“I loved those little children,” says Sister Clare Vandecoevering, 88, of the students in her first teaching assignment. “They were precious.” A member of the Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon, she spent more than five decades in the classroom. Yet in all those years, her love for students never wavered—a devotion flowing from her… Read More »

“After the war, a lot of men were looking for peace,” says Brother Martin Gonzales, a World War II veteran and a Trappist monk from Our Lady of Guadalupe Abbey in Carlton, Oregon. “I remember reading an article in Reader’s Digest about veterans joining monasteries.” Born in 1925 in La Mesa, California, Brother Martin grew… Read More »

“Nature is my healing place,” says Benedictine Sister Joan Pokorny, 78. “It’s where I am most myself.” Growing up on a farm in Oakridge, Oregon, she felt a bond to the wonders of creation at an early age. “My mother started telling me that I was going to be a sister when I was 4… Read More »

Sister Charlene Herinckx, superior general of the Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon, understands that each religious community’s retirement circumstances are unique. As a volunteer consultant for the National Religious Retirement Office (NRRO) Planning and Implementation Assistance program, she tries to help communities find strategies that are right for them.

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