The SSMO Foundation Speaker Series is our gift back to the community that supports our campus. These free, informative discussions complement the SSMO Bethany Center Speaker Series and provide our community with timely educational information from trusted sources.

Thank you for your interest in our Speaker Series. We appreciate all who attended our presentations this year. A new slate of speakers will be announced in September for the 2018-2019 season.


Previous Events


Eldercare 101 – A Practical Guide to Later Life Planning, Care and Wellbeing
Monday, April 23 | 6:30 p.m. | Shalom Center at Maryville

Presenter: Mary Jo Saavedra, Aging Life Care Manager, Gerontologist, Author and Speaker

The Silver Tsunami is upon us as eldercare and crisis management reach a tipping point with the graying of America. By 2020, 54 million people in the US will be over 65; by 2030, that number will exceed 80 million.

Mary Jo Saavedra is a practicing gerontologist and aging life care manager in Portland.  Eldercare 101 is an easy-to-understand guide for families in need of help as they care for their aging loved ones. The discussion will include the “six pillars of aging wellbeing”: legal, financial, living environment, social, medical, and spiritual, helping attendees to proactively navigate transitions as they care for aging parents, grandparents, friends, and other family members.


Quake Up!  Be Prepared, Not Scared – Small Things You Can Do Today
Monday, October 16 | 6:30 p.m. | Valley Catholic Elementary School Cafeteria

Cynthia Valdivia, Public Health Educator
Washington County Public Health Office of Emergency Preparedness


Special Screening: “Black Girl in Suburbia” – A Community Conversation on Diversity and Inclusion
Monday, November 6 | 6:00 p.m. | Kelly Auditorium at Valley Catholic High School

Featured presenters:
Melissa Lowery,
Filmmaker, Director of Diversity & Inclusion, Jesuit High School
David Blue, Director of Diversity & Inclusion, Central Catholic High School

“Black Girl In Suburbia” is a 55-minute feature documentary that looks into the experiences of black girls growing up in predominately white communities. This is a different look into suburbia from the perspective of women of color. This film explores through professional and personal interviews the conflict and issues black girls have relating to both white and black communities.

“Black Girl In Suburbia” intends to spark an open dialogue about race, identity, and perspective among all people – in hopes that these discussions will allow us to look at perceptions of ourselves, others and the community we live in as a whole.

A short trailer of the film is available at

What Happens if I Outlive My Savings? Safeguarding My Financial Future
Monday, March 19 | 6:30 p.m. | Star of the Sea Conference Room in the Sisters of St.  Mary of Oregon Motherhouse 

Kathryn Calcagno, managing director at First Republic Private Wealth Management, toook the mystery out of financial planning as she shared her extensive knowledge. Her presentation helped to answer many questions including: Do you know how much you’ll need to live on in retirement? Are you saving enough? Are you investing correctly to meet your long-term goals? What are the benefits of waiting until 70 to collect Social Security? Can using your home equity help? This informative discussion was provided free of charge.