Annual Pumpkin Patch set this weekend

October 17, 2019 by  

That hint of chill in the night air can only mean one thing — it’s almost time for the Sisters of St. Joseph of Concordia’s annual Pumpkin Patch. This year’s family-friendly event will be from 1 to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 19 and Sunday, Oct. 20.

Last year, scores of little kids — with parents, grandparents and older siblings tagging along — flooded onto the Motherhouse grounds to become bean bag-tossers, corn pile diggers, hay rack riders and pumpkin bowlers.

And of course many took advantage of all the fun fall photo opportunities!

The entrance will be at the east gate (between the Motherhouse and the Concordia Community Garden of Hope), and admission costs $3 per person, with kids 2 and younger free.

Returning for a fifth year will be the popular hay ride around the Motherhouse grounds, as well as the corn pile, hay stack slide, pumpkin bowling, games, a scavenger hunt and other kids’ activities.

New this year will be a free door prize drawing for a fun but spooky yard/porch decoration perfect for Halloween. You do not need to be present to win, but you do have to be able to pick it up. The winner will be drawn at the end of the day on Sunday.

Kids are encouraged to wear their Halloween costumes as they take part in the fun.

The event is organized by Ambria Gilliland, the Sisters of St. Joseph assistant development director, with lots of other staff members and volunteers lending a hand. Come join the fun and enjoy the beautiful grounds!

For more information, email agilliland@csjkansas.org or call      (785) 243-2113 ext. 1225.

Question of the Day

October 17, 2019 by  

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Thursday, Oct. 17, 2019

October 17, 2019 by  

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Delicious autumn!  My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns. 

~ George Eliot

Eulogy for Sister Geraldine Kokenge — Feb. 26, 1928 – Oct. 14, 2019

October 16, 2019 by  

Vigil: Oct. 16, 2019 at the Nazareth Motherhouse
Eulogist: Sister Marilyn Wall

Sister Geraldine Mary Ann Kokenge was born on Feb. 26, 1928, in the midst of a dust storm. Her parents were Lawrence Kokenge and Frances Rosa Rallinger. She was the second oldest child and the first daughter. Her siblings were Raymond, the older brother, and three younger children, Helen, Elmer and Lorine (Peggy). Raymond and Helen preceded her in death. Elmer and Peggy, as well as numerous nieces and nephews, survive.

The family lived in the country near St Benedict, Kan., with their grandparents until Gerry was three years old. They then moved to Seneca where her dad was employed as a mechanic. Gerry attended Sts. Peter and Paul grade school. She said her early years were very difficult. She was a tall child and was seated in the back of the classroom. She was not able to see the blackboard so missed a lot of what was taught. She enjoyed playing with the neighborhood children. The family lived on the edge of town and had a lot of fruit trees and a large garden. She watched and helped her mother preserve the produce for winter. No doubt she began her cooking career there. Even in the last few years she would talk about the two pear trees they had and how the children did not like to eat them because they were gritty. Finally, her mother started making pear butter and that made eating them so much easier.

After graduating from high school, Gerry got a job at the Seneca Hospital. There she worked with Sr. Matthew Vopat who, Gerry says, was an influence in her vocation.

Gerry entered the Sisters of St. Joseph on Feb. 3, 1947, along with Sister Ann Catherine Wiltz who was from Sabetha, Kan. She entered the Novitiate in August of 1947 and received the name of Sister Mary Justina. Her first profession was in August of 1948 and Final Vows were in August of 1951.

Sister Gerry’s main ministry in the community was in the kitchens of many missions and schools. She has remarked “Every place I went I enjoyed.”

Gerry considered herself most fortunate in that as a young sister Sister Maxine Lutgen was her mentor in the Motherhouse kitchen teaching her how to cook and bake. Gerry especially remembers Sister Maxine showing her how to make the 30 to 40 loaves of bread that were needed for the Motherhouse Community.

In her own words: “We would mix all of the ingredients together except the flour … making a “sponge” and waiting for it to bubble – then we added the flour and kneaded and formed balls of dough which would then rise in the pans til ready for the oven.” Gerry has also told me this procedure several times in the past years, and every time I hear it I think: “Isn’t this just like the presence and patience of our Creator God?”

Sister Maxine set her up for her many years of cooking and baking and Gerry always spoke of her with the utmost esteem and gratitude.

Further assignments took her to many places in Salina, Kansas: St John’s Hospital, Marymount College, St. Mary’s Convent and Sacred Heart Cathedral School and rectory and Sacred Heart Junior-Senior High School. She served in many other places including Schoenchen, St. Joseph’s Hospital in Concordia, Grand Island, Neb., Oakley Kan., and Junction City Kan.

Sister Marcia Allen, who lived with Gerry in Junction City, said that “wherever she served, Sister Gerry’s loving nourishment added greatly to the quality of community life of the Sisters. Three meals a day for 20-some people might by some people be called drudgery, but Gerry’s ready and generous spirit never hinted at the burdens that might have accompanied her work. Her meals were delicious and nourishing and served with a spirit of hospitality. For us, she was the yeast of which Jesus spoke.”

One of Gerry’s last ministries as a cook was Central High School in Salina, which she enjoyed and became good friends with many of those working with her. There, she noted, one had to follow strict State guidelines. At one point the cooks were perplexed because the students were not eating their chili well. Gerry asked if she could add a bit of sugar to the recipe to bring out the flavor. It helped a lot and they even got the recipe changed by the State. Gerry also cooked at Kansas Weselyan College and loved the interaction and joking with the students, about 1500, who attended school there. They were especially fond of her biscuits and gravy. Gerry’s humor was always evident and enjoyed by all with whom she worked.

In all of her years of ministry Sister Gerry lit up when she spoke of her ministry of cooking and one sensed the joy she found in preparing meals for others.

In thinking about Sister Gerry and her ministry one realizes how her ministry colored her spirituality, and that as she prepared leavened bread, she also became leaven for those whom she served and loved.

Sister Joyce Rupp has a lovely reflection on being a handful of dough and being asked by God to be leaven for a whole batch of people so that faith will rise in hearts. As the dough is kneaded and formed beyond its expectations so we are shaped by daily dyings to self so that God can be our rising strength and we can love enough to be shared.

In 2000, Sister Gerry moved to Medialle Center in Salina. During her time there she volunteered at the Senior Citizen Center and at the public school and began to do tole painting. She painted on baskets and wooden objects and discovered, by surprise, that she was really a very good artist. When Medialle closed in 2006 she moved to the Motherhouse. There she visited Mount Joseph and did helpful works around the Motherhouse. She painted many items and some were sold in the gift shop here.

Gerry moved to Mount Joseph in January of 2018. She lived out the rest of her life there and left us on Oct. 14, 2019.

Gerry, we believe that you have risen with Jesus.

We believe that you know now the whole story of God’s incredible love for you.

We trust that you are celebrating with those who have gone before you,

But we will expect your presence and help here also.

As you are now with God, in a new way, your presence is God’s presence.

 

Memorials for Sister Geraldine Kokenge may be given to the Sisters of St. Joseph Health Care/ Retirement Fund or the Apostolic Works of the Sisters; P.O Box 279, Concordia, KS 66901.

To make an online donation in Sister Geraldine Kokenge’s memory, click on the button below:

DonateNow 

 

 

 

Sister Nancy Meade — Dec. 10, 1938-Oct. 14, 2019

October 14, 2019 by  

Sister Nancy Meade died Oct. 14, 2019, at Nazareth Motherhouse in Concordia, Kan. She was 80 years old and a Sister of St. Joseph of Concordia for 60 years.

She was born in Abilene, Kan, on Dec. 10, 1938, to Cornelius and Minnie Lake Meade, the youngest of six children, and was baptized Nancy Helen. She entered the Sisters of St. Joseph of Concordia on Sept. 8, 1958. On March 18, 1959, Nancy received the habit of the Sisters of St. Joseph and was given the name Sister Marie Cecile, later changing back to her baptismal name. She pronounced first vows on March 19, 1960, and final vows on March 19, 1963.

Sister Nancy received a B.M.Ed. in music education in 1967; followed by a M.M.Ed. in music education in 1972 from the University of Colorado. This was followed by a B.F.A. in theater from Stephen’s College in Columbia, Mo., in 1982. She taught in schools staffed by the Sisters of St. Joseph in Aurora, Ill., Gladstone, Mich., Boonville, Mo., and Silver City, N.M. After retirement she moved to the Motherhouse in 2014.

Sister Nancy was preceded in death by her parents, three brothers and two sisters. A Bible Vigil Service will be held at 7 p.m. Oct. 17, 2019, in the Nazareth Motherhouse Chapel with Sister Faye Huelsmann as the eulogist. The Mass of Christian Burial will be at 10:30 a.m. Oct. 18, 2019, in the Motherhouse Chapel with Father Barry Brinkman presiding. The internment of cremains will be in the Nazareth Motherhouse Cemetery.

Chaput-Buoy Mortuary, 325 W. Sixth St., Concordia, Kan., is in charge of arrangements. Memorials for Sister Nancy Meade may be given to the Sisters of St. Joseph Health Care/ Retirement Fund or the Apostolic Works of the Sisters; P.O. Box 279, Concordia, Kan., 66901.

To make an online donation in Sister Nancy Meade’s memory, click on the button below:

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Sister Geraldine Kokenge — Feb. 26, 1928 – Oct. 14, 2019

October 14, 2019 by  

Sister Geraldine Kokenge died Oct. 14, 2019, at Mount Joseph Senior Village in Concordia. She was 91 years old and a Sister of St. Joseph of Concordia for 72 years. She was born in St. Benedict, Kan., on Feb. 26, 1928, to Lawrence and Frances Rilinger Kokenge, the second of five children, and was baptized Geraldine Mary Ann. She entered the Sisters of St. Joseph of Concordia on Feb. 2, 1947. On Aug. 14, 1947, Geraldine received the habit of the Sisters of St. Joseph and was given the name Sister Mary Justina, later returning to her baptismal name, Geraldine. She pronounced first vows on Aug. 15, 1948, and final vows on Aug. 15, 1951.

Sister Geraldine served the community in the food service industry in various institutions including Kansas Wesleyan University and Sacred Heart Jr./Sr. High School in Salina, Kan.

After she retired in 2000, she moved to Medaille Center, Salina; and then to Nazareth Motherhouse in 2006.

Sister Geraldine was preceded in death by her parents, one brother and one sister. She is survived by one brother, Elmer, of Topeka, Kan., and one sister, Lorrine Warner, of Pembroke, Mass.

A Bible Vigil Service will be held at 7 p.m. Oct. 16, 2019, in the Nazareth Motherhouse Chapel with Sister Marilyn Wall as the eulogist. The Mass of Christian Burial will be at 10:30 a.m. Oct. 17, 2019, in the Motherhouse Chapel with Father Barry Brinkman presiding. The internment of cremains will be in the Nazareth Motherhouse Cemetery.

Chaput-Buoy Mortuary, 325 W. Sixth St., Concordia, Kan., is in charge of arrangements. Memorials for Sister Geraldine Kokenge may be given to the Sisters of St. Joseph Health Care/ Retirement Fund or the Apostolic Works of the Sisters; P.O. Box 279, Concordia, Kan. 66901.

To make an online donation in Sister Geraldine Kokenge’s memory, click on the button below:

DonateNow 

 

Creating a greener lifestyle

October 14, 2019 by  

To learn more about the Sisters of St. Joseph Ecological Integrity Committee, CLICK HERE.

Plant a tree.

 

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October 14, 2019 by  

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Monday, Oct. 14, 2019

October 14, 2019 by  

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Memory is a way of holding onto the things you love, the things you are, the things you never want to lose.

~From the television show The Wonder Years

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October 7, 2019 by  

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