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.

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

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

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

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Congratulations SSMO Sister Thuy and Sister Colleen!!!!


UNIVERSITY OF PORTLAND SUNDAY MAY 7, 2017

IMG_2647.jpg Sister Colleen Schmitt and Sr. Thuy Nguyen graduated from the University of Portland on Sunday to the delight of twenty of their Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon cheerleaders!  It was a wonderful occasion to celebrate the two women who work in the ministries of the Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon.

A party was held afterword in their honor at the Motherhouse of the Sisters in Beaverton.  #sistersblogs, #cyocamphoward, #sistersofstmaryoforegon, #ssmo

BELOW: Sister Thuy Nguyen (left) and Sister Colleen Schmitt enjoy a candid photo before the ceremony begins.

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Building Bird Houses at Camp Howard


Six campers signed up for bird house building at Camp Howard last summer.  It reminded me of my high school days in FFA (Future Farmers of America) when as a frosh one of the contests was to build a bird house.  I won the contest for the region that year (no brag just fact) and I credit the “mechanical gene” that I inherited from both sides of my family for that accomplishment.  I like woodworking!

We set about cutting out kits for the kids in the camp shop then had a debate over what tools the kids could use.  We agreed the hand tools plus the electric drill would all be acceptable with close supervision.  The kids loved using the drill.  The holes were pre-rilled a little smaller than the screws to keep the wood from splitting and enable the kids to be successful immediately.  They did a good job as you can see from the pictures.  We painted them the same paint scheme as the original cabins at Camp Howard.

We are offering Birdhouse Camp again this summer at Camp Howard.  A great sensory activity that gives kids a feeling of confidence and accomplishment! #sistersblogs #cyocamphoward

BELOW: The photos speak for themselves! Special thanks to Counselor Phoebe for her work on the project!

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What Happened on Holy Thursday?


APRIL 13, 2017 SISTERS OF ST. MARY OF OREGON – BEAVERTON, OR –

Holy Thursday commemorates the activities leading up to the Passion of Christ.  The meal (Last Supper) takes place with a sense of foreboding.  The Gospel writers describe it as a Passover meal.  Jesus talks about the bread and wine as elements of his own body as he shares the bread and cup of wine with those present.  On this night, Jesus washed the feet of the disciples and he announced that one of the twelve at the table would betray him.  Later in the evening, Jesus and his apostles retire to the Garden of Gethsemane where he prayed before being apprehended by members of the Sanhedrin and guards. He is taken away and will be crucified the next day, Good Friday.

Sr. Julie, Sr. Thuy, Sr. Michael Francine and Fr. Francis,  process through the chapel with candles & incense as part of the adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.  Members of the local community join the Sisters in the convent chapel for the service. #sistersofstmaryoforegon, 

We Chained Up and Got out of Town


Picture this!  Four Sisters pull out their Les Schwab tire chains, get out the directions and put them on the car for practice in case they need them on the summit of the coast range. Lets step back a few paces and get the full picture.  Sister Colleen Schmitt, Sister Alison Green, Sister Michael Francine and I had planned to go to the beach for Martin Luther King weekend.  A nice four day relaxing weekend to play cards, and celebrate Sister Michael Francine’s birthday on the 16th.

One of the Sisters passed away and the vigil and funeral were scheduled for two of the days of the vacation cutting it in half.  The ice and snow predictions were coming in full force and by 2:00 on Wednesday the 11th it was snowing hard and 6″ had dropped.  I paged the Sisters and asked them to meet me in the parlor where we talked about making the trip that afternoon since no one was at the beach house, and stay till Sunday afternoon which would give us 5 days at the beach!!!  Everyone was in.  We packed our bags and met at the car in an hour.

When we got back to the car, we got out the chains and practiced putting them on. Seemed like a good idea to make sure we could get them on easily and that they fit the car.  The Sisters were the dream team of chain gangs!  They got them on and the hard part was tightening them up.  We got it done, drove a short distance and tightened them again.  We were good to go.  Les Schwab puts out some good tire chains by the way!

We took the chains off and drove out to Murray Blvd., which was mostly open pavement. Our question was what would it be like on the Coast Summit?   If we needed the chains, we were in good hands!   We got past the memorial Tunnel and that was about where the snow and packed ice began.  As things got slippy we switched into 4 wheel drive and said the Rosary. Thanks be to God,  we made it fine!  We drove slowly, no one was on the road but us….good time to travel…and for about 10 to 15 miles were were in snow and ice conditions.

A ways beyond Camp 18 we ran out of snow and ice and had a glorious 5 days at Cannon Beach.  With two teachers in the group, we celebrated Wednesday, Thursday and Friday as news arrived that school was called for the following days.

Meanwhile, back in town…

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Guess Who Won the SSMO Singles Bocce Tournament…?


There were thirty-three entries in the SSMO Singles Bocce Tournament August 14th during a barbecue picnic on the eve of Final Vows for Sr. Alison Green and Temporary Vows for Sr. Anna Nguyen!  Rain threatened but did not dampen the SSMO patio barbecue where hot dogs, hamburgers and chicken skewers were the main attraction prior to “The Event.”

It is obvious that the Sisters have been practicing and the game was taken to another level Friday evening as the Sisters invited relatives and friends of Sister Alison and Sister Anna.  Archbishop Vlazny was among those vying for the honor of first singles winner on the new court AND the first singles tournament played.  The annual tournament has always been a doubles tournament so this was a game changer!  BUT…did he win?  NO…read on…

Archbishop Vlazny joins the SSMO singles bocce tournament 2015

Archbishop Vlazny joins the SSMO singles bocce tournament 2015

What about the Contractor from PC Construction?  Did he win?  NO…read on…

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The contest came down to two people…Sr. Michael Francine and Lee Green, father of Sr. Alison.  It was one of the best contests of the tournament with each ball thrown taking the lead.  Sister Michael Francine threw a ball that nestled right up to the jack and the question was…would Lee be able to knock her ball out and win?

Nope…The SSMO tournament was won by Sr. Michael Francine and it was a great contest to participate in and watch.

Lee Green throws his final ball.

Lee Green throws his final ball.

Sister Michael Francine and Lee Green congratulate one another for a great contest and tournament.

Sister Michael Francine and Lee Green congratulate one another for a great contest and tournament.

Lee and Sr. Michael Francine ham it up!

Lee and Sr. Michael Francine ham it up!

Sister Michael Francine is the big winner with bragging rights!

Sister Michael Francine is the big winner with bragging rights!

SSMO Dedicate new Bocce Courts with Prayer and Song


The Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon joyfully dedicated the new patio and bocce courts Wednesday August 12, 2015 with the opening of Community Days on campus.  The court and patio is located on the East side of the Motherhouse building designed to give the Sisters some area for outdoor recreation and gathering.  Bocce was at one time, the most popular sport in the world.  The Sisters have enjoyed playing the game the past several years including annual championships and contests.

Opening of the new SSMO Bocce courts located not he East side of the Motherhouse.

Opening of the new SSMO Bocce courts located not he East side of the Motherhouse.

Sr. Josephine, Sr. Charlene, Sr. Juanita and Sr. Adele Marie lead prayer and song as the patio and bocce court are dedicated.

Sr. Josephine, Sr. Charlene, Sr. Juanita and Sr. Adele Marie lead prayer and song as the patio and bocce court are dedicated.

Sr. Theresa Lan, Sr. Delores and Sr. Catherine are first up in the competition!

Sr. Theresa Lan, Sr. Delores and Sr. Catherine are first up in the competition!

Sr. Michael Francine is often called upon to "measure" and determine who is closest to the "jack"

Sr. Michael Francine is often called upon to “measure” and determine who is closest to the “jack”

Sr. Theresa Lan, a formidable competitor, take aim!

Sr. Theresa Lan, a formidable competitor, take aim!

Sr. Colleen and partner take a turn as their names come up in the bracket.

Sr. Colleen and partner take a turn as their names come up in the bracket.

Sister Ina Marie takes her turn at trying to get her bocce ball closest to the "Jack"

Sister Ina Marie takes her turn at trying to get her bocce ball closest to the “Jack”

Beautiful decorations were made to celebrate the new area.

Beautiful decorations were made to celebrate the new area.

Sisters enjoy the chairs, tables and environment as they engage in the dedication service for the dedication of the new patio and bocce court.

Sisters enjoy the chairs, tables and environment as they engage in the dedication service for the dedication of the new patio and bocce court.

Sr. Marie Bernadette and Sr. Marianne enjoy the activities!

Sr. Marie Bernadette and Sr. Marianne enjoy the activities!

Sr. Thuy and Sr. Josephine win the first SSMO bocce tournament!  Congratulations!

Sr. Thuy and Sr. Josephine win the first SSMO bocce tournament! Congratulations!