Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Sisters in the Media

Today was a big day for me as communications director. I got the name of an Associated Press reporter in the Twin Cities from my counterpart at the college, and sent him an e-mail a couple months ago about the merge between our monastery, Saint Benedict's Monastery in St. Joseph, and Saint Bede Monastery in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. The first six Sisters moved in early May, and a few Sisters pointed out to me that several of their Sisters have classmates at St. Ben's. That intrigued me, so when I pitched the story to the reporter I told him about two in particular, Sister Mary David Olheiser and Sister Helenette Baltes. Both entered Saint Benedict's Monastery in 1936, and S. Helenette became part of Saint Bede Monastery when it was founded in 1948, along with 82 other Sisters from our monastery.

He took it to the national AP, who were interested in it for their weekly feature. Last Wednesday the AP reporter, Pat Condon, came out with another reporter, Jeff Baenen, who took photos and shot video of the various interviews, as well as other scenes at the retirement convent, St. Scholastica, and at St. Benedict's.

Today at about 1 p.m. the story "hit the wires" where it could be picked up by any newspaper with a subscription to the AP-- in other words, any paper, and a considerable number of other media outlets. It was thrilling for me to see it appear first, in my Google Alert, in the San Francisco Chronicle and the Washington Post. Then Forbes, the Huffington Post,, even, it seems, some espn web site! The video showed up later, first on youtube, where some very unfortunate comments make it unforwardable, but then on local radio news station and other television and radio web sites.

Click here to read the Washington Post story.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Congratulations, Susan, on the coup! It's a great story and a wonderful piece publicity.