A Blessing for Autumn

clip_image002“Great Mystery,

powers of Autumn, of Water,

I send a voice in prayer.

I am asking for entrance through the

gates of inner knowledge.

I am seeking to cross the realms.

Spirits of the waters,

help me be fluid in consciousness,

to move easily in this work.

I turn toward the setting sun,

in the place between day and night,

asking guidance for intuition.

I pray for the right doors to open,

for the ability to look within

and make good medicine

from what I find there.

I pray that I can grow within this work

and be of service to others.

Powers of twilight,

I walk in your mystery

and open to your gifts.”

from The Spirit of Place-
a Workbook for Sacred Alignment by Loren Cruden

Tom’s Thoughts

A primary objective of mine through the years has been to be attentive to the mission of all the organizations that I serve. That is especially true in serving the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth; but, how does one do this? First, it’s important to keep the SCN Mission Statement always visible:

“We Sisters of Charity of Nazareth are an international Congregation in a multicultural world. Impelled by the love of god, in the tradition of Vincent de Paul and pioneer spirit of Catherine Spalding, we and our Associates are committed to work for justice in solidarity with oppressed persons, especially the economically poor and women, and to care for the earth. We risk our lives and resources both personally and corporately, as we engage in diverse ministries in carrying out this mission.”

Flowing from the Mission Statement, the Nazareth Campus Service Vision Statement, developed in February 1993, is “to create an environment of quality services where people can live and work harmoniously and ‘customers’ are treated with hospitality, care, respect, and genuine love.” So, who is our ‘customer?’

Let me reframe the question to the Biblical one asked by the lawyer after Jesus offered the Greatest of the Laws—loving God above all and my neighbors as myself—“Who is my neighbor?” Our customer is our neighbor as expressed in the Parable of the Good Samaritan, a command from Jesus to show mercy (and hospitality) towards others. Perhaps that is why we give up preferred parking to those who visit. Perhaps we go out of our way to attend to a Sister or a fellow employee in a time of need or loss. Perhaps we do all these acts of kindness because we are impelled by the love of God.

Fire Drills

The Fire Drill Emergency Plan implemented when the fire alarm sounded on Thursday, September 22, at 3:01 p.m., went very smoothly. With just a few glitches of people not being signed out – and others arriving at their designated location after roll had been taken – the plan seemed to work as it is designed. Fire drills have always been conducted at Nazareth, although less frequently now than has been the case in the past. The purpose is to make certain everyone is aware of where to go and what to do when they get there. Although an inconvenience, constant residential changes make fire drilling essential. Everyone has a responsibility to respond when an alarm activates. Staff members go to their designated areas to be accounted, to remain silent until the “All clear,” or to receive further instructions. Additional drills are being planned in the coming weeks to implement suggestions made after this recent drill. Whenever they occur, it is important for us all to follow the emergency plans for our specific areas.

Flu Shots

Flaget Immediate Care will be here to administer flu shots to employees on Wednesday, October 19, from 12:00 – 2:30 p.m. in the O’Connell Hall meeting room (behind the Switchboard).  Employees are encouraged to receive a flu vaccine annually as an important component of overall wellness.  The total cost of the vaccine is $20.00.   Employees covered under the CHI Health Insurance Plan must furnish a copy of the health insurance card when they receive the vaccine so that the entire cost of the vaccine can be billed to insurance. Any family member who wants to receive the vaccine should also have a copy of the insurance card. Those not covered by the CHI Health Insurance plan need to bring $10.00 (cash or check) with them.  Nazareth will pay the remaining $10.00

New Phone System
Plans are underway to begin the installation of the new phone system for the Nazareth Campus.  The current phone system is in its 8th year of what was a 5-year life expectancy.  We received notification earlier this year that our phone system had been designated as “end of life status,” which means that the manufacturer could no longer provide replacement parts.   A proposal for replacing the system with an updated IP system was submitted by the Campus Service Board to SCN, Inc. and was recently approved by SCN, Inc.  An IP system uses the latest technology to integrate phone, computer, and mobile technology.  All digital office phones will be changed to new IP phones.  The analog phones (single line) used by residents and by some offices will not be replaced at this time.

Technicians from Mitel are already in the process of collecting data needed for programming the new system.  Much of the work to switch to the new system will take place behind the scenes and should result in minimal interruption in service.    Once the infrastructure is in place, training sessions will be scheduled for all office users.  Because IP telephony is so different from current technology, anyone who has a digital office phone now will need to participate in training.  At this point in time, it is anticipated that training sessions will take place during the week of October 10. Residents will not need to participate in training as there will be no change in residential phones or how voice mail is accessed.

It is anticipated that the cutover date will be Tuesday, October 18 – with the actual cutover taking place after-hours.   Please remember that this timeline is subject to change. Updates will be provided as new information is obtained.


Yard and Bake Sale

The final figures for the Mission Committee Yard and Bake Sale indicate that we made $1,115.75 from the baked goods and $1,951.41 from the yard sale – bringing the total from both to $3,067.16, which is over $500 more than 2010. Thanks to everyone for your help and participation!

Laundry Sale

The Laundry Sale, which was held the week after the Yard and Bake Sale, was successful as proceeds totaled $2,665.30 for 2011. The SCN employees were able to purchase nearly $1,200 the Wednesday prior to the public sale, which is a very nice practice. The proceeds from the sale go back into SCN funds since the items had belonged to the Sisters.

‘Coming down the Pike’—the phrase, “Coming down the Pike,” comes from the St. Louis World’s Fair of 1904. There was a runway called, “the Pike,” and people were so astonished at what they saw, they began saying to one another they couldn’t wait to see what might be “coming down the Pike next.” Well, the same could be said here at Nazareth. There have been recent changes that might have surprised people even though they had been planned as part of the budgeting process. The new parking lot at the SCN Center happened overnight, the new walkway to The Annunciation Shrine, and the disappearance of the five Amur Maples in front of O’Connell Hall are examples. So, we will share a little of what’s “coming down the Pike,” so you can enjoy the anticipation and the newness of a project.

Coming soon…Look for the front of O’Connell Hall to get a fresh coat of paint in preparation for the Bicentennial. O’Connell Hall is also scheduled to get a new roof. And, although the back of SCN Center is out of sight, the balcony on the top floor that faces out towards the lake will be torn off and replaced with a new one by mid-October.

Grounds will be doing a great deal of pruning this fall. The remaining trees in front of O’Connell will also be significantly trimmed. A few new trees will appear this fall. Some will be near The Annunciation Shrine, but others will be planted where we lost several in the recent storm. Look for other evidence of Grounds Department activity with the planting of new trees.

Also, the very aggressive Asian Wisteria that is devouring the Pergola in Marian’s Courtyard will soon be addressed. This form of Wisteria, while beautiful when it blooms, appears at the top of the list of destructive, invasive species in many states – including Kentucky. Its aggressiveness is also taking its toll on the Pergola, which is in need of repair, and the far-reaching tendrils are forever snaking across the lawn of Marian’s Garden searching out new lands to conquer. The Wisteria will be removed and a less aggressive species will replace it once repairs to the Pergola are complete.

Food Service will have a visitor—Brenda Richardson of Dietary Consultants—who will spend a few days reviewing our food service program to determine how well we are doing and to suggest ways we might continue to improve what we do. We are looking forward to her visit.

Did you know?—the coffee served in our dining rooms is UTZ Certified. UTZ Certified is an agricultural, social, environmental certification program for coffee and other agriculturally sensitive commodities designed to improve farm efficiency, productivity and quality of life for families of growers. Check out http://www.sustainableinnovations.com to learn more about the founder, Graham P. Mitchell, and his efforts to improve the quality of life for families in third world countries.

Housekeeping will get around and clean carpet throughout O’Connell Hall and the Motherhouse. You may have noticed how much nicer areas have looked after Housekeeping has been there.

Montessori Consignment Sale—Montessori has reserved the Banner Room from Monday, October 24 through Saturday, October 28 for the setup of their Consignment Sale and for the actual sale on Friday (28th) and Saturday (29th) morning.

Lunch and Learn

Please mark your calendar for the next Lunch ‘n Learn scheduled for Tuesday, October 18, at 12:45 p.m. in the Columba Room.   Grace Rogers will share her volunteer experience in Appalachia in September 2010; and Sister Luke Boiarski will share the experience of the volunteers who traveled to Joplin, MO in June of this year and other happenings within the SCN Lay Mission Volunteer Program. An invitation and RSVP information will be posted on the NETtime payroll system for all employees.

Wellness Committee

The next employee wellness luncheon is scheduled for Thursday, November 3, at 12:45 in the Columba Room. The topic will be “Stress Management” – which is very timely for the upcoming holiday season. More information about the guest speaker will be distributed at a later time.

Wellness Concepts

“Self-care is not a selfish act.”—This is a quote from Parker Palmer’s book, A Hidden Wholeness: the Journey toward an Undivided Life. There are lots of good reasons for promoting good health and good, healthy habits in the workplace. Quality of life in vastly improved by having more energy, feeling better, and generally having better health and a better outlook on life, which comes from good health. Good diet, exercise, ample sleep and rest, use of silence and prayer, and an active healthy lifestyle with creative endeavors contribute mightily to a good life. We are “bio-psycho-social-spiritual beings” and taking better care of ourselves is an important role we play in and for society, our family, and for ourselves. There will be tips coming in NCS Newsletters about ways we can improve our quality of life. Self-care is a mind-full or intentional way that increases vigor and vitality to serve and live. Because it is rooted in intentionality, this month’s tip is about mindfulness or another way of putting it, intentionality.

“Mindfulness” can be defined in many ways and is considered to be of great importance in the “path to enlightenment” according to the teaching of the Buddha. Psychology Today defines mindfulness as “a state of active, open attention on the present. When you’re mindful, you observe your thoughts and feelings from a distance, without judging them good or bad. Instead of letting your life pass by, mindfulness means living in the moment and awakening to experience.” Perhaps the greatest benefit of mindfulness is the lessening of stress. Jesus instructed to his disciples and others to “Be awake!” Jesus goes even deeper when he suggests that a good Christian lets mindfulness guide him through life, focusing on the present: “I tell you do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.” Take a deep breath…enjoy today!

Nazareth Retreat Center – Hosted Groups

10/10 Presentation Academy
10/14 Common Grounds
10/15 St. Vincent de Paul
10/22 Archdiocese of Louisville
10/20 Flaget Memorial Hospital
10/27 Stitchers
10/28 Partnership of Global Justice

Employee Birthdays and Anniversaries



Patsy O’Toole 10/02 Louise Clark 10/13/10
Trina Loader 10/03   Dana Hinton 10/24/07
Karin Russell 10/09 Alletta Kessinger 10/09/06
Judy Reynolds 10/12 Whitney May 10/28/10
Suzanne Morrison 10/14 Kristin Moore 10/27/10
Pauline Posey 10/15 Olivia Morris 10/01/97
Samantha Koch 10/17 Suzanne Morrison 10/15/02
Bill Underwood 10/18 Patsy O’Toole 10/23/00
Diane Clark 10/24 Anita Smith 10/31/94
  Shirley Waldridge 10/06/97


Bicentennial celebration officially starts on December 3, 2011!


As the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth closed out the first 100 years and started on the second 100, there was much to celebrate, much to be grateful for, and still much to do. As stated in McGill’s “The Sisters of Charity of Nazareth” in 1917: “What a study in contrasts! The log cabin of 1814 and its nine pupils: now, throughout the country, twenty thousand names annually upon the Sisters’ school registers. Three little children, one afternoon eighty-four years ago, received into Mother Catherine’s arms; today numerous motherless little ones under the order’s protection.” The congregation was still responding to the needs of the times, but the times were very different from the early pioneer days. The world was in a state of turmoil in 1917 as the United States finally entered World War I by declaring war on Germany on April 6, 1917 – just 52 years after the end of the Civil War. Woodrow Wilson was President of the United States when, in that same year, the Selective Service Act legalized the draft to respond to the manpower needs of the massive war effort oversees. The draft sparked riots and protests which added to the turmoil of the day.

Closer to home, even though the war effort disrupted many aspects of life for Americans – the war itself was out of sight for most and must have seemed an entire world away. In December of 1917, it was business as usual for the people of Nelson County and the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth who were making preparations for the coming holidays. The daily journals kept in the Archives contain entries about students and Sisters leaving for home visits. The main mode of transportation in 1917 was still the train, and the local L&N passenger train, the Accommodation, often stopped twice a day at the Nazareth depot to pick up and drop off passengers as the train made its way from Springfield to Louisville. It was one of these daily trips for the Accommodation when, On December 20, 1917, at approximately 5:15 p.m., one of the worst disasters to strike this area – and the worst railroad accident in Kentucky’s history – occurred at nearby Shepherdsville. As local shoppers were heading home from Louisville on the old L&N passenger train, the mostly wooden passenger cars were rear-ended by a newer, steel locomotive called “the Flyer,” which was speeding on its way from Cincinnati to New Orleans. The Bullitt County Historical Society offers the following account of the accident:

“It is impossible to know with certainty exactly what happened, but it seems that the “Flyer” struck the rear of the passenger car at a speed of perhaps twenty-five miles per hour; its speed having been reduced by braking action. Its forward momentum and great weight imploded the back of the car sending fragments of wood and glass forward into the car and its passengers. As it continued forward the sides of the car began to buckle and shatter, causing the roof to drop down on the passenger’s heads. Benches and their occupants were thrust forward, or ground under by the forward progress of the engine. Some of the passengers nearest the point of impact were killed instantly, never knowing what hit them. Others were battered about, suffering life-threatening injuries.

“The engine continued forward the length of the car, shattering it completely, and scattering splinters and broken glass debris and bodies to both sides of the track. Other bodies were trapped on the massive engine when it next smashed into the smoker car. No. 7’s momentum stalled about half way through the smoker car, but the whole car was damaged as it was pushed forward into the baggage car which was also damaged as it was caught in a vise between the smoker and the engine. Parts of both cars fell down the side of the track into a small underpass at what is now Second Street near the Ridgeway Library. Later, bodies would be found in this wreckage. Feeble cries for help and others of anguish came from the wreckage, and those who had witnessed the crash moved quickly to help. The town’s three doctors were on the scene in a few minutes and every house and store was thrown open to care for the dead and dying. Poor light hampered rescue along the track, making it difficult to locate silent victims. Christmas dolls, only recently clutched in the hands of children, were scattered about the track; their limbs askew in unnatural postures, much like the young battered bodies of their owners. A supply of Christmas candles found on the ruptured baggage car served to provide a bit of light for rescuers in the gloom.

“The L & N office in Louisville was notified of the tragedy. Immediately steps were taken to organize a relief train. Calls were broadcast for physicians and nurses, and by 6:30 the train left for Shepherdsville with eleven Louisville doctors and several surgeons and within half an hour pulled up at the station at Shepherdsville. The Louisville Evening Post of December 21, 1917 reported, ‘When the relief train reached Shepherdsville the physicians found that much of the preliminary work had been done by the local physicians and by the people of that city, and the doctors and nurses on the relief train applied themselves to completing the preliminary work and to preparing the injured to be removed to the hospital in Louisville.’


“The first relief train arrived back in Louisville at 11 p.m. It backed into the siding near SS. Mary and Elizabeth’s Hospital and ten policemen were required to hold back the frantic kinspeople who had rushed there, seeking word on their loved ones. The injured were carried on stretchers by soldiers from nearby Camp Taylor from the train to the waiting hospital. Thirty-nine injured persons were admitted to the hospital, while many persons who were in the wreck and who were brought there on the relief train, called for taxicabs and were taken to hotels. About midnight a second train was dispatched to bring the dead to Louisville. It returned at 3:45 a.m. with the bodies which were taken by army ambulances to the undertaking establishment of Lee E. Cralle at Sixth and Chestnut streets. …”

The handwritten record from the journal in the Archives states:

“…This evening great uneasiness and sorrow are caused by the terrible accident. The southern train (“a fast flyer”) ran into the rear of the Bardstown train, split in two the last two and a half coaches, which were completely wrecked and smashed causing the instant death of 43 persons. Yes, the poor souls were killed and not a moments warning was theirs to prepare themselves to meet their Judge and God. … Besides these, there were 38 wounded. All belonged in this vicinity. Truly, this will be a sad Christmas to many hearts. … A relief train came to the rescue. Fifteen policemen were detailed to go to the scene of the wreck near Shepherdsville. Not until 10 or 12 did the wounded reach SS. Mary and Elizabeth Hospital. There 50 doctors from each of two divisions at Camp Taylor awaited the arrival of the sufferers to minister to their wants.”

A number of SCNs were serving at SS. Mary and Elizabeth Hospital when the tragedy occurred. SS. Mary & Elizabeth Hospital was well-known for its care of train-wreck victims at that time. Sister Martina Moynihan was serving as Superior of the hospital in 1917, and a description of the incident in the Archives states:

“…The dreadful wreck at Shepherdsville has saddened many a home at Christmas time and taxed the capacity of the new Annex, when thirty-eight patients were carried in that night. The kind ministrations and efficient work done by Doctors, Nurses, and Sisters won the hearts of the injured and their relatives, friends they became, and these now quickly turn to their second home, as they term SS. Mary and Elizabeth’s…Life and limb were saved, and only two of the thirty-eight died…”

Although no SCNs or students were on the train when the accident occurred, Nazareth lost a good friend, Father Eugene Bertello, who had just boarded the train minutes before the accident to travel from Shepherdsville to his home in nearby Chapeze. Father Bertello was a “well-known and beloved public figure, riding throughout the county on his little pony ‘Keno.’” The Nazareth Archives record states:

“Father Eugene Bertello had been on the train but about three minutes when the accident occurred at 5:19. He was carrying the Blessed Sacrament to some sick person. When attention was attracted by his groans, he was found clinging with his arm to the hot boiler…his face was much disfigured as he was badly scalded….Deo Gratis that none of Nazareth’s pupils were on this car….”

Father Bertello is buried in the Nazareth Cemetery.

The Shepherdsville train wreck was and still is the worst train accident in Kentucky’s history – killing 51 and badly injuring another 36 people. The fatalities ranged in age from 7 months to 65 years old; 22 of the 51 were from Bardstown. The accident investigation led to many improvements in Railroad communications and the construction of safer passenger rail cars.

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All the ends of the earth have seen the saving power of God.

Ps 98

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