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For more information on any of these news articles contact Angie Connolly, Director of Communications, at 563.588.2351 or by aconnolly@bvmcong.org.

Giving Tuesday a Great Success!

The Caritas Dining Room at Mount Carmel, Dubuque, Iowa, is the hub of socialization for our resident Sisters of Charity, BVM. There, they experience the daily blessings of good food and warm companionship. There, sisters chat during meals, host friends and family, and enjoy special community events.

“Since I’ve been here at Mount Carmel,” says Dining Services Coordinator Laurie Noel, “the staff and I have been concerned about the safety of the sisters as the dining room chairs have deteriorated over the years. They don’t slide easily, or provide leverage to assist sisters in getting up out of the chairs.”

We are grateful for and blessed by your contributions on #GivingTuesday (http://www.bvmcong.org/support_donate.cfm), Nov. 28!

The BVM sisters received $53,735 from 276 donors, which will help in the purchase of 250 new chairs for the Caritas Dining Room, providing safety, support and comfort for our sisters. We were also blessed to be awarded a $25,000 grant from the Robert and Kathryn Schwemley Foundation.

The current chairs are 20 years old and many can no longer be reglued, reconditioned or repaired. New, stackable chairs will feature durable frames with longer arms for ease in getting in and out of them. Chair backs will be shorter to keep from tipping over when moved backward, and chair feet will slide more easily. Current chairs that are still usable will replace the chairs in the sisters’ smaller dining room in Marian Hall.

“The sisters are very excited about the new chairs,” says Sarah Rentz, Mount Carmel administrator. “They appreciate being involved by indicating their own individual preferences on style, comfort and ease of use. I am as excited as the sisters are to see the end result!”

Laurie adds, “The sisters were great participants in the whole process and the dining staff enjoyed watching them select the chair design that was ‘just right.’”

The Sisters of Charity, BVM are grateful for your support this year, helping to improve the quality of our sisters’ lives with safe and comfortable dining chairs. We thank you, as well, for your past participation in #GivingTuesday.

See what our sisters have to say! Watch the video:


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Former BVM President Sister Helen Garvey, BVM Dies at 82

 

Helen Maher Garvey, BVM
Sharing of Memories and Funeral Liturgy
Thursday, August 17

Wake Service: 11:00am-noon (CDT)
Funeral Liturgy: 1:30-3:00pm (CDT)
Link: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/sisters-of-charity
Video will be available through Aug. 28

 

Sister Helen Maher Garvey, BVM (Robert Joseph), former president of the Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary and of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR), died Aug. 6, 2017. Visitation will be from 9–11 a.m. on Thursday, Aug. 17, 2017, in the Motherhouse Chapel at Mount Carmel, Dubuque, Iowa, followed by a prayer service at 11 a.m. Funeral liturgy will be at 1:30 p.m. Burial is in the Mount Carmel cemetery.

Sister Helen was born in Hempstead, N.Y., on Jan. 17, 1935, to Clarence and Ruth Maher Garvey. She is survived by brothers Joseph (Warwick, N.Y.) and Eugene (Tinton Falls, N.J.); sisters Therese Fox (Brecksville, Ohio) and Kathleen (James Kearnz) Garvey (Warwick, N.Y.); sister-in-law Pat Garvey, East Marion, N.Y.; nieces; nephews; and the Sisters of Charity, BVM, with whom she shared life for 65 years.

Her leadership spanned decades and found expression in a broad diversity of ministries and locales. 

Equipped with a Ph.D. in Organizational Development from Columbia University, she moved from serving as principal of two BVM elementary schools on Long Island, N.Y., to BVM leadership in 1976.  Only 41 at the time of her election, Sister Helen served 16 years as president and vice president of the congregation. 

In an address to the BVM congregation in August 1994, Sister Helen shared: “I hope in religious life because I experience God in religious life. I experience God in prophetic witness. I experience God in faithful relationships. I experience God in history. Mostly, I believe in religious life because I encounter the mystery of God in the total experience of religious life, personally and communally. God is here.”

During her tenure as BVM president, her compassion led to the creation of the Heartland Housing Initiative in Dubuque, and the renovation of a stately old home into apartments for 22 families, named Helen Garvey Place. 

She was elected to the three-year presidency of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) in 1986.  In this role she addressed Pope John Paul II on behalf of American women religious when he visited San Francisco in 1987. 

In 1993, she began an 11-year ministry as Director of Pastoral Services for the Diocese of Lexington, Ky. She developed lay leadership and worked with parish councils in a largely rural and unchurched area.

Her service on behalf of Catholic sisters entered uncharted territory when she chaired the LCWR History Project to create a national exhibit, “Women & Spirit: Catholic Sisters in America.” The highly acclaimed exhibit traveled to 10 cities coast to coast over a three-year period from the Smithsonian in D.C., to Ellis Island, and westward to Dubuque and other cities on the way to the California coast.

The recipient of an honorary degree from Clarke University, Dubuque, Sister Helen also served on the Board of Trustees at Clarke, Mundelein College and Loyola University in Chicago, and most recently on the Board of the National Catholic Reporter Publishing Co.

She was a consultant for the National Religious Retirement Office (NRRO), assisting religious communities plan for their retirement needs, and worked with many individual religious communities as a meeting facilitator and speaker.  

In 2009, Sister Helen received the Outstanding Leadership Award from LCWR. The citation summarized the leadership gifts of this woman deeply loved and widely admired by all who encountered her: 

“A woman

      Who knows who she is, and where she stands, and what she believes

      Who listens to all opinions and finds consensus in divergent voices

      Who builds up everyone around her by expecting the best and acknowledging excellence

     Whose humor and charm open doors, rally troops, and disarm enemies

     Whose depth of knowledge in so many subjects, and understanding of human nature, empower her to connect with people from all walks of life.”


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BVM Honored by Loyola University Chicago

Mary Ann Zollmann, BVM (Clement Mary) received Loyola University Chicago’s Coffey Award on June 9 from the Gannon Center for Women and Leadership at Loyola’s annual Founders Dinner. The Coffey Award is named for the first president of Mundelein College, M. Justitia Coffey, BVM, and is bestowed by the University on alumni from each of their schools in recognition of their leadership and service to others.

Mary Ann shares, “Justitia’s founding spirit poured like concrete into the architecture of Mundelein College, endures in the Gannon Center, and permeates the whole of Loyola University. She and I stand here together testifying to the joy of being able to live life fully and to the truth that education, as the process for calling forth the gift and potential of ourselves and others, makes that happen. The education we celebrate and support at this Founders’ Dinner . . . carries on the passion of Justitia Coffey: freeing students to be who they are and do what they love and so forever transforming the landscape of our world. That is the real Coffey Award—and it belongs to all of us tonight.”

Loyola President JoAnn Rooney invited Mary Ann to “receive this award in special recognition for your dedication to advocating for women in the Catholic Church and raising awareness of peace and justice issues; your devout leadership as part of the Sisters of Charity, BVM, and the Conference of Women Religious; as member of Loyola’s Board of Trustees; and graduate of Mundelein College.”

Watch the video: http://bit.ly/2sU8zQD

Post date 6.27.2017


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BVM Honored at Mundelein Spring Mass and Brunch

“Some women were leaders in the past and maybe they were recognized as leaders and maybe they weren’t—history never really recorded women’s stories very well at all, so yes, we want to lift up women and women’s leadership . . . today we’re talking about the past, a peek at the present, and hope for the future.”

These words were spoken by BVM Carolyn Farrell (Lester), founding director of the Ann Ida Gannon, BVM Center for Women and Leadership, Loyola University Chicago. On Sunday, April 30, Carolyn was honored for her leadership at the annual Mundelein Spring Mass and Brunch in Chicago.

The Gannon Center, Alumni Relations, and the Mundelein Alumnae Board recognized Carolyn for her role in guiding Mundelein College into Loyola University and establishing the Gannon Center in 1993 as a heritage piece of Mundelein.

The Gannon Center educates and fosters women leaders to contribute in the development of a more just social order—preparing women to lead extraordinary lives.

Post date 5.19.2017


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World Refugee Day Observed on June 20

June 20 was designated by the United Nations as a day to show public support for refugees. Worldwide, 21.3 million people have been forced from their home countries, seeking safety and security; half of them are under 18 years old. Last year, the United States welcomed 85,000 refugees.

A refugee is someone who fled his or her home and country due to “a well-founded fear of persecution because of his/her race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion,” according to the United Nations 1951 Refugee Convention.

BVMs joined other religious, friends and neighbors in Dubuque, Iowa, at a peaceful rally to show support of our refugee brothers and sisters on World Refugee Day and honor those who have been forced to leave their homes.

Participants heard firsthand accounts of refugees who were settled in Iowa and stories from professionals involved in the screening and resettlement process. They also learned how to take legislative action and partner with local/regional organizations providing support to refugees and asylum-seekers.

Refugees Welcome! We stand with refugees!

The Sisters of Charity are members of Crossing Borders—Dubuque, and are one of many local sponsors of the rally.

Post date 6.9.2017


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BVMs, Catholic Sisters ‘Get in the Habit’ of Kindness

The Sisters of Charity, BVM, together with other Catholic Sisters of the Upper Mississippi River Valley, launched a new campaign, “Kindness: Get in the Habit,” during the fourth annual National Catholic Sisters Week, March 8–14.

The message, to encourage people to be kind toward one another, was created to counter the continued divisiveness seen throughout the country, and was shared on billboards, in movie theater ads, through social media posts, and in Catholic school classrooms.

BVM President Teri Hadro says, “Those of us in the U.S. sometimes take water, food, shelter, clothing and respect for granted. Our sisters and brothers in need help us understand the real meaning of the Gospel and gift us with the opportunity to live Jesus’ message today and every day.”

The billboards featured an image of a homeless person receiving a cup of coffee, with the accompanying text: “Kindness: Get in the Habit.” Billboards were displayed in six communities from the Quad Cities to La Crosse, Wis., including Dubuque.

Six similar images, all illustrating the “Kindness” theme, were featured both on social media sites and on the big screen in local movie theaters, including Dubuque.

“Sometimes it’s easy to take the simple acts of kindness that are a part of daily life for granted—the smile, recognition of hard work, the ‘I’m praying for you,’” reflects BVM First Vice President Lou Anglin. “Those moments bring out the best in people. I don’t want to ever stop noticing them or being a part of paying them forward. They make a world of difference.”

LaDonna Manternach, BVM second vice president, agrees. “People I meet are generally kind and considerate toward their neighbors and those they meet each day. This is not what makes the news, yet it is the biggest deal out there—it’s even radical. We live in a world that longs for kindness and kinship with one another. Kindness connects us, consoles us, and inspires us at a very basic level. Let’s hear again God’s call to ‘love your neighbor as yourself’ and be people that make a difference.”

The Catholic Sisters of the Upper Mississippi River Valley represent 12 congregations whose collective mission is to spread the Gospel message in the 21st century. They are the Sisters of St. Francis—Clinton, Sisters of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary—Dubuque, Sinsinawa Dominicans, Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration, Benedictine Sisters of St. Mary Monastery—Rock Island, Sisters of Mercy—West Midwest Community, Congregation of the Humility of Mary, Sisters of St. Francis—Dubuque, Sisters of the Visitation, Our Lady of the Mississippi Abbey and the Carmelite Nuns.

Watch the video at: http://bit.ly/2mTyTe5

Visit them on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/catholicsisters.

Post date 3.7.17


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BVM Ecuador Immersion Trip 2017

On April 19, a group of 17 adults traveled to Ecuador for a 10-day immersion trip sponsored by the Sisters of Charity, BVM of Dubuque, Iowa. Our group consisted of three men and 14 women (four of whom are BVM associates and three are BVMs). We all met in Miami for the flight to Guayaquil. Most of us had not met prior to this trip; as we waited for our flight, everyone engaged in positive conversation.

We stayed for two days in Guayaquil, Ecuador, and visited three important programs. Ann Credidio, BVM is responsible for Damien House, home to 26 women and men who have Hansen’s disease (leprosy). Sister Annie has made remarkable progress in caring for and offering hope to her patients. She is also securing their future by developing the staff of Damien House, who have benefitted from BVM Foundress Mary Frances Clarke Scholarships for education in healthcare, finance and administration. Our time with the patients at this clinic was rewarding and helped us understand the challenges faced by those with this disease.

We traveled to a nutrition center run by two women religious from a Marian Order. The center was located in the barrio (slum) of Duran. It had rained for six hours the day before, and the streets were flooded and filled with trash. Some areas were impassable. The poverty was magnified in such situations. When we finally arrived at the center, we learned that the services are provided primarily to women with children ages 1–5 years old. Most of the women have few skills to earn a living. Many have escaped abusive situations. The center helps them with childcare while they learn new skills, such as sewing, to help them survive on their own. This mission encounters many challenges, but there are signs of progress, especially in terms of building the women’s self-esteem.

We also spent a morning at Centro Educativo Nuevo Mundo, a school in Guayaquil where we met BVM Associate Sonya Rendón. This school educates tuition-paying students in the morning; children who cannot afford to pay come in the afternoon. Dedicated teachers staff this beautiful facility, offering a way out of poverty and injustice through education.

We then traveled to Quito for a week’s stay at the Centro Muchacho Trabajador (CMT). Quito is a vast metropolis spread throughout the valley and up the hills of the Andes Mountains. CMT has two different campuses. We stayed at Center #2, which is equipped to house groups of our size or larger. This Center, serves over 350 families. There are three meals per day, students and parents are educated, showers and medical care are available, and there is a safe place for recreation. We could hear the joyful noises from happy children throughout the day.

While in Quito, we had excursions to visit the artisans, an open-air market, historical downtown Quito, the Cathedral, Fe Y Alegría School, and the Middle of the World. Reflecting on our experiences, there are two events that stand out for me.

The first was our interaction at CMT with Padre Juan Halligan, SJ, Madre Miguel Conway, BVM, and Madre Cindy Sullivan, BVM. Padre Juan and Madre Miguel began this ministry in the mid-1960s. Under their guidance and vision, it has evolved through decades of change.

Juan had the dream and Miguel had the organizational/administrative skills to keep it in motion. Madre Cindy has been with them since the ’70s and is a vital part of the Center’s mission. What an amazing collaboration of gifts and charisms! Rooted in prayer and love, they represent a living sign of the Spirit at work. These three especially seem to live in the tradition of Dorothy Day, who co-founded the U.S. Catholic Worker Movement. They observe, listen, and live with the needy.

“We must talk about poverty because people insulated by their own comfort lose sight of it.”—Dorothy Day.

The second event was our visit to the homes of three of the families served by CMT. Most of the families live in one room—with one overhead light, a stove to cook on, running water in the house or nearby, often no door (just a piece of material to cover the entry), a dirt floor, and minimal belongs. This was not simple living. It was poverty. Their lives are very difficult and full of struggle to meet basic human needs. The contrast with our American lifestyle was striking. Most of our group pondered this and will continue to ponder this for a long time.

Attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity.”—Simone Weil.

This trip allowed us to pay attention to the needs we encountered. The distractions of our American life were removed, even if only for 10 days. This allowed us to be attentive to the beautiful people we encountered and their stories changed our hearts.

There are a number of ways to change your heart. If you have a chance to make this type of an adventure, do it. Your life will be enriched in many wonderful ways.

If you would like to learn to more about the Ecuador BVM Immersion Trip, contact: bvmoutreach@bvmcong.org.  

—Ann R. Wertz

Post date 5.9.2017


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School Celebrates BVM Roots at 125th Anniversary

Divine Savior Holy Angels HS (DSHA) in Milwaukee marked the beginning of its 125th anniversary year with a special liturgy on Feb. 1. Alumnae and former teachers joined DSHA faculty and students in celebration of both the anniversary year and National Catholic Schools Week (NCSW), observed this year from Jan. 29–Feb. 4. This year’s NCSW theme “Catholic Schools: Communities of Faith, Knowledge and Service” is embodied in the story of DSHA’s roots.

Holy Angels Academy opened in Milwaukee in 1892, under the leadership of the Sisters of Charity, BVM, where it grew and thrived into the 20th century. In 1926, the Sisters of the Divine Savior established another high school in Milwaukee to educate young women interested in joining their order. In 1948, Divine Savior opened to all girls in the Milwaukee area. The two schools merged in 1970 to create Divine Savior Holy Angels HS. Since that collaboration, DSHA has grown to become the number one high school for girls in Milwaukee.

“Holy Angels was my alma mater and that of most of the women in my family,” said Terese Shinners, BVM (Ellena). “The BVM alumnae at the liturgy shared memories of our high school teachers and the excellent education we received. My favorite part of the day was reconnecting with former students and colleagues from my years teaching at DSHA.”

BVM Suzanne (Sue) Effinger (Frances Carol) shared, “The event today celebrating 125 years was a powerful experience for me. The welcome all of the alums received as we processed into liturgy brought me to tears.” Janet Mary Desmond, BVM added, “The spirit of joy, service and pride filled the celebratory 125 year anniversary Mass. Students and faculty welcomed alums and all witness to their excellent academic and religious education.”

In her welcome at the Mass, DSHA President Ellen Bartels noted, “As we open our liturgical celebration, we honor those who have gone before us in our Procession of Alumnae. These women, who have graduated from Holy Angels Academy, Divine Savior HS, and Divine Savior Holy Angels, represent the over 14,000 young women who have come through the doors of our foundational institutions and have gone out to make a difference in the world.”

Post date 2.9.17


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BVMs Join in Making History

On Jan. 21, the Women’s March on Washington, D.C. marked the largest mass demonstration in U.S. history. Throughout the country and globally, 5 million people marched in cities and towns in a show of solidarity for human rights.

From coast to coast, BVMs andassociates joined the sea of participants in prayer and presence! The BVM Women’s Network sponsored three sisters to attend the D.C. march: BVMs Rose Mary Meyer (Sebastian), Diane Rapozo (Malia), and Joellen McCarthy. “I am thrilled that these rallies happened in hundreds of cities and towns in the United States, in many countries and all of Earth’s continents,” says Rose Mary. “Together we are strong.”

Both Diane and Joellen share that they were “hungry for a different way of people coming together” after the election campaign. “The experience in Washington generated in us such hope that we were encouraged to discover during the day in Washington and now in subsequent days, invitations to channel that positive energy to actions that can bring about change and work toward creating a world we can believe in.”

Associate Coordinator Kimberly Emery was also in D.C. for the march, and Associate Kathy Linhardt took part in the New York City march, while her daughters walked in D.C. and Los Angeles. Associate Coordinator Lori Ritz, during her visit to Iowa, joined her sister to march with supporters in Des Moines.

BVMs Barbara Gaul, Mary Ellen Meckley, Colleen McGinnity and Carol Cook rallied for the Chicago march. “It was a call to stand together, to use love as our strategy, to build on this day, to bring our energies to our local communities, to be involved,” says Carol. Associate Virginia Piecuch echoes Carol as she says, “The march in Chicago was an amazing experience to be one with women, men and children showing God’s diversity in our world.”

From Dubuque, Iowa to Milwaukee to San Jose, Calif., BVMs were present and engaged in the respective marches. Former Dubuque mayor Carolyn Farrell, BVM (Lester), joined by other Dubuque BVMs and associates, shared with the local group gathered in unity and support. “We are here, connected in spirit with the Women’s March on Washington, D.C.—lifting up positive energy, inspiring justice for all.”

Along with many others, BVMs Marilyn Wilson (Claudia Mary), Bette Gambonini (Esther Mary) and Elizabeth Avalos gathered with Associates Francis and Carol DeCarvalho and their family, and Associate Barbara Harper and her daughters, at the march in San Jose, Calif. Elizabeth shares, “Everyone was so positive—talking, laughing, holding their signs . . . our future is in safe hands.”

The Women’s March on Washington (www.womensmarch.com), urges supporters to join them in launching a new follow-up campaign: Ten Actions for the first 100 days. “Now, the real work begins.”

View Photos

Post date 1.30.17


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BVMs, Associates and Friends Gather in Solidarity

“No Mas! No More! Tear Down the Border Wall! Basta Ya, Basta Ya, Basta Ya!”

These were the words that rang through and around the border wall at the Nogales, Ariz./Sonora, Mexico border for the SOA (School of the Americas) Watch Oct. 7–10. BVM Associates Carol and Francis DeCarvalho, Kay Harrison and Elizabeth Fitting joined BVMs Elizabeth Avalos, Bette Gambonini (Esther Mary) and Marilyn Wilson (Claudia Mary), and friends Arline Nelson and Wally Inglis for the event.

They gathered together in solidarity with over 1,000 justice seekers to:
• bring attention to the injustices of the U.S. immigration policies;
• advocate for a shift in U.S. policy toward refugees;
• offer a positive narrative about immigrants and refugees;
• build bridges of understanding and dialogue;
• struggle against U.S. militarization at home and abroad;
• and to commit to continue to work for comprehensive immigration reform.

A march led by Veterans for Peace guided the group to the border wall. Stages set on either side of the wall created connections with those who have suffered at the hands of border patrol and immigration officials. Participants attended workshops on both sides of the border, studying various aspects of the issue—injustices in the U.S. detention centers, unequal economies, disastrous effects of free trade, and deportation of veterans.

They joined 40 other women religious and associates for Encuentro de Hermanas, to pray together and engage in conversation about immigration and their response as women religious. For over 20 years, many congregations have had missions on both sides of border towns in the southwest. Coming to the watch from several states, they networked and shared resources.

For everyone, it was an experience that saddened, challenged, energized and filled them with hope.

“Abre corazones, abre brazoes, abre puertas en bienvenida.”
“Open hearts, open arms, open doors in welcome.”
              from NCR Global Sisters Report – prayer at Encuentro de Hermanas, Oct. 8, 2016

Prayer by Marilyn Wilson, BVM: Ode to the Wall

For more information go to: www.soaw.org


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Heralding the War—BVM Coverage of ‘The War to End All Wars’

April 6, 2017, marked the 100th anniversary of American entry into World War I. On April 6, 1917, the United States Congress declared war on Germany. Eight months later, the United States officially declared war against Austria-Hungary on Dec. 7, 1917. While the Sisters of Charity, BVM publication, Our Herald, did not focus on the war, it referenced the conflict several times prior to the involvement of the United States.

The earliest mention of the war came in an October 1914 article that requested prayers for the new pope, Benedict XV, “whose accession to the throne comes in times so troublous, our prayers will be earnest and unceasing.” Two years later, the April 1916 issue noted that “Eastertide this year sees war, death and desolation stalking through the world. ‘Christian Civilization has failed,’ say our enemies. We need the strong, joyful hope of triumph and of life eternal that rings out in the Easter Alleluia; but we cannot know final defeat.”

Once America entered the war, it was regularly referenced in Our Herald. The October 1917 issue, the first published after U.S. involvement, informed the reader that “at Mount Carmel adoration of the Blessed Sacrament is kept up at all the hours of the day to obtain the blessing of peace.” It also noted that “prayers have been redoubled that the Nations at war may listen to the words of the Ambassador of the Prince of Peace” (Pope Benedict XV) who had recently issued a letter calling for peace.

In January 1918, Our Herald emphasized the importance of religion in education, arguing that war “has shown in a hideous series of object lessons . . . the result of educational systems, scientific and materialistic, in which religion had no part . . . Men educated under these systems used this knowledge for the destruction of their fellowmen and themselves.”

It also heralded the capture of Jerusalem on Dec. 9, 1917, by the combined forces of Great Britain, France and Italy, and proudly noted that the chaplain who carried the cross into Jerusalem was Rev. William Raphael Ludford, OSB, who had been educated by the BVMs at St. Mary Academy in Elgin, Ill. This issue also includes a more somber mention of the war—the name of Lieutenant William T. Fitzsimmons, “one of our Kansas City boys, the first U.S. Officer killed in France.”

The October 1918 issue, which included information on the influenza epidemic, was apparently published late as it also included a short article noting that before beginning Mass on the morning of Nov. 11, the chaplain announced the armistice had been signed. “With all the fervor of our souls, we offered the Holy Sacrifice in thanksgiving” and later that afternoon the Te Deum was sung.

This issue of Our Herald, as well as the January 1919 issue, include excerpts from letters sent home by some of the soldiers. In one letter, one of BVM St. Catherine Murphy’s brothers informs her that soldiers can receive communion any time after confession, “no matter how long our fast.” On a lighter note, he also tells her the American troops “hate the name ‘Sammie’ and ‘Yank’ is our name.”

In the past, history was often taught on a macro level—great deeds performed by great men. As the teaching shifts to more of a micro level, resources such as Our Herald become more valuable to researchers as they provide a glimpse of how history was documented “as it happened.”

—Jennifer Head
BVM Archivist

Post date 4.20.2017


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BVMs Unite With Others in ‘A Call to Compassion’

Award-winning journalist and author Margaret Regan shared the heartrending stories of people caught in the chaos of the U.S. immigration system during a presentation, “Immigrant Families Under Fire—A Call to Compassion in the Heartland,” with an audience of 200 at Loras College, Dubuque, Iowa, on March 30.

The event was sponsored by the Sisters of Charity, BVM and 29 co-sponsors who comprise Crossing Borders—Dubuque, a group of concerned citizens, organizations and religious who work to raise awareness of injustices experienced by immigrants and advocates on their behalf. 

Regan noted that thousands of deportations of undocumented individuals have occurred in the last 10 years and are still happening everyday in the United States, affecting children, spouses, neighbors, employers and communities.

One of her books, Detained and Deported: Stories of Immigrant Families Under Fire (2015) investigates the fate of undocumented immigrants who are taken away from their families, incarcerated in detention centers, or deported back across the border.

Another book, The Death of Josseline: Immigration Stories from the Arizona Borderlands (2010), chronicles the tragic deaths of migrants in the desert. Both books are named Top Picks in the Southwest Books of the Year competition, and have been adopted in many university classrooms.

Crossing Borders member Mary McCauley, BVM (Mercedie) says, “Ever since experiencing the heartache and injustice suffered by so many men, women and children at the time of the infamous workplace raid at Agriprocessors in Postville, Iowa, in 2008, I have been convinced that the first step in transforming our immigration system is to transform hearts. What better way to transform hearts than to share the stories of those directly affected by our current immigration system? What better way to set our hearts on fire!”

BVM Mira Mosle, also a member of Crossing Borders, spoke to the concerned and sober crowd, saying, "What to do? We want to pray. We want to weep. We want to do something. How will we find and encourage compassion in the heartland for our brothers and sisters?"

Area co-sponsors of the presentation include: Catholic Charities, Church of the Resurrection, Clarke University, Community Foundation of Dubuque, Dubuque for Refugee Families, Loras College, Nativity Church, Gwen Nilles, Father Jack Paisley, St. Raphael Cathedral, St. Patrick Church, St. Joseph Catholic Church Key West, Sinsinawa Dominicans, Sisters of the Presentation, Sisters of St. Francis, Sisters of the Visitation, and Sisters of Charity, BVM.

Regan’s books are available at River Lights Bookstore, Dubuque, which will contribute 10% of sales to Crossing Borders.

Post date 4.6.17


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LCWR Expresses Deep Concern about Executive Orders

LCWR Expresses Deep Concern about Executive Orders

January 30, 2017

We emphatically endorse the statement issued today by the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR): “We strongly object to President Trump’s attempts to limit our ability to heed God’s call to welcome the stranger (Mt. 25:35) and to care for those most in need (Mt 25:40), and we are particularly concerned about rules and regulations that deny access to refugees because of their religion, race, or nationality. It is a violation of our faith and every norm of humanity.”

With the LCWR, the Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary “vow to continue to welcome refugees and minister to immigrants. [We,] LCWR, and its members will continue to press for restoration of refugee resettlement, relief for families, an end to needless deportations, and the closure of all family detention centers. We will continue to advocate for compassionate, bipartisan legislation that fixes our broken immigration system. We will continue to stand in solidarity with families, regardless of immigration status, who labor daily to provide safety and security for their children.”

Leadership Team, Sisters of Charity, BVM

Teri Hadro, BVM
Lou Anglin, BVM
LaDonna Manternach, BVM

Read: LCWR expresses deep concern about Executive Orders. 


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‘Am I a Human Trafficker?’

Chris Cox, campaign manager of The Human Thread, explored this question with an audience of 230 in a presentation on Feb. 27 at Clarke University.

Cox was hosted by the Coalition Against Human Trafficking in the Tri-State Area, a faith-based network that began at the request of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR), encouraging all religious community members and associates to work together against human trafficking through education and advocacy.

After working in multicultural, low-income parishes in the United States and Latin America, Cox began to manage The Human Thread campaign last year, an outgrowth in part from the Bangladesh clothing factory fire, which killed more than 1,100 people and injured 2,000 more. The workers were paid $50 per month.

Long committed to faith-based advocacy and the work of justice, Cox reflected on where our clothing comes from and how living in right relationship with our brothers and sisters on distant continents helps us to lead more joyful, faith-filled lives.

While most think of human trafficking in terms of sex trafficking, Cox challenged the audience to think about how their technology, food, and clothing purchases from countries with “horrific practices” are also forms of human trafficking.

He notes, “. . . the reality is so many things that are the basis of making our lives comfortable—cell phones, chocolate, coffee, clothing—can grossly be at the expense of other human beings.” He shares that approximately 98 percent of clothes sold in America are made overseas and that only between .5 percent and 3 percent of the cost of production for the average item goes to the worker who made it.

For garment workers to make a living wage, Cox says that the increase in cost per item would only have to be between .5 and 5 percent. “This white t-shirt I’m wearing that would cost $10—to pay a living wage, to triple their wages now—means I would pay $10.50 for it and frankly, I’d want to pay that if given the option.”

BVM vice president Lou Anglin says she now intends to change her own shopping habits after Cox’s presentation. “I grew up being a prudent shopper—looking for deals, but now I need to be aware that paying a just wage for people’s labor is the greater good.”

Cox advises others to do their homework before supporting a brand and to vote with their wallets. He also shares that practicing the “Four Rs” can help to make an impact—repairing our clothes, reducing our closets, and reusing and recycling our clothes by donating them to charity.

Post date 3.15.17


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BVM Inducted into Loyola University Athletic Hall of Fame

On Jan. 21, during the Loyola men’s basketball game against Evansville University, Jean Dolores Schmidt, BVM became the 173rd member inducted into the Athletic Department Hall of Fame at Loyola University Chicago.

At halftime during the game, Athletic Director Steve Watson and Loyola President Jo Ann Rooney escorted Sister Jean to the center of the court for her induction ceremony. After a video presentation showing Loyola men and women basketball players thanking Sister Jean for her support through the years, she received her Hall of Fame plaque amid a standing ovation.

Sister Jean, age 97, went to her first Loyola basketball game in 1962, and the rest is history! Her dedication to the towering athletes who dwarf her tiny figure is legendary. As chaplain of the Loyola men’s basketball team since the early 1990s, Sister Jean leads everyone in prayer before the games and shares her enthusiastic support, unflagging energy, and astute critiques for each one.

Thrilled by the honor, she says, “I appreciate being in the Hall of Fame with all those wonderful athletes, who have brought such honor to Loyola and have influenced so many people.”

In the past year, Sister Jean has also received an honorary doctorate from the College of Arts and Sciences at Loyola University. What could possibly be next for this diminutive BVM powerhouse?

Read the full story at Loyola Phoenix:

http://bit.ly/2kaM4og

Watch Video:

http://bit.ly/2k61NoM

Post date 2.3.17


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BVMs Join Coalition Against Human Trafficking to Host Presentation

“Am I a Human Trafficker?”

Chris Cox , campaign manager of The Human Thread, will explore this question in a presentation at 7 p.m., Monday, Feb. 27, at Clarke University’s Jansen Music Hall, 1550 Clarke Dr., Dubuque, Iowa. Hosted by the Coalition Against Human Trafficking in the Tri-State Area, the event is free and open to the public.

Long committed to faith-based advocacy and the work of justice, Cox will reflect with others on where our clothing comes from and how living in right relationship with our brothers and sisters on distant continents helps us to lead more joyful, faith-filled lives.

Coalition member Diane Rapozo, BVM (Malia) shares, “The Human Thread seeks to raise consciousness and empower people to advocate for the plight of garment workers worldwide. We are grateful to have Chris Cox come to the Dubuque area to speak. The BVM community has graciously provided Chris with hospitality.”

After 16 years of working in multicultural, low-income parishes in the United States and Latin America, Cox began to manage The Human Thread campaign last year, an outgrowth in part from the Bangladesh clothing factory fire which killed more than 1,100 people and injured 2,000 more. The workers were paid $50 per month.

BVM Irene Lukefahr, another member of the Coalition, says, “Sometimes I wonder about the working conditions and wages of those who labor to make most of the clothes I wear. Many of our BVM sisters and staff signed some of the 8,000 postcards from The Human Thread organization, sent to retailers Kohl’s and Macy’s, urging them to develop an apparel brand that pays a just wage. Hopefully, this one small effort on our part will help make a difference for those victims of labor trafficking.”

Cox will offer analysis and suggestions about how consumer choices impact the lives of so many who are often invisible to us and outline some decisions that can help us stand in solidarity with some of the world’s most vulnerable people.

The Coalition Against Human Trafficking in the Tri-State Area is a faith-based network that began at the request of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR), encouraging all religious community members and associates to work together against human trafficking through education and advocacy.

For more information contact:

Joy Peterson, PBVM
608-748-4411, ext. 164
jpeterson@sinsinawa.org

Post date 2.13.17


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BVM Honored as Paul Harris Fellow

‘Madre’ Cindy Sullivan, BVM is the recipient of an International Humanitarian Service award as a Paul Harris Fellow, presented by the Rotary Club of Petwawa, Canada. Five award recipients were recognized on Nov. 12 in Petawawa. Rotarian Norm Edwards accepted the award on Cindy’s behalf and she will receive her pin, certificate and medal at a later date.

As volunteer director of the Working Boys’ Center in Quito, Ecuador, Cindy says, “Norm brought a group of Rotarians to the Center some years ago and they are great benefactors.” She adds, “I am humbled and honored by this award which really belongs to our whole team here in Quito and our team at the Center for Working Families. It also is an award for all BVMs.”

Faye Reid, of the Petawawa Rotary Club, notes that “the symbolism in this recognition is to say thank you for making a difference in your community and in the lives of less fortunate people in the world . . . the Rotary Club of Petawawa, Canada recognizes these efforts and has made a contribution to the Rotary Foundation in your name.”

This fellowship was named after Paul Harris, who founded Rotary in 1905. The Rotary Foundation contributes to helping make the world a better place in which to live through education, food, potable water, shelter and much more.

Post date 12.14.16


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DAVA Receives Mustard Seed Award

The Dubuque Area Vocational Association (DAVA) was honored with the Mustard Seed Award at the 15th Biennial Convocation of the National Religious Vocation Conference (NRVC), held in Overland Park, Kan., Oct. 27–31. The award recognizes those making a significant impact on vocation ministry through small, local initiatives that have grown to include other groups.

“Lou and I were blessed to work with a wonderful group of men and women in DAVA for the past nine years,” says Kathy Carr, BVM who, together with current BVM First Vice President Lou Anglin, served as Initial Membership Coordinators.

“Our collaboration with the other 11 congregations was truly supportive of our own efforts. We all encouraged each other and there was great respect for the charism and traditions of each congregation. One of the common responses DAVA would receive from program participants was how inspiring it was to see the congregations working together so enthusiastically. While the “fruits” of vocation work are often invisible, it is an honor to have our efforts recognized with this award from the National Religious Vocation Conference.”

Post date 12.13.16


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BVM Lynn Winsor Named Golf Coach of the Year

The Arizona Sports Awards, presented by Arby’s, has named Lynn Winsor, BVM and Tui Selvaratnam ‘Girls Golf Coaches of the Year.’ At Xavier College Preparatory in Phoenix, Lynn and co-coach Tui led their golf program to its 34th championship since 1980.

Lynn has coached the girls golf program at since 1974 and has received numerous accolades, along with the girls’ golf team, in her 43 years of coaching at Xavier. “It’s that tradition of excellence that has followed us,” says Lynn. “We call it the Xavier golf experience.” Read the article at: http://bit.ly/2gxmzbB

Lynn is also featured in Prep Golf, Golf Digest, on Nov. 7, as the ‘coaching nun’ inducted into the Arizona Women’s Golf Association Hall of Fame in 2000, who does not play golf! Read the article at: http://bit.ly/2fvTYV7

Post date 12.13.16


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MUSIC & MEMORY Rekindles the Past for BVM Sisters

What if we could unlock the buried, joyful memories of an elderly or infirm person with just a song, helping them connect with life again through music?

The MUSIC & MEMORY program, founded by Dan Cohen and based in Mineola, N.Y., was created as a nonprofit in 2010. Its mission is to “bring personalized music into the lives of the elderly or infirm through digital music technology” (www.musicandmemory.org). Since its inception, the program has successfully implemented iPod personalized music programs in care organizations throughout the United States and Canada.

The Sisters of Charity, BVM at Mount Carmel in Dubuque, Iowa, thank you for your contributions on #Giving Tuesday (www.bvmcong.org/support_donate.cfm) Nov. 29. Over $15,000 has been raised to help enrich the lives of our elderly sisters as they enjoy the music of their memories!

Three people—a BVM associate, BVM employee, and Dubuque Senior High School student—have come together, working to enhance the lives of our sisters in the memory care unit.

The idea to bring the therapeutic program to the elderly BVM sisters at Mount Carmel came from wellness department Activities Aide Dawn Merges. After staff viewed the documentary, “Alive Inside: A Story of Music and Memory,” (http://bit.ly/1qKvUNk) showing the results of the MUSIC & MEMORY program, they were unanimously on board to initiate the program.

Challenges include engaging in research with the elderly sisters to learn about their favorite music from years gone by, obtaining iPods for storing the music, and educating and training staff to implement the program.

But Dawn feels the challenges are well worth it. The program “helps unlock isolation, relieves worry and anxiety, and facilitates pain management,” she says. “Seeing the sisters in their rooms—singing, smiling, tapping their feet, and enjoying their lives—is incredibly moving.”

BVM Associate Sharon Scully spends time visiting with the sisters, reminiscing and sharing. “My job is to talk to each sister and identify what kind of music she loves,” says Sharon. “We need to do this now, before the elderly sisters are no longer able to communicate with us.”

Sharon grew up in a house full of music and feels that she is simply “sharing with my friends, the sisters. And they teach me as well.” She believes that MUSIC & MEMORY generates opportunities as a multi-generational project—with tech-savvy younger aides and nurses helping the sisters to find new joy in life through the music of their memories while they, in turn, learn about the older generation.

Sibani Ram is not your typical high school sophomore. Like many young people, she likes music, books and learning about the world. But she also wants to do something about what she learns.

After watching the movie, “Still Alice,” which depicts a middle-aged college professor who finds herself battling Alzheimer’s disease, Sibani shares, “’Still Alice’ left me deeply stirred and scouring the internet for a creative way to help those with mental health illnesses.”

Looking for a local care center that used the program led her to the BVMs at Mount Carmel. “I’m grateful to have the chance to work with the sisters to advocate for the 24-hour online #GivingTuesday (www.bvmcong.org/support_donate.cfm) fundraiser on Nov. 29,” she says. “This is a terrific opportunity for anyone who believes in the power and delight of music. MUSIC & MEMORY is where the arts meet the sciences, transforming the quality of life, one care center at a time.”


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Join BVMs, Associates and Friends on an Ecuador Immersion Trip

The Sisters of Charity, BVM and BVM associates invite you to stand in solidarity through work, reflection and prayer with our sisters and brothers in Ecuador. The date for the trip is April 19–28, 2017. Registration deadline is March 1.

On this journey, you will live and work with BVMs Miguel Conway and Cindy Sullivan at the Working Boys’ Center in Quito, a place dedicated to breaking the cycle of poverty. You’ll visit homes in the barrio and countryside. You’ll gather with the local community to help a family build a house. You will visit Otavalo’s renowned indigenous artisan open air market, where area villagers bring their wares to barter and socialize.

A two-day trip to Guayaquil is also offered, including a visit to Damien House, a clinic for Hansen’s disease patients, and Nuevo Mundo, a foundation school where poor children receive free education along with those able to pay tuition.

The Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary (BVM) in Dubuque, Iowa, are a community of Catholic women religious who minister in 16 states and Ecuador and Ghana as educators, pastoral ministers, counselors and advocates for the elderly and immigrants.

For more information contact:
Kimberly Emery, ACT (Associate Coordinator Team): kemery@bvmcong.org
or bvmoutreach@bvmcong.org.

Read this reflection by Peggy Geraghty, BVM about last year's trip to Ecuador.
http://blog.bvmcong.org/post.cfm/ecuador-immersion-trip-reflection

 


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Welcome to Vietnamese Sisters!

Global sisterhood is up close and personal at Mount Carmel!

Vietnamese IHM Sisters (l. to r.) Chihn, Tram and Tuyen explore the Mount Carmel campus after their arrival in September. Tram and Tuyen will live at Mount Carmel as they begin their studies at Divine Word College in Epworth, Iowa, while Chihn will attend a college in Connecticut. Welcome, Sisters!

“We are very excited to be able to engage in mission by assisting our global sisters in this way,” says BVM President Teri Hadro. “We are grateful for the hospitality, prayers and many contributions so many will offer on behalf of our new global residents.”

BVMs Mary Crimmin (Agnes) and Marion Murphy (John Patrice) will serve as “house mothers” to assist in the transition of these sisters to our culture and customs. Judy Callahan, BVM (Eugene Mary) will coordinate tutoring at Mount Carmel for the sisters, Carol Marie Baum, BVM (Joseph Louis) will coordinate transportation to and from Divine Word College, and BVM Angele Lutgen will work with volunteers to provide various needs of the sisters. BVMs living in both the Dubuque area and at a distance will also contribute their assistance in many ways.


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Catherine Dunn, BVM Honored

Catherine Dunn, BVM, president emerita of Clarke University in Dubuque, Iowa, was honored Sept. 29 with the 2016 “50-50 in 2020” Equity for Women Award. Catherine has represented the BVM congregation in many areas of service to the church and community and has received a multitude of awards, from Dubuque’s “Citizen of the Year” in 1986 to reception of the Vatican’s Papal Medal in 2005.

“Sister Catherine used her leadership abilities at every opportunity to make positive differences in the lives of people from many walks of life,” said Maggie Tinsman, former Iowa state senator. 50-50 in 2020 is an initiative to recruit and elect enough women by 2020 so that half of Iowa’s legislature and congressional delegation will be women and a woman will have been elected governor.


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BVM Celebrates 100th!

Relatives, friends and former students joined Ann Regina on Sunday, Sept. 4, at Mount Carmel for a celebratory liturgy followed by dinner. BVM President Teri Hadro, in her welcome, noted: “Two of the lovely things about Ann Regina are her wonderful laugh and that she doesn’t take herself too seriously . . . she is a woman of many talents and within her 100 years accomplished much that is noteworthy.”

But more than that, this was a celebration of the woman Ann Regina is and the relationships she nurtured. Teri spoke warmly of Ann Regina’s “walking hug” of encouragement for others, now replaced by a “rolling hug” accompanied by her unfailing, effusive response to greetings from others.

When asked how it felt to be 100 years old, Ann Regina responded to another sister, “Honey, I don’t know how it feels. I just try to take each day as it comes!” She added that she was overwhelmed and grateful to everyone who helped celebrate her 100th birthday.

 

 


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BVMs and Staff Unite for Alzheimer’s Research

Sisters and staff at Mount Carmel were honored with an award for the Top Fundraising Team for the 2016 Alzheimer's Walk in Dubuque, Iowa. The award was presented on Nov. 1 by Alexandra Barton, program and event coordinator at the Alzheimer's Association, Dubuque. In all, staff and sisters raised over $9,000.

The fun began when the “Working Unitedly Team” at Mount Carmel held their own “Olympics” in early August. Teams representing 10 colors, each made up of 30 employees and sisters, competed for one week to raise funds for Alzheimer’s research—a cause near and dear to the Sisters of Charity, BVM!

“Opening Ceremonies” commenced on Aug. 3, followed by a week of fun-filled competition between the teams. Ten boxes labeled with team colors were placed at Mount Carmel entrances and all were encouraged not only to “bring their change” but to “be the change,” helping to raise awareness of the disease and the upcoming Alzheimers’ Association Walk in Dubuque on Sept. 10.

At the week’s end on Aug. 10, sisters and staff braved the heat and humidity in the Joan Doyle Garden at Mount Carmel for a “Mini Memory Walk,” followed by root beer floats. Over 128 participants walked a total of 122,250 steps. All of the teams were declared winners, as they had dug into their pockets during the week of friendly competition and raised a total of $3,934.81 for the Alzheimer’s Association!

After the Mini Walk, a grand total of $4,871.93 had been raised by sisters and staff for Alzheimer’s research, and everyone was proud to be a member of TEAM PURPLE, the real winner!

But it didn't end there! By the time the Sept. 10 Alzheimer's Association Walk in Dubuque was finished, donations from staff and sisters had exceeded $9,000.

Updated 12.13.16

Watch KCRG’s news coverage: http://bit.ly/2barWA3

 

 


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Induction of New BVM Leadership Team Celebrated

The Sisters of Charity, BVM celebrated the installation of the new leadership team: (center, l. to r.) Second Vice President LaDonna Manternach, President Teri Hadro, and First Vice President Lou Anglin during a special ceremony at Mount Carmel on July 31.

Mary Ann Zollmann, BVM (Clement Mary) welcomed sisters, family, friends and guests and invited all to prayer. The blessing of the former leadership team, President Teri Hadro, BVM; First Vice President Mira Mosle, BVM; and Second Vice President Catherine (Kate) E. Hendel, BVM was followed by the calling forth of the new leadership team as each was presented with a candle by Joellen McCarthy, BVM.

Affirmation and blessing by the congregation preceded the closing song as sisters affirmed their sharing of leadership, in mutual commitment, in joyful participation, in loving growth, in faithfulness to the Spirit of God, and in the spirit of Foundress Mary Frances Clarke. With gratitude, they blessed Kate (far l.) and Mira (far r.) who have guided the community for the past four years.


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BVMs Join in Welcoming Refugees

The Sisters of Charity, BVM are one of 10 communities of Midwest Catholic Sisters who are calling on citizens, President Barack Obama, and federal, state and local politicians to work together to welcome refugees.

The sisters have launched a public awareness campaign to remind potential candidates and voters to remember this critical issue when they head to the polls in November.

Billboards urging communities to welcome refugees have been placed in the Quad Cities, Des Moines, Dubuque and Clinton, Iowa; Kieler and Madison, Wis.; and Omaha, Neb. Prayer services near some of the billboard sites have been scheduled and postcards are available to be sent to federal, state and local government officials nationwide.

In Dubuque, BVMs gathered with other area sisters on June 20 at Dubuque Auto Plaza, site of one of the billboards, for a prayer service. The event was organized by Mira Mosle, BVM, who spoke to local KCRG news. See the interview at: http://bit.ly/28Mjx3L

Pictures from the Dubuque prayer service and other related events can be viewed at: https://www.facebook.com/catholicsisters/

The billboards feature the message based on the words of Jesus and taken from the Gospel of Matthew: “I was a stranger a refugee and you welcomed me.” They will remain posted through June and July. The postcards read: “As a person of faith, I am writing to ask you to speak out against fear-mongering and inflammatory rhetoric about refugees. I oppose any legislation that would block the resettlement of refugees of any nationality or religion in the United States of America.”

BVMs have worked with refugees for many years as part of their ministry and continue to do so today whenever possible. They also offer financial assistance for refugees through their congregational ministry grants, providing education, shelter and settlement support where needed.

St. Regina Wagner, BVM recalls the year 1975, when Vietnamese families arrived at St. Mary Parish in Lincoln, Neb. “This began a whole new ministry for me . . . as mentor, help and support for families in finding doctors, adequate and safe places to live, transporting them to English classes, finding fair and suitable jobs, advising them with money matters and countless other services.”

Diane Rapozo, BVM (Malia) says, “When the Hmong people arrived in Wausau, Wis., from Vietnam [in the 1980s], they chose St. Anne Parish for their community . . . being their representative was a very rich experience for me.”

Mary Martens, BVM (Loras) recently tutored a local college student living at Presentation Lantern Center in Dubuque, whose family emigrated from Indonesia. Working with the student on writing and speech assignments, Mary says, “She’s bright and actually taught herself English at age 12; she’s determined and disciplined.”

Mary McCauley, BVM (Mercedie), who was pastoral minister at the time of the infamous workplace immigration raid in Postville, Iowa, shares, “Currently my direct contact with refugees is limited; however my advocacy for their rights and concern for their dignity and freedom is very much alive!”

The Sisters of Charity, BVM and the Midwest Catholic Sisters invite you to join them in becoming refugee welcoming communities! To download postcards to send to your political representatives, go to: http://bit.ly/1TJJzkA

The following congregations of Catholic Sisters are coordinating this public awareness campaign: the Dominican Sisters, Sinsinawa, Wis.; Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Sisters of the Presentation, Sisters of St. Francis and Sisters of the Visitation, all in Dubuque; Congregation of the Humility of Mary, Davenport, Iowa; Sisters of St. Francis, Clinton, Iowa; Sisters of St. Benedict, Rock Island, Ill.; Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration, La Crosse, Wis.; and Sisters of Mercy, West Midwest Community, Omaha, Neb. For more information, visit www.facebook.com/catholicsisters.


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Remembering ‘Sister’

Friends and family of the Sisters of Charity, BVM gathered on Sunday, May 22, for the annual Memorial Mass at Mount Carmel in Dubuque, Iowa. Nearly 100 guests traveled from Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Missouri and Wisconsin to attend.

“Today we remember BVMs who hold a special place in our lives and hearts,” President Teri Hadro reflected in her greeting, noting the names of 22 BVMs who have died since last year’s Memorial Mass. “We remember that Sister often was the one to bring God to our consciousness,” she shared. “When Sister believed in us, encouraged us, laughed at our jokes, cried with our pain, rejoiced in our successes, it wasn’t hard to imagine that maybe God was doing that too and we came to understand that we should offer similar expressions of love to others.”

Gathering with BVMs for the commemorative liturgy, dinner, and visit to the cemetery enabled guests to honor and share memories of their special sisters, coming together as a circle of friends and members of the larger church community.

For many, it was their first time attending the Memorial Mass as they came to pay tribute to a sister. The warm, sunny day kept golf cart drivers busy shuttling guests and BVMs to the cemetery, where many left mementos at the graves and had their pictures taken in remembrance of their visit.

“The Memorial Mass continues to be a special event for both our sisters and many family and friends that attend,” said Andy Schroeder, development director for the Sisters of Charity, BVM. “The sisters we lost this year are sadly missed but fondly remembered. We were blessed to have this day together to share stories about our loved ones.”


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BVM Honored with Human Rights Award

Не очень правдоподобное заявление. - Согласна, - сказала Сьюзан, удивившись, почему вдруг Хейл заговорил об.  - Я в это не верю. Всем известно, что невзламываемый алгоритм - математическая бессмыслица. Хейл улыбнулся: - Ну конечно… Принцип Бергофского.

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