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Published on January 04, 2022

Presentation Sisters

Start 2022 Out Right With Advice From the Presentation Sisters

As we begin a new year, we all hope for better things to come. So what can we as individuals, businesses and organizations do to help bring that about?

The Presentation Sisters of Aberdeen, with the Benedictine Sisters of Yankton, are sponsors of Avera. The Presentation Sisters are an apostolic order, meaning that they seek to be light as they go out into the world through their various ministries. We asked three Presentation Sisters – Sr. Mary Thomas, Sr. Lynn Marie Welbig and Sr. Pegge Boehm – for their best advice for bringing about growth, change and the greater good in 2022.

“We draw upon our Catholic faith and tradition such as Catholic Social Teaching,” said Sr. Thomas, who is Senior Vice President of Mission for Avera McKennan Hospital & University Health Center.

Foster Healthier Communities

People, the planet and relationships are what’s most important. “God’s design for the world is to live in healthy, warm, inclusive relationships. Business can be an important piece of that design – people need good jobs and meaningful work,” Sr. Welbig said.

A healthy community includes aspects such as affordable housing, good education, an inclusive economy that benefits everyone, the opportunity to work with dignity, quality health care, healthy food, transportation, a clean environment and affordable public services.

We are all interconnected. When you take care of those most in need, you’re really taking care of yourself and all of us.

- Sr. Mary Thomas

Collaborate and Serve

Build up your community by serving on boards, committees and task forces. Mentor those who are new to this process so that decision-making can become more inclusive, the Sisters suggest.

“As Presentation Sisters, we don’t do anything alone. We ask: how can we partner with others,” Sr. Boehm said. “Justice is our work.”

That’s doing what is just toward others – from the way you operate your business and treat employees to your use of resources and your impact on the environment.

Partnering with others to do justice gets at systems, not handouts, Sr. Welbig said. “Our charism, our call from the Holy Spirit, has moved us in that direction because that’s what today’s culture calls for.”

“Jesus came to fix what was broken. If we live according to God’s design we are going to notice what is broken and strive to heal it,” Sr. Welbig said.

Research shows that collaboration gets better business results than competition, Sr. Welbig said. “We need competition in business. But there’s friendly competition and then there’s competition that consumes others.”

Become Part of Something Bigger Than Yourself

“I entered religious life later in life. I had high hopes and aspirations but I knew I couldn’t do it alone,” Sr. Boehm said. “The Presentation Sisters was something bigger than what I am and I could be part of not only furthering their mission but my own.”

That’s the pathway toward meaning and purpose, Sr. Thomas said. “Knowing that I helped the organization become the best it could be and that it brought out the best in me.”

Be a Peacemaker

Togetherness is the meaningful value, Sr. Welbig said. “Rejection and division are some of the greatest sufferings. It’s about being neighbors rather than being in opposition to everything the other person says and does.”

Opposition happens when people have an extreme leaning to be right – “almost exclusively so that we do not have the inner space to be in right relationship, too,” Sr. Thomas said.

Listening to others helps you understand where the other person is coming from and find common ground. “That’s a lost art,” Sr. Boehm said.

“Let someone tell you their story,” Sr. Thomas said. “Their aspirations for themselves and their family are often the same as mine.”

Stay Grounded

“Take time to pray – to listen to God’s words of comfort. To listen to others. To listen to the cries of the poor,” Sr. Boehm said.

Whatever your background, spirituality helps you stay in touch with what really matters, Sr. Thomas said. “It’s not something you can just pick up when you have a crisis. You need to tend your spirituality and not take for granted those deep religious roots that anchor us.”

Get advice from the Benedictine Sisters for the New Year.

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Avera is a health ministry rooted in the Gospel. Our mission is to make a positive impact in the lives and health of persons and communities by providing quality services guided by Christian values.

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