Call Within a Call: - Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Call Within a Call: - Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Call Within a Call: - Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary


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BriefsBVMs Yesterdayand Today—Deanna Carr, BVM (Bernita) was recognizedin May 2010 for her leadership duringher ministry as pastoral coordinator for St.Gabriel Parish in Port Orchard, Wash. Thechurch’s new bell tower was dedicated in hername and <strong>the</strong> name <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Sisters</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>Charity</strong>,BVM. “It was an amazing moment for BVMsand our heritage <strong>of</strong> ministry throughout <strong>the</strong> church,” says Sr.Joyce Cox, BVM (Petrine) who was present at <strong>the</strong> dedicationceremony. “Deanna is so loved by this community and herministry so cherished.”Janet Desmond, BVM (Janet <strong>Mary</strong>) wasone <strong>of</strong> 25 Honorees named during <strong>the</strong> 25thAnniversary celebration <strong>of</strong> SET ministry,a community-based organization whosemission is to serve <strong>the</strong> Milwaukee, Wis.,community with health and human servicesthat promote self-sufficiency and improve<strong>the</strong>ir lives. Citing “tact, dependability and demonstration<strong>of</strong> SET ministry values,” <strong>the</strong> award notes that Janet and <strong>the</strong>o<strong>the</strong>r Honorees are “true leaders.” Janet says, “I witnessed<strong>the</strong> empowerment and transformation <strong>of</strong> SET participants.”Kathleen McGrath, BVM (Johnine) receivedan award “In Recognition <strong>of</strong> YourCommitment to End Hunger in Our Community”from <strong>the</strong> Redwood Empire FoodBank in Santa Rosa, Calif. Kathleen received<strong>the</strong> award at <strong>the</strong> end <strong>of</strong> her nine years <strong>of</strong>service on its board <strong>of</strong> directors. She workspart-time on <strong>the</strong> staff <strong>of</strong> Catholic Charities <strong>of</strong> Santa Rosa andvolunteers one morning a week at <strong>the</strong> food bank.<strong>Mary</strong> Sattgast, BVM (<strong>Mary</strong> de Porres) received<strong>the</strong> “Lamp <strong>of</strong> Knowledge Award” onJune 16, 2010, at <strong>the</strong> Carmel Catholic HighSchool Alumni Awards held in Long Grove,Ill. The award symbolizes a spirit-filled life inJesus and acknowledges those who use <strong>the</strong>irGod-given gifts <strong>of</strong> time, talent and treasureto touch <strong>the</strong> lives <strong>of</strong> o<strong>the</strong>rs. The award brochure describes<strong>Mary</strong>’s accomplishments: “She has tirelessly given her interest,energy, enthusiasm, knowledge and kindheartednessto <strong>the</strong> school for 40 years.”<strong>Mary</strong> Janine Wolff, BVM received <strong>the</strong> “10Year Individual <strong>of</strong> Service Award” from <strong>the</strong>27th Annual Governor’s Volunteer Awards inrecognition <strong>of</strong> her hours <strong>of</strong> volunteer serviceat <strong>the</strong> Ca<strong>the</strong>rine McAuley Center in CedarRapids, Iowa. The center provides programsfor transitional housing for women and adultbasic education. <strong>Mary</strong> Janine tutored in <strong>the</strong> Adult BasicEducation Program at <strong>the</strong> center for more than 10 yearsand also volunteered at many events. She now resides at<strong>the</strong> BVM Mo<strong>the</strong>rhouse in Dubuque, Iowa.Lou Anglin, BVM Reflectson <strong>the</strong> Past Quarter CenturyI came to know <strong>the</strong> BVMs while I was a student at Clarke Universityin Dubuque, Iowa. I loved that <strong>the</strong>y were women <strong>of</strong> prayer and justice,out <strong>the</strong>re making a difference in <strong>the</strong> world. One was even mayor <strong>of</strong>Dubuque at <strong>the</strong> time! I knew from my own family that I could live agenerous life without becoming a sister. But I did feel drawn to sharelife with o<strong>the</strong>rs who were committed to living justly and being <strong>of</strong>service, who valued prayer and living simply. It just seemed like somethingI was supposed to do.While I have been a middle and high school teacher for most <strong>of</strong> mylife in community, what I was supposed to do presented me with manyservice opportunities—in Kentucky, California, Kansas and Ecuador. Itaught in rural Iowa and Alabama, inner-city St. Louis and <strong>the</strong> suburbs.I had <strong>the</strong> chance to live and study with religious from all over <strong>the</strong> world.While I hope I have been <strong>of</strong> service and have given something worthwhileover <strong>the</strong> years, I know I have been given a great deal more. I haveformed friendships with all kinds <strong>of</strong> people, have had opportunities todeepen my spirituality, and have been shown a much bigger world.Twenty-five years later <strong>the</strong> community looks a little different, too.Having responded to <strong>the</strong> signs <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> times, many BVMs have movedinto ministries focused on justice and working with <strong>the</strong> materially poor.BVMs are reaching out in compassion to Hansen’s disease patients inEcuador, helping to open one <strong>of</strong> Ghana’s first lending libraries, lobbyingCongress for more equitable immigration laws, being a peacefulpresence in <strong>the</strong> Los Angeles public school system—to name a few. Wealso continue to grow in our reliance on God and truly value our ministry<strong>of</strong> prayer and presence. Like <strong>Mary</strong> Frances Clarke, we try to dowhat we can with a steady and quiet faith-filled presence.Today my ministry on <strong>the</strong> community’s Initial Membership team iswalking with people as <strong>the</strong>y try to figure out what <strong>the</strong>y are supposed todo. Many are searching for ways to be <strong>of</strong> service and to work with o<strong>the</strong>rsto bring about change. Much <strong>of</strong> my ministry consists <strong>of</strong> providingpeople with opportunities to slow down, to listen to where God is leading<strong>the</strong>m, and to share with <strong>the</strong>m what living in community has meantto me.I don’t know what <strong>the</strong> next 25 years will hold, but based on <strong>the</strong>last 25, I’m sure I won’t be bored. I celebrate my jubilee year with apr<strong>of</strong>ound sense <strong>of</strong> gratitude and trust that what I’m supposed to do willcontinue to unfold.About <strong>the</strong> author: Lou Anglin, BVM is an initial membership coordinator for<strong>the</strong> BVM congregation at Mount Carmel in Dubuque, Iowa.FALL TWO THOUSAND TEN5

Linda Roby, BVM interprets in sign language at a baptismalvow renewal during a first communion retreat.challenges he defended his commitmentto Deaf ministry and ministry and pastoralservices for people with disabilities,saying, “These are <strong>the</strong> people for whomwe will be held accountable in heaven.”Communication TechnologyBrings Deaf and HearingCommunities CloserThroughout years <strong>of</strong> sweeping change,Linda continued to contribute to <strong>the</strong> Deafcommunity according to her gifts andcircumstances. Pioneers at St. GregorySchool in Chicago could hardly have envisioned<strong>the</strong> scope <strong>of</strong> such change.Not many years ago communicationwith <strong>the</strong> Deaf could only happen faceto face. Today communication has beengreatly enhanced through technology.Initially TTY phones, a telecommunicationsdevice about <strong>the</strong> size <strong>of</strong> a laptop,provided an alternative to talking andlistening. Text was transmitted live, via aphone line, to a compatible device thatused a similar communication protocol.Today most Deaf prefer to communicateinstantaneously through e-mail and textmessaging.Videophones give <strong>the</strong> Deaf an opportunityto communicate with each o<strong>the</strong>rusing <strong>the</strong>ir own (ASL) language. Relayoperators who read and interpret sign languagemake it possible for <strong>the</strong> Deaf personto make calls to phone users who are notDeaf, and enable those not pr<strong>of</strong>icient insign to communicate with members <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>Deaf community.“Carry over” services facilitate telephonecommunication with people whocan hear but cannot speak (“hear carryover” or HCO), or people who canno<strong>the</strong>ar but are able to speak (“voice carryover” or VCO).Nor are dramatic changes in Deafministry confined to technology. Ministryamong <strong>the</strong> Deaf is increasingly in <strong>the</strong>hands <strong>of</strong> pr<strong>of</strong>essionally-trained lay ministerswho are <strong>the</strong>mselves Deaf and canmodel Deaf culture to co-workers and tohearing parents <strong>of</strong> children who are Deaf.Many presenters at regional and nationalconferences on pastoral ministry within<strong>the</strong> Deaf community are, <strong>the</strong>mselves,Deaf. Wherever possible, liturgies arebeing celebrated by Deaf priests within asigning community. Websites enable suchpriests to reach large numbers <strong>of</strong> thosewho are active in <strong>the</strong> Catholic Deaf Community,and also those who do not haveaccess to programs in <strong>the</strong>ir own dioceses.The cultural gap that once distanced<strong>the</strong> Deaf from <strong>the</strong> rest <strong>of</strong> society is narrowing.This is due in part to <strong>the</strong> Americanswith Disabilities Act (1990) whichbrings with it federal guarantees <strong>of</strong> equityand dignity. Despite <strong>the</strong> fact that manydioceses have not yet caught up withits vision, <strong>the</strong> Pastoral Statement <strong>of</strong> U.S.Catholic Bishops on People with Disabilities(1978) continues to guide <strong>the</strong> Church’sefforts to include <strong>the</strong> Deaf in Catholicliturgy and in <strong>the</strong> diverse aspects <strong>of</strong> parishlife including study <strong>of</strong> scripture andCatholic social teaching.<strong>Within</strong> her call to BVM life and mission,Linda has responded to a call to walkwith <strong>the</strong> Deaf community on its challengingjourney. With <strong>the</strong> Deaf she has als<strong>of</strong>ound “life-giving patterns <strong>of</strong> prayer,” ascolleagues celebrate liturgy with <strong>the</strong> grace,dignity and movement <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>ir uniquelanguage and with a “spirit <strong>of</strong> inner freedom.”Thanks to <strong>the</strong> pioneers, both Deaf andhearing, <strong>the</strong> Word <strong>of</strong> God is proclaimednot only with well-trained tongue but alsowith well-trained hands. Linda’s translation<strong>of</strong> Deuteronomy 30:14: “My Wordis very near you! It is in your hands and inyour heart!”About <strong>the</strong> author: Deanna Carr, BVM (Bernita)is an archivist at Mount Carmel in Dubuque,Iowa.FALL TWO THOUSAND TEN7

Blanche Marie Gallagher, BVM —Embracing <strong>the</strong> ‘Noosphere’by Carmelle Zserdin, BVMPictured in her studio in1976, Blanche stands infront <strong>of</strong> her oil painting“Homage to Teilhard: Planetization.”As religious, we have all heard andanswered <strong>the</strong> call to religious life. Itmay have been a gentle inner voice, arelentless nagging, a persistent longing—orit may have been as BlancheMarie Gallagher, BVM remembers—“like being knocked <strong>of</strong>f a horse.”Blanche teaches at Holy Angels Academyin Milwaukee, Wis., in 1953.A series <strong>of</strong> serendipitous events took young Patricia Gallagher from <strong>the</strong> small Norwegian,Lu<strong>the</strong>ran town <strong>of</strong> Waverly, Iowa, where she had little Catholic training and noart training, to a life as a BVM, a pr<strong>of</strong>essor, an artist, a Teilhardian scholar, and eventually,a spiritual mentor and a Jungian dream coach.She recalls with a touch <strong>of</strong> humor, “I wanted to study music and was <strong>of</strong>fered scholarshipsto several Iowa universities . . . My fa<strong>the</strong>r determined I go to a Catholic college,Clarke College, in Dubuque, Iowa.” Music courses were not available to her so sheenrolled in an art class and interior design. “The first course was a drawing course . . .I panicked—I couldn’t draw! I tried (unsuccessfully) to withdraw.” She transferred toMundelein College in Chicago where, two years later, she graduated with a degree inart and “an (unbidden) invitation to a religious vocation.”Never intending to teach, Blanche had assiduously avoided education courses incollege. Never<strong>the</strong>less, as a young religious she learned teaching skills <strong>the</strong> hard way:teaching diverse subjects in primary and secondary school for seven years. Life for <strong>the</strong>new teacher was hectic and prescribed. Opportunity for creative work consisted mainly<strong>of</strong> making spiritual bouquets and table decorations. “I didn’t even think <strong>of</strong> doing myown work.”8SALT MAGAZINE

A Cosmic Artist Is BornIn 1955 opportunities opened up.Blanche was assigned to <strong>the</strong> art departmentat Mundelein College, which shechaired for 14 years. She finished herM.F.A. at Catholic University. She livedin a lively intellectual community and<strong>the</strong> cultural riches <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> city were at herdisposal. “I had real art students to teach.I had a studio and began to paint . . . Ibegan to think <strong>of</strong> myself as an artist.”Though rewarding on several levels,<strong>the</strong>se early years were also ones <strong>of</strong> frustration,depression and unfulfilled spiritualneeds. “I was searching for a <strong>the</strong>ology <strong>of</strong>hope and Thomas Aquinas was not doing itfor me. Teilhard’s evolutionary creation spirituality<strong>of</strong>fered me a <strong>the</strong>ological aes<strong>the</strong>tic.”The writings <strong>of</strong> Teilhard de Chardin—priest, scientist, poet, mystic and <strong>the</strong>ologian—introduceda rich and vibrantspiritual milieu that encompassed <strong>the</strong>entire cosmos: man, nature, past, presentand future. It was a positive, unifying <strong>the</strong>ologyin which <strong>the</strong> cosmos was constantlyevolving, spiraling toward perfection, <strong>the</strong>“noosphere”—<strong>the</strong> collective consciousness<strong>of</strong> all human beings—and God.For over 25 years, Blanche painted hervisions <strong>of</strong> evolutionary spirituality andtaught courses based on Teilhard’s <strong>the</strong>ologyat Mundelein College and in Loyola’sInstitute <strong>of</strong> Pastoral Studies. “I lecturedabout Teilhard in <strong>the</strong> United States andabroad,” she notes in <strong>the</strong> introduction toher book, Meditations with Teilhard DeChardin (1988). “I have used this greatman’s mind to feed my own craft as apainter, teacher and writer, and to nourish<strong>the</strong> genesis <strong>of</strong> my own soul.”In Teilhard’s <strong>the</strong>ology, Blanche discovered<strong>the</strong> perfect subject matter for herpainting, and in <strong>the</strong> works <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> abstractexpressionist artists she found a style <strong>of</strong>presentation ideally suited to express <strong>the</strong>spiritual and mystical vision <strong>of</strong> Theilard.Her oil paintings and watercolors werejoyful visual poems, filled with movement,energy, light and color. In creating a paintingshe describes her objectives: “The paintinghad to brea<strong>the</strong>, have life <strong>of</strong> its own; <strong>the</strong>light had to come from within, radiatingfrom <strong>the</strong> painted surface.” These objectivescan be seen in several <strong>of</strong> her large workscurrently on exhibit at Mount Carmel inDubuque, Iowa.Spirituality Influences <strong>the</strong>Evolution <strong>of</strong> a Second ‘<strong>Call</strong>ing’New influences were assimilated andbecame <strong>the</strong> foundation <strong>of</strong> her next callingas spiritual mentor and dream coach. In<strong>the</strong> early 1970s Blanche became interestedin dream symbolism and was fortunateto have a Jungian program available inChicago. When Mat<strong>the</strong>w Fox, <strong>the</strong>ologian,teacher and author, introduced <strong>the</strong> programin Creation Spirituality—centeredon <strong>the</strong> writings <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> 14th century mystic,Meister Eckhart—to Mundelein Collegein 1978, she found ano<strong>the</strong>r sourcefor lectures and workshops. She taught inthis program until 1983. Her work as aspiritual mentor and dream coach beganin earnest in 1982, when she returnedfrom studying at <strong>the</strong> Graduate TheologicalUnion in Berkeley, Calif.Blanche experienced ano<strong>the</strong>r changein 1991 when Mundelein became anincorporated college <strong>of</strong> Loyola University.“I lost my studio in <strong>the</strong> Spanish Manor. . . Blanche <strong>the</strong> painter died.” With studioart behind her, Blanche <strong>the</strong> pr<strong>of</strong>essorcontinued to teach in <strong>the</strong> Pastoral StudiesProgram at Loyola, where she is now apr<strong>of</strong>essor emerita.In her present calling as spiritual mentorand dream coach, Blanche has meldedher experience as a religious, artist andteacher with many spiritual traditions:Teilhard, Creation Spirituality, <strong>the</strong> art andspirituality <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> near east and Jungiandream <strong>the</strong>ory. These spiritual traditionsare all about finding one’s true way and“embracing God in prayer.”“The mission statement <strong>of</strong> my communityis ‘to be free and to free o<strong>the</strong>rs inGod’s steadfast love,’” Blanche explains.“I find this privileged work very freeingfor myself and my clients . . . We are nowgraced to find out where God is for each<strong>of</strong> us. This work has given my life as an‘elder’ much meaning and joy.”About <strong>the</strong> author: Carmel Zserdin, BVM is anartist and retired associate pr<strong>of</strong>essor <strong>of</strong> art atClarke University in Dubuque, Iowa.Blanche describesone <strong>of</strong> her paintingsat an exhibit in<strong>the</strong> 405 Gallery atMundelein Collegein 1974.FALL TWO THOUSAND TEN9

The Senate <strong>the</strong>me,Your Affectionate—Back to <strong>the</strong> Future, wascarried out in symbol,prayer and music inkeynote presentationsby <strong>the</strong> BVM LeadershipTeam, o<strong>the</strong>rspeakers and in groupdiscussions.Two areas had been<strong>the</strong> focus <strong>of</strong> congregation-widediscussionfor several years.“Launching <strong>the</strong> Vision,BVM DirectionalPolice for Finance”and “Mount CarmelCampus Land MasterPlan” reached finaldiscussion and passageby <strong>the</strong> Senate.Its stated purpose is“to promote <strong>the</strong> lifeand mission <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>congregation by actingas <strong>the</strong> living voice<strong>of</strong> all sisters within <strong>the</strong>congregation.”The Senate alsovoiced unanimousaffirmation <strong>of</strong> comprehensiveimmigrationreform. United Statescitizens, our country’sgovernment andBVMs <strong>the</strong>mselves continueto deal with <strong>the</strong>complex human andsocial justice issuesinvolved in <strong>the</strong> present“broken system”that does not respondto current situationsand needs.BVM CongregationalRepresentatives took<strong>the</strong> stage for a “Gettingto Know Your Rep”session. They are (l. tor.) Anne Kendall, PeggyGeraghty, Carol Spiegeland Kathleen Conway(not pictured).Clockwise, from left:BVM Ann Harrington(l.) listens intently toKathryn Lawlor, BVMas <strong>the</strong> two share <strong>the</strong>irresearch into congregationalhistory.BVM Deanna Randallpours dirt she broughtfrom Clarksdale, Miss.,during one <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>reflective prayers preparedby Dee Peppard(r.), and Dodie Dwight(not pictured).Marie Corr, BVM congratulates<strong>the</strong> CongregationalRepresentativeson a successful year.Bertha Fox, BVM (r.)greets her former studentand <strong>the</strong> director<strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Little Singers <strong>of</strong>Toyko as Ladonna Manternach(l.) introduces<strong>the</strong> choras. The singersstopped to perform for<strong>the</strong> BVMs on route toClarke University.BVMs lifted hearts andvoices in song as <strong>the</strong>Senate concluded.They are (l. to r.) KathyCarr, Judith Dewell,Elizabeth Avalos, PatNolan, Kathleen Antol,Marge Sannasardo andTheresa Gleeson.FALL TWO THOUSAND TEN11

When <strong>Mary</strong> Ellen McDonagh, BVMfirst heard <strong>the</strong> <strong>the</strong>me for this issue <strong>of</strong> Salt,“A <strong>Call</strong> <strong>Within</strong> A <strong>Call</strong>,” she said: “I don’tbelieve <strong>the</strong> call to justice and peace isa second call. It is <strong>the</strong> primary call <strong>of</strong> adisciple <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> nonviolent Jesus.”For four decades <strong>Mary</strong> Ellen has beendrawn to <strong>the</strong> work <strong>of</strong> justice. As a juniorin high school, she became aware <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>starving people in Biafra and decided tolimit <strong>the</strong> amount <strong>of</strong> food her family discarded.Although she was never taughtCatholic Social Teaching in school, shediscovered it by volunteering at a homefor mentally challenged adults; participatingin anti-Vietnam protests on campus;and reading literature, particularlySojourners magazine.Actions on Behalf <strong>of</strong> JusticeReflect and Enact GospelDirectivesIn 1974, <strong>Mary</strong> Ellen embodied <strong>the</strong>imperative from <strong>the</strong> National Council<strong>of</strong> Catholic Bishops (NCCB) document,Justice in <strong>the</strong> World: “Action on behalf <strong>of</strong>justice and participation in <strong>the</strong> transformation<strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> world, fully appear to us asa constitutive dimension <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> preaching<strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Gospel.” As an English and journalismteacher she lived this awareness andbrought peace and justice issues into <strong>the</strong>classroom. While studying for her Master<strong>of</strong> Science degree in journalism from IowaState University, she became involved in<strong>the</strong> Newman Center and participated inlaity-led liturgies.In <strong>the</strong> 1980s <strong>Mary</strong> Ellen was hiredas editor <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Catholic newspaper, TheCatholic Key, in Kansas City, Mo. While<strong>Mary</strong> Ellen McDonagh, BVM kneels during an SOA (School <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Americas) vigil in Fort Benning, Ga.The SOA is now known as WHINSEC (Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation). Top, left:<strong>Mary</strong> Ellen visits with Amal, an artist, and her son in <strong>the</strong>ir Baghdad home. She purchased two <strong>of</strong> Amal’spaintings—one for herself and one as a 175th Jubilee gift to Mount Carmel.Peace, Justice &Preaching <strong>the</strong> GospelBVM Devotes FourDecades to ‘Primary <strong>Call</strong>’by <strong>Mary</strong> Nolan, BVM12SALT MAGAZINE

<strong>the</strong>re, she also became active in <strong>the</strong> MissouriPloughshares Movement and wrotearticles based on social justice issues whichwon awards from <strong>the</strong> Catholic Press Association.These articles were not favorablyreceived by diocesan <strong>of</strong>ficials and twoyears later, her job as editor <strong>of</strong> The CatholicKey ended.<strong>Mary</strong> Ellen also volunteered at <strong>the</strong>Catholic Worker House in Kansas Cityand assisted with providing shelter andserving meals to <strong>the</strong> homeless once aweek. It was this daily contact with peoplewho were poor that proved invaluable. “Idiscovered in <strong>the</strong> living <strong>of</strong> my religiouslife, I needed <strong>the</strong> poor to help me staybalanced. And after months <strong>of</strong> volunteeringat <strong>the</strong> Catholic Worker House and<strong>Mary</strong> Ellen McDonagh, BVM chats with Billie Mc-Cune, a longtime Catholic Worker House guest.Billie, now deceased, was a former death rowinmate in Texas.connecting with peace-minded folks, Idecided to move in for one month. Thatone month lasted seven years.”Passion for PeaceLeads to Many PlacesIn addition to helping at <strong>the</strong> CatholicWorker House, <strong>Mary</strong> Ellen worked parttimefor <strong>the</strong> Kansas City Interfaith PeaceAlliance as publisher <strong>of</strong> its newsletter andas bookkeeper. She also was responsiblefor updating circulation records.Her passion for peace led her to walkin many places: in <strong>the</strong> “March On Washington”to support <strong>the</strong> homeless; from aKansas City plant to Whiteman Air ForceBase and at Omaha’s Strategic Air CommandBase to protest nuclear weapons;to <strong>the</strong> Nevada desert test site to pray forpeace; and to Fort Benning, Ga., to petitionfor <strong>the</strong> closing <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> former School<strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Americas.These actions <strong>of</strong>ten led her to jail forbooking and “ban and bar” letters stating:“don’t come back for five to ten years.”She also decided to withhold her tax onphone bills as a way <strong>of</strong> protesting <strong>the</strong>funding <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> war. She said: “This wasa minor violation and <strong>the</strong> governmentwouldn’t come after me!”In 1997, although rooted in KansasCity, she applied for <strong>the</strong> BVM positionat 8th Day Center for Justice in Chicago.She had thought <strong>of</strong> applying previously,but couldn’t imagine herself following in<strong>the</strong> footsteps <strong>of</strong> Eloise Thomas, BVM ando<strong>the</strong>r sisters who had been such advocatesfor peace. But this time she applied andwas chosen. Commenting on her selectionshe said, “8th Day Center would be <strong>the</strong>only place where my arrest record wouldget me <strong>the</strong> job!”While at 8th Day Center, <strong>Mary</strong> Ellenhad <strong>the</strong> opportunity to travel and witnessfor world peace as an observer <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>Orange Parades in Nor<strong>the</strong>rn Ireland. Shealso went to Haiti, as part <strong>of</strong> a delegation,to visit a micro-lending credit unionin Port au Prince and a bakery in a ruralarea. Later on she visited Ecuador andGuatemala to encourage BVMs and o<strong>the</strong>rsworking in ministries <strong>of</strong> education,healthcare and outreach.The most memorable experiences wereher two visits into sanction-weary Iraq,illegally smuggling medicine, medicaljournals and school supplies. Being with<strong>the</strong> people and bringing an American face<strong>of</strong> hope with humanitarian aid just twoweeks before <strong>the</strong> war started in 2003 wasdangerous and unforgettable.Faith Requires ActionCurrently <strong>Mary</strong> Ellen belongs to <strong>the</strong>St. Louis Chapter <strong>of</strong> Missouri’s Coalitionfor Alternatives to <strong>the</strong> Death Penalty. Shewas elected to <strong>the</strong> state board <strong>of</strong> Missouriansto Abolish <strong>the</strong> Death Penalty (MADP)and attends quarterly board meetings. Shemeets monthly with <strong>the</strong> IntercommunityJustice Group comprised <strong>of</strong> womenreligious and o<strong>the</strong>rs in <strong>the</strong> St. Louis area.Through educational programs and o<strong>the</strong>revents, <strong>the</strong>y raise awareness in areas <strong>of</strong>human trafficking, health care, women’sissues and immigration. And every day athome, <strong>Mary</strong> Ellen consistently and endlesslyrecycles to protect Mo<strong>the</strong>r Earth.Her involvements are many but herfocus is single-minded: justice and peace.“I always wanted to be involved in everythingbut realized <strong>the</strong>re were only 24hours in a day and one’s energy needs tobe recharged. So I am learning to set prioritiesand live <strong>the</strong> call to a spirituality <strong>of</strong>nonviolence, believing that faith requiresaction in addition to prayer.”<strong>Mary</strong> Ellen McDonagh, BVM stops with some local children on a trek up a mountain to a villagechurch in Guatemala.About <strong>the</strong> author: <strong>Mary</strong> Nolan, BVM (Patricia<strong>Mary</strong>) is a home care companion in St. Louis, Mo.FALL TWO THOUSAND TEN13

Discovering Passion andInner Peace in ‘Second’ Ministriesby <strong>Mary</strong> Martens, BVM“I have called you by name,”God says to <strong>the</strong> prophet Isaiah,and by extension to eachbeliever. Every BVM sisterhas her own story about <strong>the</strong>call she experienced and towhich she responded whenshe entered <strong>the</strong> congregation.Connected with saying “yes”to <strong>the</strong> religious vocation was<strong>the</strong> knowledge that she wouldbe using her personal giftsin service to o<strong>the</strong>rs. A call tomission and ministry is part <strong>of</strong>one’s vocation.Over <strong>the</strong> years, some haveexperienced a “call within acall” that has taken <strong>the</strong>m to aministry in places and culturesoutside <strong>the</strong> United States.Just as God’s call to a religiousvocation is unique to eachpersonality, so too <strong>the</strong> call toa ministry comes “tailored” to<strong>the</strong> individual.Is she energized by <strong>the</strong>situations and people amongwhom she lives and works? Isshe energized when she goesdeep within her own heartspacethrough quiet reflection?Does an idea come into focussuddenly? Does it come slowly,quietly and persistently over aperiod <strong>of</strong> time?Cindy Sullivan, BVM congratulates one <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> students at <strong>the</strong> Working Boys’ Center in Quito, Ecuador,where she ministers.A Simultaneous <strong>Call</strong> toReligious Life and MinistryTwo stories illustrate how differentlyGod calls. Cindy Sullivan, trained as adental hygienist from upstate New York,joined <strong>the</strong> Peace Corps at age 20 out <strong>of</strong>a sense <strong>of</strong> idealism and service. Requestingto go to Africa, she was sent insteadto Quito, Ecuador. There she met BVMMiguel Conway and Jesuit John Halligan,and discovered <strong>the</strong> Working Boys’ Center.In that setting, Cindy experienced both acall to religious life and a call to ministryat <strong>the</strong> Center, where she was already livingin a community. She recognized almostimmediately what her mission in lifewould be. “This was it!” came suddenly.Entering <strong>the</strong> congregation meant amove back to <strong>the</strong> States for her novitiateyears. “I realized that God was in charge. Igot over my agenda and learned to trust,”Cindy reflects. “The hardest thing I didwas leaving Quito, not knowing if I’dreturn.” In <strong>the</strong> novitiate, her own discernmentabout ministry converged with <strong>the</strong>discernment <strong>of</strong> those guiding her. Happilyshe found herself returning to <strong>the</strong> WorkingBoys’ Center after her first pr<strong>of</strong>ession<strong>of</strong> vows.Thirty-six years in this special ministry14SALT MAGAZINE

have gifted Cindy “with a sense <strong>of</strong> havingfound my passion and <strong>of</strong> knowing aninner peace.” She feels keenly <strong>the</strong> support<strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> entire congregation for <strong>the</strong> Center—inreality a center for girls as well asboys. Familiar to all BVMs is <strong>the</strong> notionthat “where one BVM is, <strong>the</strong>re we all are.”Cindy’s passion is her strong belief in <strong>the</strong>“family <strong>of</strong> families” among whom sheworks, shares life and finds support.Cindy tells <strong>the</strong>ir story ra<strong>the</strong>r thanher own. It illustrates <strong>the</strong> richness <strong>of</strong> hermission, and she is not shy about sharingit. “Children who come to <strong>the</strong> Centercommit to its values <strong>of</strong> working to help<strong>the</strong>ir families, and studying to becomeeducated and productive members <strong>of</strong>Ecuadorian society. They learn a trade oroccupation to move beyond poverty anddependence.”It’s significant to note that as part <strong>of</strong>this story, some 6,000 families have leftpoverty behind in <strong>the</strong> 46 years <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>Center’s existence. Even more significantis <strong>the</strong> fact that some <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> original “workingboys” and girls are now administratorsand teachers at <strong>the</strong> Center. Cindy’s callto religious life and to Quito have shapedand influenced <strong>the</strong> lives <strong>of</strong> many o<strong>the</strong>rsalong with her own.<strong>Mary</strong> Ann Hoope, BVM attends <strong>the</strong> library ground-breaking ceremony in Kumasi, Ghana, in May 2010.Pictured (l. to r.) are: <strong>Mary</strong> Ann; BVM Irene Lukefahr; Rev. Thomas K. Mensah, Archbishop <strong>of</strong> Kumasi;BVM Laurene Brady; and BVM Therese Jacobs.Response to <strong>the</strong> Spirit’s <strong>Call</strong>Fosters Sense <strong>of</strong> WholenessAcross <strong>the</strong> Atlantic from <strong>the</strong> Americancontinent, Africa held <strong>the</strong> key to <strong>Mary</strong>Anne Hoope’s desire to live simply andto teach in a poor country. She first metBVMs at Mundelein College in Chicago,where she experienced <strong>the</strong> call that led herto enter <strong>the</strong> congregation. After pr<strong>of</strong>essionshe was sent to Marquette University forher M.A. The call to ministry led back toMundelein at first, where she taught religiousstudies from 1968–86. She workedon a Ph.D. at St. Louis University, andexpected a long tenure in ministry atMundelein.<strong>Mary</strong> Anne reminisces on “<strong>the</strong> mystery<strong>of</strong> God’s call …” One might say that her“call within a call” incubated for someyears at Mundelein, starting in a 1982retreat when she “became aware <strong>of</strong> a desireto work more directly with poor people.”She felt God answer, “Go to Africa.” Theidea was surprising, because she had neverthought <strong>of</strong> missionary life. But <strong>the</strong> callpersisted . . .How to pursue that call “was <strong>the</strong>beginning <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> scariest journey <strong>of</strong> mylife,” she admits. But leaving Mundeleinso soon after completing her Ph.D. at <strong>the</strong>college’s expense did not seem possible.During a summer retreat in 1985,<strong>Mary</strong> Anne had a definite feeling that“fidelity to <strong>the</strong> Lord required that I maketime and find out what ministry possibilitiesexisted in Africa.” A trusted retreatdirector <strong>of</strong>fered names <strong>of</strong> missionariescurrently in Africa and missionaries whohad returned to <strong>the</strong> United States. As shesent out letters <strong>of</strong> inquiry to search for herplace, a spirit <strong>of</strong> openness to God’s callingremained with her during <strong>the</strong> time <strong>of</strong>waiting.Eventually, several possibilities openedup, including a seminary in Zambia.Some months later, a response arrivedfrom Fa<strong>the</strong>r Michael Targett, a Missionary<strong>of</strong> Africa in Kumasi, Ghana. His letterdescribed a position at <strong>the</strong> Centre forSpiritual Renewal in Kumasi. At about<strong>the</strong> same time, <strong>Mary</strong> Anne embarked on a“Third World Experience” to Zimbabwe.She was able to include a visit to Ghanaduring that experience. The Centre’s needsseemed to match her talents.In <strong>the</strong> fall <strong>of</strong> 1986, after fur<strong>the</strong>r discernmentand self-reflection, <strong>Mary</strong> Anneanswered “<strong>the</strong> call to Africa” at age 44.Since <strong>the</strong>n, her 24 years at <strong>the</strong> Centre inGhana have focused on sharing her beliefthat “spirituality has to do with becomingwhole.” Her gifts for teaching <strong>the</strong>ology,directing retreats, and giving spiritualdirection have fulfilled many needs, especially<strong>of</strong> women and men starting out inreligious life.Like Cindy in Ecuador, <strong>Mary</strong> Anne inGhana represents not only those BVMswhose ministries have taken <strong>the</strong>m farfrom <strong>the</strong>ir homeland in responding toGod’s call, but also every BVM who is,in <strong>the</strong> words <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> BVM Constitutions,“responsive to <strong>the</strong> Spirit speaking in <strong>the</strong>exigencies <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> times.” And calling herby name.About <strong>the</strong> author: <strong>Mary</strong> Martens, BVM (Loras)is administrative assistant at Mount Carmel inDubuque, Iowa.FALL TWO THOUSAND TEN15

Initial Ministry Leads to DeeperJourney for Pat Thalhuber, BVMby Pat Nolan, BVM“When you follow a call . . . trust becomes <strong>the</strong> heart <strong>of</strong> it; you open yourself to<strong>the</strong> experience.” So reflects Pat Thalhuber, BVM, teacher, Restorative Justice Facilitator/CircleTrainer, youth minister and author. Pat feels certain that her vocation to <strong>the</strong>BVMs was a stepping-stone to a deeper, more intensely au<strong>the</strong>ntic life which took <strong>the</strong>form <strong>of</strong> living and working with Native American peoples.“I felt a call to connect with a moreindigenous way <strong>of</strong> living, a call to participatein life as it is revealed ra<strong>the</strong>r than as itis planned out . . .” Pat believes that it wasactually <strong>Mary</strong> Frances Clarke who calledher. “She has always been in my life,” Patmuses. “Perhaps she had an experiencewith native people in Iowa that planted<strong>the</strong> seed in me.” Pat thinks <strong>of</strong> this as acall to discovery, and she states, “<strong>Call</strong>ingdoesn’t just happen; you are led forward. . . I was led to <strong>the</strong> BVMs. Yet <strong>the</strong>y wereeducators, and I wanted to do social workand to work directly with <strong>the</strong> poor.”And, because “<strong>the</strong>y were educators,”Pat received a bachelor’s degree in elementaryeducation from Mundelein Collegein Chicago, minoring in both educationaland child psychology. She also earnedgraduate credits in elementary educationand child psychology at <strong>the</strong> University <strong>of</strong>Minnesota. She taught elementary schoolfor 13 years before her dream <strong>of</strong> workingwith indigenous communities becamereality. Later, it would seem that thoseyears <strong>of</strong> working in education preparedher for her life’s work.Journey to Lifelong DreamBegins at Red Cloud IndianSchoolIn her years <strong>of</strong> teaching elementaryschool students, Pat found herself collectingcultural information about reservationsthroughout <strong>the</strong> United States.Then, in <strong>the</strong> 1970s, when <strong>the</strong> BVMsopened <strong>the</strong> door to ministries o<strong>the</strong>r thantraditional forms <strong>of</strong> teaching, Pat began<strong>the</strong> journey toward what seemed to her alifelong dream: she chose to teach Englishand reading at <strong>the</strong> Red Cloud IndianSchool on <strong>the</strong> Pine Ridge Reservation inSouth Dakota. She recalls, “I moved fromCardinal Spellman Grade School, an airforce base school in Omaha, Neb., to PineRidge, and I felt like I was coming home!”Pat’s intention was to learn directlyfrom <strong>the</strong> people about <strong>the</strong>ir culture; thusshe accepted a small home in <strong>the</strong> hills <strong>of</strong>Pine Ridge <strong>of</strong>fered by a community elderand resided <strong>the</strong>re ra<strong>the</strong>r than at <strong>the</strong> missionwith <strong>the</strong> three o<strong>the</strong>r sisters who alsotaught <strong>the</strong>re. Pat reflects that, while <strong>the</strong>re,“I learned from <strong>the</strong> native people a way <strong>of</strong>daily life that is both humble and sacred.”While living on <strong>the</strong> reservation andteaching at Red Cloud Indian School, Patlearned <strong>the</strong> intrinsic value <strong>of</strong> oral traditionand, subsequently, she developed aneducational program that enabled her studentsto compile <strong>the</strong> oral histories <strong>of</strong> some<strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> community elders. Listening to <strong>the</strong>elders, students discovered informationabout <strong>the</strong>ir heritage that had not beendocumented in written form. Moreover,in walking with her students on <strong>the</strong>ir oralhistory projects, Pat also learned, firsthand,<strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> historical indignities experiencedby indigenous people.16SALT MAGAZINE

‘Circles Restored’ BuildsTrust and Understanding inRestorative Justice MinistryFollowing her 12 years <strong>of</strong> living atPine Ridge, Pat worked with variousnative peoples throughout <strong>the</strong> UnitedStates. In 1990, she developed a programcalled “Circles Restored,” based ona model used with indigenous peopleknown as “Circle.” A Circle is similar toa small group in which participants aretrained and led to speak with respect andin trust <strong>of</strong> one ano<strong>the</strong>r. They are encouragedby a facilitator or “keeper <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>Circle” to tell <strong>the</strong>ir stories to those whoagree to listen. Recently, Pat has used andfur<strong>the</strong>red <strong>the</strong> Circle process in her workwith restorative justice throughout <strong>the</strong>Twin Cities.Pat explains that <strong>the</strong> book, Buildinga Home for <strong>the</strong> Heart: Using Metaphors inValue-Centered Circles (2007) which sheauthored with colleague Susan Thompson,demonstrates how <strong>the</strong> Circle processwas used with women <strong>of</strong>fenders at <strong>the</strong>Volunteers <strong>of</strong> America Corrections Centerin Roseville, Minn. Fur<strong>the</strong>r, she says thatthis method <strong>of</strong>fers members, individualsand families “a problem-solving processin which <strong>the</strong>ir experiences [can] be heardand respected[;] <strong>the</strong>se Circles [give] <strong>the</strong>m<strong>the</strong> confidence to move forward and makechanges” (33).In 1958, when Pat Thalhuberresponded to <strong>the</strong> call to be a BVM, sheopened herself to an even larger visionwhich began to unfold during <strong>the</strong> yearsthat she spent in a traditional classroom.Compelled, as she believes, by <strong>the</strong> spirit<strong>of</strong> <strong>Mary</strong> Frances Clarke to participate in<strong>the</strong> struggle <strong>of</strong> those who suffer injustice,Pat’s initial call to trust led her and continuesto lead her on a deeper journey <strong>of</strong>faithful au<strong>the</strong>nticity, empowerment andtransformation.About <strong>the</strong> author: Pat Nolan, BVM (Frederick<strong>Mary</strong>) is a retired faculty member <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Languageand Literature Department at ClarkeUniversity in Dubuque, Iowa.Clarke CollegeBecomes ClarkeUniversityClarke College in Dubuque, Iowa,<strong>of</strong>ficially became Clarke Universityon Aug. 1, 2010.Founded as St. <strong>Mary</strong>’s FemaleAcademy in 1843, it was renamedClarke College in 1928 in honor<strong>of</strong> its foundress <strong>Mary</strong> FrancesClarke, BVM, who also founded<strong>the</strong> <strong>Sisters</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>Charity</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong><strong>Blessed</strong> <strong>Virgin</strong> <strong>Mary</strong>.“By becoming Clarke University,we are publicly and proudlyclaiming <strong>the</strong> scope <strong>of</strong> who weare as an institution,” says ClarkePresident Joanne M. Burrows, SC,Ph.D. “The name change speaksto <strong>the</strong> Clarke <strong>of</strong> today and <strong>the</strong>Clarke <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> future.”Clarke’s diverse enrollment <strong>of</strong>traditional undergraduate, adultundergraduate and graduatestudents already reflects <strong>the</strong>university experience. Whilemaintaining its small, personalstudent experience and innovativeeducational programs, ClarkeUniversity will continue to strivefor excellence.Clarke Provost and Vice Presidentfor Academic Affairs JoanLingen, BVM, Ph.D., says, “<strong>Mary</strong>Frances Clarke began her ministryby meeting <strong>the</strong> needs <strong>of</strong>her day . . . this initiative honorsher spirit … We are already auniversity in practice and asa graduate <strong>of</strong> Clarke myself, Icould not be more excited tosee us become a university inname as well.”M. Therese Casey recreates <strong>the</strong> life and spiritualjourney <strong>of</strong> Lydia, a biblical character mentionedin <strong>the</strong> Book <strong>of</strong> Acts. Set in Philippi in 48 CE,<strong>the</strong> book draws readers in Lydia’s daily life as aGreek woman who lives in a Roman province,yet is baptized into life with Yeshua (<strong>the</strong> originalAramaic proper name for Jesus). Chronicling herrelationships with friends and o<strong>the</strong>r travelers thatshe encounters, <strong>the</strong> surprising ending echoes<strong>the</strong> <strong>the</strong>mes <strong>of</strong> water and new life.M. Therese, a BVM associate, has publishedarticles in living Light, Unity, Spiritual Life andSpirituality. This is her first novel.Carol Spiegel, BVM (Ann Carla) published a book in May 2010: Bookby Book: An Annotated Guide to Young People’s Literature with Peacemakingand Conflict Resolution Themes. The result <strong>of</strong> years <strong>of</strong> researchduring Carol’s work in conflict ministry, this resource compilation <strong>of</strong>children’s illustrated story books depicts real life issues and peacefulways to address <strong>the</strong>m.Lydia is available through <strong>the</strong> publisher: www.xlibris.com or through <strong>the</strong> website: www.lydiacasey.com. Contact M. Therese Casey atnovellydia@gmail.com.FALL TWO THOUSAND TEN17

‘Metamorphosis’An Interview with Associate Joan Judge Mirabalby Bertha Fox, BVMJoan Judge Mirabal exudes energyand enthusiasm. She speaks quietly, matter-<strong>of</strong>-factly,<strong>of</strong> how her call to becomea BVM and elementary school educator“morphed” into different calls to meetpeople’s needs wherever she lived. And<strong>the</strong> morphing goes on . . .Joan grew up in Jesup, Iowa, whereBVMs staffed St. Athanasius School.Inspired, she entered <strong>the</strong> BVM novitiatein 1955. Until she left <strong>the</strong> congregation14 years later, Joan taught in BVMschools in Iowa and <strong>the</strong> Northwest. By<strong>the</strong>n she had assimilated <strong>Mary</strong> FrancisClarke’s educational principles and spirituality,<strong>the</strong> foundation for what Joan hasbeen and done ever since. Now a BVMassociate, Joan says, “I’ve always been aBVM.”With those ideals in hand, for severalyears Joan supervised student teachers at<strong>the</strong> University <strong>of</strong> Texas, Austin; movedback to Iowa to teach at Lu<strong>the</strong>r Collegein Decorah; <strong>the</strong>n returned to Austin tocomplete a Ph.D. in education with ascience emphasis in 1974. For two moreyears she taught at Lu<strong>the</strong>r, but was drawnback to Texas, this time to get married in1976. For <strong>the</strong> next 12 years Joan taught inpublic schools in Austin and Dallas whileher husband worked for <strong>the</strong> U.S. CensusBureau. In 1986 <strong>the</strong>y adopted a daughter.Six years later <strong>the</strong> Bureau called <strong>the</strong>m toWashington, D.C.Teaching was “in her blood,” so Joantaught part-time at area colleges. Successat George Washington University—teachingretired federal workers how to teach—brought Joan to <strong>the</strong> Pentagon’s attention;she was “called” to teach teaching methodsto military <strong>of</strong>ficers. She says this was“one <strong>of</strong> my greatest challenges . . . a 380[sic] degree change . . . our value systemswere different.” After eight years in <strong>the</strong>Capitol <strong>the</strong>y returned to Dallas, whereJoan still lives.Response to Diverse <strong>Call</strong>s isCentered in BVM ValuesAnd calls continued. Joan taught onevery level, and <strong>of</strong>ten supervised teachersin-training.She focused more on basicreading and writing skills, “selling” studentson <strong>the</strong> idea that “<strong>the</strong>y could learn toread by getting into books, just as <strong>the</strong>y hadlearned to swim by getting into water.”Joan credits her selling expertise to“what I learned as a <strong>Mary</strong> Kay beautyconsultant, trained by <strong>Mary</strong> Kay herselfin Dallas”—how to sell a product or ideaby believing in it, in oneself, and in <strong>the</strong>benefits for <strong>the</strong> potential buyer—attitudesneeded whe<strong>the</strong>r teaching or fundraising“Retirement is amisnomer for me . . .I continue to learn .. . I work harder andspend more timedoing volunteerwork than I ever didat a full-time position.”(which Joan now does).These abilities were added to <strong>the</strong> o<strong>the</strong>rsJoan had accumulated. “I [now realize]I operate like a butterfly, going fromflower to flower to ‘ga<strong>the</strong>r nectar’—variedinformation and experiences—which Iintegrate into projects or ideas.”More calls came; all unique. Joan didsome community organizingand also practicedalternative medicine. She and nineo<strong>the</strong>rs volunteered each month at a Methodistchurch in a poor urban area, helpingto assuage <strong>the</strong> pains <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> neighborhoodneedy. “This was wonderful for <strong>the</strong> community;it was healing, like having aprayer group.”Since 2002 Joan has been a docent atThe Women’s Museum in Dallas, leadinggroups and training docents. Last fallshe prepared six docents to lead visitorsthrough <strong>the</strong> Women & Spirit exhibit.Many war-waging products come fromTexas suppliers, several in <strong>the</strong> Dallas-FortWorth area. To effect change, Joan becameactive in three Dallas peace programs:<strong>the</strong> Dallas Peace Center (an ecumenicalgroup), Pax Christi and Peacemakers Inc.For six <strong>of</strong> her 10 years as a Peacemakersmember Joan has been its secretary; shealso works on its development committee.About every eight years <strong>the</strong>y organize andsponsor an international Women’s PeaceConference. Their third, in 2007, wasattended by several BVMs and associates.Joan says: “I spend about 70% <strong>of</strong> my timeworking for this group.”Joan retired from classroom teaching in2007. “Retirement is a misnomer for me. . . I continue to learn . . . I work harderand spend more time doing volunteer workthan I ever did at a full-time position.”And she still teaches. This past summer shetutored a fourth grader. Joan was delightedwith him and herself; <strong>the</strong>y both learned.Joan has responded to many calls sinceshe lived in Jesup, Iowa. Perhaps her originalcall—to become a BVM—fostered<strong>the</strong> o<strong>the</strong>rs, and she has spent her lifetimefulfilling <strong>the</strong>m.And all has not been without reward.Joan treasures a recent one: while ridingDallas commuter rail, a young man waveda newspaper at her, grinned, and said,“Look, Ma’am, you got me reading!”About <strong>the</strong> author: Bertha Fox, BVM (Dolorose)is a volunteer teacher at <strong>the</strong> Roberta KuhnCenter.18SALT MAGAZINE

Sister on <strong>the</strong> Hill:<strong>Mary</strong> Eaton, BVM(<strong>Mary</strong> Elizabeth)by Julie O’Neill, BVMOn almost any given day, <strong>Mary</strong> Eaton,BVM can be found placing yet ano<strong>the</strong>rpiece into one or ano<strong>the</strong>r <strong>of</strong> her delightfuljigsaw puzzles. Like her own life, <strong>the</strong> piecescarefully interlock and <strong>the</strong> finished productis a treasure to behold!<strong>Mary</strong> always wanted to be a teacherand that desire intensified when she firstmet <strong>the</strong> BVM sisters at St. Joseph Academyin Des Moines, Iowa. After her graduationfrom both St. Joseph Academy andGrinnell College in Grinnell, Iowa, sheworked as an infant’s nurse. On her first“nursemaid’s Wednesday <strong>of</strong>f,” in August<strong>of</strong> 1935, she met with Fr. Duffin at St.<strong>Mary</strong> Church in Evanston, Ill., arrangedfor instructions, and was received into <strong>the</strong>Catholic Church on March 11, 1936.Just two years later, <strong>Mary</strong> wrote to<strong>Mary</strong> Gervase, BVM for permission toenter <strong>the</strong> BVM congregation on Sept. 8,1938.After her novitiate, three very happyyears followed as <strong>Mary</strong> taught music atImmaculate Conception Academy inDavenport, Iowa. In August 1944, shewas told that she, as an only child, shouldmake plans to go home to help her parents.Later in <strong>the</strong> fall <strong>of</strong> that year, <strong>Mary</strong>Viatora, BVM guided her through <strong>the</strong>process <strong>of</strong> requesting permission to leave<strong>the</strong> congregation, which <strong>Mary</strong> did onMarch 19, 1945.Luckily, <strong>the</strong> Des Moines public schoolsystem hired her as a music teacher andher “second career” lasted 33 years!In <strong>the</strong> summer <strong>of</strong> 1945, <strong>Mary</strong> wasinvited to be <strong>the</strong> organist for <strong>the</strong> closingMass <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> religious education session atSt. Joseph Church in Des Moines. With<strong>the</strong> blessing <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> pastor, Fr. MauriceAspinwall (bro<strong>the</strong>r <strong>of</strong> Mauricine Aspinwall,BVM), that “temporary” position asorganist extended for 24 years, until both<strong>Mary</strong> and <strong>the</strong> pastor retired in 1969.As her parents continued to decline inhealth, <strong>Mary</strong> regularly joined <strong>the</strong> BVMsisters for holy hour on Thursday nightsand learned <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> new associate programwhich <strong>the</strong> congregation had begun. JoanDoyle, BVM, who was president <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>congregation at that time, accepted <strong>Mary</strong>as <strong>the</strong> first associate on June 22, 1973.<strong>Mary</strong> admitted that <strong>the</strong> program wasn’t somuch “what I could do for <strong>the</strong> community”but ra<strong>the</strong>r “it was my means <strong>of</strong> feelinga small part <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> community again.”After retirement from full-time layministry in 1977 and her mo<strong>the</strong>r’s deathin 1979, <strong>Mary</strong> wrote to <strong>the</strong> leadership <strong>of</strong><strong>the</strong> congregation, asking if <strong>the</strong>re was a possibilitythat she could return to a vowedlife. On Feb. 2, 1980, she began a year “ontrial” at St. Paul in Davenport. Just oneyear later, <strong>Mary</strong> pronounced her vows.The long wait was over—<strong>the</strong> last piece wasinterlocked into her long journey. Onceagain, she was <strong>Mary</strong> Eaton, BVM.About <strong>the</strong> author: Julie O’Neill, BVM is aretired teacher who lives at Mount Carmel inDubuque, Iowa.IN LOVING MEMORY“Lord, for your faithful people life is changed, not taken away.”Please pray for <strong>the</strong> <strong>Sisters</strong> <strong>of</strong><strong>Charity</strong>, BVM who died June2 – August 7, 2010.<strong>Mary</strong> DeCock, BVM (Donatus)March 26, 1923–June 2, 2010Kathryn Bacon, BVM (Kevin Francis)Sept. 5, 1942–June 24, 2010Margaret Swann, BVM (Reina)Oct. 26, 1914–June 26, 2010<strong>Mary</strong> R Curoe, BVM (St. Richard)March 21, 1922–July 10, 2010Regina Megivern, BVM (Verna)Nov. 5, 1925–July 14, 2010Carmel M Purcell, BVM(John Carmelle)May 4, 1932–July 20, 2010Marina Kennelly, BVMNov.12, 1942–July 25, 2010Ange T Cadigan, BVM (Julia Patrice)Nov.16, 1917–Aug. 7, 2010BVM Associates<strong>Mary</strong> C BonerApril 9, 2010To read <strong>the</strong>ir obitiuary/reflections, visit: http://www.bvmcong.org/whatsnew_obits.cfm. A memorial fundhas been established for <strong>the</strong>se sisters. If you wouldlike to add to this memorial, please send your gift to<strong>the</strong> BVM Development Office. For online giving, goto www.bvmcong.org.Discover a world few have seen,millions have shared.Women & Spirit Schedule:Sept. 24, 2010 – Jan. 22, 2011Statue <strong>of</strong> Liberty National Monument/Ellis Island Immigration MuseumLiberty Island, N.Y.Feb. 18, 2011 – May 22, 2011National Mississippi River Museum and AquariumDubuque, IowaSept. 2, 2011 – Dec. 31, 2011Center for History in associationwith <strong>the</strong> University <strong>of</strong> Notre DameSouth Bend, Ind.For more information, visit Women& Spirit: www.womenandspirit.org.Make your plans to attend now!!!For Group Tours, contact: Nate Breitsprecker, Museum’s TourCoordinator | 800.226.3369, ext. 214 | nbreitsprecker@rivermuseum.comFor School Field Trips, contact: Melissa Wersinger, Museum’sEducation Department | 800.226.3369, ext. 214 | mwersinger@rivermuseum.comFALL TWO THOUSAND TEN19

BVM Center | 1100 Carmel Drive | Dubuque, Iowa 52003-7991Non-Pr<strong>of</strong>it Org.U.S. PostagePAIDDubuque, IAWINCChange Service Requestedwww.bvmcong.org2010JUBILARIANCELEBRATIONSGolden and Silver Jubilarians celebrated with friends,family, BVMs and associates at a liturgy on Sunday, July18, at Mount Carmel in Dubuque, Iowa. To read moreabout each Jubilarian and send <strong>the</strong>m a congratulatorymessage, visit www.bvmcong.org/whatsnew_jub.cfm.Silver Jubilarians: Lou Anglin (l.) andTherese Fassnacht.Golden Jubilarians (first row, l. to r.)Carol Ann Spiegel (Ann Carla), PatriciaNooney (Ann Carol), DorothyM. Dwight (John Edmund), CarolMarie Baum (Joseph Louis), BetteGambonini (Es<strong>the</strong>r <strong>Mary</strong>); (secondrow) Linda Quinones (FrancesJean), Nancy McCarthy (Josephine<strong>Mary</strong>), C. Jean Hayen, ElizabethSeaman (Elizabeth Marie); (thirdrow) Carol Blitgen (John Carol),Patricia Peach (Janet Irene), Rita M.Basta (James Celeste), JacquelynCramer (John Kathleen); (fourthrow) Ellen Morseth (Rose Evelyn),Ann DeLeeuw (Charles Frances),Elizabeth Olsen (Paul Thomas),Marilyn K. Wilson (Claudia <strong>Mary</strong>);(fifth row) <strong>Mary</strong> Frances McLaughlin(<strong>Virgin</strong>ia <strong>Mary</strong>), Anna Priester(Joseph Ann), Kathleen Conway(Richard Marie); (sixth row) JudithDewell (John Marie), Agnes MarieKeena (Richard Agnes), MargaretGeraghty (St. Cabrini), Jean M. Gordon(James Miriam). Not pictured:Kathryn Bacon (Kevin Frances) whorecently passed away on June 24,2010, and <strong>Mary</strong> Donahey (ThomasDaniel).20SALT MAGAZINE

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