“Does the life of our Jesus animate
us? Do we indeed give Him the
true service of the heart without
which whatever else we give has
no value?”

St. Elizabeth Ann Seton

 

“When so rich a
harvest is before
us why do we not 
gather it? All is in
our hands if we
but use it”

St. Elizabeth Seton

 

Love, Laughter and Learnings: A tribute to Seton Hall

This week we find memories from current members as they share experiences of community – hospitality and celebrations, friendship and reunions, formation and those unforgettable rooftop gatherings.

S. Tracy Kemme

S. Tracy Kemme (left) remembers visiting with S. Simone Campbell (second from left) during one of her many stays at Seton Hall.

“Seton Hall has been a treasured place of community and hospitality throughout this first decade of my journey with the Sisters of Charity. Beginning in 2010, when I moved to Casa Caridad, we would travel to the Motherhouse and stay in Seton for my earliest experiences of community meetings and celebrations. Later, living in Cincinnati, it became a holy place of reunion and catching up. I love the joy of greeting people in the hallway and the bonds nurtured through laughter and conversation in the lounges and kitchens. There also were beautiful times of relaxation and fun on the roof: watching fireworks on the Fourth of July, listening to Sisters and Associates tell wonderful stories, and sharing hopes and dreams as the sun set gloriously over the Ohio River.

“The weekend that Andrea Koverman and I entered the congregation was an especially memorable one. We got ready for our ceremony together in Seton. We signed the congregational book on Seton’s first floor – what a humbling experience! And then, in the evening, we were thrilled to meet and have a glass of wine with S. Simone Campbell in one of the Seton lounges! The Nuns on the Bus were passing through Cincinnati, and we rode with them the next day.

“There were quiet moments in Seton, as well. I experienced my first directed retreat with S. Carol Brenner while staying in Seton as an Affiliate.

“Last, it’s been a gift to share Seton Hall with others. I loved having dear friends, family, and Sisters from other communities fill Seton’s rooms during the weekend of Andrea’s and my first vows, as they have for other vow ceremonies, Jubilees, and funerals. I’ve loved spending time with our many Federation Sisters who have come to stay. In recent years, it’s been a joy to welcome some of our discerners into the same warm, happy Seton spaces that welcomed me. As I looked back through my photos, God reminded me that the building is so beloved because of the people that have graced it. Our Charity love, community, and hospitality live on wherever we are.”

S. Marie Pauline Skalski

“I remember the get-togethers we would have on the roof! One that stands out is the party the Band of 1960 had to celebrate their Golden Jubilee. The friends, food, and fun lasted till dark. That evening the Northern Lights were visible this far south. Curtains of green and pink lights swirled across the dark skies for an hour or more. Mother Nature added to our celebrations!

“Another fond memory is the swimming pool. Growing up in Michigan I loved swimming. I knew entering the Community would mean giving up this beloved summertime activity. You will never know how surprised and pleased I was three years later when it was announced that an outdoor pool was going to be built for our use. The Sisters in the Juniorate slept in Seton Hall fourth and fifth floors. My room faced the back of our property so I had the pleasure of watching the progress of the pool being built.”

The views and gatherings from the roof of Seton Hall are one of the many treasured memories of S. Marie Pauline Skalski.

 

Sisters Victoria Marie Forde and Ruth Bockenstette

“The Bands of 1946 and’47 met for years in Seton Hall fifth floor for reunions. We met Friday night just for fun, and then Saturday morning after breakfast (prepared by volunteers), we would begin the retreat day with an invited speaker, usually a Sister Charity. We can remember especially S. Marita Ganley, who shared fresh insights with us when she was our presenter. For the rest of the morning and into the afternoon we were in silence; even lunch was just a quiet time. In the evening we were together for a fun time, catching up, sharing and enjoying one another. On Sunday early morning we gathered casually for breakfast, usually prepared by S. Jean Evelyn Durbin, a great cook, who got one of us to be her helper. This wonderful breakfast prepared us for Mass and then a wonderful trip home. Thank you for the blessed memories, Seton Hall!”

Many reunions for the Bands of 1946 and 1947 took place on the fifth floor of Seton Hall.

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