Throughout the past few weeks, we have heard the stories of communities, organizations and individuals coming together to support each another amid the outbreak of COVID-19. Employees, Sisters and volunteers of Mother Margaret Hall (MMH) are embracing that spirit to keep MMH staff members safe and healthy. With the help of a mobile sewing machine, a handy seamstress, fabric, a pattern, a cutter and willing hands, nursing and non-nursing staff are now serving our Sisters wearing colorful cloth masks. The smiles may be hidden, but each continues to speak their care and skill with their eyes. With special thanks to Nancy Witschinger, MMH activity coordinator, Sister residents, employees, volunteers and even nurse retirees, all in MMH now have the masks needed to continue ministering to our Sister residents in these uncharted days of the COVID-19 pandemic. Their masks speak of love.
Sisters of Charity and employees came together on Tuesday, March 10 to celebrate Catholic Sisters Week (March 8-14). Human Resources and the SC Communications Office collaborated to plan the afternoon celebration, which included root beer floats and a friendly quiz about the history of the Sisters of Charity. In addition, hearts were distributed throughout the Motherhouse for employees to write special notes to the Sisters.
Company of Charity Formation Personnel (CCFP) met in New York this week to continue to deepen our connection as Federation members and discuss ways in which we can share formation programs and discernment materials as well as develop common experiences. The CCFP includes Sisters Formation personnel and Associate leaders.
St. Pius X High School in Albuquerque, New Mexico, dedicated a memorial garden on its campus in honor of Servant of God S. Blandina Segale. The high school shares the campus with the Archdiocese of Santa Fe’s administrative center; S. Blandina ministered to the people of the Archdiocese for many years, where she came to be known in every level of society from members of the state legislature to the indigent. Sisters and Associates in the area, SC president S. Patricia Hayden, as well as past and present board members of St. Joseph’s Children, were in attendance.
The Bottle Caps to Benches project at EarthConnection is making strides! Local Girl Scouts stopped by in February to help sort the 115 pounds of caps and lids that will be recycled and made into a bench and hopefully table for EarthConnection.
Those celebrating Leap Year birthdays this past February found the day marked with extra attention and celebration. Sister of Charity Ramona Chisholm is the only SC or Associate in the Community with the special birthday and claims most years, “You make it fun and celebrate two dates.” Born at 1:10 a.m. in Leap Year in Washington D.C., S. Ramona says the maternity ward collected all the birth certificates at midnight so her birth was recorded on Feb. 28. She happily goes with her mother’s first-hand knowledge which made her 19 this year on Feb. 29. With the help of creative and thoughtful friends, S. Ramona has enjoyed many special celebrations. A few years back her friends held a surprise ‘Sweet 16’ party for her. Another year Elvis was a surprise guest at the party.
Sisters, Associates and employees gathered in the Motherhouse Dining Room on Tuesday, Feb. 25 for a Mardi Gras celebration. Complete with New Orleans-themed appetizers and refreshments, guests were treated to a parade, music and dancing to mark the coming of Lent.
Sisters Donna Steffen (front row, third from left) and Jackie Leech (front row, third from right) are taking part in a six-week sabbatical program at Tantur Ecumenical Institute in Jerusalem, Israel, along with other participants from the U.S., England, Bangkok, Ireland, India, Australia and Uganda. The program introduces participants to many fascinating and unique aspects of the Holy Land while also offering time for personal reflection, rest and spiritual renewal.
Congratulations to SC sponsored ministry St. Joseph Home on the organization’s inaugural Night of Possibility. The fundraiser and evening at the Newport Aquarium superseded its goal of $50,000 to bolster developmental disability care within their programs.
Motherhouse Sisters enjoyed a private tour and tea at DePaul Cristo Rey High School recently at the invitation of school President S. Jeanne Bessette, OSF. The Sisters of Charity sponsor DPCR, and the campus has undergone significant change since the school opened in 2011. Some of the visiting Sisters had not been on campus in several years to witness the school’s growth and success as it nears the end of a major construction project adding two new buildings to the Clifton campus.
During Catholic Schools Week, student ambassadors from Seton High School delivered a ‘sweet’ gift for the Sisters. Socks wrapped to look like cupcakes, with a personalized note from a Seton student, were presented to the Sisters as a thoughtful gift for these cold winter months. The Community also shared the socks with persons at Community Matters in Lower Price Hill.
Sisters of Charity attended the celebration of Good Samaritan Hospital’s Graduate Medical Education Building’s new wall displays on Jan. 23. Housed entirely on the third floor of Dixmyth Tower, the halls of Medical Education are a walk through time as important figures in the history of Good Samaritan, Bethesda North and TriHealth are honored for their contributions. A timeline of key milestones in medical education and a reproduction of the 1875 surgical amphitheater from the Hospital of the Good Samaritan are vividly represented in striking detail. Attendees were able to learn more about a variety of historical subjects by scanning select QR codes on exhibit panels which includes Sisters Anthony O’Connell and Myra James Bradley. Graduate students from Northern Kentucky University partnered with Good Samaritan in this effort.
Office of Peace, Justice and Care for Creation Advisory Committee members Associates Patty Broughton, Irene Diesel, Jan Metz, Debbie Weber and Rita Wesseling toured the Cincinnati-based Esther Marie Hatton Center for Women in January. S. Katharine Pinto, who serves on the board of Shelterhouse, the organization that oversees the homeless shelter, arranged for the tour. The OPJCC team will be partnering with staff and residents of the Shelterhouse centers during the Lenten season.
Fifteen Sisters in their 40s from 11 congregations and 12 countries came together this past weekend in Seal Beach, California, for the Giving Voice 40s Retreat. Sister of Charity Romina Sapinoso joined the women for an energizing weekend filled with wisdom and love.
Sisters Tracy Kemme, Annie Klapheke and Whitney Schieltz joined Catholic peers in their 20s and 30s for a weekend of community, prayer and relaxation. This year’s Giving Voice retreat, held in Phoenix, Arizona, focused on the theme “Friendship with God: A Sending.”
S. Sally Duffy received the 2020 Exemplar Award from the Notre Dame Club of Greater Cincinnati on Sunday, Jan. 19 at its Family Mass and Brunch. According to its newsletter, “[B]efore discerning her vocation with the Sisters of Charity, [S. Sally] served as Notre Dame’s second women’s basketball coach while a graduate student at the University. She went on to a stellar career providing resources, strategic vision/guidance and spiritual leadership to many initiatives both locally and across the country that have improved conditions for the most vulnerable and underserved populations …” Congratulations, S. Sally!
Seton High School celebrated the Feast of Elizabeth Seton with an all-school Mass on Wednesday, Jan. 15 in the Auditorium. Sisters of Charity were invited to the celebration and lunch immediately following, which was provided by a SHS family.
Last week the House of Charity in New Orleans, Louisiana, hosted a Federation group for days filled with service, prayer and fellowship. During their time together the group served at Hotel Hope, a shelter for women and children founded by Sisters Mary Lou Specha and Julie Marsh, P.B.V.M.
Congratulations to Sisters of Charity President S. Patricia Hayden, who was honored by the State of Colorado for faithfully serving its people for more than 27 years as an educator, chaplain and hospital administrator. Colorado Governor Jared Polis proclaimed Nov. 20, 2019 as Sister Patricia Hayden Day, saying Sister acted as a beacon for Colorado communities and inspired lives led in service of others. S. Pat most recently ministered as the vice president of mission integration at St. Anthony Health Campus in Westminster, Colorado, before being elected to serve as president of her Community.
Sisters of Charity and Associates from across the country remembered Elizabeth Seton, founder of the Sisters of Charity and America’s first native-born saint, with celebrations over the weekend. The SC Motherhouse hosted a dinner and celebration on Sunday, Jan. 5 following afternoon Mass. In Spring Hill, Florida, Associates hosted a re-commitment ceremony as well as welcomed three new candidates into discernment. Sisters and Associates in the Colorado Springs area celebrated with an Associate commitment ceremony, welcoming Agnes Patrick and Patricia Traver to the Community.