Sisters of the Good Shepherd was founded for one purpose: the love of souls. The Mother Foundress of Good Shepherd, Saint Mary Euphrasia, said, “I had no great talents, nor have I done anything great. I only loved, but I loved souls with all the strength of my own soul!”
Ode to Gratitude tells something special about the early benefactors of the Good Shepherd Congregation. We hold eternal gratitude in our hearts for these individuals and are happy to honor their memory, as well as the deep gratitude of Saint Mary Euphrasia towards each of them. We hope you enjoy reading about these great producers and stimulators of services to the poor and suffering of the 18th-19th Centuries. In reading Ode to Gratitude we hope you also come to know a little more about the “magnificent heart” of the foundress, Saint Mary Euphrasia Pelletier (1796-1868). It is said she had “the heart of a mother and the soul of a saint.”
How has Good Shepherd served you?
Your kindness has not been forgotten … I recently celebrated 15 years of sobriety. I was so broken when the Good Shepherd led me to Gracenter. Today I am reminded of the power of kindness, and the comfort of guidance. Elizabeth Castagnoli
My family just came from Vietnam to resettle in Atlanta five days ago. We were heartened because Good Shepherd sent an outreach worker to come and help us. We must say that we are moved and thankful for their help. We consider this as a great consolation for those who just came to live in America. We are very thankful. ~ LeQuang, through translation
A Good Shepherd Sister changed my life forever. I was pretty lost when I was referred to her by a priest. I soon found out that I had two mental disorders. She worked with me for four years through all the ups and downs. I learned how to cope in peace. In addition, her spirituality made me want to be like her and improve my spiritual life. I don’t know where I would be without her loving Good Shepherd care. ~ Gloria
The invitation to Prayer Retreat at the Motherhouse in Angers, France, should be titled “Eat, Pray, Love with St. Mary Euphrasia.” What a wonderful time to quiet my being away from the stress and noise of my everyday life. I had a profound opportunity to renew my spirit and was guided by words of St. Mary Euphrasia and St. John Eudes. I have truly found a home as a Good Shepherd person. ~ Lauri B. Ogumoro, Mission Partner, Saipan
I am grateful for the personal time and trouble Mother Anthony took with me in 1967-68. I was a desperately lonely girl, over-punished, and out of my element. Mother Anthony spent her own holidays with me, not going to her family home or even visiting with her congregation over Thanksgiving. I had no place to go, no family to care. Mother Anthony was so very kind. I never even knew her last name.
I just want to give a huge thank you to all the Sisters for all they do in our communities. If it hadn’t been for Patterdell and the Sisters there I don’t know where my life would be today. Sister Veronica, Sister Mark and Sister Rose had such a huge impact in my life 35 plus years ago. What they taught me back then is still with me today, and I have nothing but fond memories of them. I’m sorry our school closed, for the right girls it was a God send. ~ Dorothea Gibbons
God bless these nuns for their work in the 1950s and 1960s. They saved my life! I am forever grateful. ~ JC
I’d like to say thank you for having the place Rosemount in Portland, Oregon, in 1990. It was a beautiful place. I remember it well and can say that if it wasn’t for Rosemount I’m not sure where I’d be today. I don’t think I would have ever learned the tools I needed to have a family. I’m not perfect. I still make mistakes, but that’s part of life. I’ve been married 19 years and have four children. I feel like I have done a wonderful job. You Sisters taught me how to bake, how to function, how not to run, and how to love myself. I was only there a short time, nine months, but it impacted my life in so many positive ways that I want to say thank you. You saved my life. I truly believe that. I was in a dark place with no tools to get out. You Good Shepherd Sisters gave me the tools and helped me out of that dark place. Thank you again. ~ Mildred Velazquez
The most pronounced climax in my life has been the increased awareness of those unfortunate people around us who need physical and spiritual help. The Good Shepherds inspired me to offer my prayers and assistance on behalf of those who would otherwise be relegated to a life of desperation. ~ Bob
I began working for the Sisters of good Shepherd 24 years ago. I was hired by sisters that are long gone, who I loved dearly. I still remember the day I was hired; I was hired on the spot. I left twice to give birth, had no plans of going back. One of the sisters, (Sister Madeline) called me and said we want you back. It was never my plan to still be there 24 years later. The sisters sold the facility to a large company, and the mission has changed along with the original values, morals, yet, in my mind I still hold onto the old mission that existed when I was hired by the sisters. Today I realized that God had a different plan, a much larger plan for my life. I returned to school. I have a degree in the field of Human Services, my concentration family and children. Presently I’m waiting for approval to open a home for women and children. 24 years later I now can see God’s plan and vision. I’m grateful to the Sisters of the Good Shepherd for seeing God’s vision for the future, and for recognizing the Zeal within me before I even knew that it existed. Please pray for me and my endeavors. ~ Carol Vickers
Many years ago as a teen I attended the Good Shepherd St. Euphrasia School in Batesburg, South Carolina. In the wee hours of today I woke up with this on my mind. When I attended I was part of Our Lady’s group. Sister (or Mother as we called her) was Sister Deodata or Dorothea. We also had a Sister Miriam in the other half of the house where we had Saint Joseph’s group. The Sister in the kitchen was Sister Dominic. There was a family who lived on the property by the name of Rivers. I believe they did all of the maintenance. We also had a priest who lived on the property. I think his name was Father John. We attended school on the property in a four-room schoolhouse. I remember a Sister Pius and a Sister Grace. Sister Dorothea and I were fans of opposing teams. I was a Celtic fan and she was a Knicks fan. Sorry if I am rambling . I have wonderful memories and when I woke up with St. Euphrasia School on my mind I thought I should look into it. I am 66 years old and am a mother, grandmother and great grandmother. I have been a Vincentian since 2000 and have been married to my husband for 47 years. The love and understanding and discipline I received from my years at St. Euphrasia School have stood me in good stead. God Bless all of you and thank you for helping me to become the Catholic woman I am today. ~ Katherine Anderson (formerly Kelly Lee Ballou)