The Parable of the Taoist Farmer There was once a farmer in ancient China who owned a horse. “You are so lucky,” his neighbors told him, “to have a horse to pull the cart for you!” “Maybe,” the farmer replied. One day he didn’t latch the gate properly and the horse ran away. “Oh no! That is terrible news!” his neighbors cried. “Such bad luck!” “Maybe,” the farmer replied. A few days later the horse returned, bringing with it six wild horses. “How fantastic! You are so lucky,” his neighbors told him. “Maybe,” the farmer replied. The following week the farmer’s son was breaking-in one of the wild horses when it threw him to the ground, breaking his leg. “Oh no!” the neighbors cried. “Such bad luck, all over again!” “Maybe,” the farmer replied. The next day soldiers came and took away all the young men to fight in the army. The farmer’s son was left behind. “You are so lucky!” his neighbors cried. “Maybe,” the farmer replied. I share this story with you as a reminder that, no matter our circumstances, the attitudinal framework we use to engage with the situation at hand makes all the difference in the world. The Covid pandemic, the divisiveness exhibited across our nation and the difficulties imposed on us during the 2021 snow/ice storms wreaked havoc indeed. Yet, in recalling the story of the Taoist Farmer, I am inspired to check my negative attitude at the door, to dive in to respond differently and to dig deep to see the silver linings. I have observed a renewed interest in the things of the Spirit – increased attentiveness to prayer, to the Sacraments (even if one can only attend on-line) and to the practice of mindfulness. I have witnessed people realigning their priorities, recognizing that the smallest of gestures - a touch, a maskless smile, a “thank you” - become the most treasured of commodities. I pray that you have been able to take stock of what’s most important to you during these challenging times and to cherish it. Maybe, just maybe… God has been preparing us all along, to be more resilient and to make an attitudinal shift embracing real treasures we would otherwise have overlooked. God bless you! - Sr. Adele Marie Altenhofen President, SSMO Ministries Corporation
The Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon, like the rest of the world, recall March as the anniversary of the unexpected coronavirus pandemic. It has changed how we respond socially and personally. We also learned rapidly how to utilize technology: Zoom, FaceTime, virtual conferences, classes and gatherings. We are grateful for the skills and talents of our SSMO Ministries departments, which helped the entire campus to navigate this pandemic. Nothing seemed too tough to tackle or too difficult to achieve. From the beginning, the SSMO Sisters became creative. We pitched in and started making masks and gowns first for Maryville staff and then masks for ourselves. We cut up fabric, scarves and bandanas, and tried many different designs. We investigated a variety of elastic, and devised creative ways to meet individual preferences for wearing and securing masks. We keep up-to-date on navigating the constant stream of information on coronavirus from the WHO, CDC, the state, the county and the news. Yes, travel, shopping and many social interactions have changed. With the world, we mourn those who suffered and passed from this disease. At the same time, we keep focused on our faith in God. We must pray, and not lose hope. Coronavirus is not the only social ill in our path; we have concerns for the ecology of the world, unrestrained pollution, the fair distribution of health care and economic stability. Those concerns are knocking on our hearts and minds. As sojourners on our faith journey, we recognize that we need to live in this world and be true to our calling. We renew our Easter promise to reject sinful lures of the world, while being compassionate with those who struggle. We Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon, must be what we profess: women of prayer, living in simplicity and sisterly love, and called to be compassionate, joyful servants of the Lord. - Sr. Michael Francine Duncan Superior General, Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon
SPRING / SUMMER 2021
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
Dear Reader, Photographers/Videographers: Will Campbell Lizette Santiago Buddy Terry Contributors: Foord Family
In this edition of “Spirit” we are offering readers an opportunity to engage with our stories in a new way. On a few of our stories, you will see a box with some squiggly lines inside. This is called a QR code. You may have seen them in other magazines and on some product packaging.
Will French McKeen/O’Halloran Family Emma Milton Martha Ragan
To access a QR code, open the camera app on your phone or tablet, point the camera at the QR code to scan it, and tap the notification on your screen.
SSMO Ministries IT Team Diana Velene
In this edition, the QR codes will help access videos and other engaging web pages. We hope these additional offerings enrich your enjoyment of this edition of “Spirit” magazine.
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 | email@example.com
Sincerely, Stacy Kean, APR Editor
Valley Catholic Students Return to Campus
Valley Catholic Sports
Perspective: Maryville on the Front Lines
Perspective: “This Too Shall Pass...” The Long View of Hard Times
Perspective: Technology’s Essential Role
Family Perspective: The Foords
Family Perspective: McKeen/O’Halloran Family and the Spirit of Service
Distinguished Alumni Award Winner: Liska Yamada ’08
Jubilee: Sister Delores Adelman
Jubilee: Sister Rita Watkins
In Memory: Sister Mary Ellen Hanson 1933-2021
In Memory: Sister Joyce Barsotti 1940-2021
SPRING / SUMMER 2021
Valley Catholic Students Return to Campus In the spring of 2020, the Valley Catholic campus tran- teachers, staff, and the SSMO Ministries Corporation sitioned to digital learning. Over time, the students team all worked together to provide a safe return to have returned to campus. By mid-April 2021, all stu- school in a year like no other. dents were able to return to in-person learning. The
Valley Catholic Early Learning School The youngest Valiants were the first to return to campus with a phased re-opening of Valley Catholic Early Learning School starting in the late summer of 2020. The VCELS students resumed visiting their “Grand Friends” at Maryville through safe and socially distant “window visits.”
Valley Catholic Elementary School Valley Catholic Elementary School students were able to start a phased return to in-person learning in late January 2021. Students and teachers were very excited to see each other in person when they were able to return to the classroom.
Valley Catholic Middle School Like the elementary school, Valley Catholic Middle School started a phased return to in-person learning in late January 2021, bringing students back on a hybrid schedule that offered in-person academic and social activities. The middle school transitioned to full-time in-person learning in mid-April 2021.
Valley Catholic High School Valley Catholic High School offered activities and retreats for each class and digital learning in the fall of 2020. Two significant service projects VCHS led with the help of the wider SSMO Campus community took place in the fall. One was the effort to provide assistance to those impacted by the wildfires in the Lyons Rural Fire District in September 2020, and later in the fall, the annual food drive to assist those in Washington County dealing with hunger. By mid-April 2021, VCHS students were able to return to in-person learning.
SPRING / SUMMER 2021
Valley Catholic Sports Late winter and early spring 2021 brought athletics pressed “seasons” of various sports. The first sports back to campus. Our Valiant athletes have proved to competitions on campus included traditional fall be resilient and adaptable as athletic competitions sports: football, volleyball, soccer and cross country. were re-imagined in this unusual year due to com-
SPRING / SUMMER 2021
Perspective: Maryville on the Front Lines As the pandemic began over a year ago, it was clear that Maryville would be on the front lines. The staff at Maryville rose to the challenge of caring for residents, enacting safety protocols, and efficiently rolling out the vaccine. Martha Ragan, a social worker at Maryville, reflects on the past year and shares how this extraordinary year might impact the future.
I Martha Ragan with her vaccination card J Top to bottom: • Maryville resident Iverna receives her
Q What have we learned? A I have learned that I need to be more prepared at home. I need to have a stash of toilet paper, hand sanitizer, and Clorox wipes! I have learned how important it is to communicate with others and check in on them to make sure that they are okay – taking care of others and dropping off care packages when they can’t get out to the store. Even if we can’t gather – we can check in and “gather” virtually through the multiple video platforms.
vaccine (Story page 12) • Mylene Cepeda, Director of Nursing Services, unloads COVID-19 Vaccines • Kathleen Parry, Maryville Administrator, receives her vaccine • Martha Ragan celebrates vaccination day at Maryville
Q How will things be different in the future? A I think that masks will be more routinely seen in the public and in workplace settings, I think that we will have opportunities to attend church, sporting events, lectures, seminars, etc., via virtual platform as an option vs. in-person even after it’s “cleared” for us to return to gatherings or events. I know that my kids will be WAY more tech savvy than we might have hoped for at such a young age. I think that the phrases, “social distancing,” “quarantine” and “isolation” will be part of our norm.
“I have a much deeper appreciation of being able to be around those that I love.”
Q What activities, routines and people do we have renewed appreciation for in our lives? A I know personally, I have a much deeper appreciation of being able to be around those that I love. I have missed being able to travel, to see my family, to be with my church community, my friends – I have missed hugs and physical contact. I have missed the “busy, busy” schedule that we normally have at this time of year with sports, music lessons and end of school events. Q What are some of the “silver linings” or positive things learned during COVID that Maryville will bring into the future? A Being able to come together quickly in a time of crisis without panic. I look back at the last year and there are numerous times where we could have found ourselves in a really difficult spot, but the community that supports the mission of the Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon and Maryville, and our internal team came together to support our residents, whom we love, and our whole staff supported each other. We were always able to have enough supplies and resources – we never went without. We had community members donating hand sanitizer, Kleenex, bleach/Clorox wipes, gloves, masks, etc. The Sisters at the Motherhouse sewed hundreds of cloth masks for Maryville staff and residents, and we had our housekeeping department and our dietary manager sewing isolation gowns. We had staff who stepped up and volunteered to work on our COVID unit without blinking an eye. We have so much to be thankful for and if it weren’t for the community, our resident families and staff – I’m not sure that we would have been able to move forward as successfully as we have.
SPRING / SUMMER 2021
Perspective: “This Too Shall Pass...” The Long View of Hard Times
Most of Maryville’s residents are older adults, and while the pandemic has been difficult due to the safety precautions which prevented in-person visits and activities, many residents have the advantage of age and experience to take difficult times somewhat in stride, as they’ve seen them before and lived through many trials that younger people could not imagine. Maryville residents were among the first to receive the COVID-19 vaccine in late December 2020. Iverna was one of the short-term rehabilitation patients at Maryville at that time. She had broken her leg in November and had been transferred to Maryville for a short stay until her leg had healed. Her daughter, Diana, shared that this was Iverna’s second stay at Maryville for rehabilitation.
In 1918, the First World War was drawing to a close, women in the United States did not have the legal right to vote, and a flu pandemic was starting to sweep the globe. Iverna was born in Portland in 1918 and grew up in the Mt. Tabor area with her parents and older sister. Iverna graduated from Franklin High School. She says she remembers the Great Depression as a time when everyone had very little money to spend, but her family never went hungry. Her family had a large garden from which her mother canned and preserved vegetables and her family had chickens.
One of Iverna’s most emotional and vivid memories was the bombing of Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, which ushered the United States into the Second World War. On the “We were really happy that she could come to Maryville, home front during the war, Iverna remembers the ration because she had been here before and we were familiar books and the scarcity of items like butter, milk and eggs. with Maryville, and many of the same staff members were still at Maryville,” said Diana. Diana remembers that her parents loved to travel, and her mother liked to hike and loved flowers and gardening. When Iverna received her COVID-19 vaccination, Diana said, “I think I was more excited about Mom getting her “Mom and my dad, Virgil, got married when she was 27. COVID vaccination than she was! She acted as if it was just They loved to travel around the United States on long road another shot, but I saw it as the best gift of this holiday trips. I came along in 1957, when Mom was 39. I remember season. It's been a great comfort having Mom at Maryville the same road trips growing up, and lots of camping and for her rehab, and this was an added bonus. Thank you to hiking in Oregon. Mom loved the wildflowers on our hikes, all of the great staff at Maryville! and also added them to her garden at home. She was one of the founding members of the Cedar Hills Garden Club, “I have to say that while I'm so focused on Mom, and what's enjoying friends and flower shows and various activities happening with her, when I step back, I realize how historic about gardening. Dad had a big vegetable garden, and Mom those vaccines are. Yay, science!” grew lots of flowers. When Dad retired, they started traveling outside the U.S., and went to lots of places in Europe, Iverna is 102 years-old and this is the second global pan- as well as China and Russia.” demic that she has experienced. She was an infant during the 1918 - 1919 flu pandemic and experienced all of the Iverna is also a reader, she loves non-fiction and stories monumental events of the 20th century. Diana recently about animals. She was a volunteer at the West Slope asked her mother to share some of her memories. Library for 20 years. She was also a regular theatergoer,
K Top row, L to R: • Iverna and her cat, Bo
making a trip to see plays at the Shakespeare Festival in Ashland with a group of friends annually for many years.
• Iverna and a kitten • Iverna and her husband, Virgil • Iverna when she was an infant, with her mother and sister K Bottom row, L to R: • Virgil, Diana and Iverna
Iverna’s always been a cat lover, and after completing her rehabilitation at Maryville and returning to her long-term care residence, she was reunited with her cat, 15-year-old Bo. Diana said while it had been hard, during the time of isolation, when in-person visits were not permitted, her mom weathered it well.
at Christmas • Diana and Iverna at the beach • Iverna and her sister with the
“We would talk every night after we both watched the ‘News Hour’ on PBS,” Diana said.
family’s chickens (Photos courtesy of Diana Velene)
Iverna is now able to have in-person visits, and is looking forward to her 103rd birthday, coming up in July.
“I have to say that while I'm so focused on Mom, and what's happening with her, when I step back, I realize how historic those vaccines are. Yay, science!” SPRING / SUMMER 2021
Will French In the middle of March in 2020 the Valley Catholic High School student body was gathered in the Valiants Gym awaiting word that we’d be starting spring break early this year. Students and faculty rejoiced as everyone needed a two-week break from learning in hopes that everyone would be able to take a step back, relax, and come back rejuvenated and energized with COVID-19 eradicated from the Greater Portland Area. Roughly eleven months later the Valley Catholic community is still facing one of its toughest tests. It is not a test given by Mr. Fisher for AP Physics or an essay for Mrs. Brown, rather it is the exam of all exams: to stay tightly knit as we are apart. I have learned so many valuable lessons about adversity throughout these past eleven months. At many points of one’s life, adversity will punch you in the mouth and knock you on your backside. It is about how one responds to this adversity that will shape one's character. With no sports, the demand for certain physical attributes declined. I spent hours on end parallel to the ground on the couch bingeing shows, playing video games, or asleep. Days
would go by with the snap of a finger and suddenly weeks or even months passed. This was not how I wanted my junior year to conclude and my senior year to begin. I started going on walks around the block with my dog instead of walks to the pantry. I started to get back into the weight room and used the equipment I had at my disposal and I grew more creative with my diet. I began to find a passion in fitness more so than I ever had before as a varsity athlete. I took care of my body in hopes that we’d get one last dance on the field, court, and diamond. I began to prioritize myself and put my feelings into the forefront. Mental health is the most important aspect of a high schooler’s life and learning to check in on your friends is extremely important. This has underscored my life under the reign of COVID-19. Now, we have followed the rules, we have done as we are told, and we have abided by guidelines set into place and I have never been more ready to rejoin my family at Valley Catholic and continue not to take things for granted. I look forward to finishing my final year at VC with a bang and remaining a Valiant forever.
My priorities have changed a lot since the pandemic hit in March of 2020. I used to prioritize my homework and sports more than anything else. Since March there have not been any sports and I have changed that priority to a priority of my friends and family. Before the pandemic, I never really focused on my friends and family and I held in a lot of my own emotions as well. Now that I have to stay home and can only see a few people, I have been able to be there for them. Even when I had some practices during the pandemic, I still prioritized seeing the people in my bubble and listening to them more than only talking about sports. Although school is usually my number one priority and missing homework would be the death of me, I have changed that mindset. Now if I miss an assignment or need extra time, I can just send an email to my teachers knowing that I am not the only one behind. My other main priority is just sticking to a regimen during a time where a regimen is very difficult to have. I make sure that I get fully ready every day even if I feel tired or run-down. Making sure to work out, put on pants (not sweats) and be present in class as if we were in person is my number one priority.
Emma Milton Since the pandemic started, I have had a surprisingly great experience. I am a very anxious person but not when it comes to disease or not being able to see friends. I am more anxious when I have to be social and hang out with friends. During the pandemic, I have actually excelled in my schoolwork and home life, and have even made some friends on the way. Before the pandemic, I was also busy with sports, homework, more sports, and more homework. Even though I love playing sports and seeing people at school, the pandemic has given me time to take a well-deserved break. I am an overachiever of sorts and the pandemic has taught me that sometimes I need to slow down and focus on myself. Although sports and schoolwork are important, nothing comes before me, and the pandemic has really shown me that more than ever. Without the pandemic, honestly, I do not think I would be prepared for college in that I would be overwhelmed and stressed at all times. Now I am ready for anything to come my way in the upcoming years, especially if I got through COVID while taking two AP classes and passing.
Things are different in my life now because I truly began to focus on myself through the pandemic. I have taught myself to be confident, wear whatever I want, and not feel insecure. High school is tough and anybody who thinks that they are going to get through it without losing friends or feeling insecure is wrong. I was one of those people. During the pandemic, however, I have changed and realized that that is just life and although it is bad in the moment or for a few days, it is only temporary. Due to this realization, in the future, after COVID, nothing will stop me from being who I want to be and being my true self around people. If people do not love me for who I am then it is their loss, not mine. During the pandemic, I have had a renewed appreciation for so many things, especially my own body. At many times I do not like my body and think that it needs to be changed, but it does not. If my body got me through a pandemic where millions of people got sick and thousands of people died, then my body will never ever be under-appreciated again. I also have a renewed appreciation for friends that stuck around during the pandemic. Many people who I thought were my friends just stopped talking to me if I was quarantining or felt unsafe going out. The friends that did stick around, however, are my true friends and I know that a pandemic will not tear us apart.
SPRING / SUMMER 2021
“Over the last year, I have learned one major thing. I learned that life is unexpected. I never once would have thought that a global pandemic would force us to attend school digitally for a whole year and affect every part of our lives. I have gained a renewed appreciation for the activities and sports that I can now do which I have not been able to participate in due to COVID-19.” - Mason Stecher “I think one obvious thing that we’ve all come to appreciate during this pandemic is the ability to gather with friends and go out somewhere for a day. Not to say that seeing friends isn’t something we enjoyed in the past, but it’s something we took for granted.” - Chase McCurry
“The biggest challenge that the pandemic created was, of course, online school. Online school gave me a new appreciation for in-person learning and all the interactions I have during a school day.” - Garratt Alles
“I would say that, since quarantine has started, I definitely appreciate my friends and my athletics more than I did before.” - Galen Dunlap
“Since the pandemic started, I have realized the importance of spending time with the ones you care about and making the most of the time you have with them.” - Quinn Walker
“Since the pandemic has started, I have learned the importance of studying on my own and finding resources outside of the students and staff of Valley Catholic High School.” - Patricia Ostrowski
“I think that, as a result of the pandemic, people have become much more self-oriented when making decisions. We now prioritize safety significantly more and (hopefully) have become more conscious about the transmission of bacteria and our own potentially dangerous mannerisms.” - Veer Nayyar “At the beginning of the pandemic, I, like many others, was stuck at home, without being able to go out and see friends. I was fine with this fact for about two weeks when I began to resent the fact that I was spending my senior year cooped up in my house and not out with my friends making memories before we go off to college.” - Connor Bly
“Since the pandemic started, my lifestyle has changed completely. I have learned what it means to be stuck with my own thoughts and nothing but them. I have learned what it means to love myself, because at the end of the day, that is all we have.” - Courtney Decker
“Since I miss seeing my friends and classmates so much, my priorities have changed a bit in that I now value quality time with others more than I used to.” - Lauren Snook
“COVID has renewed my appreciation for school, going to Mass, and regularly seeing my friends.” - Lilianna Rosebrook
Scan this QR code to read more student essays online.J
SPRING / SUMMER 2021
Perspective: Technology’s Essential Role While technology has been an important part of our modern lives, it proved to be absolutely essential in a pandemic when gathering in person was prohibited and we all needed to find ways to work, learn and socialize using technology. The entire SSMO campus is supported by a technology team lead by Dale Goodno, the Chief Information Officer. Dale and his team of Sharon, Ben and CJ support the Sisters, SSMO Ministries Corporation, SSMO Foundation, Valley Catholic School and Maryville to meet all of their technology needs. Even in the days before the pandemic, supporting such a large and diverse campus was a challenge. Once working and teaching from home became essential, a little over a year ago, the challenge became monumental. Dale and his team share their perspective on the role and future of technology, working as a team, and some personal reflections about this past year.
IT Team member and leader: Dale Goodno Q What have we learned? A We have learned how the world depends on technology and tends to utilize technology to solve new problems.
to make those plans and see our loved ones. I miss the ability to see concerts, movies, and live theater. Although I miss my friends at the gym, our family made a home gym and now tends to exercise at home.
Q How will things be different in the future? A Many of the changes we have made during the pandemic are permanent. Our challenges mostly involve securing new technologies while trying to make them easy to use. Utilizing multiple factors for authentication creates several layers of potential failure which could result in frustration for our users. Security is mandatory and our goal is for technology to work as seamlessly and reliably as possible.
Q What are some of the “silver linings” or positive developments that have come from the pandemic? A Our campus has taken a technological leap forward and our users have learned new skills. Through professional development our users have acquired new capabilities in accomplishing tasks digitally. My team has seemingly worked around the clock, fueled by a sense of accomplishment. Everyone we work with has been so cooperative and positive, eager to find collaborative solutions. My favorite silver lining is the stronger professional relationships and the development of community with our campus users.
Q What activities, routines and people do we have a renewed appreciation for in our lives? A I have a renewed appreciation for group gatherings and visiting family in distant places. I miss the freedom
IT Team member: Sharon Drake
Q What have we learned? A So much… I’m not even sure how to whittle it down to an answer! Patience, grace, flexibility, the importance of interpersonal relationships. We’ve learned a lot about technology and the advancements that have been made to keep everyone connected, but I feel like that’s just the tip of the iceberg. How will things be different in the future? I think that our ability to connect with each other as individuals will continue to grow. We’ve had resources for a while to connect almost instantaneously, but at a more superficial level with social media, texting, emailing, etc. And even though things like Zoom and FaceTime have been around, people are seeing the value in them more now, and I think that momentum will continue. Online classes, especially in college, have existed for a while, but there’s a big opportunity for a more hybrid version of that now, where online students can have more personal interaction with their teachers and classmates. What activities, routines and people do we have a renewed appreciation for in our lives? Overall, the ability to work from home when needed has been huge. It will always be easier to get things
done in the office, but flexibility, especially in such a tumultuous time as this, has made things easier overall. It can be hard to keep that clear line of working hours vs non-working hours, but if you can set up your space and keep to your routine, having that little extra comfort of being able to sit on the couch and pet my cats on my break time, or sit and eat lunch with my husband, it adds a little bit of restfulness back into our lives. Q What are some of the “silver linings” or positive developments that have come from the pandemic? A It has definitely pushed us to pursue new technological solutions sooner rather than later. There were things like remote desktop connection from off-campus that have been on our more long-term to-do list, which suddenly had to jump to the top of our to-do list in order to allow for teachers and staff to work from home when that decision was made. And while some solutions are temporary, made to bridge the gap between being at home and being at the office, other solutions are here to stay. And some of the things that we’ve worked on and implemented have opened up doors for better solutions in the future. It has opened up a lot of “what if ” questions – what if we can take what we’ve built to the next level and make everyone’s lives that much easier so they can focus more on what they’re doing, and less on how they’re going to do it?
IT Team member: Ben Karlin Q What have we learned? A A LOT! Q How will things be different in the future? A To me, that’s a tough question when talking specifically about technology. Major tech brands are constantly updating existing products and continually releasing brand new products. So, it’s hard to keep up with what’s new when we are busy keeping our own tech running. I remember when we started working on the transition to Windows 10 from Windows 7. We were all putting our heads together to determine the best way to move forward – because we had no choice. Many times, we reminisce
about what it was like when we were managing Windows 7 computers and how easy that was compared to Windows 10. Let’s just say that Windows 10 is no walk in the park compared to Windows 7. Q What activities, routines and people do we have a renewed appreciation for in our lives? A Because the pandemic shut down pools, I wasn’t able to swim at the pool anymore. I bought a wetsuit and started swimming with a small contingent of my Masters group out at Hagg Lake. Having never been an open water swimmer – that was a new and very disorienting experience. I am used to swimming in a pool and following the black line back and forth – that’s something I’m extremely familiar with and very SPRING / SUMMER 2021
comfortable doing. In open water, especially water that’s murky where you can’t see the bottom – not only is that a little nerve-racking, but there are other safety concerns that I never thought about as a pool swimmer. Open water is still not my thing, but it was really nice to be able to continue having that outlet amid everything else that’s happened in the last year.
Q What are some of the “silver linings” or positive developments from the pandemic? A With as much technology that the schools in particular have adopted over the last year, it’s been great to see how positive the response has been from the teachers developing new strategies to teach their content.
IT Team member: CJ Ceria Q What have we learned? A The digital divide at home became more apparent than ever. Uneven access to the internet and computers in some communities made it tough to learn remotely. Continuing to support switching internet service to a public utility is essential to bridging this gap. There is more to learn than ever to maintain the campus systems. Q How will things be different in the future? A Remote learning and working from home are normalized, and I think these offerings will continue to be available to students and staff. Reliance on technology will increase. We may have to create a TikTok channel for helpful troubleshooting tips. Q What activities, routines and people do we have a renewed appreciation for in our lives? A I have a renewed appreciation for grocery store workers, sanitation workers, pharmacists, delivery people, healthcare professionals, and postal workers; the
untiring efforts of VCS teachers to bring an excellent education to on campus and digital students; the facility workers that maintain and sanitize our campus and surfaces safely; the care staff at Maryville who deliver the best “service with love” to the residents there; the Finance staff that ensure we can keep running; the Foundation who support us with online events and fundraising; and the Communications staff that keeps all of us informed about the latest events that occur on campus and the videos, print publications, web site, and social media they provide to those still in isolation are invaluable. The Sisters also supported us and provided unwavering compassion and joy. Q What are some of the “silver linings” or positive developments from the pandemic? A I consider the visibility of the racial inequalities that many people face a positive development. The silver lining is that we continue to have conversations about ending systemic racism.
SSMO Campus IT By the Numbers
Over 3,000 devices
1,000 student users
525 desktop computers
600 laptop computers
800 telephone extensions
80 physical and virtual servers
80 media projectors
200 wireless access points
SPRING / SUMMER 2021
Family Perspective: The Foords “Moving forward we feel a sense of optimism. We have a greater appreciation for what we have. We are looking forward to a better life balance. We wish these things for our VC community too.” I The Foords, L to R: Ruby, Victoria, Luca, David, and the family dog, Harvey (Photo courtesy of the Foord family)
We are the Foord family - David, Victoria, Luca (Senior) and Ruby (6th grader).
to escape to but allowed us to still keep distanced; they will be on our weekend to-do-list going forward.
Looking back on the past year, amid COVID lockdown re- It was the year of the drive-by birthday party! So fun to be strictions on our daily life, it has become clear that we have part of a convoy of cars driving to surprise a friend -bala new appreciation of all that we have in our lives. loons flying, homemade signs being held out of car windows, doughnuts being shared at a distance on the sideBusy calendars filled with business travel, sports meets, walk. Great memories made for sure. Ruby and Victoria juggling work/home/school life all took a back seat this have loved being the loudest car with music blaring and past year. Instead, walks in the neighborhood and seeing lots of horn honking! locals that we had never seen before, yet that lived within a few streets of us, became a daily routine. Hunkering down A missed 5th grade graduation celebration, an important at home waiting for the next delivery of puzzles to arrive, swim season that disappeared, no junior or senior Prom, a baking (even more than we usually do!), sharing a coffee family 50th birthday celebration in the UK cancelled, a famon the back deck on a weekday morning when we’d usually ily funeral we were unable to attend, and time with groups be in four different places. There was almost a Christmas- of friends together postponed - these events are irreplacetime feel about being home together as a family in Spring- able and will be forever remembered for not having taken time last year. With David’s hectic business travel on hold place in 2020. since February 2020, we have spent more time together as a family than we ever have before - of course we drove each Moving forward, we feel a sense of optimism. We have a other a little crazy, too! Our black Lab/Retriever, Harvey, greater appreciation for what we have. We are looking forhas never been so happy! ward to a better life balance. We wish these things for our VC community, too. Instead of a trip to Europe, we discovered beautiful new places close to home - kayaking at Sauvie Island, the Klickitat River and the Hood Canal. These are wonderful places
Family Perspective: McKeen/O’Halloran Family and the Spirit of Service “We are so deeply grateful to the Sisters for the beautiful community they have built and the blessings of their relationship with our children!” I Back row L to R: Frank, Malia, Colin / Middle row L to R: Lois, Liana, Maggie / Front row Sally (the wonder dog). Not pictured: Tara and Sophie (Photo courtesy of Lois O’Halloran)
Frank McKeen and Lois O’Halloran have been connected to the Valley Catholic community for over 22 years. All of their children have attended or are attending Valley Catholic. Lois remembers the early fundraising events for Valley Catholic back in the late-90s and pre-internet days as some of her earliest volunteer efforts. She put together a slide show of auction items and videos of Valley Catholic students to encourage support of the school. Their family has jumped in to support the Sisters and Valley Catholic in any way possible - from helping at fundraising events to photography and sports.
“Our children were cleaning the Family Promise 1940’s fixer we bought the week before COVID closed everything down. They worked tirelessly to help get the house inhabitable so we could welcome our newest Family Promise guests - a set of premature twins and their parents, who would have had no place to go if we didn’t have a clean inhabitable house,” Lois said.
“In those early days of COVID we had no regular volunteers for safety reasons. We were blessed to have the kids help. We would not have been ready to bring those tiny newborn infants to Family Promise. None of my kids claim their work Her husband has coached swimming and basketball at Val- as volunteer hours because ‘it is just what we do as a family, ley Catholic and Catholic Youth Organization (CYO) for so it doesn’t count’ according to my kids,” Lois recalled. over 20 years, and Lois has coached both swimming and volleyball. Lois recalls the wonderful help she received from Lois also appreciates the close-knit community and the Becky Kemper when she started as a novice volleyball coach. Sisters, who have stepped in to help their children when needed and exemplified a spirit of service. Lois and Frank’s six children have picked up on their parents’ habit of jumping in to help when needed. They have Reflecting on service, the past year with its unique challengtwo adult children: a son serving in Special Forces, and a es, and the connectedness of the Valley Catholic commudaughter who is a frontline COVID ICU nurse. nity, Lois said, “We are so deeply grateful to the Sisters for the beautiful community they have built and the blessings In addition to her involvement with Valley Catholic, Lois is of their relationship with our children!” a founder of Family Promise of Beaverton, which provides help to homeless families. The whole family gets involved in helping at Family Promise, too. SPRING / SUMMER 2021
Distinguished Alumni Award Winner: Liska Yamada ’08
I Liska on stage at “Dancing with the Stars”
At the virtual Valley Catholic Gala, Liska Yamada ’08 was honored as this year’s Distinguished Alumni Award winner. This year’s Distinguished Alumni Award theme was “Fine Arts.” In a competitive nomination process, Liska was the unanimous choice for the award. VCS Alumni Advisory Committee Ambassador, Andy Haugen ’07, noted that in addition to her outstanding professional career, Liska exemplifies Valley Catholic’s core values.
J Top to bottom
Liska was inspired to start playing the harp by Sister John Therese Miller when she was in fourth grade. Liska played the harp through high school and she attended a summer
• Liska with Miguel at the 2018 BET Awards • Liska and the Peabody Harp Adventures student ensemble • Liska and Sr. John Therese (Photos courtesy of Liska Yamada)
Scan this QR code to view the Distinguished Alumni Award winner video shown at this year’s virtual Valley Catholic Gala.J
“It takes a lot of determination and support from friends and family.”
harp program at the University of Arizona and eventually earned her undergraduate degree there. While at the University of Arizona, she participated in Harp Fusion, the university’s harp ensemble and had the opportunity to travel to Brazil and China. Liska went on to earn her Master of Music degree from the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore, Maryland. While she was studying at Peabody, she gave harp lessons through music education outreach programs in the Baltimore area including Peabody Harp Adventures and Baltimore Symphony OrchKids. After earning her master’s degree, Liska moved to Los Angeles after a brief stay in Portland. Her career has included both contemporary and classical music. She has worked with pop artist Melanie Martinez and appeared on the 2018 BET Awards playing her harp with artist Miguel. She has also contributed to the soundtrack for “Days of Our Lives.” Liska also occasionally teaches the harp and is inspired by messages from young fans who are learning the harp and have come to know Liska’s music through her pop and contemporary performances. Liska helped her alma mater, Valley Catholic, when she assisted Misty Williams with the summer 2014 harp workshop. Liska emphasized the hard work that happens behind the scenes of performances, and the many As a guest on the alumni podcast “Valiantly Spo- years of practice she and other artists bring to ken,” Liska was asked her advice to those consid- their craft. And, she remarked, “It’s a very reering a career in music. “It takes a lot of deter- warding career.” mination and support from friends and family.”
Learn more about Liska on her website liskaontheharp.com SPRING / SUMMER 2021
Alumni Notes Dr. Taylor Buuck ’10 earned a Doctorate of Medicine Degree from Oregon Health and Science University in June 2020. He is now living in his home town of Grand Rapids, Michigan where he is a resident in the Orthopaedic Surgery program.
Greta Mannen Zosel ’07 and husband Zach Zosel welcomed Brooks Daniel Zosel into their family on November 19, 2020. He weighed 8 lbs. 4 oz. and was 21 inches long.
Avishan Saberian ’06 was featured in “The Chronicle” newspaper in Centralia, Washington as she has expanded her business, White Tiger Acupuncture, from Olympia, Washington to a new location in Centralia. She uses Classical Chinese Medicine methods such as acupuncture, cupping, massage and many other methods to help her clients with a variety of ailments.
On August 22, 2020, Tyler Schmit '03, received the sacrament of Holy Orders shepherding him into the Transitional Diaconate with the Norbertine order at St. Michael's Abbey in Silverado, California.
Sam Teague ’14 and Abbie Miranda met while attending Samford University where Sam played baseball and Abbie was on the softball team. They were married on June 27, 2020 in Birmingham where they now reside.
His religious name is Frederick. Deacon Frederick Schmit entered the seminary at St. Michael's Abbey in August of 2011. Since his graduation from Valley Catholic, he has received his Bachelor of Arts in Theology at Franciscan University of Steubenville, Bachelor of Fundamental Theology and Master of Theology at St. Philip’s Seminary in Toronto. He is currently in Rome studying at the Angelicum for his Licentiate in Sacred Theology (S.T.L.) Deacon Schmit’s priestly ordination is set for July 2021 at St. Michael's Abbey. Please keep him in your prayers and know that he prays for you!
Emily Anctil ’10 and Roman Lorentz were married in Newberg on October 10, 2020. The wedding party included Valley Catholic alumni Emily Tait ’10, Becca Anctil ’10, Sarah Anctil ’05, Ayesha Khader ’11 and Cesar Catibayan ’11.
Deacon Schmit has some deep roots in the Valley Catholic community. Our Fall/Winter 2020 edition of Spirit magazine contained a feature on Valley Catholic sports fan, Jacob Walsh, who passed away this past August. He is the grandfather of Deacon Schmit.
Congratulations to Ann Xu ’17, who will be graduating from Trinity University in Texas this spring. She received the Outstanding Physics Student award. Ann will be pursuing her Ph.D. starting next fall.
Christina Malone '04 was recently interviewed and featured on the cover of “Willamette Week,” and featured on KATU news as well. She is a nationally competitive powerlifter, and the article focuses on her path to finding body acceptance and the work she doing to break the barriers for big-bodied people to be in sports.
Alumni Survey Results We reached out to our Alumni with a survey to find out about the shows they’ve been watching, what they are grateful for and what they are looking forward to in the future.
1 What was your favorite show during quarantine?
• Bridgerton • The Queen’s Gambit, The Crown, The Great British Bake-Off (a three-way tie!)
2 How many new hobbies did you try during quarantine? • One • Two
3 What are you most grateful for during this time? • Time with family • Job • Health • Slower pace of life
4 What are you most looking forward to after COVID? • Travel • Seeing family and friends • In-person gatherings at church, sporting events, concerts • Dining out/dining in groups
5 Where are you most excited to travel to when the pandemic is over? • Anywhere! • International travel • Traveling with family and friends
SPRING / SUMMER 2021
Jubilee: Sister Delores Adelman 6Oth Jubilee Celebration “These past 60 years have been a blessing and a gift, both in my religious life and in my ministries. “In my religious life, the SSMO community has provided me with opportunities for prayer, living a simple life, developing sisterly love among my Sisters and others, and the freedom to serve with compassion and love for all. “My ministries in the fields of education, community administration, and the health care arena have been tremendous opportunities for personal growth, facing challenges, creating deep relationships, and serving others. “I am most grateful to God and to every person I have ever met for making a difference in my life,” said Sister Delores, reflecting on her 60 years of service. Sister Delores was a teacher at schools including Sacred Heart in Tillamook, Holy Trinity in Beaverton, St. John in Milwaukie, St. Mary’s in Spokane and St. Mary’s in Stayton – and served as principal at Sacred Heart in Gervais and St. Agatha in Portland. She was Dean of High School Residents at St. Mary of the Valley High School before serving as Motherhouse Superior and Superior General for the Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon. Sister Delores is known as a talented and compassionate massage therapist. Beyond her interest in biology and anatomy classes in school, she enjoys her current service for a simple, heartfelt reason: “I love helping people feel better.”
Scan this QR code to view a video about this years Jubilarians. K
Jubilee: Sister Rita Watkins 6Oth Jubilee Celebration This year, Sister Rita Watkins celebrates 60 years of religious profession. She was born in Grafton, North Dakota to Fenton and Florence Watkins and has two brothers, John and James, and one sister, Marlys. Her education began in a one room school house in North Dakota. By 4th grade the family had moved to Oregon where she attended Sacred Heart, then moved to St. John the Baptist in Milwaukie for her 5th through 8th grades. From there she attended high school at St. Mary of the Valley in Beaverton. She received her BS in Education from Marylhurst and Master’s in Education from University of Portland. Her teaching career took her to Visitation School in Verboort, St. Pius X in Portland, Holy Trinity in Beaverton, St. Mary’s in Stayton, and St. Mary of the Valley in Beaverton. Sister was also Principal at All Saints’ Primary in Spokane, Washington, Holy Trinity in Beaverton, and St. Agatha in Portland. After her Sabbatical program at Notre Dame in Indiana she came home to be Motherhouse Administrator. In 2000 she was elected to serve her Community on the Leadership Team for 10 years. During this time, she was also President of Valley Catholic School. In 2020 she was once again elected to serve her Community on the Leadership Team.
Scan this QR code to view a video about this years Jubilarians. K
SPRING / SUMMER 2021
In Memory: Sister Mary Ellen Hanson 1933-2021 Sister Mary Ellen Hanson was born on December 28, 1933, in Valentine, Nebraska the first child of Nathaniel and Henrietta (Bruggeman) Hanson, joined later by younger siblings John and Liz. She attended schools on Native American Reservations in Oregon and Montana which led to a life-long reverence for indigenous people and their culture. Sr. Mary Ellen graduated from Poplar High School in Montana. She earned a full scholarship to Columbus School of Nursing in Montana, and like her mother, she earned her RN diploma. She earned a B.S. in Nursing from Seattle University and worked as a public health nurse.
Sister generously gave of her skills to the SSMO community mission of proclaiming the Good News of God’s love. At Maryville, she served as a staff nurse, in-service coordinator, and social services technician until 1980. She completed Gonzaga University’s CREDO program in 1981, and then focused her ministry in pastoral care serving as a DRE in Ashland and Redmond, coordinator for the elderly Sisters at the SSMO Motherhouse, pastoral care minister at Mt. St. Joseph Care Center in Portland and St. Charles Hospital in Bend, and volunteer in Redmond’s Hospice Bereavement program. From 1987 to 1990, she had a special joy as a caregiver to her parents. After 1990, served as an Extraordinary Minister of the Eucharist to the homebound in Redmond and Prineville parishes. In 2005, Sister moved to the Motherhouse in Beaverton sharing her love for music, art, appreciation for nature, and birdwatching.
The Vatican II Council and a pilgrimage to Our Lady of Gua- Sr. Mary Ellen had a special awareness of God’s love found in dalupe Basilica in Mexico City were key to her vocation dis- nature and was purposeful in her appreciation for the uniquecernment. In 1966, Sr. Mary Ellen was received as a Sister of ness of each person! St. Mary of Oregon. She professed her perpetual vows in 1971.
In Memory: Sister Joyce Barsotti 1940-2021 Sr. Mary Joyce Barsotti (Sr. Sr. Joyce entered the Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon, August 15, Peter Mary Barsotti) was 1960. She earned her bachelor’s degree at Marylhurst Univerborn in Portland, Oregon, sity and a master’s degree in theology at Mt. Angel Seminary. on July 25, 1940, the fourth She continued her education at St. Louis University IRF, Uniof Bruno and Catherine versity of Portland and Gonzaga University. Sr. Joyce served Irene (Hart) Barsotti’s ten for 24 years in Catholic education at Sacred Heart School in children. Sr. Joyce died at Tillamook, St. Cecilia in Beaverton, St. Boniface in Sublimity, the SSMO Motherhouse on St. Mary’s in Spokane, and St. Mary’s in Stayton. The last 25 April 12, 2021. Her trust was years of her ministry were with adults. A woman of prayer, in the Lord’s assurance: “I simplicity, love, and compassion, Sr. Joyce’s vibrant joy and wonder in God was evident daily, and also apparent in her ten have come that you may have life, and have it to the full!” years working with new SSMO members and on the SSMO The Barsotti family was active in St. Cecilia’s parish, and the Leadership Team, 2010 to 2015. Barsotti girls attended St. Mary of the Valley (Valley Catholic School) for their elementary through high school education. Sister served on the Steering Committee for the Annual FamUnique to Sr. Mary Joyce’s class was that they made their ily Summer Conference at Mt. Angel for 34 years. Sr. Joyce First Holy Communion in the Motherhouse chapel. For Sr. worked to unite people in the best ways: Sacred Liturgy and Joyce, this was significant as 15 years later she pronounced her her great, homemade Italian food! religious vows, and later celebrated her Religious Jubilees in this same space. On April 16, 2021 her funeral services were One of Sr. Joyce’s favorite quotations was from Irenaeus: “The glory of God is humanity fully alive!” also held here.
Despite sudden closures last year, Valley Catholic faculty and staff pivoted to virtual learning models to help students continue their education online. As our school slowly reintroduces in-person learning, you can help us ensure every child receives the ongoing support and resources they need to excel from anywhere. That’s why we are excited to announce our annual GoValiant! Alumni Challenge.
Meeting our $85,000 goal by September 15 secures an additional $85,000 gift for tuition assistance.
Create a legacy gift through your will. Caring for your loved ones, as well as the future of the SSMO Foundation and each person we serve, costs nothing today! Scan this QR code to get started through our partners at FreeWill, and create your will and legacy gift today. K
SPRING / SUMMER 2021
4440 SW 148th Avenue Beaverton, OR 97078 ssmoministries.org
NON PROFIT ORG US POSTAGE PAID PORTLAND, OR PERMIT NO 5
ELECTRONIC SERVICE REQUESTED