Patricia Marie Shaffer was born on June 11, 1928, in Los Angeles, to Rose Cecelia Rey and Edwin Joseph Shaffer. She was the oldest of five - three girls and two boys—in a devout Catholic household. In order to attend Catholic schools, she worked hard during summers in a local canning factory and at times helped in the fields.
Appropriately named the “San Diego – San Bernardino Area” because its RSCJ minister within these two Catholic dioceses, there are 18 Religious of the Sacred Heart in all. Thirteen live within the city of San Diego, three in San Jacinto on the Soboba Indian Reservation, one in Palm Desert, and one in the neighboring state of Arizona.
Several Religious of the Sacred Heart are connected to the University of San Diego, part of which, the original San Diego College for Women, was founded by RSCJ in the late 1940's, opening for classes in 1952. In 1972, the Men's and Women's Colleges merged into a single coeducational University.
- Retired some 15 years ago from her decades-long role as vice president and provost of the University of San Diego, Sally Furay, RSCJ, continued as consultant and as a participant on boards and other groups around the U.S., including a Network School Board in San Francisco, Manhattanville College in New York, and another university board in the San Francisco Bay area. She also works regularly with a higher education legal committee in Washington, DC, a community development bank in San Diego, the advisory board of a law school in Minneapolis which she helped to found, the Barat Educational Foundation in Chicago, and her beloved Old Globe Theatre board in San Diego.
- Mary Hotz, RSCJ, is associate professor of English at the University of San Diego, teaching courses in Victorian Literature, and Native American Literature. Sister Hotz particularly enjoys working with students on their reading and writing skills.
- Theresa Monroe, RSCJ, is associate professor of leadership studies at the School of Leadership and Education Sciences at USD, teaching the core courses, Leadership Theory and Practice and Leadership for Change, for doctoral and masters' students, as well as courses on organizational consulting, policymaking, and human relations. She is also an affiliated faculty member at the Irish Management Institute in Dublin, and consults to numerous national and international companies and organizations.
- Virginia Rodee, RSCJ, an alumna of USD, is assistant vice president for Mission at the university. In this role, she communicates the history, mission and core values of USD to faculty, staff and students through seminars, events, publications and web. In addition, Sister Rodee serves as a director on the board of Conrad N. Hilton Fund for Sisters, Academy of Our Lady of Peace (of which she is also an alumna), Kraemer Endowment Foundation, USD Alumni Association and San Diego Sacred Heart Alumnae/I Association. She is moderator of the San Diego Alumnae/i of the Sacred Heart. She recently served as novice director for the U.S. Province.
- A professor emerita from USD, and a former chair of its English department, Elizabeth (Betsy) Walsh, RSCJ, continues to teach one literature course there (Dante) in the spring semester. In addition, she is working on an article on Spiritual Friendship as understood by Aelred of Rievaux. She also moderates a book club for some of the alumnae from the original College for Women, and is on the board for St. Madeleine Sophie's Center in El Cajon, a facility for developmentally disabled adults.
A second corporate ministry is the Spiritual Ministry Center, founded by RSCJ in the 1980's in San Diego. Here three Religious of the Sacred Heart do retreat work and spiritual direction:
- Marie-Louise (Bunny) Flick, RSCJ, who is also on the faculty for the Creighton Spirituality Program in Omaha, Nebraska.
- Stephany Veluz, RSCJ, who serves as well as the vocation contact person for the area.
- Anne Wente, RSCJ, who also has a pastoral counseling practice
The third corporate ministry is with Native American peoples of the Luiseno tribe, in San Jacinto, on the Soboba Reservation, located approximately 90 miles northeast of San Diego. Together with the Missionary of the Sacred Heart (MSC) pastor, brother, and MSC sisters, the ministry serves six reservations, which include also the Cahuilla Tribe. Chief among the roles of the religious are those of “presence” and supportive relationships.
- Adele Schroeder, RSCJ, is a full-time teacher in the school and assists with bookkeeping.
- Marianna Torrano, RSCJ, founded St. Jude Mission School, an independent Catholic elementary school, located next to St. Joseph Mission Church, for Indian children, and currently is its chief financial officer. She is also directs the choir, playing the piano at church services, and serves as spiritual director and psychological consultant.
- Deanna Rose von Bargen, RSCJ, is involved with adult faith-formation on both the Soboba and the Pechanga Reservations.
Several RSCJ are involved in a variety of other ministries:
- Maureen Chicoine, RSCJ, has just finished 18 years as a parish leader in San Bernardino, and is now taking a sabbatical year of study and travel, plus working on some writing projects and serving on Province committees.
- Irene Cullen, RSCJ, is director of the Uganda-Kenya Mission Support Office. She networks with the Sacred Heart family in the United States and with the RSCJ educational mission in the Uganda-Kenya Province, through yearly newsletters, bringing Sacred Heart educators to Uganda-Kenya, raising funds for their projects, and giving talks at Sacred Heart Schools in the U.S. about the Society's mission abroad. Locally in San Diego, Sister Cullen volunteers in the raising awareness of the scourge of human trafficking, and in supporting the first “safe house” in San Diego for the rehabilitation of trafficked women.
- Linda Hayward, RSCJ, is a writer and spiritual director. Currently she is composing a “Legendary Life” of Frances Danz, RSCJ. She serves as a spiritual reflector for several members of the Ignatian Volunteer Corps, and attends meetings of the Interfaith Committee for Worker Justice, participating in actions on behalf of workers.
- Marina Hernandez, RSCJ, serves as the canonical treasurer for the Society of the Sacred Heart U.S. Province, working with the Province Finance Office as well as Province Finance and Investment Committees and province RSCJ in moving towards a continued deeper understanding of what it means to live as a community of shared goods and resources in the concrete events of everyday life.
- Annette Schmeling, RSCJ, is currently discerning and exploring ministry in the areas of Value Based Leadership Development through the Servant Leadership Institute in Vista, CA, as well as participating in the Contemplative Dialogue Institute.
- Mary Schumacher, RSCJ is involved in building relationships with Sacred Heart alumnae in the region surrounding Palm Desert. She also provides a monthly retreat, spiritual direction, and catechesis for RCIA in her local parish.A native of Colombia, Alette Latorre, RSCJ, lives in Tucson, Arizona caring for her mother and ministering at Catholic Social Services there. She assists with refugees from seven African countries as well as from Iraq, Burma, Nepal, Bhutan, and Cuba. Usually these people are from countries that are at war, and are fleeing for their lives.
- Alette Latorre, RSCJ, is connected to the San Diego Area, though she lives in Tucson, where she works with immigrants and refugees.
The RSCJ community in the geographical area frequently come together from various living groups for prayer, faith-sharing, discernment, national province teleconferences, celebratory dinners on Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas, the feasts of St. Madeleine Sophie and Philippine Duchesne, and, in the previous two years, for communal ongoing formation in support of the initial formation process for a novice located in the area.
Marianna Torrano, RSCJ was born into a tight-knit, Italian family on December 2, 1931 in Oakland, California. The second of six children, Sister Torrano remembers a happy childhood. Praying the rosary regularly and attending Sunday mass together were of high importance to her family. Both of her parents were in the medical field, her father a surgeon and mother a nurse, which may have played a role in Sister Torrano’s decision to become a nurse.
By Deanna Rose von Bargen, rscj
This is my third try at writing “my vocation story”! Each time I include too many details, and the whole thing gets too long. This time I have put some of the “interesting stuff” in an appendix, that the reader can access if desired.
The heart of my vocation is a longing for God. There have been many manifestations of “calling” throughout these 76 years of my life, and lots of “meandering,” but the theme of longing for God, and intimacy with God, has remained the constant.
It would be tempting to draw a contrast between a religious of the Sacred Heart and the “heartless” world of corporate America. Yet many mid-career executives are drawn to the classes taught by Terri Monroe, RSCJ at the University of San Diego’s School of Leadership and Education Sciences. Sister Monroe does not experience this as a conflict or problem. In fact she would likely say the perceived contrast stems from a “mental model” out of sync with today’s social reality.