Following a 32-year tradition, the Serra Club hosted Sisters from throughout western Oregon at the Double Tree Hotel in Northeast Portland to affirm their vocational call and thank them for their service. 

The club affirms and promotes vocations to priesthood and religious life.

Almost 60 Sisters from 12 different orders attended. As Serrans gathered with Sisters for a social prior to having lunch, excitement filled the air as old acquaintances were renewed and new friendships made.

The yearly event provides a unique social opportunity for many Sisters. Even if they are in the same order, they usually don’t have an opportunity to meet and visit, much less with Sisters of the other orders. Although numbers of both Serrans and Sisters attending are slightly diminishing, new faces, a discerning college graduate, and a newly professed Sister added joy to the occasion. 

It was obvious that there is a special bond between the many Sisters from different orders who are committed to Gospel values expressed in unique ways. The gatherings also give the Sisters an opportunity to minister to those who are growing older and to meet new arrivals. The women say the bond gets stronger as Sisters hear about what others are doing and share the challenges they face.    

Sisters, particularly in the Northwest, have a strong sense of collaboration and support of each other, the women say.  

“It is always a happy event — a chance to see and to catch up with the goings and comings of some of the other Sisters,” one sister told organizers. “I find this annual luncheon a great time to renew friendships.”  

One Sister said the bond is strong because the women all have faced a lack of understanding in unchurched Oregon.

The first "Nuns Brunch" was in 1987. It was a way to recognize, support and thank religious Sisters. Most Serrans at that time had been blest by years of Catholic hospital care and Catholic education at all levels, served up by a variety of religious orders of Sisters. As vocations subsequently began to dwindle, an uptick in attention and appreciation of their work was triggered. Kevin Van Hoomissen, a product of years of Catholic education in Portland, spoke of his memories of the Sisters at Blessed Sacrament School in North Portland with fondness. He continued to encounter Sisters throughout high school and even college and beyond. He led the first Portland Serra Club “Nuns Brunch.” 

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