SSMO Leadership Team

The 2015-2020 Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon Leadership Council (left to right): Sr. Charlene Herinckx, Sr. Rita Watkins, Sr. Josephine Pelster and Sr. Juliana Monti

The Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon (SSMO) have elected the 2015-2020 SSMO Leadership Council. The election came during their 2015 Chapter meeting, held at the SSMO Motherhouse. The leadership council was installed during a Mass in the SSMO Chapel on June 28.

Sr. Charlene Herinckx was elected to a second term as Superior General. Sr. Juliana Monti, Sr. Josephine Pelster and Sr. Rita Watkins are also serving on the leadership council.

The Sisters hold a general Chapter every five years for the purpose of spiritual introspection, charting the course for the next five years and election of new leadership.

Superior General Sr. Charlene Herinckx opened the 2015 Chapter on March 22 with 61 members of the Congregation in attendance. The meeting concluded on March 28.

Sr. Charlene Herinckx said, “The theme of our Chapter was ‘Hearts on Fire’ and it proved to be fitting as the Community endorsed our goals and plans for the next five years. Echoing the sentiments I often heard this past week: God has blessed us in the past, now, and into the future.”

The 2015-2020 SSMO Leadership Council

Sister Charlene Herinckx - webSr. Charlene Herinckx – After earning a bachelor’s degree from Marylhurst College (now University), Sr. Charlene Herinckx earned a master’s degree in education at the University of Portland and a second master’s degree in private school administration from the University of San Francisco.

A teacher and principal at schools across the Portland metro region, she has served on the National Religious Vocation Conference Board.

She was elected SSMO Superior General in 2010 and reelected in 2015.



Sister M. Juliana Monti - webSr. Juliana Monti – With a master’s degree in music education from the University of Portland, Sr. Juliana Monti has spent 51 years serving on the SSMO campus.

In 1999, she was a co-winner of the Oregon Symphony’s Patty Vemer Music Education Appreciation Award.

In 2012, the Beaverton Arts Commission honored Sister Juliana and the SSMO Music Program as “Performing Arts Educator of the Year.”



Sister Josephine Pelster - webSr. Josephine Pelster – Sr. Josephine Pelster served as a registered nurse at Maryville for 25 years.

A board-certified chaplain with the National Association for Catholic Chaplains, Sr. Josephine served as a chaplain at Providence Hospice, Providence Seaside Hospital and Extended Care Unit, and the Franciscan Care Center as well as St. Joseph Medical Center in Tacoma, Washington.

She returned to Maryville in Oct. 2008 as Director of Pastoral Care.



Sister Rita Watkins - webSr. Rita Watkins – A graduate of St. Mary of the Valley (now Valley Catholic) High School, Sr. Rita Watkins has spent more than 50 years in ministry as a teacher, principal, and president of the Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon campus schools.

She has served the Community as Motherhouse Superior and Coordinator of Ministries and has previously served on the Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon Leadership Team.