Barbara Raymond, SNJM
My family roots are in St. Paul, Oregon. Most of my elementary and all of my high school education was in public schools, but my connection with the Sisters of the Holy Names, especially with the High School Sodality, was enough to draw me to the Congregation, which I entered at Marylhurst in July of 1960, just after high school graduation.
Music had always been important to me, and the singing we did in the novitiate was a spiritual gift. When I began ministry, my love of singing melded with my teaching as I borrowed a guitar, learned four guitar chords and taught my own music. In the midst of the Vietnam War, the Civil Rights Movement and the renewal of Vatican Council II, I taught U.S. History, Mass and the Sacraments, sang civil rights songs with young people and began doing liturgical music with a Folk Mass group. It was one of my 5th grade classes that gifted me with my first guitar. I have been involved in liturgical music ever since.
I taught in four elementary schools during the first ten years of my ministry, with a year and a half of that time taken to work in our care center. In 1976 I moved to Sacred Heart Academy in Salem, where I taught religion and did liturgy planning until the school closed in 1984. My exhaustion was so profound at that time that I spent several months recovering. I was asked to do full time vocation work in 1985. After six years I asked if I could move to Cornelius, OR, to look for work while trying to find a way to minister in the Hispanic community. For the past twenty years I have lived and worked as an educator in the Hispanic Community and as co-founder of Adelante Mujeres, a non-profit organization dedicated to the education and empowerment of low-income Spanish speaking women and their families. I retired in 2008 and currently do volunteer work, study bluegrass guitar and photography and invite adults to spiritual community and prayer. I cherish the charism of our Congregation as the inner fire of my life.