Home | About Us | Subscriptions | Advertising | El Centinela
Catholic Sentinel | Portland, OR Friday, April 29, 2016
CYO Football 2015 2015 Priest Reassignments, Archdiocese of Portland Cardinal Francis George dies Mothering with faith Sisters of the Holy Names, 2015 Live Nativity at St. John the Baptist 2014 Fall CYO results Catholic Charities Donor Lunch 2014 Year of Consecrated Life opening Mass Holy Spirit Sisters Jubilee 2014 Seaside youth conference Mount Angel 125th Northwest Hub Furlow at papal Mass 2014 Rosary Bowl NW Brother André 2014 Fall 40 Days for Life 2014 Inauguration of Fr. Mark Poorman Coffee shop at abbey First day of school, 2014 Regis High School 50th anniversary 2014 Crooked Finger Pilgrimage Mass with migrant farm workers Maronite Ordination Consecration to "Immaculate Heart of Our Lady of Fatima" CYO track Southern Oregon Evangelization 2014 Priest Ordination Christ the King youth 2014 priest reassignments Our Lady of Lavang Confirmation, 2014 Memorial Day 2014 2014 Transitional deacon ordination Padre Foster Granados visits Albany Bishop Smith ordination Canonization of Pope John Paul II, Pope John XXIII Bishop Peter Smith 2014 Easter Vigil 2014 Walk of Cross 2014 Chrism Mass CYO basketball 2014 St. Patrick of the Forest 150th Catholic Charities Celebration of Hope, 2014 Boys2Men Archbishop visits Oregon State Penitentiary 40 Day Vigil for Life, 2014 Pope Francis creates new cardinals St. Henry shelter 2014 CYO swimming Funeral of Fr. George Wolf Travel on a budget Lunar New Year, 2014 Tech in Catholic schools 2014 Right to Life Rally Archbishop visits Santiam Prison First Mass in Oregon Milwaukie Posada St. Francis, Sherwood, Toy Drive Central Catholic football Typhoon Haiyan Deacon Ordination/ Kresbach, Schmitt A Catholic fisherman St. Cecilia Centennial Southern Oregon Welcome Mass Shepherd of the Valley, Central Point, dedication Grotto Anniversary 2013 Champions of Faith Dinner Gardenripe farms Coleman hop farm Corvallis Year of Faith Archbishop Howard at St. Rose Hitchhiking priests Franciscan Spiritual Center Sacred Heart, Medford Migrant Mass Tanzanians' jubilee World Youth Day 2013 2013 Blessing of the Animals 2013 Freedom Mass Albany school closure Fabric art Megan graduates from Catholic school St. Vincent de Paul Hillsboro 2013 Deacon ordination Sister Theresa Lamkin St. Helen Mission, Brownsville Marist Brainiacs St. Mary, Eugene St. Francis eighth graders Ascension confirmation 2013 Pastoral Ministry Conference St. Joseph Salem — Year of Faith Archbishop Sample's Installation Mass 2013 Archbishop Sample Chrism Mass 2013 2013 Young Catholics Pope Francis inauguration Celebration of Hope Vlazny Farewell Mass Archbishop Vlazny Farewell St. Paul Church in St. Paul Valley Catholic Green Building Rite of Election 2013 Water summit 2013 Lunar New Year Alveda King in Eugene New Monsignors, 2013 2013 Right to Life Rally MLK Mass, 2013 St. Henry, Gresham, Centennial Jesuit High drama School uniforms Friar in the mall Holy Trinity food ministry January Book Covers St. Andre Bessette food Year of Faith Mass Nestucca Sanctuary Hillsboro Choirs Father Betschart installation Salem Religious Freedom Rally Year of Faith Vespers, Awards Roy's Catholic School Adelante Mujeres 10th anniversary New Blanchet House Missionaries of Holy Spirit Priest, religious photos Providence Nursing Schools Pioneros Fortnight for Freedom Mark Bentz Deacon Ordination OLL School Walk Through Gaga over science St. Philip Neri Centennial Ordination of Bishop Cary SVDP, Grants Pass Holy Cross School centennial Confirmation - Mount Angel Holy Land Pilgrimage Blanchet Watershed Chrism Mass, 2012 Bishop-designate Cary Pope in Cuba, 2012 SSMO 125th Jubilee Mass Pope Benedict in Mexico 2012 Catholic Charities Celebration 2012 Madeleine Mardi Gras Centennial Rally for Life, 2012 Martin Luther King Jr. Mass 2012 Day Laborers-Guadalupe Guadalupe 2011 Christ the King, Milwaukie, 50th Sesame Doughnuts Central Catholic Volleyball St. Peter Centennial Deacon Ordination, October 2011 St. Agatha Centennial Rosary Bowl 2011 St. Wenceslaus, Scappoose, Centennial Filipino celebration Polish Festival 2011 Holy War Football 2011 World Youth Day 2011 Sun Gold Farm Our Lady of Victory's New Church Freedom Mass 2011 St. Mary Church Steeple Removal Priest reassignments, 2011 Old Catholic Buildings Paige Rice, St. Mary's runner Graduation 2011 Easter vigils 2011 Pastoral Ministry Conference Basketball Holy War 2011 Search for Peace 2011

Pacifica Senior Living - Calaroga Terrace

Home : News : Local
8/1/2014 1:09:00 PM
For one family, religious life is joy
Catholic Sentinel photo by Ed Langlois
The Sisters Sohler: Sr. Angeline, holding a photo of the late Sr. Bernadette Ann, with Sr. Elizabeth and Sr. Barbara Rose.
Catholic Sentinel photo by Ed Langlois
The Sisters Sohler: Sr. Angeline, holding a photo of the late Sr. Bernadette Ann, with Sr. Elizabeth and Sr. Barbara Rose.
Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon photo
Sr. Angeline when she entered the convent.
Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon photo
Sr. Angeline when she entered the convent.
Ed Langlois
Of the Catholic Sentinel

BEAVERTON — For decades, one Washington County Catholic clan saw its women join the Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon. And though none of their kin has entered the convent since the 1960s, the Sohlers are optimistic about their mission and oh so glad to be SSMOs.

Sister Angeline Sohler, 87, and Sister Elizabeth Sohler, 82, are blood sisters from North Plains. Their girlhood church, St. Edward’s, was a mission of St. Mary’s Home for Boys, which was operated by the Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon. Two nuns, Sisters Beatrice and Dorothy, would come teach the children, who were mostly from farm families. The Sohler girls were enchanted by teachers they recall as smart and kind.
Each year, the family would travel to Beaverton for a fair the Sisters organized to help pay for construction of their motherhouse. The Sohler children — six girls and one boy — vied for prizes, ate a mountainous chicken dinner and saved room for apple pie baked by the Sisters themselves.

Visiting the convent was like a family reunion for the youngsters. Their great aunt, Mother Genevieve, was superior general. Later, they attended boarding school with the Sisters and gained a whole new admiration.

Sister Angeline entered the novitiate as a teenager in 1943. Her parents supported the move, and felt delighted and honored again when Sister Elizabeth came to the SSMO convent in 1950.

The sister Sisters describe a monastic existence of structured work in the classrooms and communal prayer. At Mass time during the 1950s, the large motherhouse chapel was packed with almost 200 nuns in habit.

After the Second Vatican Council, opportunity expanded and many of the outer trappings of religious life changed. The Sohler Sisters say the change was good, even though it meant a shrink in their number. The SSMO wardrobe decision was to leave behind the bulky full habit and adopt a lighter, more open modified habit, which many of the Sisters still wear today.

Sister Elizabeth sums up the changes: “We are still here.”

Sister Angeline spent more than 40 years teaching and then served in the library at Valley Catholic High School. She has also been a tutor to immigrants hoping to learn English, a major SSMO ministry. Her personal prayer includes meditation, reading and the rosary. She tries to live a sense of prayer wherever she is.

Her sense of humor remains sharp. When asked “Would you live this life all over again?” she quips, “Not at this age.”

Sister Elizabeth is a longtime music teacher who worked in primary grades. She later became bookkeeper at Maryville, the nursing home the Sisters operate on their inclusive campus. Still, she visits Maryville each day and helps feed lunch to one of the residents.

Sister Elizabeth’s spiritual practice is to allow prayer to influence the way she lives moment by moment. “It’s daily living,” she says. “It’s how you greet people.”

Next door to the Sohler sisters’ girlhood home in North Plains lived an aunt and uncle and their cousins, among them the gregarious girl who by the mid-1940s would become Sister Bernadette Ann Sohler. Sister Bernadette Ann died in August 2013 after 67 years of teaching, parish work, praying and communal life with the SSMOs, including her cousins. She was known for organizing, storytelling and succeeding with difficult children. Once, she ordered a misbehaving boy to sit close beside her. A few moments later, when she rose from her desk, she found the lad had tied her shoelaces together. Her instinctive hearty laugh defused the situation. Later, as a pastoral associate in Seaside, Sister Bernadette Ann organized regular Sunday meals for elders and anyone in need of a meal.

Another cousin was Father Louis Sohler, a priest of the Archdiocese of Portland.
Sister Barbara Rose Sohler, who will only say that she is older than 60, grew up on a farm and attended Visitation School in Verboort, another center of longtime SSMO ministry. She is a cousin of the elder Sohlers.

Sister Barbara Rose professed vows 50 years ago and began a long career in the classroom. She has secured grants to travel and learn about other cultures as an aid to her teaching.

Her prayer has grown into an ongoing attempt to “live in the presence of God.” Without deep prayer, religious life would not be possible, she says.

“It’s good to have family here,” Sister Barbara Rose says, gesturing to her cousins. “We know our roots.”

All the Sohlers have taken part in an SSMO tradition — traveling to teach summer religion school to rural children. They have gone to places like Dexter, Oakridge, Pilot Rock and even Skagway and Haines in Alaska.

“We liked the kids,” Sister Angeline says.

The Sohlers are not the only Washington County family to fill out the rolls of the SSMO. The Vanecoeverings sp? of Verboort? had three sisters embrace the life and become celebrated teachers, in local schools and in summer religion sessions.

Fifty years have passed since a Sohler or a Vandecoevering woman came to the convent. The Sohlers, who have nieces all over the region, can imagine the delight if younger relatives heard the call, but they are not fretting. They know God works in all kinds of ways.

“Parents today don’t look at religious life like our parents did,” says Sister Elizabeth.

“It’s OK if they don’t come,” says Sister Angeline. “They have freedom. I think God works with people in whatever way.” She does urge women to come and see what the life is like. People should get good information before deciding on their lives, she says.

Sister Barbara Rose suggests that women first ask, “What is your goal?” Then the question can become, “Does religious life give meaning to your existence?”

“You have a chance to be close to God,” Sister Barbara Rose says of the life. “You have many opportunities to pray and you have many people supporting you.”

Even if fewer women choose to join religious life, the Sohlers say the mission will endure as lay partners take up the work in partnership with the Sisters.

“Our charism will live on,” Sister Barbara Rose says.  










Article Comment Submissions
Submit your comments, please. 
 
Comments are reviewed before being posted to the site. Comments must use respectful language and address the story. Comments are not posted immediately to the site. The site editor may edit content for appropriateness. There may be a delay of 24-48 hours. Comments may also be considered to appear as letters in our print edition, unless the writer specifices no.
 
Note: All information on this form is required. Your telephone number is for our use only, and will not be attached to your comment.
Submit an Article Comment
First Name:
Required
Last Name:
Required
Telephone:
Required
Email:
Required
Comment:
Required
Passcode:
Required
Anti-SPAM Passcode Click here to see a new mix of characters.
This is an anti-SPAM device. It is not case sensitive.
   


Advanced Search






Mary Jo Tully ~ The Path to Resurrection

News | Viewpoints | Faith & Spirituality | Parish and School Life | Entertainment | Obituaries | Find Churches and Schools | About Us | Subscriptions | Advertising
E-Newsletter | RSS Feeds

© 2016 Catholic Sentinel, a service of Oregon Catholic Press

Software © 1998-2016 1up! Software, All Rights Reserved