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:

DonateNow 

CLICK HERE for live stream of Profession of Vows for Carol Goodson and Robin Stephenson

July 16, 2020 by  

This live stream will begin at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday, July 19. 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. Both streams will remain available after the event so you can watch both.

July 2020 Messenger encourages some summer reading!

July 14, 2020 by  

We hope you enjoy our July 2020 edition of the Messenger!

We have two new exciting books to announce this month! A new history of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Concordia, as well as an amazing collection of excerpts of the works of Sister Bette Moslander!

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

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

Click here to view Funeral Mass for Sister Alice Marie Stalker

July 13, 2020 by  

Thank you for your thoughts and prayers for Sister Alice Marie’s family and Community.

Eulogy for Sister Alice Marie Stalker — Oct. 3, 1930 – July 7, 2020

July 13, 2020 by  

Vigil: July 13, 2020 at the Nazareth Motherhouse
Eulogist: Sister Marilyn Wall

Alice Marie Stalker was born on Oct. 3, 1930 in Aurora Illinois. Her parents were Robert Kenneth and Veronica Lucille (Schopp) Stalker. She was the oldest of seven children. Only two of them survive her; Charlotte and Kate. Alice was Baptized at Sacred Heart Church in Aurora on Oct. 19, 1930. Alice also made her First Communion and was Confirmed at Sacred Heart.

Of that time Alice relates that the early ’30s were hard and her parents were no exception.

“My Dad was jobless or working at many different jobs during those years. It was my mother who kept the household, reared the children and carried the responsibility for family life and molding our spiritual and moral values. Many evenings she kept us entertained with numerous poems and rhymes, some funny and others that sent chills up and down the spine as her voice made the words come alive.”

 “Sister Renilda was my teacher in second, third, fifth and sixth grades and she had a great influence on my life. She was a great teacher and I learned well. Her sense of humor, ready laughter and concern for us showed in everything she did. From my first encounter, the seed of vocation was awakened and I decided I too would be a sister someday.”

“When I was 13 my Dad had a very serious case of rheumatic fever followed by pneumonia. On March 19 of that year, Dad died at the age of 35. I was stunned and bewildered. I tried to remain stoic, thinking this would help my mother and asking St. Joseph to take me under his fatherly protection. However, reality soon awakened me to the fact that my mother was left at age 34 with seven children ranging in age from one and 1/2 to 13. How scary this must have been for her as I retrospect. I assured her that I would always be there to help her.”

“Toward the end of eighth grade we were invited to visit the Catholic High Schools. I went to Madonna, an all girls school taught by the Milwaukee Franciscans. Before the day was over, I fell in love with the place and enrolled for my freshman year. Can you imagine my mother’s surprise on learning this piece of news? The expense of the school was more than we could afford, but with the help my grandparents Schopp and a scholarship offered me, school would be possible. I shall always be indebted to the Sisters of St. Francis who, I’m sure, helped nourish the vocation awakened in me way back at my first encounter with a Sister of St. Joseph. My class work was interesting and challenging. My sophomore year I started my first job at Prince Ice Cream Castle. This job I had the last three years of high school and with the money from this job I was able to pay tuition, buy books and purchase my own clothes.”

“My senior year I began to think seriously of the Religious Life. With help from Sisters Renilda, Edmond and Marie Marcotte, planning for entrance in September 1949 took place. Sister Mary Jean Assell and I were the first vocations from the parish for quite some time. Six months later, all 15 of us, after an eight day retreat and dressed as brides, processed down the chapel isle as the words ‘Veni Sponsa Christi’ were sung. The impact of its meaning was not as clear as the beautiful melody, but placing our love and trust in the Heavenly Bridegroom, sure of His unfaltering love for us and our undaunted love for Him, the first step on our spiritual journey began”

“Soon it was time to pronounce temporary vows. I remember wanting to, but the idea of a lifetime commitment brought a tinge of fear and many ‘what ifs.’ With much prayer and remembering His promises I placed my trust in him and another stepping stone in my life was laid.”

“On Aug. 15, 1952, I was assigned to teach fifth and sixth grades in Damar. Being born in the city and its noises the quiet, slow activity and being surrounded by grasses (which I later learned was wheat) was very strange to me. When talking to my mother by phone the only description I could find was that it resembled those towns we’d seen in the cowboy movies. The next year I was assigned to Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Concordia and resided at the Motherhouse. The drop to teach second grade was a good one for me. I really believe God gave me a gift of relating to His little ones and I rejoiced in watching toothless cherubs grow in wisdom and age. During these years death claimed my mother to cancer and my favorite grandparents.”

“My last teaching years were in Salina at St. Mary’s (16 years). During those years I joined Sisters Christine Doman and Pauline Kukula in a smaller living situation. The relationship was filled with sharing with one another. In particular, Pauline has been a close companion in work and play and contributed much to my life.”

When Polly celebrated her 60th Jubilee, she said of Alice: ‘I met and began teaching with Sr. Alice Marie in 1970. I was impressed with her teaching style and her gentle manner with the first graders. She had a reverence for each person and in a gentle, yet firm manner, could set expectations and bring out the best behaviors and achievements of each child. She had a pleasant and quiet sense of humor and the students knew that they were OK with her. I got to teach with her for 12 years and that is when I really began to love teaching. I have moved on to junior high teaching in the last 32 years, but there is not a day in the classroom that I do not think of her manner and style of relating to students and try to emulate that. It has brought much joy to my teaching.”

Within the past year I was eating dinner with Sister Alice and Sister Rosie Dwyer. They were remembering their years of teaching with as many as 60 students in a classroom. I said:”What would you do with 60 1st graders?” Alice responded very simply: “You teach them!”

In 1996, Sister Alice moved to Medialle Center in Salina. “My main ministry there was the upkeep of the building and hours spent accompanying sisters to doctor appointments and to the hospital.”

In 2008, she moved to the Motherhouse where she helped in any way she could and was a source of inspiration and kindness.

“Looking back over the years God and I have been in the process of molding a masterpiece and transforming it into something beautiful! God and I are not finished yet. My prayer has become more an experience of quiet than words: a deep down peace and a sense of the presence of God within and without.”

“I’m grateful to the Community for the many blessings I received from and through them. Especially they were there to share the journey, and support and encouragement were readily available. I pray God gives me the grace to journey on until I rest in His arms.”

“Thanks also to my family who have been a special blessing in my life and I love them dearly. The only regret I have is that I couldn’t share more closely in their lives because of the distance that separated us. However, we held each other in our hearts and prayers. We’ll have a real ‘smash banging’ get-together in Heaven!”

And we say thank you Alice, for your kind, gentle and prayerful spirit which we have witnessed and loved for these many years. We will miss you, but we will know in spirit, your presence and wisdom in our midst. You have been and are gift.

Sister Alice died as she lived quietly and peacefully. In reflecting on her life I believe Maxim 93 was fulfilled:

“For the three faculties of your soul desire this perfection: for the memory, to forget things and self in order to remember little else but God; for the intellect, to see God in all things: God’s glory, God’s will, and God’s contentment solely; for the will, the one freedom to go to God, to love God with all the love of your heart.”

Memorials for Sister Alice Marie 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 Alice Marie Stalker’s memory, click on the button below:

DonateNow 

 

 

CLICK HERE for live stream video for Sister Alice Marie Stalker begins at 9:30 a.m. with Bible Vigil and 11 a.m. with funeral Mass.

July 13, 2020 by  

The live stream will begin at 9:30 a.m. 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 Alice Marie’s family and Community.

Sister Alice Marie Stalker — Oct. 3, 1930 — July 7, 2020

July 8, 2020 by  

Sister Alice Marie Stalker died July 7, 2020, at Nazareth Motherhouse in Concordia, Kansas. She was 89 years old and a Sister of St. Joseph of Concordia for 70 years. She was born in Aurora, Illinois, on Oct. 3, 1930, to Robert Kenneth and Veronica Lucille Schopp Stalker, the oldest of seven children, and was baptized Alice Marie. She entered the Sisters of St. Joseph of Concordia on Sept. 7, 1949. On March 18, 1950, Alice Marie received the habit of the Sisters of St. Joseph and was given the name Sister Mary Urban, later returning to her baptismal name Alice Marie. She pronounced first vows on March 19, 1951, and final vows on March 19, 1954.

Sister Alice Marie received a B.A. in English from Marymount College in 1963. Sister Alice Marie taught in Damar, Salina, Concordia, and Beloit, Kansas, and in Grand Island, Nebraska, for a total of 44 years. In 1983, Sister Alice Marie served as librarian at Sacred Heart Grade School, Salina, Kansas. She retired and moved to the Motherhouse in 2008.

Sister Alice Marie was preceded in death by her parents and four siblings. She is survived by two sisters, Charlotte Christian from Cape Girardeau, Missouri, and Kathleen Schneider from Glen Ellyn, Illinois. A Bible Vigil Service will be held at 9:30 a.m. July 13 with Sister Marilyn Wall as the eulogist. The Mass of Christian Burial will be at 11 a.m. 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 live-streamed on the Sisters of St. Joseph Facebook page.  

The internment of cremains will be in the Nazareth Motherhouse Cemetery. Nutter Mortuary, 116 E. Sixth St., Concordia, Kansas, is in charge of arrangements. Memorials for Sister Alice Marie Stalker 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 Alice Marie Stalker’s memory, click on the button below:

DonateNow 

Praying During a Pandemic

June 26, 2020 by  

On online retreat via Zoom

Retreat Director: Dr. Catherine Michaud, CSJ

July 26-Aug. 1, 2020

Opening session: 6:30 p.m. Sunday, July 26. Daily sessions: 9:30 a.m. Monday-Saturday.

This retreat is about living through a pandemic whose ripple effects are seismic — globally, internationally, nationally, locally, humanly, personally, financially, politically, socially, psychologically and spiritually.

For the first time in human history everyone on planet Earth is subjected to a common threat. Chaos looms. In chaos theory, a small change can have massive, unpredictable consequences. Our choices and attitudes in a crisis like this one are enormously significant.

This retreat calls us to contemplate our experiences during the pandemic and to consider our choices from here on. We will, as we rest in the arms of our Creator, (1) feel the pain of the pandemic, find hope and locate joy within the struggle; (2) marvel in a new kind of silence (even the birds are loving it!); (3) attune ourselves to “invisible things”: contagion — some kinds are deadly and some life-giving; (4) reflect on our “lives all together” in a sudden strangeness — Beatitudes for a pandemic; (5) grieve (That discomfort feeling is grief); (6) Celebrate Jubilee — After the trouble has passed; (7) Pause for integration.

For information/registrations: Contact Manna House of Prayer, P.O. Box 675, Concordia, KS 66901, (785)243-4428 or email retreatcenter@mannahouse.org.

Cost is $200.

Note: Retreatants must have access to the internet for Zoom and email to participate in the retreat.

(art: Koinonia — Living in a Cave)

Eulogy for Sister Elizabeth (Beth) Stover — Oct. 16, 1941 – June 7, 2020

June 10, 2020 by  

Vigil: June 11, 2020 at the Nazareth Motherhouse
Eulogists: Sister Mary Margaret Nacke and Sister Mary Savoie

Sister Mary Savoie begins:

Sister Beth Stover was born Oct. 16, 1941, the daughter of Paul John Stover and Marie Angela Grennan Stover on the family farm about 3 miles northwest of Beloit. At her baptism she was given the name Margaret Elizabeth. She was the youngest of five daughters: Mary Ellen Thummel Truex, Dolores Eck (deceased), Sister Colleen Stover (deceased), and Jane Morch.

Sister Beth was 5 years old when the family moved to the city of Beloit where she attended St. John’s School  until she graduated in 1947. During grade and high school she was an active member of the Girl Scouts.

She learned to play the organ at her local church under the direction of Sister Athanasia. Early on, Sister Athanasia said to her, “Go sit at the organ and play.”  Beth replied, “I can’t play the organ.”  But Sister replied, “Go sit there and play.”  So she did and that was her first organ lesson.  She was church organist throughout her high school years.

In September of 1959, Sisters Coleen and Beth entered the community of the Sisters of St. Joseph in Concordia, Kansas. When they left home, their mother told them, “tell people that your dad is a farmer. Do not tell them he runs a liquor store.”  Both Coleen and Beth received the religious habit on March 19, 1960, and Beth received the name Sister Ellen Dolorus. She made final profession of vows on March 19, 1966.  

After completing the novitiate, Sister Beth went to the House of Studies at Marymount College, Salina. While there, she began her training to be a registered nurse, but later changed her major program and became registered as a laboratory director. Upon the completion of that program, she served as director of laboratory services at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Concordia from 1965 to 1971. Following that ministry, she attended St. Louis University, and in 1975 attained a Master’s Degree in hospital administration. In 1976 she accepted the position of Hospital Administrator of St. Joseph’s Hospital in Concordia, Kansas, where she served until 1987. During those years, she also served as a member of the Kansas Hospital Administrators Board of Directors, as well as president of that organization for several years.

During the last few years as Administrator of St. Joseph’s Hospital she gave many hours of competent advice and service during the building of Mount St. Joseph in Concordia.

During the spring of 1989, Sister Beth was hired as Pastoral Associate at Sacred Heart Cathedral in Salina, and in 1993, she accepted the position of Director of Catholic Charities for the Salina Diocese.

In June of 2008, Sister Beth was elected to serve on our Leadership Council.

In December of 2016, she moved to the Motherhouse where she continued involvement in many in-house ministries.

Sister Margaret Nacke continues:

In Road to Character, the author talks about “Resume Virtues,” skills brought to the marketplace; “Eulogy Virtues,” the qualities talked about at a funeral such as integrity, commitment, generosity, courage and sensitivity. Both types of virtues are important, worth pursuing and judge how we remember persons, but I want to recall these virtues relative to Sister Beth.

Sister Beth was a woman of integrity — committed to the church, congregation, her family, and the ministries in which she was involved.  She was a friend and steady companion to Sister Ann Glatter. When bags of sweet corn and rhubarb came from Sister Ann’s Nebraska farm, Beth and Ann spent hours in the peeling room, readying these gifts for the kitchen to prepare. In this work they were major beneficiaries to the congregation in providing healthy food for our table at the Motherhouse. 

One of Sister Beth’s strongest assets and great values to the congregation was her ability to examine information presented to members prior to and during meetings, and her fearlessness  in articulating the results of her thinking about that material at Community meetings. She showed great courage in speaking out about important matters.  She spoke from her conscience, her experience and her judgment. She asked a lot of questions which helped us to hone, expand and clarify thinking. In other words,  Sister Beth perused documents sent to Community members seriously; never hesitant to share the results of her reflections for the benefit of all of us.

Another virtue Sister Beth exhibited was her sensitivity to keeping confidences. She knew, when she was  a member of the leadership team and in discussion with a group, that which could be shared and that which remained leadership business.

Lastly, Sister Beth was a woman of multiple talents used wisely for the needs of the congregation and civic community. When a need arose and Beth was asked to take on a new ministry, she obliged; she never hesitated. 

Sister Mary Savoie concludes:

I have known Sister Elizabeth (Beth) Stover personally and as a skilled, committed and competent professional  Sister for many years. Perhaps the period in her life when she demonstrated these skills most was during the time that she served as hospital administrator of St. Joseph’s Hospital here in Concordia. I especially appreciated her commitment as a Sister of St. Joseph during the time when we as a congregation were in the process of transferring ownership of our hospitals. I often told her how much time, talent,  energy and support she manifested and her reply was always, “That is what I knew was right for us to do at that time in our history.”  Not only did Sister Beth competently represent the congregational decision to transfer ownership of our health care systems,  but she also communicated this decision in a positive and effective manner to all the doctors and hospital staff. 

Another experience where I witnessed Sister Beth’s committed and competent professional skills was during the time that she and I served as community representatives on our NCAC board of directors.  Sister Beth always came to those meetings so well prepared and contributed very effectively.

Nor should we forget the many years that she served as a member of our Executive Leadership team. In that position, Sister Beth was always very conscious of her responsibility to reach out to members of the congregation, especially those in need of assistance.  She also continued her concern for happenings in the civic community of Concordia and beyond.

All in all, Sister Beth took every aspect of her ministry very seriously. Her ability to incorporate and collaborate with those around her stands out also as one of her outstanding personal and professional  skills and talents.

At the age of 78 and during her 60th year as a Sister of St. Joseph, Sister Beth Stover left us for her eternal home on Sunday, June 7, 2020.

These are just a few of the ways I will mention here today that Sister Beth’s commitment as a Sister of St. Joseph of Concordia were part of her life among us.  We thank you, Sister Beth, for the time you spent with us and we ask that you continue to remember all of us as you enjoy your new eternal home.

Memorials for Sister Beth Stover 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 Beth Stover’s memory, click on the button below:

DonateNow 

 

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