Autumn is a glorious season with so much beauty to have in our hearts that they feel like bursting. Thoughts about the Face of God come to mind. Drive around Nazareth and view the remarkable colors of so many trees, be aware of God in all creation. Watch the faces of residents and employees as each one encounters Henry, our October companion, sitting on the dining room steps with his pot of candy. Smiles, laughter, and even conversations with Henry about Henrietta and their guest, Elvira, are daily occurrences – faces of the God of joy in real life. Observe us as we listen to and look into the eyes of others who want to share special moments, suffering, the loss of a loved one, an act of faith – and see the face of God. Yes, God’s face is all around us in every person and in every single bit of creation. We are alive to appreciate and experience all of life and to respond from our personal relationship with the Creator. Let us give thanks for blessings great and small.
Happy Thanksgiving to all Residents and Employees!
About 55 persons delighted in the presentation by Lisa Wagner who portrayed the life of Dorothy Day, known as the Mother of the peace movement and one who made a significant contribution to the American Catholic Church. Lisa’s ability to be Dorothy in all the many aspects of her life and mission touched the audience deeply. They marveled at her talents as performer, singer, and depth of knowledge, understanding, and respect for this admirable woman. Many wanted to read and learn more about Dorothy Day, a brave and generous woman of faith and integrity.
Thirteen members of the class of 1962, former and present, gathered at Nazareth on October 9-11. They came from the East coast and West coast and places in between. Being together and especially at Nazareth is a great blessing for them and us. The group wants to remember their time as SCNs both then and now. They enjoy catching up with the lives of one another – families, friends, jobs, life and death changes and so much more. Their gratitude is endless, their gifts simple and appreciated. In the future they want more time here at Nazareth and hopefully more members. It is a joy to observe their pleasure and comfort with SCNs and with one another.
The reception in the Drawing Room on October 11 for Mary Driscoll, MM was a warmhearted affair. Mary’s neighbors, friends, former and present students, and SCNs greeted her with much love and affection. A steady stream of well-wishers came to thank Mary, to talk about all she meant in their lives, and to express how they will miss her. Mary welcomed all with open heart and arms as hugs were readily available. Mary leaves on October 31 for her Maryknoll Motherhouse in New York.
The Gazebo and Social Room at Crimmins are used by groups who come to Nazareth for retreats, meetings, reunions, and other occasions. We welcome especially the families of our SCNs and Associates to gather for special celebrations and family reunions. Recently, Mary Kevin Egan, scn had about 100 relatives, four generations, who came from near and far to be together. They shared memories, updates about family, fun, and food. All were happy to take time to celebrate family.
Nazareth’s retreat ministry will bring many varied groups to the campus. The SCNs who lived at Russell Hall are familiar with Common Ground, a group who were here on campus for five days and who have made annual retreats for several years. The participants met in the Columba Room and had overnight accommodations at Nativity Hall, David Hall Apt. 103 and the Guest House. They had meals in the Motherhouse Dining Room. The members were welcomed warmly; we look forward to their yearly presence at Nazareth.
The St. Joseph Hospital Advisory Council which includes two SCNs, and the Executive Staff met at Nazareth recently. Along with some meeting time the group visited the cemetery to pray at the gravesites of all the former SCN administrators of the hospital. They had tours of St. Vincent Church and Heritage Hall, especially the hospital section. Their afternoon began with dinner in the Motherhouse Dining Room. It was a rich and inspiring time for all involved.
The Western Province Gathering began on Thursday afternoon when about 170 SCNs and Associates flowed in and out of the East Parlor of the Motherhouse to sit for an updated portrait for the new Picture Directory. No one seemed to mind the long wait. It was a pleasant time of visiting, talking, laughing, catching up with one another.
Much will be written about, reflected on, shared, and acted on following the Western Province Gathering. We were blessed and inspired with powerful, visual, moving prayer. The photos, music, and prayer chosen by SCNs Betty Blandford and Emily Nabholz calmed our minds and hearts and their strength and beauty surrounded us as one body. Emily gave a splendid overview of Contemplative Dialogue which was clear, familiar, and gentle. She has the ability to assist us with slowing down, waiting for God and one another to rest within, and with sharing what is in our hearts and experiences. Adeline Fehribach, scn offered three presentations on Religious Life as Prophetic Witness and each was scholarly, simple, sound, and sincere. Adeline is an outstanding teacher. She guided us from the early prophets and their ways of witnessing God in their lives to Jesus and his consistent time away in prayer to be with God and to receive direction. We were asked to see new realities with the eyes of God, to reflect, and to share those realities in Contemplative Dialogue. Adeline asked, “Will our Direct Ministry as a Prophetic Congregation lead us to serve the poor, blind, lame, marginalized and others in need of our ministry? Will we continue our efforts to bring about Systemic Change in church, civic community, world and religious life? We will be prophetic witnesses when we renew ourselves constantly in the Light of the Word of God.”
Reports from three Committees: Eco-feminist Spirituality, Future Ministries, and Justice were creative, encouraging, comprehensive, informative, and outstanding quality. We can look forward to a longer, reflective time with each of the presentations when they are posted on the Web.
Judy Raley, SCN, Western Province Provincial, invited us in her reflections at the Liturgy to live contemplatively, to be compassionate, to be willing to change, to rise up and move out from our comforts, to speak and act for justice for women and immigrants. Will we answer the questions Judy presents to each of us as we leave the “Gathering” and return to daily living? How will we “risk our lives and our resources?” The Liturgy was glorious with prayer, participation, music, and spirit.
Memories of the Western Provincial Gathering expressed by many were: a spiritual experience, relational, educational and challenging, time to visit with friends, joy and laughter. Images of Friday evening’s entertainment will remain with us. Picture Luke Boiarski, scn, the bald emcee of the popular TV show, “Deal or No Deal,” serious, smart, and fun. The main contestant, S. Mary Piety, Marlene Lehmkuhl, scn with her able assistants from the CLT, PLT, and BLT – SCNs Susan Gatz, Adeline Fehribach, and Angela Hicks – entertained us with their sideline discussions and reasons for choosing the deal or no deal. Marlene remained in character throughout and her quick wit was wonderful. Then there were the 12 models, dressed in the latest style and fashion, eager to open the suitcases and astound the audience. Alas, S. Mary Piety, succumbing to the change to win $1,000,000.00 ended the program with $.01. But all was not lost; Patsy O’Toole ran down the aisle with a 1.2 million dollar check from the “Save a Worthy Cause Foundation” presented to a humble, gracious contestant.
Nazareth Campus Service Departments provided many services to assist with the preparation for a very successful Province Gathering. We value the generosity and commitment of the employees to the mission of the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth.
The recent Lunch ‘N Learn program for employees featured Luke Boiarski, scn who presented a program on volunteer ministry service in Appalachia. Luke gave interesting and informative facts about the region we call Appalachia, home to some of the poorest people in the United States. We met some of the people via Powerpoint who received assistance with home repairs from the volunteers. The people have little in the way of material goods, but they are rich in community, history, stories, faith, humility, and goodness. Luke is planning another volunteer ministry service experience in early Spring.
Nazareth will sponsor a Health Fair with programs, materials, booths, and wellness screenings provided by Hardin Memorial Hospital. Additional information will be forthcoming.
Six indigenous grandmothers from the International Indigenous Women’s Organization will be visiting Nazareth. A reception for the women will be at 7:00 p.m. in the Drawing Room.
Pax Christi Catholic Parish, Lexington, Kentucky will be in the Art Gallery for their retreat.
Flaget Hospital will host a gathering and luncheon for about 40 Hospice volunteers in the Columba Room. Nazareth’s Food Service Department will prepare the lunch. Several SCNs are involved in Hospice ministry. We are grateful for the love, care, and support the volunteers give to the dying and their families.
Cindy Kirkpatrick and Pat Mueller will sponsor a Blanket Party in memory of their Mother to support the Sister Visitor Program in Louisville. It will be held in the Banner Room at Crimmins Hall.
Employees of the Sisters of Charity will gather in St. Vincent Church at 1:00 p.m. for a brief prayer service to remember family and friends who have died during the past year. Thanksgiving Dinner will follow in the Motherhouse Dining Room.