Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity Community Director Sister Natalie Binversie offers a reflection on Sister Brideen Long and the history of Brideen Hall at the Rededication of Brideen Hall at Silver Lake College of the Holy Family, Manitowoc, WI on October 9, 2015.
Good afternoon! Thank you for being here to rededicate this education center to be once again named after Sister Brideen Long. The first Brideen Hall was dedicated twenty five years ago on Tuesday, October 23, 1990.
Why was there a Brideen Hall and why is the name moved as the location is moved to this new site? Sister Brideen was the fifth president of Silver Lake College and an esteemed educator. That October night in 1990 Board Members, Church Officials, Members of the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity, financial contributors, College personnel and guests were present when Sister Brideen was honored. George Alter, a retired Manitowoc businessman, was instrumental over-seeing the construction project and the funding of the first Brideen Hall.
Bishop Robert Morneau blessed the facility in 1990 and said of Sister Brideen, “Sister Brideen was my first boss! What a wonderful experience that was for me! She had a quick smile and a wonderful sense of humor. She told me, ‘I’ll allow you one mistake a year, but I’ll start counting over every day!’” In the name of the Diocese of Green Bay he expressed deep gratitude for the work undertaken by Sister Brideen as educator, administrator and archivist for the Diocese. She was esteemed for her professionalism in her work and for the wonderful environment created through her presence.
Manitowoc Mayor, Kevin Crawford, was present that evening and commented: “Silver Lake College is deeply woven into the fabric of education in Manitowoc and the surrounding area. We wish continued success to this institution of higher learning in providing educational opportunities for so many.”
Governor Tommy Thompson sent a letter which referred to the new facility as, “exemplary of the best traditions of your fine college and our great state of Wisconsin.” The letter continued, “I am confident this is only the beginning of an even brighter future in the education field.”
Sister Barbara Belinske, the college president at the time thanked Sister Brideen for esteeming education as a high priority in life.
Sister Brideen herself said, “This is a wonderful honor that I did not achieve on my own or for myself. My whole life has been involved with the excitement of learning and the improvement of education at all levels. My greatest joy and privilege is being a Franciscan Sister of Christian Charity!”
Knowing this history is vital for the future of the School of Education of Silver Lake College of the Holy Family. This is our legacy! Bishop Ricken of the Diocese of Green Bay is not here today. I am not sure if Mayor Nichols is present. I am not aware of a letter from Governor Walker to commemorate this rededication. Dr. Chris Domes, our College president is here and will add his comments shortly. Our presence is a testimony to the educational commitment of Silver Lake College into the future.
In the name of the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity and all who have ministered in education here at Silver Lake College, past and present, the words from the blessing of 1990 can well be applied today, “The School of Education is a center of seeking, learning and teaching what is true. We ask the Lord that students will find in their teachers the image of Christ so that enriched with both human and divine learning, they will in turn be able and ready to enlighten and assist others.”