Bishop Steib celebrates thirty-five years

The Most Reverend J. Terry Steib, SVD, Bishop emeritus of Memphis, will celebrate the 35thanniversary of his ordination as a bishop on Sunday, February 10, 2019.  Bishop Steib will be the principal celebrant at Mass at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, 1695 Central Avenue, at 10:00am.  There will be a reception following the Mass.  All are welcome.

A look at the Catholics who made final religious vows in 2018

Washington D.C. (CNA/EWTN News) – Last year at least 240 Catholic men and women professed perpetual religious vows in the U.S., and a new survey provides a statistical snapshot of who they are and where they came from.

Those who made final vows tend to be cradle Catholics with multiple siblings and attended Catholic schools.

The Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate at Georgetown University sought information from superiors of religious institutes on religious professions in 2018. The center analyzed the results in a report for the U.S. bishopsí Secretariat of Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations.

Researchers received responses from 530 of 730 major superiors, a response rate of 71 percent, who reported 240 members who professed perpetual vows in 2018. Of these, researchers secured responses from 162: 92 sisters and nuns and 70 brothers and priests.

About 80 percent of religious institutes reported that no one professed perpetual vows in 2018. About 13 percent had one member profess, while seven percent reported two or more.

The average age of respondents was 38, with a median age of 35. The youngest was 22 and the oldest was 75. About 70 percent said their race or ethnicity is white. About 16 percent identify as Asian, and 10 percent as Hispanic.

More than two-thirds of respondents were U.S.-born, with Vietnamese-born being the second highest, with eight respondents.

About 90 percent were baptized Catholics as babies, while 10 percent are converts. Among these converts, the average age at adult conversion was 19.

For 78 percent of respondents, both parents were Catholic. Only about 20 percent were only children, with 18 percent having one sibling, 34 percent having two or three siblings, and 45 percent having four or more.

Respondents were somewhat more likely to have attended a Catholic elementary school and a high school compared to Catholic adults overall, and much more likely to have attended a Catholic college. Fifty percent of newly professed religious attended Catholic elementary school, 38 percent attended Catholic high school, and 36 percent attended a Catholic college.

The respective figures for Catholic adults overall were 39 percent, 19 percent, and 10 percent.

About 23 percent of respondents earned a graduate degree before entering the institute, and more than 71 percent had at least a bachelorís degree.

For the nine percent of respondents who said educational debt delayed their entrance application for their religious institute, their delay in application averaged about 1.4 years and they had to pay down an average of about $35,000. Family members, friends and co-workers tended to be the most common sources for their debt relief.

At least 85 percent of respondents served in church ministry. About half served as lector, while slightly fewer were altar servers or extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion. About 40 percent worked in faith formation, catechesis, or RCIA, youth or campus ministry, or music ministry. About 25 percent worked in some kind of social ministry while one in six taught at a Catholic school.

About half participated in a youth ministry or youth group, while 33 percent participated in a young adult ministry. About 20 percent participated in World Youth Day, while slightly fewer participated in a Franciscan University of Steubenville high school youth conference.

About 90 percent had a regular private prayer life before entering the institute, with two-thirds taking part in Eucharistic Adoration, praying the rosary, or attending retreats.

Half of respondents were 19 years old or younger when they first began to consider a religious vocation. They were most likely to be encouraged by friends, other religious, or parish priests, rather than family members. About half said at least one person tried to discourage them from discerning a religious vocation, with women more likely to say so. Friends, school classmates, parents or other relatives tended to be most likely to discourage prospective religious, though friends, parents and relatives were also among the most likely to encourage discernment.

Almost all took part in a vocation program or experience during discernment.

St. Agnes Academy Alumnae Hall of Fame Inducts New Members

St. Agnes Academy Alumnae Hall of Fame Inducts New Members 

St. Agnes Academy honored five outstanding women during the School’s 19th annual Alumnae Hall of Fame ceremony on January 25.  Congratulations to our 2019 St. Agnes Academy Hall of Fame inductees:  Dr. Sharon Herbers ’69, Karen Crosby Leone ’75, Dr. Crista Crisler ’82, Courtney Pohlman Ross ’93 and Keri O’Brien. These women have made remarkable contributions to their community and carry out the St. Agnes Academy mission in their daily lives. 

The St. Agnes Academy Hall of Fame was established in 2001 on the School’s 150th anniversary. The Hall of Fame honors those exceptional individuals who command respect within their careers, civic, or charitable endeavors, are devoted to the mission of St. Agnes Academy, contribute to the community, and exemplify the standards instilled at St. Agnes Academy.

2019 Hall of Fame

Dr. Sharon Herbers ’69 graduated from St. Louis University with a Bachelor of Arts and earned both a Master of Arts degree and a Doctor of Education degree from the University of Memphis.  She is a professor at the University of the Incarnate Word where she has received numerous honors for her work.  Sharon received the Sr. Margaret Rose Palmer Award in recognition of her work to promote the mission of Faith, Education, Service, Truth and Innovation. She was award the University Piper Professor Award given for excellence in teaching service. Most recently she was honored with the presentation of the Moody Award recognizing a high level of scholarship, teaching excellence and community service.

For 25 years Karen Leone ‘75 has taught in the Early Childhood Program at St. Agnes Academy-St. Dominic School caring for our littlest Stars and Suns.  She earned her Intermediate Catechist Certificate and also teaches religion to our youngest students. Karen is a true supporter of her alma mater, attending theatre productions, sporting events and alumnae gatherings.  She has been instrumental in organizing the Class of 1975’s monthly Supper Club. Karen is a second-generation SAA graduate. She and her husband Joe have four children, Nick,  Camille ’03, Kristen ’03, and Maggie ’05, and seven grandchildren. Her granddaughter Sadie is in Jr. Kindergarten at SAA. 

Dr. Crista Crisler ’82 is an OBGYN at Memphis Obstetrics & Gynecological Association, and she is on staff at Methodist Germantown, Baptist Women’s Hospital and St. Francis Bartlett. Crista is also a member of the teaching faculty at the University of Tennessee Center for the Health Science. She holds professional memberships in the Memphis OBGYN Society as well as the American Medical Association and the Tennessee Medical Association.  Crista generously volunteers her time with the Church Health Center providing free women’s healthcare. She is also a member of the Tennessee Parks and Greenways and the Memphis Heritage Society. Crista is a graduate of Rhodes College and the UTHSC College of Medicine. Her son Bren is a 2015 graduate of St. Dominic School.  

Courtney Pohlman Ross ’93 is the Chief Economic Development Officer for the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce where she is charged with the oversight of all economic development activities including business recruitment retention and expansion. Courtney serves on the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives Board, NAIOP Board, and the Nashville Technology Council Board. She is a graduate of Leadership Nashville. Courtney was named a Top 50 Economic Developer by Consultant Connect and was recently named to the Nashville Business Journal’s 2018 Power 100 Dealmakers. She and her husband Jason have two children, Jake and Ellie. 

For over 15 years, Keri O’Brien has worked in the business office at St. Agnes Academy-St. Dominic School. She is currently the Director of Payroll and Accounts Payable, but her service to the school extends far beyond that office. Keri can be found supporting many events on campus including alumnae events, the Gala and the Gingerbread House. She has a given countless hours to the St. Agnes Theatre Department, and thanks in part to her efforts, the theatre department has been awarded two Orpheum High School Musical awards for Best Front of House. Keri also volunteers with the Memphis Italian Festival and with Habitat for Humanity. She and her husband Mike have two daughters who are graduates of St. Agnes Academy, Meghan ’08 and Shannon ’13.