Sr. Betty Larson
Sr. Betty Larson
Late in August, St. Therese School in Northeast Portland hosted the Faith Formation In-service for the principals and teachers from Catholic schools in western Oregon.  

Guest speaker, Carole Eipers, could not fly out of New York because of Hurricane Irene, so Benedictine Sister Betty Larson of the Archdiocese of Portland Schools Office took the reins and led 530 educators through the day with the first steps of a faith formation program for faculty.

Sister Betty told teachers that they have embraced not just a job, but a vocation. She discussed the qualities of a teacher: responding to a call and wintnessing to the gospel, committed to church and its teachings, sharing in faith community and possessing knowledge and skills and abilities.

"It is more who you are than what you do," Sister Betty says.

Principals throughout western Oregon will be leading faith formation sessions for teachers through the year, helping them become companions on a spiritual journey with children and witnesses to justice. The archdiocese trained the principals.

Sister Betty reports that teacher morale is "very positive."

Archbishop John Vlazny concelebrated Mass with Father Steve Geer, new pastor of St. Therese Parish. Archbishop Vlazny blessed and distributed crucifixes to all the teachers and principals.   

A similar session was held in Medford for Catholic educators in southern Oregon.