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Wiedower elected president of Sisters of the Holy Cross

| Monday, September 1, 2014

Sister Veronique Wiedower speaks with faculty and staff as her farewell part in the lobby of O'Laughin Auditorium on Wednesday. Wiedower has been at the College since 2011 and is an alum.Photo Courtesy of Gwen O'Brien
Sister Veronique Wiedower speaks with faculty and staff as her farewell part in the lobby of O’Laughin Auditorium on Wednesday. Wiedower has been at the College since 2011 and is an alum.

After three years serving as vice president for the Division for Mission at Saint Mary’s, Sister Veronique Wiedower left the role on Friday to pursue a new position as president of the Congregation of the Sisters of the Holy Cross.

Sr. Wiedower was elected president of the congregation at the 2014 General Chapter that was held in Entebbe, Uganda over the summer, Saint Mary’s director of media relations Gwen O’Brien said. Wiedower’s installation in the position will occur on Sept. 7.

The College has not yet announced a new vice president for the Division of Mission.

Wiedower said she was surprised her fellow sisters elected her as president, but she said she believes in her ability to lead.

“For me, it’s a feeling of being humbled by people putting their faith in you as a leader,” she said. “I’m excited and have some gifts to share.”

The motherhouse of the Congregation of the Sisters of the Holy Cross is on the Saint Mary’s campus, so although Sr. Wiedower will not move far, her focus will shift.

“I’m moving from the perspectives of college women to the perspective of women religious, a more global perspective, as we are in eight countries around the world, including the U.S., Mexico, Peru, Brazil, Bangladesh, India, Ghana and Uganda,” she said.

Wiedower, an alum of Saint Mary’s, said the College has been an important part of her life for many years, and she will miss the opportunity to make a difference there.

“I have had the privilege to sit at the cabinet table and invite others to see the mission in all of the decisions that we make,” she said.

Wiedower said her ability to listen to the students, staff and faculty and encourage them to live the mission of the College is one of her greatest contributions to the school.

“The heritage of the sisters isn’t something of the past, but it’s something that we carry today,” she said. “I’ve seen signs of people picking up on that, especially with students leaders. [There is] a desire to be part of the heritage of student leaders moving forward.”

Most of all, Wiedower said she will miss the motivation provided by working closely with students.

“It’s life-giving for me to be here because the students bring me life,” she said. “The students keep us in touch with the new, the vision for the future.

“They make me want to be a better person, and I find their spirit inside myself.”

Wiedower said the mission of Saint Mary’s has the potential to impact the world when students live out what they learn.

“Father Moreau’s mission was to provide an education so that people could make a difference in the world,” she said. “Our students have so much potential to make that difference. If they can live the spirit of that, [the mission] multiplies.

“There’s a need out there, and I think Saint Mary’s women can help to change the world, to meet the needs.”

Wiedower said she encourages students to make the most of their time on campus and utilize their resources.

“It’s important for women at Saint Mary’s to make use of the time when they are surrounded by role models so that they do grow in that sense of mission,” she said.

Wiedower said the administrative leaders of both Saint Mary’s and the Sisters of the Holy Cross meet annually to discuss issues that affect both groups on campus.

“It’s a great privilege to be here and be asked to serve in both positions,” she said. “As they say, once a Belle, always a Belle.”

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About Haleigh Ehmsen

A senior at Saint Mary's, Haleigh is majoring in Communication Studies and English Literature & Writing. She serves as the Saint Mary's editor and enjoys coffee, guacamole and good books.

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