In 1982 I began teaching at St. Mary of the Valley High School while also attending Portland State University to get my fifth year and participating in formation classes. I taught a couple of classes at the high school then went to PSU for the rest of the day until around 4:00 when I returned for classes at the convent. I was a busy little “first professed” as I continued to learn the ropes. I enjoyed teaching at the high school very much and could see myself full time in the future. I really appreciated teaching at our community high school.
My main assignment was to teach religion and I found enjoyment in coaching the jv Softball team. Prior to 1991, St. Mary of the Valley was an all-girl school which went co-ed and changed the name to Valley Catholic. My school experience as a youth had been co-ed and I was more at home in that environment. I think it is good for youth to be with the opposite gender at school while they have their feet under their parent’s roof. There are a lot of lessons best learned at home.
I realized how fortunate I was to be called to religious life and what satisfaction I got out of it. A religious who dedicates their life to Christ has the time to do things that a married person with the responsibilities of family would not have in many cases. I realized the many talents God had given me and I had the time to develop them.
23 days till National Vocation Awareness Week – post 3 of 25
Fourty years have passed since I entered Religious Life. Things have changed as the world changes. Nothing stays the same and that is for the most part good, I think. Not in all cases but mostly. When I was in formation, we had what was called a “Rule of Separation” which mean’t if you were in formation you could not talk with the sisters who were professed. Why? You are probably asking? Formation takes place through the interaction with one formation director. Every single person has a suggestion for how something should be done. If you want a uniform formation for your members in religious life, best it be done through one, trained director. In my day there were a dozen of us in various stages of formation and we were able to create a good community of young sisters.
Today, we no longer have the rule of separation, but we do have 4 Sisters in formation, three of whom are under the age of 30. They are a wonderful group of young women who give me a lot of hope and confidence in our future as a religious community. The Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon accept women between the ages of 18 and 45. Even though we no longer have a rule of separation, the older sisters have an understanding of what should be deferred to the formation director.
I’m not sure what could be more fun than spending time with you and your loved ones at Camp Howard this summer. As for me, I come to the office most days during the summer but stay at the camp in the evenings and parts of other days especially Fridays. It is a wonderful experience to be at the camp and breathe the great outdoor air. I would LOVE to share that with you!
The reason I encourage family camp is that it is a great way for parents to check out the camp, initiate your children in the wonderful aspects of camping, and get a sense of what the camp and the people are all about. You will truly not be sorry!
Family camp is a great time for good conversations, rest, relaxation (we cook for you) and family fun. You sleep together in a cabin and enjoy watching your children participate in fun camp activities. There are also campfire talent shows where you and your family can come up with a talent act to do together.
Camp Howard is an ACA (American Camping Association) accredited camp with high standing in the camping industry. Please join us for the summer of 2020!
My heart was warmed by Rhonda’s description of the unique spiritual atmosphere at Camp Howard and how that atmosphere creates such a special experience for campers. Rhonda ‘s daughter has loved every minute of her CYO Volleyball experience. Rhonda has cheered for the team and volunteered to run the scoreboard at her games.
Thank you Rhonda and all of the amazing CYO and Camp Howard volunteers and supporters! You make great memories possible for our youth.
Please check out Rhonda’s interview with VYO recently: