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Sister Scholarship Awardees

Sister Olga Sanchez, CMS
Awarded Scholarship for Intensive Training of Non-Violent Communication by the Center for Non-Violent Communication

"I am very grateful and humbled to receive the Giving Voice scholarship to participate in the International Intensive Training of Non-Violent Communication by the Center for Non-Violent Communication. This training has been in my heart since I heard about NVC because I believe that communication is vital in our relationships, especially when we live in intercultural communities. With this training, I am looking forward to building self-empowerment from the inside-out, increasing my awareness of myself and my needs to live peacefully and connected to others, and improving my skills on empathic and compassionate communication. Thank you so much!"

Sister Margaret Muchire
Awarded Scholarship to learn Spanish for Medical Professions

"I am very grateful to GivingVoice for awarding me this Leadership Initiative Scholarship. I am to use this Scholarship to learn Spanish, which is a growing language in the United States of America. It is becoming almost the one “must learn and speak” languages in society and in the workplace. Also, the Hispanic Catholics are increasing significantly, making it a need for better and inclusive evangelization to know their language and understand their culture. In addition, my Congregation is international, with Sisters in some South America countries; we also have an increasing number of Spanish-speaking new members within the United States.

Therefore, this Leadership Initiative Scholarship will help me prepare in many aspects in society and in the place of Ministry. As a Registered Nurse, I have many times felt challenged in my ministry to the sick by my Spanish language deficit, especially when caring for patients who only speak Spanish. In such situations of language barrier, having a physically or virtually present translator is not satisfactory for me. I have always felt a communication-gap and desire to be directly involved with those I care for. This always prompts my inner self-talk stating: “I need to learn Spanish.” Learning Spanish will improve my interaction with my colleagues and other Spanish-speaking co-workers. I also like going for mission trips; one in a Latin American country would be more fruitful and fulfilling if I know general Spanish and Spanish for Health Care Workers.

At this moment, I am enrolled in a course: Basic Spanish for Medical Professions. This is being offered by Lockhaven University, in Lockhaven PA. I am learning a lot and I really like the course. My hope is that after this course, I will advance my Spanish skills using the scholarship too. My eventual goal is, if possible, to participate in a Spanish immersion program and a medical mission trip in one of Latin American countries."

Sister Nathalie Becquart xmcj
Awarded scholarship to improve English in Hesburg Sabbatical Program

“I am very grateful to receive this scholarship to attend a Program at CTU (Catholic Theological Union) Chicago. Taking part to the Hesburgh sabbatical program will help me to reflect on my experience, to improve my english and to continue to discover Religious life in US. As a french ignatian sister working those last ten years at the French Episcopal Conference for Youth and Vocation ministry, I had the opportunity to collaborate with many Religious from different congregations at a national level, but also a european and international level in Rome. Coming here in Chicago will help me to gain knowledge and skills with a deeper multicultural perspective, to continue to serve better the Church and the Religious Life, creating bridges with sisters from all over the world. I am very excited to begin those 3 months in Chicago and I thank very much Giving Voice for this support.”

Sister Karina Conrad
Awarded funds to participate in bridge-building ForMission program

"I am grateful for the GV scholarship to participate in the RFC’s ForMission program. I am currently working for the RFC as the coordinator of the Together program, a collaborative for theological education, formation, and community.  I believe with the help of this scholarship, I will gain the tools, insights, and experience to assist the women religious participating in the Together program.  As a younger religious, my hope for attending the ForMission program is to be trained in formation and to offer my leadership to help move religious life into the future as it continues to unfold and manifest a new and fresh vision of formation."

Sister Blanca Rosa Caledron Gonazalez

Awarded English Classes & Certification

Sister Sarah Cieplinski
Awarded French Language-Learning Program

"This scholarship allows me to learn French and reach speakers in my community and the larger Giving Voice community."

Sister Amanda Carrier, RSM
Awarded Scholarship to take Verbling Spanish Language Classes

“I was awarded a scholarship for Spanish classes.  I’m a little nervous but also very excited.  Learning Spanish has been something I have wanted to do for a long time.  Being able to communicate with sisters in Spanish would be very helpful in both my Mercy community as well as the Giving Voice community.”

Sister Joni Luna, SP
Awarded Scholarship to attend the Instituto Cultural Spanish Language School in Oaxaca, MX

“I am deeply humbled and filled with gratitude for this generous gift. It is with God's grace that I embark on this Providential Journey of embracing who God created me to be.  I plan to travel to Oaxaca, Mexico several times during this year to The Instituto Cultural Spanish Language School which offers Spanish language and cultural immersion. I will be learning to read, write and refine my Spanish tongue. I believe I will be a better servant to all God's people because of this amazing opportunity to immerse myself and reclaim my heritage.”

Sister Jenny Zimmerman, SND 

Awarded Scholarship to attend the Collaborative Leadership Development Program

“I am very grateful to receive this scholarship to attend the Collaborative Leadership Development Program.  CLDP will help to provide me the training, along with a multicultural perspective, to gain the skills, knowledge and confidence I need to grow as a leader in my ministry and in my community.  I look forward to the next 18 months of gaining self-knowledge to better serve all of God's people!"

Sister Linda Buck, CSJ

Awarded Scholarship to produce videos on contemporary issues in religious life.

“I am so grateful to Giving Voice for their support of a project that has been on my heart and mind for over five years. The scholarship will provide stipends for each speaker on a video series. The video series is to support the emergent in religious life and to provide solid theological, spiritual and psychological underpinnings for our life – and freely available to all. The speakers will be selected to allow for new voices to be heard on topics important to our lives – and to help cultivate a new generation of voices into the future. I am deeply touched by the support of Giving Voice for this project and I look forward to being a part of the Spirit-filled energy generated from this collaborative project.”

Sister Luz María Rangel, CCVI 

Awarded scholarship to learn English

"Being able to communicate directly without a translator allows us to feel more closeness, understanding, confidence and to be able to live and experience the encounter.  The meeting between people, sisters that breaks the barrier of language, of culture, of generation and that gives a sense of union and fraternity. We are also called as a Congregation to create intentional communities for new vocations to religious life, being bilingual is a tool that can facilitate growth as international communities and to be a sign of evangelical coexistence. Thanks to Giving Voice for the support to the Congregations of Religious Life to walk in the acquisition of tools that allow us to live the Mission to which we have been called."

Sister Sarah Kohles, OSF

Awarded scholarship for a Systems Thinking Leadership Certificate from Cornell University  

"Thank you to Giving Voice for giving me the opportunity to take online courses in systems thinking.  I look forward to acquiring new skills that will help me find new ways to solve complex problems in our church and in our world."

Sister Mumbi Kigutha PBM 

Awarded Scholarship for Bridge-building among Communities in Chicago 

"Over a year ago, Sr. Donna Liette CPPS had an idea borne out of her Ministry at the Precious Blood Ministry of Reconciliation (PBMR) to gather Women Religious in the Archdiocese of Chicago around the issue of violence. Several meetings followed, and in the last meeting before the beginning of summer, restless about moving to a concrete action, Sr. Mumbi CPPS suggested getting T-shirts that could be collectively worn whenever we gathered around Social Justice Issues in the Archdiocese. In September, after summer break, the idea was tabled again when Sr. MT PBVM started her Ministry Practicum at PBMR and Sr. Jessi PBVM suggested applying for a grant from GV to facilitate the same. MT got in touch with a graphic designer friend and after many back and forths and soliciting the opinion of a few sisters, the final design was agreed upon. We chose to go with Nuns rather than Sisters as it has more brand recognition.

The T-shirts were printed on eco-friendly fabric made and sourced locally, and the work was done at the Print shop at PBMR which provides young men trying to get of the streets with job preparedness and readiness.

We had a sisters gathering on Dec 9th, to present the T-shirts and also try and come up with a few action plans for next year where as Chicago Catholic Nuns we shall rock the T-shirts."

Sister Jeana Visel, OSB 

Scholarship Award: Iconography Workshop with Hexaemeron 

"I have been studying iconography since 2006, and it has become a vocation within a vocation. Being able to express Christianity in an increasingly visual culture is an important skill today, and I find there is always more to learn about how icons work "from the inside out." Because this is a tradition passed on largely through a master-apprentice model, every opportunity I have to work with my teacher is a great blessing. I look forward to learning what I can, and to sharing the fruits of our labor!"

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