St. Joseph Orphanage reunion set for April 27

April 18, 2019 by  

ABILENE — Bishop Gerald Vincke will dedicate and bless a new sign memorializing the St. Joseph Orphanage and Home on April 27 at Mt. St. Joseph Cemetery, Abilene.

The unveiling of the new sign will be one of many events planned for the St. Joseph Orphanage and Home reunion planned at the Parish Hall at St. Andrew’s Catholic Church in Abilene.

The sign was designed by artist Jean Scanlan, a member of St. Michael’s Parish in Chapman. Rawhide Iron Works in Norton constructed the sign. It was installed earlier this spring and will be officially unveiled and dedicated at the event.

Scanlan was on hand to watch the sign being installed. It was the first time she had seen her design recreated onto the metal sign.

“I was a little worried about the steeple,” she said of her artwork. “But it turned out really good!”

“We could never have done this without the help of Brian and Tom Whitehair,” said Sister Carolyn Juenemann, an organizer of the event. “They are on the cemetery committee of St. Andrew’s Parish, which graciously permitted us to install the sign on their land.”

The site of the St. Joseph Orphanage and Home is visible from the sign.

Sister Carolyn’s brother, Mel Juenemann, was the liaison between the Sisters and the sign company, and delivered the sign to the site.

The St. Joseph Orphanage and Home closed in 1958, so even the youngest surviving orphans are in their 60s now — and most are much older.

“I’ve been contacted by at least six people who lived at the home between the late 1930s and 1958 who are making plans to be at the reunion,” Sister Jan McCormick said, who along with Sister Carolyn, organized the reunion. “We don’t want to lose all their stories. We want to come together to remember this history and the people who were a part of it.”

The Sisters of St. Joseph of Concordia ran the facility for 43 years, from when they opened it in 1915 until it closed in 1958. The building, on the north edge of Abilene, just off Buckeye Avenue, was demolished in 1959.

 

Schedule of events:

  • 9:30 a.m. – Begin gathering at St Andrews, 311 S. Buckeye, Abilene
  • 10 a.m. – Welcome and opening prayer
  • 10:30 a.m. – View DVD
  • 11 a.m. – Sharing and visiting
  • Noon – Meal
  • 1:30 p.m. – Prayer service led by Bishop Gerald Vincke, of the Salina Diocese.

 

Immediately following the prayer service, attendees will travel to Mt. St. Joseph Cemetery for the unveiling, blessing and dedication of the new memorial sign.

“We look forward to seeing many of you again,” said Sister Jan. “We want to spend time sharing, reminiscing, learning and celebrating.”

To RSVP, contact Sister Jan McCormick at janmccormick@rocketmail.com or (785) 479-6795, or contact Sister Carolyn Juenemann at scarolyn@gmail.com. Please visit the St. Joseph Orphanage page on Facebook for more details at https://www.facebook.com/stjosephorphanage.abilene.

There will be no charge for the event and meal, but a free-will offering will be accepted.

 

Leap into spring with a Messenger full of updates on what the sisters are doing!

April 16, 2019 by  

It’s time to catch up with the Sisters of St. Joseph of Concordia with the April edition of the Messenger.

Spring is here and the sisters are hard at work. Ever wonder what a sister does every day?

Be sure to check out the Messenger.
 
The print edition is in the mail, and it’s available here right now as a flipbook. To open the flipbook edition, just click on the image below and use the arrows in the bar to scroll through the pages. Need to make it larger? Click on the magnifying glass icon with the “plus” sign in the middle
 

Crunch for a Cause to help Neighbor to Neighbor

April 16, 2019 by  

Visit Taco John’s in Concordia from 5 to 8 p.m. on Monday, April 29, for Crunch for a Cause to benefit Neighbor to Neighbor in Concordia — a ministry of the Sisters of St. Joseph!

Be sure to let their staff know when you order that you are supporting Neighbor to Neighbor. And come inside and meet some of the staff and volunteers of Neighbor to Neighbor that night.

Taco John’s will donate 10% of all sales that mention Neighbor to Neighbor to the programs at N2N!!!!!

Sister Norma Schlick: June 8, 1930 — April 8, 2019

April 11, 2019 by  

VIGIL: April 11, 2019, at the Nazareth Motherhouse
EULOGIST: Sister Marcia Allen

Norma Schlick was the youngest of five girls born to Walter and Cecilia Bohnart Schlick on a “dusty rural Nebraska farm not far from the little town of Wood River.”
She was born on June 8, 1930. Her older sisters, Leona, Alice, Loretta and Marie, have all preceded her in death. Her brother Theodore “Ted” survives with his wife, Mary.

She says of her early life that they were a happy family and that their social life revolved around their one-room public school that was two miles from their farm. They attended the Wood River Catholic Church and were taught the Baltimore Catechism by a stern Irish pastor, the Rev. T. D. Sullivan, every Saturday afternoon. She said that these classes were scary but she enjoyed getting a holy card when she could recite perfectly.

What she called a “traumatic event” was the sale of their rental farm in 1942. It was sold to the government for the installation of a munitions factory. The family moved to Grand Island and the children were enrolled in the St. Mary’s Catholic School. It was here that Norma met the Sisters of St. Joseph. She gives credit to her teachers, Sisters Alberta Marie, Wilhelmina, Cosmas, Sabina Marie and Ursula, for her vocation. She said she not only admired and was inspired by them but she also simply fell in love with them!

Norma entered the community in September 1947 at the age of 17. She received the habit March 19, 1948, and was given the name Sister Mary Walter. She made first profession March 19, 1949, and final profession March, 19, 1952.

She began teaching in Salina, then moved to the very small rural mission in Collyer and from there moved to the community’s largest school, St. Joseph and St. Ann’s in Chicago. Following this she was asked to go to St. Louis University to study and prepare to teach German language and literature at Marymount College. This she did, earning a B.A. in 1959 with magna cum laude and M.A. in 1961, and then went on for a year of study in the German and Russian languages at the University of Munich, Germany, on a Fulbright Scholarship.

In the summer of 1963, she earned a scholarship for studies at the Institute of Contemporary Russian at Fordham University in New York. In the summer of 1965, she studied German literature at Harvard. In her life review she calls these years of study a turning point in her life. Once her studies in German were complete, she taught in the language department at Marymount College.

In 1969, following the Renewal Chapter, Norma was appointed Director of Placement for the Community. She initiated a procedure which enabled the community to make the transition from assignment of sisters to where they would live and what work they would do to assisting them in their choice of work and where they would live.

In 1971, she was elected to the Executive Council and left Salina for Concordia. She served as Regional Coordinator from 1971 to 1975 and then was elected vice president from 1975 to 1979. At the same time, she served as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Saint Mary Hospital in Manhattan, Kan., and the Saint Joseph Hospital in El Paso, Texas. As vice present, she was director of personnel and ministry for the entire congregation.

It was during these years, 1975–1979, that she contributed to a project that most of the communities of St. Joseph and our members in particular considered her most generous contribution — not just to our community but to communities of St. Joseph in general.

With four other Sisters of St. Joseph — Marie Anne Mayeski, of Orange, CA; Mary Pat Hastings of Cleveland, OH; Virginia Quinn of Rutland, VT; and, Patricia Byrne of Baden, PA, — she spent hours, days and months over several years researching and composing the document that was eventually called our “Core Constitution.” This group spent their summers working in the shadow of the Sisters of St. Joseph’s US Federation Research Team A as that group researched and translated our primitive documents.

The Core Constitution Committee used the material the Research Team provided, plus the contemporary reflections on the CSJ Life produced by the participants of the Federation Life Institutes where members of CSJ communities across the United States and Canada reflected on their lives in mission under the influence of the CSJ spirit and spirituality. All of this material became the sources from which the Constitution Committee drew up a basic template that illustrated the fundamental Rule for all Sisters of St. Joseph, at least in the United States.
What Norma contributed to this work was her ability to clarify and synthesize complex concepts and produce an articulate statement that said concisely what was meant. It was from this Core Constitution that our own post Vatican II Constitution was written. We have Norma to thank for our success in producing the document of which we can be proud to use as our Constitution for our Concordia Community of St. Joseph.

At this time, she said that she was ready for something else. Having spent almost 30 years in the community she “decided to choose works that interested and challenged” her, to use her words. Thus, she became the Communications Director for the Congregation. She loved creating the first newsprint paper, “The Sisters of St. Joseph,” and doing the other public relations work required. After five years of this work, she became secretary for L’Arche Heartland in Kansas City, a non-profit organization dedicated to group living for persons with handicaps under the direction of Sister Christella Buser.

She took a year’s sabbatical in 1986-1987 in what was called the “Active Spirituality Program for the Global Community,” held in Cincinnati. During this program, Norma experienced many opportunities that created a heightened awareness in justice issues.

She attended programs from NETWORK, Quixote Center, Common Cause, Center of Concern, the D.C. L’Arche community and others. With her conscience sharpened, she wrote many letters to the editor. At the end of this program she was appointed General Secretary for the Congregation and continued this work until 1995. She enjoyed these years, she said, because it allowed her to put her gifts and talents to good use for the service of the community.

In the 1990s, Norma became aware of the fact that sisters who were preparing to retire or already in retirement needed assistance in the transition from active employment to what is called in the usual progression of life, retirement. Recognizing that sisters never retire from the mission, but only from specific works of service, Norma began courses at the College Misericordia in Dallas, Penn., over several years that certified her as a “Retirement Planning Specialist Religious.”

Norma had a brilliant mind and was an excellent student. During her studies she became conversant not only in German but also in Russian. She studied these languages for the sake of their literary contributions and could read, write and speak in both.

She was also an impeccable proof reader in English. As I checked back over her transcripts, I wondered why she graduated only magna cum laude and found that she had Bs in chemistry and physics, with straight As in every other subject. I suppose that she can be forgiven this, given the fact that she was fully competent in German and Russian AND English!

Perhaps the gratitude tribute from the community at the end of her years as Congregational Secretary sums up her talent as well as her contribution best. It reads as follows:
“Thank you for your dedication — for remembering, for reminding, for bird-dogging, for record keeping, for your accuracy, for your stable presence, for anticipating vital details and keeping us out of lots of trouble, for helping us do the nice things, for making us look good. Thank you for all the thank you notes, the get well notes, the sympathy notes and the congratulations you sent in our name. Thank you for knowing what to save and what to throw away; thank you for your writing skills, your peerless proofreading skill; your intelligent application of policy and procedures; your perfect sense of the appropriate; thank you for being able to say the important things in 25 words or less; thank you for safeguarding and safekeeping the corporation as well as the Congregation for these years; thank you most of all for your generosity in doing all of this. Thank you for being with us, your sympathy and empathy, your support and your presence. We have relied on you totally and you have been faithful and strong, giving and forgiving. We needed you and you were here — totally here. And what’s more we could rely on your beautiful singing voice. In fact, you taught us to sing German Christmas carols! Thank you so much.”

Toward the end of her life Norma took charge of the prayer board here at the Motherhouse. She received prayer requests from people throughout the country and sometimes, the world, and carefully kept them posted for community prayer. She had a system for posting and reporting and eventually rotating intentions off of the board.
About her personal life she said that she loved, above all, this community … what it stood for and the individuals in it.

She took seriously the life to which she was committed. She said that the Senate decisions were especially precious to her. The one that she particularly treasured was the decision in 1991 in which we emphasized “How we want to be with one another and with the earth.”

She also valued her ties with her family. She said at one point that “the school of human experience has taught me many things about life and death.”
Those family members and friends whom she lost broke her heart, yet, in the midst of this sadness, she said she watched new life spring up as new family members were added and the Community of St. Joseph here in Concordia continued to add new members and retain its fidelity to the charism and mission with courage and generosity.
All of this, she said, taught her that she would have to face her own passage into old age and even into death.

“I want to face life with courage,” she said. “I want to continue to grow in the charism of our dear Congregation — in unity and reconciliation — with myself, my dear neighbor and with God. Most of all, I want to be a good human being, in turn with the universe of whom I am a child. And, someday, I want to see God face to face!”
Thus, ended her life review. I believe that we can say that, indeed, all that she wished she fulfilled — or all that she wished was fulfilled in her.

Norma was that person who had the courage to face life right up to the end. She did it with patience, humility, courage and good humor. And especially, with compassion and gratitude for those who cared for her. We can be sure that Norma, a valiant woman to the end, is indeed enjoying the face of God today.

Norma left this life for another on April 8, 2019.
Norma, may all that you prayed for be yours. Thank you for your love for us; for your gracious service to this community; for your years of fidelity through good times and bad; thank you for you. You have indeed been a gift to this Community of St. Joseph!

May you be enjoying God face to face!

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

DonateNow 

‘The Wonky Donkey’ to be April’s featured book at Reading with Friends

April 10, 2019 by  

This month’s book for Reading with Friends will be “The Wonky Donkey” by Craig Smith with illustrations by Katz Cowley. Kids will enjoy the award-willing song in the book along with hilarious illustrations.

The book will be read by special guest Dr. Bruce Douglas.

Story time will begin at 10 a.m. Friday, April 12.

The story times for children 3 to 5 years old are on the second Fridays of the month and all begin at 10 a.m. at Neighbor to Neighbor, 103 E. Sixth St. Each session includes playtime and a snack for the children, plus each child will receive a free copy of that day’s book to take home.

There is a limit of 30 children per session so parents must register in advance. Call Neighbor to Neighbor at 785/262-4215 or email neighbortoneighbor@csjkansas.org.

The monthly program has been a part of Neighbor to Neighbor’s regular offerings since September 2012.

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

Friends and family make for another successful Spaghetti Dinner

March 19, 2019 by  

It isn’t just a spaghetti dinner. It’s a family reunion.

The Nazareth Motherhouse in Concordia was filled with visitors on Sunday, March 17 — some were family, all were friends, and all enjoying the whirl that is the annual Motherhouse Spaghetti Dinner. In the midst of the prize drawings, silent auction, building tours, bake sale, musical performances and food, one of the most important attractions of this annual event was chance to catch up with old friends and make new ones.

Everywhere you looked you could find reunions. Grandmothers and grandchildren volunteering together; nephews, nieces, uncles and aunts reuniting for dinner; or just friends in the community having a chance to sit down and enjoy a meal together.

The mystery grab bags were a hot item, selling out quickly. Visitors enjoyed selecting from custom-made Easter baskets, visiting the gift shop and picking up homemade baked goods at the bake sale.

The kitchen staff, buoyed by volunteers, served 550 dinners and the event raised about $10,700 to benefit the ministries of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Concordia.

“What a great turn-out! We are so grateful to everyone who comes out and supports this event,” said President Jean Rosemarynoski, CSJ. “We always look forward to seeing the people, renewing old friendships and making new ones. Everyone helps make it a festive atmosphere. We rely on dozens of volunteers and are very grateful to all those who generously help us!”

Musicians performing were John Paul Breault, Sarah Jeardoe, Sarah Ganser and a trio of Theresa Hernandez with friends Melanie and Joel.

Table decorations were made by volunteers from Neighbor to Neighbor in Concordia.

In the prize drawings, the winners were:

  • $500 — Kelsey Koster, Minneapolis, Kan.
  • $200 cash — Marty Blocker, Hays, Kan.
  • $100 cash — Kelsey Koster, Minneapolis, Kan.
  • Nesco Pressure Cooker — Jim Blecha, Munden, Kan.
  • CharBroil grill — Carol Deters, Harveyville, Kan.
  • Quilt (made by Sisters Betty Suther and Jean Ann Walton) — Father Jim Hoover, Concordia, Kan.
  • $150 Visa gift card — Kelsey Koster, Minneapolis, Kan.
  • KU Basketball tickets —Theresa Brierton, Abilene, Kan.

After the drawing, several in the crowd joked that they wanted to find Kelsey immediately and take her to the casino with them, or at least buy a lottery ticket!

Helping to draw the winning tickets was Jack Gilliland, son of Eric and Ambria Gilliland, of Concordia.

The annual special event is organized by the sisters’ Development Office, with months of work by assistant director of development Ambria Gilliland and assistant Laura Hansen.

“As usual, the dinner was a success,” Gilliland said. “We were able to raise funds for our sisters and many ministries and had a good time doing so! Everything seemed to run smoothly because of our awesome volunteers. We are so grateful for our friends that come out to support us time after time!”

 

Nazareth Motherhouse prepares for annual Spaghetti Dinner

March 14, 2019 by  

It’s been a wet and snowy winter, but the outlook for Sunday’s annual Spaghetti Dinner at the Nazareth Motherhouse looks to be warm and sunny.

But all these weeks of rain and snow has made parking for this event a little more challenging. Luckily, Assistant Development Director Ambria Gilliland has a plan in place to make sure everyone will be able to enjoy the event.

“In past years we’ve been able to park cars on the grassy area by the east parking lot. Unfortunately, this year it will be too wet and muddy for that to be a good option,” Gilliland said. “If you arrive and the east parking lot is full, we encourage guests to park at one of the city park parking lots across the street, or along Washington Street.”

Gilliland said that the Motherhouse would have two shuttle cars constantly running throughout the event from the west entrance of the Motherhouse to the alternate parking areas for anyone who would like a convenient ride to the front door.

“Just keep an eye out for the silver Impalas that will have signs on the door designating them as shuttle cars,” Gilliland said.

Volunteers from the Knights of Columbus will be adding their valuable help to assist with parking as well.

The event begins with dinner at 11 a.m. on Sunday, March 17. Meal tickets cost $8 in advance for adults and $10 at the door. Tickets for children cost $4 in advance and $6 at the door. Early bird meal tickets are available at the Motherhouse front desk until Friday, March 15.

Gilliland said that along with the spaghetti, attendees will be able to take a self-guided tour of the historic Motherhouse, which includes a stop in the Heritage Room where visitors can learn about the history of the Sisters of St. Joseph.

Also on the agenda are a bake sale with homemade goodies, Easter baskets and a silent auction. Guests can also try their luck at the popular grab bag station by purchasing a random gift for $1, $2 or $3.

The concluding event of the day will be the raffle drawing which includes the following items:
• Three cash prizes: $500, $200 and $100
• Char-Broil grill/smoker combo
• Handmade quilt by Sisters Betty Suther and Jean Ann Walton (72” x 72”)
• Nesco 8-quart pressure cooker
• Two KU basketball tickets (date of game to be determined)
• $150 Visa gift card

The raffle tickets are available for $1 each, or six for $5 and the drawing will be held at 1:30 p.m. on the day of the event. Raffle tickets can be purchased in advance from the Nazareth Motherhouse or by contacting Laura in the Development Office at lhansen@csjkansas.org or 785-243-2113 ext. 1225. You do not need to be present to win.

The Nazareth Motherhouse is located at 1300 Washington in Concordia.

 

“Nibbles the Book Monster” to be March’s featured book at N2N

February 21, 2019 by  

The March book for Reading with Friends will be “Nibbles the Book Monster” by Emma Yarlett.

Nibbles is a very naughty book monster — he’s chomping, munching and nibbling his way through fairytales that don’t belong to him! Children will love to lift the flaps, peek through the peepholes, and chase Nibbles through a fantastical world of books in this quirky story.

The book will be read by guest reader Sue Sutton. Story time will begin at 10 a.m. Friday, March 8.

The story times for children 3 to 5 years old are on the second Fridays of the month and all begin at 10 a.m. at Neighbor to Neighbor, 103 E. Sixth St. Each session includes playtime and a snack for the children, plus each child will receive a free copy of that day’s book to take home.

There is a limit of 30 children per session so parents must register in advance. Call Neighbor to Neighbor at 785/262-4215 or email neighbortoneighbor@csjkansas.org.

The monthly program has been a part of Neighbor to Neighbor’s regular offerings since September 2012. The next Reading with Friends events will be March 8.

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

Sisters of St. Joseph of Concordia honors employees

February 13, 2019 by  

Nine employees of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Concordia were honored Feb. 12 at the 2019 Employee Appreciation Banquet at the Nazareth Motherhouse.

The annual event drew of a crowd of more than 100 employees, guests and Sisters of St. Joseph to the auditorium in the Nazareth Motherhouse.

The theme of the evening was “Kaleidoscope,” with each beautifully decorated table highlighted with a hand-made kaleidoscope made by Sisters Ramona Medina and Donna Otter with help from volunteers at Neighbor to Neighbor.

Sister Jean Rosemarynoski, president of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Concordia, opened the evening by explaining how the kaleidoscope was invented, and how it has come to symbolize releasing your creativity while seeing yourself in a bigger scope of life.

“It also represents that while you might observe the very same set of basic circumstances, if you turn the kaleidoscope just a little, you can view those circumstances in hundreds of different ways,” Sister Jean said.

She told three stories to illustrate how the employees that work for the Sisters of St. Joseph are resourceful, inclusive and creative.

“And as I’ve told you before, we not only believe, but we know we have Concordia’s finest. We are humbled and grateful that out of all the employers in this area, you have chosen us,” Sister Jean said. “Every single one of you are living examples of kaleidoscopes every day.”

The employees honored, listed with their length of service, are:

Lisa Sorell, 25 years

Cecilia Thrash, 20 years

Greg Gallagher, 10 years

Brenda Dvorak, 10 years

Jane Wahlmeier, 10 years

Eric Tremblay, 5 years

Amanda Wolf, 5 years

Marcia Helton, 5 years

Lyle Pounds, 5 years

In addition to the meal provided by the Nazareth Motherhouse food service staff under the direction of Larry Metro, door prizes were randomly drawn throughout the night.

Also, a lucky employee or guest got to take home the hand-made kaleidoscope on each table.

“They gave me the idea, the theme, and just let us do it,” Sister Ramona said. “We used Pringles cans (for the body of the kaleidoscopes). We ate a lot of Pringles for a while.”

The Sisters of St. Joseph have about 70 employees in Concordia, working at the Nazareth Motherhouse, Manna House of Prayer and the CSJ Administrative Center at 215 Court St.

‘Lemur Dreamer’ to be February’s featured book at Reading with Friends

January 24, 2019 by  

This month’s book for Reading with Friends will be “Lemur Dreamer” by Courtney Dicmas. Kids will enjoy this beautifully illustrated book that shows the power of friendship!

The book will be read by special guest Lindsay Metcalf.

Story time will begin at 10 a.m. Friday, Feb. 8.

The story times for children 3 to 5 years old are on the second Fridays of the month and all begin at 10 a.m. at Neighbor to Neighbor, 103 E. Sixth St. Each session includes playtime and a snack for the children, plus each child will receive a free copy of that day’s book to take home.

There is a limit of 30 children per session so parents must register in advance. Call Neighbor to Neighbor at 785/262-4215 or email neighbortoneighbor@csjkansas.org.

The monthly program has been a part of Neighbor to Neighbor’s regular offerings since September 2012. The next Reading with Friends events will be March 8.

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

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