Sister Spotlight: Former College administrator reflects on mission
Sara Schlecht | Friday, December 6, 2019
The word ”mission” is an important part of Sr. Rose Anne Schultz’s life, as much of her work at Saint Mary’s has aimed to apply it to the College community.
Schultz first came into contact with the Sisters of the Holy Cross when she attended Holy Cross schools in California, she said, beginning in the fifth grade.
“When I look at it now from the vantage point of Fr. [Basil] Moreau, who wanted education of the mind and heart … they were doing that,” Schultz said. “I didn’t know that was what they were doing, and doing it ever so well. They were not only excellent educators — they were very, very friendly.”
Schultz said her understanding of the Sisters as being kind, happy women followed her throughout grade school and the Holy Cross high school she attended. When she came to Saint Mary’s in the 1950s, it was with the intention of joining the Sisters. Everything since then has continued as a journey, she said.
Schultz taught in schools in Indiana and Illinois and also held some administrative positions before making her return to Saint Mary’s. Already serving on the College’s board of trustees, she was offered the chance to work with the Center for Spirituality and its founder, Keith Egan.
“To me, it was a gift just to work with Keith and the Center [for Spirituality],” she said.
As Schultz did the work she enjoyed, ongoing discussions within religious institutions and other organizations began to change the way they viewed the purpose of their work.
“During that time, the word ‘mission’ was becoming more of a phenomenon,” Schultz said. “Its meaning was being explored, and so at that time I was asked to work in the administration for mission.”
Her role in the administration eventually became full-time, though her heart was still with the Center for Spirituality, Schultz said.
The meaning of mission still remained elusive to much of the College community, Schultz said, but the growing division for mission continued its work promoting the values of Fr. Moreau at the level of the College administration.
“The thing is, it’s a positive area of change,” Schultz said. “It’s not diminishing what you’re doing, but it took a long while. … It gives me great comfort and joy to see how the mission was incarnated in the College.”
Among the division of mission’s projects was sending laypeople who were members of the College faculty to Le Mans, France, to learn about the history of the Sisters.
“They learned about Holy Cross and our mission,” Schultz said. “People just had the best experiences there.”
Schultz served as vice president for mission from 1994 until she retired in 2009. The relationships she built with students and faculty through her work are ones she still maintains today.
These days, Schultz is still in touch with past members of the board of trustees and those involved with the division for mission. She also teaches first-year novices a course on the life of Fr. Moreau. She is also involved with Friends with Sisters, an organization that seeks to connect students and the sisters.
The relationship between the Sisters and the College is an important one, Schultz said.
“You have to keep that bond between the two,” she said. “It shouldn’t be separated.”