Green Door symbolizes Good Shepherd heritage of apostolic ministries

The Green Door at the Good Shepherd Motherhouse in Angers, France, has been a symbol of the order’s apostolic ministries 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.

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Director of Good Shepherd National Advocacy Center Larry Couch and Staff Associate Fran Eskin-Royer help paint NAC’s entryway green.

Green Door initiative

A new initiative is underway in the Province of Mid-North America that is inspiring Good Shepherd Sisters and ministries to paint their entry ways green, to model the Green Door for apostolic ministries in Angers, France.

The Green Door Project is an initiative of the Province of Mid-North America Archives Department and is part of the upcoming 2018 celebration of the Sisters’ 175th anniversary of being in North America.

Good Shepherd National Advocacy Center (NAC) is the first ministry to jump on the bandwagon. A paint crew of Good Shepherd Mission Partners set to work painting the door on the morning of June 22. That evening NAC Advisory Board members walked through the freshly painted green door as they arrived for a board meeting.

National Advocacy Center (NAC) Advisory Board Member and Province Director of Operations Monte Abbott initiated the Green Door Project after being inspired while on Pilgrimage to the Motherhouse in April.

Monte said the Green Door is a powerful symbol of the invitations that he hears in the charism of Mary Euphrasia – invitations to healing and refuge, wholeness and salvation, service and love.

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Province Archivist Monte Abbott is spearheading the Green Door Project as part of an Archives project to celebrate 175 years of Good Shepherd in North America.

“When I visited Angers as a Mission Partner pilgrim I touched the Green Door and, like earlier visitors, passed through it. My personal invitation was to draw closer to the Sisters and fellow Mission Partners. I hope the Green Door Project inspires the North America Good Shepherd family to grow in unity and to find meaning in what we share,” Monte said.

NAC Staff Associate Fran Eskin-Royer was on Pilgrimage with Monte. She said, “I loved the idea of having a tangible connection to the Good Shepherd Motherhouse in Angers. The National Advocacy Center educates and lobbies around the social justice priorities of the Congregation and its agencies and ministries across the country and around the world. Painting the door green created for us a daily reminder of our roots and the work that began with the Congregation’s foundress St. Mary Euphrasia.”

Enthusiasm for the Green Door project

Sr. Brigid Lawlor, who founded NAC in 2001, said, “I loved the enthusiasm for the project by our recent pilgrims Monte and Fran. They inspired me!  I appreciate the symbolism and the meaningful connection of the Green Door.

“St. Mary Euphrasia, Count de Neuville and all of the early missionaries who walked through the Green Door in Angers, France. People today can feel their spirit and rejoice in the same charism by walking through green doors of ministries and houses who participate in this new project,” Sr. Brigid said.

NAC Director Larry Couch said, “This is very exciting. The Green Door Project is a great way for Good Shepherd ministries in PMNA and around the world to connect with our heritage in France.”

The goal of the Green Door Project is to inspire people to get Staff and Sisters involved in this project, and to share their efforts by taking pictures and posting them with the hashtag #GreenDoor on their social media platforms. Ideally, people would share their photos with Jeanette McDermott, Province Communications Coordinator, for the monthly Province newsletter Items of Interest and the Province Facebook page.

Who will be next?

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The Green Door at the Good Shepherd Motherhouse in Angers, France.

Who will be the next Good Shepherd house or ministry to paint their door green? Contact Monte for assistance with planning your event and for the Pantone color code used on the original Green Door.

As Saint Mary Euphrasia might say, Go forth!

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