June 23, 2015, Coral Gables, Florida – Sister Jeanne O’Laughlin, OP, and her guests received “red carpet treatment” May 19 during a premiere showing of Portraits of Inspiration: The Power Nun, featuring her life’s work in education and in humanitarian causes.
The film – shown before a full house in the Miracle Theatre in Coral Gables – is the first in a new series of inspirational films, produced by Scherley Busch, founder of Florida Women of Achievement (FWA). “Through Portraits of inspiration, we hope to inspire the next generation of female leaders and achievers in Florida,” Ms. Busch said. Watch the trailer.
The press release announcing the premiere of the film describes Sister Jeanne as “one who broke down barriers in her own unique way and was one of the first females in Florida to be accepted into exclusive boardrooms during the Women’s Movement.”
Sister Jeanne, President Emerita of Barry University in Miami Shores, also gained some recognition in the 1990s when she served as a mediator in the international custody dispute over Elian Gonzalez. Elian’s mother and boyfriend had taken Elian with them when they fled from Cuba. His mother died in the process, and his father, still in Cuba, fought for and gained custody of his son.
The 56-minute film is “the story of how God could take a motherless child, a very lowly human being, and, through his graces and gift, could do something perhaps to make the world a little bit better,” Sister Jeanne said. “I think the struggle is trying to make the brief flash of your life as bright as it can be by making some little differences in as many lives and as many ways as you can.”
Formerly the Chair of the Board of FWA, Sister Jeanne said her goal has always been to “raise up other women. Helping women to be who they are meant to be has been something that I really felt I was in a position to do. I’d open the doors, but they would go through them.”
June 10, 2015, Alexandria, Virginia -- Sister Donna Markham, OP, PhD, former Prioress of the Adrian Dominican Congregation, was formally installed as the 10th President – and first female President – of Catholic Charities USA (CCUSA) on June 5.
“Sister Donna brings passion and enthusiasm to her new role as President of CCUSA,” said Keith Styles, Executive Vice President, Chief Operating Officer, and general counsel for CCUSA, in his formal welcome to Sister Donna. “Having previously served as the Chair of our Board of Trustees, she knows the incredible work our member agencies do to help the poor and persons in need and is eager to enhance the support we provide to our members.”
Sister Donna, a psychologist, was also a presenter at the Catholic Health Association’s 2015 assembly, “Envisioning the Next 100,” in Washington, DC. She and Carol Parke, RN, focused their talk on the afternoon of June 8 on “A Transformational Design for Behavioral Services.” Sister Donna spoke on what she had learned as President of the Behavioral Health Institute for Mercy Health System, serving seven regions in Ohio and Kentucky. Ms. Parke is the Chief of Operations and Nursing, for the Behavioral Health Institute.