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Feature Articles

Meet Our New Associates: Nellie Derrenkamp
By AJ Keith, Communications intern

Nellie Derrenkamp (center) made her commitment as an Associate in Mission alongside companion S. Terry Thorman (left) and Director of Associates Chanin Wilson in June 2018.

In June 2018, Nellie Derrenkamp decided to devote herself to the spirit of the Sisters of Charity Community by becoming an Associate in Mission. Her natural selfless demeanor answers many of the key pieces of the Sisters of Charity mission, and despite an inundated schedule of work and family, Nellie felt compelled to make her commitment as an Associate this past year.

For nine years, Nellie worked in Mother Margaret Hall nursing facility which is how she was first introduced to the Sisters of Charity. Moved by her patients, she grew fond of the Sisters and their dedication to serving the needs of the community. Nellie recognized that the Sisters were ideal and active citizens, which she attempts to reflect in her own service. “Their dedication to the community and helping poorer communities is really what inspired me the most,” she says.

Ultimately this inspiration convinced her to make her commitment as an Associate. Since then, she has been looking for a branch of service that she is truly passionate about. In the meantime, she continues her nursing career at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital which she believes responds to her commitment to the Sisters because she shares her talents with those in need. Nellie also recognizes the needs of her family in her native country of the Philippines which urge her to provide support for them.

Juggling work, a teenager and support for her family overseas can be overwhelming, she admits, but her enduring faith has provided a stable foundation for her life. “I just have to pray that God will give me good health and will help me serve others,” she says. Nellie attends Mass whenever possible to nourish her spiritual journey and to help her better live out the Gospel values.

Nellie’s gentle temperament is exercised each day to her patients and she hopes to contribute her talents to new forms of service in the upcoming year. She hopes that her service will be different from her work in healthcare to allow her to widen her eyes to the issues of the community. Whatever comes her way, Nellie insists that she would not have been able to persevere without her faith. With her steady faith in God and a career that allows her to act justly to all that she comes across, Nellie is living the Gospel values in a unique and caring way. She believes that all people are capable of caring for others and active service, as she says, “You just have to try because that’s all you can do.”