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Campus Ministry adopts Friends with Sisters program

| Tuesday, October 13, 2015

WEB VERSION Friends with SistersPhoto Courtesy of Amy Smesseart

This year Friends with Sisters, which connects the Sisters of the Holy Cross with Saint Mary’s students, transitioned from a campus club to a Campus Ministry program.

Regina Wilson, director of Campus Ministry, said the change in the program, which was founded in 1976, helps to keep Friends with Sisters more structured as students graduate.

“By making it a program within Campus Ministry, there is a more integrated support system for students from year to year. It seemed like a natural fit for Friends with Sisters to become part of Campus Ministry,” Wilson said.

Each member of Friends with sisters is paired with a Sister of the Holy Cross, Wilson said. Program members then have one-on-one time each week with their designated sister, where relationships can be strengthened in a personal setting.

Volunteer coordinator and director of activities for Sisters of the Holy Cross, Lee Ann Moore, said the program is about “forming relationships between sisters and students that are rooted in friendship and nurtured over the years while the students are at the College.”

“The students and sisters become friends and get to know one another better: the students learn about the sisters’ lives and ministry experience and the sisters learn about the students’ lives and college experience,” Moore said.

Bridget Enright, senior and president of Friends with Sisters said, “This is my fourth year in the program, and my fourth year knowing Sr. Virginia Marie. Sister Virginia has been a source of inspiration, of joy, and of connection to my faith.”

 Enright said she is pleased with Campus Ministry’s involvement in the program. 

“By re-establishing Friends with Sisters as a program under the Campus Ministry office, we have been able to make an even stronger connection between the Sisters of the Holy Cross and the Saint Mary’s campus,” Enright said.

This year Friends with Sisters has 78 students and 74 sisters involved in the program. Recently, the program had a kickoff with an ice cream social.

“At the [kickoff] party, students came to the convent to meet their Sister who will be their friend, mentor and companion for the rest of their college career,” Enright said.

First-year student Monica Davy said she is thrilled to be part of Friends with Sisters.

“I am so thankful to attend a college that provides the opportunity to develop a relationship with a Sister of the Holy Cross,” Davy said.

Enright said the Friends with Sisters program is unique to the Saint Mary’s experience.

“While the relationships between each student and sister is unique, I believe every girl starting in the program very quickly appreciates the genuine and loving friendship the sisters offer us,” Enright said.

Upcoming events for Friends with Sisters this year include an annual Halloween Costume party on Oct. 26 and a Thanksgiving Reflection program on Nov. 23.

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