Kris Goodrich, SNJM
I was born in Portland, OR as the fourth of six children. I was lucky enough to attend Catholic schools: St. Thomas More and Holy Child Academy.
While at St. Thomas More, I was aware how happy the Holy Names Sisters seemed to be. I began to think around 4th grade that maybe I would like to become a Sister. By high school I decided I was not the “type” so I dismissed the idea. I went to Gonzaga for my freshmen year. At this time, I started to feel the inclination to enter the convent. It just wouldn’t go away so I decided to apply and see what happened. I was accepted and entered in August of 1969. I was the only one to come that year. I was surprised to learn that my Director, Sr. Dolores Quinn, was the same person who prepared me for my first Communion in 1957 at St. Thomas More. Later she would also help me as a wonderful mentor and principal as I transitioned to the Early Childhood Center in 1975.
At the end of my first year, I was asked to go to Los Gatos, CA for my canonical year since three women were becoming novices there. We were asked to be aides in a brand-new Montessori School that Sr. Josetta Walsh was opening at the Provincial House. (Sixteen years later, Josetta and I would co-found the Child and Family Institute in Menlo Park, CA, where I spent 30 years as Director.)
Returning to Oregon in June 1971, I was sent on mission to St. Mary’s in The Dalles. When I returned to Marylhurst, I finished my degree in Elementary Education (1973) and made my first commitment to the Holy Names community on Sept. 12, 1972. I felt so blessed to be able to live and be mentored by such intelligent, prayerful and creative women.
I taught first grade at Madeleine School from 1973 to 1975. After that, I was sent to the Early Childhood Center at Marylhurst College, where Sr. Dolores and I connected once again. I will be forever grateful that she and Sr. Anne Toback were my mentors. I received my Masters in Child Development/Family Life at Oregon State University in 1978. In 1984, I was sent to teach K/1 in the inner city of Portland at Immaculate Heart School. Those children taught me the value of ritual in the midst of chaos. I loved my time there.
In 1986, Josetta Walsh and I were invited to begin the Child and Family Institute in Menlo Park. We started with eight families. This year, the center celebrated 35 years and continues to thrive; 350 families participate in 13 programs designed by us. I retired in 2016.
My years in the Holy Names community can be summed up in a song I use to sing with the children: God is so good, God is so good, God is so good, oh so good to me.
My heart fills with gratitude that I have been a part of this wonderful and creative group of women who are so full of faith and love for our God.