Time Out for the Nuns Convention!


As you may know, my day job is at CYO/Camp Howard.  This organization is a Catholic Charities Agency in the Archdiocese of Portland.  I am a member of the Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon, employed by CYO/Camp Howard.  My blog covers mostly my work at CYO/CH but from time to time I give you a glimpse of my religious life.  This is one of those times!

My night job is Archivist for the Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon and this weekend I am in Louisville, KY attending a conference with the Archivists for Congregations of Women Religious (ACWR).

I am meeting with 150 women who do the same sort of archival work that I do.  We are the “keepers of the stories” for our religious congregations.  It is extremely interesting work and the stories are powerful.  Archivists know the stories!  Maybe that should be a bumper sticker!

We are attending classes on various topics and today (Friday) we had a choice of three tours to attend including a tour of the Ursuline Sisters of Louisville.  Of course that was my choice and you might be surprised since one of the choices was Churchill Downs Archives.  I was a bit torn because I would have loved to have gone to Churchill Downs but I really wanted to see how other communities solved similar issues we deal with such as how they file their photos of Sisters.  Seems like a simple question but it can be complex.

Below: One third of the convention visits the Archives of the Ursuline Sisters of Louisville, KY

IMG_0200

Below: A clever way to organize Sisters’ scrapbooks!

IMG_0198

Below: More Scrapbooks!  We have several at Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon too!  I like this idea!

IMG_0196

Below: The Archives of the Ursuline Sisters of Louisville are in the basement of their Motherhouse and have a wonderful brick surface to work around.  It is cool, clean and organized!

IMG_0192

Below: Information is kept in files pertaining to living and deceased sisters and women who once belonged but left.

IMG_0191

Below: My friend, Sr. Caritas Strodthoff OSF, a Franciscan Sister of Christian Charity in Manitowoc, WI checks out how they file photographs and slides.

IMG_0186

A New Sister of St. Mary of Oregon – Sr. Alexa Weight


AUGUST 14, 2018 BEAVERTON, OREGON SISTERS OF ST. MARY OF OREGON

Sr. Alexa Weight joins Sr. Thanh Pham as a novice with the Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon. Sr. Alexa took the white veil, and constitutions of the Sisters on August 14th as she progressed from candidate to novice on her 7 year journey to becoming a fully professed Sister of St. Mary of Oregon.

Sister Alexa and Sr. Thanh began their “canonical year” on August 15, 2018.  The year will be filled with a balance of prayer, study and work.  This special year, set aside, allows a novice to learn the rudiments of religious life under the guidance of a professed sister known as her “Formation Director.  Sister Thuy Nguyen currently serves as the Formation Director for the novices.

BELOW: Proud Parents, Mr. & Mrs. Weight, await Alexa’s ceremony!

IMG_9638

BELOW: Candidate Alexa Weight asks for the community of sisters to support and teach her in her quest to become a novice.

IMG_9645

BELOW:  Sr. Charlene Herinckx, Superior General of the Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon, accepts Candidate Alexa’s request as Sr. Thuy prepares to present her with the white veil, a symbol of a novice.

IMG_9647

BELOW: Candidate Alexa is now known as Sister Alexa as she receives the white veil, and constitutions of the community.

IMG_9649

BELOW: Sr. Thanh Pham joyfully welcomes Sr. Alexa Weight to the ranks of Novice!

IMG_9688

BELOW: The Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon are filled with joy at the sight of two novices!

IMG_9703IMG_9704IMG_9708

BELOW: Sister Alexa’s parents and grandparents share in her joy on August 15, 2018 at the convent of the Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon in Beaverton.

IMG_9745

BELOW: Mom and Dad joyfully congratulate Sr. Alexa on taking her next step in Religious life!

IMG_9751

BELOW: Sr. Colleen Schmitt serves the ice cream cake at the reception for the family and Sisters!

IMG_9753

BELOW: Mother, Daughter and Grandmother!  Congratulations Sr. Alexa and family!

IMG_9757

Meanwhile, Back at Home…Tania Vanderschuere Rhein


We said “Thank you” to Tania “Vanderschuere” Rhein for 9 years of service on the Valley Catholic School Board last night.  Tania was one of my Teacher Assistants back in the day at St. Mary of the Valley / Valley Catholic.  Way to go, Tania!  THANK YOU!!! (I can still spell Vanderschuere!)

IMG_8133

Final Vows Sr. Rosina Pham


SISTERS OF ST. MARY OF OREGON, BEAVERTON

On August 15, 2017, Sr. Rosina Pham made her Final Vows with the Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon (SSMO).  The ceremony took place in the Convent Chapel, Our Lady of Perpetual Help.  August 15, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, is the date which the Sisters generally make vows.  It is a very special time of the year for the Sisters and an extremely important occasion filled with joy!  Sister Rosina is a very special member of the community and works at Maryville Nursing Home, which is one of the ministries of the SSMO’s.

BELOW: Sister Rosina Pham responds to the call to live her life as a religious Sister of St. Mary of Oregon.

IMG_6584

Archbishop Alexander Sample presides over the vow ceremony.

IMG_6581

Sister Rosina answers, “Yes” to the call to live her life as a Sister of St. Mary of Oregon.

IMG_6570

Sister Rita Watkins, Vicar of the Community, assists Sr. Rosina.

IMG_6594

Sister Charlene Herinckx, Superior General of the Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon and Sister Rosina sign the vow documents after the recitation of the public vows.

IMG_6600

Priest friends of Sister Rosina take part in the ceremony.

IMG_6567

Sister Rosina with her brother, parents and Archbishop Sample.

IMG_6640

A New Sister of St Mary of Oregon! Sr. Thanh Pham


Sr. Thanh Pham, asked to join our religious community this summer after discerning this decision for a year.  Sr. Thanh Asked the Sisters this morning to help her and teach her as she learns to live religious life.  During the ceremony Sr. Thanh received the white novice veil and added “Sister” to her name!  It was a joyous occasion for the Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon!

sr Charlene Herinckx, superior general of the community, welcomed Sr. Thanh to the novitiate.

IMG_6531IMG_6536IMG_6537IMG_6549

Sister Charlene Herinckx – An Honor Well Deserved!


…And I quote:

“The Regents and the President of the University of Portland have the pleasure and the honor of presenting at these Commencement Exercises the Christus Magister award.  The name of the award is taken from the Latin title of the University’s chapel, Christ the Teacher.  The award is bestowed on those persons who have given witness in their own lives to the elements of the mission of the University, teaching and learning, faith and formation, service and leadership.  The award consists of a bronze medallion of the University’s crest surrounded by the words: The University of Portland Christus Magister Award.  The year and the name of the recipient are engraved on the reverse side of the medal.  The Christus Magister Medal is the University’s highest honor.  Over the years we have presented the medal to senators and judges, theologians and scholars, writers and educators, cardinals and bishops, to men and women who have, in far-reaching ways, incarnated the University’s mission.

While she is a deft deflector of credit. praise and plaudits, her years of service and leadership have been marked with growth and innovation in her religious order and its many ministries which largely focus on education, healthcare and community service.

Founded in 1886, the first and only order founded in the state of Oregon and housed in their iconic green-domed motherhouse in Beaverton since 1930, the Sisters of St Mary of Oregon describe themselves as “living as women of prayer, in simplicity and sisterly love, called to be compassionate and joyful servants of the Lord.”

Beloved and respected by students, friends and colleagues alike, she embodies those traits in the very essence of her being and in bestowing the University’s highest honor upon her, we bestow it as well upon the prayerful. compassionate, charismatic joyful Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon, past, present and future.

Thus, with pride and pleasure the University of Portland confers its 2017 Christus Magister Medal on Sister Charlene Herinckx, of Beaverton, Oregon, and now always of the University of Portland.”

The Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon and the family of Sister Charlene Herinckx were on hand to witness the wonderful award bestowed on her by the University of Portland! Congratulations Sister! #sistersblogs, #cyocamphoward, #ssmo, #Sistersofstmaryoforegon

BELOW: Sister Charlene Herinckx, Superior General of the Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon receives the Christus Magister Award from the University of Portland at their graduation exercises May 2017.

IMG_2663

Below: Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon attend the graduation exercises at the University of Portland.

IMG_2647

Below: Sister Charlene receives the award from President Mark Poorman.

IMG_2686

Below: A close up of the medal depicting Christ the Teacher.

IMG_5255