St. Maria De Mattias Mission Talk educates and enlightens

Sep 15, 2016
Charlotte Rorhbach, ASC

Director of Mission Effectiveness Charlotte Rohrbach, ASC began the academic year’s first Mission Talk on Wednesday, Sept. 14  by informing her audience that she will be doing this season’s talks based on a theme—Newman University buildings named for Adorers of the Blood of Christ sisters.

This theme was developed two years ago by the Mission Advisory Board consisting of Newman students, staff, Board of Trustees members and alumni. “I worked with the president to put together this board,” said Rohrbach. “They had the thought that many people don’t know who these women are that have buildings named after them.”

This month’s Mission Talk focused on St. Maria De Mattias. The building that is currently named after her houses both the fine arts and athletics departments. The original building housed the same with some additional functions. The building the currently stand on campus was built in the late 1990s.

The original building was dedicated in 1951. In 1950, Maria De Mattias was beatified. Rorhbach explained that it is “One of those things that says she is in the presence of God. It’s a celebration you have of that individual.”

Rorhbach spoke about the original building and its history, going over dates and activities that took place in and around the building. Fun facts were included such as the bon fires that took place on the front lawn in conjunction with some sporting events. An audience member added that Lawrence Welk and his orchestra motorcaded in convertibles to see the academy one afternoon, driving slowly along McCormick Avenue [which at that time bisected the campus] so that many students were able to shake hands with Welk and his musicians.

She also spoke about St. Maria and where she lived, addressing her personality and character along the way, saying she “was scared to death when she spoke, but she was very strong and was able to overcome, and people did not even realize it.”

De Mattias Hall
Photo from Heritage Room Exhibit

University Archives Lead Student Intern Diana Stanley put together an exhibit correlating with the mission talk. The display can be viewed in the Heritage Room located in Sacred Heart Hall across from St. John’s Chapel. Within the exhibit are items relating to St. Maria De Mattias.

Rorhbach said, “Not only did she include pictures of buildings, she included anything that bears St. Maria De Mattias’ name. Any societies we have, any endowments—anything that is connected—she tried to include that.”

De Mattias Heritage Room Exhibit
Heritage Room Exhibit

A virtual tour was also given as will be done in each of the four Mission Talks. Rorhbach verbally guided her audience through the virtual tour, pointing out facts about each area as the video played.

This particular talk was also an opportunity to receive the Tarcisia Roths, ASC “Collect the Deck” card. There will be three more Mission Talks offered this academic year. The next talk will take place at noon on Wednesday, Nov. 16 and will focus on Adorers Clementine Zerr and Beata Netemeyer.