Sister Betty Werner to retire from diocesan ministry

Sister Betty Werner, O.P., longtime diocesan educator at the Catholic Pastoral Center plans to retire after 15 years of service in the Diocese of Pueblo. Sister Betty has been with the diocese 15 years, serving in several roles within lay ministry and education. The last five she served as the director of online education with the University of Dayton programming.

Sister Betty was hired in 2001 as the superintendent of schools and lay formation. During her tenure with the diocese, she also served as the pastoral department head from 2002 to 2011 and oversaw the Diocesan Pastoral Council from 2002 to 2011. She often held more than one role at the same time and spent many days travelling to various parts of the diocese. In her 15 years, she worked for three bishops - Bishops Tafoya, Isern and Berg.

Some of her most favorite memories are the graduations of all the lay formation and masters groups, as well as visiting the Catholic Schools in the diocese, getting to know the teachers and working with the principals. During her time in Pueblo, she saw a total of 71 people in five groups throughout the diocese graduate from three and four year lay formation programs. Some of those programs included Level II classes in Salida and the New Wine groups that took place in Pueblo, Durango, Alamosa and Grand Junction. Additionally, she brought the LIMEX program from Loyola University to the Diocese of Pueblo. Thirteen people received their masters degree in either religious education or pastoral studies. Two people received a certificate from Loyola for completing the program.

She also is proud of the implementation of Just Faith groups in Pueblo and Alamosa, where participants completed a one year program focusing on justice issues.

One of her most recent accomplishments is the success of University of Dayton’s online education program. She oversaw the program where 128 people completed and received certificates for 533 online classes from Dayton University.

Prior to her arrival in Pueblo, she spent 29 years in education as a teacher and principal. She also served as prioress for the Great Bend Kan. Dominicans for eight years, 1990 to 1998, in addition to spending seven years as a council member on the Great Bend Kan. Dominican Leadership Team from 1986 to 1990 and again from 2006 to 2009. Sister Betty plans to continue to

reside in Pueblo but will return to exclusively serving her community, where she will serve as Mission Group Coordinator for sisters in her community who live in Colorado, New Mexico, Montana, Arizona, Kansas, Missouri and Texas. She was elected to this role in the summer of 2015 and did it simultaneously with her diocesan job. As Mission Group coordinator, she will plan gatherings for the sisters twice a year, visit and keep frequent contact with them, and assist in times of transition, illness, as well as with any monetary issues.

Of her time in the diocese, Sister Betty said, “I have worked with and made many friends over the years. I will always cherish these memories.” She now looks forward to focusing on one thing alone. “I have always said that retirement for me will be doing one job. Now this has become a reality.” For those who wish to send a card to Sister Betty, they may be mailed to: Sister Betty Werner, O.P., 101 N. Greenwood St., Pueblo, CO 81003.