Sister Rhonda Miska wrote an essay on Corita Kent’s art and Rhonda’s discernment that was published in the March 2019 issue of US Catholic Magazine titled “How the ‘pop art nun’ inspired a leap of faith.” Rhonda said, “Corita not only accepted uncertainty in art making and life but also seemed to revel in it. Corita’s rules countered the internal and external voices nagging me about the decision to quit my job, leave home, and discern religious life.”
Rhonda also was featured in Englewood Review of Books on March 15 for reviewing the book Burying White Privilege: Resurrecting a Badass Christianity by Christian social ethicist-activist Miguel De La Torre where, according to Rhonda, he argues that a fear-driven white Christianity which baptizes U.S. exceptionalism and legitimizes atrocities against minorities is dying and needs to be buried so that an authentically liberating Christianity
Monica Oboagwina, OP, was appointed to a leadership position on the Orlando Diocese Sisters Council and is the coordinator of Retirement Funds for Religious (RFR) for the Diocese of Orlando, working with the National Retirement Fund for Religious.
Judy Schaefer, OP, president of Cotter Schools, is the recipient of the 2019 Minnesota Independent School Forum Leadership Award. The award celebrates the recipient’s ability to instill passion in themselves and in people with whom they work as well as bring innovative ideas forward and to fruition. She was nominated for the award by the Cotter Schools Board of Directors, and the award was presented to her at the 2019 Private and Independent Education Awards at the University of St. Thomas April 28.
Associate Jim Andrews was featured in a March 15 Northern Public Radio article titled “Rockford Community Forum Addresses Immigration Myths.” Community members packed a gym of the Muslim Association of Greater Rockford for an Engaging Lent panel presentation, “Immigration Fearmongering in the Rockford Community” on March 12. Jim is a project lead for the Engaging Lent series working in partnership with Rockford Urban Ministries. “Fearmongering has been brewing over the last couple years,” said Jim. “It seemed we weren’t really hearing the stories of local immigrants,” and that prompted the idea for the panel discussion.
Laurie Brink, OP, is one of the Louisville Institute 2019 Sabbatical Grant for Researchers (SGR) grantees. The SGR grant awards up to $40,000 enabling ecclesially engaged academics and scholarly religious leaders to conduct a major study that can contribute to the vitality of Christianity in North America. SGR supports yearlong research projects that address Christian faith and life, the practice of ministry, and/or adaptive challenges confronting religious institutions. Laurie’s research project is titled “Redeeming Jesus: The Role of Scripture in the New Cosmology.”
Laurie was also featured in the December 2018 issue of Challenge, a quarterly publication of the lay Dominicans of the province of St. Albert the Great. Laurie gave a seminar titled “Fire in My Bones” in November. Sharon Huizenga, OP, reported that her presentation was “bold, insightful, and inspiring. It was grounded in solid biblical scholarship and was presented by a gifted, experienced teacher.”
Christin Tomy, OP, was a caller on Iowa Public Radio’s podcast that focused conversation on a book titled The Art of Dying Well: A Practical Guide to a Good End of Life. The host discussed quality vs. quantity of life in the United States. Christin discussed the beauty and importance of ritual in the Congregation (and in the Catholic Church) when a Sister is near death. “Being able to talk about and ritualize death has made a huge impact on my life and the lives of our Sisters. It helps us live more fully.”
Christin was also featured in the March 22 edition of the Archdiocese of Dubuque’s (IA) Witness newspaper in an article titled “‘Farming Sister’ reveals signs on her road to vocation.” Divine Word College, Epworth, hosted a vocation day for 6th-graders March 12 that was sponsored by the Dubuque Area Vocation Association. Christin presented on her choice to become a woman religious and said, “God speaks to us through people who are really close to us.”
Rosemary Huddleston, OP, was featured in the April 4 edition of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee’s Catholic Herald in an article titled, “Women Missionaries Honored for ‘Joy-Filled’ Outreach.” The 2019 Women in Mission event, “Celebrating the Missionary Call of Women,” was held at St. Mary in Hales Corners on March 24 where Karene Boos received the Rosemary Huddleston Being Present Award which is given to a woman who “is willing to identify with and accompany individuals building solidarity with and for causes that impact human dignity.”
Erica Jordan, OP, was mentioned in the book, An American Summer by Alex Kotlowitz. The book chronicles the stories of young people in 2013 and the violence that affected their lives and their families’ lives. Erica, who was principal at St. Gall, allowed a woman to enroll her boys at the school even though they could not afford tuition. Erica said, “[The mother’s] life was so hard. She had to be so focused on keeping a roof over their heads and food on the table. She didn’t have time for friends.”
Marilyn Aiello, OP, received a 2019 Distinguished Service Award from the University of South Alabama National Alumni Association in Mobile, AL, on March 14 during their 15th annual gala. The award recognizes alums for exceptional service to the university, community, state, nation, or international country.
Marilyn also received a recognition and appreciation tribute from Franklin Primary Health Center, Mobile, on March 13. Franklin Primary Health Center was founded by Marilyn in 1975. She and a group of concerned citizens who recognized the need for quality health care in the underserved community began providing care to anyone regardless of their ability to pay.