A Call to Respect Human Life and Reject Racism

A Call to Respect Human Life and Reject Racism

We can hardly find words to express our horror at witnessing George Floyd beg for air as a Minneapolis policeman restrained him by kneeling on his neck until he died. 

As Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary of the U.S.-Ontario Province, we join with those who condemn this outrageous act against a restrained and helpless black man.

We stand with those who advocate for the dignity and respect of every human life. We strongly reject the racism and hatred reflected in this action.

While we support peaceful protests against rampant racism, we condemn the destruction of property and the harming of persons involved. We call on our president and all leaders to exert moral influence by promoting peaceful means to deter the violence happening in so many cities.

We grieve with and for the families, friends and black communities that have endured so many traumatic killings and for whom George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor’s deaths are yet another harsh reminder of repeated injustice. We pray for urgently needed reforms in our society and our hearts, so that we may learn to live Jesus’ message to “love one another.”

 

Mary Breiling, SNJM

Maureen Delaney, SNJM

Guadalupe Guajardo, SNJM

Margaret Kennedy, SNJM

Mary Rita Rohde, SNJM

U.S.-Ontario Province Leadership Team

Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary

Affordable Workforce Housing Proposed for Marylhurst Property

Affordable Workforce Housing Proposed for Marylhurst Property

Since meeting with important stakeholders last year about their hopes and dreams for the former Marylhurst University property, the Sisters of the Holy Names (SNJM) have begun to explore options for possible uses of the property that would serve SNJM values.

Over a period of several months in 2019, the Sisters held input sessions with members of their religious community, residents and administrators at Mary’s Woods, members of neighborhood associations, former Marylhurst University students and employees and other interested groups. Overwhelmingly, stakeholders who participated in the input sessions favored uses that would help ease the shortage of housing for those in need.

In March 2020, the Sisters approached the City of Lake Oswego about considering a rezoning request that would permit use of a portion of the property for affordable workforce housing. This would help support the local workforce and increase the supply of needed housing in Lake Oswego. It could also reduce traffic pressure on adjacent Highway 43 by providing housing options for some of the 400 employees of Mary’s Woods.

The Sisters intend to continue to preserve historic resources on the property, and to maintain the remainder of the 40-acre campus for nonprofit uses and open space.

The rezoning process will begin this summer and will include a community outreach process.

The Sisters are working with Mercy Housing Northwest, a regional arm of Mercy Housing, Inc. (MHI) which is a leading national affordable housing nonprofit. Mercy Housing Northwest (MHNW) was founded nearly 30 years ago by five Catholic women religious communities, including the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary. MHNW now provides affordable homes to over 5,600 people every day. A majority of MHNW housing is focused on providing homes and programs for families and children. MHNW is focused on community-integrated, environmentally sustainable design and supplements much of its housing with Resident Services including out of school time programming for children and efforts to support health and wellness. More information about Mercy Housing’s mission and history is available at www.mercyhousing.org.

SNJM Educational Ministries Participate in Payroll Protection Plan Loans

SNJM Educational Ministries Participate in Payroll Protection Plan Loans

Students at the Academy of the Holy Names in Albany, NY with a quilt given to a local rescue mission in 2016.

In this time of COVID-19, the Sisters of the Holy Names Educational Ministries have continued to respond to the needs of the times. With innovation and thoughtfulness, the administrators, teachers, tutors and staffs of these wonderful schools and ministries are finding new ways to carry on the Sisters’ mission and charism as they serve the changing needs of their communities.

Taking advantage of strong existing online learning systems, SNJM schools and ministries have pivoted quickly to offer remote classes, online college and individual counseling, Zoom-based and YouTube prayer services, and even social events to keep classmates connected with one another. In some areas, administrators have reached out to other Catholic schools to share expertise and model how to best channel new learning methods for the benefit of their students.

These efforts have had a positive impact on thousands of families with students at the primary, secondary and university levels, as well as adults enrolled in community-based ministries established by the Sisters to serve people with few other sources of educational support.

At a time when tuition and other financial obligations have become a challenge for some families, several ministries have taken action to support their educational programs with the help of the federal Payroll Protection Program (PPP). Congress established the program to support operational and payroll expenses from February through the end of June 2020. The program enables nonprofit organizations to receive loans through local banks. These loans cover around 2.5 times the expense of monthly payroll, rent and utility costs. If nonprofits such as the SNJM ministries use the funds as directed, the loans become grants that the institutions do not have to pay back.

As of May 4, 2020, the Academy of the Holy Names in Albany, NY; Holy Names Academy in Seattle, WA; Holy Names High School, Holy Names University and Next Step Learning Center in Oakland, CA; Holy Names Music Center in Spokane, WA; Ramona Convent Secondary School in Alhambra, CA; and St. Mary’s Academy in Portland, OR have all been approved by their banks for PPP loans.

The loans enable the ministries to keep employees on staff through the end of June. Funds are helping to pay essential salaries as the ministries transition to serving students remotely.

The ministries have sought additional ways to support their communities as well. The spring season often includes galas and other fundraisers. In many cases, advancement offices have been inventive about moving to online auctions and various means. Other ministries have had grants and funding reduced or cancelled due to cutbacks. Fundraising work has generated additional support for families who have been impacted by furloughs and layoffs, and provided resources for students who otherwise have no access to meet with their online tutors and teachers. In addition to preserving a strong academic experience for students, the ministries have worked to provide financial assistance to the families hard-hit during the coronavirus.

Holy Names University in Oakland, CA has been able to strengthen its support for students facing financial hardship with a separate grant devoted to meet emergency needs of students such as rent and food. This grant, which cannot be used for tuition relief or employee salaries, is part of a different federal program developed to provide stimulus support for universities.

A Prayerful Approach to Today’s News

A Prayerful Approach to Today’s News

 

 

Consuming news can be like eating your least favorite vegetable. It might be something you need, but it’s probably something you’d rather push aside. Since COVID-19 took over the headlines, some have recommended limiting your news intake for the sake of self-care. But Sister Elizabeth Liebert has another idea – letting the news into your prayer life.

Sister Elizabeth adapted the following prayer practice from “Noisy Contemplation” by William Callahan in The Wind is Rising: Prayer Ways for Active People (Quixote Center, 1973) and Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius of Loyola (#121).

 

Praying on Society

 

In this prayer, based on Ignatius of Loyola’s “Application of the Senses,” you will use your senses to be present to another land or culture or situation.

  • Choose another land, culture or situation, perhaps one in the news at the present time. Read contemplatively about this land, culture or situation, seeking to “know” the situation more deeply in your heart. Imagine the persons behind the story…
  • See in your imagination and ponder in detail the circumstances in which they are…
  • Hear what they are saying, or what they might say…
  • Feel what they are experiencing…
  • Smell the smells of the place…
  • Taste the experience faced by some of your sisters and brothers in that land, culture or situation…
  • Be present to them and see if your own empathy can give you a feel for their lives…
  • Speak to God about what stirs within you…

     

     

     

     

     

    Maynard, Sister Donna

    Maynard, Sister Donna

    Sister Donna Maynard, SNJM

    (Sister M. Anne Regina)

    June 9, 1929 – April 18, 2020

    Sister Donna Maynard, SNJM departed this life on April 18, 2020 at Mercy Retirement and Care Center, Oakland, California.

    Sister Donna celebrated 90 years of life and 68 years of her religious profession.

    Mass of Resurrection will be celebrated in her honor in the presence of her ashes at a future date.

    Praying with Nature

    Praying with Nature

    At a time of global fear and crisis, the practice of spending intentional time in the holiness of the natural world is a powerful way to connect with God. Sister Elizabeth Liebert has adapted writings in the book Visio Divina: A Reader in Faith and Visual Arts by Mel Alhborn (published by LeaderResources, 2009) to provide a guide to prayer with a simple experience in the outdoors.

    • As you begin your prayer, express your desire to meet God in this time. Invite God to visit you through a small portion of the natural world.
    • Go outside. Walk slowly and attentively. When a small portion of creation captures your attention, stop there. If it is not possible to go outside, bring a small piece of creation (such as a leaf, a shell, a piece of fruit, a rock) to your prayer space.
    • Gently turn all your senses to this small piece of creation. Seek to meet it on its own terms, to understand it from within. Honor it.
    • Let this portion of creation into your heart on its own terms. Perhaps it speaks to you. Perhaps an image or feeling comes up for you. Sit with this offering with love, without analysis.
    • Continue being in relationship with the piece of creation that has chosen you. Let a prayer arise from the heart as you connect with it.
    • Rest in God in the presence of this small piece of creation. In silence. Without words. Listening. Waiting.
    • Gently come out of prayer. Reflect on how you can incorporate your experience into your daily life. Does this portion of creation invite you to some action?

     

    Bentler, Sister Elizabeth (Betty)

    Bentler, Sister Elizabeth (Betty)

    Sister Elizabeth (Betty) Bentler, SNJM

    (Sister Marion Benedict)

    August 6, 1920 – March 30, 2020

    Sister Elizabeth Bentler, SNJM departed this life on March 30, 2020 at South Hill Village, Spokane, Washington.

    Sister Betty celebrated 90 years of life and 70 years of her religious profession.

    Mass of Resurrection will be celebrated in her honor in the presence of her ashes at a future date.

    Maureen Delaney’s March 2020 Visit to Peru

    Maureen Delaney’s March 2020 Visit to Peru

     

    Lourdes’ Ministry

     

     

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    Ana María’s Ministry

     

     

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    Yenny’s Ministry

     

     

    Yenny’s Ministry

     

     

    Yenny’s Ministry

     

     

    Yenny’s Ministry

     

     

    Yenny’s Ministry

     

     

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    SNJM Associates in Peru

     

     

    SNJM Associates in Peru

     

     

    SNJM Associates in Peru

     

     

    SNJM Education

     

     

    SNJM Education

     

     

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    Transportation

     

     

    Outing all together

     

     

    Outing to “Dancing Waters” all together

     

     

    Outing all together

     

     

    All together at home