Saint Mary Euphrasia said, “One inspires children of noble lineage to become virtuous by speaking to them about the virtues of their ancestors: one tells them of their adventures, their exploits, their good characteristics and so lead them to become brave and generous as they were.”
In this same spirit, the Office of Mission Effectiveness created and launched a six-part video series on YouTube called “The Life and Mission of St. Mary Euphrasia.”
I wanted to keep the video scripts short enough to be used in staff meetings and learning sessions. I also wanted the videos to be conversational and not formatted as a lecture. Courtney Lucas, partner-in-mission at Maryhurst, helped me achieve this by joining me in conversation about St. Mary Euphrasia during the video tapings.
The video series comes with a printable reflection booklet that includes questions for connecting and reflecting. My hope is that the videos will be used for new employee orientation, Board formation, staff meetings, retreats, personal reflection, and/or small group reflections.
Lunch and Learn sessions with Sisters and partners-in-mission
In January, I began using the videos in virtual “Lunch and Learn” sessions with Sisters and partners-in-mission in Mid-North America. I used the video series in a small group setting with province leadership and staff at the Province Center and at Vista Maria in Dearborn Heights, Michigan. Each group met for one hour each week for three weeks.
Participants heard about the young Rose Virginie and explored Mary Euphrasia’s life as a child on Noirmoutier Island, in France. We discussed what she was like as a teenager, her time in a boarding school, and how she became a Sister and rose to leadership.
We looked at our own lives and influences and discussed what brought us to Good Shepherd and our connection to the mission.
We also discussed the creation of the Good Shepherd congregation and its global expansion. We learned about the famed tunnel she had built in Angers, France, her conflicts with the Bishop of Angers, and her lasting legacy. And perhaps most importantly, we discussed what all of that has to do with us today.
The videos are available in English, French, and Spanish. We are working on producing the series with subtitles in Chinese. You can find them on the Mission Effectiveness YouTube channel at https://bit.ly/3H9CbiF.
My goal is for everyone to have access to our founding stories, so that we may connect with our past, ourselves, and each other. St. Mary Euphrasia believed in supporting each other. She said, “If you always love one another if you always uphold one another, you will be able to work wonders!” This rings true today.