Caldwell University held a celebration of its SisterStory project on May 10. For the second year in a row, Caldwell took part in the national oral history project, an initiative of National Catholic Sisters Week and St. Catherine’s University. Sponsored by the Hilton Foundation, the project aims to broaden the awareness of Catholic Sisters and the contributions they have made to American life.
The students were paired up with the Sisters of St. Dominic of Caldwell, the founding order of the university. They met with the Sisters, interviewed them and produced blogs, videos and powerpoint presentations. The videos and transcriptions will become part of a national archive being created by the project.
The Sisters and students were paired as follows:
Sr. Mary Joseph Bircsak/Michelle Eng
Sr. Joan Doyle/ Kathryn Reilly
Sr. Mary John Kearney/ Christina Campos
Sr. Catherine Gerard Kirchner/ Sarah Torres
Sr. Pat Mahoney/ Juan Garcia
Sr. Honora Werner/ Sean Puzzo
Sr. Lois Kikkert/ Jonathan Diaz
The project provided students with a chance to learn about women religious and about the founding order of Caldwell University. Biology student Michelle Eng wrote how she was fortunate enough to be paired up with Sister Mary Joseph Bircsak, O.P. “When we first met, she had a warm and genuine atmosphere. At the same time, she was very put together and smart. I thought it would be fitting if we were paired together because we were both biology majors. I would learn so much from her. Lucky for me, this became a reality.”
Christina Campos, a junior, was happy to be teamed up with Sister Mary John Kearney, O.P. “In the little time that we have known one another so far she has shown much character and warmth in her personality that I look forward to building and furthering our newfound friendship.”
History Professor Marie Mullaney, Ph.D. supervised the academic portion of the oral history project. Communication and Media Studies Professor Rachel Carey taught the students technical skills to produce the videos and Campus Ministry staff member Abby Cimorelli managed the logistics.