Sisters prepare a meal for Catholic Charities
Sisters prepare a meal for Catholic Charities
Responding with courage and personal sacrifice to the call of Christ in the Church, our foundresses lived out their desire to become Women of Prayer, Community and Service.

SSMO Constitutions, Article 1

Dear Friends,

Welcome to the first issue of the SSMO Vocation Newsletter. Our plan is to publish this newsletter monthly. It will cover various topics about our Community and vocations to religious life. 

Articles will focus on how our Community lives out the call to prayer, community, and service (ministry). Please note the statement from our Constitutions (above).  There will be brief descriptions about the feasts of Mary each month as well as the feasts of religious women who have been canonized saints. We plan to have information about vocation discernment, current research data about who is entering religious life today, and much more.

During this month of November when we celebrate the feasts of All Saints and All Souls, let us pray for each other and for all our dear departed friends and family members.


Sister Charlene

SSMO Happenings


The apparitions of Mary in Fatima, Portugal, began on May 13 and ended on Oct. 13, 1917.   During this time thousands of people flocked to the site to witness the three children to whom Mary appeared.

In celebration of this event, which drew many to faith in Jesus through his mother Mary, Sr. Trúc Grace led the rosary in our small chapel on 3rd floor.

Sister Truc leads the Sisters of St. Mary in praying the rosary.
Sister Truc Grace leading the rosary in the third floor chapel.
Sister Theresa Lan Nguyen and Sister M. Julian Monti enjoying game night.


Community life is nurtured in various ways, including recreation! Besides hearing about each Sisters’ experiences of the day during meals, we also make time for fun and games.


On a monthly basis, several sisters use their culinary skills to prepare delicious meals for residents of Catholic Charities’ transition housing in Portland. The Sisters enjoy making these delicious and nutritious meals.

Sister Thuy Doan displays her pot of delicious noodles
Vocation Facts – New member characteristics

The average age of women entering religious life is 28 years old.

71 percent of women have earned at least a bachelor’s degree before entering religious life.

Data from the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate and the National Religious Vocation Conference.

Women Religious Saints:

Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini – St. Francis was the first U.S. citizen to be canonized. Although she was denied entrance to a religious community in Italy due to her fragile health, she proved to be a woman of strength and courage. In her 35 years, Frances Xavier Cabrini founded 67 institutions dedicated to caring for the poor, the abandoned, the uneducated and the sick in the United States. She overcame her fear of water and crossed the Atlantic more than 30 times. She died in Chicago in 1917. Her feast day is celebrated on Nov. 13.

Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini
Saint Rose Philippine Duchesne

Saint Rose Philippine Duchesne – like St. Frances Cabrini, Saint Rose was a missionary to the United States. Her trials began in France when her religious Community (Visitation of Mary) was disband during the French Revolution. After the disbandment, she took care of the poor and sick, opened a school for homeless children, and risked her life helping priests in the underground. 

At age 49, she heard the call to be a missionary to the United States. She endured all the hardships of frontier life, retiring at 72, due to poor health. At that time she realized her lifelong dream – to be a missionary to the Potawatomi in Sugar Creek, Kansas. They named her “Woman Who Prays Always.”  Her feast day is celebrated on Nov. 18.

Feast Days of Mary: Nov. 21 – The Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Q and A:

What is formation?

Before making a perpetual commitment as a religious sister, brother, or priest, people who enter a religious Community are given an opportunity to live in Community, learn the history and charism, and understand what the commitment to live a life of vowed poverty, chastity and obedience entails.

There are stages (candidate, novice, temporary professed) the person will walk through to continue to discern if this is the best way for them to love God and people and the best way for God and others to love them. 

Have questions about vocations or religious life? Send a note to [email protected] to have it answered in an upcoming newsletter.

Calendar of Vocation events:

December 2 – 4: Come and Encounter

During this weekend, visitors will meet the Sisters and share in activities with us.  On Saturday there will be an Advent Reflection time.

Contact Sr. Charlene at [email protected] if you have questions or would like to register.

Every Thursday at 6:30 p.m., you are invited to the weekly Holy Hour with the Sisters in the Motherhouse Chapel. On the first Thursday of each month, the special intention is for vocations to religious life and priesthood.

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