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

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Below: A clever way to organize Sisters’ scrapbooks!

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

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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!

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

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

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Camp Smores During State Fire Ban


Smores are a staple and expectation of the camping experience.  What does one do when fires are banned during the camping season?  You get creative!  Here’s how we do it at Camp Howard.

Below: Shawna King and Melanie Smith ( two of the fantastic cooks at Camp Howard) put half a graham cracker on a sheet pan then put a marshmallow on top of each cracker.

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Below: They popped them into the oven and heated them for about 10 minutes at 350.

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Below: When they came out of the oven, they were gooey on the inside but had a very thin membrane on the outside giving the marshmallow its shape.  A piece of Hershey chocolate is place on top of each Marshmallow.

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Below: Finally, the other half of the graham cracker is pressed down onto the chocolate, forcing it into the melted marshmallow, creating a sandwich and melting the chocolate into the white hot sweet goo which attaches itself to the top and bottom cracker

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The Lakeridge Marching Band was waiting patiently for the evening treat which made for a perfect end of the day!

Fall Sports Ramping up for CYO


CYO SPORTS PORTLAND, OR SEPTEMBER 5, 2018

The CYO program is ramping up for fall sports 2018 as youth from across the greater Portland area and Clark county, Washington practice and prep.  Schedules will be handed out soon and the officials are brushing up on their rules at officials training workshops.  The kids are excited about upcoming contests!  If you haven’s signed up, see your local Catholic School Athletic Director today!  CYO is open to school and parish kids!

Fall CYO Sports include: Cheerleading, Football, Hot Shot Basketball, Volleyball and swimming.  For more information, check out the CYO/Camp Howard website at:

http://www.cyocamphoward.org

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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!

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

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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.

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

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

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

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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.

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

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

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

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Part 6: The Mural up Close


Wayne Chin put the finishing touches on Mary’s Lodge with his spectacular mural painted for the youth of Camp Howard in July of 2018.  Check out his masterful individual animals that come to life before your eyes!

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The Cougar is the symbol of Camp Howard, built in 1953 on Cougar Mountain.  The Cougar Award springs from the location of the camp.

Part 5 Dedication: The Lodge


Mary’s Lodge is the first component of a four part improvement plan for Camp Howard.  Built in the early 50’s, the major buildings at the camp, dining hall, chapel and adult housing are slated for replacement.  An additional building, the Franz Finley Welcome Center is scheduled to be built in 2019 followed by the Chapel and adult lodge.

Mary’s Lodge affords a variety of comforts and views:

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Welcome to Mary’s Lodge at Camp Howard!  The building was designed by Henry Fitzgibbon of Soderstrom Architects and built by Todd Construction.

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The beautiful mural in the building was painted by well known Northwest artist, Wayne Chin.

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Sister Michael Francine SSMO gazes on the mural as she visits the new facility.

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The new fireside room at the entry to the building adds a remarkable warmth and comfort to the camp.

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The fireside room at Mary’s Lodge includes a meeting space and lounging area.

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The dining hall portion of the facility combined with the outdoor eating spaces will accommodate in excess of 350 individuals.

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The kitchen, designed by the camp cooks, makes cooking for large numbers an enjoyable experience.

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New to the kitchen includes two grills, a combi oven and a steam kettle.  Other equipment was brought from the old kitchen.

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The outdoor seating area includes space for 200 guests.

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Outdoor fireplace and patio area makes a wonderful evening party spot!

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Landscaping including grass and rhodies will be added this fall to enhance the facility and provide fire suppression.

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