Sisters close celebration with ice cream, community lawn party

June 3, 2009 by

Guests fill the seats on the Motherhouse lawn as the short formal program begins Wednesday afternoon.

Guests fill the seats on the Motherhouse lawn as the short formal program begins Wednesday afternoon.

Immediately following the formal program, guests flocked to eat free ice cream in the shady area on the west side of the Motherhouse.

Immediately following the formal program, guests flocked to eat free ice cream in the shady area on the west side of the Motherhouse.

The party was 125 years in the making.
On Wednesday afternoon, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Concordia brought an end to their celebration of the 125th anniversary of their arrival in Kansas.

Sister Beth Stover welcomes the crowd.

Sister Beth Stover welcomes the crowd.

But they did so by inviting the community into the Motherhouse and onto its grounds for an ice cream social, tours, children’s games and other festivities.

In addition to nearly all of the 160 Sisters of St. Joseph who “came home” for the event, there were another couple hundred friends, family and community supporters on hand as well.

The afternoon began with a short formal program, with Sister Beth Stover serving as emcee. In addition to serving as vice president of the Concordia-based Roman Catholic religious order, Sister Beth is also a member of the committee that planned and presented the 125h celebration.

Sister Ann Glatter rings in the ceremony with an old-fashioned school bell.

Sister Ann Glatter "rings in" the ceremony with an old-fashioned school bell.

Other speakers during the half-hour program were:

• Father LeRoy Metro, who gave the invocation.
• State Sen. Mark Taddiken, who read a proclamation from Gov. Mark Parkinson honoring the sisters. (See related story by clicking HERE.)
• State Rep, Elaine Bowers, who praised the sisters for their continuing contributions to the community.
• Concordia Mayor Greg Hattan, who read a proclamation from the city marking June 3, 2009, as “Sisters of St. Joseph Day.”
• Sister Marcia Allen, president of the Sisters of St. Joseph, who spoke about the order’s commitment to Concordia, and Concordia’s importance to the sisters both here and elsewhere.

Father LeRoy Metro

Father LeRoy Metro

Mayor Greg Hattan

Mayor Greg Hattan

The Sisters of St. Joseph arrived in Kansas in 1883, with the intent of going on to Arizona Territory. The reported dangers of Indian uprising dissuaded them from that destination, and they stayed in Newton, Kan., for a year. In 1884, the small band moved to Concordia where they established a convent and academy.

State Rep. Elaine Bowers

State Rep. Elaine Bowers

State Sen. Mark Taddiken

State Sen. Mark Taddiken

Having outgrown that building, now home to Manna House of Praqyer at Fifth and Olive streets in Concordia, in 1902 tey began construction on the five-story red brick building that is their home today. That building was completed in 1903, with the Sacred Heart Chapel added in 1907; it has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1973.

Sister Mary Fran Simons and Concordia Mayor Greg Hattan renew their acquaintance Wednesday. Sister Mary Fran, who now lives and works in Chandler, Ariz., was Hattan's high school Latin teacher.

Sister Mary Fran Simons and Concordia Mayor Greg Hattan renew their acquaintance Wednesday. Sister Mary Fran, who now lives and works in Chandler, Ariz., was Hattan's high school Latin teacher.

After the short formal program Wednesday afternoon, the sisters served ice cream — made possible by a donation from Dairy Queen — and entertained children with lawn games, offered guided tours of the historic Motherhouse, explained displays of their wide-ranging missions and ministries and spent time getting to know those who had come to join the celebration.

The weather earlier in the week had been a concern — with heavy rainfall both Monday and Tuesday — but after clouds threatened earlier in the day, Wednesday afternoon turned out crystal clear and sunny. The high mid afternoon was about 72, with light breezes from the north.

Bob and Lorene Steimel, along with their 6-year-old granddaughter, all at left, strolled through Lourdes Park as part of their afternoon at the Motherhouse.

Bob and Lorene Steimel, along with their 6-year-old granddaughter, all at left, strolled through Lourdes Park as part of their afternoon at the Motherhouse.

Sister Bev Carlin demonstrates the best bowling technique as Sister Lucille Herman, left, looks on.

Sister Bev Carlin demonstrates the best bowling technique as Sister Lucille Herman, left, looks on.

Sisters Pauline Kukula, left, and Janet Lander, right, talk with facilities administrator Greg Gallagher before the party starts Wednesday.

Sisters Pauline Kukula, left, and Janet Lander, right, talk with facilities administrator Greg Gallagher before the party starts Wednesday.

Sisters of St. Joseph came to the Motherhouse Wednesday to celebrate the orders anniversary — and to renew friendships with other sisters scattered in 11 states.

Sisters of St. Joseph came to the Motherhouse Wednesday to celebrate the order's anniversary — and to renew friendships with other sisters scattered in 11 states.

Sister Marcia Allen speaks to the crowd Wednesday.

Sister Marcia Allen speaks to the crowd Wednesday.

The special anniversary banner has graced the stone wall in the front of the Motherhouse since June 2008.

The special anniversary banner has graced the stone wall in the front of the Motherhouse since June 2008.

Comments

4 Responses to “Sisters close celebration with ice cream, community lawn party”

  1. Jean Befort on July 18th, 2009 3:48 pm

    More than a month later I am so grateful to be able to “virtually” participate in the closing of our 125th Anniversary. (It was a sad day for me, as I lay in the hospital, knowing all of our Sisters and friends were enjoying such a beautiful time). The pictures and the stories provided a great opportunity to capture the day, the next best thing to being there!! I/We as CSJ’s have so much to be grateful for, and to all who attended, and wished to have been there! We are blessed!

  2. Jeanette Wasinger on June 22nd, 2009 9:52 am

    It is Monday morning, June 22, and I am looking at these pictures again. They carry memories personal and more than personal…communal…and global! Makes me smile right now. It was delightful to end the 125th Anniversary Year on the day of my birthday, too. What a special way to celebrate everyone! I appreciated the simplicity of the day … the sincere good wishes … the smiles and warm greetings.
    Jeanette

  3. Marcia Allen on June 16th, 2009 5:41 am

    I loved this day! My response to all the beauty of it? Let’s have an ice cream party on the front lawn every spring!

  4. Bette Moslander on June 7th, 2009 6:11 am

    Congratulations and gratitude to all who planned the close of the 125th. It was a wonderful event. The ground was alive with all the children and the care dogs and well wishers. Thanks to Concordia and the State of Kansas for your gracious good wishes.

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