O God, give success to the work of our hands. We are reminded daily of this quote as we observe and experience employees throughout the campus responding to our needs. Employees prepare and serve our meals seven days a week; every interior space on campus is cleaned thoroughly; telephones and computers are available and maintained along with all buildings and grounds; all kinds of systems are in place for our comfort and safety, for us to continue our personal ministries. Offices operate efficiently with a myriad of services for our care. We are surrounded with women and men employed by the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth who are committed to the Mission; men and women who use their hands every day to contribute to the well-being of residents, guests, co-workers, and all who enjoy the services and hospitality of Nazareth. We value, respect, honor, and appreciate each one of these women and men. We pray for them daily and ask God to continue to give success to the work of their hands.
July ended much too quickly and our thoughts return to the celebration of Independence Day. When we consider that people throughout the world are experiencing self-centered, greedy, corrupt leaders; where those who live in poverty are hungry, lack medical care, are homeless; we are grateful for freedom and for the many opportunities we have to give and receive freely; to care for one another with love and respect. The Liturgy of July 4 emphasized freedom – prayer, music, homily, and a spirit of unity among ourselves and people throughout the world. The afternoon games and movie, and the indoor picnic with SCNs and Associates all made for a special July 4th.
Monthly updates with the Central and Province Leadership Teams are always appreciated greatly. We receive firsthand news about all that is happening here in the U.S. and in the countries where SCNs and Associates are in ministry. It is quite amazing to listen to the details of events, communications, new programs and ministries, and items of interest. The information is clear and interesting; we can imagine what is happening in many locations. This time together is valuable in many ways as SCNs and Associates everywhere can be present directly or through the Webcast.
Susan Gatz, scn, Vice President, welcomed SCNs, Associates, and employees who gathered in the Motherhouse Dining Room to honor Bridgid Clifford, scn who is retiring as Director of the Sisters of Charity Archival Center. Susan spoke about Bridgid’s humble leadership, hard work, and dedication – as well as that of the mostly retired staff – during a period of moving the Archival Center more than once during the renovation of the Motherhouse and O’Connell Hall. Each move required careful packing, unpacking, and reorganization. She commented on how advanced the SCN Archival Center is in preservation, digitization of records, and records management processes – much of which has been accomplished during Bridgid’s leadership.
Bridgid accepted graciously the praise and gratitude she received for serving as Director of the SCN Archival Center for 11 years. It was a new and challenging experience, rewarding in countless ways. Bridgid named three SCNs, Mary Romana Mattingly, Agnes Geraldine McGann, and Mary Collette Crone who preceded her as significant in this valuable ministry of preserving the history of the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth. Bridgid thanked many SCNs, living and dead, who served with her during their “retirement years.” She welcomed Kathy Hertel-Baker to the Archival Center as the new Director. Kathy inherits a lovely, peaceful, well-organized permanent space in O’Connell Hall surrounded by the history of the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth.
Thirteen Golden Jubilarians gathered at Nazareth the weekend of July 17-19 to celebrate their 50 years as SCNs. They are: Barbara Gilmetti, Carole Kaucic, Gail Collins, Janice Campbell, Jeanine Jaster, Joan Wilson, John Loretto Mueller, Kitty Wilson, Marie Joanita Feder, Mary Michelle Naber, Nancy Jane O’Reilly, Patricia Ann Healey and Theresa Knabel. The celebrating began on Friday evening when all gathered in the Guest House for fun and friendship. The story-telling was hilarious and outrageous, tender and heartfelt, remembering and holding in heart and prayer deceased classmates SCNs Ann Murphy and Rita Vaughn. A highlight of the weekend took place on Saturday morning when the U.S. group connected with their four classmates in India by Skype. What a joyful reunion, to see and talk with SCNs Elizabeth Emma Vattakunnel, Ann Elizabeth Elampalathottyi, Teresa Velloothara, and Bridget Kappalumakal. Imagine sharing this special time with these special people, a memory to last forever. The four SCNs in India will celebrate on December 8; the day of their first vows 50 years ago and the first Golden Jubilee celebration in India.
The Jubilarians spent Saturday afternoon with Emily Nabholz, scn. Emily has a special tenderness that enables people to relax, reflect, review, and share their experiences on a deeper level. The group appreciated dearly this time to be quiet, to feel God’s presence and that of one another, to renew their commitment to life and the SCN Charism and Mission.
The Sunday Liturgy was planned and prepared by the Jubilarians who participated as cross and candle bearers, lectors, homilist, sharer of intercessions, and gift bearers. Judy Raley, SCN, Western Province Provincial welcomed the jubilarians warmly and thanked them graciously for their service in many and varied ministries throughout the 50 years. Jeanine Jaster, SCN opened her homily with quotes from classmates about “who they were.” We heard: “simple and ordinary, ‘salt of the earth,’ hard-working, God chose a motley crew who left our mark on the world, in diversity we found unity of purpose.” Jeanine recalled all of the different ministries and countries where they have served, persevering and faithful to the task at hand and whatever was needed. The readings of the day focused on Jesus, the Shepherd, and Jeanine asked us to be shepherds who protect, nourish, and seek out the lost, to preserve green pastures for all to be spiritually refreshed. The entire Liturgy was filled with a spirit of joy and enthusiasm for life. We felt “recharged and reinvigorated to go forth with this “motley crew” to proclaim the love of Christ to all who enter our lives.
The Food Service Department prepared a splendid dinner, beautiful to view and delicious to taste. The Jubilarians were grateful for the love and care they received from all of the SCNs and Associates on this special occasion.
The moment had arrived; our four SCNs who were with us for three months were returning to India. How could we let them go? Each one became so integral to Nazareth’s community. SCNs Amala Valayathil, Stella Chullyil, Sujata Maliakal, and Suma Muthukattuparampil were everywhere and involved in everything. They traveled to most of the SCN ministries to experience firsthand SCNs and others serving people living in poverty and persons in need. They loved returning to Nazareth to settle in for a few days and spend time with the Sisters. All of us at Nazareth delighted in their presence, their stories about our India missions, their willingness to respond to many questions. For several days now they were met with words and hugs of farewell. Now it is 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday, July 28 and a large gathering is singing a blessing and waving goodbye. How dearly we will miss each one – Suma, Sujata, Stella, and Amala. Our lives are richer, more informed, enlightened, and blessed abundantly because you came to Nazareth.
- August 1 Caroljean Willie, SC, the Charity Federation NGO representative to the UN, will present a Power Point and speak about the “work of the UN-NGO” and the “Millennium Development Goals” in St. Vincent Church from 1:00-4:00 p.m. The program will be webcast.
• August 1-2 The Charity Federation Vocation Directors and a group of volunteers will gather at Nazareth to prepare for their volunteer ministry in Appalachia. The eighteen volunteers are from several states and range in age from 18-30 years.
• August 9-14 Carol Perry, SU will present a Retreat/Workshop on “The Gospel of Mark” beginning at 7:00 p.m. and concluding on Friday following a conference, Liturgy, and dinner.
• August 14 The St. Joseph Parish Jr. High Youth Group will gather at the Gazebo from 6:00-8:00 p.m. for their opening of a new year.
• August 22 It is that time again! The annual Nazareth Picnic will be held from 2:00-8:00 p.m. on the campus. Dinner will be served in the Motherhouse Dining Room from 2:00-7:00 p.m.
Mary Gemma Harlow, scn has served as Secretary in the Maintenance Department for 20 years. She retired recently to relax, read, and renew herself after a busy schedule. The Maintenance Office is an active place and Mary Gemma regularly: maintained files, tracked down employees to respond to emergencies or to meet with contractors, handled requisitions, updated the Security folder, kept a comprehensive file and map on all persons buried in Nazareth’s cemetery, worked with other departments to provide information, and performed a myriad of other responsibilities. The Maintenance/Security employees will miss Mary Gemma on their team. She has provided excellent service in a thoughtful, caring manner.
The Barber Family, as do other families, expressed over and over their gratitude to the Sisters of Charity for the thoughtful and personal Wake Service, Funeral Liturgy, and burial for S. Frances. One specific comment from a family member was, “On a scale on 1-10 the Food Service rates a 13 for the wonderful meal prepared for and served to the family and friends.” Congratulations Food Service Employees!
The Archival Center welcomes Kathy Hertel-Baker as the new Director. Kathy was born in Erie, Pennyslvania, and she moved to Alaska in 1998. Prior to coming to Nazareth, Kathy worked as the Director of Library and Archives at the Anchorage Museum of History and Art. She is married, and her husband, Scott, will be moving to Kentucky next year. Kathy and Scott have three adorable cats – Ranma, Sasami, and Winry. Kathy’s hobbies include fishing, camping, curling, and performing with local theatre groups, including the Three Baron Renaissance Fair.
We wish Kathy a long and happy stay at Nazareth.