Sister Adele Marie Altenhofen


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Sister Adele Marie Altenhofen

Sister Adele Marie Altenhofen joined the Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon (SSMO) in 1982 after completing her undergraduate studies in Mathematics and Spanish at the University of Portland, earning maxima cum laude honors, while at the same time representing U of P on the basketball court. Sister went on to earn two Master’s degrees (a Masters of Arts in Teaching and a Masters in Educational Administration).  She ministered as an educator in Spokane, Washington; Stayton and Beaverton, Oregon; and as a school administrator in Beaverton and Astoria, Oregon.

After her election to the Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon Leadership Team in 2000, Sister returned to the Motherhouse in Beaverton and served as Motherhouse Administrator for 6 years, prior to transitioning to the role of President of the SSMO Ministries Corporation. As President, Sister Adele Marie leads and oversees all management, fiscal, programmatic, and planning activities of the SSMO Ministries Corporation in a manner consistent with the Sisters’ charism, mission, vision, and values. She works with the SSMO Ministries Board to develop policies and strategies for the organization and to ensure their effective implementation. She also facilitates an understanding of how the organization is performing and how it serves the SSMO Mission on the part of all campus staff, the SSMO Community, the SSMO Congregation, and all other organization stakeholders.

A native Oregonian, Sister cherishes her rootedness in the close-knit Catholic community of the Portland area. Her ancestors were instrumental in constructing several of the churches in the Archdiocese of Portland, and provided numerous vocations to the priesthood and the religious life. Sister is the eldest of Bob and Janice (Miller) Altenhofen’s four children and treasures time spent with her family, congregation and friends. Besides an obvious enjoyment of sports, Sister’s other recreational interests include travel, guitar and china painting.

Sister Adele Marie Altenhofen was selected as a 2018 honoree in the Portland Business Journal Women of Influence Awards. According to the Portland Business Journal: “This award is designed to honor the region’s most influential business women from every industry and profession. These are women who have made a difference in their communities, blazed a trail for the rest of us and are leaving a mark on the Pacific Northwest community.”

Organizers note that Sister Adele Marie was the first honoree in the 15-year history of the awards to have embraced a religious vocation.