2016 Leadership Council Named

January 27, 2021 by

A woman well known throughout Concordia has been named to lead the Sisters of St. Joseph for the next four years.

Sister Jean Rosemarynoski was elected president of the Concordia congregation Thursday afternoon as the sisters’ four-day “Senate of Elections” neared its conclusion. The Senate — the congregation’s highest deliberative body — convenes every four years, and the schedule depends on the agenda. This Senate began in October 2015 with an assembly of all the sisters in the Catholic religious order and then culminates this week with the Leadership Council elections.

Rosemarynoski will take office July 1, succeeding Sister Marcia Allen, who has served as president for the past eight years.

Rosemarynoski is a native of Wichita and lives in Concordia. She earned her bachelor’s degree at Washburn University and then master’s degrees at Kansas State University and St. Mary University in Winona, Wis. Before being received as a novice in the Sisters of St. Joseph in 1994, she worked at Parkview Passages in Topeka as administrator for education.

She has served as communications director and development director for the congregation, and was first elected to the Leadership Council in 2008. In 2012 she was elected to a four-year term as vice president of the congregation.

Throughout her tenure on the Leadership Council, she has been active in civic organizations, as a member and president of the Rotary Club, board chair for the Concordia Chamber of Commerce and chair of the Concordia Year of Peace Committee. In addition to her other duties, the 63-year-old is also currently serving as interim Motherhouse administrator of sister services.

She will serve with a new congregational Leadership Team that was also elected Feb. 4.

Sister Therese Blecha was elected vice president of the congregation.

Blecha, 74, was raised in rural Republic County, Kan., and currently lives in Concordia where she serves on the congregation’s Leadership Council.

She holds multiple degrees in chemistry, including a bachelor’s from Marymount College, Salina; master’s from the University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, and Kansas State University; and a Ph.D. from Kansas State.

She was received into the Sisters of St. Joseph in 1963, and then spent 25 years teaching — first at Saints Peter & Paul High School in Boonville Mo., and Sacred Heart High School, Salina, and late at Marymount College and Saint Joseph’s College in Rensselaer, Ind.

In 1993 she was appointed treasurer and director of business affairs for the congregation in Concordia, and served in that role until 2008. She was elected to the Leadership Council in 2012 and also serves as treasurer for the U.S. Federation of Sisters of St. Joseph. She has also been a member of the Community Foundation for Cloud County board of director, and currently serves on the board of the Cloud County Resource Center.

Rosemarynoski and Blecha will be joined on the Leadership Team by three newly elected councilors. They are:

  • Sister Janet Mary Lander, originally from Santa Monica, Calif. Sister Janet, 58, earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Mount St. Mary’s University in Los Angeles and another master’s in pastoral ministry from Boston College. She also completed a post-master’s certificate in the practice of spirituality at Boston College.

She originally entered the Sisters of St. Louis of Woodland Hills, Calif., and then in 2003 came to the Sisters of St. Joseph of Concordia.

She lives at Manna House of Prayer in Concordia, where she serves as a spiritual director and retreat leader. She has served as co-director of the CSJ Associates program since 2005 and been a member of numerous congregational committees. She has also had an active role in the U.S. Federation of Sisters of St. Joseph, serving on committees for associate directors and federation artists, as well as teaching in the Federation Novitiate currently based at Manna House.

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