Mercy and Forgiveness Workshop at Manna House of Prayer

September 17, 2020 by  

Manna House of Prayer in Concordia, KS will be offering the workshop Mercy and Forgiveness with Father Barry Brinkman from 1:30 to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 3.

One of the biggest obstacles to attaining peace is resentment. Even those who seem to have almost everything they need to be happy are sometimes miserable because of a host of resentments that embitter their lives. We see how widespread this problem is when we witness the critical tone of many conversations, the anger, the divisions between people, marital partners, and the eagerness in society for vengeance.

Jesus provides a remedy for this darkness that plagues our society and relationships. The remedy is forgiveness. Jesus’ whole life was about modeling for us what forgiveness entails.

This gathering will discuss the power forgiveness can unleash in a person’s life. It will provide participants greater clarity on what forgiveness is and what it is not. We will review the Biblical foundations for forgiveness and its relationship with mercy. Practical guidance will also be provided on how to begin the process of forgiving those who have hurt us.

Free will offering. Masks and social distancing will be in effect. To register or for more information call: 785-243-4428 or email: retreatcenter@mannahouse.org.  Preregistration required.

NOW IN STOCK! New book — “Fire and Passion: The Mysticism of Bette Moslander”

August 24, 2020 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 retreatcenter@mannahouse.org or call (785) 243-4428. Cost is $19.95. Shipping and handling is $4.50 for one book. Add an additional $1 for each additional book. Please make your check payable to Manna House of Prayer. As soon as they arrive from the printer they will be shipping!

 

 

Eulogy for Sister Ann Glatter — March 28, 1929 – Aug. 8, 2020

August 10, 2020 by  

Vigil: Aug. 11, 2020, at the Nazareth Motherhouse
Eulogist: Written by Sister Mary Savoie and read by Sister Jean Rosemarynoski

Sister Ann Glatter, daughter of Vincent and Ann (Frank) Glatter, was born on March 28, 1929 on a farm northwest of Amherst, Nebraska, and given the name Mary Alice Glatter. She had three sisters and three brothers; three died in infancy and Margaret, Nancy and Don are all deceased. Her 18 nieces and nephews have always been the highlight of Mary Alice’s life.

Mary Alice Glatter left home to follow God’s call when her parents would, no doubt, have appreciated her assistance with their busy family life on the farm. But God had always been first in her life and the life of her parents and family.

Mary Alice Glatter attended Sunny Side Grade School which was across the pasture from her home. She graduated from the Amherst, Nebraska, High School in 1947.

On February 2, 1948, a blustery blizzard cold day, at the age of 19 years, Mary Alice Glatter came up the long front steps of Nazareth Convent in Concordia, Kansas. Her possessions were a deck of cards, a little toy tractor, and a 10 cent set of silverware purchased at a store on her trip to Concordia. She walked in the front door totally unexpected as she had never answered the letter from the convent stating the date of entrance for the postulants.

When she entered the novitiate, Mary Alice received the name Sister Ann Vincent. In August of 1949, she pronounced her temporary vows of obedience, poverty, and chastity. She pronounced her final vows on Aug. 15, 1953. Her surviving band member is Sister Charlotte Lutgen. She later dropped the name Vincent and preferred just Sister Ann.

To share some highlights of Sister Ann’s life among us, I would like to quote some of the personal messages she wrote about herself for her 70th anniversary as a Sister of St. Joseph. We all know about the many years she provided tons of fresh vegetables and fruit for our meals here at the Motherhouse. But here is what she shared about herself as she celebrated her 70th year among us.

“There have been many joys in my life as a Sister of St. Joseph. I was able to serve the poor and needy in many ways. I supported many teenaged boys who were going through the court system and had them work out their probation with me in our community garden. Many other young people came and worked with me in the garden. I also appreciated the many times I was able to help men traveling through Concordia and in need of assistance. I called them ‘St. Josephs’ and tried to be, as Jesus would have been, helpful to them. Also, over the years I have been able to belong to and help the St. Joseph’s Hospital Auxiliary, especially their Mardi Gras celebrations. I also spent many hours praying in the chapel, especially during the funeral services of our Sisters. In fact, I had the privilege of being a Hospice Volunteer during which I visited and prayed with many dying persons. Letter writing was also a wonderful way to stay in touch with friends and offer prayers for them. I am very grateful for my life among my Sisters of St. Joseph. I am truly blessed. My life has been full to the brim.”

Sister Ann Glatter’s life was one of admired talents, hard work, total self-giving, sensitive compassion, assistance to people living in poverty and down-trodden, and fulfillment of her deep and life-time oneness with the earth and God’s creatures. All she did was for the benefit of others.

She entered into contact with soil and she felt at one with the Earth. She once said of herself: “I probably would not have persevered in religious life had I not been able to be in touch with the soil and roam around through garden paths each day and night. A garden’s beauty is not only a thing of joy to me, but also a sign of God’s loving providence over all of us, his children.”

Sister Ann would not be happy with us if all we concentrated on were the so called ‘flowers’ of her life. As we all know, some of the garden in her life wilted and was drought stricken. There were several crooks and curves and near dead-ends in her life. She recently said this about her life: “There have been many trials in my life when temptations to live respectfully were painful to me, but with God’s help and the help of my community members, I labored untiringly in the Lord’s vineyard”.

Sister Ann also asked that the following reflection be added to her eulogy. I believe it is an honest reflection of her daily conversion of heart.

“In a sense my religious life mirrors the work undertaken in the garden. Daily existence in the convent has its quiet succession of hours, days, months, seasons and years in which I was given the time to labor spiritually for the good of my soul. The autumn of my life has arrived and I look forward to reaping from the seeds of my life with sincere humility. I pray daily to the Lord of the harvest, to be able to yield a bountiful crop rendering fruit into eternal life knowing that the humble work of my hands has been a form of prayer.”

Faithful to prayer, retirement offered Sister Ann the opportunity to spend a notable amount of time in the Motherhouse chapel, communing with, as she put it, ‘Our Blessed Lord’ and inspiring those who observed her daily communing with God, manifested in her relaxed, smiling, contemplative countenance.

Sister Ann died on Saturday, Aug. 8, 2020.

So now we say, thank you, dear friend, for your life among us as we return you to God’s loving embrace.

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

DonateNow 

CLICK HERE for Livestream link for Sister Ann Glatter’s funeral mass at 10:30 a.m. Aug. 11, 2020

August 10, 2020 by  

The live stream will begin at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 11. If you are having difficulty with this feed, there also will be a Facebook Live stream, however the sound should be much better on this link.

Thank you for your thoughts and prayers for Sister Ann Glatter’s family, friends and Community.

Obituary for Sister Ann Glatter — March 28, 1929 – Aug. 8, 2020

August 10, 2020 by  

Sister Ann Glatter died Aug. 8, 2020, at Nazareth Motherhouse in Concordia, Kansas.  She was 91 years old and a Sister of St. Joseph of Concordia for 72  years.  She was born in Amherst, Nebraska, on March 28, 1929 to Vincent and Anna Franke Glatter, the fifth of seven children, and was baptized Mary Alice. She entered the Sisters of St. Joseph of Concordia on Feb. 2, 1948. On Aug. 15, 1948, Mary Alice received the habit of the Sisters of St. Joseph and was given the name Sister Ann Vincent, later changing to Sister Ann.  She pronounced first vows on Aug. 15, 1949, and final vows on Aug. 15, 1953.

Sister Ann served the community as gardener at the Motherhouse for 60 years. In addition to lawn and yard work at the Motherhouse, Sister Ann refurnished chairs and chapel pews and worked in ceramics. She was recognized in October 1996 by the Concordia Area Chamber of Commerce for her lifetime of volunteer service to the community. In 2000, Sister Ann was honored by the American Red Cross for donating blood 126 times. She was described as a “legend” in Concordia whom people knew and expected to turn up wherever there was action or a need for help. 

Sister Ann was preceded in death by her parents, three brothers and three sisters.  The Mass of Christian Burial will be 10:30 a.m. Aug.11 in the Motherhouse Chapel with Rev. Barry Brinkman presiding. Due to the safety precautions for Covid-19, the funeral mass will be private. However, it will be livestreamed on the Sisters of St. Joseph Facebook page and website.  The burial will be in the Nazareth Motherhouse Cemetery. 

Chaput-Buoy Funeral Home, 325 W. Sixth St., Concordia, is in charge of arrangements.  Memorials for Sister Ann Glatter 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 Ann Glatter’s memory, click on the button below:

DonateNow 

Two new Sisters of St. Joseph of Concordia profess their vows

July 24, 2020 by  

The Sisters of St. Joseph of Concordia welcomed two new sisters on July 19.

Carol Goodson and Robin Stephenson both made their agrégée Vows of Religious Profession at the Sacred Heart Chapel in the Nazareth Motherhouse in Concordia, Kansas.

Each sister took a unique path to finding their religious calling with the Community in Concordia.

Carol Goodson

After retirement as a librarian from the University of West Georgia in 2015, a priest led her to ask God if she could possibly become a sister.

“Two days later my prayer was answered when I saw some information about the Sisters of St. Joseph of Concordia,” Sister Carol said.

“On my very first visit to Concordia in June 2016, I was so touched by the warm reception I got from the sisters.”

After profession, Sister Carol is returning to Georgia to begin new ministries in the Atlanta area.   

In her previous ministry, she was president of the St. Vincent de Paul Society in her parish in Carrollton, Georgia. In that capacity, in addition to leading the organization, she visited the poor in their homes in order to assess their needs and pray with them.

“We nearly always provided financial assistance to them as well, usually with utilities or rent,” Sister Carol said. “We also had a food pantry in the parish which was very heavily used, and we conducted a monthly distribution of frozen food to our clients.”

“Once I have chosen a home parish, I will introduce myself to the pastor and ask what he needs, offering myself to do it,” Sister Carol said. “I was part of the RCIA team at my previous parish, and — as a convert — that work is very close to my heart.  One of my long-term goals is to try to start a CSJ Associate group in my new home area.” 

Robin Stephenson

Sister Robin Stephenson was facing retirement and trying to find a way to become closer to God. The Internet gave her a hand in finding the Sisters of St. Joseph.

“Initially I took an online personal inventory on whether religious life would be feasible. The inventory validated aptitudes toward religious formation,” Sister Robin said.

She was coming up on 40 years of pediatric and school nursing, but didn’t really feel like she was done yet. Additionally, Sister Robin wanted to draw even closer to God and the charism of inclusive service seemed to fit her vocational goals.

A native of Jacksonville, Florida, residing now in Portland Oregon, Sister Robin has been a district school nurse in Beaverton, Oregon, for the past 26 years, and anticipates retirement in 2021.

“I was married for many years, and then my marriage was annulled. I have two beautiful children who are now grown adults,” Sister Robin said. “There is also a beautiful five-year-old granddaughter that is one of the lights of my life.”

Robin said after finding information on the Sisters of St. Joseph, she contacted Sister Lorren Harbin about four years ago. She visited in Concordia on her school summer break.

“I was instantly drawn to the sisters. Over the three years of discernment I definitely felt like I wanted to be a part of this beautiful group of women and the work they do,” Sister Robin said. “If I could just be a sponge to soak up some of their wisdom … I just fit. It feels like a part of family when I’m with the sisters.”

Sister Robin said she plans to continue living in Oregon and fulfilling her mission there.

“Currently I’m on the Eucharistic ministerial team at St. Mary’s of the Immaculate Conception at the Cathedral however, the Covid-19 times have lessened that right now,” Sister Robin said. “I assisted with second grade religious education and first reconciliation and communion at the Cathedral last year.”

“All the CSJ sisters with whom I have had the opportunity to be with have shown their soul beauty and love,” Sister Robin said. “I pray it continues to rub off and influence the rest of my life.”

Agrégée vows

Agrégée sisters are defined as women who commit themselves to active and inclusive love of God and the dear neighbor as expressed in the spirit and spirituality of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Concordia. They are viewed as members of the congregation in almost every aspect, but there are a couple of significant differences:

  • “Canonically vowed sisters” profess the vows of poverty, chastity and obedience, as defined by canon — or church — law. As part of the vow of poverty, an individual sister relinquishes all personal wealth and income; at the same time, the congregation assumes responsibility for her economic well being for the rest of her life.
  • “Agrégée sisters” profess a vow of fidelity to the congregation, but it is noncanonical, meaning that it is not governed by Church law and is instead a private vow between that sister and the Concordia congregation. It also means that the agrégée does not relinquish her finances to the congregation, and the congregation assumes no financial responsibility for her.

Father Barry Brinkman presided over the liturgy while Sister Jean Rosemarynoski, president, received the vows in the name of the Congregation.

‘Beyond the Frontier’ — A new book on the history of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Concordia

July 20, 2020 by  

The 1948 book “Footprints on the Frontier” by Sister M. Evangeline Thomas, PhD, has long been considered the most comprehensive history of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Concordia. Updating that work left big footprints to fill. Following in those footsteps was historian Sister Sally Witt, CSJ, of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Baden, Pa., who took on the task of writing an updated history of the Concordia congregation.

And now, after years of meticulous research and writing, Sister Sally has completed a detailed book documenting the rich history of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Concordia. Her book, “Beyond the Frontier,” builds upon the pioneering work of Sister Evangeline in order to document the complex history of this religious Community.

Witt said that while the book follows Sister Evangeline’s work, it is not a sequel, although it is done in a similar style.

“The book doesn’t start where ‘Footprints’ left off,” Sister Sally said. “It actually starts in prehistoric Kansas and then gets more seriously in depth when the sisters go to Canandaigua, N.Y., in 1854.”

Sister Marcia Allen, who initiated the project when she was president of the congregation and read the manuscript throughout the process, was pleased to see the project culminate in success.

“ ‘Beyond the Frontier’ — finally Sister Evangeline Thomas’ dream is fulfilled! She dreamed of bringing her history, ‘Footprints on the Frontier,’ up-to-date and took comprehensive notes. Her death interrupted her work,” Sister Marcia said. “Sally has brought about that dream in a work that is respectful of Evangeline’s work and enriches it with information that Evangeline did not have. Sally’s own work is an artful and research-grounded portrayal of a Community, not shy of risks that the frontier demands, yet firmly grounded in its charism of inclusive and active love. Congratulations, Sally!”

While Sister Marcia first contacted Sister Sally about the project in 2009, she was not available to begin work on the project until October 2013 — her first visit to the Motherhouse in Concordia. Over the years since, she regularly returned to the Motherhouse archives three to four times a year to stay for three-week intervals.

Throughout the project she worked closely with Sister Bernadine Pachta, archivist for the Sisters of St. Joseph of Concordia.

“Sally’s writing of our history is a great and enduring gift for us as a Community of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Concordia and to all religious communities in the world,” Sister Bernadine said. “It was thoroughly researched using primary source material. Sally used books, articles, face-to-face interviews, visits, phone and email interviews. The material she has cited in the book is voluminous. No stone was left unturned.”

“I feel very privileged to work so closely with Sally, and indeed it was a learning experience,” Sister Bernadine said. “I tried to be as helpful as I could.”

This was not Sister Sally’s first venture into historical research and writing. She is the author of “A Hidden Spirit,” a 2014 book about the Sisters of the Holy Spirit of the Diocese of Pittsburgh, and the 2005 book “Sisters of the North Country,” about the Sisters of St. Joseph of Watertown N.Y.

Yet, she said every Community reveals a different history.

“I already knew that each congregation is part of a particular place and carries within it the marks of the people and land of that place. In Concordia, I found the power of the daily faithfulness of sisters past and present and how this has been a gift to the area and to the world,” Sister Sally said. “The education, health care, and spiritual development among the people give evidence to daily life with sisters as neighbors. The land and sky of Kansas, with the particular loneliness and independence, have given their mark to the congregation. The small missions in western Kansas are good examples of this. In 1966, statistics from the national Sisters Survey confirmed the rural characteristic of this Community.”

“It was amazing to learn about the development of the Community in Brazil. It became so clear that the sisters were considered subversive when they dared to tell the people they had dignity as God’s children,” Sister Sally said. “All the sisters, Brazilian and North American, lived in danger just by doing their daily work. The entire history brings up all the issues of public life. The sisters’ entire lives, whether they were in small parishes or large institutions, were intertwined with the major happenings of the world.”

“I hope in some way this book will help future researchers of religious life. Many historians are interested in this field,” Sister Sally said. “My hope is that I might have provided some insight into this one congregation from the perspective of an ‘insider’ to religious life. And for all of this, I am grateful.”

The book, published by Word Association Publishers, spans 541 pages and contains 30 black and white photographs. The extensive appendices includes a list of all living sisters as of March 2020, as well as all deceased sisters.

The book is available for purchase at the Nazareth Motherhouse gift shop in Concordia, Kansas. While the Motherhouse is currently closed to visitors due to Covid-19 restrictions, the book can be ordered for shipping or curbside pickup by calling Jane Wahlmeier, administrative services coordinator, at (785) 243-2113 ext. 1101 or emailing jwahlmeier@csjkansas.org.

Eulogy for Sister Geraldine Milke — July 7, 1932 – July 16, 2020

July 20, 2020 by  

Vigil: July 20, 2020, at the Nazareth Motherhouse
Eulogist: Written by Sister Rita Plante and delivered by Sister Mary Jo Thummel

It is a privilege to have been asked by Sister Gerry to give her eulogy. Some years ago, when she asked me to do this, I said I would but please not too soon. She smiled. Her smile was her greatest gift to me and to those close to her, especially in her last years to those who were her care givers and the sisters with whom she lived. We lived together at South Mound here in Concordia in the 90s and both worked at the Motherhouse, she as Charge Nurse and I at the front desk. We lived with Sisters Margarita, Redempta and Evangelista. In 1998 the three sisters moved to the Motherhouse and there we were, a couple of sisters in a big house. That is when we became close friends. There is a book by Leon Bloy entitled “We Have Been Friends Together “ That sort of says it all for me.

Gerry’s favorite scripture verse was from Micah 6:8: “ He has shown all you people what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? “ TO ACT JUSTLY AND TO LOVE TENDERLY AND TO WALK HUMBLY WITH YOUR GOD.” And she did.

 Gerry was born the youngest of 5 children.: Mildred, Francis, Clarence and Deloris.

She was born on July 7, 1932. She doesn’t mention her parents names but she tells us that her mother was very loving, patient and prayerful. Her mother’s special gift was that if she couldn’t say anything good about a person, she chose to say nothing. Her mother died in May 1968, at the age of 72, in the hospital where Gerry worked and Gerry was at her side. Of her father, she says she saw him as cold and jealous. However, during the last years of her mother’s life, she learned to know him as very loving, hurting and desiring to be loved. At her mother’s death was when he seemed to acquire all her beautiful qualities. Of him she said, “I now saw him as gentle, warm, loving, sensitive and caring.”

He died in December 1968.

She doesn’t say where they lived but I know was in Victoria and Hays Kansas area. Gerry was baptized Geraldine Agnes by Rev. George Karlin O FM Cap.

My childhood is very vague to me , she said. We lived on a farm miles away from town and I loved the outdoors and horseback riding. She attended a country school and in grades seven and eight was taught by Sisters of St. Joseph at a Catholic school. “I greatly admired these Sisters and would feel the desire to be one.” she said.       

She graduated from high school as salutatorian of her class and received a scholarship for Marymount College. Her father said she should go to Fort Hays because if she goes to Marymount, she’ll become a nun. To that she said “NOT ME!”

We know the rest of that story. Sister Alberta was her student counselor and a very special person in her life. She entered Marymount in September 1950. During the three-day retreat, she found herself picking up some pamphlets entitled: “Should my daughter be a nun?”

She says she promptly dropped them because she would probably marry someday. During those days, she said she become aware the Lord was calling her to religious life and tried to sleep the thought away, but it remained when she awakened. She prayed about it and then requested entrance into the congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph. She entered on Feb. 14, 1951, and received the habit on Aug. 15, 1951, and given the name Sister Constance. She made her first vows in 1952 and final profession of vows in 1955.

She states in bold letters that “DURING THE FIRST 15 YEARS OF RELIGIOUS LIFE THERE WAS MUCH WORK, LITTLE PLAY AND MUCH SLEEPING DURING PRAYER TIME. I WAS ALWAYS FAITHFUL TO PRAYER TIME BUT FREQUENTLY ONLY PHYSICALLY PRESENT.

From 1959 to 1962 she was in Atwood, Kansas, working in surgery and floor duty. These were good years and much work. This time was followed by a month of Tertianship, Silver City, NM.

From 1962 to 1965 she was in Belvidere , Illinois, where she was supervisor of operating and emergency room. She said she enjoyed that. “The last few months were supervising the medical floor which I found quite painful. This floor needed lots of organization but I embraced the challenge and did all I could.”

From 1966 to 1977 , Gerry went to Concordia, Kansas, to St. Joseph’s Hospital operating and emergency rooms. These are the beginning of what might be called the “Dark Night of the Soul.” During these years her parents died. During these years Vatican II happened and as she says “responsible freedom” entered into her life.

“I did not know how to handle this responsible freedom.”

Gerry sought help and was blessed with many teachers and mentors along the way. Sister Bette Moslander is mentioned as a constant mentor during this time. One of the things Bette suggested was Father Frost’s Personal Growth Seminar. Gerry accepted this and felt gifted to have the experience. She says, “Father Frost reflected Jesus to me in a very special and real way. I appreciated being accepted as a person with all my brokenness.” For her this was the “light at the end of the tunnel”

In 1981, Gerry’s next mission was St. Mary’s Convent in Concordia, of which she says, “I feel very enriched as I listen to and pray with our aged Sisters.”

 In 1982, she says she was asked by a priest to be his prayer partner during Lent. Of this she says “I find this both exhausting and humbling.”

Of November 1982 she shares a time of lukewarmness and frequent mood changes. This was very scary for her remembering what Jesus said about being neither hot nor cold … BUT as she reflected upon it she came to an awareness to STRIP SELF OF SELF, PUT ON JESUS CHRIST AND BE ONLY FOR GOD AND ONE ANOTHER.”

Her life story ends in 1982 … with her returning to her baptismal name, Geraldine Agnes. Of this she says, “I feel it is very significant at this time of my life, following the dying process of the past months. I feel called to rise to a new life in Jesus”

But this is not the end of the story … just the beginning …

In 2014, she wrote: I commit myself “ to act justly and to love tenderly and to walk humbly with my God.”

In 2018 Gerry wrote her last recorded commitment which stated “I commit myself to life for time and eternity.”

A Not So Perfect Sonnet for Sister Gerry Milke

Oh quiet friend you are so dear to me

Your smile says much more than I will know

Once your feet walked miles in the halls

Of hospitals,surgery rooms each day you’d go

To be God’s hands and heart in loving care

You rose each day and knelt to Him in prayer

For each patient, doctor, nurse you’d pray

That You oh God would be with them in every way.

But you I only knew at Nazareth

When you were nurse and I receptionist.

Your loving support, I counted on your prayer

I knew you prayed each day in the chapel there.

   My thanks I give to God for all your love

   And know you are held close in heaven above.

 

 Memorials for Sister Geraldine Milke 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 Geraldine Milke’s memory, click on the button below:

DonateNow 

 

CLICK HERE for live stream video of Bible Vigil for Sister Geraldine Milke beginning 9:30 a.m. July 20

July 19, 2020 by  

 

The live stream will begin at 9:30 a.m. on Monday, July 20. It also will include the 11 a.m. funeral mass. If you are having difficulty with this feed, there also will be a Facebook Live stream, however the sound should be much better on this link.

Thank you for your thoughts and prayers for Sister Geraldine Milke’s family and Community.

Sister Geraldine Milke — July 7, 1932 – July 16, 2020

July 17, 2020 by  

Sister Geraldine Milke died July 16, 2020, at Nazareth Motherhouse in Concordia, Kansas. She was 88 years old and a Sister of St. Joseph for 69 years. She was born in Hays, Kansas, on July 7, 1932, to Joseph and Caroline Rohleder Milke, the  youngest of five children, and was baptized Geraldine Agnes.

She entered the Sisters of St. Joseph, Concordia, Kansas, on Feb. 14, 1951. On Aug. 15, 1951, Geraldine received the habit of the Sisters of St. Joseph and was given the name Sister Constance, later changing back to her baptismal name. She pronounced first vows on Aug. 15, 1952 and final vows on Aug. 15, 1955.

Sister Geraldine received a diploma in nursing from Marymount College, Salina, Kansas, in 1955. She worked in hospitals staffed by the Sisters of St. Joseph in Belvidere, Illinois, Atwood, Concordia, Salina, and Manhattan, Kansas; and Grand Island, Nebraska; retiring to Nazareth Motherhouse in 2006.

Sister Geraldine was preceded in death by her parents and her four siblings.

A Bible Vigil Service will be held at 9:30 a.m. on July 20 with Sister Rita Plante as the eulogist. The Mass of Christian Burial will be at 11 a.m. on July 20 with Father Barry Brinkman presiding. Due to the safety precautions for Covid-19, the bible vigil and funeral mass will be private. However, both will be livestreamed on the Sisters of St. Joseph Facebook page.

The internment of cremains will be in the Nazareth Motherhouse Cemetery. Chaput-Buoy Funeral Home, 325 W. 6th St., Concordia, KS is in charge of arrangements.

Memorials for Sister Geraldine Milke 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 Geraldine Milke’s memory, click on the button below:

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