Final details available for Marymount College reunion

July 12, 2022 by  

Download a registration form by clicking the link below

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Neighbor to Neighbor welcomes Orphan Train Rider statue

July 5, 2022 by  

A new bronze Orphan Train Rider statue was unveiled June 4 just outside Neighbor to Neighbor in downtown Concordia. It was one of two statues debuting in Concordia over the June 4 weekend as part of the National Orphan Train Complex’s 19th annual Celebration of Orphan Train Riders.

The weekend also coincided with the sister’s annual summer Assembly and Jubilee celebration, so a large number of sisters and CSJ Associates were on hand to witness the statue’s unveiling outside the popular ministry of the Sisters of St. Joseph.

The Orphan Train Rider statues are a project of the National Orphan Train Complex, located at 300 Washington Street in Concordia. This statue was the 38th, and most recent statue, to be unveiled to date. The 11th and 12th Orphan Train Rider statues are located at the driveway entrance to the Nazareth Motherhouse and were dedicated on June 8, 2017. They honor Sister Eva Marie Vale and Sister Roberta Dreiling.

The new statue in front of Neighbor to Neighbor honors Cora Alice McVicker — also known as Eugenia Alice Cullivan Mulligan. The artwork was sponsored by John and Janice Strait in loving memory of Wilfred “Joe” and Gloria Hamel. Both John and Janice were in attendance for the unveiling, as was Patrick Mulligan, Cora/Eugenia’s son.
Sister Missy Ljungdahl, director of N2N, and Sisters Pat McLennon and Jean Befort, two of the original three founders of N2N, joined Mulligan in unveiling the statue of his mother.

Who was the orphan rider?

Cora McVicker was born in 1902 to Arthur and Emma McVicker. Just a few weeks after her birth, she was left in the care of the Sisters of Charity at the New York Foundling Hospital. She lived at the Foundling Hospital for two years, until 1904, when she was selected for placement in a western home.

Cora arrived in St. Mary’s, Kansas, and was placed with Catherine Cullivan of Belvue, Kansas. Her name was changed to Eugenia Alice Cullivan and she enjoyed a happy childhood with her adoptive mother and siblings.

Catherine died in 1915, and although most orphan train children would have been returned to New York, Eugenia remained with the Cullivan family, living with her adopted siblings.
Eugenia graduated from Immaculate Conception High School in 1917 and continued her education at the Nazareth Convent and School in Concordia. She graduated from the Nazareth Academy in 1921 with a teaching certificate.

Eugenia taught school in Wamego and Manhattan, Kansas. She dated Thomas Mulligan for two years and they were married in 1923. After the Mulligans wed, they moved to Topeka, where they raised their six children.

Thomas and Eugenia both passed away in 1989.

Sharing memories

As a crowd of sisters, family and other onlookers gathered in front of N2N that afternoon, they found the statue and informational sign concealed beneath a white shroud tied with golden cords.
National Orphan Train Complex curator, Kaily Carson, greeted the crowd and introduced John and Janice Strait as the donors, Patrick Mulligan, the son of Eugenia, along with several of his family members, and Sisters Missy, Pat and Jean on behalf of Neighbor to Neighbor. She encouraged all of them to speak to the crowd.

Sponsor Janice Strait explained how she and her husband decided to sponsor a statue in honor of her mother and father in front of one of the sisters’ ministries.
Janice said that her mother, Gloria, always had a deep admiration for the work of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Concordia.

“When she was little she lost her dad, so there were four girls and my grandma alone raising them,” Janice said. “My mom was a pretty special gal and she always told us kids that when she was growing up that the Sisters of St. Joseph would help out her and her sisters.”

“My mom would walk down to where the sisters lived on 5th Street and the sisters would send food home with her for the family to eat.”

Janice also said that in her mother’s later years she loved seeing all the Orphan Rider statues in Concordia.

“She also used to watch the orphan train come to town when she was young. So this meant quite a bit,” Janice said. “My husband and I decided this was the perfect place to thank the sisters in some small way for all they’ve done for my mother. “

The crowd also heard from Sister Missy on behalf of Neighbor to Neighbor.

“I think of our sisters who worked at St. Joseph’s Hospital, that is now Manna House. They were so attentive to the hearts of others and I am just so grateful for all of that the legacy that they’re leaving,” she said, referring to the sisters who assisted Janice Strait’s mother. “I want to thank Janice and John for this. And I want to thank the family for coming, this means the world.”

In addition to Eugenia’s son Patrick and his family being present, Carson read a letter from Eugenia’s daughter, Noreen, who was unable to attend.

“We were all touched by this honor for our mother who was a saintly, humble and caring person who loved and respected all God’s creations. Mother especially enjoyed children, animals, plants flowers and music,” she wrote.

Patrick also expressed his appreciation on behalf of his family at seeing his mother’s legacy continue with the statue.
“It’s quite an honor to be recognized for this. I am the son of my mother, who was on the orphan train. Thank you so much for this honor. It is a privilege,” he said to the crowd.

After the unveiling, the crowd was invited into Neighbor to Neighbor for refreshments.

The bronze Orphan Train Rider statues are created by the Randolph Rose Collection in Yonkers, New York. To find out more about the Orphan Train riders and statues, visit



Jubilarians reflect on 490 years of love and service

July 1, 2022 by  

Each year, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Concordia celebrate our Jubilarians — the remarkable women we celebrate on the noteworthy anniversaries of the date they were received as novices into the Sisters of St. Joseph of Concordia.

In 2022, we honored seven Sisters who together represent 490 years of love of God and service to the neighbor: Sisters Vivian Boucher, Mary Savoie, Rose Marie Dwyer, Eulalia Kloeker, Christina Meyer, Sylvia Winterscheidt and Regina Ann Brummel.

The Jubilee Committee selected the theme, “The Universal Love through Universal Presence” for their special year.

The Community will hosted a private celebration for the Jubilarians on June 5, 2022, at the Nazareth Motherhouse.

Each of these sisters has taken a unique path in her journey as a Woman Religious. To learn more about these special women as they prepare to begin their Jubilee year, we asked each one to write a short reflection that would be an answer to these questions:

What stands out to you about your years in religious life?

What do you cherish and how would you describe it?

75 Years – Sister Vivian Boucher

I was young and immature when I joined the Community.

Religious life has been a life-long process of maturation for me. I am grateful for all the people who have helped me along the way, especially the more experienced educators who helped me learn to teach and assist children.

After the second Vatican Council, when other sisters were looking for other types of ministry, I decided to give my life to Catholic education.

I started in lower grades and gradually went from grade school teacher to high school teacher and then to principal.

I am thankful for friends who gave me companionship and joy for many years.

While I was living alone, those friends especially meant lot to me. They were advisers who helped me over the rough spots.

I am most grateful for the opportunities to grow spiritually: the retreats every year, the theology workshops, the community meetings, and the many special speakers throughout the years. Mass has always been my guiding force. I cherish very much the opportunity to assist Mass frequently. I have never had any second thoughts about having joined this Community. It has been my life.

75 Years – Sister Mary Savoie

It is unbelievable that 75 years have passed since I said “yes” to the Lord’s call to dedicate my life as a Sister of St. Joseph. The support of Leadership teams and members of the congregation have been a source of strength in the opportunities I have had to minister in this country and abroad.

My desire as a young sister was to serve as a missionary in a foreign country. A need to remain in the United States and serve as a Nurse Educator superseded this desire.

Little did I realize that God would provide, but in a different way, for that desire such as participation in foreign ministries as responses to working with an international organization and from various sources. For example, work in Eastern Europe came as an invitation from U.S. bishops that provided opportunities to collaborate with sisters, some of whom spent years in prison under communist regimes.

I believe that God led me to Eastern Europe for many reasons. Certainly a conversion that opened my mind and heart to become as expansive as I saw their lives to be. I am sure that this chain of charity, which traverses the continents and the oceans, gives glory to God.

I believe that God calls me each day to serve others. God is in charge of my life, and if I truly put my trust in God, God will enable me to reach out each day to the dear neighbor, especially those caught in the net of poverty.

If I am faithful to God’s call, He will minister through me. Whatever my age, I hope to continue being a loving, kind and helpful person wherever and in whatever circumstances I find myself. God is ever present, walking with me.

My life has been and continues to be, abundantly blessed.

70 Years – Sister Rose Marie Dwyer

My family nurtured my religious vocation from childhood on. I was blest to be number two of 10 children. I learned chores, caring for babies and being there for others.

In high school in Leoville, Sister Zephyrine was sure that I was to be a Sister of St. Joseph. It was exciting because I was to be involved with people, and that has been my whole life, my joy.

This call has led me to be of service to so many people.

I am most grateful about my life as a Sister of St. Joseph because I was called to go to Brazil. I was always in the midst of a needy community. God found those places for me. I found the opportunities and transportation. Sometimes the transportation was borrowed horses, a motorcycle or a truck bed. In all of the villages there, wherever I went, I was simply a humble channel of love to all whom God wished to reach. Thank you God for using this lowly instrument as your Divine Plan so willed.

I had the opportunity to teach English to Hispanic workers.

The more I think about my life The more I know that I am always geared toward people … just to be there for people. … reaching out to them … walking with them … being there for them.

It starts with people and it ends with people.

I am so grateful for my CSJ Community who allowed me to live those 40 years in Brazil and gave me so much support. I am grateful to God for the rich life I have had and for God’s presence in all of it!


70 Years – Sister Eulalia Kloeker

In past years when attending anniversaries, birthdays and numerous milestone events in life, I frequently heard the remarks from older generations mentioning how quickly the years have gone by.

Now it is my turn to voice the same comment in serving God, the Church and the Dear Neighbor for 70 years.

At a glance, my life divides into thirds. The first as an elementary teacher; the second as a staff member in a parish; and the third will be called “miscellaneous.” Each had its mountain peaks and each had its hurdles.

A favorite image for me that I cherish has been to follow the light of the Holy Spirit. Long ago I found a verse card entitled, “Rabboni.” It reads in part as follows:

When I am dying,

How happy I shall be,

That the lamp of my life

Has burned out for Thee…

At one time the light of a candle mesmerized me and I indulged in the craft of candle making. Some were molded in sand, while others were fashioned in tin molds. One I made in multi-pastel colors burned well and was the focus of many small groups’ prayer sessions. Those attending often fixed their eyes on the flame.

One event that stands out that had an impact in my life was the Vatican II documents. Sixty years later many good people still struggle with the changes. I seldom think of the documents myself, but many good people still do and carry the question, “why?”

That brings me to the third section, “miscellaneous.” One experience was that of grooming others’ hair. My hands were gifted in cutting hair. While attending formal training, I discovered I had held the scissors incorrectly for about 10 years. That was a good laugh on me.

As I celebrate this milestone, I thank my parents for their example of faith, the Sisters of St. Joseph, the parents of children and the aged for placing their trust in me.

 70 Years – Sister Christina Meyer

This, my Jubilee year, has reminded me to acknowledge God’s generous gifts to me. My years in religious life have been marked by surprises and blessings. My response is one of profound gratitude to God, Community, family and friends.

Seventy years seems like a long time and I am grateful for each day and everyone who has been with me on this journey.

Some of my most memorable experiences that I recall are from years in pastoral ministry and being involved with RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults) in parishes. The transformation and growth in faith that I observed and experienced in the candidates was often, for me, a ‘WOW.’

I was also moved when accompanying those who were ill and on their journey to the next life. I was amazed and inspired in observing the letting-go when recovery from illness was no longer possible. I have always felt profound gratitude and blessings in being allowed in homes or hospitals with family during this most holy time and mysterious experience.

My Community allowed me and supported me in this pastoral ministry, for which I am extremely grateful.

I am also very grateful for the ministry of Mission Coop. I have been involved with giving talks about the work of our sisters in Brazil for the past 11 years. This has taken me to many parishes in the dioceses of Kansas and Grand Island, Nebraska, where I have always experienced gracious hospitality from pastors and people.

For this, I am also very grateful.

70 years – Sister Sylvia Winterscheidt

When I reflect on my life’s journey the past 70 years, I am amazed and grateful for God’s abiding presence. I’ve had many opportunities for meaningful and varied ministries.

I’ve enjoyed years of teaching, of parish ministry, and through Spiritual Direction, of helping others discover God’s presence in their daily challenges and surprises.

As one called to be a Concordia CSJ, I cherish our charism of “love of God and love of neighbor.” I find examples of it in Community living, in our ministries, and in daily life.

I am especially grateful for an experience I had while being on staff at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Grand Island, Nebraska. Our Christian Service Committee responded to the pastor’s request to sponsor a Vietnamese family, coming from a refugee camp that day. The family consisted of three adults, one teenager and five children.

We housed them in a small hotel for a few days while we explored suitable housing. Early the next day, I checked on their immediate needs. As I drove closer to the motel, I saw the two young boys gleefully running barefoot through the fresh fallen snow. This was my introduction to the joys and challenges of companioning refugees. Watching this family begin to rebuild their lives, seeing their deep Buddhist faith, enriched my life. I know God is not finished blessing my life.

This 70th anniversary is just a comma in my life’s journey, not a period.

60 Years – Sister Regina Ann Brummel

I am delighted to celebrate my 60th Jubilee as a Sister of St. Joseph as I expressed ten years ago for my 50th Jubilee. Religious life for me has come to mean Jesus’ call to share life in our CSJ Concordia, Kansas, Community, including His friends and disciples. Jesus has brought us together with one another and with the dear neighbors without distinction.

One of the experiences of this solidarity that has been most significant for me is a “moment” when, after teaching in our schools in Plainville, Kansas, and inner-city Chicago, I became a Marymount College French instructor. An educational program led me to spend the 1975 summer in several countries of French-colonized West Africa. There, indigenous people called me to share a new way into the world neighborhood.

This neighborhood is anywhere our sisters and brothers have been and are suffering through political and economic injustice. As a Sister of St. Joseph, I have found myself alive when I can engage in friendship, collaboration and service between and among the poor and voiceless. Native (indigenous) people have taught me that this neighborhood is as close as our extended family and as near as all creation.

As I try to listen to the Spirit of Jesus, the neighbors have continued calling me to solidarity with the poor and marginalized, especially in American Indian reservations. The experience is a constant reminder that as long as I can share my gifts and talents, no matter where I serve in the world, my CSJ sisters are there also.

For several years, I have been teaching at the Turtle Mountain (Chippewa) Community College in Belcourt, North Dakota. The Turtle Mountain reservation is very close to the Canadian border and the International Peace Garden.      

A few years ago, several of our Sisters came to visit me here; that would be great again!

I believe that we are disciples, partners and collaborators with Jesus who gives His life to all, and whose only rule is that we love one another as He has loved us, the love of friendship. [John 15:12].

Meeting Immigrants at the Border

June 30, 2022 by  

BORDER IMMERSION — Oct.  24 – 28, 2022, in El Paso, Texas

Join us for a one-week experience that delves into the life and culture on the US/Mexico Border.We will see first-hand the struggles of immigrants as we visit shelters, agencies and parish ministries that serve them in El Paso, Texas and Juarez, Mexico. A current passport is required.

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

This week-long experience is provided by the Encuentro Project under the direction of Father Rafael Garcia, SJ.

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: $500/person. Also, participants will be responsible for purchasing their own food as we travel to and from El Paso. Ground transportation will be provided from Concordia to El Paso by the Sisters of St. Joseph (leaving 22-23 and returning 29-30).

Click the link below to download a .pdf that contains a registration form.


Please return the registration form by Sept. 16, 2022.

For more information contact Sister Judy Stephens at 785/243/2149 ext. 19 or email or Sister Dian Hall at 785/243-2149 ext. 22 or email

“Fire and Passion: The Mysticism of Bette Moslander”

June 25, 2022 by  

A collection of the works of Sister Bette Moslander now available  

“Fire and Passion: the Mysticism of Bette Moslander” is a new book and a labor of love for Sisters Marcia Allen and Gilla Dubé. The book is a compilation of excerpts from Sister Bette’s writings and talks and original chalk drawings from her personal journal, complimented by reflection questions written by Sister Marcia.

Additionally, the interactive book will contain links to a dedicated website that will offer entire texts of her talks, as well as audio and video presentations.

“We chose the title ‘Fire and Passion’ because these words express the essence of her life,” Sister Gilla said. “The fire, the passion and the mysticism — these were the three descriptors that spoke to me of her life and spirit.”

For Sister Marcia, Sister Bette was mentor and friend, going back to when Sister Marcia entered the postulancy and Sister Bette was a novice. Sister Bette, who entered the Community with a Ph.D. in theology, taught the newest members, postulants and novices. From there, Sister Marcia worked closely with her in the 1970s when she was elected vice president of the Community and Sister Bette was elected president. The two then worked together from 1980 to 2010 helping other communities with chapters, assemblies and working as consultants both in the United States and abroad.

“Everywhere she went she was always a speaker in demand,” Sister Marcia said. “She had a very charismatic presentation when she spoke and left a legacy of friendship around the world. And everywhere she spoke, people often would ask, ‘Can we have a copy of that?’”

“She would start out with some sort of a script, and then ab lib, but nobody knew that. After she died I decided that I would collect her written and oral works and see what could be made available,” Sister Marcia said. “What we found dated as far back as the 1950s and she was still teaching in 2010. That’s when I realized the task would be large.”

“I kept trying to figure out how to grasp the essence of what she said, without simply publishing volumes and volumes of words. Finally the idea to take excerpts of her talks and make reflection opportunities began to surface,” Sister Marcia said. “I

discovered that Sister Gilla would be able to edit and organize the material. So we chose the excerpts and I created reflection questions for each excerpt. We then organized the material into themes seen through the lens of mysticism: Discipleship, Love, Creative Energy, Vulnerability, Inclusion. Samples of Sister Bette’s chalk art enhance and illuminate the themes.”

Additional support for the project came from Sister Sherryl White, a Sister of St. Joseph of Baden, PA who created a special website for Sister Bette’s works. “The

website makes it possible for the reader to access an entire talk or text via audio or video or the written word. The reference given for each excerpt enables the reader to go to the website and find the whole text or talk,” Sister Marcia said.

The late Sister Bette Moslander, CSJ

“The guiding principle for me, and I’m sure for Sister Marcia, was the desire to honor the legacy of this woman,” Sister Gilla said. “I came into this not knowing anything about Sister Bette except by reputation, her leadership background and popularity as a speaker. I started reading her work and immediately got swept into her spirit – her fire and passion. What’s fascinating to me is that what she wrote in the 70s into the early 21st century is as relevant and prophetic today as it was then.”

“Our challenge was to present Sister Bette’s spirit and depict a true picture of her life’s commitment to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. A critical piece, as least as far as I’m concerned, is not just the excerpts, but the reflection questions that accompany each excerpt. The personal reflection questions that Sister Marcia offers bridge the reader with the meaning and spirit of the text and its implications for today and into the future.”

“We see this book as a personal reflection guide, a retreat guide, a group study guide,” Sister Marcia said. “There are no limits to possibilities in the use of this book. While the majority of her talks were given to women religious of various orders, she also spoke to various lay groups of women and men and priests’ organizations. Any talk she gave illuminated Gospel values and is applicable to any person who believes.

Her main theme was the root of the Christian life and the mission of Jesus. “Christians have to rediscover the soul of the Christian message,” Sister Bette said.

“Sister Bette offered challenge and consolation to individuals looking for hope in ordinary time, and she spoke to that,” Sister Marcia said.

“She was obviously extremely bright, yet what drew me was her tenderness so evident in the texts that I studied. When she wrote, there was such love and such tenderness,” Gilla said. “yet she had a way of challenging the status quo, challenging people not to settle for mediocrity.”

Sister Bette died on March 22, 2015. “Fire and Passion: the Mysticism of Bette Moslander” was printed by Consolidated Printing in Salina, Kansas. To pre-order, use the form below, click our paypal “buy now” link, email or call (785) 243-4428. Cost is $20. Shipping and handling is $5 for one book. Add an additional $1.50 shipping for each additional book sent to the same address. Please make your check payable to Manna House of Prayer.  Please add $10 for Canadian postage, plus an additional $5 shipping per book sent to the same address.



Eulogy for Sister Anne Martin Reinert — Aug. 13, 1931 – June 8, 2022

June 13, 2022 by  

VIGIL: June 13, 2022, at the Nazareth Motherhouse
EULOGIST: Sister Judy Stephens

Maxim 55. Be nothing to yourself and be utterly given to God and to the neighbor.

Sister Anne Martin Reinert was born on Aug. 13, 1931, and was baptized Irene Catherine Reinert. Her parents are Anna (Geerdes) Reinert and Theodore Reinert. She was the second of nine children, all born at home with the help of a midwife that was her aunt.

Her siblings are: Mary Ritter (deceased), Madonna Cully (deceased), Wilfrid Reinert, Caroline Jacobs, Janet Berger, Dennis Reinert, Katherine Fitzgibbons (deceased), and Ruth Reinert.
Irene grew up during a time of drought and dust storms in Kansas. The family produced their own food. Their mother made their clothing from flour sacks. They had a gas lantern for light in the evenings. Her Dad said that she “cost the most” because by the time she was born they needed a washing machine and a sewing machine!

Some of the things that impacted her greatly as a child was her own frail health caused by chronic tonsillitis. She suffered from earaches often and pain in her legs. Her Mother would not let her play too hard so that she wouldn’t cry at night with pain. Later her tonsils were removed, but their influence stayed with her.

When her youngest sister Ruth was still a baby, her mother Anna became ill with rheumatic fever and was in bed for six weeks. Irene, being the oldest daughter at home now, took on the responsibilities of being mother, nurse, and tending to all the household chores. Her older sister, Mary, was attending high school in Wichita with the Precious Blood Sisters, but was there to help when she came home.

Irene’s entire childhood was spent in the small rural community of Seguin, Kansas. Her First Communion was memorable. She said her hair was cut really short for the event, and a classmate’s hair and veil caught fire as they came to the altar to receive the Eucharist! Thankfully, the priest was able to put it out!

Praying the rosary and litanies was a family tradition, especially during May and October. Sometimes they sat on the front porch and could see the Milky Way take form while they prayed.
Irene’s vocational call is most striking. She said “From early days when brothers and sisters would tease me of boyfriends, my mother would say that I would be a ‘Sister!’ I believed this to be true and resisted as much as I could. I would avoid saying the prayer for vocations whenever I could, because somehow I was afraid God would want me.”

Her parents strongly believed that their children should receive a Catholic education. She attended the public high school in Leoville that was taught by the Sisters of St. Joseph. Her teacher was Sister Alexine Marie who taught “how vocations come about.”

On hearing this instruction, Irene promised herself that she would never enter the convent! She finished high school at the public school in Hoxie, so no longer feared religious life. Except she continued to avoid saying the prayer for vocations.

After graduation, Irene when into nurses training at St. Mary’s Hospital in Manhattan, Kansas. This led to classwork at Marymount, and she said, “Again I found myself confronted with the possibility of a religious vocation.”

Sister Clement Marie, her counselor, asked her if she had ever thought she was being called to a religious vocation. Irene said, “It was as if she read the secret of my heart, of what I feared most.”
Sister Clement Marie invited her to Concordia and to visit the Motherhouse.

After that visit, Irene wrote, “The time arrived and with a mixture of tears and homesickness,” I could “no longer fight the inevitable.”

In 1949 she asked permission of her parents by writing a letter and placing it under her father’s dinner plate on Christmas Day. It was indeed a special dinner and a special day.

Irene entered the Sisters of St. Joseph on Sept. 8, 1950. On March 19, 1951, those who received the habit with her were: Sisters Mary Evan Griffith, Benedicta Moeder, Ann David Averill, Josetta Augustine, Leah Smith, Cecilia Green, and Rosalyn Juenemann. Irene was given the name Sister Anne Martin. Of this group, Sister Cecilia Green is here in the name of all of them. Of her band members she commented that Sister Benedicta and Sister Leah both showed a generous, loving way to die.

Sister Anne Martin was assigned back to St. Mary’s hospital in Manhattan. She found it hard to balance her studies and prayer. She received her nursing degree from Marymount College in 1955 and made her final profession the same year.

Her first mission was as a night nurse at St. Mary’s hospital, again in Manhattan. She recalls two special events while missioned there. Sister Fidelis arranged to take four of them along with sack lunches to Pilsen, Kansas, to visit the hometown of Father Emil Kapaun. Sister Kathleen Flood was the driver. Upon reaching the farm house where he had lived, his Mother greeted them and invited them in. After their visit and as they were leaving, she gave them a black knit shawl that was his. They removed a tassel from the shawl and divided it among them and Sister Anne Martin placed hers inside her profession cross.

Another special event was a road trip to visit the new hospital in Belvidere, Illinois.

In 1965, Sister Anne Martin was assigned to St. Joseph Hospital in El Paso, Texas. She traveled there by train, arriving the next day “in a dry desert where even the cactuses were dry,” she said. She felt emotional and homesick, but in time “grew to love El Paso and the people.”

In her writings she reflected about the years following Vatican II when so many changes were taking place. Especially difficult for her was when sisters chose to leave the community. She said each time it was like another funeral for her. At times she wondered if she should also go. During this very trying time she sought counsel from her regional coordinator and from her spiritual director.
A turning point for her was when a dear cousin, Peter Reinert, who was ill with polycystic kidney disease, needed a kidney donor. She found in herself a strong desire to be his donor. With that she said, “I began not only to have the desire to live, but to be the one who would donate the kidney. It made sense that I needed to get on with my life …. I began active participation in my own life….”
She felt much support from the Sisters in Concordia and sought out employment and living. She was accepted into one of the initial small group living homes. She was given permission to be a kidney donor, although that never came about.

These events seemed to be the turning point in her life. She began to “take active part in discovering myself first as a person who is loveble, and then as a person who voluntarily was living a vowed life in a changing community.” And that “God is Love!”

Sister Anne Martin then became part of the initial staff that started the Alcohol and Drug Treatment Program at St. Joseph Hospital in Concordia. This was a “most joyous nursing experience.” When that program closed because of lack of funding, she was offered a sabbatical year in 1984. She attended the CREDO program of theology courses at Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington.

Upon returning to Concordia, she and Sister Mary Esther Otter were invited to help start St. Clare House in Junction City, Kansas, with Sister Viatora Solbach. While there, she worked the evening shift at the hospital in order to provide income for St. Clare House.

Later she and Sister Susan Kongs lived together and were asked to have a novice live with them, which they enjoyed very much.
After 17 years working at the hospital in Junction City, Anne returned to Concordia in 2002 to assist with the elderly sisters at the Motherhouse under the direction of Sister Francis Cabrini. She also enjoyed this very much.

In 2006, Anne went home to Seguin to care for her elderly mother. She said ,“What a blessing it was for me to be there for her in the last moments of her earthly life.” Her mother died Nov. 22, 2007. She returned to the Motherhouse to live on 4th floor.

Sister Anne was appointed as Community Life Coordinator for the Sisters at Mt. Joseph in July of 2009. Of this ministry she said, it “always kept me busy but I loved every minute of it.” She visited each sister every day, accompanied them to doctor’s appointments and responded to their individual needs.

When Anne was no longer able to drive and tend to the Sisters’ needs, Sister Janet LeDuc became the Community Life Coordinator at Mt. Joseph.
Sister Anne Martin moved to Stafford Hall in March 2016, now needing nursing assistance. She said that she still needs “to downsize the many things I have carried from one mission to the next!” But her real mission was to nap and to pray. She closed her remarks with gratitude for everything.

Sister Anne Martin died peacefully on the afternoon of June 8, 2022.

I will close with this scripture from the gospel of Matthew: ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ Mt. 25; 21

To make an online donation in honor of Sister Anne Martin Reinert, click the link below.


Obituary for Sister Anne Martin Reinert — Aug. 13, 1931 – June 8, 2022

June 9, 2022 by  

Sister Anne Martin Reinert died June 8, 2022, at Nazareth Motherhouse in Concordia, Kansas. She was 90 years old and a Sister of St. Joseph for 71 years. She was born in Seguin, Kansas, on Aug. 13, 1931, to Theodore and Anna Geerdes Reinert, the second of nine children, and was baptized Irene Katherine. She entered the Sisters of St. Joseph of Concordia on Sept. 8, 1950. On March 19, 1951, Irene Katherine received the habit of the Sisters of St. Joseph and was given the name Sister Anne Martin. She pronounced first vows on March 19, 1952 and final vows on March 19, 1955.

In 1955, Sister Anne Martin Reinert graduated from Marymount College, Salina, with a degree in nursing. She served in institutions staffed by the Sisters of St. Joseph in Manhattan, Concordia, and Junction City, Kansas, and El Paso, Texas. After retiring from nursing, Sister Anne Martin moved to the Motherhouse in 2002 and continued to stay active by providing nursing care to residents at the Motherhouse until fully retiring in 2016.

Sister Anne Martin Reinert was preceded in death by her parents and three sisters. She is survived by three sisters, Caroline Jacobs, Janet Berger and Ruth Reinert; and two brothers, Wilfrid and Dennis. A Bible Vigil Service will be held on Monday, June 13 at 7 p.m. in the Nazareth Motherhouse Chapel with Sister Judy Stephens as the eulogist. The Mass of Christian Burial will be on Tuesday, June 14 at 10:30 a.m. in the Motherhouse Chapel, Father Barry Brinkman presiding. The burial will be in the Nazareth Motherhouse Cemetery. Chaput-Buoy Mortuary, 325 W. 6th St., Concordia is in charge of arrangements. Memorials for Sister Anne Martin 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 Anne Martin Reinert’s memory, click on the button below:


2022 Jubilarians

June 1, 2022 by  

Helping Hands could use a hand

April 22, 2022 by  

Helping Hands of Concordia has long been known for reaching out and giving a hand to those most in need in the community as well as to simple victims of unfortunate events in the area.

Now, Helping Hands could use your help.

What is Helping Hands? It’s a nonprofit ministry located in Manna House of Prayer at 323 East 5th Street in Concordia, Kansas. Ever since 1978, Manna House has offered an outreach to help those in need. Partnering with area agencies, among the services offered is assistance for utilities, medical help (pharmacy bills), travel (bus passes for the local in-town bus, OCCK bus transportation and 81 Connection bus transport), food (from our food closet), baby formula, diapers and gasoline vouchers for stranded out-of town transients. It is a ministry of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Concordia.

And Helping Hands isn’t just for Concordia. In the past year it also has assisted residents in Miltonvale, Clyde, Belleville and Glasco.

Susan LeDuc, manager of Helping Hands at Manna House or Prayer, shows how depleted the food pantry is, especially lacking essential proteins.

Susan LeDuc, CSJ Associate and manager of Helping Hands, talked Wednesday, April 20, about the current needs of the nonprofit.

Like many businesses and nonprofits, Helping Hands has been reeling under the impact of recent current events.

During the winter, area electric and gas companies were under a moratorium on the collection of past due bills. Now that the weather has warmed up, and the moratorium has lifted, all those bills are coming due. And many residents are in desperate straits trying to keep on basic utilities.

“We are seeing twice as many people seeking utility help,” LeDuc said.

“Some didn’t take advantage of LEAP (Low Energy Advantage Program) and some didn’t qualify,” she said.

Also, a recall earlier this winter on baby formula caused an alarming shortage. Helping Hands, WIC, and other area agencies have been scrambling to provide formula for mothers and children.

In addition, food chain interruptions, shortages and inflation have made keeping the food pantry stocked a problem. Basic needs, like simple canned proteins — canned chicken and tuna — hard to keep on the shelves.

Fresh meat is another difficult product to keep in stock. Manna House has a limited deep freezer storage area and is always happy to welcome the donation of meat.

How can you help?

Helping Hands welcomes donations of non-expired food, diapers, baby formula, as well as monetary donations. Helping Hands does not accept clothing donations, however it does offer vouchers to the Catholic Thrift Store for people in need of garments.

“Every dime that is donated goes to the people,” LeDuc said. “There are no administrative costs. It all goes to bills, diapers, groceries or vouchers. The Sisters cover all the administrative expenses.”

To donate, contact Manna House of Prayer, Susan LeDuc or Cecilia Thrash, 323 East 5th Street, Concordia, Kansas 66901; call 785-243-4428; or email Monetary donations also may be sent to the Development Office at Sisters of St. Joseph of Concordia, P.O. Box 279, Concordia, Kansas, with a note for it to be designated to the Helping Hands ministry.

If you are in need of assistance, Manna House is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. If possible, call ahead and let the staff find out in advance how to best help you, or come and ring the front bell during those hours.

“Call in advance, so we can see if we can help you,” LeDuc said. “If we can’t, we have other partners we work with like the Resource Center, DVACK, area dentists, doctors and the Lions Club.”



Sisters host drive thru Spaghetti Dinner

April 19, 2022 by  

Last year, in the midst of Covid-19 precautions, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Concordia took on what at first seemed to be an impossible task — take the beloved annual Motherhouse Spaghetti Dinner, along with the silent auction and the raffle, and turn it into a drive-thru and online event.

It sounded impossible, but thanks to the generous support of the public, the ingenuity of the sisters and the hard work of the staff and volunteers, the annual fundraiser was possible, and a success. It was a welcome change after the disappointment of having to completely cancel the event in 2020, right as Covid-19 really took hold in the area.

This year, out of an abundance of caution, the dinner remained as a drive-thru to minimize contact, and the raffle and auction again took place online. With the benefit of a year of experience and planning by the Development Staff and Culinary Team, this year’s event took off without a hitch!

Thanks to the overwhelming support and generosity of our donors and supporters, this year’s March 20 event wasn’t just possible — it was a success!

Assistant Development Director Ambria Gilliland was once again amazed by the community response.
“This year’s dinner looked a bit different, but it was so much fun. I’m grateful for everyone’s patience with us as we continued to adapt to all the necessary changes,” Gilliland said.

Some of the changes from the traditional in-person meal that had been a staple of the dinner for so many years pre-Covid?

• This year the dinner was completely done by pre-orders so the kitchen staff was prepared and to reduce waste.
• The dinner was done only as a drive-thru and carry-out.
• The usual live silent auction instead was done as an online auction on the Hansen Online Auction website out of Beloit, Kansas.
This allowed customers to review all of the items in the auction and do all their bidding and payment from the comfort of their own homes. This year’s event had 120 items up for auction on the electronic bidding site.
• Raffle tickets were sold both in advance and in person on the day of the event. However, the actual drawing was done on a Facebook Live video later that afternoon. Many of the sisters enjoyed helping with the drawings.
• There was a drive-thru bake sale table at the event. The sale included four types of cookies: monster, chocolate chip, snicker doodle and peanut butter, and four types of bread: cinnamon rolls, yeast bread, dinner rolls and banana bread.
• Sadly, there was no way to invite people inside to sit and chat with the sisters this year due to Covid restrictions. However, many of the sisters came out to help direct traffic, take food to cars or just wave at the visitors from a safe distance.

“We are constantly amazed by the generosity of our friends and donors,” said Sister Jan McCormick, Director of Development.
“I was so pleased with the outcome of the dinner. It was so nice to see everyone if only for a few minutes,” Gilliland said.

“We were excited to see several new faces come through the drive-thru. And our sisters had a blast waving at all of our new and familiar friends.”

“I want to give a huge ‘thank you’ to everyone who supported this event through meal tickets, raffle tickets, donations and prayers. It’s so heartwarming to see everyone come together,” Gilliland said.
Following the dinner service, many sisters gathered in the dining room to watch and assist with the raffle drawing.

Raffle ticket winners were:
• Mary Schlick — $500
• Joyce Dinges — $250
• Kimmy Smith — $150
• Myrna Shelton — $100
• Jerome Morgan — $100
• Diane Nelson — $100
• Sherry Jeffery — $100
• Gerry Parker — $100
• Elaine Milke — Kansas City Royals baseball tickets
• Rodney Reel — Quilt
• Marsha Strang — Popcorn Popper
• Alex Sweet — $25 Apple- bees gift card
• Tom Gennette — $25 Darden gift card
• Gene Meier — $25 Buffalo Wild Wings gift card
• Kip Gilliland — $50 Darden gift card
• Philip Baker — $50 Darden gift card
• Catherine Doud — Llama
“The support from the community was amazing! The weather cooperated for the most part and it was great to see so many familiar faces!” Gilliland said.
Thank you again for your generous support. We hope you had fun.
We still don’t know what next year will bring, but we hope to see you again in whatever form the Spaghetti Dinner returns!

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