Sister Charlene Herinckx
How is it that I entered the Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon? You could say I slipped in the back door when no one was looking! I was raised in a small rural Catholic community where the SSMOs had begun teaching in 1912 at St. Francis School in Roy, Oregon. Thus the Sisters taught my parents, aunts and uncles, siblings, cousins and in some cases, my nieces and nephews. Small wonder I could so easily come in the back door without much fuss! The SSMOs were a vital part of my family and my faith development. In addition, when I entered, the Superior General at the time was one of my mom’s favorite teachers!
But entering was only the first step in becoming a member of this group that already felt like family to me. When I consider the ways my Sisters have encouraged and supported me to use my God-given talents and abilities, I am filled with gratitude that my ministry has been enhanced because of them.
My ministry has varied from teacher to boarding school director, and formation and vocation directors to community leadership. What I recognize now is that a particular ministry is not the crux of the matter. What matters is being there for others, nurturing, supporting, and transmitting our Faith – just like the SSMOs did for my family beginning in 1912.
Honors for Sr. Charlene Herinckx
In 2017, Sr. Charlene Herinckx will receive the Christus Magister Medal, the highest honor presented by the University of Portland. She will be recognized during the university’s 2017 Commencement ceremonies, which will be held in the University of Portland Chiles Center on Sunday, May 7. Sr. Charlene graduated from the University of Portland in 1978.