Sisters of Charity Federation Archives

Sister Linda Chavez, SC Interviewed by Sister Victoria Marie Forde, SC June 27, 2011




[Bracketed words are additions by S. Linda upon review.]
Today is June 27, 2011 and I, S. Victoria Marie Forde, am in S. Linda Chavez's room
[Motherhouse] ready to begin her oral history.
Victoria: Linda, your folder in the Archives is filled with articles and papers about your
wonderful life and your many accomplishments and honors. Now, when you have just
reached 85, besides highlights of your life, perhaps you will also share your experiences
within the Community and Church during your almost 64 years in the Community. But
right now let's begin at the beginning.
Linda: I am a daughter of Leo and Leanor Chavez. My mother was born Leanor Perea
and was a school teacher and married Leo Chavez who had been married and his wife
had died. They were both in their late 20's. A year later she gave birth to twins. My twin
brother, Leo, was born first, and then I came along.
Victoria: Was this all in San Isidro?
Linda: Mother went up from Albuquerque where she was living to visit her mother before
the baby came, and to her surprise the babies came on May 31st when she was visiting in
San Isidro [about fifty miles from Albuquerque]. My uncle had to go to Bernalillo to get
a doctor because there is not one in San Isidro and help with the delivery. [The babies
were born at Grandma's house.] She had two well babies.
We didn't grow up as though we were the same age because Leo was much slower in
developing than I was. So, even though he did graduate from high school, it was four or
five years after I did. But he was a wonderful human being, loved people, and people
loved him. [He died at age 76.] As my sister Priscilla, who was born a year later says, "I
am sorry I didn't die before Leo because I don't know who will come to my funeral." At
his funeral the Church was full.
Victoria: Then you went to the University of New Mexico?
Linda: I went to public school first. I was only four years old when I forced my mother to
take me to the kindergarten because my two aunts who are just two years and three-anda-half years older than me were at Eugene Field School, and if they could go I could go.
So she went with me to the kindergarten to see if the teacher would take me, and she said
to my mother, "She speaks English, so I will keep her." So I was only 5 years old in the
first grade so that makes me graduating a little earlier than most.
Victoria: And you are bilingual?
Linda: That is right. [English was spoken at home. Our maternal grandmother lived with
us for four winters. She did not speak English, so we learned our Spanish from her.]
When I was in sixth grade is when I moved to the [St. Vincent] Academy, and I knew
nothing about Sisters.

Victoria: This is St. Vincent's Academy in Albuquerque, right?
Linda: Yes, I graduated from the Academy, and then went on to UNM and I needed one
semester to graduate, and that is when I told my mother and father that I wanted to go to
the convent. She said, "We won't talk about it until you are 21." So I did work for my
father for a year and entered in 1947, and I had those six credits to get before I got my
Victoria: Then once you went on a mission you had many different classes that you still
kept up with?
Linda: Well, I can honestly say that it is only two classes that are real close to me. The
first two years I was a teacher at Corpus Christi Grade School in Dayton, and I had those
youngsters for two years, so they are the class that know me best, and they had me all day
long. And the next year I went to [Holy Trinity] Middletown for one ninth grade. It was
the last ninth grade of the Middletown [Holy Trinity} High School. There were only
twenty-four in that class, and they were very self motivated students. So they became
very close to me and since then they seem to want to visit with me whenever I come East,
and we get to see each other almost every year.
Victoria: Maybe you could just mention your degrees. You did get quite a few degrees.
Linda: Well, I got a BA degree in Education and a Master's degree in Family Life
Education which is called Home Ec and a master's in Theology.
Victoria: But you did go to St. Louis [University] for Spanish though?
Linda: No, I went to St. Louis for Family Life Education. I went to Loyola of Chicago for
my Theology.
Victoria: You just took Spanish classes at St. Louis?
Linda: No, I took some college grad classes in Spanish,but they are mostly Spanish
Literature. I had taken Spanish in high school, and of course the family spoke both
languages. While my education at St. Louis University was very good and also helpful
for Theology, after starting my graduate studies in Theology, it was during the time just
before and after Vatican II. I was so conscious of the fact that we tried too hard not only
to prepare the students for responding to the Vatican II, but also their parents. Every year
we had classes for parents in order to help them understand Vatican II.
Victoria: Where are you teaching then?
Linda: In Middletown and Springfield and of course [two] years in Michigan. And from
there I was missioned to Albuquerque. We continued there to try to not only teach the
students but also the parents [about Vatican II].
Victoria: And your theology background is from Loyola then?
Linda: Yes, all Jesuits. St. Louis, Loyola, and Albuquerque was always Jesuits. So I feel
like I am a Jesuit girl. I probably would have been a Jesuit, but I can't join them!
Victoria: So then once Vatican II did happen, or did occur, then some changes were
happening in the Community too.

Linda: Yes, and I was very pleased that I really felt called to be an ambassador for the
Vatican II because many people were resistant to it. I think that was even true in the
Community – that we were going too fast or moving too fast and I was asked to be on the
habit committee in 1965. That was when we were not thinking of not wearing a habit but
changing from the black habit and veil to a simpler dress, and for some reason they called
it the Seton blue, which was not navy blue or light blue. It was just a little kind of a
turquoise blue. It was a Seton blue as we called it.
Even that was interesting to see the change was well received by some and not so well
received by others. But soon, speaking of habit, there was a motion toward more changes
in the habit. I was still on the habit committee, and we had done a study of material and
everything to see whether this is important or not. For the Chapter, I think it was the
Chapter of '69, I was asked to give the report on the habit committee and I remember
coming to the old Novitiate room and finding S. Ellenora [Hilbers] there. She said to me,
"Dearie, I hope you are going to keep us in the Seton blue." And I said, "Well, I am not
sure of that," and the one reason was the habit committee had noticed that there were
going to have to be much bigger changes than that, and that people in other communities
were moving toward a modern dress. So she said to me, "Keep us in our Seton blue." So I
went in and gave my report, and in those days you didn't stay to find out what happened
so I left, and I was studying at that time in some place in San Antonio and having classes
Victoria: So you weren't even in Cincinnati?
Linda: No, I wasn't in Cincinnati, and I had flown, and summer school was over, and I
had always. . . . During the Chapter we received the reply every day, and that particular
day it never came, and until I got home I found out that they had voted for an option of
dress. And that was like "What does that mean?" And it meant just what we said: that
people could begin to move toward what they thought was comfortable. And for me it
was definitely to be in a modern dress and look like the rest of women.
Victoria: Why was that important?
Linda: It was important to me because sometimes when I had been in Cincinnati,
probably living in Middletown, I made the Cursillo, and the Cursillo is always four
women or four men. And I was with a group of women, and I was so conscious of being
deferred to because I was in my full black habit or blue habit or whatever habit I had on.
It was a barrier to being feeling the same. And those women were beautifully spiritual
and caring and wanting to please God as I was. And here I was being looked up at as if I
come from another age or space.
Victoria: Like on a pedestal?
Linda: Right. And so that made me decide I wanted an option of dress because I didn't
want that separation from the rest of the Catholic women. So I was very. . . . But one little
thing I did, I was already in Albuquerque at St. Pius [High School], and my mother had
an account at Kistler Collister's
Victoria: Which is a department store?

Linda: Yes. So many of the sisters [I lived with] didn't want to go shopping and try on
things. So I asked my mom if I could use her credit card and just take some clothes back
to the convent so that the sisters who didn't want to shop for themselves could look at
something and see how it would look on them or what size they needed. You know, at
that time people didn't even know what their size was. So that became a very lucrative
investment, and so we gradually, we were at least thirteen of us at the convent at the time,
and we gradually started wearing a little more modern dress. And being a seamstress I
helped people sew, and I sewed for myself, and we gradually started knowing what we
wanted and what we needed.
Victoria: The worst thing was trying on bathing suits.
Linda: Well, that early we didn't come to the Mount to bathe [swim], so that was not a
problem. It was quite a few years later that we bought a bathing suit. But I am sure
nobody tried it on at the store.
Today is Tuesday, June 28, 2011, and Linda Chavez is back here with me, S. Victoria
Marie Forde, in a room at the Motherhouse to continue her oral history, her amazing oral
history. Linda, let's talk about the variety of boards that you have been on. I counted
fifteen boards--six national boards and nine local boards. Is there anything outstanding
that you can think of about being on any of those boards? Is there anything that you
would like to mention?
Linda: Well, I think, especially as a young Sister I was really happy to have the
experience of being on national boards. And I remember, I can't remember the sister's
name who was very prominent in our Community [S. Mary Janet Miller], she had been
an officer, and she asked me to take her place on a board which was the National Catholic
Conference for Interracial Justice. That was in the 70s. It gave me an opportunity as an
Hispanic sister to be present to people who are talking about the changes in respect for
other nationalities in the country.
Victoria: And I see that you have received many honors. The ones I see on your resume
are one that you received was the S. Mary Lea Human Service Award from the College,
and the 20th Annual New Mexico Conference on Aging in appreciation for dedicated
services to the seniors of New Mexico. And a special achievement award, the Senior
Foundation Senior Hall of Fame in Albuquerque, and also you are in the Hall of Fame at
St. Pius High School. Is there anything special you want to talk about with that?
Linda: I think being on the Hall of Fame in Albuquerque is the fact that we did work
through S.E.T. with a number of communities of seniors. And I think that was probably
the reason and having been the director of it.
Victoria: Were you the only woman in that?
Linda: No. I would have been the only Sister.
Victoria: The only Sister in that Hall of Fame?!

We haven't talked about S.E.T. yet, but would you like to talk about S.E.T.? If you don't
mind, I would rather hold off for that a little bit. In 1978 you started a Scripture group.
You are such an initiator of things. Could you tell us a little bit about that – at your home
in Albuquerque?
Linda: Well, I just feel that one of the things we need, I need, is to share Scripture with
someone. It makes it more meaningful. I think we can read and read and not apply, and I
guess I learned it here. I don't know where [I learned] of having groups to get together,
and I think it comes out of maybe even the movement of where they were having prayer
groups, charismatic groups, you know. And I do think that sharing Scripture is so
important, and so I invited a few women. And it comes out also of working with the
Cursillo because the Cursillo forms groups. After the Cursillo the women are to meet
with a group of women every week and discuss their life, their Christian life, and that
wasn't as easy for me to do as it was if I had my own group. And I had friends, and we
decided to start talking about the Scriptures and get ready for the Sunday to come. It has
been a real wonderful experience to know that I am going to be reading the Scriptures
with others, and it started way back in '79, and it just kept up.
Victoria: And this is lay women and Sisters, right?
Linda: Oh yes, a mixture. Mostly lay women at first, and then some of the Sisters did
Victoria: And someone in that group dedicated a book to you?
Linda: Well, Nancy Morrison, who is a teacher at the University of New Mexico and is a
psychiatrist was one of the members of my group, and she does, when she and her partner
were writing, she does dedicate the one book, I am one of the ones she dedicated it to,
and I was really honored my that.
Victoria: It was an excellent book too. Then your home, besides being a place for the
Scripture group, is certainly a place for community building. Do you want to talk about
how you gathered the Sisters of Charity and not just in Albuquerque but in New Mexico
actually, isn't it, or in Texas when they were there?
Linda: Well I guess being an initiator anyway, you know I gather people, and so I think it
is just part of my nature. It is not that I decided that this is the thing to do, but I like to
invite people, and no matter where I have been, having been the Home Economics
teacher and also the buyer of food, you tend to feed people. That is one way of gathering
them. So I don't remember how that. . . . I think it did come out of the Cursillo
movement. We decided to start meeting, and I know especially Marie Baca [was a result
of her cursillo]. . . .
Victoria: She is an Associate?
Linda: No, she is not an Associate. She has been in the group forever. She didn't want to
meet with the Cursillo women because her husband wasn't meeting with his group. So I
asked her if she wanted to join us. So she has been one of the most faithful since way
back in '78. But it is nice, and it has been going on, and we meet every Tuesday night to
get ready for the Sunday.

Victoria: That is still the Scripture group you are talking about? What about the Sisters of
Charity? That's what I was thinking of.
Linda: Well, most of the time I had been in some kind of leadership, and so you gather,
and it is just the same old thing that I am an initiator, and you start saying, "Let's
celebrate this Jubilee," or "Let's do this," and you know you need somebody to start it,
and I am one of those starters I guess you would call it.
Victoria: And I have been the recipient of some of those wonderful celebrations and
delicious food. Then you do have celebrations now? You are kind of moving over, you
said that you are moving over to a new place, but I have seen how many people in your
little apartment still, you know, gathered, somehow you do that.
Linda: Well, twenty-four last Christmas, and we all fit! We play games and it was fun.
Victoria: You said there were how many when you went to Albuquerque and now there
are . . . ?
Linda: When I went back in '69, we were close to 72 sisters between Albuquerque and
Santa Fe. But you have to understand we had two hospitals, a high school and grades
schools, and now we are down to 10.
Victoria: And even so you are still gathering.
Linda: Yes.
Victoria: Now you have a lot of volunteer work in your resume. I didn't even count how
many. But right now you are still a volunteering in six places including Good Shepherd.
Shall we move on to Good Shepherd, but you have to tell us how you got to the Good
Shepherd. You were in S.E.T. and maybe you should tell us…
Linda: No, S.E.T. has nothing to do with the Good Shepherd.
Victoria: No, but I mean you were working with S.E.T. before you went to Good
Shepherd ,and do you want to tell us a little bit about S.E.T. before you are finished.
Linda: Well, when we were working with St. Joseph Community Health, one of the
things we had was a number of clinics, and we visited the older people and nurses would
take their vital signs, and they knew we were coming once a month. So that person came
often. And then when St. Joseph took over the clinics and things, soon they dropped the
clinics. They only had. . . Now their goal is only to take care of children from zero to
five which is fine, but it dropped all of the seniors. So S.E.T., which stands for Service,
Empowerment, Transformation, did try to continue for some time with St. Joseph you
know to help, but they dropped the money to pay the nurses, and so we had to change it.
Victoria: At first was S.E.T. of Albuquerque? It became S.E.T. of New Mexico, didn't it?
Linda: It has always been S.E.T. for Health of New Mexico.
Victoria: And you were the one who got all the nurses volunteering.
Linda: Well, some were volunteering, and some of the S.E.T. nurses were paid for
because you can't have everybody being a freelancer, but we had a lot of volunteers too.

Victoria: Do you have any idea how many nurses you had? I bet you had many.
Linda: It is too far away from. . . .
Victoria: So after S.E.T. closed, or you left S.E.T., then you found another job, or another
volunteer position I should say.
Linda: Well, I'm trying to get it chronologically in my head, but one day I was at a
meeting at the Brothers of Good Shepherd because I am on the Vocation Committee for
the Archdiocese, and Brother Charles had taken me around to see what they do there, and
during the meeting I kept saying, "I really never have worked with the real poor,
materially poor." And it was bothering m, and so after the meeting I said to Brother
Charles, " I need to do something down here." Now when I say "down here," it is in a
poor area of Albuquerque and we would always consider it "down there."
Victoria: What is happening at the Good Shepherd place?
Linda: And so he said, "I can't talk about it today because I have another meeting, but can
I see you tomorrow and we will talk about it?" And he wanted to know what I have done,
and so at the end of that he said, "How would you like to be our spiritual counselor?"
And I said, "What do I have to do?" And he said, "Listen." Well, that is a challenge. So I
said, "Well, I would like to do that, and maybe I could come on Tuesdays and
Thursdays." So I go every Tuesday and Thursday from 9:00 to 12:00, and they announce
that I am present and they can come to the counseling room I am in.
Victoria: Can you describe a little more about the Good Shepherd ministry?
Linda: They have in residence homeless men ages from fourteen to maybe fifty-five,
and they help them not only to start taking care of what their life has to be, but also to
keep them safe. Many of them are trying to rehabilitate from alcohol or drugs or both.
They can be there six to nine months. It is a rigid program, but it is excellent because if
they can succeed in that, they are open to going back into the world. I am there twice a
week to see anybody. The thing that is important is it's not that the Brothers just don't
want to do what I am doing, but they don't have time. There are only four or five Brothers
in the whole program. They are busy with administration and all of that. So I am free to
just listen, and sometimes it is an hour, an hour and a half with one person. And as
Charles said, "I don't have that kind of time." It is really wonderful.
Victoria: They also serve meals don't they too?
Linda: At the center every day at 3:00 the public is free to come for a meal, and it can be
men, women and children. They usually have approximately three hundred every day.
They don't feed on Sunday. It is one of the only places they can get a meal and so they
have many, many there and then they do have the ones that are in residence.
Victoria: And they are also working to help feed the people.
Linda: Oh, they do help feed them, and they have a number of volunteers that come in
every day.
Victoria: Today is June 26, 2012, and Linda Chavez is here to finish her oral history, and
there might be some overlapping, but Linda has had such an interesting life that it won't

matter. So, Linda, tell us about your time teaching and watching the ordination of
Linda: I don't remember the date, but it was in the 1970s, I think, that a representative
from the Bishop's office called me and asked if I would be one of five women that he has
chosen to be trained for the diaconate, and I said yes. And so I think three of us
persevered for a year or year and a half, and we went to all the meetings with the deacons
and their wives. And occasionally there was a need for someone to teach the sacraments
or whatever, and it is very hard to find someone to just step in and so one of the deacons
said, " Sister teaches theology at Pius [High School]; she can teach us." So very often I
was the substitute for one of the teachers, and so it was kind of a crazy thing to be in the
class and teaching it as well. But we persevered through all the meetings, and it was
obvious that some of the men resented the five women that were there. But however, I
can't say that they were against us, but they would make remarks, "Why are they here?"
And so it was time for them to be ordained deacons, and we were still hanging in there.
And the Bishop invited us to come to the ceremony, and Archbishop Sanchez announced
that while we were ready to be, we were trained already, but he did not have the authority
to ordain us. And he said, "However, I want you to come up, and I will consecrate you
for service." In my mind I did that long ago. And so we went to the ordination, and it was
a little sad to be in the back of the line and know that the ceremony was not really for us.
And there was just a kind of a little blessing at the end. So that was the beginning and the
What did happen during, and even after that, I helped with some of the training. I don't
remember how many years that lasted, but I did.
Victoria: Several years?
Linda: I think so. They'd call and say, "Sister, would you teach sacraments?" or "Would
you teach . . .whatever?"
Victoria: You told me one time about the wives insisting on going up with their
Linda: No, that was every ordination of deacons. I don't think it was special. [They walk
into church with their spouses.]
Victoria: Tell us about becoming vicar.
Linda: When I went to Albuquerque in 1969, I had been in Lansing, and I was on the
Sisters Council--we formed it, in Lansing. And I was asked to be president, and Bishop of
Lansing was very pleased, but very disappointed when I told him I was leaving the
diocese to return to Albuquerque.
And so when I got to Albuquerque, I asked around if there was a council for religious,
and there was not an active council. So I went to see [Arch]bishop Davis, and he said, "I
want you to form a Sisters Council. So I contacted the different religious communities,
and at that time we had a representative of every congregation on the Council, and it got

to be too big. And then we had, like Sisters of Charity of any color or kind, or
Dominicans, and then it was a little smaller and it was better.
Bishop Davis started that, and then he said to me, "Well, other dioceses have a vicar. I
guess I'll appoint you vicar." And I said to him, "I think the women want a man." I did
say that, and I think it was true because I was conscious that that was the right feeling
because when we went down south to [see] a kind of a cloistered group in New Mexico, I
can't remember their name right now, but the president of that little group was constantly
talking only to Father Kemper who was the other vicar for religious. We were both
called vicar for religious. But she was much more ready to talk to him than to me, so I
think that was a wise thing that there was a man and a woman.
And later on though I went to. . . .
Victoria: First, Linda, he wanted you to be vicar, one vicar, but then you suggested that
he have a man too. That's when Father Kemper. . . .
Linda: Yes, we were working together all this time, so he was vicar, and I was vicar. It
turned out to be a good idea because some congregations were used to having a man
come to do all the things vicars do like getting someone ready to become a member of
their congregation and to ask if they joined willingly. So that was how it started.
Archbishop Davis was one of the first to have a woman vicar, but there was a Sister
Clare—I can't remember what congregation—around Ohio [corrected: Michigan] area,
and she was vicar.
Victoria: At the same time as you were?
Linda: At the same time, yes.
Victoria: So you two were probably the first women vicars in the United States.
Linda: That's right.
Victoria: That's wonderful.
Linda: And so, and there have been women vicars ever since both in Albuquerque and
other places. What's the next question?
Victoria: Before I go on to the next question, is there anything that happened that was
outstanding while you were a vicar?
Linda: Only that it was very difficult to be a full time teacher and a vicar because you
only had weekends to visit anybody, and that was usually what the vicar does. And it
was good that we had both because Jim could go to some because he could get off . I
mean he was a pastor, but. . . .
Victoria: He was a full time pastor, and you were a full time teacher.
Linda: Right.
Victoria: Was the archdiocese all of the State of New Mexico, or was it divided already?

Linda: It was already divided.
Victoria: But it was a pretty large area.
Linda: It was very large, too large.
Victoria: It's really from the north to. . . .
Linda: There is a , --the diocese goes up north, I think, to the border and then south to Las
Cruces; Las Cruces had a bishop, and Gallup had a bishop.

Victoria: Still very large. All right. Now you said you were a full time teacher, and one
of the interesting things you did was the innovative teaching of spirituality and the arts?
Linda: We called it Spirituality through the Arts.
Victoria: This is at St. Pius High School, Albuquerque.
Linda: I was the head of the department of theology, and for two summers before we
started, I took S. Augusta [Zimmer] 's class at the Mount. And while Sisters of Charity
had taught me music, art was not ever mentioned if you were not an artist. You didn't
know anything about art. And that summer, those two summers that I took those classes, I
thought, "We are so lacking. . . ." In most Catholic schools do not have money for an art
teacher or a music teacher for all pupils, not just for musicians." So especially after the
second year of taking her class, I decided I would have a unit of my Christian Family
Living as art formation so that that family would appreciate music and art. So I had the
art appreciation unit for about six or nine months, nine weeks in the course. And it was
interesting how much the students appreciated it. I used to get slides and pictures from
the library, and, you know, to be able to recognize a Monet or to recognize a Van Gogh
or whatever. . . To this day people tell me they still remember the artists, and this is a
Home Ec class you understand, but it really was my desire in teaching Home Economics
it was to teach Family Life Education, and I did all the units.
And the one that some of the boys appreciated was when I would bring some of my
former pupils' babies would come to the class, so that the boys could learn how to hold a
baby, and that was great. The art appreciation was also well taken, and I thought that was
a good add-on to the course.
Victoria: Especially with all the art in New Mexico! I mean from Georgia O'Keefe, the
outsider, to the Hispanic and the Native American art, oh my gosh!
Linda: I don't know if I concentrated on that because I was really following Sister
Augusta's class because to understand what kind of art you're looking at, and who are
the great artists are. I'm not putting New Mexico down, but this was trying to get it more
Victoria: Now, you did talk about the Brothers, the time with the Brothers.
Linda: That's the last thing I've been doing.

Victoria: Yes, and that's in our first interview, but I wondered if you wanted to talk
anymore about that, and especially we had kind of left off where they were feeding other
people. You know, they had dinners there, and. . . .
Linda: The program at the Brothers of the Good Shepherd is awesome. I was talking to
Father [Joe] Bruening, and he said he had never seen anything working like that. And
they have thirty –four men who are in a program of rehabilitation from either alcohol or
drugs, or both. And it's a . . . .
Victoria: And you said they were convicts?
Linda: The reason you say they are convicts is he used the word.
Victoria: Brother ?
Linda: Father Bruening. He used the word, but most of the men who end up at Good
Shepherd have either an addiction, and usually if you have an addiction, you're not too
honest either. So some of them. . . You steal so that you get drinks, and you break into
houses so that you can buy drink or whatever, so that's the kind how it's double. But they
have to go through s pretty rigorous evaluation for them to get in, it's for six or nine
months. And it's the best program in the state which gets the best results. Some of have
been there twice. And it's interesting; sometime the first question I asked is "How did you
get here?" And it's awfully interesting to find out that somebody in Pennsylvania or
Philadelphia or wherever comes to the Brothers of the Good Shepherd. "Who told you
about it?" "Oh, somebody said that it was a good program,"and they write and come and
get in.
There are about thirty-four men at any given time in the program. Now the men do all the
work in the center. They plan the meals, they prepare the meals, they serve them. And at
3 o'clock every day (I think there's one day they don't serve.) the public is open to
anybody on the street, man, woman, or child.
Victoria: For dinner.
Linda:For a meal [for the public]. The men serve it. And it's amazing when you're
talking to the men privately, how impressed they are when that giving that service.
Victoria: You said there one hundred served?
Linda: Any given day two to three hundred people.
Victoria: One meal a day.
Linda: One meal, but of course they get all their meals. [Residents get three meals a day.]
Victoria: Well, I've take a tour with you through the facility, and I saw how, just how
loving the men were with you, hugging you and so happy to see you.
Linda: Oftentimes the people have come in to see me, you know, recognize me if I'm not
in the office, but around. I guess for me for a person to trust you with their life story—it's
awesome. And I guess I hadn't experienced things like that before in my life, and it's just
a like a privilege to be gifted that way.

Victoria: And also the Brothers have been very good to the Sisters, allowing them to have
events there?
Linda: Well, not at the Center, of course, but a few years ago they—I don't know what
gave them the feeling that they were going to get more members, and someone said,
"You're going to have to build and make your home larger." And they built a whole big
section which is almost always empty because they're about –I don't know. . . if they're
about six to eight people there.
Victoria: Brothers.
Linda: Brothers. And so whenever we have company, men coming into the city, I send
them over there. Brother Gerard says he just feels good when he can offer the place to
somebody else.
Victoria: But the Sisters have had events there?
Linda: Oh, and of course we've got a big kitchen and dining room, and we've started to go
there for some events. Sister Vincentia [Roney] is over there a lot. I mean I don't know
what. . . . She works with them too, so she says, "Oh, let's have it over at the Good
Shepherd," because they have a great big dining room and a big kitchen, and they're very
Victoria: Well, that's nice, especially since there are no big convents to have a big
Linda: That's right.
Victoria: And I've seen them at your apartment, "hanging out the windows," spread out.
Well, is there anything else you want to add about your life? You know, I have some
other questions, but just about your own life.
Linda: I'm trying to think.
Victoria: Linda, it's now Sept. 4, 2012, and a lot has happened since we had the last
session. Since then you've moved to the Motherhouse to live, so would you want to say
anything about that?
Linda: Well, it's a very easy transition, and I think we were very surprised and happy that
we got such a warm welcome, walked in the dining room, and everyone stood up and
clapped. Rose (Therese Wich) was very happy too, and everything is running very
smoothly. And I'm very happy, I mean with the decision, and it was time to come.
Victoria: We just want to finish this oral history, but I was wondering if you could give
us some idea of what your dreams are or what your hopes are for the future of the
Community or the Church or whatever you want to talk about.
Linda: Well, I think we all want to think ahead and see what's going to happen, and I
hope that I and all the Sisters can be open to the plan that God has because we don't know
what is in the future, and I for one hope that I'm ready to receive whatever blessings or
whatever comes next.
Victoria: Thank you very much, Linda.

Dublin Core


Sister Linda Chavez, SC Interviewed by Sister Victoria Marie Forde, SC June 27, 2011


Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati; Monasticism and religious orders for women -- Catholic Church -- History; Catholic Church --- Education -- United States -- History


An interview with Sister Linda Chavez by Sister Victoria Marie Forde. This recording is a part of the oral history series housed at the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati Archives.


Chavez, Sister Linda, SC; Forde, Sister Victoria Marie, SC


Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati Archives


Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati Archives Oral History Series




Forde, Sister Victoria Marie, SC (Transcriber)


Online access is provided for research purposes only. For rights, reproduction, and use requests or more information, please contact the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati Archivist






Oral History


Sister Linda Chavez, SC Interviewed by Sister Victoria Marie Forde, SC June 27, 2011



Oral History Item Type Metadata


Forde, Sister Victoria Marie, SC


Chavez, Sister Linda, SC


Cincinnati (Ohio); Albuquerque (N.M.)

Original Format



48 Minutes 31 Seconds


Chavez, Sister Linda, SC; Forde, Sister Victoria Marie, SC, “Sister Linda Chavez, SC Interviewed by Sister Victoria Marie Forde, SC June 27, 2011,” Sisters of Charity Federation Archives, accessed April 24, 2024,


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