On October 19 and 20, the HNU community joined several Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary (SNJM) for two special tea-time gatherings. The events were planned as opportunities for students, faculty, and staff to get together and learn more about the Sisters and their order.
Sister Carol Sellman, vice president for mission integration; Sister Maureen Hester, professor emerita of psychology; Sister Jo Anne Quinlivan, professor emerita of biological science; and Sister Carol Nicklas, volunteer for university advancement, participated in the events and shared hosting duties, with Sr. Carol Sellman and Sr. Maureen attending the October 19 tea and Sr. Jo Anne and Sr. Carol Nicklas attending the second tea.
At both teas, the Sisters spoke about their early lives and how they had made the decision to join the order. In the weeks leading up to the teas, students, faculty, and staff had also submitted questions for the Sisters to answer, and, at the events, the Sisters gamely answered questions about why their habits and names changed after the Second Vatican Council (Vatican II), what the worst stereotype is about being a nun, and whether they have any tattoos or piercings.
One of the submitted questions was about what the Sisters liked best about being Sisters. At the October 19 event, Sr. Carol Sellman spoke about how much she enjoyed being a member of the SNJM community (a sentiment that Sr. Maureen wholeheartedly supported). Sr. Carol said, “For me one of the best parts is community. Whenever the Holy Names Sisters get together, we have a wonderful time. Sr. Maureen said something earlier about the spirit of the Sisters, and it was the laughing of the Sisters that I remember, and that’s the kind of thing even in our older years that we still bring to meetings and gatherings when we’re together. So for me that’s one of the best parts—that and the support of the community. I can’t tell you how many times, when hard things happen, either family members die or people are sick, that Sisters will say, 'Your prayers or your thoughts have given me so much support in trying to deal with this difficult situation.' And I think that is a wonderful part of being a member of the community.”