"The greater the work the more
important it is to establish it on
a solid foundation. Thus it will
not only be more perfect; it
will also be more lasting.”

St. Louise de Marillac

My Visit to the Motherhouse

By Associate Gail Metcalf

(From left) S. Mary Loyola Mathia and Associate Gail Metcalf

I became an Associate with the Sisters of Charity during COVID. For three years I came to know many Sisters and Associates through ZOOM meetings. Every Associate, including the Associates here in Florida, spoke so lovingly about the Sisters and the Motherhouse and what drew them to become Associates. However, I had never met a Sister nor been to the Motherhouse. I felt a disconnection and wondered why I was drawn to the Associates of the Sisters of Charity. This was the main reason for my journey to Cincinnati this summer.

I have never met so many strong, spiritual, energetic women! I felt like I was among Mother Seton, Sisters Blandina and Justina Segale, St. Louise de Marillac, and Mother Margaret George. I could feel the spirit throughout the halls.

As I spoke with our Sisters in Cincinnati, they all have this compassion to help wherever there is a need. I feel this one heart that is saying, “Go, help and serve them.” There is no hesitation in vocation. They told me about places they are called to, some of them poverty-stricken, dangerous, far from home. Many of our Sisters are not young, but that doesn’t hinder them from being actively involved in their charisms near and far.

I visited a number of ministries started by the Sisters of Charity, all of which continue to carry the mission forward today. At St. Joseph Home I was in awe of the loving, caring family atmosphere. The residents are turned every two hours, have a bath every day, go to outings. This is their home and they are happy; their disabilities do not hinder them from being full persons. One of the most important things I observed was that every employee felt like a member of the family and truly loved the residents. I felt Mother Seton very strongly there.

During a visit to St. Joseph Home of Cincinnati, Associates Karen Martin (second from left) and Gail Metcalf (third from left) enjoyed meeting (from left) Eunice Timoney Ravenna, COO; Lucienne Driehaus, Chief Development Officer; and Dan Connors, president and CEO.

I toured Mount St. Joseph University and was amazed at the areas of academic studies for a small university. Mother Seton’s quotations are everywhere to remind students and faculty to live the Gospel values. I was happy to know that these values and gifts of Mother Seton are given at student orientation.

While visiting EarthConnection, Florida Associate Gail Metcalf took a moment to relax on the bench dedicated to S. Mary Loyola Mathia from the Associates in honor of Sister’s 100th birthday.

I also visited EarthConnection and witnessed how forward thinking the Sisters of Charity have been in saving the Earth. When I saw the photos of S. Paula Gonzalez in her old truck gathering recycled material, I could not help but think of S. Blandina building her school.

As I walked the halls at the Motherhouse, I received incredible history lessons about the Sisters of Charity. Since the beginning, there is a strong mission. These strong, determined women built schools, boarding homes, food pantries and hospitals for the poor and needy. Our Sisters today are still ministering to the most vulnerable today. They are determined women dedicated to the mission of Gospel values. They truly do continue to build loving relationships, sharing their resources to those in need and caring for all creation.

I felt like I could make Cincinnati my second home. It was exciting to sit and have meals with the Sisters; they have so much to offer. Walking the halls of such a great legacy made me feel like I was visiting ancestors I didn’t know I had. Visiting Associates and Sisters I only knew online was awesome! I felt that connection you get when you are with people who share your values. I am truly blessed.

I am humbled to realize I am an Associate with the Sisters of Charity, an amazing group of women and men who give their time and talents to those in need. Mother Seton did not sit around wondering how something was going to get done. She just did what needed to be done. I felt that in every person I met during my time in Cincinnati. I am truly excited to be part of this Community.

There were many opportunities for Sisters and Associates to gather together at the Motherhouse during Gail Metcalf’s summer visit.

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