Transitions in Mission Advancement

sister barbara dreher

 Sister Barbara Dreher, the angel of the CSJ Golf Tournament.

For the past seven years, as the executive director of Mission Advancement for the St. Louis province, Sister Barbara Dreher has told and retold the story of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet with eyes open, ears attentive, spirit alert and sleeves rolled up for the ministry of building relationships.

“Our remarkable story is not only about the where and why the sisters minister and what keeps us doing what we are doing,” says Sister Barbara. “It also captures the stories of our friends and donors—their friendships, prayers, values and generosity of heart.”

Come January 2014, Sister Barbara will be rolling up her sleeves to share our story and build relationships for the Sisters of St. Joseph in a new role. During the Congregational Chapter in July,Sister Barbara was elected as one of five members of the Congregational Leadership Team.

Sister Barbara is excited about what God has in mind for her in this new ministry, but she admits that it doesn’t come without tears. “I will miss all those with whom I’ve ministered these past seven years. Though titles named our responsibilities, in the end, we friended one another and that will last forever.”

“There are a lot of things I will miss when she goes on to her well-deserved position,” says Chief Development Officer Patricia Cassens, CFRE, CSJA. “She is a dynamic ball of kinetic energy wrapped in one small package! Her love of God, her CSJ community and the dear neighbor is infectious and radiates throughout the room. Her ability to touch and inspire others is something I will never forget.”

Annual Fund Manager Richard Rutz says, “Sister Barbara respects each of us and acknowledges the different gifts that everyone in our office brings to the table. She has led us with passion for the mission of the sisters and done so while focusing on making our office as professional as possible.”

Upon Sister Barbara’s departure, Patricia will become the executive director of Mission Advancement and Richard will step into the role of chief development officer. They will be joined by Sister Donna Loretto Gunn as the CSJ Mission Advisor, a position she will hold while still serving in her active ministry as special project coordinator at Sacred Heart Parish and Family Center in Camden, Miss.

“I am delighted to be asked to be the province’s liaison between the sisters and our wonderful, generous donors,” Sister Donna says. “Now more than ever this partnership of the sisters’ lives with the donors’ goodness and generosity is what makes hope real and visible in the here and now.”

For Sister Barbara, those coworkers and cohorts, friends and donors are the “heartbeat” of the mission and ministries of the Sisters of St. Joseph and will both sustain and stretch her throughout her new adventure.

“Their generous spirit will continue to humble me,” she says. “And the zest for life—it’s already packed and coming with me!”


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