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

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:


Sister Jean Ann Walton wins at annual Veterans Art Show

April 9, 2022 by  

Sister Jean Ann Walton’s quilt entry in the recent 3rd annual Veterans Art Show brought home a first place win.

The show, Aug. 19-30 at the Robert J. Dole VA Medical Center in Wichita, Kansas, is an annual competition for Veterans treated in the Department of Veterans Affairs national health care system.

“My quilt was entered in the Cut and Sewn Fabric category of the Visual Arts Division (VAD),” Sister Jean Ann said. “My first place win at the local level qualifies me for the national NVCAF against other 1st place winners in the spring of 2022.”

The quilt is named “A Study in Black and White with Turquoise Squares.”

Other categories in VAD are Combat Experience, Mixed Media, Acrylic Painting, Oil Painting, Watercolor Painting, Monochromatic Drawing, Color Drawing, B&W Photography, Color Photography, Special Recognition for Mental Health, Metalwork, Wood Model Kit, Applied Arts, Assemblage, Ceramics, Bead Work, Sculpture, and Mosaic.

The National Veterans Creative Arts Festival (NVCAF) is the celebration and grand finale stage show, art and writing exhibition, which are the culmination of talent competitions in art, creative writing, dance, drama and music for Veterans

VA medical facilities incorporate creative arts into their recreation therapy programs to further the rehabilitation milieu for both inpatients and outpatients. This annual competition recognizes the progress and recovery made through that therapy and raises the visibility of the creative achievements of our Nation’s Veterans after disease, disability or life crisis.

Sister Jean Ann was a Vietnam-era Marine and served six years on active duty and five years as a Marine Reservist. When on active duty, she served as a Marine Corps Drill Instructor for women and as an illustrator.


Eulogy for Sister Dorothy Hoover — Nov. 14, 1929 – Jan. 30, 2022

April 3, 2022 by  

Vigil: Feb. 3, 2022, at the Nazareth Motherhouse
Eulogist: Sister Janet Lander

In the Maxims of the Little Institute, written by our founder, Fr. Jean-Pierre Médaille, we hear the invitation: “Accordingly, pursue to the very end and with gentleness and vigor what you have once and for all resolved and what you prudently believe corresponds to the greater glory of God.” (MLI, 67) Sister Dorothy Hoover passed into eternal life on Sunday, Jan, 30, 2022. In her life, I believe we will find an example of one who lived this maxim well.

Dorothy Josephine Hoover was born Nov. 14, 1929 in the hospital in Junction City. Her parents were Laurence and Josephine (Caspar) Hoover. She was baptized at St. Xavier Church,  Junction City, on Jan. 5, 1930. Her younger brothers, Bernard and James, were born in the next few years. Bernard was to marry and become a doctor. Jim became a priest in the Salina Diocese.
They all grew up on a farm two miles east of Junction City. Dorothy often shared memories of all they had to do on the farm. But one of her most vivid memories from her youth is that of being saved from drowning when she was 14. She recounted, “My life went before me. I am grateful to the mercy of God for surviving.”

Dorothy and her brothers were active in 4-H and also took piano lessons from the Sisters of St. Joseph. Dorothy attended both grade school and high school at St. Xavier’s. She was always grateful for her 12 years of Catholic education. She graduated from high school in May of 1947. In her life review she says, “Our Catholic faith had a high priority in the family … To miss Sunday Mass was never an option. Our family life was much involved with St. Xavier’s Parish. We took eggs from the farm to the sisters every week when I was a child. … Attendance at school had a high priority and we were rewarded if we worked for grades. I grew up surrounded by much extended family. … Holidays such as Thanksgiving and Christmas were big family reunions.”

After high school, Dorothy and her best friend, Pat, chose St. Joseph’s Hospital in Wichita for nurses’ training. While she was in training she accompanied a school chorus. She graduated in August of 1950, and began working at St. Joseph’s Hospital. From 1951 to 1952 she also attended Kansas State University for three semesters. In an attempt to support herself while going to school, Dorothy worked at St. Mary’s Hospital in Manhattan, and then as staff nurse at the Junction City hospital in the fall of 1952. While she was there she began actively discerning whether to enter religious life.

On February 11, 1953, Dorothy became a postulant with the Sisters of St. Joseph of Concordia. She received the habit, and the name Sister Mary de Lourdes on August 15, 1953. She made first vows August 15, 1954 and final vows August 15, 1957. There were three sisters in her band. One left and S. Janice Koelzer pre-deceased her.

After novitiate, Sister Dorothy spent one year in the House of Studies at Marymount, and then began her ministry as a Sister of St. Joseph. From then until 1999 Sister Dorothy gave herself to ongoing ministries in nursing and pharmacy, as well as the teaching of nursing. To do so, she also engaged in various programs of study: a BS in nursing from Marymount, a degree in Pharmacy from Creighton University, a Masters in Guidance and Counseling from the University of Missouri, and another Masters in Medical-Surgical Nursing at Kansas State University Medical Center, not to mention other courses, such as Psychiatric Nursing, plus numerous workshops. She ministered at St. John’s Hospital, Salina, the hospital in Seneca, St. Mary’s in Manhattan, Cardinal Glennon Hospital in St. Louis, Johnson County Mental Health Center in Olathe, KS, and St. Joseph’s Hospital in Kansas City. She also taught at Avila College, Marymount College and Creighton University.

In her life review Dorothy reflected on the joy she also found in serving both students and patients. She also looked back on these years saying, “I have enjoyed community life on the missions where I resided. …I have found my Sisters in religion as loving, caring and supportive women. I am grateful for this.

The joy of a sabbatical year arrived in 1998-99. This was a time of transition. Sister Dorothy’s sabbatical included the Sarah Sabbatical program at Manna House, in Concordia. Then she went away for an Ignatian 30 day retreat, followed by volunteer work at Manna House and at Open Door in Junction City. She recounted that the highlight of this year was a trip to the Holy Land and Greece with Sister Marilyn Foote. About her trip she reminisced, “We were able to walk where Jesus trod…I had wanted to do this for a long time.” All of this was bookended by two summers at Creighton University studying in the spirituality program. Learning was a passion for Dorothy.

Post-sabbatical time found Dorothy transitioning into new ministries, offering spiritual direction, and teaching spirituality courses for the Salina Diocese. She began doing volunteer work, including being a hospice volunteer and giving a dream workshop at Manna House. She began this early period of retirement, residing first at Medaille Center, Salina; then Hillside Convent, Concordia.

Finally Dorothy moved to the Motherhouse in 2008 where she appreciated having more time for prayer and growth in the interior life. Initially she helped at the reception desk and with driving to medical appointments. Dorothy typically served behind the scenes, helping the sisters with computer, doing notetaking or bookkeeping. One thing she excelled at and enjoyed over the years was playing bridge.

At the end of her life review Sister Dorothy expressed gratitude and hope saying, “I am grateful to God for God’s many blessing…religious vocation, retreats, educational opportunities, friends, ministries. I especially thank my CSJ community….” “In the time remaining in life,” she added, “I hope to grow in my journey to God and love of the dear neighbor, …and to be a joyful presence.” In this year’s Commitment to Mission and Ministry she embraced the words of Jesuit Teilhard de Chardin, “Above all, trust in the slow work of God. … Only God can say what this new spirit forming in you will be.”

Now, dear Dorothy, your spirit and God’s are one; growth in your journey has come to its fullness in Christ. You have given yourself over into the loving and grace-filled hands of our God. We entrust you as one who has lived out our Maxim 73: “Live out your life with one desire only: to be always what God wants you to be, in nature, grace and glory, for time and for eternity.” (Maxims of the Little Institute). We are grateful to God for your life among us, Dorothy.

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


Manna House to offer in-person and online Lent series

February 5, 2022 by  

Manna House of Prayer is offering a six-week long Lenten series on Wednesday evenings in March and April. The one-hour programs are from 7 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday evenings from March 9 through April 13. Cost for each program is $10, or $50 for the entire series. The programs are available in person at Manna House in Concordia or online using Zoom. Attendees may choose to attend one program, all programs, or any selection of programs.

The programs include:

• March 9, 2022
Lenten Series Week 1: Jesus is Condemned to Death
Presenter: Dian Hall, CSJ
As Jesus faces Pilot and is sentenced to the crucifixion, we are called to reflect in our own lives about how frequently we condemn others. Have I spoken against another person in an effort to condemn them? Have I told untruths about someone because I want to see them suffer and be ridiculed? Has this happened to me at the hands of another person…or even at the hands of a close friend?
Jesus is our example of love for all others, even after his friends turned away from him.

• March 16, 2022
Lenten Series Week 2: Jesus Falls
Presenter: Janet Lander, CSJ
In the Stations of the Cross Jesus falls, not once but three times. What does this say to us? What is the grace at the root of Jesus’ falls? Come, let us contemplate. Wednesday evening, 7-8 p.m. Cost: $10/session or $50 for all 6 sessions. Participants can register for in-person or Zoom participation.

• March 23, 2022
Lenten Series Week 3: Veronica
Presenter: Mary Jo Thummel, CSJ
Veronica wipes the face of Jesus. Who was Veronica? Why did Veronica wipe the face of Jesus? Veronica veiled Jesus’ face in what? Does this scene remind you of anything that has happened in your own life?

• March 30, 2022
Lenten Series Week 4 : Simone of Cyrene
Presenter: Jean Ann Walton, CSJ
Simon of Cyrene. Who was he? He was a little-known biblical figure who helped Jesus by carrying His cross on the way to Calgary. Simon’s act is perhaps among the most important and symbolic of all acts in the Bible. How does that act apply to us today? Let’s explore those possibilities.

• March 6, 2022
Lenten Series Week 5: The Crucifixion
Presenter: Gilla Dubé, CSJ
Jesus was nailed to the cross and died on that cross. Nailed and died — realities born out of immeasurable love for us! Jesus did not run away. In the course of our lives, we also are brought to the cross. How can Jesus’ example carry us and carry our world in the midst of suffering that’s all around us? To what is Jesus inviting?

• April 13, 2022
Lenten Series Week 6: Jesus’s Burial and the Meaning of the Empty Tomb
Presenter: Betty Suther, CSJ
The burial of Jesus is described in some detail in all four gospels. Was this important information? What meaning can we find in the stillness of Holy Saturday? What does the empty tomb say to us today?

To find out more information or to register, call Manna House of Prayer at 785-243-4428 or email Online registration is available at

Manna House of Prayer is located at 323 East 5th Street in Concordia, Kansas, and is a ministry of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Concordia.

Obituary for Sister Dorothy Hoover — Nov. 14, 1929 – Jan. 30, 2022

February 1, 2022 by  

Sister Dorothy Hoover died Jan. 30, 2022, at Nazareth Motherhouse in Concordia, Kansas. She was 92 years old and a Sister of St. Joseph of Concordia for 69 years. She was born in Junction City, Kansas, on Nov. 14, 1929, to Laurence and Josephine Caspar Hoover, the oldest of three children, and was baptized Dorothy. She entered the Sisters of St. Joseph, Concordia on Feb. 11, 1953. On Aug. 15, 1953, she received the habit of the Sisters of St. Joseph and was given the name Sister Mary de Lourdes, later returning to her baptismal name Dorothy. She pronounced first vows on Aug. 15, 1954, and final vows on Aug. 15, 1957.

Sister Dorothy received her BSN in nursing from Marymount College in 1962; followed by a BS in pharmacy from Creighton University in 1965, an MA in guidance and counseling in 1976 and a Masters in Nursing from Kansas University in 1982. Dorothy ministered in hospitals staffed by the Sisters of St. Joseph as head nurse and chief pharmacist. She was a nursing instructor and lecturer in Pharmacology at Marymount College and a nursing instructor at Avila College and Creighton University spanning 43 years. In 2006, she moved to Concordia where she volunteered within the community.

Sister Dorothy was preceded in death by her parents. She is survived by two brothers, Dr. Bernard (Sheila) Hoover of Baldwin, Missouri, and Father James Hoover of Concordia. The Mass of Christian Burial will be 10:30 a.m. Feb. 3, 2022, in the Motherhouse Chapel with Rev. Barry Brinkman presiding. Sister Janet Lander is the eulogist. To attend the funeral all must be fully vaccinated, boosted and wear a mask. The funeral will be live streamed on the Sisters of St. Joseph Facebook page. The burial will be in the Nazareth Motherhouse Cemetery. Chaput-Buoy Mortuary, 325 W. 6th St., Concordia, Kansas, is in charge of arrangements. Memorials for Sister Dorothy Hoover 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.

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Eulogy for Sister Rosalyn Juenemann — Jan. 8, 1932 – Jan. 27, 2022

January 30, 2022 by  

Vigil: Jan. 30, 2022, at the Nazareth Motherhouse
Eulogist: Sister Marcia Allen

Here, indeed, is a valiant woman! A woman of integrity and generosity, of matter-of-fact authenticity, simplicity and honesty. She was beautiful and wise and kindly attentive to others; straight as an arrow in her assessment of troublesome situations; faithful to truth and merciful in her judgments. God rescued her from an early death and she did not let God down!

Rosalyn Susanna Juenemann was born at home on a farm near Leoville in Western Kansas on Jan. 8, 1932, during the dust storm years. She was the fifth of 10 children born to Rosa Kaus and Fred Juenemann. Her older siblings were her sister, Rita Schwarz and three brothers, Bernard and Lawrence, both deceased, and Norbert. Younger than she were: Alvera Long and John, both deceased, and Gerald, Melvin and Carolyn. (Melvin and Carolyn are with us here this evening.)

Her childhood was spent on the farm where she learned to cook, not just for the family but at times for the harvest crews. She also learned to embroider and milk cows, garden and share life with its ups and downs, its work and play. The Juenemanns were a family of musicians. She participated in the family hobby of playing music as family fun and for various events, especially dances. Rosalyn added to the enjoyment through her ability with piano and accordion. She attended a country school where she received an excellent education. She and another student graduated 8th grade with firsts in the county academic tests. From country school she attended high school for three years in Seldon, Kansas, and the last year in Decatur County High School in Oberlin, Kansas, where she hoped to earn a teaching certificate upon graduation.

As luck would have it, the state changed its certification requirements that year and she needed to go to college for a 60-hour certificate. Although she had a scholarship to Fort Hays State College, she chose to go to Marymount College in Salina, Kansas, where she also received a scholarship. She chose Marymount because all of her other education had been in the public school system and she wished to attend a Catholic institution. Her aunt, Sister Albertine Kaus, was also a member of the Sisters of St. Joseph, the community that owned and staffed Marymount. She had had a desire to enter religious life for several years; her choice of the Concordia community was largely influenced by her aunt, Sister Albertine.

But back to God’s saving grace to which she credited the rest of her life. When she was three years old she fell into the stock tank while in pursuit of a marble she had accidentally dropped into it. Luckily her parents spotted her floating body and rushed her to Leoville where her Aunt Margaret was a nurse. For the next three hours, her aunt applied mouth to mouth resuscitation, and, with many other efforts surrounded by intense prayer, Rosalyn came back to life. According to her, she suffered no brain damage from those hours as well as no other ill effects with the possible exception of being afraid of water. To move through that fear, she took swimming lessons as an adult! She also mentioned that when she sometimes forgot a name, she would say: “Guess I have brain damage!”

Rosalyn entered the Community of St. Joseph on Sept. 8, 1950. On the journey, she and her two youngest siblings sat in the backseat of the car, sobbing because she was leaving home. When her father finally asked her if she wanted to go back, she said no, but continued to cry all the way to Concordia. She received the habit and her new name, Sister Mary Frieda, on March 18, 1951, and made final profession on March 19, 1955. She did receive her 60-hour certificate and went out to teach for the first time in September of 1953. Her first experience was in Antonino, Kansas, where she taught first, second and third grades all in one room. She often went to Vincent, Kansas, on Saturdays where an excellent and experienced teacher, Sister Mary Jo Fraser, taught her how to teach primary children.

After the Antonino experience she went back to Marymount for study and remained through the following school term. She took teacher training classes and asked if she could take piano lessons. She did so well that she was asked to major in music! She said that she had previously played the piano and the accordion by ear and was grateful to learn music through formal methods.

She spent several years in various elementary schools: Pfeifer, Salina- Sacred Heart, Oakley, Gorham and Plainville in Kansas and the St. Louis School in Chicago, Illinois. In most of these schools she taught music full time: classroom music and private music lessons. As a teacher she established immediate rapport with the students convincing them that they enjoyed singing and/or playing. As one student said at the end of her tenure: “You’re the best music teacher I ever had!” This particular student added a remark that more than likely illustrates what Rosalyn stressed as she taught: “Maybe someday I will even relax my wrists and count!”

In 1973, Rosalyn began Pastoral Ministry. This was a work of service not only new to her but within the post Vatican II Church as well. Her first experience was three years on the Western Slope of Colorado for the Diocese of Denver. She and three other sisters were responsible for religious education and pastoral ministry in 10 parishes along Highway 40. They were hired by the diocese rather than by the parishes. Rosalyn mainly visited shut-ins, rest homes, hospitals in her pastoral capacity, set up prayer groups, trained organists and guitarists, helped with liturgical celebrations, took communion to the home-bound, hospitals and rest homes. She also did some individual counseling. By year two the need for marriage enrichment programs emerged and she along with four married couples set up programs that eventually stretched beyond the original ten parishes into the entire Western Slope. These programs led to the establishment of pre-marriage programs for engaged couples.

Her discernment led her to take up Pastoral Ministry in three parishes in the eastern most reaches of the Salina Diocese: Greenleaf, Washington and Morrowville. Although she was often lonely she was comforted by the work and was deeply touched by sharing the parishioners’ moments of joy and tragedy: baptisms, weddings, Eucharist, birthdays, Christmas, family meals as well as the trials, anxieties, hardships and sorrows that make up the personal lives of people in the parishes and towns in general. She also taught Religious Education and conducted several weekly Bible Study groups, organized prayer groups, attended meetings of the women’s organizations, parish councils, inquiry classes, programs for marriage enrichment and marriage preparation, as well as visiting the rest homes, hospitals and home-bound taking them Eucharist or just visiting with them. She also worked with organists and choirs. At times she was asked to take marriage testimonies for people who were seeking annulments. This also describes the work that engaged her when she left this area and began working in Clay Center and Miltonvale, Kansas.

In 1987, Rosalyn was asked to take up the work of Coordinator of Community Services at the Nazareth Motherhouse in Concordia, Kansas. She partnered Jerry Gallagher who was the Motherhouse Administrator. She said that he was a joy to work with. She attended to the needs of the Community of sisters living there while Jerry oversaw the work of maintenance and supervision of lay employees. Although this work drew her from her dearly loved parish work, she proved to be a natural in her coordination of the many services needed to guarantee the quality of life for the sisters living there. About this work she said, “The four years at the Motherhouse were blessed years. I experienced the joys, sorrows, struggles, holiness and brokenness of these very precious women. During those four years we had many deaths and funerals. It was such a grace to be present with so many as they entered the fullness of life. Just to be a prayerful, comforting presence for them as they struggled with pain, suffering, weakness, doubt, fear and acceptance was such a grace-filled blessing for me personally.”

Four years later, Rosalyn was elected to community leadership as Executive Councilor and Regional Coordinator. From 1991 – 1995 she not only participated in the various administrative and leadership roles but engaged with the sisters in pastoral presence as they discerned direction for their lives, health and retirement needs, changes in ministry and the joys and sorrows that attend life in general.

In 1995, after years of nearly relentless work, Rosalyn chose a sabbatical year. She happily went to various programs such as the Sarah Sabbatical and visited relatives and friends throughout the United States. It was a time of leisure and catching up. And best of all, she said, she was welcomed to Chapman as her home base where her sister, Sister Carolyn, lived and worked as the parish administrator.

After her sabbatical it was back to parish ministry, the love of her life. She worked in Colby as Pastoral Associate, then went on to Junction City, St. Xavier’s Parish, until 2004. By this time, she was feeling that it was time to slow down. She retired to Concordia on Memorial Day, 2005 and took up residence with the community at Hillside Convent.

Retirement took on a new look with Rosalyn, however. She was soon in Plainville, Kansas, once again, where this time she said that her aim was “to carry Christ’s presence to the people of the parish by being present at the parish gatherings and doing whatever ministry the Parish Administrator invites me to help with, especially to the older members in nursing home or in their homes, with the freedom to do that as time and energy allow. I desire to be a gentle, peaceful, prayerful, loving presence to all,” she wrote. Her ministry eventually branched out into the hospital in Plainville, the prison in Stockton and the Ministerial Alliance meetings as well as tending families at wakes, funerals and anything else that she was invited to do. About this work she often wrote in her mission commitment statements that she wished to go about it “with the greatest possible love that the grace of God chooses to manifest through me.”

This is the description of a true apostolic heart. And it is the true portrait of Rosalyn. It is basically impossible to do justice to all that she gave herself to through the decades. She was a force to be reckoned with and at the same time a gentle, caring presence. She was uncannily insightful where the needs of people were to be found and identified; at the same time, she had the ability to invent the means to meet the needs and the initiative to carry out the necessary work. Above all, she was able to engage others in the work in true communal fashion.

Through all these years of apostolic labor and loving presence, Rosalyn was devoted to excellence in the work which she was about. Her file shows dozens of workshop and program certificates from Pastoral Administration to Scripture courses; therapeutic touch and reminiscing therapy for the aging; ethics and end-of life-issues, hospice, the meaning of ministry in rural areas, changing hospital policies and procedures, as well as programs for discernment, communication, assertiveness training, how to work with difficult people, legal issues, child victims of physical and sexual abuse, and many others. She went to great lengths to become and remain effective in her pastoral work. She also served on boards for the Nazareth Convent and Academy, the Edwin Vincent O’Hara Institute for Rural Ministry, Salina Diocese Rural Life, Tractors for Our Daily Bread and the Concordia Community Concert Series.

At the same time that she was busy in self education opportunities and dedicated school or parish work, she was a story teller. Along with her Life Review which was the source for this eulogy, she kept vivid accounts of many of the places in which she ministered. The first such story was the daily record of the beginning of the new mission at St. Louis, Chicago. From her arrival with Sister Corona Beaumier on Aug. 7, 1959, through the furnishing of their very bare building beneath their classrooms, through the first three months of school, she faithfully described their efforts to find and purchase inexpensive kitchen utensils, bed linens, living room and dining room chairs, equipment and books for the students, and above all, teachers for the school. She described the walls created out of cardboard boxes that made up the rooms of their makeshift home. Eventually, the new school was built along with a convent for the sisters, but the first year was one of privation and parishioner generosity, great sacrifice and uncertainty, hard work and cheerful ingenuity. Eventually, they were able to host guests, a source of pride, especially, when the guests came from St. Joseph and St. Anne’s in Chicago or sisters passing through from Concordia to other missions.

Rosalyn loved deeply, generously and effectively without an ounce of sentimentality. Wherever she lived and worked she was a gift. (Our family was the beneficiary of her gifts. She tended my mother in her diminishment enabling her to enter into her late life and old, old age with graciousness, thanks to the Rosalyn’s spiritual companionship and real friendship.)

In 2012 Rosalyn came to live at the Motherhouse, hoping to be helpful in any way that she could over the next several years. Among her tasks were giving tours of the house to guests, occasionally playing the piano or organ, serving as librarian and above all, praying. Throughout these years she desired to be a prayerful and joyful presence. Those who lived with her will testify to her effectiveness in this. By 2019, Rosalyn was no longer able to write out her own mission commitment statement, but her work of prayer continued until her death on Thursday morning, Jan. 27, 2022. She died peacefully and quietly with her sister Carolyn and several other sisters beside her.

We have words of wisdom from our founder that seem to describe Rosalyn: He encourages us to meet the other with an alert and attentive heart and then befriend the spirit in that person with effective love – love that produces results, love that meets the need of that unique person who is searching for healing, relief from suffering, wholeness. Rosalyn proved to be a master at this way of life. She did not consider herself a great apostle; was generally not in the forefront but content to be in the background; however, her manner of being inspired confidence and a willingness to confide in her. She was the presence she prayed to be, the presence that conveyed God’s love. In spite of her protests of being shy, she was outgoing, effective in love and generous to a fault.

Rosalyn, thank you for your life among us these nearly 72 years. Your presence blessed us; your life mentored and modeled our ideal for us. We bless you in your new journey and above all, we thank you.

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Obituary for Sister Rosalyn Juenemann — Jan. 8, 1932 – Jan. 27, 2022

January 27, 2022 by  

Sister Rosalyn Juenemann died Jan. 27, 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 Leoville, Kansas, on Jan. 8, 1932, to Frederick and Rosa Juenemann, the fifth of ten children, and was baptized Rosalyn Susanna. She entered the Sisters of St. Joseph, Concordia, Kansas, on Sept. 8, 1950. On March 18, 1951, Rosalyn received the habit and was given the name Sister Mary Frieda, later returning to her baptismal name. She pronounced first vows on March 19, 1952, and final vows on March 19, 1955.

Sister Rosalyn received a BME in music education in 1966 from Marymount College, Salina, Kansas, followed by a MA in counseling from Emporia State College, Kansas, in 1973. Sister Rosalyn taught primary grades and music in Ellis County, Salina, Plainville and Oakley in Kansas. Later she served as a pastoral associate in Colorado, and in Washington and Clay Counties in Kansas for 11 years. She was elected to the Leadership Council of the Congregation in 1991 for a four-year term. After this service, Rosalyn served as pastoral associate in Colby, Chapman, Junction City and Plainville, Kansas. She retired to the Motherhouse in 2012.

Sister Rosalyn was preceded in death by her parents, three brothers and one sister. She is survived by two sisters, Rita Schwarz and Sister Carolyn Juenemann; and three brothers, Norbert, Gerald and Melvin. A Bible Vigil Service will be held at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 30, 2022, in the Nazareth Motherhouse Chapel with Sister Marcia Allen as the eulogist. The Mass of Christian Burial will be 10:30 a.m. Jan. 31, 2022, in the Motherhouse Chapel, Father Barry Brinkman presiding. To attend the vigil or the funeral all must be fully vaccinated, boosted and wear a mask. The vigil and funeral will be live streamed on the Sisters of St. Joseph Facebook page. The burial will be in the Nazareth Motherhouse Cemetery. Chaput-Buoy Mortuary, 325 W. Sixth St., Concordia, Kansas, is in charge of arrangements. Memorials for Sister Rosalyn Juenemann 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, Kansas, 66901.

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


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