Sr. Bridget Olwell has been living and ministering in St. Margaret’s Parish in Middle Village for the past 25 years – 14 as Principal of the School and 11 years as Pastoral Associate. How blest she was when, at the end of her tenure as Principal, her Pastor said “you are not leaving St. Margaret’s.” She just had to cross the threshold into the adjoining Rectory where her office is located, although you won’t find her there very often. Her school ministry was easy to define, but her ministry as Pastoral Associate is much more extensive in terms of pastoral, spiritual and social activities.
Most of the Parish’s major spiritual formation programs are Sr. Bridget’s responsibility. These include RCIA, Adult Confirmation, Baptismal Preparation, Advent and Lenten Programs. She has recently taken on some Sacristy duties. She says “this is my Church, my Parish.” She wants to make sure that the Church is an inviting environment for her parishioners. She has great, loyal and creative volunteers for the various programs as well as church decorators for the major feasts. They tease: “who can say ‘no’ to Sr. Bridget when she asks for help.”
All that Sr. Bridget does in the parish is too numerous to articulate. It is a 24/7 ministry for her. She is mindful of St. Angela’s last legacy: Persevere faithfully and joyfully in the work you have begun. “Much of my work is with women and children; and, that’s whom St. Angela was very concerned with – young mothers and young women, and helping them raise their children with faith in God.”
Asked what has been the greatest blessing of her ministries at St. Margaret’s, Sr. Bridget said, “I think because I am here so long, I know everyone, and everyone knows me, and my dog Nikky, and they know that I am available to support them.”
Sr. Bridget is grateful to everyone who continues to support the Ursuline Sisters, as we struggle to meet the financial costs associated with caring for our aging Sisters, especially as the number of us in the U.S. Province continues to diminish. She said, “People have so much respect for the work that we do and our commitment, and we really appreciate that.”
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