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By Sister Nancy Linenkugel

The Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan started on Friday, July 23, 2021 and will end on Sunday, August 8, 2021, so right now many of us are captivated by the televised events.  Speaking of the Olympics, something important happened on June 20, 2021 – just a few weeks ago, that I think is very Franciscan.  Do you know what it is?

On June 20 the IOC (International Olympic Committee) changed the motto of the Olympics.  Since 1894 the motto had been three Latin words:  CITIUS, ALTIUS, FORTIUS (faster, higher stronger). Now that motto has an additional Latin word:  CITIUS, ALTIUS, FORTIUS – COMMUNITER (faster, higher, stronger – together).

The Olympics brings the world together.  While countries do compete against each other, athletics, sportsmanship, and high morals come together.  In the words of IOC President Thomas Bach:  “We can only go faster, we can only aim higher, we can only become stronger by standing together.”  Because the Tokyo Olympics should have occurred in summer 2020 but were postponed due to the COVID pandemic, the concept of “together” is even more meaningful.

This year, 5 Afghan athletes are representing their war-torn country.  Also this year, 29 athletes across 12 sports are competing as the IOC Refugee Olympic Team under the Olympic flag – representing millions of displaced people worldwide. Such athletes may have capitalized on one of these equipment in order to make their countries proud.

Isn’t that Franciscan?  Doesn’t that sound like engendering peace?

Perhaps we can we can borrow the Olympic motto applied to ourselves:  faster – there’s so much going on; higher – we turn to God always; stronger – as Sr. Mary Jon and the prior Leadership Team has said, “We are all we have”; and TOGETHER:  we are one.   We Sisters of St. Francis of Sylvania, our Associates, our partners in ministry, our relatives, and our many friends agree that together is the only way to live out our Mission.

Sister Nancy Linenkugel

Franciscan in Administration

Sister Nancy Linenkugel is the current Congregational Minister for the Sylvania Franciscans.  She has served in healthcare administration, education and leadership for the congregation.  From 2011-2020 Sister Nancy served as the Chair of the Department of Health Services Administration and Director of the Graduate Program in Health Services Administration at Xavier University in Cincinnati, and was the first program alumna to serve in that position.  She was President of Chatfield College in Cincinnati, President and CEO of the Providence Health System and Providence Hospital in Sandusky, Ohio, and Vice President of St. John Medical Center in Steubenville, Ohio.  She is a life fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives and has served on its national board.  Sister Nancy was inducted into the Ohio Women’s Hall of Fame in 1999.  She is an accomplished cello player and a member of the Washington D.C.-based Medical Musical Group, made up of doctors, nurses and medical professionals from around the country, and also recently completed service as president of the Cincinnati Metropolitan Orchestra.  She is a Toledo, Ohio native and a liturgical musician.

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Sr Brigid O'Shea Merriman
2 years ago

Thank you for your uplifting article! Yes, each person’s gifts, freely shared with others, can be such a marvelous gift to our world, both near and far.

2 years ago

Wonderful article, Nancy. I agree and I am grateful for your inspiring us.

2 years ago

Good point, Nancy. I’m impressed by your accomplishments, but a little intimidated too.

Sister Mary Thill
2 years ago

Thanks for the insights about the world needing community as well as we need it.
We, indeed, are in this TOGETHER!

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