“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

Over the past four months we have featured weekly Seton Hall memories submitted by Sisters, former members, Associates, retreatants and employees. We conclude this series with our own memories from the current Communications Office staff. We thank all those who have shared personal ‘Love, Laughter and Learnings.’ They have served as a fitting tribute to what is being remembered about this building and the relationships and memories that call us to gratitude.

Michelle Bley

Graphic Designer Michelle Bley (right) with former Archives volunteer and frequent Communications Office visitor, the late S. Benedicta Mahoney.

“I have fond memories of my 11 years spent in the Communications Office on the first floor of Seton Hall. It was like a second home to me and I looked forward to my daily interactions with special people. The building itself was aged in history and held the spirit of Sisters who worked and resided there years ago. S. Marty Dermody had an office next to mine for a number of years and said she could feel the presence of the Sisters who had worked in our office many years before. I found comfort in knowing that these good people could guide me in my work and daily life.

“I looked forward to S. Benedicta Mahoney coming down the hall to pop her head in and say hello. S. Patrice Vales, an honorary ‘girly girl’, worked as a volunteer in communications and her laughter and positive spirit would bring lightness to the office. Seton Hall was where I built strong friendships with my co-workers Erin Reder and S. Georgia Kitt. I looked forward to the daily greetings and connections that we had. It is more than a building but a wonderful memory of a significant time in my life that helped shape me.”

 

 

 

Erin Reder

S. Georgia Kitt enjoys holding one of the Reder children during a visit to the Communications Office in Seton Hall.

“Seton Hall has been my work ‘home’ for the last 15 years. I vividly remember walking into my office on Day 1 and being greeted with the brightly painted yellow walls adorning the space. They were the topic of conversation whenever anyone stopped by or came in for an interview; some loved them and others not so much.

“Seton Hall will always hold a place close to my heart. In that building lifelong friendships were built. Careers and ministries were developed and fostered. Treasured memories were made. During those years I became a first-time mom and eventually went on to expand our family to six, all while being supported and loved by the people I worked with and for. There were baby showers and frequent visits from Sisters taking guesses on the baby’s gender or dropping by with a hand-crocheted blanket to take home. And after each baby was born I would have a long line waiting in the office to get an opportunity to meet the newest member of our family – and a snuggle. My children and husband were always welcome there and came to know the many friendly faces that would greet them. Those same friendly faces would fondly ask about and pray for us whenever we needed them. When I think back about my time in Seton Hall I realize it had little to do with the building itself and was more about the people within it. While I will miss our nook – and those bright yellow office walls – I am most grateful for the people and the relationships that formed inside that building over these last 15 years and know they will carry on into our new home.”

Communications Office staff meeting one of the newest additions to the Reder family.

 

S. Georgia Kitt

(From left) Michelle Bley, Erin Reder and S. Georgia Kitt hold close many memories of their time together in Seton Hall.

“In my early years in Community Seton Hall was a place of hospitality, the place we readily came for weekend meetings. There was a welcoming spirit; excitement surrounded the sharing of parts of our lives with one another while enjoying a beverage in the social spaces or over morning coffee in the kitchen. The Sisters living on Seton 4 made our stay enjoyable by the welcoming spirit they extended to all.

“The weekly memories began for me in 2003 as the communications liaison; in 2005 we were fortunate to be able to hire Erin Reder as writer/editor for the office and several years later we welcomed Michelle Bley as the office’s graphic designer. S. Marty Dermody was already on staff with her ever-present photographic eye to enhance our stories and happenings. In this role I became familiar with the office’s founding, started in Seton Hall by Sisters Fran Trampiets, Eugene Fox, Catherine Kirby and Carol Leveque in the early 1980s. They desired to adapt to the changing ways of communicating and delivering important information to the Community, spread geographically, in a timely manner. 

“In 2011 I became the director of the Communications Office, and daily memories began. Since then I have experienced many moments of grace and a heap of blessings! The space on first floor Seton Hall has served as a facilitator of change throughout these 40 years. As staff we have appreciated the gifts of one another and lent our ‘piece of the puzzle’ to each of our office’s completed projects. The lasting memories of births, celebrations, deaths of loved ones and little snippets of inspiration will remain, as will the friendships made with staff, writers and volunteers who have joined us over the years. All have encouraged us to grow, to become better communicators, connected and committed to the mission. As we embrace change the mission remains at the forefront while we allow new possibilities to open doors. I find this Scripture quote from Deuteronomy expresses well my thankfulness: ‘Do not forget the things your eyes have seen, nor let them slip from your heart all the days of your life’ (Deut. 4:9).”

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