Motherhouse retreat encourages self-discovery for teens

March 14, 2017 by  

Sister Marcia Allen, back to camera, talks with the Sacred Heart High School seniors touring the Nazareth Motherhouse this morning.

The transition from high school to college can be difficult for even the most prepared students. A daylong retreat today at the Nazareth Motherhouse offered Sacred Heart High School seniors advice on how to handle the upcoming challenges.

“First semester wasn’t that great, but it got better,” said Kate Schieferecke, a 2015 Sacred Heart graduate now in her second year at Kansas State University in Manhattan.

Kate Schieferecke talks about her experience moving from high school to college.

“I felt like I was beyond prepared. I was pretty socially adept,” the economics major said. “I went in with confidence that I would rock college. But that’s not how it went.”

Homesickness, loss of friends and family support groups, overly high expectations and other distractions were just a few of the difficulties Schieferecke told the 14 students that she experienced. Her most helpful piece of advice for the college-bound women?

She advised them that before they leave for college to decide who they wanted to be.

“Having a conscious awareness of who I wanted to be helped me make good decisions,” Schieferecke said. “Faith is no longer built into your schedule. You have to make a conscious decision on how it will fit into your life.”

While making new friends in college may be more difficult than depicted on TV and in books, following core values and having a knowledge of inner self can make finding quality friends easier. Schieferecke said she wrote down who she wanted to be and based who she hung out with and where she went on statement.

“If you go looking for apples, you go to the produce section,” Schieferecke said. “If you are looking for really good, solid Catholic friends, go to campus ministries.”

Schieferecke’s advice came on the heels of a meditation exercise led that morning by Sister Marcia Allen that encouraged students to look deep inside themselves and answer two questions: Who am I really and what do I want for my one and only life? The young women used writing and drawing among other offered techniques to help focus their meditation on their inner desires.

“Your most significant relationship is with yourself,” Sister Marcia told the students. “God is in us, and we are in God.”

Every spring the Sisters of St. Joseph host the senior girls from the Catholic high school in Salina. In addition to prayer, attending Mass with Father David Metz, meditation and discussion, the teens toured the historic Nazareth Motherhouse and joined the sisters who live there for lunch.

Motherhouse Spaghetti Dinner becomes a family affair

March 12, 2017 by  

Spaghetti is the main course at the Sisters’ annual spring fundraiser, but other activities were a part of drawing what may have been a record crowd to the Nazareth Motherhouse today.


Yes, there was spaghetti, of course. And prize drawings and a bake sale and tours of the historic Nazareth Motherhouse. Yes, there was a silent auction and even a quilt sale, along with live musical entertainment, grab-bags and Easter baskets.

Yet what there was most of was family — cousins and siblings and nieces and grand-nephews and… well… family of every description, who came to today’s annual Spaghetti Dinner hosted by the Sisters of St. Joseph for something of a family reunion.

Many arrived in big bunches of family, spanning three or four generations. Others came in ones and twos to remember an aunt, great-aunt or other relatives who had been a Sister in Concordia.

“I never met her,” said one young woman of a great-aunt who had been a Sister and is now buried in the Nazareth Cemetery behind the Motherhouse, “but this place and these women were such important parts of her life… I just wanted to be here.”

She and her family were among hundreds of guests, along with untold volunteers, Sisters and staff, who filled the Motherhouse for today’s annual spring fundraiser.

Kitchen staff, buoyed by volunteers, served a record 625 dinners and the event raised $10,927 to benefit the ministries of the Sisters of St. Joseph.

Musicians performing today were the Bent Wind with a Kick, John Paul Breault, Sarah Jeardoe, Amber Rogers and Sheri Johnson.

In the prize drawings, the winners were:

  • $500 —Carroll Macke, Kansas City, Kan.
  • $300 cash —Kevin Shelton, Randall, Kan.
  • $200 cash —Cindy DeLeón, Concordia
  • Keurig coffee maker —Vicky Sweet, Salina
  • CharBroil grill —Ruth Reinert, Dodge City, Kan.
  • Quilt (made by Sister Betty Suther) — Debbie and Keith Sells, Belleville

Helping to draw the winning tickets was Austin Scheel, a great-great-nephew of Sister Norma Schlick.

The annual special event is organized by the sisters’ Development Office, with months of work by assistant director Ambria Gilliland and assistant Laura Hansen. During the dinner, Sister Loretta Jasper coordinated the legion of volunteers who came from across the state to help.

Come sing along with us!

March 11, 2017 by  

A new offering that provides an innovative combination of onsite
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    “Religious life is changing. Large numbers were just an anomaly.  It’s going to be different. The future is very uncertain. Religious life as we know it is dying.”  
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        • Do you want to be an agent of transformation?
        • Do you believe that you can make a difference?
        • Are you tired of just getting by from one day to the next?
        • Have you stopped dreaming or hoping for something more?
        • Does your charism belong in our world’s future?

Now’s your chance to create the community to which you want to belong! We invite you to help write the new story of religious life for women – the story of the life for the post-contemporary generations. Come sing along with us! 

Composing a New Song:
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This is not a course. We don’t have answers to teach. But we do have a desire to find a way forward.  Together, with you, we can write the new language of hope and intentionality.  It will be a major work, an enduring work that will carry us through the desert of uncertainty and shifting values.  Don’t miss the opportunity to be a part of making a difference!


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Remember: ‘Spring forward’ Saturday night!

March 11, 2017 by  

Remember to set your clocks ahead one hour before you go to bed tonight (March 11)! We return to Daylight Saving Time at 2 a.m. Sunday — and lose that hour that we gained when we “fell back” last fall.

Kids, grownups and the reader all have a magnificent time!

March 10, 2017 by  


It takes a magnificent retired teacher to capture the attention of a room full of preschoolers and their parents AND their grandparents and caregivers.

Margo Hosie was that person this morning at Neighborhood to Neighbor when she was the latest guest reader in the monthly “Reading with Friends” storytime series.

The book was “The Most Magnificent Thing,” which Hosie began by talking about “this big word ‘magnificent’” that she had printed on something of a flash card.

By the end of the story, however, Hosie said the first card made the word “magnificent” seem plain and small, and the story by Canadian author and illustrator Ashley Spires showed it as a big and exciting — so then she unveiled a much larger placard adorned with sparkles and stars.

Hosie, of Concordia, said even as a child she played as a teacher to her siblings and appreciated the chance to be a guest reader. “It’s just fun to be a part of it, and reading is so important,” she said.

The “Reading with Friends” storytimes are for children ages 3, 4 and 5. Each session includes playtime and a snack, plus children receive a free copy of that day’s book to take home. Parents, grandparents and other caregivers may stay downstairs at the day center for women to enjoy coffee and snacks – but many choose to join their small charges upstairs to listen to the story.

The monthly program has been part of Neighbor to Neighbor’s regular offerings since September 2012. The final session for the 2016-17 school year will be April 7, beginning at 10 a.m.

There is a limit of 30 children per session so parents need to register in advance by calling Neighbor to Neighbor at 785/262-4215 or emailing

“Reading with Friends” is funded in part by a grant from the Dane G. Hansen Fund, through the Community Foundation for Cloud County.




Friday, March 10, 2017

March 10, 2017 by  


“… I was a stranger and you invited me in…”

– Jesus

#NCSW #CatholicSisters


Thursday, March 9, 2017

March 9, 2017 by  


“… I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink…”

 – Jesus

#NCSW #CatholicSisters


KINDNESS — Get in the Habit

March 8, 2017 by  

Join us as we celebrate National Catholic Sisters Week

March 7, 2017 by  

For National Catholic Sisters Week, March 8-14, congregations of women religious across the country are working to make people in our communities more aware of the power of kindness. Originally designed by the Catholic Sisters of the Upper Mississippi River Valley, the campaign was then shared with congregations nationwide through the Communicators for Women Religious, with each local congregation encouraged to “customize” it to fit their community.  

Each day from March 8 through March 14, we will post a new message of KINDNESS as the Thought for the Day. Just CLICK HERE to see today’s message.

(And if you see daily KINDNESS postings on Facebook and Twitter, please take a few seconds to like, comment and share.)


Monday, March 6, 2017

March 6, 2017 by  

When nobody around you seems to measure up, it’s time to check your yardstick.

— Bill Lemley

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