Sister Jane Gerety joined Salve Regina in July 2009, bringing with her clear direction for the University and providing our community with a vision deeply rooted in the University mission and the Sisters of Mercy Critical Concerns. In her ten years at the helm, she has helped Salve Regina weather a tumultuous environment in higher education and national politics, helping our community to interpret local and national events through an ethical and philosophical framework of the Sisters of Mercy and Catholic social thought.
Sister Jane has inspired us with her grace, kindness, and embodiment of the mission of Salve Regina. The strength of Sister Jane’s impact lies in how she lives and in the words she uses, carefully considered to communicate and inspire. People at Salve have remarked that she has a habit of beginning meetings or speeches with a prayer or poem. Poetry has special meaning for her, and she has made it a part of her daily life. Her doctoral dissertation, Poetry and Magic: A Study Of Yeats’s Poems Of Meditation, was an investigation of Yeats’ studies of magic and its influence on his poetry, especially his meditative poems.
In her own words, Sister Jane says, “The meaning in poetry often exists between the words or in a new thing that happens when words collide. In poetry there is the deeper understanding we experience when we grasp something that individual words cannot express. Prayer, too, often in a surprising way taps into something I didn’t know was there, touches a feeling that surprises me. Often I pray with the psalms—that poetry of the Old Testament which expresses wonder, rage, gratitude, need. I believe that God works with what’s real in me and I get in touch with what’s real through the words and what’s between the words.”
For her retirement, the Salve community would like to give a gift that responds in kind, with poetry we love or that we composed, or with art that communicates our love and gratitude for what she has done for us. Please use this submission template to share a poem or prayer that moves you and conveys your thoughts for Sister Jane. If you feel your original art would better convey your thoughts, please share that. These pages will be compiled into a book to give to Sister Jane, to read and contemplate as she continues on to her next adventure.
Please use this submission template to contribute a favorite poem, photograph, or other piece of art (yours or someone else’s), and write a personal note to Sister Jane. Return the completed sheets to:
- McKillop Library’s circulation desk;
- scanned and emailed to [email protected];
- or to the address below:
Poetry Book Project
100 Ochre Point Avenue
Newport, RI 02840