‘The Night Before Christmas’ featured book at Reading with Friends

December 11, 2018 by  

Neighbor to Neighbor has a very special book planned for this month’s Reading with Friends — “The Night Before Christmas,” by Clement C. Moore.

Since it was first published anonymously in 1823, “The Night Before Christmas” has enchanted children with the story of St. Nicholas climbing down the chimney and filling all the stockings before springing back to his sleigh. Many families read the poem every year, and this is an edition to treasure. The cherished verse is faithfully reproduced and accompanied by illustrator Charles Santore’s lavish illustrations.

Reading this most-loved poem is a classic family tradition and adds a magical component to every child’s Christmas!

The book will be read by special guest Curtis Genereux.

Story time will begin at 10 a.m. Friday, Dec. 14.

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. The next Reading with Friends events will be Jan. 11.

This year’s Reading with Friends is made possible thanks to a grant from the Community Foundation for Cloud County.


Santa and Mrs. Claus welcome a big crowd of kids to the Motherhouse

December 10, 2018 by  

It was standing room only for a while as families packed the Nazareth Motherhouse auditorium for the annual Christmas Open House on Dec. 9. Crisp winter 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 and snaking out into the lobby.

“This Santa and Mrs. Claus are just the best,” said Sister Marilyn Wall. “They are so good with all of the kids and take time to talk with them.”

Santa and Mrs. Claus posed for photos with all the children during the free event.

“Say Pepsi!” Santa Claus said. When one of the children asked why, Santa said, “You can’t say Pepsi and frown.”

Immediately several of the kids tried it. Santa was right.

Liam Rodriguez, 4, of Concordia, was one of the first to sit on Santa’s lap and animatedly discuss his Christmas list.

“He was scared last year and wouldn’t go up,” said Liam’s dad, Rafael Rodriguez. “This year he wasn’t scared at all. We reminded him there would be cookies afterwards.”

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 somewhere between 400 and 500 cookies,” Larry Metro, food service supervisor for the Sisters of St. Joseph, said. “And at least 10 gallons of punch.”

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

This year’s event also offered a drawing for a free door prize. The door prize was a set of eight Christmas ornaments that were sliced from the 64-year-old blue spruce trees that were cut down at the Motherhouse last winter. Snowflakes were hand-drawn on the wood slices to make a memento that will hold a piece of Motherhouse history. The prize was won by Ava Day, who was there with her mom, Latisha Day.

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. “One older child said he came specifically, ‘to see the nuns.’

“Having Santa at the Motherhouse also provides an opportunity for 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. “We had a set of great-grandparents who are raising a 5-year-old great-granddaughter. They were appreciative of having a place to take her and give her this experience.

“There were foster parents who explained that their three young boys had never had normal childhood activities, and she was grateful to bring them to a place that would be warm and welcoming,” Sister Jean said.

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



Creating a greener lifestyle

December 10, 2018 by  

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

Completely unplug from technology at least one day a month.


We are called by the Gospel to welcome them

November 1, 2018 by  

Sisters of St. Joseph of Concordia call for the protection of immigrants

September 28, 2018 by  


The Sisters of St. Joseph of Concordia, Kansas join the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) in calling for opposition to the Trump Administration’s new proposed rule impacting immigrants. This regulation is mean-spirited forcing immigrant parents to choose between accessing some basic needs for life for their child and risking their eligibility for possible legal permanent residency. It sets them up as “unwanted.” The Gospel compels us to respond.

The LCWR statement follows:

The US Department of Homeland Security’s proposed changes to the public charge regulation are yet another attempt by President Trump to restrict immigration and punish immigrant families. The new regulation would force parents to make impossible choices between the well-being of their families and the prospect of future citizenship.

The rule changes would dramatically increase the barriers to lawful status for low-income immigrants and their families. It could dissuade parents from obtaining benefits for which their children qualify, out of fear that they may not be able to regularize their immigration status in the future. Lack of access to public benefits programs will increase poverty, hunger, homelessness, and disease, and decrease children’s school attendance and general well-being.

This attempt to target the most vulnerable within the immigrant community violates the tenets of our faith and threatens the values of our nation. We are called by our faith to welcome the stranger and care for the most vulnerable and we are challenged by our national values to promote the welfare of our children and tend the common good. If we want our communities to thrive, all families in those communities must have access to the care and services they need and to which they are entitled. The Trump administration’s proposed changes to the public charge regulation threaten us all.

The Leadership Conference of Women Religious urges all people of faith to call for protection of immigrants, especially those who are most vulnerable, and to register their objections to this unreasonable and mean-spirited proposal during the 60-day comment period.


Community celebrates International Day of Peace

September 24, 2018 by  

About 90 members of the community celebrated the International Day of Peace on Sunday, Sept. 23, at the Nazareth Motherhouse in Concordia.

Pastor Melanie Adams, of First United Methodist Church, welcomed the guests and led the opening prayer.

“This is the 70th anniversary of the declaration of human rights and we still haven’t solved it,” Adams said. “Human rights are everyone’s rights.”

Dr. Adrian Douglas, president of Cloud County Community College was the keynote speaker for the event.

“What we say and do matters and can make a real impact,” she told the group. “Differences are awesome, also its what keeps life interesting. We are all in this daily struggle together.”

Dr. Douglas also expressed her joy in being a part of the Fall Fest celebration in Concordia this weekend.

“There is no community without unity,” she said.

Following her speech the tables worked on a group artistic project led by Pastor Janai Robinson-Makarov, Concordia Lutheran Church, and Daniil Makarov.

Guest speaker was Yolanda Nuncio, an immigration and DACA activist from Grand Island, Neb., speaking on the topic of “What peace means to me.” She detailed the recent situation with immigrant arrests in O’Neill, Neb., and described how the area communities responded. She also touched on the futures of DACA students.

The closing prayer was led by Sister Anna Marie Broxterman. As the group broke up for international refreshments and fellowship, she encouraged everyone, “Resolve to make the world a better place by being the peace that you desire.”

Members of the International Day of Peace committee are Sisters Judy Stephens, Anna Marie Broxterman, Janet Lander and Christina Brodie; Pastor Melanie Adams, Pastor Janai Robinson-Makarov, Daniil Makarov and Pastor Scott Tempero.

The International Day of Peace was first celebrated in 1982. It has been declared by the United Nations General Assembly a day “devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, both within and among all nations and peoples.”

Earlier this month, Concordia Mayor Sam Sacco signed a proclamation designating an International Day of Peace in the city. The theme for this year was, “The Right to Peace — The Universal Declaration of Human Rights at 70.”

Marymount alumni donate $30,000 to Raise for the Roof

August 1, 2018 by  

  The Sisters of St. Joseph of Concordia welcomed representatives of the Marymount Alumni Association on July 27 as they presented a generous check to the sisters to be used for the Raise for the Roof project.

Rodd Glavin, class of 1984, and Susan Martin Tackett, class of 1982, represented the alumni for the presentation of the donation.

Glavin presented a check on behalf of the alumni to match the donations already given for the roof by Marymount alumni. In total, the Marymount alumni raised $30,000 for the Raise for the Roof campaign.

“The sisters supported us, now it’s time for us to support them,” Glavin said. “That’s the reason we hold Marymount so close to our heart, it is the people who were there.”

From left: Sister Anna Marie Broxterman, Rodd Glavin, President Jean Rosemarynoski, CSJ, Susan Tackett, Ambria Gilliland, assistant director of development for the Sisters of St. Joseph of Concordia.

“We’re here to give back,” Tackett said.

“Marymount College was a very special place and holds many wonderful memories for our sisters. It is always a joy to reconnect with former students, to reminisce, hear about their lives and renew friendships,” President Jean Rosemarynoski, CSJ, said. “We are deeply grateful to the alumni and the association for the financial support they continue to give us. We are humbled and blessed to accept their very generous gift.”

The Raise for the Roof campaign is a fundraiser to replace the roof on the Nazareth Motherhouse in Concordia. The roof on the Motherhouse was last replaced in 1992 and is currently comprised of asphalt shingles. As time has continued, more and more patches have needed to be made to fix leaks that are damaging walls.

“The roof replacement is not optional,” said Ambria Gilliland, assistant director of development for Sisters of St. Joseph of Concordia. “It’s something that has to be done and we are so grateful for how the Marymount Alumni have really stepped up to help us out.”

The product chosen for replacement is a metal roof which will closely mimic the original slate tiles installed when the building was erected, and will also last much longer than the asphalt shingles. The roof over St. Pat’s Hall, connected to the south side of the Motherhouse, was replaced several years ago with the same material and it has proven to be a quality product.

If you are interested in donating to help Raise for the Roof, you can visit www.csjkansas.org and select “Roof” in the donation box. Or, if you send in a donation, just designate roof in your correspondence.

We continue to be amazed at the wonderful support shown by the public through the years.


CSJ Associates gather for commitment ceremony and social

June 11, 2018 by  

The Topeka-Manhattan area group of CSJ Associates gathered the evening of June 9 with other associates, sisters and candidates for a ceremony and social.

Connie Palacio made her first commitment as an Associate, and Mary Jo Hobbs was welcomed as a candidate for association in a simple prayer ritual in the chapel.

Sisters Anna Marie Broxterman and Rosemary Foreman shared the roles of group Animator and sponsor for these two women. Catherine Seitz led the ceremony as co-director of the congregation’s associate program. There were about 40 who participated in the prayer and social.

Photos courtesy Sister Kathy Schaefer

Sisters of St. Joseph of Concordia celebrate nine jubilarians

June 11, 2018 by  

Pictured: (Standing left to right) Sisters Mary Lou Roberts, Norma Schlick, Catherine Michaud, Charlotte Lutgen, Pauline Kukula, and seated, Ann Glatter. Not pictured, but still celebrated, are Irma Maria Nair de Sousa Lima and Irma Maria das Dores Sales (both currently in Brazil) and Sister Barbara Bader.

The Sisters of St. Joseph of Concordia celebrated nine jubilarians on Sunday at the Nazareth Motherhouse and thanked them for 555 years of devoted service to religious life.

The annual celebration recognizes sisters who are marking noteworthy 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 are able to be present.

Six of the congregation’s nine jubilarians were able to attend Sunday’s celebration.

The event began with a festive brunch for the jubilarians and their friends and family at 10:30 a.m. in the Nazareth Motherhouse, followed by the Jubilee Program at 12:30 p.m. in the Motherhouse auditorium. The Jubilee Liturgy followed at 2:15 p.m. in the Sacred Heart Chapel at the Motherhouse presided by Father David Metz, of Concordia. He also gave the blessing of the jubilarians.

The 2018 jubilarians honored Sunday were:

• Sister Barbara Bader, originally from Rhineland, Mo., who grew up in Nebraska, received into the Sisters of St. Joseph on March 19, 1943, and celebrating her 75th. She died on April 7, 2018.
• Sister Norma Schlick, from Wood River, Neb., received on Sept. 8, 1947, and celebrating her 70th. She lives at Mt. Joseph Senior Village in Concordia.
• Sister Ann Glatter, from Amherst, Neb., received on Feb. 2, 1949, and celebrating her 70th jubilee. She lives at the Nazareth Motherhouse in Concordia.
• Sister Charlotte Lutgen, from Claflin, Kan., received on Sept. 15, 1957, and celebrating her 60th jubilee. She lives at the Motherhouse.
• Sister Pauline Kukula, from Tipton, Kan., received into the Sisters of St. Joseph on Sept. 15, 1957 and celebrating her 60th jubilee. She lives in Salina, Kan., and teaches at Sacred Heart Jr.-Sr. High School in Salina.
• Sister Mary Lou Roberts, from Belleville, Kan., received into the Sisters of St. Joseph on Aug. 15, 1958, and celebrating her 60th jubilee. Today she lives and serves in Salina.
• Sister Catherine Michaud, from Fort Collins, Colo., celebrating her 50th, jubilee. She was received on Sept. 5, 1967, and today lives and serves in St. Paul, Minn.
• Irma Maria Nair de Sousa Lima of Terasina, Brazil, received on Feb. 20, 1966, and celebrating her 50th jubilee. She continues to live and serve in Teresina, Piauí, Brazil. She was unable to attend.
• Irma Maria das Dores Sales, of Ibiapina-Ceara, Brazil, received on Jan. 25, 1969, and celebrating her 50th jubilee. She continues to live and serve in Teresina, Piauí, Brazil. She was unable to attend.

Sister Marcia Allen, as the reflector for the jubilee program, set the tone.
“Their lives are the models of what we all hope for,” she said.

Sister Dian Hall, who acted as moderator for the program, said, “Our sisters are beautiful example of flowers who have bloomed and spread their love.”
The theme of the 2018 celebration was “The Seed becomes the Rose.”

During the program, various sisters stood to give tribute to the jubilarians.

Sister Vera Meis spoke about Sister Barbara Bader.
“Wherever she saw a need, she would be the first person to volunteer her talent or gifts,” Sister Vera said. “She was a woman who wasn’t afraid to do something new. She helped start the school at Oakley, Kan. She was an innovator. She wasn’t afraid.”

Sister Janis Wagner gave tribute to Sister Ann Glatter.
“She is an icon of generosity,” Sister Janis said. “Only God knows how many people she helped in this community.”
She told the well-known story of how Sister Ann assisted so many people in the area in her little pickup as well as her endless hours in the farm and orchard.

Sister Carolyn Junemann gave tribute to Sister Charlotte Lutgen by saying, “During our time together at St. Joseph Hospital, she was totally dedicated to the needs of the sisters. She was truly the rock for us. She probably doesn’t even realize the impact her life made on my life and so many others.”

Sister Norma Schlick was given tribute by Sister Pat McLennon.
“One of the wonderful gifts you have given to us is your words,” she said, referencing Sister Norma’s work in drafting important documents for both the Federation and the community, as well as her talent for languages. “We are truly grateful for your gift.”

Sister Carm Thibault gave tribute to Sister Pauline Kukula. Her tribute turned into Sister Polly giving a rap demonstration of how to remember the names of the apostles and the 21 epistles. It was obvious why she continues to be a favorite teacher at Sacred Heart.
“Thank you for helping so many students who will never forget what you’ve done for them,” Sister Carm said.

Sister Marilyn Stahl gave tribute to Sister Mary Lou Roberts, by noting her dedication to prison ministry and the former Catholic Children’s Home.
“Her natural strength is ministry,” Sister Marilyn said. “She’s still doing jail/prison ministry today and I think she always will.”

Sister Barbara Ellen Apaceller honored Sister Catherine Michaud by saying, “What a blessing you are to our community. Whenever I am around Cathy I want to be more like her.”
“She is making a difference in the diocese in St. Paul, Minn.,” she said. “They are blessed to have her.”

Sister Janet Lander spoke about Irma Maria das Dores Sales, who was one of the first postulants in Brazil in 1967.
“She knew the people, really knew the people with whom she worked and lived,” Sister Janet said. “Dores, we are deeply grateful to you.”

Sister Donna Otter spoke for Irma Nair de Sousa Lima’s tribute. Nair was the youngest of the group of the first eight postulants to enter CSJ in 1967 in Brazil.
“As a sister, Nair was always available for a mission. She was a missionary at heart,” Sister Donna said. “She has a passion for the mission.”

“They are our heroes, our mentors, our models,” Sister Marcia Allen said as the program closed. “We say, ‘Thank you, Sisters.’”
The jubilarians each received a gift from the congregation along with a decorated bag of cards and other small mementoes.


Sisters of St. Joseph of Concordia oppose separation of immigrant families

June 6, 2018 by  

The Sisters of St. Joseph of Concordia, Kansas, are in strong agreement with the following statement issued by LCWR, (Leadership Conference of Women Religious):

“As women of faith, as Catholic sisters, we strongly oppose the Trump administration’s decision to forcibly separate parents from their children in an effort to punish families seeking safety in the United States. Mothers and fathers are taking tremendous risks to bring their children to safety. These are families fleeing violence and death in their home countries. They have every right to ask for protection in the United States and the Trump administration is legally and morally obligated to give them a fair chance to seek asylum,” Teresa Maya, CCVI, (Sister of Charity of the Incarnate Word and President of LCWR), stated. “It is impossible to imagine the fear of a child being ripped from the arms of her mother or the pain of a father watching a stranger take his son. It is cruel and inhumane and it must stop. Our faith demands it and our national values require it. We are better than this.”

The Sisters of St. Joseph have a long history of being in solidarity with immigrant families. We are spurred on by Catholic Social teachings, which are based on the Gospel of Christ Jesus. We stand with the Bishops of the Catholic Church to work toward the development of just immigration laws that support the sanctity of human life and the unity of families.

June 5, 2018

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