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.”

Creating a greener lifestyle

December 9, 2019 by  

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

Increase vegetarian menus.

 

“Santa Bruce” will be featured book for December’s Reading with Friends

December 3, 2019 by  

December’s book for Reading with Friends at Neighbor to Neighbor will be “Santa Bruce” by award-winning author and illustrator Ryan T. Higgins.

Bruce is a lot of things. He is a bear. He is a grump. He is a pretty decent cook. One thing Bruce is not? Santa Claus. But that doesn’t stop the whole forest from lining up to give them their Christmas wishes when he becomes the victim of mistaken identity … again.

The book will be read by special guest Tonya Merrill.

Story time will begin at 10 a.m. Friday, Dec. 13.

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.

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!

Obituary for Karma Imogen Smith-Grindell, CSJ Associate

November 25, 2019 by  

Karma Imogen Smith-Grindell passed peacefully in the early morning hours of Nov. 13, 2019, after a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease.

Karma was born Nov. 28, 1940, in Columbus, Ohio, at 1:14 p.m. When first measured days after birth, she weighed 3 lbs. 10.5 oz. Her estimated birth weight was 3 lbs. 13 oz. She was born about 6 weeks early, and her twin brother who preceded her in birth died shortly after her arrival. She was not expected to survive, but defied the odds and returned to the home of her mother and father, Margaret Hayes Smith and Laban Conrad Smith, on Dec. 31, 1940. Her name was a testament to her birth story: Karma (Sanskrit — “Destiny”) Imogen (Greek — “Beloved child”) and (Gaelic — “Maiden”).

Karma’s younger brother, Hartman, was born in 1944. Karma’s father was a Navy officer, and the family relocated numerous times during her childhood for his postings. Her homes included Auburn, Ala., Galveston, Texas and the Canal Zone, Panama. She remembered with particular fondness the years in Panama. The family eventually settled in Terre Haute, Ind., where her father was a professor of English at Indiana State University. They enjoyed summers at family farms in Wisconsin, and had a litany of pets, including several dogs, ducks and chickens.

After graduating from Wiley High School in 1957, Karma spent a summer in France as a camp counselor. She then attended the University of Michigan where she earned a bachelor’s degree in English. She entered Harvard graduate school in 1962, where she was re-acquainted with her high school debate partner, Michael LR Donnelly, who would become her first husband.

They were married in 1964, and had two children: Anna Callysta was born in Boston in 1966, and Maxwell Conor was born in Madison, Wis., in 1969. The family would move to Manhattan, Kan., in 1972. Karma worked at Kansas State University as director of the English as a Second Language program, and was a doting and attentive mother. After the dissolution of her first marriage in 1981, Karma stayed in Manhattan for several years, then lived in Concordia, Kan., where she became an ecumenical member of the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Concordia. Although not Catholic herself, Karma remained a committed and active participant in the CSJ Associates for decades thereafter. She also lived briefly in Pendle Hill, Penn., at a Quaker community.

After leaving academia in 1983, Karma became a Licensed Practical Nurse, providing hospice and home care to elderly residents in the farm country surrounding Manhattan, Kan. She later added skills in massage and energy work (shiatzu and jin shin jyutsu) which she applied generously to any who suffered the slings and arrows of physical or emotional injury. Fascinated by human psychology and the puzzles of our inner beings, Karma was for many years a learned practitioner of the Enneagram personality system, and an active participant in the vibrant international community of Enneagram students.

Karma married the love of her life, Rob Grindell, on July 8, 1989. For more than a decade, Rob and Karma traveled the world and reveled in the joys of each others’ company. Destinations included many of our United States by small plane (Rob piloting, Karma navigating), Greece, Mexico, Canada, Belize, Hawaii and Europe. Karma also made a memorable solo trip to Leh, Ladakh, as a participant in an international Buddhist women’s conference. Karma spent much of her adult life pursuing spiritual growth, and considered herself a Quaker catholic Zen Buddhist (lowercase “c” intentional).

After a long battle with cancer, Rob passed away on Dec. 19, 2000. Karma remained in Manhattan until 2006, where she was a beloved member of multiple spiritual communities. In 2006, she packed house and home and moved to Colorado Springs, where her brother Hartman and his wife Nancy lived. She continued to travel extensively, including many trips to California to visit her daughter Anna and grandchildren Maya and Dante. Her son Max’s family — wife Kelly and daughters Claire and Caroline — were blessed to have her nearby, and she was a frequent short-term guest in their household in Littleton, Colo., where the resident dogs would celebrate her arrival with wags and kisses.

Throughout her life, Karma was beloved by her community and friends as an individual who personified kindness. Alzheimer’s never robbed her of her inherently sweet and loving disposition, and to the end her caregivers adored her.

She is survived by her brothers Hartman and Nancy Smith of Jacksonville, Fla., and brother Forrest and Shiela Smith of Terre Haute, Ind.; her children Maxwell and Kelden Donnelly of Littleton, Colo., Anna and Burman Deshautelle of Agoura Hills, Calif., and Michael Grindell and Jennifer Grindell of Atlanta, Ga.; and grandchildren Claire, Caroline, Dante, Maya, Maclean, Samantha and Grace (all over the place).

A service in Karma’s memory will be held in the spring in Manhattan, Kan.

In lieu of flowers, please direct donations in Karma’s memory to Sisters of St. Joseph of Concordia, P.O Box 279, Concordia, KS 66901.

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

DonateNow 

Manna House of Prayer releases new cookbook

November 23, 2019 by  

Hot off the presses! The Manna House Cookbook!

Sisters Betty Suther (left) and Denise Schmitz with a copy of their new cookbook.

“These are recipes that we have all used at Manna House over the years,” Sister Betty Suther said. “People have been asking us for our recipes forever.”

If you’ve enjoyed some of the delicious food while staying for a retreat at Manna House, now you can find out the secrets to the recipes!

The book is the hard work of Sisters Betty Suther and Denise Schmitz. The books are available at Manna House of Prayer and at the Nazareth Motherhouse Gift Shop. Cost is $15.

To request an online order, email retreatcenter@mannahouse.org or call 785-243-4428.

Annual N2N Holiday Bazaar set for Nov. 23  

November 19, 2019 by  

The artisans at Neighbor to Neighbor create with all kinds of materials — acrylics and oils, embroidery floss and ribbon, and (of course) sugar, flour, eggs, butter and chocolate.

And all that “art” will be for sale at the eighth annual Holiday Bazaar & Bake Sale from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 23, at the downtown center, 103 E. Sixth St., Concordia.

Items featured in this boutique-style event include one-of-a-kind scarves, hats, blankets, tea towels, wreaths, paintings, floral arrangements, shopping bags and scrubbies.

The always-popular bake sale will feature cookies, candies, breads and other goodies. The event is the weekend before Thanksgiving, making it a great time to stock up on all of these sweet treats to satisfy holiday guests.

All the items are made by the women who come to the center, along with friends and supporters of the Sisters of St. Joseph who operate Neighbor to Neighbor.

Neighbor to Neighbor director Sister Missy Ljungdahl said there also will be a silent auction and a drawing for prizes which will include a toy trunk filled with zoo animals, a quilted wall hanging, a coffee basket, a chocolate trunk, a $50 Rod’s Grocery gift card, a $30 Hobby Lobby gift card and a $25 Walmart gift card.

Tickets for the drawings are available at Neighbor to Neighbor; the Nazareth Motherhouse, 1300 Washington St.; and Manna House of Prayer, 323 E. Fifth St., Concordia.

Tickets for the raffle cost $1, or six tickets for $5. You do not need to be present to win, but if you do win, you will need to make arrangements to pick up your prize.

Sister Missy reminds everyone that Neighbor to Neighbor will be closed Friday, Nov. 22, so that the staff and volunteers can prepare for Saturday’s event.

All proceeds from the annual event support the programs, artists and craftswomen at Neighbor to Neighbor, a ministry of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Concordia.

Eulogy for Sister Lucy Schneider — Jan. 15, 1927 – Nov. 10, 2019

November 12, 2019 by  

Vigil: Nov. 12, 2019 at the Nazareth Motherhouse
Eulogist: Sister Betty Suther

“There are only two or three human stories,

but they go on repeating themselves

as fiercely as if they had never happened before,

like the larks in this country

who have been singing the same five notes over and over

for thousands of years.”

 

This quote from Willa Cather is how Lucy ended her life review (and indeed her life!) along with the words from Scripture: “I have come that they may have life and have it to the full”. This seems a fitting beginning for this reflection on the life of Agnes Adele Schneider, known to us as Sister Lucy Schneider. Sister Lucy left us to join the heavenly chorus on Sunday morning, Nov. 10, 2019, at 12:55 a.m.

We offer our sympathy to Lucy’s family and friends gathered here this evening, especially to her sister Mary, her many nephews and nieces, to her two living band members, Sister Doris Marie and Mary Augustine, and to her dear friend and companion Sister Therese Blecha, and to all of us Sisters of St. Joseph who have appreciated and loved our Sister Lucy these 70 years.

Agnes was born on Jan. 15, 1927, to Lucy and John Schneider six miles west of Salina, their sixth and last child. Her siblings were Frances, John, Margaret, Mary and Lucy. Their father, John, died in 1956 and their mother, Lucy, in 1977. Her sister, Mary Ryan, is her only surviving sibling.  

The Schneider family remained close and they often gathered at the family farm. This farm, referred to as “the Land” or the “pasture,” had a great influence in their growing up. During World War II, much of the farming was done alongside their father. By the time she was old enough to help with the farming, the three oldest siblings, Frances, John and Margaret (Sister Monica), were gone from home and the younger three, according to Lucy, “did the farming, joyfully though laboriously with Father supplying all the know-how and preparations.”

Agnes and her siblings attended Sacred Heart School in Salina and the girls attended Marymount. Music was a vital part of her life. The Schneider children had all taken music lessons from early on. Agnes continued studying music at Marymount as well, but she especially loved “playing by ear” as it gave her the most enjoyment. (It was always fun to have Sister Lucy at the piano. All anyone had to do was name a song and she would play it and we would all join in the singing! She’d often make up clever lyrics to familiar tunes for our many festive occasions.)

Agnes entered the Sisters of St. Joseph of Concordia in 1948, and entered the novitiate on March 19, 1949. At that time she received the name “Lucy,” (her mother’s and her sister’s name). Following first vows in 1950, Lucy was sent on mission to Grand Island, Neb. In the years that followed she was missioned to teach in high schools in Manhattan, Sacred Heart in Salina, Concordia and at Marymount College. In the meantime, she also earned her master’s in English at Marquette University in the early ’50s. During the 1960s she attended Notre Dame University earning her doctorate in literature in 1967. Her dissertation, Willa Cather’s “Land-Philosophy” in Her Novels and Short Stories, proved to integrate her own love of the land in rural America.

Upon returning to Marymount, she chose to live at the Children’s Home in Salina during the 1970s and enjoyed ministry there with Sister Mary Lou Roberts, Sister Therese Blecha and Msgr. Alfred Wasinger. She continued to call that “home” no matter where she ventured in ministry. In fact, she said about the St. Joseph’s Children’s Home: It has “grown right into the flesh and bone of my life … I went there in 1969 and have never really left there in any final sense.”

In 1976, Sister Teresa Regal was already working at Red Cloud Indian School, Holy Rosary Mission, at Pine Ridge, South Dakota. She encouraged Lucy to come and join her. This began her love for the Native American people! She spent a year – 1977 — in Pine Ridge and then returned to Salina and Marymount heading up the English Department while living at the Children’s Home.

It wasn’t long before she returned to the north and to Red Cloud Indian School and Holy Rosary Mission where she taught English in the high school, acted as librarian, played the organ for Masses, helped with many other activities of the reservation and just sharing life with the Lakota people. In 1983, Lucy changed locations and moved to our Lady of Sorrows Parish, St. Stephen’s, Lower Medicine Root in Kyle, South Dakota, and St. John of the Cross in Allen, South Dakota. For 14 years Lucy imbibed the culture of the Lakota people. Their culture, their land and their language created within her a genuine reverence and love for all things Lakota.  

She remained there among the Lakota people until June of 1991 when she took on the ministry of coordinator of community services at the Motherhouse, along with Sister Doris Marie Flax. She held this position with Sister Doris Marie for three years, and then with Sister Janice Koelzer, for five more. Lucy loved her time at the Motherhouse. In her words this time “gave her an opportunity to love and appreciate with gratitude the essential goodness of the Sisters and the lay employees.” Of particular note during these years was the land hurricane of 1992 and her admiration and gratitude to Jerry Gallagher who courageously and generously led the Motherhouse household through this difficult time. Also and not least, most of us will remember Maude Dog, whose steady presence graced the outside and sometimes the inside of the Motherhouse.

Following the eight years as Motherhouse coordinator, Lucy directed the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) program for Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church in Concordia. During the next few years she facilitated the coordination of the RCIA programs between Concordia and St. John the Baptist Parish in Clyde, dividing her time evenly between these two parishes.  

In July of 2000 Sisters Therese Blecha, Lucille Herman and Lucy moved to the community-owned house on 15th street in Concordia. During the years following her “retirement” from full-time ministry, (around the time of her 80th birthday!) Lucy loved playing the organ at the parish, playing for parties at Mt. Joseph Senior Village and Sunset Home, Inc., and sometimes entertaining at Marquis Place, an assisted-living facilitiy. She was also a Eucharistic minister at the hospital, a proofreader for the CSJ newspaper, served at the local food bank, wrote eulogies for “Grains of Wheat,” created song parodies for special occasions and did many of the other “invisible” jobs within the local Concordia community. Lucy described this time as the “FULL TIME PASCAL MYSTERY!”

Although Lucy suffered physical setbacks in the remaining years of her life, including Meniere’s disease and breast cancer, she continued living life to its fullest. Lucy’s love for life and for the land inspired all of us. After many happy years on 15th street, she moved to the Motherhouse in 2015 where she continued to be an inspiration to us. Her spirituality was evident in the way she lived her life. Her devotion to St. Joseph began as a small child. In her life review she said that she always prayed to Joseph “to know my vocation, to have continued peace in our family, and to have a happy death.” This devotion endured throughout her life, even until her death.

Lucy moved to Mount Joseph Senior Village in January of 2018. While there just last July, with a Mass celebrated by her nephew Father Bob Schneider in celebration of her 70th Jubilee, family and friends gathered to share stories and remembrances of Lucy’s full life. Those of us gathered there were enriched by the many stories shared by nieces and nephews and friends telling of their obvious love, appreciation and admiration for Lucy!

Reading Lucy’s life review is like reading poetry! For example, she tells about “the thorn in the flesh” that has occurred a time or two in her life — in ministry, in human relationships — “but also [in] pastures and fields and hills, wheat and gardens and rose rocks, cattle and dogs and cats, meadowlarks and magpies and music, pasqueflowers and sunflowers and alfalfa fields, winds and rains and snows, songs and poems and stories, not to mention grandpas and grandmas, mothers and fathers, teenagers and children and babies. P.S. Windmills!” Nothing is immune to suffering. This wisdom shaped her life. She learned it the hard way as we all do. She learned it in her own experience and from the land which she so dearly loved.

And here’s another quotation from her Life Review: “Someone has spoken of the Incarnation of Jesus in terms of ‘the scandal of particularity’ — Jesus’ being one man, of one time, place, culture. Like my Brother Jesus, I, Lucy, as one person, limited also by time, place and culture. The Father graciously wills it so. And God also graciously wills Jesus’ resurrection and that of “all our relatives,” as the Lakota people say, mine included.” Thus her vision of life came full circle!

In Willa Cather’s novel, “O Pioneers,” Lucy loved the quotation we heard in the reading for this evening’s vigil and it bears repeating:

“We come and go,

but the land is always here,

and the people who love it and understand it,

are the people who ‘own’ it, for a little while.”

Dear Lucy, your presence among us has, like the land, left its loving mark on us and all who have known you, and we are grateful for the gift of your presence these nine-plus decades. We have known you and loved you and we have “owned” one another for a little while. May you now enjoy your new home in “the land” where all your relatives who have gone before you reside!

 

Memorials for Sister Lucy Schneider 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 Lucy Schneider’s memory, click on the button below:

DonateNow 

 

           

           

           

Fall into our latest Messenger

October 22, 2019 by  

We hope you enjoy our October edition of the Messenger. It’s a big one!

Learn more about the mission work our sisters are doing in Brazil. Follow along as some of our sisters take a trip to the Mexico border. Rejoice as two sisters profess vows … and be sure to check our calendar page for upcoming retreats, seminars and fun events.

The print edition has been mailed, and it’s available here right now as a flipbook. To open the flipbook edition, just use the black tool bar under the image below to flip through the pages:

Also, that little magnifying glass icon in the black tool bar below the Messenger will let you increase the size if you would like!

“Knuffle Bunny” will be featured book for November’s Reading with Friends

October 21, 2019 by  

November’s book for Reading with Friends at Neighbor to Neighbor will be “Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale” by award-winning writer Mo Willems.


Trixie, Daddy and Knuffle Bunny take a trip to the neighborhood Laundromat. But the exciting adventure takes a dramatic turn when Trixie realizes “somebunny” has been left behind.

The book will be read by special guest Dr. Adrian Douglas of Cloud County Community College.

Story time will begin at 10 a.m. Friday, Nov. 8.

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.

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