What is CJ without strong women? It may not exist.
One of CJ’s founding orders, originally founded by Blessed William Joseph Chaminade, the Society of Mary utilizes the Blessed Mother as its model of discipleship. Marianist priests, brothers, sisters, and lay people model their lives after Mary, the mother of Jesus, forming people and communities of faith through education, parish work, social justice, the arts, and other ministries all dedicated to embodying the spirit of Mary.
The Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, CJ’s other founding order, make known God’s goodness and educate for life. These women, with hearts as wide as the world, show God’s love of the poor through a Gospel way of life, community and prayer. Continuing a strong educational tradition, they take a stand with poor people, especially women and children, in the most abandoned places. Each vowed member commits her one and only life to work with others to create justice and peace for all. Their founder, St. Julie Billiart, embodies what CJ community members, men and women alike, strive to be.
Sister Dorothy Stang, SNDdeN '49, born in Dayton, Ohio attended Julienne High School and joined the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur in 1948. Sister Stang’s travels to Brazil led her to her life's work among the poor farmers, spending the next 29 years educating about the importance of human dignity and justice for the poor and of sustaining the balance of the rainforest. On February 12, 2005, she was murdered in Anapu, Para, Brazil for her work and outspoken support on behalf of the environment and poor Brazilians farmers and their families who were continually subjected to abuse and oppression from loggers and landowners. Her martyrship acts as the basis of CJ’s Stang Symposium and Senior Capstone projects, focusing on global issues and encouraging CJ students to take action within their community.
All said, CJ is and always has been backed by strong, dedicated, faith-driven women who make the community what it is today. Below are some other CJ women, submitted by community members, who inspire the CJ community each day:
“My mother Sandra (Bir) Krimm, alumni of St. Joe Class of 62’. She’s strong, compassionate and a wonderful human being, mother and grandmother!”
“My daughter Isabell Carrington, Class of 2024. First girl’s state placer in school history!! Paving the path for future generations of wrestlers to come!”
“Ann Szabo. She’s not only the boy whisperer that raised her six awesome sons, but also played a huge role in helping dozens of other parents raise theirs! I have no doubt my son has achieved many of his successes because of her being his second mom. Don’t think we could have done it so well without her influence.”
“Charlene Wheeler. A leader, mentor and friend. Charlene was a teacher and guidance counselor. She dedicated most of her career at CJ and was even Principal for a brief moment when CJ needed her. This is the essence of who she is, faithful servant and a faith filled, passionate female I admire!”
“My mother, Linda Colás, the señora, the magistra. She taught at CJ for more than 30 years. She gave all her time and effort to being the best most caring teacher she could be. She gave me a CJ education and I give my daughters a CJ education because of this.”
“Julie Herman Roach. Inspired by her kindness, intellect, sense of humor, dedicated energy, and passion EVERY DAY! CJ Board member and mother of two CJ students while balancing a more-than-full time job.”
“My daughter, Coach Britney Carrington. She is working very hard to build a great girls wrestling team for CJ!”
“Sister Christine Julie (Sister CJ) McGuirk - taught biology at CJ in late 1970s to late 1980s.”
“Sister Carol Lichtenberg - teacher and administrator at Julienne and CJ. Later, co-chaired LIFT as provincial of the Ohio Province.”
“Elizabeth Naughton ‘50 - teacher at Julienne and CJ. Finished her career in mid-1990s as administrative assistant to the president.”
“Sister Ruth Ann Bange - teacher at Julienne and CJ. Started the ministry and service program in the mid 1990s.”
“Mrs. Margaret Good - attendance clerk from 1950s to late 1980s.”
“Sister Nancy Gnau ‘48 - first executive director (principal and president) of the merged Chaminade Julienne. One of the top ten women in Dayton in 1974.”
"My sister, Judi MacLeod, class of '88 and Director of the Cuvilly Program. She is an amazing mother and aunt along with being dedicated to her students!"
"Jackie Doss, class of 1980. She takes communion to those in Nursing Homes and is our 90-year-old Mother’s caregiver. I am forever grateful for her."
"My daughter, Angela Mason, who is the most organized, law and order, happy person At CJ."
"Elaine Bonner, staff member, who demonstrates kindness and generosity every day!"
"Joan Marie Weimert Smith worked at NCR, helped her older brother Don L. Weimert with paying for college at UD. She even bought him two cars, which he didn’t take, and gave one to his younger brother Charles. She also took care of her little brother Charles Weimert, and always took him everywhere she went and included him in all activities of hers. She raised five children, and we all were loved, and had a strong German mother that always had our backs growing up. She was an artist. She had a painting of her, Uncle Don, and Uncle Charles crossing a bridge. I’ve always loved the story behind the painting, and her beautiful paining of the scene and her brothers walking across the bridge with her. I was awe struck by her strong family bonds, and that was depicted in her painting. She was a devout Catholic, and loved our blessed Mother. I was blessed to attend CJHS back in the 80’s and graduated in 1987 – CJ Class of 87’! Thanks to my strong parents, and especially Mom for making the family budget work to send me to an awesome Catholic HS, and supporting my four other siblings to attend their school of choice! Thank you Mom and Dad!"
"My mom, Kelly Muhl, is one of the hardest working people I know and her passion is the CJ students! She has played many roles from working in guidance, college admissions, musicals and plays, athletic event coordination, and now is the bright smiling face each person sees at the from desk when they arrive! She may not have graduated from CJ but my mom bleeds blue and green more than anyone I know! She genuinely cares for every student that enters through those doors."
If you would still like to submit the name and details of an inspiring CJ woman, please email Scott Sadowski to have their name added to this list.
--This story was published on March 22, 2021.