Treasuring our treasures
In the PBS program Antiques Roadshow, local people bring in their antiques and family heirlooms for professional appraisal while a television camera records away. As the appraiser describes each item, the owner – and most of those watching the show – all have the same question as they eagerly await the bottom line: what’s it worth? The same can be seen on similar reality shows. It’s the highlight of the presentation.
That’s a shame.
Too often, we base the worth of our treasures on their cash value and overlook what they really bring.
The real value of artifacts is found in the stories they tell and the lessons they teach. There isn’t a better means of understanding previous generations than by looking through the possessions they left behind. Going through old journals helps us realize their struggles, fears and joys. We marvel at their accomplishments and lament their failures. Holding a centuries-old item transports us back to another time, connecting us to the past. It’s a physical presence that transcends the years.
In this issue of Sharing & Caring we meet Sister Noreen Jutte, whose job it is to bridge the generations of our community. As the congregational archivist, she maintains the community’s records and artifacts. We go inside the newly-constructed, high-tech Archives space at Salem Heights and peer into some of the rich history of the Sisters of the Precious Blood. It is through these treasures that we can share the community’s story – which has been unfolding for nearly 200 years.
Treasures aren’t only found in the archives. Parishioners and students at Immaculate Conception Parish in Celina very much consider Sister Nancy Wolf a treasure. Sister Nancy ministered at the parish school for 30 years before retiring at the end of last school year. She was a kindergarten teacher for 27 of those years, helping to form thousands of young lives. Likewise, Sister Joyce Kahle left her mark on countless residents of Cincinnati as an outreach nurse for 17 years before retiring last June, and Sister Barbara Ann Hoying recently retired after spending the last 16 years of her 55-year ministry working at the Maria Stein Center. You will find more about these women in this issue.
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines treasure as “something of great worth or value.” May we always appreciate the true value in the treasures we have.