Thoughts about the coming New Year and consideration for wholesome changes began in earnest on December 26, Feast of the Holy Family. St. Paul’s Letter to the Colossians suggests that “as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, we put on heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, bearing with one another and forgiving one another. And over all these put on love, and let the peace of Christ control your hearts.” Imagine the grace that would flow through our community of people of good will if as we put on our clothing to prepare for the day we also put on these virtues. What if our prayer of gratitude for one another included a deep desire to share love and peace in many different ways so that our community would be a vibrant force for spreading peace in the world. May we count our blessings on all of the occasions we observe the “putting on” of Christ Jesus.
Happy New Year! May the Lord bless and keep us! May his face shine upon us and be gracious to us! May the Lord look kindly on us and our loved ones and give us peace!
SCN Foundation Day, December 1, was celebrated quietly this year. All SCNs were invited to prayer followed by supper. Many SCNs from around the campus and beyond joined with the Motherhouse Community to remember our beginnings 198 years ago. The supper menu was right from 1812 with Mother Catherine stew, fresh vegetables, corn bread, and more. We recalled the struggles, the uncertainties, the sacrifices of our early Sisters and asked them to touch us with a desire to serve others without counting the cost.
The Silver and Strings Chamber Music Ensemble Christmas Concert – “Celebration and Inspiration” – was a wonderful event held in the Drawing Room on December 5. About 100 people attended the program of traditional Christmas music. Flutes, violins, cello, clarinet, piano, and guest soloist blended beautifully the music of the season. Kate Stiles, an early Suzuki student, performed a Christmas Medley splendidly. The audience was in awe of her skills and talent at the youthful age of 14 years. The familiarity of the music played by the group was a special treat. We all joined in singing The First Noel and it was obvious that we were filled with the Christmas spirit of love and goodness.
Claire McGowan, OP met with us at Nazareth to talk about ways we can grow in our commitment to become a sustainable community. Claire acknowledged all the ways we are practicing sustainability and had suggestions for continuing to do small things that can impact humanity’s future. Claire is the Director of New Pioneers for Springfield/Washington County and has worked tirelessly to “Plant a Sustainable Community” and insure a sustainable future. In the next NCS Newsletter we will include the ways we can preserve the earth for future generations and ask for suggestions from all on campus.
Nazareth’s employees and residents contributed over $800.00 for our Christmas Angels. We assisted four families – 11 children and six adults, two individuals from Nazareth Village, and two organizations – Bethany Haven and The Caring Place. Patty Wheatley, Buyer, purchased all the items before Thanksgiving and appreciated the time to respond to the requests in a more thoughtful and slow-paced manner. We are blessed to participate in this “giving to others” each year.
On Sunday, December 12, the Drawing Room was alive with SCNs who came to celebrate Christmas at a party hosted by the Abell Sisters. This group of sisters certainly knows how to have a great party. The special refreshments are prepared with attention to taste, appearance, and creativity. Music was offered by SCNs Rose Eleanor Perry and Sharon Gray. Everyone was happy to join in the singing of familiar songs and carols. Prizes were shared with many who had lucky numbers. Joy, life, appreciation, and blessing are felt throughout as all enter into the wonderful spirit of this grand event.
On Monday, December 13, Nazareth began to turn into a fairyland of beauty as the Housekeeping employees began their yearly ritual of taking the Christmas decorations from storage. Trees are set upon the Carrico Hall floors to be decorated by the Sisters. The Motherhouse Sisters like to do Christmas on their own so boxes of trees, lights, and decorations, are set out for their use and creativity. The beautiful tree in Colonial Hall is reserved for the Housekeeping employees. It is a cooperative effort with each having a specific task. The eight-foot tree is covered with red and gold ornaments and tiny white lights. Anyone who passes marvels at its exquisite and simple beauty.
The annual SCN employees’ Christmas Party was quite an event. Following the welcome, thanks to all who assisted in many ways – Social Committee for planning and organizing; S. Catherine Arnold and her generous volunteers who decorated the Motherhouse Dining Room; Pam, Phyllis, and all of the Food Service employees who prepared a feast for about 150 employees and made sure that the Sisters had their high quality meal, too; Patty, Pam, and Richard who requested and received the gifts from our vendors; Lorraine, Betty and the Housekeeping employees who helped with set up and clean up; Ray and the Grounds employees who gathered fresh greenery for the tables. It takes many people to assure a successful Christmas Party.
When we awakened on Christmas morning the world outside was covered in a beautiful blanket of snow. For most of us snow is special at any time and especially on Christmas. It wasn’t long before we heard the sounds of snow plows and blowers. The Grounds employees were here at Nazareth early to clear the roads and sidewalks for all who would visit on Christmas Day. We are grateful for their generosity and faithfulness to their responsibilities.
Everyone who participates in the Christmas Eve and Christmas Day Masses at Nazareth is filled with joy at the beauty, splendor, and spiritual blessings that flow from this sacred time. The early singing of Christmas hymns and blessing of the crib gentle our hearts as we invite the Christ Child to rest in us at peace. It is a time of new life, new grace, new light to shine on each of us. St. Vincent Church was filled with color, richness, warmth, and love pouring out all over from the birth of Christ, through Mary and Joseph, and through each one of us.
We can only exclaim at God’s goodness and generosity.
What a wonderful blessing to begin the New Year with a very heart-swelling and opening Prayer Service for Peace. We welcomed the words and more importantly the quiet and reflection time to look deeply into ourselves to find peace. We shared our desires to be peaceful persons and to promote peace in all of our relationships.
January 2 – Ruth Marie McGaughran, scn will celebrate her 100th birthday with a special Liturgy and Dinner surrounded by family, SCNs, Associates, and friends.
January 6 – The St. Joseph Montessori Children’s Christmas Program will be presented at 9:30 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. in the Banner Room at Crimmins Hall. All are welcome. (The earlier program was canceled due to snow.)
January 14 – Flaget Memorial Hospital will celebrate 60 years of healing ministry in the Bardstown community. Archbishop Kurtz will preside at the 2:00 p.m. Liturgy in St. Vincent Church. A reception follows in the Motherhouse Dining Room.
January 16 – The Mass will be celebrated for all of the SCNs who volunteer their services to assist Nazareth Campus Service with its responsibilities.
January 17 – We commemorate the life and death of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He committed himself throughout life to non-violence and peace.
Jan. 26-25 – Luke Boirarski, scn will lead a group of volunteers for an immersion experience in Belize City, Belize. The group of ten will work with Hand to Hand ministries to build a home for a family in need. The commissioning ceremony will take place at the 10:30 a.m. Liturgy on Sunday, January 16.
Nazareth Retreat Center Program
Jan. 21-23 “Everything Changes” – A Retreat for Those Recovering from Addictions.
Employee Birthdays and Anniversaries
Jean Mudd 01/06 Linda Ashby 01/05/04
Jason Hagan 01/07 Theresa Baron 01/22/96
Missy Ried 01/12 Amy Boss 01/11/10
Vivian Diehl 01/17 Becky Clark 01/25/08
Mike Smith 01/17 Terry Hutchins 01/14/93
Joetta Venneman, pbvm 01/24 Anita Knott 01/08/96
Sylvia Hutchings 01/26 Vanessa O’Bryan 01/20/04
Anna Powell 01/04/10
Doris Schneider 01/03/00
Staci Spalding 01/02/07
Sally Stansbury 01/30/08
Leslie Wilson 01/12/04