“Called to Be…” – The Holy Union Podcast


We’d love to hear your feedback, opinions, and suggestions on our podcast.  If you would like to suggest a discussion topic or let us know about any difficulties you have finding us or listening to episodes please use the form below.  We will get your entire message even if it exceeds the size of the box.  We look forward to hearing from you!

What is the Holy Union Podcast?

The Holy Union Podcast was created as a way to share discussions with interested listeners on an array of topics between and among the Sisters and Associates.  Every discussion is based on the perspective of Holy Union spirituality and features different combinations of sisters talking about specific topics.  Our hope is that you find these conversations helpful, inspiring, entertaining, or just plain interesting.  Taken together,  they are meant to help us all grow in faith as we continue our journey together.

To listen, simply scroll down and click the red Arrow button under the episode you want to hear.  The most recent episode is listed first, with earlier ones below it.  Our podcast is also available on all the major podcast platforms like Apple iTunes, Spotify, AmazonMusic, GooglePodcast, iHeartRadio and more, so you can listen on your smartphone by searching for “Called to Be”.  We hope you save us among your “favorites”!

Episode # 31 – Partners in Mission (07-01-2024)

We are blessed to find, now and then, deeply caring people who, inspired by a conversation or interaction with one of our Sisters, decides to commit their time and effort to join us in our mission.  Dr. Thomas Krahn, MD is one of those special people.  This discussion, moderated by Sr. Fran Cavey, reunites Dr. Krahn with Sr. Josephine Nko and Sr. Sylvia Mepha who are both from Cameroon, and who worked closely with him to help create a clinic, blood bank, and other medical services for the people they serve in several areas of Cameroon.  Dr. Krahn is a physician who practices medicine in New England and has taken repeated extended trips to Cameroon to help our Sisters address a series of serious medical needs in their communities.

Episode # 30 – Listening to the People of God – The Synod on Synodality (06-01-2024)

Sister Maryellen Ryan moderates this helpful discussion between Fr. Eddie Coriea, Sr. Joan Guertin, and podcast producer, Ken Gustin on the Synod on Synodality.  Most Catholics have heard of the Synod, some have participated in it, and many are filled with questions about it.  What is a synod?…why are we doing it?…what is the goal of it?…how does it work?…what are the anticipated fruits of the effort?  Our hope with this discussion is to answer many of the questions we’ve heard and help people understand the deep roots and tradition of synods in our Church’s history, and how important this effort by Pope Francis is for us all.

Episode # 29 – Precious Memories of Sacred Hearts Academy (05-01-2024)

Sister Barbara Walsh moderates a stroll down memory lane with fellow alumnae Ann Marie Charette and Joan Gallagher, of Sacred Hearts Academy in Fall River, MA.  Sacred Hearts Academy was Holy Union’s first school in North America and it provided a unique educational experience for so many young women across so many decades.  This discussion features memories of specific Sisters, courses, extracurriculars, life-long friendships, and the lasting impact the school left on them.

Episode # 28 – Transformation and Openness to New Life (04-01-2024)

Sister Nancy Stiles moderates a discussion with Sisters Alice Michael and Alice Arsenault on the essence of Easter, specifically transformation and openness to new life. Jesus’ sacrifice and mercy is on offer to all who are willing to accept it and follow him in the way of a new way of living. Their discussion spans well known examples of biblical figures who accepted Christ’s mercy and some who didn’t, as well as our own transformations, or opportunities for it, every day. We pray you all had a wonderful Easter!

Episode # 27 – Putting On the Mind of Christ Jesus (03-01-2024)

As our journey through Lent continues, we’re pleased to share with you this discussion about “Putting on the Mind of Christ Jesus”.  This rich exchange between Sisters Fran Cavey, Joan Guertin, and Rita Theresa Goulet weaves together scripture passages, theology, personal experiences, and the current state of our nation and world in a way that will leave you much to reflect on and ponder.  May your Lent be a time of growth and reflection as Easter draws ever closer.

Episode # 26 – Have You Seen “The Chosen” yet? (02-01-2024)

If you’ve heard of “The Chosen” but never watched it, this episode is for you! Sr. Maryellen Ryan and “Called to Be…”’s producer, Ken Gustin, are joined by Fr. Edward Correia to share their thoughts about this extraordinarily popular TV series based on the Gospel and the life and ministry of Jesus. We are so grateful to Fr. Correia, a well-known priest in the Fall River and New Bedford area, for agreeing to join us to explore this remarkable program, whose fourth season is just about to be released. There are seven seasons planned, so you still have plenty of time to start watching! And we hope you do! In fact, you can watch every episode of every season by clicking this link: https://watch.thechosen.tv/#carousels

Episode # 25 – Holy Union’s 50th Year in Tanzania (01-01-2024)

As our podcast begins its third year, we’re pleased to share with you this discussion, focused on Holy Union’s 50th year in Tanzania!  Sr. Nancy Stiles moderates as Sisters MaryLou Simcoe (US), Annette Farrell (in Tanzania), Jesca Wachanga (Tanzania) and Maria Luvinga (Tanzania) share the history and ministries which have been undertaken since our first Sister arrived there in 1973.  The work which is being done spans so many ministries, including a school for autistic students which they have opened.  Tanzania is one of Holy Union’s growth areas, with a number of women in various stages of formation today.

Episode # 24 – Christmas in Other Cultures 2023 (12-01-2023)

Christmas unites us all!  As Advent begins we gathered together Magella Justin (a friend of Holy Union from Haiti), Elma Baranda (a Holy Union Associate from the Philippines) and Deb Griffin (Our Holy Union Office Manager with a rich Italian heritage) to discuss Christmas traditions from their families home countries with Sister Maryellen Ryan as our moderator.  May you experience the unifying love and peace of Christmas in your own traditions this year.  And of course, we want to wish all our friends a blessed Advent, and a very Merry Christmas!

Episode # 23 – What is Your Favorite Scripture Passage and Why is it so Meaningful? (11-01-2023)

Sisters Alice Michael and Nancy Stiles reached out to nine Sisters and Associates and asked them what their favorite scripture passage is and why it is meaningful to them. This discussion is a sharing of how those Sisters and Associates responded.  The richness and direct applicability of scripture to our lives in 2023 is amazing.  This discussion makes it clear that God’s word is timeless and very much alive in our world today.

Episode # 22 – My Story: Sr. Patricia Heath and the God of Surprises (10-01-2023)

We hope you enjoy this first installment of a new series within “Called to Be’, which we are calling My Story.  We hope to bring you these episodes periodically wherein one of our Sisters shares her journey to and through religious life.  Sr. Pat Heath was kind enough to share her story with a group of Holy Union Associates at their meeting in St. Jude’s parish hall in Taunton, MA in September, 2023.

Episode # 21 – A Quiet Evangelization (9-01-2023)

Sr. Nancy Stiles moderates a discussion about an important topic in the church today, evangelization.  Sisters Barbara Walsh, Loraine Sirois, and Rita Theresa Goulet discuss how we are called “to preach the Gospel always, and when necessary, use words”, as St. Francis of Assisi is rumored to have said.  Helping people to draw themselves closer to God can be as simple as a kind word or gesture.  Striving to live a life marked by kindness and love may be the most effective form of evangelization there is.

Episode # 20 – Sr. Rita Beaudoin’s Pilgrimage to Douai, France (8-01-2023)

Our Sisters are taking a well-deserved summer break this month, but they wanted to share with you a talk given by one of our beloved Sisters who died on January 18th of this year, Sr. Rita Beaudoin.  In 2003 Sr. Rita delivered this talk to a group of Holy Union Associates about her pilgrimage to Douai, France where the order was founded.  Its purpose was to educate them on our congregation’s history and to bring it to life, as only she could.  She references a number of photographs in her talk, and we regret this podcast medium does not accommodate visually sharing them with you.  Regardless, we hope you enjoy this wonderful lesson from a masterful teacher who so many remember with great fondness.

Episode # 19 – The Blessings of Internationality in Cameroon (7-01-2023)

In 2003 a tragic accident in Cameroon triggered an international call for assistance from our Generalate in Rome.  In this episode, Sr. Fran Cavey moderates a discussion with Sr. Caroline Njah of Cameroon and Sisters Joan Guertin and MaryEllen Ryan of the US who all played a role in this critical period as our Cameroonian Sisters faced what could have been a crisis for the future of Holy Union in that part of the world.  We are so grateful for Sr. Caroline’s participation and important perspective on this time in our history.

Episode # 18 – The Celebrations of Life (6-01-2023)

Once again, Sisters Laurette DeChamplain, Pat Mulryan, and Barbara Kirkman sit down to share their experiences and insights as they discuss the celebrations of life.  Sitting in for Sr. MaryEllen Ryan this month is our podcast’s producer, Ken Gustin.  The Sisters discuss life’s celebrations of events and experiences large and small, and how grateful they are for the richness of their lives, and the gifts we have all been given.

Episode # 17 – Continuing to Build a Holy Union in Appalachia (5-01-2023)

Sr. Nancy Stiles moderates this discussion with Sisters Barbara Walsh, Ann Kernan, and Fran Cavey about their continued work in Appalachia.  This is our second episode on the works done in this unique part of our country.  The Sisters served multiple populations including hispanic immigrants, the uneducated, rural women, a self perpetuating corps of youth volunteers, and more.  Sr. Ann summed up her experience there, “We didn’t have to look for ministries, the ministries found US.”  We hope you enjoy this discussion as much as we did.

Episode # 16 – Adapting RCIA To Meet People Where They Are (4-01-2023)

As we prepare to welcome new Catholics into our Church at the Easter Vigil, Sister Alice Arsenault leads a discussion with Sisters MaryEllen Ryan and Alice Michael about their experiences adapting RCIA to the specific communities in which it was being offered.  While the experience is based on scripture and Church teachings, the way it is implemented is adjusted to best reach those going through it.  They also discuss the rich beauty and symbolism of the Easter Vigil, and the profound impact in has on those present.

Episode # 15 – Becoming Catholic through RCIA  (3-01-2023)

With Easter approaching, we are taking some time to help people (Catholic and non-Catholic) to understand the process of becoming a Catholic through RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults). This episode is moderated by Sr. Nancy Stiles and features Sisters Alice Arsenault, Fran Cavey and MaryEllen Ryan.  This discussion may be interesting to “cradle Catholics”, who often have little visibility to the steps a non-Catholic follows before being welcomed into the Church at the Easter Vigil, as well as non-Catholics who would like to someday unite with us in faith.

Episode # 14 – Growing in Wisdom, Age, and Grace (2-01-2023)

This wonderful discussion is moderated by Sr. MaryEllen Ryan, as she speaks with Sisters Pat Mulryan, Barbara Kirkman, and Laurette DeChamplain about the experiences and lessons of living a full life.  Sister Laurette celebrated her one hundredth birthday last year, and all share their experiences as women religious from years gone by as well as those which are still giving them opportunities to grow today.  This remarkable discussion is poignant, funny, inspiring and even includes some gentle “trash talk” between these Red Sox and Yankee fans!  We hope you enjoy it.

Episode # 13 – Mary (1-01-2023)

The Virgin Mary has been an important part of our Catholic faith since the early days of the church.  This discussion, between Sisters Rita Theresa Goulet, Barbara Kirkman, and Holy Union Associate, Judy Corliss, is led by Sister Fran Cavey, and explores Mary’s role in the church and in our faith.  As a woman, and the mother of Jesus, Mary’s perspective is unique.  The discussion fleshes out how the Sisters relate to Mary, how Mary impacts their prayer, and Mary’s role in bringing people to her son, Jesus.   

Episode # 12 – Christmas Across Cultures (12-15-2022)

We are dedicating this special Christmas episode to the loving memory of Sr. Ann Boland, who envisioned it and planned to moderate it.  May she rest in peace.   In Sr. Ann’s place, Sr. Nancy Stiles  moderates this discussion among Holy Union Associate, Margaret Agbese from Nigeria, Holy Union’s Office Manager for over twenty years, Alina Pieprzycki from Poland, and long-time Holy Union friend, Teresa Aiello from Honduras. They each discuss the customs and traditions of Christmas in their home countries.  We all have our own unique ways of celebrating the coming of Jesus at Christmas.  We hope you find this discussion fascinating. joyful, and at times, touching.  Our Sisters wish you and yours a most blessed Christmas!   

Episode # 11 – Finding Joy in the Season (12-1-2022)

We are dedicating December’s episodes in loving memory of Sr. Ann Boland, who envisioned them and planned to moderate them both.  Her intent was to discuss how to more fully embrace the joy of the season through simple reminders of what we are really celebrating.  The Church calls this “Living Liturgically”.  Sr. Barbara Walsh now moderates this discussion with Sr. Alice Michael and Holy Union Associate, Tina Silvestro about the season of Advent and the feasts of Christmas and The Epiphany.  We hope this discussion inspires you to experience this season in a richer, more meaningful way and avoid being swept into the hectic swirl that can often overtake us at this time of year.  Thank you Sister Ann.  May you rest in peace.  

Episode # 10 – Establishing the Brockton House of Formation (11-1-2022)

Sr. Alice Arsenault moderates a discussion among Sr. Rita Beaudoin, Sr. Marilyn Bearne and Sr. Ann Kernan about the establishment of a Holy Union House of Formation in Brockton, MA in the 1980’s which was meant to support both the Fall River and the Groton Provinces.  The number of ministries and works which grew out of this project were numerous, eventually leading to uniting the two provinces into the US Province of today..   

Episode # 9 – Ministering to Those on the Margins – Rikers Island, NY (10-1-2022)

Sr. Fran Cavey moderates a discussion with Sr. Peg McCabe about her experience over more than three decades ministering to men and women incarcerated on Rikers Island in New York City.  Sr. Peg shares some surprising stories and experiences from her time ministering to those who have found themselves on the wrong side of the legal system.   Her primary message has never changed:  God loves you. 

Episode # 8 – Transformational Experiences: Ministering to Those With Special Needs (9-1-2022)

Sr. MaryEllen Ryan moderates this discussion with Sr. Ann Boland and Holy Union Associates Pat Healey and Kathleen Jeffra about their experiences ministering to those with special needs.  This moving discussion recounts several occasions where they were inspired by those who had been given a cross to bear, and who carried it with such grace and dignity as to turn it into a blessing for themselves and those around them.   

Episode # 7 – Holy Union in Cameroon – Part 2 (7-1-2022)

Sr. Fran Cavey moderates our second discussion about Holy Union in Cameroon with Sr. Jane Newcomb and Sr. Marilyn Gignac.  Their conversation covers overcoming the challenges of establishing a house of formation, setting up a new Holy Union mission in the remote village of Moloundou, and the amazing “rabbit project”!  The story of our work in Cameroon is still just beginning.  There will be several more episodes on this wonderful group of Sisters doing God’s work in Africa.   

Episode # 6 – Holy Union in Appalachia – Part 1 (6-1-2022)

Sr. Nancy Stiles speaks with Sr. Lorraine Sirois and Sr. Barbara Walsh about the decades they spent ministering to the good people of Appalachia, a unique, and often poor, region of our country.  They reflect with joy on their experiences and those they worked with.  This is the first of several episodes on Holy Union in this region.  We hope you enjoy it.  Producer’s Note:  Twice in this episode Mr. Mike Morrissey is accidentally referred to as “Jack”.   Our apologies to Mr. Morrissey.

Episode # 5 – Prayer (5-1-2022)

This episode is an extended discussion on the topic of Prayer.  Sr. Alice Arsenault moderates a discussion which features Sr. Rita Theresa Goulet, Sr. Kathleen Corrigan, and Holy Union Associate, Nelda Jardin.  They discuss what prayer is, why we pray, God’s answers to our prayers, and various kinds of prayer.  This episode is longer than most, but the topic is so compelling, we’re certain we will do additional episodes on this topic.  We hope you enjoy it.   

Episode # 4 – Holy Union in Cameroon, Africa – Part 1 (4-1-2022)

Sister Fran Cavey moderates a discussion with Holy Union Sisters, Roberta Desjardins, Marilyn Gignac, and Terri Theroux about Holy Union’s early years in Cameroon.  Over many decades, our Sisters established orphanages, clinics, schools, and houses of religious formation.  Today, as a result of their efforts, and those of others, we have more Sisters in Cameroon than in the US. Please watch for future episodes on this topic.

Episode # 3 – Living the Holy Union Charism as an Associate (3-1-22)

Sister MaryEllen Ryan moderates a discussion with Holy Union Associates, Margaret Admirand, April Lewis, and Myrna Badillo about what it means to live the Holy Union Charism as an Associate.  All three of these women are New York Associates and each shares her experiences as a part of the Holy Union Associate community, and discusses why they became Associates, and the works they have been involved in.

Episode #2 – Living the Holy Union Charism Today (2-1-22)

Sister Fran Cavey moderates a discussion between Sisters Alice Arsenault, Lorraine Sirois, and Nancy Stiles about how they live out the Holy Union Charism now that they are no longer in the classroom.   All have spent years in new roles with new focuses, proving God’s love can be revealed in many ways depending on the needs of the time and the time of life.   

Episode #1 – Allow Us to Introduce Ourselves (1-1-22)

Join Holy Union Sisters Ann Boland, Mary Catherine Burns, Pat Mulryan, and Barbara Walsh, as they embark on our introductory episode.  We discuss our congregation’s founding, how and why we came to the U.S., as well as the original ministry to which we dedicated ourselves: Catholic education.  We discuss several of the schools where we taught or were administrators, and even touch on what things are important for parents looking for a school for their children today. 

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