In early September, SRW’s founder Sister Irene O’Neill spoke to alumnae of St. Catherine University in St. Paul, Minnesota at their Alumni Volunteer Summit: The Katie Impact. This is just a piece of the message Sister Irene shared with the St. Kate’s alums (Katies).
“The first human impulse in a crisis is to help. There is a theory that the normal response, to nurture and bond or to “tend and mend” as one of our Sisters likes to say, is as strong a response as the adrenaline theory of fight or flight. All of us who take life seriously make a sacred commitment and give our lives in some way to make a better world. Best of all, this way of being is contagious!
The mission of St Kate’s has been shepherded by the Sisters of St. Joseph for 115 years. Each in your own way follow this mission within your families and volunteer work and in relationships that you have. People know that St. Catherine alums have a caring fire in them and are dedicated volunteers and that you are everywhere.
As a Sister of St. Joseph I have the luxury to dedicate my entire life to this way of being. I love being part of the largest volunteer organization in the history of the world. For centuries Sisters, working across every religious divide, have committed their lives to respond to the needs of the poor and marginalized around the world. Together with our expanding and inclusive network of partners, colleagues and beneficiaries, Sisters have earned the trust of diverse populations because of their integrity and long-standing mission to serve everyone in need. Sisters are trusted eye witnesses, skilled change agents, they work to eradicate human rights violations, teachers, organizers, philanthropists, care givers, knowledge workers, spiritual resources and the most prolific movement of, by, and for women in history.