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Holy Names Sisters: Women on a Mission
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Holy Names Sisters: Women on a Mission

Author: SNJM

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Unless you’re a nun, you may have an outdated picture of what it’s like to be one in this day and age. Update and expand your understanding by joining Holy Names Sisters Kathleen Griffin, Mimi Maloney and Teresa Shields on an exploration of ministries and adventures in religious life today. Join us each week to walk a mile in the shoes of Women on a Mission!
19 Episodes
The Ministry of Music

The Ministry of Music


“An encounter with beautiful music… is an encounter with the divine.” In this episode of Holy Names Sisters: Women on a Mission, lifelong musicians and music educators Sister Karen Conlin and Sister Claire Durocher discuss what music study can teach us about life and how music helps us persevere.
Newly arrived refugees in Canada face many challenges, from overcoming language barriers to enrolling their children in school. Over the years, more than 300 refugees have found help, friendship and welcome at Angela Rose House, a ministry of the Sisters of the Holy Names in Windsor, Ontario. In this episode, Director Ilda Demir and two former refugees who have lived at the house share amazing stories of hope and transformed lives.
Mercy Housing Northwest operates on the principles of respect, mercy and justice, the core values established by the five religious communities that collaborated to establish the affordable housing organization. As Mercy begins its first project in Oregon, Director of Resident Services Katie Parker and Mercy board member Sister Georgia Yianakulis share Mercy's successful approach to affordable housing with resident services that has already affected the lives of thousands of families in Washington and Idaho.
Schools sponsored by the Holy Names Sisters honor our core value of supporting “the full development of the human person.” Campus ministry staff at our schools work with students to educate and empower them though service projects, leadership training and social justice work. In this episode, Sister Daleen Larkin and Francois Laborie from Ramona Convent Secondary School and Julie Tilghman from Holy Names Academy in Seattle discuss how they nurture the full development of their students.
“Who is journeying with me on this path?” Sister Michelle Garlinski, SNJM and Sister Sarah Rudolph, IBVM are bringing younger and new religious together to answer that question. In this episode, they share their experience connecting across congregations to create a "community of communities" and reflect on the evolution of religious life.
“The needs of the community are presenting themselves,” observed Sister Jennie Lechtenberg as she began a small tutoring program in East Los Angeles. Every time a new need presented itself, PUENTE Learning Center grew. In this episode, Sister Jennie details the development work that transformed PUENTE into an expansive education center serving over 2,000 children and adults each year.
“How about the next time we meet, each of us bring one more person?” That’s what Sister Carroll Ann Kemp suggested to Sister Carol Ries and the other women meeting to learn more about the issue of human trafficking. That group continued to grow, evolving into the Mid-Atlantic Coalition Against Modern Slavery (MACAMS).And that’s how grassroots organizing happens: passionate people share with each other and band together around a cause. In this episode, Sisters Carroll Ann and Carol share their experience combatting human trafficking through public education, advocacy and supporting organizations that aid victims.
Sister Catherine Ferguson, SNJM discusses the work of UNANIMA International to advocate for human rights. The collective of women religious groups has lobbied at the United Nations to provide a unified voice on access to water, homelessness and social justice issues that affect women and children around the world.
Could growing older be a richer experience? Sisters Rosemary Thielman and Roberta Lamanna were convinced it could, and they started Wisdom Works to elevate "eldering" into a more meaningful and spirit-filled process. In this episode, you'll learn about the healing and support experienced by mothers, abuse survivors and others who continue to be blessed by Wisdom Works.
The Sisters of the Holy Names are dedicated to reaching out and responding to people who are impoverished, abandoned or living at the fringes of society. Sister Cathy Beckley shares how she was called to start the Women’s Drop-In Center in Spokane, WA, creating a safe environment for women to heal in community.
During the COVID pandemic, Our Place Community Outreach has served over 25,000 people and distributed over 600,000 pounds of food to meet the increased needs of their community. Sisters Joan Dixon and Carol Frances Lee share how the harmonious missions of Our Place and the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary led to community in Spokane, WA, and support for all its residents.
How do you start a college? It would take a miracle. “But maybe a miracle can happen,” Sister Kathleen Ross said to herself, inspired by Mother Marie Rose and by the community in the Yakima Valley asking for access to higher education. Sr. Kathleen worked with Martha B. Yallup and Violet Lumley Rau to found Heritage College and oversaw its growth from 85 students to more than 1,400 during her tenure as President. In this episode of Holy Names Sisters: Women on a Mission, she reflects on how the college was built to empower transformational, student-centric education.
Sisters of the Holy Names believes that education transforms lives and families. In 1994, that belief led to the creation of Next Step Learning Center in Oakland, CA. Sisters Cynthia Canning and Rosemary Delaney, who served as Co-Directors of Next Step for its first 21 years, share how Next Step has helped underserved youth and adults in Oakland build literacy skills, attain diplomas and transform their lives. 
Miryam's House

Miryam's House


When Sister Peggy Kennedy moved to downtown Spokane, WA, she encountered the unmet needs of women experiencing homelessness. There was no support. There was no safe space. With great effort, five women religious communities came together to create a safe space, Miryam’s House, which allowed marginalized women to build stability and grow. As Sr. Peggy says, “What we couldn’t do alone, we could do together.”
This week Sisters Mimi and Teresa talk with Sister Lois MacGillivray about her experiences evaluating applied research projects including research in cultural studies, programs that offer more support to youth to reduce crime and improving resources for early care and education workers. 
Immigrants – especially women – in dire need of help learning to read, write and speak in English find both a warm welcome and access to basic educational resources at Nuestra Casa in Washington’s lower Yakima Valley. In this episode of “Holy Names Sisters: Women on a Mission,” Sister Mary Rita Rohde and Executive Director Caty Padilla explain how support from the Holy Names Sisters has transformed lives for farmworker families seeking a better future for themselves and their children through education.
Sister Carol Higgins shares the Sisters’ history as educators in Oregon in the early 20th century and their work against the Ku Klux Klan. Oregon’s Compulsory School Act of 1922 led the Sisters to the Supreme Court to defend themselves, parents’ rights and the 14th Amendment in the landmark case Pierce v. Society of Sisters in 1925.
Sister Barbara Raymond tells the story of how she became involved in helping Latina women in rural Oregon overcome limited opportunities for empowerment.
Sisters Mary Ellen Robinson and Linda Riggers share their experience in Texas supporting families seeking asylum in the U.S.
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