Creating a greener lifestyle

June 24, 2019 by  

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

Increase vegetarian menus.

 

Discover Camp helps young Catholic girls discover their gifts

June 17, 2019 by  

Thirty-six junior high girls from around the area filled the Nazareth Motherhouse in Concordia with laughter, song and prayer during this June’s annual Discover Camp hosted by the Sisters of St. Joseph.

“Each year we have a theme,” said Sister Anna Marie Broxterman, camp coordinator. “This year’s theme was, ‘Let Your Light Shine.’ ”

Under the guidance of camp coordinators Sisters Beverly Carlin and Anna Marie Broxterman, and camp directors Kate Brull and Anna Ivey, 36 girls came from across the area to spend June 13-15 with the Sisters of St. Joseph of Concordia. Campers, many making return visits, came from Salina, Axtell, Manhattan, Bennington, Minneapolis, Beloit, Hanover, Hollenberg, Hays, Clay Center, Belleville, Clyde, Delphos and Osborne, Kan., as well as Mobile, Ala. Twelve high school- and college-age counselors, sisters, staff members and countless other volunteers rounded out the group. Volunteer Donna Reynolds returned as director of music.

Sisters of St. Joseph of Concordia president Jean Rosemarynoski, CSJ, welcomed the campers on Thursday afternoon.

“For several weeks now all of our sisters have been so excited about you coming,” Sister Jean said. She told the campers about some of the history of the both the Sisters of St. Joseph and the Motherhouse prior to their tour later that evening.

“We have over 1,000 people each year that come through here on tours,” Sister Jean said of the historic building. “We like to share our space with others.”

The campers, divided into groups of six, spread their sleeping bags throughout the open space on the fifth floor of the historic Motherhouse, but shared meals and other activities — including a Nazareth scavenger hunt and afternoon bingo at both the Motherhouse and Mount Joseph Senior Village — with the sisters and residents who live there. The girls learned about teamwork by navigating a low ropes course with their group as well as creating and performing a group cheer.

In additional to using prayer, input sessions around the theme, poetry writing and journaling as tools to self-discovery, the campers enjoyed active games, crafts and swimming.

One shared activity Friday evening was a picnic on the Motherhouse grounds, with many of the sisters joining them to enjoy the beautiful weather, followed by a water balloon fight and movie.

The days of fun came to an end Saturday evening when campers’ families were invited to a special Mass in the Sacred Heart Chapel at the Motherhouse, followed by an ice cream social hosted by the Sisters of St. Joseph.

That morning, the campers had worked on a living rosary, and practiced their music and liturgy Saturday morning in preparation for Mass. They also attended presentation by co-director Brull entitled “Embracing our Uniqueness.”

Brull talked about the challenges of remaining true to yourself, your faith and friends as you transition into junior high and high school.

“I challenge each of you to go to God in prayer and ask for God’s help to be authentic,” Brull said. “God is our oxygen. God fuels our fire. We need God’s presence in our life.”

The Discover Camp for girls entering the sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grades has become an annual event.

“We started in year 2000,” said Sister Bev Carlin told the campers. “Sisters Anna Marie and Pauline (Kukula) are the two that founded our camp.”

“People ask me ‘Why do you call it Discover Camp?’ ” Sister Anna Marie said. “It’s because it is about discovering yourself.”

Girls wanting to attend the 2020 Discover Camp are encouraged to apply early in the spring.

“In recent years we have a waiting list of girls who wish to come, but space cannot accommodate,” Sister Anna Marie Broxterman said. “When campers become old enough to become counselors, they eagerly make application.”

“For the first few years, the campers, counselors, and staff all had rooms at Manna House and we transported all to the Motherhouse for the daily activities,” Sister Anna Marie said. “But eventually fifth floor at the Motherhouse was re-wired and re-painted for youth events. Our maximum capacity is 36 campers, 12 counselors and two camp directors.”

“Sisters serve as camp coordinators and staff, although we do also have lay staff if and where needed, to assist in keeping all activities moving in some rhythmic order,” Sister Anna Marie said.

This year’s staff included sister staff members Pauline Kukula and Kathy Schaefer. Layperson volunteers included Donna Reynolds, Catherine Seitz and Maggie Zody. Counselors were Pam Zarybnicky, Regan Madrigal, Marissa Roberts, Isabella Matteucci, Paula Rolph, Kaetlyn Newell, Trinity Price, Caitlyn Burr, Vivian Leiker, Sara Del Real, Megan Anguiano and Maddie Blochlinger.

To learn more about Discover Camp, or how to apply to attend or become a counselor, visit www.csjkansas.org/for-kids/.

Jubilarians celebrate 1,250 years of love and service to God and the dear neighbor

June 10, 2019 by  

About 300 sisters, family and friends of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Concordia gathered at the Nazareth Motherhouse on Sunday morning, June 9, to celebrate the Jubilee anniversaries of 20 sisters — together representing 1,250 years of love and service to God and the dear neighbor.

The annual celebration recognizes sisters who are marking milestone anniversaries of the date they were received as novices into the Sisters of St. Joseph of Concordia. Since the special day comes at the end of the congregation’s annual June Assembly, almost all of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Concordia were able to be present.

The theme of the celebration was “Weavers of the Spirit of Love.”

The celebration began with Mass in the Sacred Heart Chapel inside the Motherhouse at 10:30 a.m. Fathers Jim Dallen and Kerry Ninemire were the celebrants.

Sister Marilyn Wall welcomed the Jubilarians and crowd.

“Welcome to this day of gratitude and celebration,” Sister Marilyn said. “Many of you who are our guests today were also guests when these Jubilarians entered the novitiate.”

Sister Mary Jo Thummel led the Jubilarians in a renewal of their vows.

“O my God, I renew my vow of fidelity. My vows of obedience, chastity and poverty, hoping with Your divine grace to observe them faithfully all my life.”

They each were presented with gifts from the Community.

“You have truly been weavers of the Spirit of God,” Sister Marilyn said. “And the tapestry you have woven is magnificent.”

Following Mass, the sisters and their guests enjoyed a festive lunch provided by Larry Metro, food service manager, and his staff.

After lunch, a presentation to honor the Jubilarians began at 1:30 p.m. in the Nazareth Motherhouse auditorium. The room was packed with overflow seating, even up on the stage, to accommodate the large crowd of sisters and well-wishers.

Sister Denise Schmitz was the emcee for the occasion, with music provided by Sisters Regina Ann Brummel and Dian Hall. Sister Jodi Creten wrote a poem to celebrate the Jubilarians.

Learn the art of bobbin lacemaking at a retreat at Manna House of Prayer

June 6, 2019 by  

Hand-made bobbin lace will be the focus of a hands-on retreat set for June 23-30 at Manna House of Prayer in Concordia.Presenters Ronna Robertson, and Sisters Janet Lander, CSJ, and Mary Jo Thummel, CSJ, will teach beginners to advanced lacemakers in the art of doing fine hand-made bobbin lace.This year’s theme is “The Poetry of Lacemaking — The Creative Spirit In Our Lives.”

Each day will include instruction in bobbin lace making, both for those new to the craft and for those with some experience with it. Retreatants can also expect a comfortable private bedroom, home-cooked meals fresh from the garden, daily communal prayer and communal conversation, as well as daily spiritual input and a reflection guide for personal prayer.The original Sisters of St. Joseph came together in Le Puy, France, in about 1650, and members of that early congregation made bobbin lace as a way to support themselves and their works.

Today, the Concordia sisters have revived that centuries-old artistry in delicate bookmarks, angels and other decorations. Sisters Ramona Medina and Janet Lander started the event in 2008, Sister Janet said.

Last year, Marla Elmquist, of Lindsborg, attended for the first time.
  “When I saw the sisters doing bobbin lace at the Flower Nook in Salina, I learned about the retreat,” Elmquist said. “I immediately knew I had to come.

“This week has just opened a whole new door for me. It’s been incredible and the religious part fit me perfectly,” Elmquist said. “I’m hoping to go back and talk to people in Lindsborg and get people excited to come.”

“They kept our hands busy, our tummies full and our minds expanding,”
she said.
The weeklong retreat is held at Manna House each year and is open to anyone who wants to learn bobbin lacemaking.

Manna House of Prayer is a ministry of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Concordia.
For more information, email retreatcenter@mannahouse.org. The event will take place from Sunday, 5:30 p.m. supper on June 23 to Sunday, June 30, noon meal. Cost: $550 (plus materials). For more information or to register, contact MannaHouse.org, email retreatcenter@mannahouse.org or call 785-243-4428.

Creating a greener lifestyle

June 3, 2019 by  

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

Dry clothes on the line, or if you have to use a dryer, make it a full load.

 

Neighbor to Neighbor 10th anniversary celebration attracts friends old and new

May 22, 2019 by  

Neighbor to Neighbor of Concordia, a ministry of the Sisters of St. Joseph, opened their doors on May 10 and invited friends, volunteers and the entire community to celebrate their 10th anniversary.

“The years have gone by so fast, it just seems like yesterday that we started making plans for N2N and here we are 10 years later. It was such a gift getting to see and visit with dear friends who have been with us since the beginning, and getting to meet new friends who had never been into Neighbor to Neighbor,” said Sister Ramona Medina, one of the founding Sisters of N2N.

“It was delightful seeing how our guests were enjoying visiting with one another and surprised to see samples of some of the projects that our guests are engaged in,” Sister Ramona said.

More than 100 people visited N2N, located at 103 E. 6th Street, in Concordia, and enjoyed tours, greeting friends and viewing many of the projects that were in progress.

And of course, there were delicious treats, including cookies made by N2N volunteers. Door prizes included homemade wheat bread, gift certificates to the Motherhouse Gift Shop and children’s books.

New director of Neighbor to Neighbor, Sister Missy Ljungdahl, said, “I think one take away for me was the people who came in from town who said they had never been into the place and were really glad to know about it.

There was a great sense of community during the event.

“People were wanting to meet their friends there and they met lots of them and stayed for awhile,” Sister Missy said. “I am so grateful for all the sisters that came to help and enjoyed visiting with so many others.”

Greeting the guests were the original co-founders, Sisters Ramona Medina, Pat McLennon and Jean Befort, along with administrative assistant Myrna Shelton and director Sister Missy.

“N2N couldn’t have been a success without our dedicated staff, Myrna, volunteers and the support of you, our generous donors. It has been such a joy and life-giving
ministry getting to meet so many fantastic women, mothers and children. We have learned so much from one another and I am grateful,” said Sister Ramona. “We have spread our wings and have reached out to our dear neighbors in developing countries through our prayers, making over 2,000 dresses, shorts and shoes to make their lives more comfortable.”

More than 10 years ago, Neighbor to Neighbor founders Sisters Pat McLennon, Jean Befort and Ramona Medina came up with the idea of a support center for women and women with young children. These founders came up with a plan, approached the Sisters of St. Joseph council, and with the gracious help of the council, the maintenance staff of the Sisters of St. Joseph, volunteers and the community, made the Neighbor to Neighbor of today a reality. Neighbor to Neighbor works closely to coordinate with other community resources so that services are needlessly duplicated.

“We met with a lot of social agencies before we started to see if there was a need,” Sister Pat said. “We didn’t want to duplicate things that were already being done.”

“It doesn’t even seem possible that it’s been 10 years,” said Sister Jean. “It has far exceeded my expectations.”

The center offers classes in baking, cooking, painting, exercise, sewing and crafting, as well as supervised play times for young children. Many of the women just stop by to enjoy the camaraderie, a cup of coffee, a game of cards and catching up with friends. There are even laundry facilities available. All of the classes are free.

For more information about Neighbor to Neighbor, email neighbortoneighbor@csjkansas.org or call 785-262-4215.

 

Sisters honored at annual Religious Sisters Mass in Salina

May 16, 2019 by  

 
  
  By Karen Bonar, The Register
Salina — About three dozen religious sisters gathered May 14 at Sacred Heart Cathedral for the annual Religious Sisters Mass.
 
“Do you remember your calling?” Bishop Jerry Vincke asked the sisters during his homily. “How old were you when you heard that voice from your beloved in the depths of your heart and you responded, ‘Jesus, do you really want me to be a religious sister?’ And you heard the voice in your heart ‘Yes, I have called you.’ “
Sister Jean Befort was 18 years old when she entered the community 60 years ago.
 
“I never realized it would go so fast,” she said of her six decades as a religious sister. “Sixty years seems like an old number.”
 
She currently lives in Concordia and is semi-retired; she works part time with the order’s Neighbor to Neighbor program.
 
Likewise, Sister Doris Flax answered the call at a young age. She entered the community at 16 years of age, and was formally received into the community at age 17.
 
She has been the pastoral associate at St. Mary Parish in Ellis for 25 years.
 
“I enjoy doing communion service at the nursing home and visiting the homebound,” Sister Doris said of her parish work.
 
The annual Mass and luncheon is always a highlight of the year for her.
 
“I get to see the sisters I haven’t seen all year,” Sister Doris said. “It’s also nice to see the clergy. Otherwise, I wouldn’t see them.”

Bishop Vincke reflected on the religious sisters who influenced his life: his four aunts who were religious sisters.

“They played a huge part in my own vocation,” he said. “One of them, Sister Josephine, wrote the story of her life. What I remember most is that even though she was always happy and joyful when I saw her, life wasn’t always easy as a religious. She talked about the long hours of work, the times when she felt like the sisters did all the work, but the priests got all the credit. And through it all, she said she would do it all over again.”

The celebration was held on the feast of St. Matthias, who was added to the 12 Apostles after the death of Judas. The bishop reflected on the life of the saint, and compared it to the life of the sisters.
 
“You impacted life in Kansas and beyond because you were a witness to the resurrection,” Bishop Vincke said. “When you taught in our schools, you were a witness to the resurrection. When you served in our children’s homes, you were a witness to the resurrection. When you served in our hospitals, you were a witness to the resurrection. Thank you for continuing to be witnesses to the resurrection — even now.”

Annual Motherhouse Plant Sale and Manna House of Prayer garage sale draws a crowd

May 13, 2019 by  

As a beautiful spring day began Saturday, a small group of workers were out just after dawn, getting ready for the 4th annual Motherhouse Spring Plant Sale.

Assistant Development Director Ambria Gilliland, administrative assistant Laura Hansen, gardener Lyle Pounds and helpful volunteers moved hundreds of plants from the Motherhouse greenhouse, plus set out scores of garden signs, decorative pots and planters and yard art of every description.

“This time of year, you never really know what kind of weather you are going to get,” Gilliland said. “But we were lucky to have a beautiful day.”

Meanwhile, sisters and volunteers from Manna House of Prayer finished all the preparation for the garage sale that filled four garage bays at the Motherhouse.

And the early morning preparation proved worth it as perfect spring weather brought eager customers to the Motherhouse for the 9 a.m. opening. Shoppers were lined up and waiting when the sale opened its doors. The hanging baskets, always a popular item, were quickly snatched up. By the time the fundraiser ended at 1 p.m., plant sale shoppers had contributed nearly $2,500.

“What a fun morning! The hanging baskets were a huge hit again this year and were mostly gone within an hour,” Gilliland said. “It’s always fun to see even the kids get excited about some of their finds. One little boy even promised to do extra chores at home if his mom would buy him an old wagon wheel.”

All proceeds from the separate garage sale go to further the ministries of Manna House in Concordia and the plant sale proceeds will help fund the coming replacement of the Motherhouse roof.

Gilliland organized the sale, with lots of assistance from Pounds and Hansen, along with the maintenance staff at the Motherhouse. The seedlings, flowers and hanging basket plants were grown in the Motherhouse greenhouse.

Applications now being accepted for 2019 Border Immersion

May 1, 2019 by  

September 9-16, 2019

Join us for a one-week experience that delves into the life and culture on the U.S./Mexico border.

We will see first-hand the struggles of immigrants as we visit shelters, agencies, parish ministries that serve them in El Paso, Texas,  and Juarez, Mexico. Passport required. We will attend Mass in one of the detention centers, which will require filling out individual forms.

This experience is sponsored by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Concordia. In our commitment to Gospel living and nonviolence, we stand in solidarity with undocumented immigrants.

The week-long experience is provided by the Encuentro Project under the direction of Father Rafael Garcia, S.J. We will stay at 1837 Grandview, El Paso, a communal residence and base of the program, home to two Marist Brothers whose community is based at this project. This communal experience requires that participants are in general good health, able to climb stairs, and willing to share a room. We will participate in personal and group reflections and regular community evening prayer.

Participant’s cost: $400/person. Also, participants will be responsible for purchasing their own food as we travel to and from El Paso and will need to purchase their noon meal daily while there. Ground transportation will be provided by Sisters of St. Joseph of Concordia. It is imperative that applications be received by July 1, 2019.

For more information and/or an application form contact: Sister Anna Marie Broxterman, annacsj@csjkansas.org; 785-554-3829.

To download an application, click the link below.

2019 BorderImmersion

The Long Struggle to Desegregate Catholic America

May 1, 2019 by  

Speaker: Dr. Shannen Dee Williams, PhD

July 18-21, 2019

 

The 2019 Theological Institute will deal directly with the reality of racism. “The Long Struggle to Desegregate Catholic America” will be offered July 18-21 at the Nazareth Motherhouse in Concordia.

The speaker will be Dr. Shannen Dee Williams, PhD. 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. 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.

She 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.

The event will include learning discerning processes through which we might begin to invite God to change us into the inclusive Christian body we are meant to be.

The institute will be from 5 p.m. Thursday, July 18, through 1 p.m. Sunday, July 21. Cost is $325. The registration fee includes the program, plus all meals from the Thursday evening meal through the Sunday noon meal, and housing with the Sisters of St. Joseph of Concordia.

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.

To register, email retreatcenter@mannahouse.org, visit mannahouse.org, or call (785) 243-4428.

 

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