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BVM News

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

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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Read the latest issue of Salt magazine!


Summer 2017: Navigating the Journey
Fasten your seatbelts! This issue of Salt takes us to Fond du Lac and Milwaukee, Wis.; Guayaquil and Quito, Ecuador; Dubuque and Des Moines, Iowa; Montrose and San Jose, Calif.; Chicago; Missoula Mont.; Washington, D.C.; and Vietnam. BVM founder Mary Frances Clarke could not have imagined!

Click here to download magazine.


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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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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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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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Great Give Day a Success!


On May 11, 2017, the Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary participated in the fourth annual nationwide Great Give Day—a 24-hour online giving event.

“Our supporters once again helped to make Great Give Day was an overwhelming success. It is truly an example of what can be accomplished when people work together for a common cause,” says BVM Director of Development Andy Schroeder.

Approximately 220 generous donors raised over $33,000 for the sisters. An additional prize of $2,300 was also awarded.

This year, GGD funds will help us purchase a much-needed vehicle that will allow more of our sisters to participate in offsite activities.

“The purchase of a new van will enable us to take more sisters on outings and accommodate those who need to travel via wheelchair,” says Sarah Rentz, Mount Carmel administrator. “It will provide space for supplies such as picnic gear and coolers, and have a 6% grade ramp, making it less fearful for the sisters.”

Currently, the number of sisters who can be transported to events and appointments is limited. Fewer sisters are able to be volunteer drivers now and many residents rely on Mount Carmel staff for transportation needs. A new vehicle will allow double the number of sisters to enjoy planned, fun experiences and provide those who are physical challenged with the opportunity to get out and enjoy the community!

Creative Arts Specialist Julie Wessels shares, “It breaks my heart to have to tell the sisters that they cannot attend an activity because we don’t have enough room on the van for them. A larger van would allow all sisters who want to participate in activities the ability to do so.”

Our sisters agree! “Having a vehicle to take me and other sisters to events is a real treat,” says Jane HasIwanter, BVM (Janette). “I would not be able take part in all of the special events that are planned for us without the accessible vehicle. I try to attend as many things as I can.”

Thank you for supporting the BVM Sisters! 

The Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque sponsored this event for its endowed nonprofit partners as part of a nationwide day of giving.

https://www.greatgiveday.org/bvmsisters

Post date 5.12.2017

 


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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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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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School Celebrates BVM Roots at 125th Anniversary

BVMs (l. to r.) Sue Effinger, Terese Shinners, Virginia Stone and Janet Desmond celebrate with DSHA President Ellen Bartel (center).

BVMs (l. to r.) Sue Effinger, Terese Shinners, Virginia Stone and Janet Desmond celebrate with DSHA President Ellen Bartel (center).

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

BVMs (l. to r.) Joellen McCarthy, Diane Rapozo and Rose Mary Meyer display their posters in front of the Capitol building.

BVMs (l. to r.) Joellen McCarthy, Diane Rapozo and Rose Mary Meyer display their posters in front of the Capitol building.

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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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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Diamonds Celebrate Jubilee

BVMs Carl Loras Pilmaier and Janita Curoe process from their Jubilarian Mass celebration.

BVMs Carl Loras Pilmaier and Janita Curoe process from their Jubilarian Mass celebration.

On Sept. 11, 2016, the Sets of 1943, 1944 and 1946 gathered to celebrate their diamond jubilees at Mount Carmel, Dubuque, Iowa, with family and friends. Our jubilarians have been teachers, administrators, congregational leaders, chaplains, pastoral ministers, artists, librarians and much more. They have striven to educate and promote justice and caring for others and the earth in all their missions.

BVM Vice President Lou Anglin, in her welcome, shared: "Looking around the chapel this morning, our jubilarians continue to give testimony on how to live as women of faith in our world. They touch our lives and inspire us through their lives of faithful friendship, concern for the needs of the world, and devotion to prayer. They continue to be the eyes and hands of Christ and show us how to be the same."

Thank you Sisters!

To read more about each sister celebrating her jubilee, or to send her a congratulatory message, visit: http://www.bvmcong.org/whatsnew_jubs.cfm.

To view additional photos, visit: http://www.bvmcong.org/whatsnew_album_detail.cfm?galleryID=156.

 

Set of 1943
BVMs are: (standing, l. to r.) Geneve Moran, Jean M. Byrne (Jean Francis), Karen Pollard, Julia Acosta (Lorenzo), Eleanor Craggs; (seated, l. to r.) Rita Mary Zander (Magdalene), Mary Frances Shafer (Francis Edward), and Rose André Koehler.

Set of 1944:
BVMs are: (standing, l. to r.): Mary Ann Lenore Eifert, Mary McElmeel (Eugenne); (seated, l. to r.): Mary Enid Lodding, Mary L. Stokes (Charlotte), Carol Frances Jegen, and Barbara Cerny.

 

Set of 1946
All sisters entered the BVM congregation Sept. 8, 1946, except for Mary Angela Buser, BVM, who entered Feb. 2, 1946. BVMs are: (standing, l. to r.): Marian Hurley (Willliam Marie), Kathleen O’Sullivan (Donall), Dorothy Gaffney, Joan Stritesky (Magdaletta), Mary Angela Buser, Helen Jeanne Hurley, Janita Curoe, Kathleen Spurlin (Bernardone), Carl Loras Pilmaier, Margaret Devereux (Williamette); (seated, l. to r.) Marie Neff (Charles Marie) and Dolores Doohan (Sarah James). 

 

 

BVMs Mary Ernest Rothe (l.) and Suzanne Stopper were unable to attend.


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BVM Leadership Team Message on Apostolic Visitation Report

We have reviewed the “Final Report on the Apostolic Visitation of Institutes of Women Religious in the United States” and are pleased with the positive and affirming report. The picture of women religious in the U.S. is presented accurately.

The points lifted up for further reflection by the report concern the essence of consecrated life. Self-reflection is not a new process for BVMs who will continue to share insights with each other and with those with whom we minister as we have always done since our founding.

We are delighted by the collaborative nature of the report and its widespread availability and transparency. This form of exchange is a new experience from the Vatican and we are encouraged that dialogue will be continued.

We are especially grateful to all of our sisters who we have shared in this process from the beginning and to the countless other friends who have shown their support in multiple ways.

President, Teri Hadro, BVM
Vice President, Mira Mosle, BVM
Vice President, Kate Hendel, BVM

Presentation of the report on congregations of US women religious

Final Report of the Apostolic Visitation


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