Msgr. Robert Stern greets an elderly woman on a trip to Kerala, India in 1991.
(photo: Sister Christian Molidor, R.S.M.)
Today marks Msgr. Robert Stern’s last day as president of CNEWA, after almost a quarter of a century leading the agency. We asked another CNEWA veteran, and longtime colleague, Sister Christian Molidor, to share a few thoughts.
I’ve been asked to write a brief profile of Msgr. Stern... but how can it be brief?
Three days after I was hired by CNEWA, I was sent to India. When the cardinal appointed Msgr. Stern to CNEWA, he was told to begin immediately to reorganize, renew and revitalize the agency. Was this favoritism by the Holy Spirit?! I asked myself: Who is this Jewish-Irish fellow from Harlem’s parishes?
Oh, just a physicist educated at Amherst (and honored as an archimandrite before I even knew how to spell the word), an experienced traveler and linguist (the ability to speak several languages is an asset, but the ability to keep your mouth shut in one language is priceless), a skilled diplomat (he will accept “probably,” but never “perhaps”), a wise manager (he never thinks of CNEWA more than 19 hours a day), a creative and generous mentor (“I always listen carefully to everything you say, Christian, then don't do it,”)... Okay, so he’s a genius, but you’ll have to admit his puns are terrible.
“Sterno” and I have been colleagues for years too numerous to mention (my old age erases numbers) and in truth, we’ve been friends for twice that long. (Are we really that old?)
But the highest, the most significant compliment I offer is that Bob Stern is a good priest.
And that’s why gratitude is my heart’s memory!
9 September 2011
Tags: CNEWA Msgr. Stern
Medical Sisters of St. Joseph fill buckets for the evening wash at their house of formation in Kothamangalam, Kerala, India. (photo: Sister Christian Molidor, R.S.M.)
Our beloved Sister Christian Molidor will be retiring from the agency in a few days. With that we’ll also be retiring her biweekly email message, “Greetings from Sister Christian.” In her most recent message, she leaves us with some inspiring words of wisdom:
Manifest your loyalty in word and deed, keep a promise, find the time; forgo a grudge, forgive an enemy; listen, try to understand, examine your demands on others and think first of someone else.
Appreciate. Be kind. Be gentle. Laugh a little, then laugh a little more, deserve confidence, fight malice and decry complacency.
Express your gratitude, go to church, welcome a stranger; brighten the heart of a child. Take pleasure in the beauty and wonder of the earth.
Speak your love; speak it again. Speak it still once again.
Among her many gifts, Sister Christian is also a talented photojournalist. During her nearly 30-year tenure with us, she captured thousands of images from CNEWA’s world (like the one above). She was eager to share her gift with others and we’d like to share it with you. We will feature a Sister Christian photo from our archive in the ‘Picture of the Day’ post for the next few days.
Read more of Sister Christian’s heartfelt words in her final email message.
19 August 2011
Tags: India Sisters Kerala Vocations (religious)
A novice at the Transfiguration Convent in Tbilisi, Georgia, helps to care for a former nun who is now a resident in the hospice run by the sisters. (photo: Justyna Mielnikiewicz)
Read the story Alternative Lifestyles from the September 2007 edition of ONE to learn more about the sisters of Tbilisi’s Transfiguration Convent.
17 August 2011
Tags: Middle East Christians Middle East Sisters Georgia Monastery
Local youth from Derbent in Russia, spend time at the shore of the Caspian Sea. Often identified with the legendary Gates of Alexander, Derbent claims to be the oldest city in the Russian Federation. (photo: Justyna Mielnikiewicz)
Check out the November 2009 edition of ONE magazine to find out more about the remarkable history of this place in the story “Where Europe meets Asia.”
Photographer Justyna Mielnikiewicz has traveled and documented the Caucasus region extensively. Learn more about her work in the multimedia feature, A Photographer’s Perspective.