A lifetime of creative service to God.
As the eldest member of the Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon, Sister Angeline Sohler has spent a lifetime modeling her commitment to God for the Sisters and the countless children she’s taught through the years.
This July, Sister Angeline Sohler celebrates her 80th Jubilee with the Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon.
Her connection to the campus began as an eight year old when she started visiting her great aunt, Mother Genevieve, here in the 1930s – even before the campus’s sequoia trees sprouted.
Sister Angeline Sohler was born to Henry and Dora Sohler in 1927 as the fourth of seven siblings, including Sr. Elizabeth Sohler, also a Sister here with the Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon (SSMO). She traces her appreciation of nature, art, and adaptability to change, from growing up on a farm in North Plains.
Sister Angeline’s adaptability served her well as both a student and an educator. She attended Columbia Academy, St. Mary of the Valley Academy, Marylhurst Teachers College, Portland State University and the Pacific NW College of Art, receiving her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education.
Sister Angeline taught in parish schools in Oregon and Washington for more than 40 years. She taught religious vacation school at numerous parishes during summers – including ten summers in Alaska. On the SSMO campus, she served in the Valley Catholic High School library and with resident students. She later worked in the SSMO Foundation office, serving as editor of the campus magazine, Outlook, the predecessor to Spirit magazine.
In whatever role she served, Sr. Angeline carried a creative mindset dating back to her childhood. “As far back as I can remember, I drew pictures on any piece of paper I could find,” she said. While visiting her great-aunt, she recalled visiting the art room and seeing artwork with oil paint, and Sr. Angeline thought, “I could do that when I go to St. Mary’s.”
One example of her creativity was exhibited by producing a coloring book celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon through the life of the first Mother Superior, Mother Wilhelmina.
Since her retirement, Sister Angeline has worked in the SSMO archives and tutored non-English-speaking adults. Respected for her artwork, she also enjoyed gardening and was an avid cross-country skier and hiker, doing several 50-mile hikes.
Today, it is the simple things she cherishes most. She loves the beauty of the front lawn, the gardens and taking the cats for a ride on her walker. It has always been the sense of community and togetherness that warms her heart.
Sr. Angeline states, “I cherish the vocation to which God called me and I am grateful to the Community for the joys and challenges with which I have been blessed these 80 years.”