|6/4/2017 2:39:00 PM|
Sisters have a big day at UP
|Bob Kerns/University of Portland|
Sr. Charlene Herinckx of the Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon receives the Christus Magister Medal from Holy Cross Fr. Mark Poorman, president of the University of Portland. The medal is U.P.’s highest honor.
May 7 was a memorable day for the Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon.
During the University of Portland commencement ceremony, the superior general, Sister Charlene Herinckx, received the Christus Magister Medal — the university’s highest honor.
Sister Charlene was elected superior general in 2010 and was re-elected in 2015.
The only religious community to be founded in Oregon officially opened their convent in 1886, and in 1889, they opened an orphanage. Since then, the sisters have been committed to serving others, especially through education and health care.
Through the years, the order founded St. Mary’s Home for Boys, St. Mary’s Institute, St. Mary of the Valley boarding school, St. Mary of the Valley High School (now known as Valley Catholic) and Maryville, a community for elders.
Sister Charlene was raised in Roy, where the Sisters of St. Mary began teaching in 1912. The sisters taught her parents, siblings and extended family, playing a vital role in her faith development.
She entered the convent as a candidate in 1966 and professed perpetual vows in 1974.
After earning a bachelor’s degree from Marylhurst University, Sister Charlene earned a master’s degree in education at U.P. and a second master’s from the University of San Francisco.
A teacher and principal at schools across the Portland metro region, she also served on the National Religious Vocation Conference Board.
In addition to honors for Sister Charlene, two members of the community — Sisters Thuy Doan and Colleen Schmitt — received a master’s in pastoral ministry.
Nearly a dozen Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon were on hand to cheer for their community heroes.
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