Green door bedecks GSS New York

A green door adorns Good Shepherd Services (GSS) New York. GSS holds a Founders Day celebration each year to honor the memory of St. Mary Euphrasia. This year’s Founders Day theme was the Green Door, a project that grew out of the 2017 Pilgrimage to the Motherhouse at Angers, France. 

Monte Abbott, Director of Operations for Province of Mid-North America, was inspired by the story of the Green Door at Angers. He envisioned ministries across the globe painting their doors green to match the Motherhouse entry door. 

National Advocacy Centerin Silver Spring, Maryland, was the first ministry to paint its doors green. Vista Maria followed in Detroit. Good Shepherd Services in New York is the third ministry to adopt the idea.

green door
A replica of the Green Door at Angers was on display at Founders Day, where staff posed for selfies and group photos.

Each ministry has taken on the Green Door project in a unique way. GSS New York decided to make an 8-foot replica of the Motherhouse door for display at Founders Day on April 24. As staff walked on stage to receive their employment milestone pins and awards, the  Green Door framed them. Later, staff took selfies and group photos by the display. Alex Garay, GSS Facilities Director, designed and built the replica.

“When I first saw the Green Door on Pilgrimage, I was moved by what the door represented — love, trust, hope, and new beginnings for so many who had walked through that door. I thought, what better way to bring that feeling back to our organization than to create a replica of the door in Angers that we can share with all of our programs,” Alex said.

Good Shepherd staff also painted fairy doors as part of the joyful celebration. Everyone kept their tiny green door as a souvenir of the day. 

Meaning of the Green Door

The Green Door has been a symbol of transformation for the Sisters of the Good Shepherd since the early 19th century. The Green Door was the portal for those who came to the Motherhouse, whether they were coming in or going out. Sisters, residents and Mission Partners all passed through the Green Door as they accepted the call to mission, sought safety, and shared gifts and resources. 

Watch a short video clip as GSS Executive Director Sr. Paulette LoMonaco explains the significance of the Green Door.

The initiator of the Green Door project Monte Abbott said, “I’m so happy that the New York Province has taken this idea and run with it, making it unique for them. 

“My first thought about the project while on Pilgrimage was that it could be relevant for Good Shepherd people in many different places. It’s good to see the spirit of the project spring to life,” Monte said.  

To read the story about the first Green Door project at National Advocacy Center in Silver Spring, visit https://bit.ly/2KjAGow.

To read the story about Vista Maria’s Green Door project, visit https://bit.ly/2tGvaRU.

Jeanette McDermott

Jeanette McDermott

Jeanette is the Communications Coordinator for Sisters of the Good Shepherd Province of Mid-North America. She is a career photojournalist who has served in various capacities of print, broadcast, and corporate communications. Jeanette is devoted to creation and is particularly focused on saving pollinators and other wildlife species and their habitat. She is an ethical vegan and created the website veganstoryteller.com