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Understanding the Extraordinary
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Book recalls Carondelet's
'Valiant Women'

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Jan Term: a time of exploration at Saint Mary's College

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Outreach in Fremont

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placeholder January 18, 2016   •   VOL. 54, NO. 2   •   Oakland, CA
Catholic Schools Week

Book recalls Carondelet's 'Valiant Women'

As part of its 50th anniversary celebration, Carondelet High School in Concord has published "Valiant Women," documenting the school's history through stories and photos.

The book was written by Sister Eleanor Eagan, CSJ, whose ministry at the school, founded by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, spans 34 years. She has served as a religious studies and English teacher, admissions director, alumnae director, Carondeletter editor and historian.

'Valiant Women'
By Sister Eleanor Eagan, CSJ
Cost: $15
Order: www.carondelet.net/valiantwomen

"This book has been a labor of love for our dear Sister Eleanor," said Carondelet President Bonnie Cotter. "We are so proud to share our rich history with the greater community and relive some of the poignant moments that shaped the school's identity."

The book has a cover price of $15; $5 from each book will go to the newly created Sister Eleanor Scholarship Fund. The book is available through www.carondelet.net/

Sister Eleanor, who has been a Sister of St. Joseph of Carondelet for 65 years, graciously answered questions from The Catholic Voice about the book via email.

"Valiant Women" is a book 50 years in the making. How difficult do you think it was for those first Sisters of yours?

The Sisters were all well prepared professionally. Nevertheless, something new is always tested. Also they would have to double up on assignments, activities monitoring, etc. Commuting across town must have been an added burden.

Carondelet High School has been educating "valiant women" for 50 years … how has the definition of "valiant" changed over the years?

I took the title from the Scripture text: Who shall find a valiant woman? I dedicated the book to the valiant women of 1650 (year of Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet founding); refounding after the French Revolution (1807); going to America (1836); and coming to Concord (1965). All these step were challenging! Valiant means bold in the sense of courageous and risk-taking.

Anything surprise you as you were writing the book?

I would say the growing realization that Carondelet is a very human institution charged with a divine mission. We are constantly in need of divine assistance and the need to reform.

What are your favorite moments in your 34 years at Carondelet High School?

The best, of course, were teaching moments. But when I moved into other areas — writing, counseling, admissions work, etc. — I said I was "educating" instead of "teaching." It all has been good!

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