Feature Story

As an artist, Sister Paula Laschenski often sees things many people miss. For example, about a year ago, she took a walk and noticed a glint of frost on old fallen leaves.  Using the camera on her phone, Sister Paula knelt to the ground and captured, a wonderland of shapes outlined in frost producing a unique view of nature. Several of these photos were printed, framed and hung in the 1st floor kitchenette, a place to pause for refreshment at Villa Julie, where she lives.

One of Sister Paula’s current projects involves offering work from her art portfolio to the public. She currently has a website in conjunction with Fine Art America. The Fine Art America website, manages sales, framing and distribution of work submitted by artists. Sister Paula's goal is to help others appreciate the beauty of God's creation as well as to make a contribution to our Notre Dame ministries.

The address of her site is 1-paula-laschenski.pixels.com

Sister Paula was raised in suburban Philadelphia. "My parents met during World War 1, My mother took the brave step of leaving her home in Massachusetts after graduating from high school to serve in the war effort in Washington, D.C. where. she met my father who was a Captain in the US Army at Fort Mead in Maryland. They met at a dance. Their openness to new experiences and commitment to service is something they instilled in their children. My brothers, Sigmund, John, and I have been gifted with their values."

"As a teenager, I considered becoming a commercial artist, but because of my experience at Notre Dame High School in Moylan, Pennsylvania and the example of the sisters inspired me. I felt called to religious life and entered the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur in Maryland right after graduation in 1946."

Sister Paula taught elementary school in several places along the East Coast before earning a graduate degree in media studies at Indiana University. " I studied graphic arts, television production and photography and was able to use those skills in a variety of ministries over the years."

Among others, these ministries included CCD Coordinator in Saint Ursula’s Parish in Baltimore, Media Specialist for the Catholic Mission Office of Erie, Pennsylvania, Television Producer for Southern West Virginia Community College and Media Specialist for Vista Volunteers in Beaufort, South Carolina. Sister Paula also served as AV specialist at Trinity College, Director of Volunteer Services Our Daily Bread in Baltimore, Notre Dame Mission Volunteer in Baltimore and editor of Endeavor, the magazine of the Tri-Province Development Office.

Although officially retired Paula remains active. She is a Content Gatherer for the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur US eNewsletter, a member of the US SNDdeN Communications Advisory Council and continues her work as an artist.

"My passion is sharing the beauty of God’s creation with others. I am grateful and humbled by the support I have received from family, friends and my sisters in Notre Dame. They are a testament to the words of Saint Julie: The good God will always give us in the right time and in the right place whatever we need."