Barbara Maynard, SCN: Her story

Posted by Dana Hinton

January 11, 2022

Brenda Gonzales, SCN, presented profiles of several Sisters during the Associates’ fall gathering. We will share from her presentation, “SCNs live the Charism Today in Their Own Words” with you as Sister profiles over the next few weeks.

We have a saying in the SCN community “where one SCN is there the whole community is”. I wish I could have all 494 SCNs tell their stories of how they are living the Charism today but we will focus on a few stories as we travel around the SCN Congregation.

Barbara Maynard, SCN Western Province/Pittsburgh

Greetings, Sisters and Associates, thank you for inviting me to share my reflections on my present ministry experiences. I am Barbara Maynard, a Sister of Charity, living in Pittsburgh, PA where I have been serving immigrant families for the last 7 years. I am originally from Brooklyn, NY.

I have been a professed Sister for 55 years and an SCN for 13 years following the merger of the Vincentian Sisters of Charity into the SCN Community.

400 years ago, Vincent de Paul heard a message in prayer telling him to go out and serve the people living in poverty. He realized quickly that he needed help. Louise de Marillac and many others responded generously united in the ministry of service. Christ was present with them and within them as they grew to love one another and the people they served.

200 years ago, Catherine Spalding, also responded to her pastor’s request to help educate the children in his parish. Undoubtedly, she recognized that many other problems also needed to be addressed. Her witness to the children attracted many more women to the work at hand. The charism of Charity took root in her heart as she encouraged her Sisters to tenderly share their love with all.

And now 200 years later, we, Sisters and Associates, are gifted with this same call to love and serve unconditionally all those placed in front of us: the men, women and children in Belize, Botswana, India, Nepal, the United States and in Kenya.

After teaching English to high school students for 35 years, I heard about the influx of new Latino immigrants into the city and felt the call to reach out to them in the spirit of Vincent, Louise, and Catherine.

In the beginning, I decided to go to visit each family in their own home. What warm welcomes I received from the mothers of each family. They were so eager to learn and grateful that I would be coming to them each week. I had no background in Spanish, but that wasn’t a problem, pictures, creative hand signals worked and we laughed.

I soon discovered that for the most part, that my students would be the mothers of the families who were eager to learn English so they could help their children and manage the family expenses. Now all of the women are also working. Their children are all in school and a second salary is needed to prepare for the future.

My experience ministering to immigrants has taught me that:

Love is a “force” that “impels” action.

Love is a source of strength that makes the impossible possible.

Love is the only way that we can grow and help others grow.

God is love and all who abide in love, abide in God and God abides in them.

“Do what is before you.” St. Vincent de Paul

15 Comments

  1. Liz Wendeln

    Thank you for letting your love move you to action! Wondrous !

    Reply
  2. Louise Smith

    Thanks for being there and seeing a present day next. Vincent, Looks and Catherine are smiling!

    Reply
  3. Ann Palatty

    Dear Barbara, The language of LOVE requires no letters and words. The hearts meet in love and through love. You surely have learnt that language. Congratulations for your noble endeavours with the immigrants.

    Reply
  4. Rita Davis, scn

    Barbara, thanks for being a friend and teacher for that lovely family. May you, the family and others be blessed always.

    Reply
  5. Linda Soltis

    Great pictures. Thank you for your commitment to those most vulnerable. You truly make a positive difference to the lives of others.

    Reply
  6. Sr Anila SCN

    very moving and inspiring story…… May your ministry of compassion inspire all of us in some way to follow you. Thank you sister for your exemplary life that will impel all of us especially the young generation.

    Reply
  7. Maria Brocato

    Dear Barbara , your faithful service to the Hispanic community is a beautiful way to live out our SCN mission.We are so proud and grateful.

    Reply
  8. Bette Nelson scna

    Thanks for showing the world that Pittsburgh is indeed someplace special…

    Reply
  9. Corrine Giel scn

    Thanks for sharing your story.

    Reply
  10. Denise Hibel

    Loved reading your story and seeing the pictures of those you teach and love. Thanks.

    Reply
    • Anne O'Shea

      Thank you,Barbara! Your hospitality, compassion, warm smile radiates loving-kindness to all you meet. Our world is a more welcoming place because of you💝 Anne Marie and Ann

      Reply
  11. Joanita

    Beautiful story, I really appreciate all you do. God bless you.

    Reply
    • Anne O'Shea

      Thank you,Barbara! Your hospitality, compassion, warm smile radiates loving-kindness to all you meet. Our world is a more welcoming place because of you💝 Anne Marie and Ann

      Reply
  12. Angie Shaughnessy SCN

    Barbara is a true daughter of Vincent, Louise and Catherine! I am proud to be her SCN sister.

    Reply
  13. Sr. Mary Anne Burkardt

    Thanks Barbara…..great ministry, great love!!! really enjoyed the pictures with you and the families! 🙂

    Reply

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