December 6

Karen Dehais ’85

Reflect with Alumni Association Board member Karen Dehais ’85 as she recounts the thread of inspirational mentors throughout her life that enabled her vocation to service.

“And my most influential mentor — Sister Maureen Joyce, who led Catholic Charities in Albany, New York. No matter how great the community’s needs, she was a tireless leader. She used her voice on behalf of people who were often overlooked. Sister Maureen consistently kept us centered on our gospel mission, reflecting on her personal call to serve and encouraging us to do the same. Her inspirational example is something that touched me profoundly, and I have tried to emulate it ever since.”

As we prepare during Advent to celebrate the day Christ came to walk among us, may we recognize how Jesus calls us to walk with one another, sends people to bring his light to us on our journey, and asks us to be that light for others.



  1. How we are called to walk with one another really hits home. It seems to show to me How Intertwined Service and our “Faith” is. It is nice to see how these videos tie in with one another. We have seen how are “hidden lives” also directly hits the target of Service; no matter how “small.”

  2. Karen,
    thank you for your inspirational words. So nice to see you. Be well and God bless you. Your friend in ND – Ron Vero.

  3. Karen, Your story reminds me that God is ALWAYS at work in our lives through the people and experiences we encounter, and that in turn, we can become His hands and feet to others. It seems simple, and yet is so beautifully profound as evidenced by your lifelong commitment to service. Thank you for sharing your sacred story, and for being a force for good within the Rochester community and beyond. A blessed Advent/Christmas season to you.

  4. Karen

    You have become a Sr. Maureen to Catholic Charities of Rochester. What you witnessed in her has become was we in Rochester witness in you. Such witness empowers us to do the same. In peace – Sr Mary Lou

  5. Karen,

    Thank you for your beautiful and inspiring message, and for being a light to help guide so many. Your work helping those who have lost their way reminds me of the now passed Father Link, formerly Dean Link of Notre Dame Law School. God bless you.

  6. This is so beautifully shared and so lovingly produced. Kudos to the ND Alumni Association for these Advent Calendar gems, tiny stories perfectly told.

  7. I am very proud to be one of your Notre Dame brothers. Thank you for all your work supporting social justice. Blessings❗️Patrick ND’72

  8. Karen,
    thank you for such an inspiring story. “Be that light for others”…indeed. It’s what a life of Faith in Christ is all about…

  9. A very touching and inspirational story. Karen’s reflection clearly demonstrates that, like Christ, when you put service before self it is easy to become the light for others.

  10. I am not an Alumni or tied to ND in any way (other than enjoying ND Football😉) but have enjoyed the online daily readings for the past two years.

    Your video, along with the others, is beautiful, inspiring and a wonderful reminder to give, and when we feel tired, give more.

    Thank you for your thoughtful message. Merry Christmas!

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