Friday, August 01, 2014
Text Size

Current News

The Miscellany wins seven Catholic Press Awards

CHARLOTTE—The Miscellany received seven national Catholic Press Awards during the annual Catholic Media Convention held June 18-20.

​Amy Wise Taylor won second place in Best Reporting On A Special Age Group: Senior Citizens for the article, “Isolation can lead to depression for senior citizens”.

Deirdre C. Mays received a second place and honorable mention for Best Photo Illustration, “Is your Sunday a day for the Lord?” and “Reflect with gratitude to the Lord this Thanksgiving”, respectively.

Caroline Nelson was awarded second place for Best Chart Or Information Graphic: “Liturgy of the Hours - The basics”.

Christina Lee Knauss won third place for Best Coverage of a Routine, Sacramental Event: “Confession: A gift of forgiveness to the soul”.

The staff received second place for Best Coverage of Pope Francis' Election and the Transition Process: “Habemus Papam Franciscum!”.

And Mays and Nelson received an honorable mention for Best Front Page -  “Is your Sunday a day for the Lord?”

Mays, the editor, said the awards are an affirmation of the teamwork and focus of the entire newspaper staff including the administrative and circulation personnel.

“We are grateful to our readers and strive to provide them with a meaningful publication that they value and from which they may learn,” she said. “I look forward to continuing our hard work to inform and educate South Carolina's Catholics in all of our media efforts."



Youth is an attitude for the ladies of the Nineties Club

GREENVILLE—Age is nothing but a number for the women of the “Nineties Club.”

These six members of the women’s club at St. Mary Church in Greenville are enjoying their ninth decade of life.

Pat Webb, corresponding secretary for the club, said the idea started about four years ago as a way to pay tribute to the oldest members, who are honored each year at a spring luncheon.

Jean Boggs, the senior member, will proudly tell you she is 97.

“It’s a milestone and it’s wonderful —God has been good and I’ve had a great life!” she said.

She’s been a member of the club for 77 years. Mrs. Boggs remembers being a member of the junior women’s club as a girl. Once she graduated to the women’s club, she was especially proud of the charity work they did, including outreach to local orphanages and children’s homes.

Time made a complete circle for her earlier this year when she attended the annual Mardi Gras celebration at St. Mary in March. She was elected Mardi Gras Queen in 1938.

Alma Furman, 95, is the second oldest member. She moved to Greenville from Philadelphia in 1957 and joined shortly after.

Furman said the women’s club has given her a chance to make wonderful friends and her proudest moment was being elected Catholic Woman of the Year in 1992.

Mrs. Furman drove her own car and attended meetings up until 2013, when she moved to High Point, N.C., to be close to her son. She doesn’t make it back to St. Mary very often but still treasures her memories and loves life. “The key to a long life is just to be happy,” she said.

Ruth O’Rourke, 94, joined the club in 1941.

Some of her favorite memories include serving meals for the church, entertaining children from St. Mary School and hand-sewing baptismal garments that were donated to the church to be given to babies who needed them.

Mrs. O’Rourke’s best advice to people is “enjoy your family and enjoy your friends, because you never know when God will call you!”

Rose Eassy, 93, has been a member for 43 years, and follows in the footsteps of her mother, the late Seleny Eassy, who was a member most of her life.

She lives with her sister Anne, 85, also a longtime member, and said the club is like a second family to her.

Nancy Ferro

Nancy Ferro, 90, likes to talk about her service in the U.S. Navy during World War II almost as much as she likes to talk about the club.

“Those women are my sisters,” she said. “Over the years, if one of us had a problem, we all had a problem.”

The youngest club member is Helen Williams, 90.

Helen Williams

She makes it to meetings when she can, although she spends most of her time caring for her husband and driving him places.

Mrs. Williams said staying active is the key to the long life she and her fellow club members enjoy.

“Keep moving, because if you don’t leave your bed you might soon not get out of it!" she said.

Read more about Catholics like you by subscribing to The Catholic Miscellany.



In 50 years, Sister Noreen has changed countless lives

Sister Noreen Buttimer at Neighborhood House art classCHARLESTON—Leaning sideways in her chair, Sister Noreen Buttimer peered around the office doorway to greet her guest.

There is an immediate impression of efficiency: a face framed by a small cloud of white hair, eyes solemn behind glasses.

Dressed in a short-sleeve, white cotton shirt and black pants, a small wooden cross secured on a long chain, Sister Noreen has the look of a modern religious.

The Franciscan serves as program coordinator for Neighborhood House, an outreach center on America Street, and describes the ministry as rewarding and challenging,

“It’s the best ministry I’ve had in my 50 years,” she said.

“You’re working with God’s poor. It requires a lot of understanding and acceptance of the people.”

Sister Noreen said it has been the most fulfilling because she’s able to serve three main components: “It’s a ministry of real service to those who are poor, marginalized and oppressed.”

The past month in particular has been a time to reflect as Sister Noreen celebrates her golden jubilee. She has enjoyed several events with people in the community, and on June 20-22, she will gather with the Franciscans at the motherhouse in Aston, Pa., where they will celebrate all their jubilarians.

In July, she will return to her hometown of Youghal, County Cork, Ireland, for an extended visit with family and friends, who also have gatherings planned.

With all that attention on her 50th anniversary, Sister Noreen has cast a reflective eye over her years. She touches on her different roles, recalling good times and hard. Shining the spotlight of memory on herself, she talks about her parents and five siblings, and paints a picture of a self-assured young girl who knew what she wanted.

“I never wanted to be a nun,” she says, smiling at the irony.

Her father and other men in her family came from a long line of fishermen and sailors. Sister Noreen also felt called by the sea, and envisioned herself as a program director on the cruise ships that steamed in and out of her town’s port.

One day, a perceptive nun told the young Noreen that God had chosen her and she would also be a nun. She shrugged it off, but that same day, sitting in Mass and watching another group of religious sisters, she said the spirit spoke to her and she knew it was true.

Many a person along the way told Sister Noreen she was “too bold” to be a nun, but she persevered and professed her vows as a Sister of St. Francis of Philadelphia in 1964.

Sister Noreen oversees art class at Neighborhood HouseOver the years, she lived in several states, serving in schools as a teacher and principal, and in parishes as a director of religious education.

She first came to the diocese in 1979 to serve in the mission of North Augusta, and has been here the past 35 years. Sister Noreen spent time in Cheraw and its missions, then came to Church of the Nativity in Charleston.

In 2008, Sister Pat Keating invited her to serve at Neighborhood House, and Sister Noreen found a new home. She has reached a place in her life where she loves her work and the people she serves and works beside. She said Nikki Grimball, director, is a good man “to the very tips of his fingers,” and she praises the devotion of Sister Rosemary Boyd, OLM, who volunteers with the GED program.

Sister Noreen doesn’t talk about her own strengths or accomplishments, but others do. At the soup kitchen and clothes closet, volunteers greet the Franciscan with hugs and smiles. “To me she’s a great lady,” said Dorothy Rose. “She’s been very kind to me and she’s done wonders here.”

Grimball calls Sister Noreen and her ministry essential, noting the lives that have been turned around thanks to the GED program.

“Right now she’s the anchor that’s holding education in place here,” he said. “What Sister brings is hope. She’s also bringing a level of expectation.”

After 50 years, Sister Noreen said she still hears the call of adventure, to travel to exciting locales, but in the end the call of home is stronger, both in Ireland and Neighborhood House.

“Life’s been good. It’s been a blessing for me,” she said. “I feel blessed to have been called to religious life and be in service to God’s people.”

Read more about Catholics like you by subscribing to The Catholic Miscellany



Sister Margie returns to Africa to give renewing retreats

GREENVILLE—Franciscan Sister Margie Hosch spent two months this spring offering rest and spiritual nourishment to women religious who work under some of the harshest conditions imaginable.

For the sixth year in a row, she traveled to Zambia in southern Africa to give retreats for religious sisters in the Diocese of Solwezi who serve the poorest of the poor in the landlocked country.

She and fellow retreat leader Mary Catherine Harris met with a group of Comboni Missionary Sisters serving in Lusaka, the capital city, and Franciscan Missionary Sisters of Assisi working in remote, rural locations.

The retreats include prayer and song, time for sharing personal stories, writing poetry and reflecting on religious life, Sister Margie said.

The sisters told stories that were often hard to hear. One group worked at a medical clinic that had no water for five days. Others nurse in hospitals where most of the patients are already dying when they finally arrive.

A village where the Franciscan Sisters work is so poor that women and children live in houses made of grass and cardboard boxes.

Poverty is part of the sisters’ daily experience. Two of the Comboni Sisters live in a one room home where they sleep on mats, rely on candles for light and use a bucket of water heated by the sun for bathing.

“We’re there to relieve the fatigue the sisters have when they come,” Sister Margie said. “Every day for them is dealing with poverty and crisis situations. Part of what we do is help them learn how to deal with that daily walk. We help them find what gives them the passion to do that work day in and day out, with never a reprieve.”

The first retreat with eight Comboni Sisters took place during Holy Week. Sister Margie attended Easter Vigil and Easter Sunday Masses that lasted for more than four hours, with more than 1,000 people. Five couples were married and more than 30 babies baptized on Easter Sunday.

The trip included visits to schools, farms and other projects run by different communities of women religious. During a visit with the Poor Clare Sisters, Sister Margie experienced an emotional reunion with an elderly widow named Mafunasi, whom she met on a trip in 2012.

“They had invited her and didn’t tell us, and when she saw me she wrapped her arms around me and wouldn’t let go,” Sister Margie said. “I really felt the sacrament of presence in that moment.”

Sister Margie said she doesn’t know if she will make another trip to Zambia, but she hopes her retreats leave the sisters with some lasting joy and hope to help them in their work. She also wants to continue raising funds for multiple projects there, including building wells for villages that don’t have access to clean water and helping send children to school.

“The purpose of our whole life as Jesus gave it to us is to take up the cross and follow his footsteps,” she said. “I hope I was able to help the sisters recognize that, to encourage them and let them know how much they are loved.”

Read more about Catholics like you by subscribing to The Catholic Miscellany



Page 5 of 15