitation and skills with an eye to the future. What a blessing to be a part of something so retrospective, so relevant, so relational, so remarkable! May God continue to guide great minds and hearts on this campus to embrace “tradition” and “innovation” in light of the Sisters’ charism, mission, vision and values always and in all ways!

- Sister Adele Marie Altenhofen President, SSMO Ministries Corporation

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When I think about tradition and innovation regarding religious life, the renewal called for by Vatican Council II in the 1960s comes to mind. The responses to the challenge to update were many and varied. Webster defines innovate as “to make something new” or modernize. As I consider the renovations in our SSMO Community over the past 50 years, the desire to hold on to the traditional values while attempting to adjust to the needs of the times has been strong. Briefly, here are some examples of our traditional values and the adaptations: • Instead of one loud bell ringing in the morning to wake everyone for Morning Prayer and Mass, each Sister uses her own means of waking up and attends one of the three Masses offered on campus each weekday. Traditional value: Prayer together • Instead of silence all day except during “evening recreation,” the Sisters enjoy each other’s company during meals. Traditional value: Community • Instead of everyone becoming a teacher or nurse, the individual’s skills, talents and preferences are taken into consideration as the Sister discerns with the Community and completes the course work needed for the profession of her choice. Traditional value: Ministry/Service • Instead of yards of wool material and tightly bound headwear, the Sisters have the options of wearing a loose-fitting veil and simple clothing styles in solid black, blue, gray, and white. Traditional value: Simple style of dress These innovations, and many others, have placed more responsibilities on the common sense and good judgment of each Sister and provided opportunities for thinking creatively while remaining generous and faithful in actions for the good of the whole Community. Traditional values: Maturity in Service and Community Life. May your family values and traditions be upheld and passed on in the midst of innovations and change.

– Sister Charlene Herinckx '66 Superior General, Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon

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I N N OVAT I O N + T R A D I T I O N

Tradition + Innovation = Sustainability

Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon Ministries Corporation Sister Adele Marie Altenhofen, President Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon Sister Charlene Herinckx ’66, Superior General

Editor: Stacy Kean, APR Photographers/Videographers: Alysha Beck Will Campbell Lizette Santiago Contributors: Lizette Santiago

The award-winning Spirit magazine is published by 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

The theme for this edition of

503-644-9181 | spirit@ssmoministries.org

Spirit magazine is “Tradition + Innovation.” Our focus is on both the traditions of the Sisters and the campus as well as the inno-

On the Cover: The Sisters of

vative spirit which has kept the

dome and modern light fixtures

campus vibrant for many years.

Elementary and Middle School.

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St. Mary of Oregon’s iconic in the entry of Valley Catholic


T R A D I T I O N + I N N OVAT I O N

Contents Pg. 6

VCMS STEM Certification Pg. 10

Marigolds Pg. 12

Green and Gold Pg. 14

Valley Catholic Early Learning School Pg. 18

Class of 2019

Pg. 24

The Class of 1969 Pg. 26

Distinguished Alumni Pg. 27

Alumni Notes Pg. 32

2019 Jubilarians

Pg. 34

In Memoriam

Pg. 20

Visionary Partnership

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VCMS STEM Certification VCMS Valiants Lead the Way in STEM Education

Above: Seventh-graders Vivian Nguyen, Jacob Strayer, Maansi Singh and Jordan Baumgartner present CurioCity at the national Future City competition in Washington, D.C. in February after winning the regional competition.

Before 2018 came to a close, Valley Catholic Middle School (VCMS) became the first school in the Pacific Northwest to earn a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) certification from AdvancedED. This accreditation organization conducted an on-site review to examine VCMS commitment to STEM programming. The AdvancedED evaluation proved that the current VCMS cross-curricular STEM program is already demonstrating quality STEM learning components designed to prepare students for future educational and career opportunities. VCMS ensures its students will have the skills and knowledge they will need in order to be successful in high school, college and as workforce contributors in the 21st-century economy. “The STEM Leadership Team (Kalani Efstathiou, Sarah Zinzer, Melissa Iserson, Jenn Deal), with the support of the entire middle school staff and administrators, has spent several years evaluating and implementing STEM elements into the middle school’s curriculum,” said Jennifer Gfroerer, Valley Catholic Middle School Principal. “I couldn’t be more grateful and proud of our staff and students. Becoming certified as a STEM school requires a lot of work and planning - from re-thinking lessons to developing collaborative projects to redefining assessment practices.”

Opposite: Teams of Valley Catholic Middle School students present the cities they designed and constructed to withstand specific natural disasters for the Future City project. As part of the STEM curriculum, the project teaches students research, writing and presentation skills.

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The VCMS STEM program is built around these six core tenets of the STEM curriculum. • Culture of continuous improvement • Collaboration • Authentic problem-based learning • Research and presentation standards • Technology Integration • Collaborative hands-on lessons


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The program allows for all middle school students to be involved in authentic STEM learning experiences that may prepare them for the real-world complexities if they later decide to pursue a career in the STEM field. Through project-based learning and with the support of Valley Catholic School educators and mentors, VCMS aims to enrich students’ abilities to solve problems and face new challenges in collaborative work environments.

larger projects like Capstone, Future City, and the Business Project, I’ve seen engagement increase as students are challenged with hands-on, project-based opportunities that require them to create real-life connections and communicate solutions.”

“The primary goal of our STEM program is to prepare our students as adequately as we possibly can. In order to do this, we are continuing to adapt and improve the program as we have more information,” said Kalani Efstathiou, Valley Catholic Math and STEM Teacher. “Our visit from AdvancEd is the beginning of our process in continuing to review our program to make enhancements where possible.” Each grade level is required to complete a cross-curricular project-based assignment designed to help students understand how to work independently or with others, check for accuracy in research and how to speak, write and present their findings to stakeholders in the community. These specific and required projects provide students the STEM experience and opportunities to demonstrate their learning through performance-based assessments. “The more we are able to create learning experiences and tasks that relate to real-world scenarios, the more engaged our students will be,” said Sarah Zinzer, Valley Catholic Middle School Science Department Head and Dean of Students. “In the years that we have been doing some of our

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Kalani Efstathiou, VCMS Math and STEM teacher, is part of the STEM Leadership Team.

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“Our team learned how to collaborate in a way that helped us make the best decisions and address the challenges as they came.”

Future City Competition 2019

The “Future City” project is one of the hands-on and collaborative learning experiences of the VCMS STEM-certified curriculum. It is a project-based learning program and competition that encourages middle school students to develop their interest in STEM. This is the second year that Valley Catholic Middle School has participated in the Future City competition.

In an effort to withstand and quickly recover from the impacts of a natural disaster - specifically an earthquake - Valley Catholic seventh-grade students were tasked with the challenge of engineering a resilient power grid prototype that will act as an independent electric power system when the main energy supply infrastructure is seriously damaged. Students joined together in teams to research, design, and build virtual cities to compete in this year’s regional Future City Competition at Shoreline Community College in Shoreline, Washington. A team of four VCMS students, who entitled their team “CurioCity,” earned a spot at the national tournament in Washington, D.C. On February 19 they presented their city along with teams from the U.S., Canada, and China. Opposite Bottom: Jordan

“The decision-making process was very important during the early stages of designing our city,” said Maansi Singh, a seventh-grader at VCMS and team member of CurioCity. “Our team learned how to collaborate in a way that helped us make the best decisions and address the challenges as they came.”

Baumgartner, right, explains the layout of CurioCity, the city he built with Jacob Strayer, Maansi Singh and Vivian Nguyen for the Valley Catholic Middle School

Congratulations to the entire Valley Catholic team – Maansi Singh, Jordan Baumgartner, Jacob Strayer and Vivian Nguyen – and to our faculty for their valiant performances at this year’s Future City Competition.

Future City project. The city features a resilient power grid and 70 percent recycled material.

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Marigolds Bringing Elementary and High School Valiants Together

It was a moment of serendipity. Carol Pausz, Valley Catholic Elementary School (VCES) Vice Principal, who is in charge of the school’s parent volunteer appreciation prayer service, had an idea.

Above: Valley Catholic senior Connor Espig helps the

“So two years ago as I was scurrying around trying to find enough flowers at a reasonable price for the volunteer appreciation event, I thought, ‘Why don’t we partner with the high school and grow flowers for the prayer service?’ So I approached Erin Cole and our second-grade teachers about the idea. The project fits in well with both Environmental Science and second-grade reading and science curriculums.”

elementary school secondgraders measure soil while planting marigold seeds in the science building.

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The idea was to partner the second-grade students with high school students to grow marigolds in the new VCHS science building greenhouse as gifts for the parent volunteers.


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Last year was the first year of the project. The second grade and high school students planted and cultivated marigolds which were then given to the parent volunteers. It was a great success, as Vice Principal Pausz shared, “The second grade students learned so much that even their standardized scores in measurement increased after the project. The second graders were able to gift their plants directly to parent volunteers with joyful exuberance.” Erin Cole, who teaches environmental science at VCHS, said, “We were so lucky at the high school that when they built the science building, they included this amazing greenhouse…my juniors and seniors in Environmental Science also do their own in-depth plant growth inquiry at the same time…The second graders, with their high school mentors, plant and water marigold plants for two months, all along the way taking measurements of plant height and learning about the stages of growth.”

...the marigold project adds to the unique sense of community on campus.

might be red, orange, yellow or multicolored. It’s always a neat surprise for the students to see the first color of the buds!” said Erin Cole.

The second year of the marigold project started with a “planting day” in early April, 2019. Second-grade students excitedly joined their high school mentors in the VCHS science building. The high school students helped the sec- Beyond an enjoyable hands-on learning experience and a ond graders measure the soil and plant the seeds. After the thoughtful gift for parent volunteers, the marigold project seeds were planted, the students took them outside to be adds to the unique sense of community on campus. watered and placed in the greenhouse. “One of the best qualities of this campus is creating that “Another fun aspect is waiting for the flowers to bloom and ‘home’ feeling and this project supports that wonderful asseeing what color they are. We use color mix so the flowers pect of Valiant education,” said Vice Principal Pausz.

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Green and Gold Valley Catholic Elementary and Middle School Building

Above: Valley Catholic students stand on one of the

Valley Catholic’s elementary and middle school building, completed in 2011, is attractive and welcoming, with large windows to let in the light. The chapel in the building boasts beautiful stained glass windows and hand-crafted wood furnishings made from oak trees that grew on the Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon’s (SSMO) campus. The building is Gold LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified. The USGBC (U.S. Green Building Council) website, which confers LEED certification, states, “Buildings have a substantial impact on the health and well-being of people and the planet.”

eco-friendly green roofs that top the elementary and middle school building. Opposite: Sustainable and

As is the case with many of the projects on the SSMO campus, thought was given to both innovation and tradition in the construction of the Valley Catholic elementary and middle school building.

unique building materials, including stone, wood and glass, are found inside and outside the elementary and middle school building.

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The wood throughout the building was harvested from the oak trees that were once standing on campus exactly where the new building is now. The striking cream-colored stone walls at the front of the building are Jerusalem stone,


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which is a building material that has been traditionally used in ancient structures and in Jewish ceremonial art. The stones themselves literally came from a Jerusalem quarry and serve as an opportunity for scientific inquiry as students can look for insect fossils in the stone.

Here is a fun fact about the building – the insulation in the walls is made partly from recycled jeans! This is part of the effort to maximize the use of recycled materials in the construction of the building.

Like the U.S. Green Building Council, the SSMO campus The building has two green roofs, energy efficient windows, is focused on making “…a substantial impact on the health stormwater storage, and many other sustainable features. and well-being of people and the planet.”

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Valley Catholic Early Learning School Where Innovation and Tradition Bloom Together

Valley Catholic Early Learning School (VCELS) started in 1991, not with ties to the other schools on campus, but with Maryville. Initiated by the administration at Maryville and endorsed by the Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon, Little Flower Development Center (as VCELS was known then) provided a place for Maryville employees, and eventually other families on the SSMO campus, to access quality early childhood education for their infants, toddlers, and preschoolers. A great deal of thoughtfulness and purposeful intention inspired the early building plans so as to provide a quality educational experience for children from infancy through early childhood. The building was designed to provide the best environment at each stage of development.

Above: Sister Patricia Lulay, left, and Sister Delores

Lynnettee Burton, an educator at VCELS for nearly 20 years shared, “The Sisters had a vision to start Little Flower Development Center, and the Sisters raised funds to purchase cribs and tricycles for Little Flower in the early days.�

Adelman visit the Valley Catholic Early Learning School students.

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In 2008, Little Flower Development Center became known as Valley Catholic Early Learning School under the


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overarching umbrella of the Valley Catholic School system. VCELS also offers after school care for students at Valley Catholic Elementary School.

Valley Catholic Early Learning School is a place of non-stop intentional innovation.

VCELS still maintains ties to Maryville. As they have since the school’s founding, the students at VCELS visit Maryville residents on a regular basis participating in special events, assessments and backtrack from there and see how we can socializing and working on craft projects together. improve,” said Doxtator. “It is a way for the children to ‘give back;’ it is a mutually beneficial relationship. The kids feel that they are doing something important and they are excited to go to Maryville. It is like a grandparent relationship,” said Melissa Doxtator, VCELS Principal.

Lynnettee Burton, who currently teaches the four- and fiveyear-old children known as “Sunflowers” said, “Education for our students is very intentional. Detailed learning plans are developed so that each child is meeting developmental goals for their growth and development with purposeful hands-on learning.”

Valley Catholic Early Learning School is a place of non-stop intentional innovation. The early years are a crucial time in Burton shared that the learning goes beyond academic, a child’s development and set the stage for how a child will “The Sisters built a strong foundation for valuing educalearn in their elementary school years and beyond. tion and for building bonds. The core values here include: being good people, taking care of each other, sharing God’s “At each stage we address a well-researched developmen- love, and seeing the Sisters’ example of helping others and tal need. All the curriculum is designed to meet that need, giving from the heart.” and it is continuously improving. We look at kindergarten

Coming Full Circle: VCELS Principal Melissa Doxtator Taking on the role of Valley Catholic Early Learning School is, in a way, circling back to where it all began. Melissa remembers coming to the Early Learning School after school when she was in first grade. She attended Valley Catholic throughout her elementary, middle and high school years and is a ’02 graduate of Valley Catholic High School. After high school she attended Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where she earned her undergraduate degree in education. She went on to earn her MS in Educational Leadership and Administration from Cardinal Stritch University. When she and her family moved back to Oregon from Wisconsin she worked as a principal at St. Joseph School in Salem, but she said, “I never pictured myself as an early childhood education principal, but when the opportunity arose to come back to Valley Catholic, I took it.” She said of the Valley Catholic community, “You just feel it. You are a part of something that matters.”

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The Early Learning School playground fence became the meeting place for the Sunflower students and the Sisters. The children’s interaction with the Sisters has sparked an interest in growing plants and flowers.

The “Sisters at the Fence”

A connection grew organically with the four- and five-year-old Sunflowers and two of the Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon, who the children called “The Sisters at the Fence.” Sister Patricia Lulay recalled, “We were doing some gardening in the park, and the kids would come running up to the fence of their playground and ask about our wheelbarrow and gardening equipment.” The children started frequently chatting with Sister Patricia and Sister Delores Adelman as the Sisters would do their gardening work. “We would walk by in our grubby work clothes, and we would hear the children say, ‘There go our Sisters!’’ Sister Delores shared with a laugh. The interactions at the fence of the playground eventually led to a lunch invitation for the Sisters with the Sunflower class. For the special lunch, the children made a welcome banner and set up a small stage where they sang to the Sisters. One of the boys in the class said the blessing before lunch. Opposite: The Early Learning School students

“There we were in the small chairs with Dixie cups full of milk! The lunch was very good. It was just an amazing day,” said Sister Patricia.

sing and perform for the Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon at the Motherhouse in celebration of Earth Day.

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Recently the Sunflowers had an opportunity to visit a few of the Sisters at the Motherhouse. The Sunflowers shared some special songs and artwork in honor of Earth Day. Sister Delores and Sister Patricia helped coordinate the event.


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The children still get excited to see “their Sisters” at the fence.

“We admire the teachers so much. They do wonderful work with children,” said Sister Delores. Sister Delores shared something she learned from one of the Sunflower teachers, Charleen Kepner, who has been teaching at VCELS since 2014. Sister Delores asked her how she got the children to respond so well to instruction, “She said to love them and to create connections, not corrections.” The children still get excited to see “their Sisters” at the fence. They are looking forward to learning more about gardening from the Sisters as they plan to plant vegetables and flowers near the playground fence of VCELS. The new plants and flowers will be another opportunity for learning, growing, and blooming.

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I chose to attend Valley Catholic because of the opportunities to succeed. Each student has the ability to be a part I chose Valley Catholic for its small, welcoming, and tight

of whatever they would like to be a part of and they are

knit community. The opportunities Valley Catholic have

encouraged to reach out and try new things. Going into high

given me have allowed me to grow as both a student and

school, I knew that I wanted to be as involved as possible

an athlete. The faculty and staff are all there to make sure

in my high school community and Valley provided me with

that we all become the best people that we can be. Be-

that chance. I will always remember the sense of commu-

ing a Valiant by definition means you are showing cour-

nity that I have felt at this school. Everyone worked to lift

age and determination. Here at Valley Catholic, students

others up to achieve their own individual potential, stu-

show this courage and determination in the classroom,

dents and teachers alike. Every day is about improvement

on the field, court, or stage, as well as in the community.

and working to become a well-rounded individual. I have

– Kayla Robbins ’19

learned the importance of community through this school and I am so grateful for the experiences I have had here. - Kate MacNaughton ’19

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I chose to attend Valley Catholic because of its distinct culture and unique spirit, which shines brightly in the VC

Valley Catholic is different than most schools in the best

community. I have been going to VCS since first grade and

ways. There is no social division between the classes, let-

for the past twelve years, living valiantly has been ingrained

ting students form relationships with people older and

in my mind more with each passing academic year. I live

younger than themselves. Additionally, Valley Catholic

valiantly by striving for excellence in all of my endeavors,

gives their students great opportunities in sports, academ-

and trying to better myself with each new day. I think living

ics, and the arts, allowing me to pursue my passion in all of

valiantly means being able to express yourself with digni-

these. Valley Catholic is a school with fantastic spirit and

ty and confidence, while also being open to others’ opin-

a caring community. I hope to carry these traditions and

ions. These are the values that I will take with me beyond

values with me while enjoying all there is around me and

high school and college for sure, and into the entirety of

surrounding myself with good people full of love and support.

my life. I will be a proud Valiant and will keep great mem-

– Callie Kawaguchi ’19

ories from my VCS years no matter where life will take me. – Kristian Peev ’19 SPRING / SUMMER 2019

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Visionary Partnership Allowing Students to Learn the Art, Science and Spirit of Care at Maryville

Above: Students involved in the health careers program at

“Marceline MacDonald was a courageous visionary in the field of education, especially as it was related to health care. She was compassionate, professional and genuine,” recalled Sister Josephine Pelster. Marceline was the resourceful nurse who helped create a partnership between Beaverton School District Health Careers Program students interested in health careers and Maryville, nearly 50 years ago.

Maryville are (left to right) Mavi Brar, Melanie Picil, Courtney Smith, Payton McKereghan and Pearl Tommy. Opposite left: Sister Josephine Pelster visits one of the residents at Maryville. Opposite right: Sister Josephine at Maryville circa 1995. Opposite bottom: Jordyn Rao started at Maryville as a Certified Nursing Assistant and now works as Director of Staff Development.

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Much of Sister Josephine’s work involves offering emotional and spiritual support to residents, staff and visitors at Maryville. She sees herself as someone who is actively listening, being present and praying for people as they often navigate difficult transitions in life. Some of the changes involve moving from a long-term home and independent living to a care facility, health issues, and struggles and fears as one’s earthly life draws to a close.

The partnership continues to this day, allowing young students to gain hands-on experience in a clinical setting, as well as a chance to see beyond the physical to the relational and sometimes emotional needs of the patients they serve at Maryville.

Sister Josephine’s role with the health careers students is to orient them to Maryville and be present to offer assistance when a student faces the declining health or death of a resident that they have come to know.

Sister Josephine has a long history with Maryville. She started as a nurse at Maryville in the 1960s. Since 2008, she has served as Maryville’s Director of Pastoral Care. She is a board-certified chaplain with the National Association of Catholic Chaplains.

“I see many benefits for both the student and the resident in the relationship. It helps the young person step into maturity. They are able to learn that older people are ‘just people’ who have joys, regrets and still have questions about life. When a student meets


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a resident who is happy at 100 years old, it makes them curious to learn more. This allows the resident to become the teacher, giving the student a new perspective about relationships and life,” said Sister Josephine.

Sister Josephine spoke with admiration of the students’ desire to learn, “When the students come here they are ready to engage.”

She shared some of the wisdom of the partnership’s founder, Marceline MacDonald, “She had this advice for students caring for residents, ‘Listen to them. Listen beyond words.’ She encouraged students to see those they cared for as “I was 17 years old and very nervous. I admired the people people, to be able to sit in silence with them as a skill and that worked here. I could tell that it was a happy place,” to look for ways to be of service to them.” she recalled. The care at Maryville can extend to the end of life. Sister Rao worked as a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) Josephine shared, “With our faith tradition, we believe in at Maryville before attending Linfield College where life after death. We share that moment without words, but she earned her nursing degree. She moved to Wash- with a sense of reverence, with the knowledge that this ington, D.C. and worked as a pediatric nurse before person is sacred to someone. This person is sacred to God.” returning to Maryville. Jordyn Rao, BSN, RN, and Director of Staff Development at Maryville was once one of those young students.

The Beaverton School District Health Careers Program has impacted her whole family, as both of her sisters have participated in the program. Today, Jordyn coordinates the program at Maryville and says, “It is innovative for a public high school to offer the health careers program with the opportunity to partner with a place like Maryville.” When she reflects on the impact of her time at Maryville, Jordyn stated, “The CNA program at Maryville saved me in nursing school because of all the things I learned. Maryville is like family. Many co-workers are friends, and our residents are ‘family’ too.”

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As the partnership extends into its 50th year, a new group of students is now getting the opportunity to learn and serve at Maryville. Here are a few of the students, their observations about serving at Maryville and their future aspirations.

Courtney Smith Courtney is considering a career in pediatric nursing.

“I like it. I’m learning to love the geriatric community. I’m learning from hearing their stories. It is very different from learning in a classroom or from a book. The residents’ safety depends on you. I’m a hands-on learner so it is helpful.”

Melanie Picil Melanie is planning on a career as a physician’s assistant.

“It is amazing to be here while I’m still in high school. It is confirming my dream of having a medical career. It is a good feeling to help people, not just learning it from a book, but making direct connections.”

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TRADITION

Pearl Tommy Pearl is grateful for the opportunity to be at Maryville. She says it is hard work, but she feels it is preparing her for the medical world. She is planning to become a surgeon.

“I love it. I like the direct contact with the residents. They see you and say ‘hi.’ They’re friendly, and they thank you for helping them.”

Payton McKereghan Payton had experience with Maryville before she was part of the health careers program. She remembers visiting her great grandmother at Maryville. Payton hopes to be an oncology nurse.

“I think every nurse should be a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) to see all the work that goes into it.”

Mavi Brar Mavi is appreciative that there is a health careers program available.

“I’m thankful that Maryville is giving us this opportunity. The staff is very warm and welcoming.”

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The Class of 1969 A Golden Reunion at the Valley Catholic Gala

Above: Members of the St. Mary of the Valley Class of 1969 reunite during the 2019 Valley Catholic Gala in February at Montgomery Park in Portland. Opposite bottom: Sister M. John Therese Miller and the 1968-69 Crescendo Club, including ’69 alumna Debbie Reddy, center.

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“We all seemed to take up where we left off – chattering, laughing, enjoying each other’s company – as if it was just yesterday we had said goodbye,” said Debbie Reddy, one of the Class of ’69 alumni in attendance at the Valley Catholic Gala.

Gala is a night that says, ‘Let’s honor where we came from, celebrate where we are and dream about where we are going, together.’” It was a wonderful night to celebrate, as well as reflect on the lasting legacy of the SSMO campus, the Sisters, and the formation of lifelong memories.

This was the first year that Gala organizers specifically invited a class to attend and be recognized at the an- Sandy Scott, another ’69 alumna in nual event. Liz Kiefer McDevitt ’11, attendance said, “I believe the value SSMO Foundation’s Alumni Relations that I learned while at St. Mary of the Manager, explained, “The Gala, in ad- Valley (SMV) was that my faith and dition to being a school fundraiser, is true friends are the most important a wonderful celebration of the Valley things in life. It is hard to imagine it Catholic community. We’ve felt that was 50 years ago.” alumni have been the missing component…We decided that we needed to Deanna Hochstein, a ’69 alumna have the school’s legacy represented echoes that sentiment, recalling the at this celebration to complete the tri- lasting impact of her time on campus, ad: past, present, and future. Now the “I was very appreciative of the oppor-


TRADITION

tunity to attend Mass as well as retreats that were invaluable for my faith formation. I also made friendships that are still precious to me.” “The sense of community, the feeling of belonging, and the outpouring of love by the Sisters have stayed with me all of these years. I feel as if I am going ‘home’ when I step on the campus and the greeting I get is one of family,” said Debbie Reddy. The memories shared of the years on campus included: the St. Mary’s uniform in light of the popularity of the mini-skirt, knee socks which didn’t stay up very well, spiritual retreats, religion classes, flying kites on the lawn, entering a radio contest, debate club, May Day procession, mother-daughter tea, Sodality conferences, slumber parties, dances and more. Deanna Hochstein recalled the broader cultural context of the time, “I do remember some of the political and social turmoil of the era from the assassinations of Bobby Kennedy and Martin Luther King to the Flower Power movement. Of course, music played an important role in those years as well, the Beatles, Elvis, and Herman’s Hermits.” “I now realize how incredibly lucky I was to have been educated by such a smart and loving community of Sisters. The Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon were on the forefront of change,” said Debbie Reddy. Sister M. John Therese Miller, who taught at SMV at the time, attended the Gala as well and reflected, “It was pure joy to see and visit with the alumni who were at the Gala, some of whom I had not seen since their graduation! Their presence and evident joy added a special, magical quality to the evening. It was a delightful and memorable experience to visit with them fifty years later.”

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Striving for Excellence: Frank So ’97 Distinguished Alumni Award Winner 2019 The distinguished alumni award is presented to graduates who excel in their life’s work, demonstrate a high standard of personal integrity, strive for excellence and live a valiant life.

has spent over a decade in humanitarian and diplomatic work and has worked for the United Nations and USAID around the globe in places such as Haiti, Darfur and most recently in South America.

The 2019 distinguished alumni award was presented to Frank was honored at the Valley Catholic Gala in February Frank So ’97. He was remembered by classmates as happy, and shared this reflection on the lasting impact that Valley kind and encouraging others to be their best selves. Frank Catholic and the Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon had on his life.

“…to be recognized by your peers is beyond words, but to be recognized by your mentors is a feeling like no other. The Sisters have dedicated their lives to build a legacy beyond their lifetimes. Education without purpose doesn’t allow us to reach our full potential and it is our responsibility to give back, each in our own way. Not everyone needs to be Bill Gates, and not everyone can be patient like the teachers we have. I remember a quote in the courtyard of the high school, ‘Stand for something or fall for anything.’ Now as a diplomat, I think back on those lessons the Sisters imparted and for that something that reflects the good of who we are. We all serve in a role, and we should serve with compassion, dignity, and love – all values demonstrated by the faculty and staff at Valley Catholic. We must strive for excellence and define that in our own way…”

Alumni may submit nominations for the award through an online form or by mail. The Alumni Advisory Committee collects nominations during the month of October and votes in November. Award theme for the 2019-2020 school year will be announced in the fall.

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WATCH THE VIDEO

Distinguished Alumni Award 2019 w w w.youtube.com/valleycatholicschool


T R A D I T I O N + I N N OVAT I O N

Alumni Notes

After 4-years as a collegiate student athlete, Bailey McDevitt ’15 applied to the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association’s “So You Want To Be A Coach” program. Bailey was 1 of 56 student athletes chosen from around the country and 1 of only 8 from Division III. The program took place at the Women’s Final Four games in Tampa, Florida. Bailey shared, “I connected with the most amazing people, learned many life lessons from successful individuals, and got to experience one of the most special moments in women’s basketball. I wouldn’t have been able to have this experience if it weren’t for the support I have at Linfield College and the community around me.”

The American Physics Society (APS) March Meeting is the largest physics conference in the nation. Ann Xu ’17 gave a presentation at this year’s APS March Meeting on Stochastic Simulations of Single-cell Circadian Oscillations in Arabidopsis thaliana. This was her first national conference talk and she was able to network with people working on similar topics across the country. Ann is a sophomore at Trinity University. The smaller student population at Trinity allows undergraduates to be very involved in both academia and community. Ann was able to begin research with faculty members her freshman year and she values the small community for that reason.

Chris Kiefer ’09 traveled to Rome, Italy with a pilgrimage group in November, 2018. Days before her first birthday Chris’s daughter, Elliette, received a kiss from Pope Francis in St. Peter’s Square.

Megan Harinski ’04 accepted a position as Photo Archivist at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences in November, 2018.

Louis Maurer ’99 and family welcomed a second child into their lives. Aurora Marie was born October 6, 2018.

Kat Gram Coussens ’06 and Cory Coussens welcomed their first born, Carson Alexander, on March 13, 2019.

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I N N OVAT I O N + T R A D I T I O N

Jeannine Haener Eisenbacher ’93 Our news: We had a baby on September 25, 2018 – Margaret Rose Eisenbacher. She joins siblings John (class of 2016), Mary (class of 2018), Joe (class of 2020), Anthony (class of 2022), Peter, Terese, Cecilia, and Amy. John is currently a junior at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. studying electrical engineering. Mary is a freshman at Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas studying nursing.

Allie Pierce ’11 graduated from the University of Oregon in 2015. She decided to teach abroad in the summer of 2018 after finishing her Masters in Teaching. Allie found the program that South Korea hires guest English teachers. Now she is living and working in Yangsan, South Korea. Allie shared, “I love teaching. The students here are hardworking and enthusiastic. I have found the locals to be incredibly kind. If you ask for an inch of help they will give you a mile. The food is amazing! I would definitely recommend this experience if you want something new in your life, you're eager to experience new cultures, you want to learn a new language, or you want to challenge yourself!” She intends to renew her yearlong contract.

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Maddie Vinson ’15 I walked on to the Oregon State Women's Rowing program as a freshman. There was a total of 50 girls who tried out for the team through there learn to row program. From this tryout process, they only took twenty of these fifty girls, and I was fortunate to be one of them. Rowing is a sport that not only has pushed me to become a more mentally tough and an overall better athlete. Within the team I am in the second varsity eight boat, which puts me within the top 16 rowers on the entire team. I sit in five seat of the boat, which is one of the power-house seats that helps push the boat down the 2000 meter course. Rowing has taught me how to push myself to a new point of exertion that I did not know was even possible. It has led me to become a strong and confident individual. During my time on the Oregon State Rowing team, I was fortunate to earn an athletic scholarship, which is something that does not happen very frequently if at all for a walk-on to the program. I have raced across the country. I have earned PAC-12 All-Academic Honorable Mention for two years and I am on track to earn it for a third time. To earn this award, you have to maintain over a 3.5 GPA while racing in all of the NCAA races. I have also maintained my role on the honor roll at Oregon State, while maintaining my busy rowing schedule. I am studying Human Development and Family Sciences with a minor in Sociology, and I am due to graduate in June, 2019.


T R A D I T I O N + I N N OVAT I O N

Many alumni attended the VCS Gala in February to support the school and honor Frank So ’97, this year’s Distinguished Alumni Award winner. Christine Wilson Goodner ’95, Deanna Everson ’97, Kimberly Fox ’97, Steve Jones ’97, Malia Hanson Bernards ’97, Jana Iwasaki ’98, and guests filled one of the alumni tables.

Wesley Lefferts ’07 is a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Illinois. He completed his PhD at Syracuse University in May, 2018. His area of study is exercise science and cardiovascular physiology. Wes recently went on a Mount Everest research expedition with 32 other researchers and students. On this three week excursion he studied the effects of high altitude on cognitive function and the vascular system.

Alison Murray Linka ’04 and Marty Linka welcomed their boy/girl twins, Eligh Louis (6 lb 1 oz; 19 in) and Ayla Rose (4lb 14 oz; 19 in), on November 9, 2018, in Portland, Oregon.

Maddie Bernard Tew ’12 and her husband, Nathan, are currently finishing a year of teaching in Madrid, Spain. In January 2019, Peter Bernard ’16 began his study abroad in LaCoste, France. Joe and Barb Bernard took this opportunity to celebrate Christmas in Prague with their children and enjoy a bit of European travel as a family. They posed for this photo just outside of Toledo, Spain.

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I N N OVAT I O N + T R A D I T I O N

Dr. Harper and Geri Pearse are champion ambassadors for the Sisters and their sponsored ministries of healthcare and education. Harper puts his medical know-how to work as a Maryville Board Director, and together they strategize their generous and compassionate support across the campus. Their gifts touch all our lives.

Your Retirement Plan Assets A Smart and Simple Way to Give

The Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon Foundation is fortunate to have friends like Harper and Geri Pearse, who make generous contributions through their Individual Retirement Account (IRA) to support the Sisters and their sponsored ministries of education, healthcare and outreach. If you are 70½ years old or older, you may transfer up to $100,000 to charity tax-free and have it count toward your required minimum distribution for the year. Why Consider This Type of Gift? • Your gift will make an immediate impact in the lives of the Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon and those served at Maryville and Valley Catholic School. • You pay no income taxes on a qualified charitable distribution (QCD). The transfer generates neither taxable income nor a tax deduction, so you benefit even if you do not itemize your deductions. • If you have not yet taken your required minimum distribution (RMD) for the year, a qualified charitable distribution from your IRA can satisfy all or part of your requirement. How can I help others and reduce my tax bill with a QCD? 1. Consult with your IRA administrator. 2. Contact Patricia Blood at (503) 718-6485 or tblood@ssmoministries.org for additional information. 3. Charitable distributions from an IRA to the Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon and their sponsored ministries at Maryville or Valley Catholic School may be sent to: Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon Foundation 4440 S.W. 148th Avenue, Beaverton, OR 97078 Federal Tax ID Number: 93-1253966

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T R A D I T I O N + I N N OVAT I O N

S AV E T H E S E DAT E S

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TRADITION: 2019 JUBILARIANS

Sister Ellen Therese Berger

Sister Ruth Etzel

50TH JUBILEE CELEBRATION

70TH JUBILEE CELEBRATION

After graduating from high school, I felt a call to enter religious life. I contacted the Sisters of St. Mary. I became a member of the SSMO Community in August of 1969. I received a bachelor's in education from Portland State in 1976. I started teaching the third grade at St. Mary of the Valley (now Valley Catholic). After eight years of teaching third grade I asked to teach first grade. I taught first grade for six years. In 1990, I taught primary grades at St. Mary’s School in Stayton, Oregon. I started the kindergarten program there at St. Mary’s School. I moved on to Holy Redeemer School in Portland. I taught kindergarten, first and second grades for a total of eight years at Holy Redeemer. Currently I am teaching English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) to adults at the Sisters of St. Mary campus. I feel very grateful to have been involved in the teaching ministry - a ministry that I have found to be very life-giving.

It is not hard for me to believe in personal miracles when I think of my call to religious life. I grew up on a family farm with no neighbors nearby. That meant work, play, and social life were mostly done at home. I began attending religious education on Sunday after Mass with my older sister when I was 4 years old - thanks to Sister Justina, the teacher, who was very patient and worked to keep me happy while I was in her classroom. I learned to love God and the Sisters. By the time I was in the sixth grade, I knew I wanted to be a religious Sister and a teacher. I went to boarding school at St. Mary’s before entering the convent. I served in the ministry of education in Oregon and Washington until 1997 when I became Director of Formation for our SSMO Community. In “retirement,” I have devoted myself to serving our Sisters in the chapel as sacristan, as a bookkeeper, and by gardening. The privileges of daily Mass and Holy Communion, as well as living in the same house where the Blessed Sacrament is reserved, have been my strength in religious life. God’s grace and miracles have sustained me throughout these 70 years, and continue to do so daily!

“Sr. Ellen Therese has been a dedicated ESOL Level I teacher for the last six years. Her background in primary education gave her the skills needed to lay a strong foundation upon which succeeding teachers can build students’ grasp of English.” – Sister Catherine Hertel

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“Sr. Ruth Etzel is a deeply prayer-centered, quiet and loving person. Her smile and laughter speak volumes. She is always there for you whether through sharing her compassion, just listening, or lending a helping hand in some way. Her time is your time!” – Sister Jean Marie VanDyke


TRADITION: 2019 JUBILARIANS

Sister Ina Marie Nosack is depicted in the 300-squarefoot mural on the exterior of St. Alexander Catholic Church in Cornelius, Oregon. Local artist Emily Lux and community volunteers created the artwork for the church’s new building, opened in 2017, to commemorate notable people in the church’s history from 1910 to today. Sister Ina Marie served the congregation in the ‘80s and ‘90s and made an impact helping families and migrant workers in the largely Latino community.

Sister Ina Marie Nosack 75TH JUBILEE CELEBRATION

I was born Betty Nosack on June 25, 1926, in Gervais, Oregon. After eleven years of public schooling in Gervais, I came to St. Mary of the Valley for my senior year of high school and entered the convent in 1944, hoping to be a missionary someday. I loved all my years of teaching from 1948-1966, including my one year of teaching at St. Mary’s Boys’ Home in 1953, which was the last year the Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon served there. In 1966, I got my wish to be a missionary. I was one of four Sisters of St. Mary selected to go to Tamshiyacu, Peru,

where I became the principal of a new high school. Upon returning home from Peru I served as principal of St. Mary School in Stayton for seven years before beginning work at St. Alexander Parish in Cornelius where I was able to use my knowledge of Spanish to help the parishioners, including two women who had a religious vocation. Today one of them is a Carmelite Sister and the other is a Sister of St. Mary of Oregon. After official “retirement,” I have primarily devoted myself to the needs of the Sisters by baking, driving, canning, freezing, and generally doing what I can to help others.

“Sr. Ina Marie was our dearly loved fifth-grade teacher at St. Agatha’s School! In addition to serving many years as an educator in Catholic schools in Oregon, Sister spent many years serving and assisting migrant families in Cornelius, Oregon, and six years teaching the indigenous people in Tamshiyacu, Peru. Sister is an amazing Religious woman who to this day continues to teach us all by her example!” – Sister M. John Therese.

WATCH THE NEW VIDEO

Called to Serve: The 2019 Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon Jubilarians

w w w.youtube.com/valleycatholicschool

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TRADITION: IN MEMORIAM

Sister Geraldine Brady

Sister Noreen Orazio

FEBRUARY 8, 1939 – MARCH 9, 2019

APRIL 11, 1931 – MARCH 17, 2019

Sister Geraldine Brady was born February 8, 1939, in Portland, Oregon, to James and Sylvia Brady. Her elementary education took place at St. Agatha School, Portland, and St. Joan of Arc School in Indianapolis, Indiana. Sister Geraldine graduated from St. Mary’s Academy, Portland, in 1957. Her higher education was attained at Marylhurst, where she earned her BS in Elementary Education in 1962. Sister Geraldine was received as a novice by the Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon on August 15, 1958, and became known as Sister Mary Gerard; in 1963 Sister made her perpetual profession. Sister Geraldine taught in various elementary schools throughout her sixty-one years of religious life: St. Mary, Spokane; Our Lady of Guadalupe, Seattle; St. Agatha, St. Andrew, Our Lady of Sorrows, all in Portland; and Christ the King in Milwaukie. In Lakeview, Oregon, Sister Geraldine taught religious education and visited the homebound in the parish. At various times she also served as librarian in several schools as well as at the Motherhouse. Sister Geraldine had a great devotion to St. Joseph and St. Gerard, the patron of expectant mothers. She supplied pamphlets and medals to anyone who had a concern about an expectant friend or family member. Sister Geraldine was a gentle soul with an amazing ability to write poetry that revealed not only her own concerns, spiritual longings, and challenges, but also a heart filled to overflowing with love for her savior, Jesus. Her poetry speaks a truth to those who read any of her 595 pages of poems filled with insight and wisdom.

Sister Noreen Orazio was born April 11, 1931, in Portland, Oregon, to George and Helen Orazio. Her elementary education took place at Our Lady of Sorrows, Portland. Sr. Noreen graduated from St. Mary’s Academy, Portland, in 1949. Her higher education was attained at Marylhurst (B.S. in Education in 1959), University of Oregon, (Masters in Education, 1969), Portland State University, (Administration Certification, 1977), and Lewis and Clark College (Masters in Counseling Psychology, 1988). Sister Noreen was received as a novice by the Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon on August 15, 1950, and became known as Sister Mary George Ellen; in 1955 Sister made her perpetual profession. Sister Noreen taught and served as principal in various elementary schools throughout her twenty-five year teaching ministry: St. Cecilia and Holy Trinity in Beaverton; Our Lady of Sorrows, Holy Cross, and St. Agatha in Portland; St. Mary in Stayton; Sacred Heart in Tillamook; St. John the Baptist and Christ the King in Milwaukie; and Our Lady of Guadalupe in Seattle. From 1980-84, Sister Noreen served as the Education Coordinator for the SSMO Community and in 1984-86 she returned to school to earn a degree in counseling psychology. From 1986-94, Sister served at Catholic Community Services and began her private therapy practice. From 1994 to the present, she counseled many grateful clients and taught the newest members of the Franciscan Friars as well as our Sisters. Throughout her life, whether in the classroom, behind the principal’s desk, in a therapy session, or serving on Community committees, Sister Noreen was an outstanding teacher, guide and mentor. Her insights revealed a deep understanding and empathy for human nature and how to address issues and concerns.

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TRADITION: IN MEMORIAM

Sister Mary Alberta Schwall JANUARY 25, 1925 – APRIL 1, 2019

Sister Mary Alberta Schwall was born January 25, 1925, in Nicolaus, California, to Albert and Josephine (Hermens) Schwall. Sister’s elementary education took place in California where she attended public schools. After graduation from high school, Sister Mary Alberta worked for the State Department of Employment in Sacramento for three years. She started as a Beginning Typist and advanced to Senior Secretary during the three years she worked there before moving to Oregon to join the Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon. Sister Mary Alberta was received as a novice on August 15, 1946, and made her perpetual profession in 1951. Sister’s higher education was earned at Marylhurst (B.S. in Education, 1955), University of Illinois (Masters in Education, 1966), and University of Oregon (Masters in Supervision and Administration, 1970). Sister Mary Alberta’s knowledge and skills were varied. Sister taught Business courses, Sewing, English, Religion, Physical Education, and Yearbook at St. Mary of the Valley; Sister also taught at Tillamook Catholic, and St. Boniface in Sublimity. Sister Mary Alberta served as teacher and principal at St. Matthew Elementary School, and Notre Dame School in Marysville, California; was elected to serve as a SSMO Council Member and General Secretary; was appointed Education Coordinator for the Sisters; served as Formation Director of the new Sisters; and ministered as a pastoral visitor at Maryville. Sister M. Alberta was the principal of St. Mary of the Valley High School, now Valley Catholic High School, from 1966 to 1971. During this time, the construction of the current high school building took place. She was proud of, and the Community was grateful for, her highly organized plan for moving all needed items from the third floor of the West Wing of the Motherhouse to the new building during Thanksgiving break in 1969. The first day of classes in the new building was December 1, 1969. “Once a teacher, always a teacher,” describes Sister Mary Alberta’s recent activity of teaching anyone who was interested in learning how to knit. She was a life-long learner – getting new knitting patterns – on YouTube!

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Profile for Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon

Spirit Magazine Spring/Summer 2019  

Spirit Magazine Spring/Summer 2019