Fall 2015 Newsletter
Submitted by Michael Coleman - Posted to website on 11/17/2015

We are excited to announce that the Fall 2015 Nazareth Association Newsletter edition can be found by clicking to the word "Newsletters" found in the left column. Your thoughts and comments are most welcomed, simply click on the Message Board tab.

Thank you for your continued interest and support in Keeping the SPIRIT ALIVE!

Spirit Days 2015
By Randall Berd - Posted to website on 8/04/2015

The Nazareth campus will be undergoing a transition, the details of which will become clearer as the future comes nearer.


The theme for this year’s SPIRIT DAYS 2015 is “Transitioning Anew”. This theme was selected upon receiving the news that the Leadership Team of the Congregation of St. Joseph and a local Steering Committee of Sisters at Nazareth made public their plans for the Nazareth campus.

These plans were announced in late April with the realization that the shrinking demographics of the congregation, the costs associated with the maintenance of numerous campuses and buildings, and the desire to plan with greater focus on their ministries and centers for the future is more than just creating rental office space on campus or renovating a floor in the Motherhouse.

As the cover story indicated in the Spring 2015 edition of the Nazareth Association Newsletter, the deconstruction of the motherhouse is part of the plans for Nazareth. And, although, there remains a glimmer of hope that an organization may seek to purchase or lease the building, the prospect of this happening is slim. The good news is that the Sisters are looking to the future and are planning to construct a building that will have eighty one-bedroom apartments to accommodate both independent and assisted living needs. The tentative timeline is for construction to begin at Nazareth in July of 2016, with the Sisters moving into their new homes in the summer of 2017.

Once these apartments are completed and the Sisters have moved in, the deconstruction of the motherhouse will begin. It is unknown if the other remaining buildings on the Nazareth campus will follow in deconstruction – Albers Hall that houses the Georgian and Walnut Rooms and the two remaining residence halls. At the present time, the Kalamazoo County Offices of Health and Community Services have been leasing these buildings but they plan on moving to another site in 2016.

As many of us have “downsized” in our later years, the CSJs are too. However, the usage of the word “deconstruction” is difficult to understand because the Nazareth campus stood tall and mighty at one time – the College, the Academy, and Barbour Hall were founded and flourished on these grounds. And the Motherhouse was once called home to over 800 Sisters of St. Joseph!

As loyal alumni of five different institutions, SPIRIT DAYS 2015 will be more than spending a few days with our classmates and former faculty/staff members, or celebrating the friendships formed throughout the decades, it will include the lending of support to our Sisters of St. Joseph as they begin to transition anew.

You are encouraged to come to SPIRIT DAYS not to mourn but to express joy, wisdom, laughter AND to relive memories. We will start to draw closure by walking through these buildings made of bricks and mortar - and erected with great sacrifice – reminding each other what the Sisters taught us. It was the lesson that successful lives are not judged by the dollars spent on material possessions but rather by the number of persons we have helped.

COME WALK DOWN MEMORY LANE WITH US and express gratitude to those with whom we shared our lives for so many years. TRANSITIONING ANEW is a process affecting all of us. Together let us join the sisters as they embark upon a new future throughout these next two years.

Randall J. Berd – President/Nazareth Association

“To live is to change, and to be perfect is to have changed often.”
                                                                                          -- John Cardinal Newman


Reported on June 2, 2015 – www.mlive.com/news/kalamazoo/index.ssf/2015/06/sisters

Reported on June 6, 2015 – www.mlive.com/news/kalamazoo/index.ssf/2015/06/nazareth

Sr. Mary Pung to be honored for her tireless years of service
Open House to be held August 17, Diocesan Pastoral Center,
By Vikki Cessna Submitted by Randall Berd - Posted to website on 7/28/2015

Sr. Mary Pung has helped college students find jobs, comforted patients and families as a chaplain, worked in pastoral ministry bringing people closer to God and since 2000 has worked tirelessly at the Catholic Community Center in Benton Harbor. After more than 50 years in ministry she’s retiring this summer from what she jokingly calls compensated ministry” and is ready to begin a new chapter.

Though beginning her official retirement on August 31st, Sr. Mary, who will turn 78 this September, shows no sign of slowing down. She already has plans to continue working with the JustFaith program at Sts. John/Bernard Parish, Benton Harbor and to continue her work with her latest ministry called, “One Church, One Offender.”

“The program matches a low-level offender with a church community of their choice,” explains Sr. Mary, whose role is to train a church committee of five to seven people. “The committee will meet with the person weekly to be a support to keep them on track,”

While the program is developing a bit slower than she would like, Sr. Mary has hope that it can continue to help transform lives. When asked what she found most rewarding in her ministry at the Catholic Community Center, a diocesan-supported program which provides community outreach services to the Benton Harbor and neighboring communities, Sr. Mary is quick to mention gratitude for learning more about the African-American culture and the ability to help people.

“I’ve taught a budgeting class, which is a requirement for anyone who wishes to continue receiving any of the services at the Center, and people tell me it’s made a real difference in their lives.”

Sr. Mary will be honored by Bishop Bradley with a reception on August 17th at the Diocesan Pastoral Center, 215 N. Westnedge Ave., Kalamazoo, Mich., beginning at 2 p.m. The public is welcome to attend.

Originally published in the Good News, July/August 2015

Passing of Martha G. (Hardings) Scotts 
Submitted by Dan Barrett - Posted to website on 04/20/2015

Butler, Martha G. Scotts Martha passed away Thursday, April 16, 2015 at her home in Scotts, Michigan. She was born July 21, 1933 in Mattawan, Michigan to the late William Harding and Doris (Pennington) Harding. She was united in marriage to Robert Butler on June 26, 1955 for nearly 60 years. Martha graduated from Nazareth College school of nursing. She worked as a Registered Nurse for Franklin Memorial Hospital which later became Bronson Vicksburg Hospital for over 35 years before retiring.

Martha was happiest when surrounded by her family and friends and loved to read, garden, and long walks outdoors. Martha is survived by her husband, Robert Butler; children, Steven (Teresa) Butler, Thomas (Cheryle) Butler, and Michael Butler; brother David (Michelle) Harding; sister Sarah (Max) Evans; two grandsons, Justin (Jenny) Butler and Dylan Butler; great granddaughter Arielle Butler and many nieces and nephews. Martha was cremated and a memorial service will be held at her home for family and friends at a later date.

Memorials in Martha's memory can be directed to Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan.

Visit Martha's memorial page at www.avinkcremation.com.

Update on Award Winning Nazareth College Alumna Mary Ellen Pellington 
Submitted by Joyce McNally - Posted to website on 03/18/2015

On January 29, 2015 Mary Ellen Pellington, Director of the Octavia Fellin Public Library in Gallup, NM  and former President of the NM Library Association was recognized by the New Mexico State Senate for her outstanding accomplishments in the field of library science and for her advocacy for library services and programs that benefit Gallup, NM.

As stated by the Senate, she is a firm proponent of intellectual freedom, the right to read and critical thinking. Ms. Pellington has developed dynamic library services and programs reflective of Gallup’s diverse community. She is an advocate for building partnerships and involvement in the community and she has taken the library beyond its walls and into the streets with a global perspective.

For more information, please contact Markos Chavez at 505-863-1291 or mdchavez@gallupnm.gov.

Sweeten Up the Lives of Our Sisters with Easter Candy
Submitted by Randy Berd - Posted to website on 03/16/2015

There are thirty-five sisters residing on the assisted living floors at Nazareth Center.  Many times, Sr. Grace Scola CSJ surprises these sisters with a candy treat placed on their pillows or night tables.  We are inviting you to participate via this EASTER CANDY story:

The next time you are driving by Nazareth Center, you might want to think about bringing some ALMOND JOY to these sisters.  We know that they would smile and send HERSHEY KISSES to you.  So don’t be a DUM DUM pop nor a MILK DUD and bring a bag of candy to Sr. Grace.  When handing the candy over to her, please don’t let it slip through your BUTTERFINGERS or the candy will break into REESE’S PIECES!  Of course, that might create SNICKERS.  But you would be remembered by all as a SWEET TART.   If many members respond, it will be GOOD & PLENTY and many CHUCKLES for all during this Easter Season.

Simply take your candy to the Main Reception desk with Sr. Grace Scola’s name on the bag.  Association members can also mail their candy to Sr. Grace at the address below.

                Sr. Grace Scola, CSJ

                Nazareth Center

                3427 Gull Road

                Nazareth, MI  49074

Bone Marrow Drive for Nazareth College Alum
Submitted by Various - Posted to website on 02/04/2015

Ben Schmidt, RN, Nazareth College '84, is a nurse who has worked in the Borgess Hospital for many years and has been diagnosed with myeloid leukemia. Please keep him and his family in your prayers.There was a bone marrow drive for him in Kalamazoo last month. Click here to read the article from the Kalamazoo Gazette.

If you would like to know more about Ben and his journey you can follow him on his blog - http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/benschmidt.