Sr. Julie Doan with students at St. Paul School in St. Paul.
Sr. Julie Doan with students at St. Paul School in St. Paul.
BEAVERTON — “No sacrifice too great, no task too difficult.”

These words of the second Superior General continue to remind the Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon of today that it is both a privilege and a personal commitment to serve God’s people.

From the very first request of Archbishop William Gross to serve as “His Sisters,” the Sisters have continued to seek out and respond to the needs of the church. At the core of all that they share is the ministry of prayer which supports and directs their work.

Beginning with their first acceptance to staff a home for children, they continued to respond to the educational needs for children and their families. The Sisters have served in more than 125 Oregon, Washington, and California schools; they have also served parishes in religious education, pastoral ministry, in clerical support and hospitality, in youth ministry, counseling and in prison ministry. They have worked in shelters for the homeless, established and continue to serve at Maryville Nursing Home, in parish outreach and as hospital chaplains in both Oregon and Washington.

When Pope John XXIII encouraged religious communities to extend their love and service to the third world countries, the SSMO community established a mission in Tamshiyaku, Peru where they, for seven years, served as teachers and mentors.

Many young Catholics remember the Sisters visiting each summer for their Religious Vacation School. During the summer months the Sisters often traveled throughout the Pacific Northwest to more than 100 parishes and missions.

Today the Sisters continue to touch the lives of those in need as they respond in these changing times with values that deepen faith, strengthen hope, and share love.

In addition to the ministries in education and health care, Sisters serve on parish and school boards, work as volunteers in parish and civic organizations, in hospitals and in shelters. They are tutoring, planning and providing for conferences, CYO activities and they continue to serve in the simple ways of hospitality with those with whom they interact.

Many of the Sisters are currently involved in teaching English as a second language and are looking for ways to help the situation of immigrants. They continue to study and promote involvement in sustainability and the reverent use of creation as they prepare for new ways to serve our global world and its environment.

Along with the ministries on the Sisters of St Mary of Oregon campus that involve the education of nearly 1000 students and 150 senior residents at Maryville, the Sisters serving in parishes and hospitals and their Associates are committed to supporting the staffs of lay co-workers who carry on the heritage, charism and mission of the Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon.  

“No sacrifice too great, no task too difficult.”

The writer is a member of the leadership council of the Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon.