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November Partner Spotlight: Dick Tapke

Posted on: October 27, 2016 10:00 am
Tags: Spotlight, Associates, Volunteer,

The Sisters of Notre Dame are missioned to proclaim God’s goodness and provident care, but we do not do it alone! Hundreds of individuals and organizations dedicate their prayers, their time, and various resources to share in carrying out Jesus’ mission near and far. Each month we pass the mic to one or more of our partners and shine the spotlight on their relationship with the Sisters of Notre Dame.

November 2016 Partner Spotlight: Dick Tapke

How did you become a part of the Notre Dame family?

Aside from Sisters of Notre Dame teaching our children at St. Agnes School in Fort Wright, KY, I met Sister Mary Joell Overman in 1986 when I joined her on the Board of Trustees at St. Elizabeth Medical Center.  Sister Joell was Provincial at the time and in her last year on the board. From there, my relationship with the Sisters of Notre Dame grew over the following 30 years.

Favorite aspects?

My favorite part of working with the Sisters of Notre Dame is the relationship that has formed….of mutual love and respect.  The Sisters are so grounded in their mission that the focus and direction never strays too far.  Few are blessed to have such examples of God’s love so present in their daily interactions.

I receive friendship, trust, love…and most importantly, prayer.  In this life’s journey to find our ultimate reward in heaven, I am far better off for my relationship with the Sisters than I would be otherwise.

How are you a part of the mission?

The proverbial time, talent and resources comes to mind, but I am such an insignificant part of their life’s mission that is lived every hour of every day that it would be too much to claim a part of the mission.

The Notre Dame charism shines through so many different ministries and institutions. Notre Dame Academy is the capstone and has touched so many families in Northern Kentucky. I attended a forum for St. Claire Regional Medical Center where I clearly heard that the community of Morehead, KY valued the Sisters’ sponsorship of the Medical Center and wanted that to continue. St. Charles Community touches many families in Northern Kentucky, including our own as my mother is in the personal care unit. The exceptional care, daily Communion, Rosary are all part of the culture created by the Sisters of Notre Dame. The Notre Dame Urban Education Center and Julie Learning Center are changing lives and making a difference.  The Uganda Mission is probably less known, but what a story to be told!

All of these examples are a remarkable story of the faith in God and the strength and courage that it takes to start a new mission. The original sisters arrived in a foreign country to open schools and then orphanages. These educators then took on a new mission to sponsor and manage a hospital in Morehead, KY and then a nursing facility in Fort Wright because they were asked to do so.  And then, leaving the comforts of St. Joseph Heights, the Sisters and their families go to Uganda to start a very successful school in the middle of literally nowhere.  That is a truly remarkable story of faith in God’s love and protection, courage and selflessness.      

Julie Tapke Dusing
Date: on November 3, 2016

I'm so proud of both my parents for all they have done for the Sisters and for our community. They teach through their actions.

Laura Koehl
Date: on November 1, 2016

Dick, Jeanne-Marie and their family are such dedicated supporters of the SND's and NDA. They do graciously share their time, talent and treasure so that many in our community can experience God's goodness. Dick, thank you for your leadership and dedication to Catholic education for young women!

Sr. Judith
Date: on November 1, 2016

Dick says such good things about us and our mission. But he is truly a grace for us too. He came all the way to Uganda to "see for himself" what the middle of nowhere was like. Thank you for all you are and do for the SNDs.

Sr Anita
Date: on November 1, 2016

I feel we are very blessed to have Dick as part of our mission. God bless you for all you do so humbly for all of us and in particular for our Ugandan mission. See you soon :)

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