Giving Tuesday is TODAY!

November 29, 2022 by  

TODAY IS GIVING TUESDAY! Giving Tuesday started in 2012 as a response to Black Friday and Cyber Monday. It’s a global movement that, in 2021, raised $2.7 Billion in the US alone!

This year we are requesting funds for Helping Hands. Visit the charity list on Amazon at or donate on our website at

Helping Hands was started in 1978. They offer food and toiletries through their panty and assist with utility and medical bills. The resource center in town has limited hours, and people can only visit every three months. Helping Hands does not have limits, and they are open 5 days a week. They routinely spend $20,000-$25,000 each year. They also started providing diapers and formula a few years ago filling a major void for young mothers and caregivers.

Vietnamese Sisters bring joy to the Motherhouse

October 25, 2022 by  

It all began in 2018 with a possibly suspicious email, the kind you might delete without a second look. Four years later, it concluded with the arrival in Concordia of three Dominican Sisters from Vietnam.

The story from that beginning to the end features bureaucracy, the pandemic, persistence and generosity – and it’s almost as curious as that initial email.

“The email was lengthy and talked about sisters in Vietnam,” Sister Jean Rosemarynoski recalls. It was from a Father Bao Nguyen, a Jesuit priest in Baltimore. “At first it looked like a scam… but for some reason I did not delete it.”

Father Bao was asking women religious in America to sponsor sisters from Vietnam, to come here to live and serve for two years. The program is called Formation Support for Vietnam and was founded in 2008 by a young Jesuit who realized that Vietnamese priests, brothers and sisters did not have access to Catholic educational institutions to deepen their spirituality and improve their area of study.

The program has assisted more than 300 people from Vietnam, in placements with congregations and dioceses across the United States.

“I responded to Father Bao’s email asking for more information,” Sister Jean explains. “Then in the coming days the whole Council had a Zoom call with him. We talked to the sisters living at the Motherhouse since the sisters would be living with them to get their input on whether we should pursue this. They unanimously agreed they wanted to do that.”

The next step was applying for religious visas through the Department of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. And it got complicated, Sister Jean says: “Because we had never sponsored someone on a religious visa before, we needed an on-site visit from Homeland Security to verify we are who we say we are. That took almost a year to schedule.”

Finally, “We were cleared for the sisters in Vietnam to apply for visas in January 2020.”

Then the pandemic hit and nothing happened for two years.

In February 2022, Sister Jean heard from Father Bao again: Were the Concordia sisters still interested?


The answer was a resounding yes, even though the visiting sisters would be from a different congregation — which meant the Concordia congregation had to start the visa application process all over again. But this time there was no need for the Homeland Security check and bureaucracy moved a little more quickly.

Three Dominican Sister of Go Vap, in Ho Chi Minh City, met the Concordia community via Zoom.

“For several weeks our sisters have communicated with them, helping them to have some knowledge of English when they arrive,” Sister Jean said. “Because there is a 12-hour time difference between us and Vietnam we zoom at 7:30 at night which is 7:30 the next morning for them. That has worked out well. Our sisters have a sense that they know them and vice versa which will make the first few weeks of transition much easier for everyone.”

The three women – Sisters Tran Thi Tinh, Nguyen Thi Tien and Hoong Thi Hoai — endured a 36-hour trip to get to Kansas City, and then the 3½ hours drive from there to Concordia. They arrived just in time for the Concordia sister’s annual fall Assembly, where they were officially introduced to the congregation.

Their congregation is one of 147 in 109 countries that make up the Dominican Sisters International Confederation. Together, the Confederation has nearly 19,500 Sisters.

In their two years here, they will have the opportunity to become proficient in English and learn American customs. Then they will continue their formal education, with the goal of returning to Vietnam to help their community open a home for the elderly.


Date set for Motherhouse Family Fun Day

August 24, 2022 by  

The Sisters of St. Joseph of Concordia will host a Motherhouse Family Fun Day from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 29, on the Nazareth Motherhouse grounds, 1300 Washington, Concordia. Everyone is invited for an afternoon of food and fun on the beautiful, historic Motherhouse grounds.

The event will feature a hot dog picnic, including hot dog, chips, cookie and drink. There also will be plenty of games for the kids, such as: pumpkin bowling, cornhole, pumpkin putt putt, a candy walk, an obstacle course and more!

Guests also will have the opportunity to have a family picture taken by our in-house photographer.

All activities will be located behind the Motherhouse by the gazebo.

Tickets —which include the meal, games and photo — cost $5 per person or $25 for a family pass. Children ages two and under are free. Early bird family passes cost $20 if purchased by Oct. 21. Tickets also will be sold the day of the event at the gate.

Advance tickets will be available at Neighbor to Neighbor, 103 E. 6th, Concordia, and the Motherhouse front desk. For more information, contact Ambria Gilliland, assistant development director, by calling 785-243-2113 ext. 1225, or email


2021 Theological Institute

June 28, 2021 by  

Ecology and Theology: A Profound Invitation to Choose New Life

July 15-18-2021

This year’s Theological Institute will be held virtually via Zoom

The Theological Institute is sponsored by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Concordia, Kansas. It is an adult learning experience aimed at deepening our roots in the Christian tradition and exploring its implications for living the Gospel in the contemporary world.

Contemporary understandings of ecology affirm a relational vision of life. All is connected! A living sense of faith also draws us into the reality and deep mystery of interrelationship.

This institute will explore the dynamic interface between ecology and religious consciousness. It will do so within the unprecedented context of our times, perhaps best described through a lens that points to intrinsic connections between environmental degradation, the devastation of Covid-19, poverty, racism, prejudice, unjust economic and political structures, alienation, isolation and a rise of nationalism.

Limited number of partial scholarships available for lay participants on first-come, first-serve basis. Inquire at Manna House of Prayer, 785-243-4428.

Register online at

We are living in hard times in which such connections have a negative, disruptive and suffering impact on individual lives, communities and the world. Hidden in the challenges and struggle of these times, though, is a profound invitation to choose new life inspired by relations expressed in ecology and faith. These relationships promise transformative, hope-filled gifts for our time and for the future.


Mary Rowell, CSJ, is a Sister of St. Joseph in Canada. Sister Mary teaches moral theology and Catholic social teaching at the University of Toronto. Based at Villa St. Joseph Ecology and Spirituality Centre in Cobourg, Ontario, Mary is also a spiritual and retreat director. She leads retreats and workshops, lectures extensively and provides facilitation services across Canada and the United States.

Currently, Sister Mary is the Vocation and Formation Director for the Sisters of St. Joseph in Canada and President of the National Association of Vocation and Formation Directors (Canada).

Formerly a nurse and nurse educator, Sister Mary has worked in health care and education in the U.K., Canada, and numerous countries in Asia, the Indian sub-continent and Eastern Europe, where she specialized in opthalmological care and blindness prevention programs. She also has worked in the field of clinical bioethics at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto and at St. Joseph’s Hospital in London, Ontario.

Formerly director of graduate programs in bioethics at the University of Toronto, Sister Mary is also a researcher for the Canadian Catholic Bioethics Institute and works in consultative roles for Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Toronto and the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops

Schedule of events (held virtually on Zoom)

JULY 15: Opening Session: 6:30 – 8 p.m.

JULY 15: Morning Session: 9:15-11:30 a.m. Afternoon Session: 2 – 4 p.m.

JULY 17: Morning Session: 9:15-11:30 a.m. Afternoon Session: 2-4 p.m.

JULY 18: Concluding Session 9 – 10:30 a.m.

Institute fees

Pre-registration required by July 1, 2021.

$50 non-refundable pre-registration fee required, applicable to total cost.

Limited number of partial scholarships available for lay participants on first-come, first-serve basis. Inquire at Manna House of Prayer, 785-243-4428.

Register online at

The Motherhouse annual spaghetti dinner is back — with a few twists!

March 16, 2021 by  

Last year, the Sisters of St. Joseph’s most popular event, the spaghetti dinner — was cancelled due to Covid-19 precautions.

This year, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Concordia are bringing back the spaghetti dinner, but with a twist. For the safety of all of our sisters and our guests, this year’s dinner will be a drive-thru pick-up. Serving will begin at 11 a.m. and end at 1 p.m. on March 21.

In addition to the drive-thru meal pick-up, there will still be a raffle and an auction. But, in another twist, this year the auction will be an online event hosted by Hansen Auction and Realty.

Here is how it will all work.

The dinner will be available to pick up in the circle drive west of the Motherhouse. Meal tickets are $8 each and include spaghetti, green beans, a breadstick and ice cream cup. Tickets must be reserved by Friday, March 12. If you purchased tickets for last year and plan to attend this year, please contact the Development Office by March 12, so the chef can have an accurate count for food. Call 785-243-2113, ext. 1225 for reservations.

In addition to the meal, tickets are available for raffle items. Raffle tickets are $1 each, or six tickets for $5. They can be purchased at the drive-thru the day of the dinner, or by calling in advance.

This year’s raffle ticket items are: a Char broil gas grill with side burner, SEAR burner and side shelf donated by Kathleen and Greg Pestinger; a handmade quilt by Sister Jean Ann Walton; a monster web swing donated by Alice Ruder; a $200 Visa gift card; and one cash prize of $500, two $200 prizes and three $100 prizes.

Our normal silent auction will now be hosted at You do not need a ticket to participate. To bid, go to the auction site, click on Sisters of St. Joseph Spaghetti Dinner Auction and then register to bid on more than 60 unique items. All proceeds from the auction benefit the ministries of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Concordia. The auction will open at noon on Monday, March 15, and close at 7 p.m. Saturday, March 20.

All items purchased must be picked up at the Nazareth Motherhouse in Concordia the following week.

“The spaghetti dinner is the fundraiser that the sisters most look forward to, and they enjoy interacting with all the guests,” Ambria Gilliland, assistant director of development said. “We’ve missed you all since Covid-19 began, but we’re eager to see you in March, if only for a few minutes in the drive thru!”

The Motherhouse is located at 1300 Washington, Concordia, Kansas. The drive thru is on the west side of the building. Please call 785-243-2113 ext. 1225 for any questions or reservations.


Manna House offers supportive memory loss retreat

February 17, 2021 by  

Manna House of Prayer will offer a workshop on maintaining relationships through the difficulty of memory loss. The workshop, “Memory Loss Changes Everything!” will be from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020.

Presenter Sister Gilla Dubé acknowledges that 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 learning how to reweave relationships as gently as possible. Cost: $50 (includes lunch). For information call: 785-243-4428 or email: or visit to enroll online. Preregistration required by Oct. 7.

Manna House of Prayer is located at 323 E. Fifth St., Concordia, Kansas. It is a ministry of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Concordia.

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 or visit

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: 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

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 or visit to register online.

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