Fall Spirituality — A seasonal retreat at Manna House of Prayer

October 16, 2020 by  

Manna House of Prayer will host a one-day Fall Spirituality retreat from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 24 at Manna House of Prayer, 323 E. 5th Street, Concordia.

Presenters will be Sisters Jean Ann Walton and Mary Jo Thummel.

Autumn is a time of ripening, coming to fullness and letting go into winter’s rest. Come and enjoy a day of letting go and receiving, embracing the dance of trust.

Cost is $50 and includes lunch.

Registration deadline is Oct. 21

For more information, or to register, call 785-243-4428, email retreatcenter@mannahouse.org or visit mannahouse.org.

Memory Loss Changes Everything!

September 22, 2020 by  

Sister Gilla Dubé

Join us at Manna House  from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020, for a workshop entitled Memory Loss Changes Everything!

One of the most difficult experiences in life is accompanying someone we love who is living with diminishment of their memory. While the person with memory loss may look the same, they are not. They can no longer access their memory in the same way and that’s extremely scary and confusing. Relationships are forever changed and day-to-day life is altered.

Come spend time away and begin unraveling and naming the impact of memory loss and how to reweave relationships as gently as possible. Presenter Sister Gilla Dubé. Cost: $50 (includes lunch). For information call: 785-243-4428 or email: retreatcenter@mannahouse.org. Preregistration required by Oct. 7. Click the link below to register online with Manna House.

Memory Loss Changes Everything!

Reading with Friends to present “The Dinky Donkey” at the Broadway Plaza

September 1, 2020 by  

  Reading with Friends to present “The Dinky Donkey” at the Broadway Plaza

The popular Reading with Friends program at Neighbor to Neighbor will return in September, with a new book, a new outdoor location and some new guidelines.

September’s book for Reading with Friends will be “The Dinky Donkey” by Craig Smith with illustrations by Katz Cowley.

Last spring, the kids

were treated to the story of “The Wonkey Donkey.” Now they will get to hear the tale of what happens when the Wonkey Donkey has a baby daughter!

The book will be read by Sister Christina Brodie.

Story time will beg

in at 10 a.m. Friday, Sept. 11 outdoors at the Broadway Plaza in Concordia.

In addition to the location change, Sister Missy Ljungdahl, director of Neighbor to Neighbor, said additional precautions will be taken due to Covid-19 restrictions.

Face masks wi

ll be required for everyone over 2 years of age. It is recommended that children bring a blanket or chair to sit on, and social distancing will be observed. Hand sanitizer stations will be available at both gates to the Plaza, and children must be accompanied by an adult.

The story times for children 3 to 5 years old are on the second Fridays of the month and all begin at 10 a.m. Each session includes playtime and a snack for the children, plus each child will receive a free copy of that day’s book to take home.

There is a limit of 30 children per session so parents must register in advance so that their child will receive a book. Call Neighbor to Neighbor at 785/262-4215 or email neighbortoneighbor@csjkansas.org.

The monthly program has been a part of Neighbor to Neighbor’s regular offerings since September 2012.

2020 Theological Institute is canceled

February 5, 2020 by  

Due to the uncertainty with the COVID-19 situation, we are very sad to announce that this year’s Theological Institute has been canceled.

Presenter: Anthony Gittens, C.S.Sp.

July 23-26, 2020

Presenter: Anthony Gittens, C.S.Sp.

Father Anthony Gittins is experienced as a missionary pastor and professor of Mission Theology and Culture and is the author of many books. His most recent are: Courage and Conviction: Unpretentious Christianity, 2017; The Way of Discipleship, 2016; and Living Mission Interculturally, 2015. Our 2020 Vision will be an exploration of the present in light of and in hope for our future as Christians with a mission in and for the world. It will encompass the themes of these recent works by Gittins who is a skilled missionary, workshop and retreat leader, professor and, above all, a passionate Christian for our world. Come and sharpen your heart and your vision in the company of this missionary whose life speaks for itself as totally given for the good of our world. Thursday, 5 p.m. – Sunday, 1 p.m. Cost: $325.

For more information, call 785-243-4428, email retreatcenter@mannahouse.org or visit mannahouse.org to register online.

“The Mitten” will be featured book for January’s Reading with Friends

January 6, 2020 by  

January’s book for Reading with Friends at Neighbor to Neighbor will be “The Mitten” by award-winning author and illustrator Jan Brett.

The story starts off with a boy named Nicki who drops his white mitten in the snow. One by one, woodland animals find it and crawl in — first a curious mole, then a rabbit, a badger and others, each one larger than the last. Finally, a big brown bear is followed in by a tiny brown mouse, and what happens next makes for a wonderfully funny climax.

The book will be read by special guest Laura Hansen, administrative assistant in the Sisters of St. Joseph of Concordia’s Development Office.

Story time will begin at 10 a.m. Friday, Jan. 10.

The story times for children 3 to 5 years old are on the second Fridays of the month and all begin at 10 a.m. at Neighbor to Neighbor, 103 E. Sixth St. Each session includes playtime and a snack for the children, plus each child will receive a free copy of that day’s book to take home.

There is a limit of 30 children per session so parents must register in advance. Call Neighbor to Neighbor at 785/262-4215 or email neighbortoneighbor@csjkansas.org.

The monthly program has been a part of Neighbor to Neighbor’s regular offerings since September 2012.

 

Sisters of St. Joseph annual Spaghetti Dinner postponed

December 24, 2019 by  

The Sisters of St. Joseph of Concordia’s annual Spaghetti Dinner and raffle originally scheduled for March 15 has been postponed until a later date.

Ambria Gilliland, assistant director of development, said, “We will inform everyone when we have set a new date. The sisters will miss seeing everyone this weekend, but the health of our sisters and of those attending is of utmost importance to us”


If you have already purchased tickets, they will be honored at the rescheduled date. If you would like a refund on your tickets, please contact Ambria Gilliland at 785-243-2113 ext. 1225 or agilliland@csjkansas.org.

Sisters of St. Joseph welcome community for open house

December 9, 2019 by  

It was standing room only for a while as families packed the Nazareth Motherhouse auditorium for the annual Christmas Open House on Dec. 8. Beautiful weather and the return of last year’s popular Santa and Mrs. Claus — who on other days are known as Dell Lee and Annette Boswell of Leon, Iowa — led to some long lines through the auditorium. Santa and Mrs. Claus posed for photos with all the children during the free event.

Many Sisters of St. Joseph of Concordia were on hand to serve ice-cold milk and punch and a selection of Christmas cookies to the crowds waiting to meet Santa.
“I think we served more than 450 cookies,” Larry Metro, food service supervisor for the Sisters of St. Joseph, said. The iced, sugar cookies were a definite hit.

Other Sisters directed guests through the historic Motherhouse so that visitors could view the Heritage Center and Christmas decorations.

Some people might wonder why a convent would offer a visit with Santa, said President Jean Rosemarynoski, CSJ.

“We do it for several reasons. Many young families have not met religious sisters and this is an opportunity for a short visit with sisters, a tour of the Motherhouse and to learn more about us,” Sister Jean said. “There were adults who toured our new Heritage Room and afterward sought out a specific sister whose story they read to learn more about her and her work. That provided for a wonderful conversation!”

“Having Santa at the Motherhouse also provides a no-cost, fun experience between parents and children. There are coloring sheets for the kids and parents sit with them at the table,” Sister Jean said. “Many parents and grandparents were appreciative of having a place to share this experience with their children in a relaxed, welcoming environment.”

“Everyone had so much fun! Most of the kids were overjoyed to see Santa and Mrs. Claus but there were a few that were a little unsure,” said Ambria Gilliland, assistant director of development for the Sisters of St. Joseph of Concordia. “We had a great crowd! The sisters truly enjoyed interacting with the kids. Santa and Mrs. Claus are such good sports. Santa even traded hats with a little boy and had fun trying to coax a smile from the kids by getting them to say ‘Pepsi’ instead of the usual ‘Cheese!’”

This year’s event also offered a drawing for a free door prize.

The door prize was a hand-crafted wooden sign with the words “O come let us adore him” and a manger painted on it. It had battery-operated lights that looked like stars in the night sky. Danielle Haskett, of Concordia, was the lucky winner.

“I was so happy with the crowd we had,” Gilliland said. “Seeing the joy on the kids’ faces truly made the whole event worth the work.”

Motherhouse to host annual Christmas Open House

December 3, 2019 by  

Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus will return to the annual Nazareth Motherhouse Christmas Open House this year. Bring the kids by for snacks and coloring and a chat with St. Nick while you take in the beauty of the historic Nazareth Motherhouse decked out in its Christmas finery.

All ages are welcome from 1 to 3 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 8.

 

The Open House will include holiday music, coloring fun for the kids and, of course, cookies, along with punch and coffee.

Also included will be limited self-guided tours of the landmark home, which was built in 1902 and has been on the National Register of Historic Places since 1973. Numerous Sisters of St. Joseph of Concordia will be on hand to welcome guests, assist with tours and serve refreshments.

This is the third year that Santa Claus has been invited to be part of the sisters’ Christmas Open House, and organizers are pleased by the increased turnout each year.

“Seeing the children’s faces light up when they walk in and see Santa and Mrs. Claus makes all the work worth it!” said Ambria Gilliland, assistant development director for the Sisters.

Last year’s hit Santa and Mrs. Claus — who on other days are known as Dell Lee and Annette Boswell of Leon, Iowa — will return again this year to delight their young guests. Be prepared for an entertaining time making Christmas memories and photographs that will last.

The easiest access is from the east parking lot (between the Motherhouse and the Community Garden). The event is free and open to the public. The Nazareth Motherhouse is located at 1300 Washington, Concordia, Kan.

Come join us and celebrate the season!

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.

Racial justice was focus of 2019 Theological Institute

July 23, 2019 by  

Racial justice, both in the Catholic Church as well as in the United States in general, was the topic at the July 18-21 Theological Institute at the Nazareth Motherhouse in Concordia. The title of this year’s Institute was “The Long Struggle to Desegregate Catholic America.”

Dr. Shannen Dee Williams was the instructor and facilitator for the four-day event. She is a U.S. historian with research specializations in 19th and 20th century African-American history and religious history. She has done award-winning research and currently is an assistant professor of history at Villanova University.

“This July’s Institute with Shannen Dee Williams, PhD, was an eye-opener, to say the least. Possibly, it opened our consciences even more,” Sister Marcia Allen, a member of the Institute committee, said. “Dr. Williams, a brilliant historian of African American history, presented a stunning and profound picture of our United States history from the beginning of our nation to the present. Her lectures were made even more accessible through her use of names and faces.”

The keynote address was, “America’s Real Sister Act: Confronting the Uneasy History of Racial Segregation and Exclusion in Female Religious Life.”

“This project began 12 years ago when I was in graduate school,” Dr. Williams said.

“When I started researching and looking (for black sisters in history), I learned that two of the nation’s historical black sisterhoods had been founded in Savannah, Ga., in my mother’s home town. And yet she didn’t even know that there were black nuns,” Williams said. “Indeed, the schools she attended had been founded by these black nuns, and yet by the time she was in those schools in the 1950s, their history had been erased to her.”

“And I had to ask myself a very difficult question. Why? And also, how? How does that happen?” Williams said. “Historians on the African-American experience have always argued that the greatest weapon of white supremacy has not been its violence, but rather its ability to erase the history of its violence.”

“What didn’t I know about the history of these black nuns? What was so potentially dangerous about their historical memory that it had been erased from us? And I started on my path,” Williams said.

Dr. Williams is currently revising the manuscript for her first book, “Subversive Habits: The Untold Stories of Black Catholic Sisters in the United States,” to be published by Duke University Press.

Her research has been supported by a host of awards and fellowships, including a Scholar-in-Residence Fellowship from the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in New York City, a Charlotte W. Newcombe Fellowship for Religion and Ethics from the Woodrow Wilson National Foundation, and the John Tracy Ellis Dissertation Award from the American Catholic Historical Association.

“Her thesis was that because of the erasure of African-American names and faces our U. S. history itself has been erased and thus missing a key ingredient of what makes our nation what it is today,” Sister Marcia said. “She gave participants in this year’s Institute a new understanding of our U.S. history and thus our place in it — today. ‘We,’ she said, ‘are today’s history!’”

In addition to the keynote address, additional topics and group sessions included, “Reckoning with Christian Slavery,” “Confronting the Silenced Past,” “Slavery by Another Name,” Reckoning with American Segregation and its Legacies,” “Confronting the Contested Past,” and finally on Sunday morning discussing “What Must Racial Justice Entail.”

“Having attended the Theology Institute on racism, I am more convinced of how little we as Catholics have been exposed to Catholic Social Teaching,” Sister Jodi Creten, an Institute attendee, said. “What one doesn’t know, one cannot hope to understand.”

“This institute also opened my eyes to a history that has not been taught in our schools in the past,” Sister Jodi said. “For us to heal as a society, we need to know the sufferings of so many by unjust institutional laws that have kept people ‘in their place.’”

Members of the Theological Institute committee are Sisters Cathie Michaud, Janet Lander, Betty Suther and Marcia Allen, and Susan LeDuc, administrative coordinator for Manna House of Prayer.

Plans are already underway for the 2020 Theological Institute.

“It will feature Anthony Gittins, Holy Spirit missionary, who has through decades of experiencing other cultures come to understand the concept of interculturation, the subject of the 2020 Institute,” Sister Marcia said. “It is an important follow-up of this year’s racism and assumed white supremacy. Mark your calendars for the 2020 Institute on July 23–26. Be prepared to come away with 2020 vision!”

The Sisters of St. Joseph established the annual Theological Institute a way to continue their long-standing educational tradition, exemplified by the schools they founded and staffed, including Marymount College in Salina. The program is held each summer in Concordia. Over the years the Institute has featured a wide range of well-known theologians, historians and social justice advocates.

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