Many Hands Make Light Work: Sisters Move 125 Years of Archives
“When we put out a call for help among the Sisters, I was hoping we might get four or five volunteers,” said Sr. Krista von Borstel, one of the Community’s resident archivists. She was delighted to see 25 of her Community members show up excited and ready to assist.
While the maintaining of archives has always been a priority for the Community, the archive room has taken on many stages of completion and detail over the years as several devoted Sisters have spent countless hours chronicling the missions and ministries of each and every SSMO, living and deceased.
The main reason for the move was to prepare for an exciting change to the way the SSMOs handle and display archival materials. Since Valley Catholic Elementary School vacated the west wing of the convent last year to move across the street, the reclaimed space has provided many more options for the Sisters for future storage, conference rooms and office space throughout the whole building. The future plan is that the Community archives will be housed in four rooms in the west wing: one room will be used for the intake and sorting of materials, two for storage, and one for public display.
There will even be space for Sr. Krista to go through old movies of the Sisters and hopefully watch them on old projectors before they are digitized for future viewing.
Sr. Krista recalls a time when former Pope John Paul strongly encouraged religious Communities to work on their archives and keep their safekeeping and organization a priority. This task has always been a favorite project and source of joy for her, as well as for several other Sisters in the Community over the years.
“I think we got so much help that Saturday afternoon because the preservation of our history is meaningful to them and they didn’t want to miss out.”