Your Stories

Pat O’Hearn - First female Director of Development for the Diocese of Lansing

Q: How was your faith the foundation of your role as Director of Development for the Diocese of Lansing?

A: My faith helped me understand that fund development is, first and foremost, a ministry. I was amazingly blessed to serve as Director of Development for the Diocese of Lansing. In this role, I was able to offer the people of our diocese the opportunity to participate in the mission and vision of the Diocese of Lansing and the wider Church.

Sister Donna Markham, OP, Ph.D - First president of Catholic Charities USA from Diocese of Lansing

While I have never aspired to be the “first woman” in any given position, in retrospect, I realize that I often have been. That began early in my religious life when I was invited to teach at St. John’s Provincial Seminary in Plymouth, Mich. Another sister was working as the librarian and another as director of field education, but I was the first woman to actually teach courses at the seminary.  Later, after serving on the general council of the Adrian Dominican Congregation, I was invited to become the executive director of the Southdown Institute in Ontario, Canada.

Mother Mary Assumpta Long, OP - Co-founder and Mother Superior of a 
new order in the Diocese of Lansing

Q: Is there a person who inspired you along the way?

A: Not one but two as together they inspired me in my youth and continue to inspire me by the beautiful example they gave me. It was my parents who taught my two brothers, three sisters and myself the priorities in life of Faith and Family. The Catholic education they gave us came as a great sacrifice to them but remains one of their greatest gifts to us.

Q: Tell us a defining moment in your ministry.


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