Eulogy for Sister Mary Esther Otter, Nov. 22, 1933—Jan. 13, 2018

January 16, 2018 by  

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VIGIL:  Jan. 16, 2018, at the Nazareth Motherhouse
EULOGY:  Sister Mary Jo Thummel

Psalm 100

Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.
Worship the Lord with gladness;
come before him with joyful songs.
Know that the Lord is God.
our maker to whom we belong
whose people we are, God’s well-tended flock.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise;
Give thanks to God, bless God’s name.
good indeed is the Lord.
Whose love endures forever,
whose faithfulness lasts through every age.

Sister Mary Esther Otter, born Nov. 22, 1933, to Frank G. Otter and Margaret K. Bates, was christened Irene Fernunda that same day in St. Joseph’s Church, New Almelo, Kan., by Msgr. John B. Vornholdt. She grew up on a farm near Clayton, Kan., in Norton County. She was the third child in a family of eight children. Her brothers are Alvin and Marion and sisters Virginia, (Sister Francis Margaret), Donna, (Sister Donna), and JoAnn (Mrs. Roger Long). Two siblings, Rita and Emory, died at birth.

Sister Mary Esther said, “I live in gratitude for my Faith and value system learned from my parents. Religion meant very much to my parents who were quite contemplative by nature and we shared many hours pondering the Creator, Earth and nature’s contribution to life. My mother was a gentle soft-spoken woman, eager to please. My father felt that the family that prayed together stayed together. Both were creative and we all profit from that talent.”

After attending public grade school taught by the Sisters of St. Joseph, and high school in Clayton, Sister Mary Esther enrolled in Marymount College in the fall of 1951. After a retreat given by a Passionist Father, she decided to enter. (Mother Chrysostom was the Mother General, at that time.) Sister Mary Esther and three other young women, Christina Meyer, Eulalia Kloeker and Leona Reiter entered on Feb. 6, 1952. Of this experience Mary Esther said,  “I had admired the Sisters at Marymount, my own sister, Sister Francis Margaret, and the sisters from my grade school days who always seemed to be happy and have so little convenience.”

(Sisters Christina and Eulalia remain on the journey with us, but Leona decided that religious life wasn’t her calling and left after a number of years.)

Other significant happenings in Mary Esther’s life at this time were: her father’s death in 1956, and her sister Donna’s entrance into the Sisters of St. Joseph. Mary Esther rejoiced for Donna.

Sister Mary Esther taught for 26 years in Manhattan, Kan., Silver City N.M., Cawker City, Kan., Schoenchen, Kan., Manhattan Kan., and Salina Kan.

Of her years of teaching, Mary Esther said, “My 26 years of teaching were both memorable and, at times, exhausting. I recall many enjoyable experiences and treasure the many years I prepared children for the Sacraments of Penance and their first Eucharist. Often I realize the great responsibility of that trust. In the later years of teaching I also realized that each of the children were so unique and their needs varied so much and I took advantage of the opportunity to try to individualize the curriculum. My frustration with trends in teaching opportunities to meet individual needs and the fact that my feet needed attention were signs that God was calling me to other areas of ministry. Two traumatic experiences stand out in my teaching career. They are my assignment as principal for three years in Cawker City — and my unpreparedness — and witnessing the burning of our school in Schoenchen, Kan., on April 30, 1975.”

During her years of teaching, Sister Mary Esther also assisted with the summer program for migrants in Goodland, Kan., taught religious education classes, and numerous vacation bible schools.

In 1980, Sister Mary Esther was invited to assist in the continuing education program in Junction City, Kan., to help immigrants acclimate themselves to a new country. This was a valuable and broadening experience, but due to limited federal funds and other factors, she left after one year.

Sister Mary Esther saw this as an opportunity to request time for a deeper inner search of God’s action in her life. She entered the Personal Growth program in St. Paul, Minn., where she spent 18 months with 30 sisters belonging to various communities throughout the United States and Canada and realized that the Church was graced with many strong, talented and faith-filled women.

After leaving Minnesota, Sister Mary Esther spent five months assisting in the Emmanuel Prayer House in Iowa, City, Iowa, as receptionist, typist and conveyor of hospitality. During this time, Mary Esther realized the she had to take care of her “ailing feet.”

While waiting to get everything in place to have the surgeries needed, Sister Mary Esther learned of reflexology and arranged to take the International Reflexology Course out of St. Petersburg, Fla. She was able to take this course in Des Moines, Iowa, and received a certificate in the Ingham Method of Reflexology.
After having surgery on her feet and recuperating, Sister Mary Esther felt like she had a new spirit. This gave her the urge to find a new ministry. In January of 1985 she accepted an invitation from Sister Viatora Solbach to assist in opening a hospitality house in Junction City for women and women with children needing a place during crisis times.

At the time of accepting the invitation, Sister Mary Esther also learned that the convent in Junction City was closing. She said, “With only two sisters being in the school the community felt it unfair to have the sisters reside in such a large facility. I also learned that I was coming to a parish community with mixed emotions about the closing of the convent and displeasure over their pastoral minister making plans to live and work in the northeast part of Junction City and predominantly with a black segment of society. But God was having his/her way again.”

In late June, Sister Mary Esther arrived in Junction City. She and Sister Viatora lived with a Mrs. Eleanor Nolan until in August when a third member would be added to their household. She said, “Now I also became a ‘woman in need of shelter’ without income. In retrospect, I realize this was God’s post-graduate classes in empathy and understanding of this ministry not offered in any university.”

Sisters Viatora and Mary Esther wrote for grants and appealed to the administration of our congregation for aid. Sister Mary Esther mentions that the administration team was of great support. During this time, Sisters Viatora and Mary Esther visited other shelters, many churches in Junction City and spread awareness of their cause throughout the city. It was also during this time that Sister Mary Esther’s mother suffered a stroke on Jan. 6, 1986. Because St. Clare House wasn’t yet ready to open, Sister Mary Esther was able to help with the care of her mother.

In February of 1986, St. Clare House was ready for them to move in, and continue readying the house for ministry.

Through the “summer ministry program” Marrayne, a young woman from Los Angeles, was added to the staff and proved to be very valuable to the ministry. Sister Mary Esther said, “I stand in awe at the unfolding of such miraculous happenings of Providence to us all. I believe thoroughly that God had called Sister Vi to this work and each of us to assist at this time.”

In the summer of 1987, Sister Mary Esther experienced her first plane ride to Los Angeles when she and Marrayne attended a religious education congress. Sister Mary Esther felt that perhaps this was a provision by God for her as she would take a longer plane trip to Brazil in late June.

With Sister Donna’s visit to the United States in 1987, a seed of a possible visit to Teresina, Piaui, Brazil, to assist with the 25th anniversary celebration was planted. In June of 1988, Sisters Mary Esther, Francis Margaret, and eight other community members traveled to Brazil. About this trip, Mary Esther said, “For 23 years I could only imagine my sister’s and the other Sister’s surroundings, the climate, the people and all. I read letters of sharings with love, trust, concern and wondering what all was not being shared. How I treasure the experience of actually traveling, landing and meeting the women who also blindly accepted us across the waters in Concordia. I saw Donna in the setting of a people she dearly loved and I saw how loving and graciously accepted she was by these same Spirit-filled people. I witnessed the responsibility placed on her and us in forming native religious to take on the bringing of the CSJ charism to another people and another country. I observed that we had much to learn from this group of women and their passionate zeal, basic communities and Earth spirituality.”

Sister Mary Esther continued to minister at St Clare House through June, 1994. By that time, the old convent in Junction City had been purchased by the Ministerial Alliance and became a shelter for men, women and families. St Clare House, which was deemed to have served its purpose, became a ministry of the Crisis Center of Manhattan that was in need of space in the Junction City-area. Those were years that tried Sister Mary Esther’s strength and blessed her with opportunities to meet God in the dear neighbor of women in need. She said, “I realized each day was full of the profound awareness of God’s presence.”

After leaving St. Clare House, Sister Mary Esther took a sabbatical that she called ‘a year of nomadic ministry.’ She spent time making a 30-day retreat in Republic, Mo., with the Little Portion Franciscan Sisters. She also spent time at Open Door in Junction City and as a driver in Plainville, Kan.

In 1995, she returned to her home parish in New Almelo to care for her mother. While caring for her mother she also ministered at the parish, made craft items for Open Door in Junction City and offered some reflexology treatments. She speaks of learning much from her mother’s suffering during those years.

After her mother’s death and because of her own failing eyesight, Sister Mary Esther returned to the Motherhouse in 2000. As was her pattern, her ministry to the “dear neighbor” continued among her sisters here. She Assisted Sister Mary Julia Stegeman in the greenhouse and with the plants in the Motherhouse, took the Eucharist to sisters within the Motherhouse, assisted with recycling, shared in the weekly rosary at Mt. Joseph and lent a hand wherever needed.

In February of 2017, a fall and broken hip necessitated that Sister Mary Esther move to Mt. Joseph. As she was able, she continued her ministry of loving presence to Sister Francis Margaret, the community of sisters at Mt. Joseph and other residents. Up to her last breath she had a smile and show of appreciation to all who were present with her.

As I reviewed Sister Mary Esther’s life story, I couldn’t help but note the many times she mentioned how she came to see the presence of God in all the events of her life. Often she mentions that she didn’t understand an event in her life but then speaks of a lesson which she thought God was unfolding for her by that happening.
There are nuances throughout Sister Mary Esther’s life history that speaks of the depth of her relationship with God. One that spoke to me was a piece she had written about what might be recorded in her eulogy. The piece has six stanzas the last of which says:

“Yes, let my life be written and care not what is said
of the good, the bad, and the misunderstood
But know instead pages will rot long after I’m dead
And only my relationships written in
the heart of God will be read.”

The reason I started our tribute this evening with Psalm 100 was because of another piece that she had written. Among Sister Mary Esther’s papers I found a sheet of notebook paper with a line from Psalm 100, “Come with joy into the presence of the Lord.” What followed this line was a prayer written by Mary Esther, which I would like to share with you.

How can I pray
You who are beyond the mystery of knowing
beyond what is knowable and unknowable
beyond speech and silence
beyond the only words I know
beyond the prayers I can say
beyond the prayers I trust
Set me free so that for just
this day I can pray to you
not with words
but with wonder and
amazement

Dear Mary Esther, I believe your prayer has been answered and that you are joyfully present in amazement before the face of God.

Memorials for Sister Mary Esther Otter 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 Mary Esther’s memory, click on the button below:

DonateNow 

Sister Mary Esther Otter — Nov. 22, 1933 – Jan. 13, 2018

January 13, 2018 by  

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Sister Mary Esther Otter died Jan. 13, 2018, at Mt. Joseph Senior Village in Concordia, Kan. She was 84 years old and a Sister of St. Joseph of Concordia for 65 years. She was born in Clayton, Kan., on Nov. 22, 1933, to Frank and Margaret Bates Otter, the third of eight children, and was baptized Irene Fernunda. She entered the Sisters of St. Joseph of Concordia on Feb. 6, 1952. On Aug. 15, 1952, Irene received the habit of the Sisters of St. Joseph and was given the name Sister Mary Esther. She pronounced first vows on Aug. 15, 1953 and final vows on Aug. 15, 1956.

Sister Mary Esther received a bachelor’s of arts degree in history and English from Marymount College, Salina, Kan., in 1965. Post-graduate work was done in Duluth, Minn., and Minnesota University in St. Paul, Fort Hays, Kan., and Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kan. She taught for 26 years in schools staffed by the Sisters of St. Joseph in Silver City, N.M., Cawker City, Schoenchen, Manhattan and Salina. She then co-founded and ministered at St. Clare House in Junction City, Kan. In 2000, Sister Mary Esther retired to the Nazareth Motherhouse; followed by a move to Mt. Joseph Senior Village in February 2017.

Sister Mary Esther was preceded in death by her parents, one sister and one brother. She is survived by three sisters, two of whom are also Sisters of St. Joseph – Sister Francis Margaret, Concordia, and Sister Donna of El Paso, Texas – and JoAnn Long, of Clayton, Kan.; and two brothers, Alvin, of Wichita, Kan., and Marion, of New Almelo, Kan. A Bible vigil service will be held Jan. 16 at 9:30 a.m. in the Nazareth Motherhouse Chapel with Sister Mary Jo Thummel as the eulogist. The Mass of Christian Burial will be Jan.16 at 10:30 a.m. in the Motherhouse Chapel, Father Dan Scheetz presiding. The burial will be in the Nazareth Motherhouse Cemetery. Nutter Mortuary, 116 E.  Sixth St., Concordia, is in charge of arrangements.

 

Memorials for Sister Mary Esther Otter 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 Mary Esther’s memory, click on the button below:

DonateNow 

Sisters honor employees and volunteers with annual luncheon

December 14, 2017 by  

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Sisters of St. Joseph of Concordia treated employees and volunteers to their annual Christmas luncheon on Dec. 12 at the Nazareth Motherhouse. In addition to employees at the Motherhouse, staff came from the CSJ Center on Court Street, Manna House of Prayer and Neighbor to Neighbor. Volunteers who regularly give their time to the sisters’ various ministries were also included in the festivities.

Sister Jean Rosemarynoski, president, welcomed everyone to the event.

“We always look forward to this every year. We come together as one,” she said. “Honesty, integrity, perseverance and character. We see this in all of you. God has blessed us with Concordia’s finest.”

Employees also receive a small  gift  as part of the Sisters’ tradition.

The food for the annual Christmas luncheon is all prepared and served by Sisters, as a small way of thanking employees and volunteers for their dedication during the year.

Prize winners announced at Holiday Boutique

November 21, 2017 by  

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Crowded lines greeted early-morning visitors to the annual Neighbor to Neighbor Holiday Boutique on Saturday morning (Nov. 18) as eager shoppers queued up early to get first pick of the holiday goodies available for purchase.

The bake sale tables — featuring homemade cookies, candies, breads, cakes and other treats — gathered immediate attention. Then shoppers and supporters could turn their attention to the array of tables and stands loaded with hand-crafted children’s toys and clothes, decorations, quilts, kitchen items and jewelry.

All the items are made by the women who come to the center, along with friends and supporters of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Concordia who operate Neighbor to Neighbor.

The event ended at 2 p.m. with a drawing for eight prizes:

  • Pam Campbell won the “Apple Fest 2017” quilt, with hand-appliqued blocks donated to Neighbor to Neighbor and design completed and stitched by master quilter Sandra Detrixhe.
  • Jeanette Denault won a Barbie-sized fashion doll with her own lace-covered closet filled with outfits handmade by Sister Susan Stoeber.
  • Naomi Larouche won a glazed ceramic wall-mount letter holder that was donated to Neighbor to Neighbor.
  • Alexis Seim took home a fashion doll with her own lace-covered closet filled with outfits handmade by Sister Susan Stoeber.
  • Vera Gerard was the winner of a Seth Thomas mantle clock, model No. 11, donated to Neighbor to Neighbor.
  • Pam Campbell also won a larger-sized fashion doll with her own closet filled with unique outfits handmade by Sister Susan Stoeber.
  • Vera Gerard also won the baby doll complete with crib, hand-made wardrobe, diaper bag full of accessories and a baby quilt made by Sister Susan Stoeber.
  • JoAnn Haist won the Barbie collectible music box entitled “Wedding Day 1959” complete with box.

All proceeds from the annual event support the programs, artists and craftswomen at Neighbor to Neighbor.

Santa Claus is coming to town for Motherhouse Open House!

November 16, 2017 by  

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Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus will return to our Christmas Open House this year! And they’re bringing delicious cookies made by Mrs. Claus. Bring the kids by for snacks and crafts and a chat with St. Nick while you take in the beauty of the historic Nazareth Motherhouse.

All ages are welcome from 1 to 3 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 10.

The Open House will include holiday music, coloring and crafts for the kids and, of course, cookies, along with punch and coffee. Also included will be guided tours of our five-story landmark home, which has been on the National Register of Historic Places since 1973. Numerous Sisters of St. Joseph of Concordia will be on hand to welcome guests, lead tours and serve refreshments.

Last year was the first time Santa Claus was invited to be part of the sisters’ Christmas Open House, and organizers were pleased by the turnout. Several children were reluctant to take up the traditional seat on Santa’s lap, but were willing to try a turn sitting with Mrs. Claus.

“I’m so surprised — and pleased,” one mother said of her 3-year-old son. “He seemed a little afraid of a big man in a red suit, but went to her right away.”
Last year’s hit Santa and Mrs. Claus — who on other days are known as Dell Lee and Annette Boswell of Leon, Iowa — will return again this year to delight their young guests. Be prepared for an entertaining time making Christmas memories and photographs that will last.

“I was so happy to see all the young families who came out,” said Ambria Gilliland, assistant development director for the Sisters following last year’s event.
The easiest access is from the east parking lot (between the Motherhouse and the Community Garden). The event is free and open to the public.

Eulogy for Sister Veronica Ann Baxa, Nov. 12, 1941 – Nov. 15, 2017

November 16, 2017 by  

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Vigil: November 17, 2017 at Nazareth Motherhouse, Concordia

Eulogy: Written by Janet Lander, CSJ, and presented by Eulalia Kloeker, CSJ.

Tonight, we celebrate the life of Sister Veronica Ann Baxa. We offer our sympathy to her family: her siblings, their spouses, her nieces and nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews and extended family. We also offer our sympathy to her friends, the nursing staff who helped care for her, the Motherhouse community with whom she lived, her Circle of community life, and in a special way her band members: Sisters Beth Stover, Betty Maschka and Rita Plante.

Sister Veronica Ann Baxa was born in St. Joseph’s Hospital, Concordia, Kan., on Nov. 12, 1941, to Fred and Lottie (Oborny) Baxa, and given the name Veronica Ann Baxa. She grew up on a farm near Cuba, Kan. Veronica was the oldest child. Her younger siblings are: Fred Baxa, Larry Baxa, Ella (Baxa) Rudolph, Marvine (Baxa) Orbony and Marian Baxa. The youngest brother died in a car accident, but the others are living and here among us.

Veronica was baptized at St. Isadore’s Church in Cuba, when she was 11 days old. Veronica recounted that her father had wanted a daughter who would become a Sister, and even gave Veronica a “Sister doll,” so her thoughts of becoming a Sister started early in life.

Reflecting on her childhood faith, she said, “As a small child I remember attending the Stations of the Cross once a week during Lent. The Sixth Station, “Veronica wipes the face of Jesus,” always made me feel important, as my name is Veronica.”

She first met the Sisters of St. Joseph in vacation school at St. Isadore’s, and when she was in sixth grade she announced at a family meal that she wanted to be a Sister. The next year, Sister Josephine Loretta Geis encouraged her to go to the Apostolic School at Nazareth Convent in Concordia for high school. After completing elementary school in a country school called Prairie Home near Cuba, Veronica attended high school at the Apostolic School for four years, graduating May 15, 1959.

Veronica entered the Sisters of St. Joseph of Concordia on Sept 8, 1959. On March 18, 1960, she was received into the novitiate and given the name Sister Mary Lawrence which she had requested, as these were the middle names of her parents. She made first vows March 19, 1961, and final vows March 19, 1966.

During the year 1961-62, she assisted Sister Mary Julia Stegeman in the laundry at Marymount College, and took some courses. The next three years she worked at St. Joseph’s Children’s Home in Salina, Kan., doing housekeeping and helping first and second graders with homework.

The summer of 1965, Veronica Ann began 23 years of service at the Motherhouse. Until 1980 she did heavy work in the big laundry. However, in 1970 she also attended beauty school in Grand Island, Neb., in order to open a beauty shop at the Motherhouse, so that she might serve the sisters by giving haircuts and perms. She gave of her talents for 18 years in the beauty shop. Some of those who lived with and knew her during those years have said, “Veronica was a very hard working person. Whenever she was given a job, she took hold of it and made sure it was done right … She had a terrific memory for dates and could recall them at a moment’s notice, as well as sharing the stories around the events. Her letter writing was detailed and always included each member of her family and what was happening in their lives. We were blessed to receive many of her letters when we moved to Concordia.”

From 1988-90 Veronica Ann lived in Clyde, Kan., ministering in social service and pastoral visiting at Park Villa Nursing Home. She also visited the elderly in the parish. During this time she became a CNA (certified nursing assistant). During the summer of 1989 she greatly enjoyed a sabbatical course in Erie, Pann., for Sisters of St. Joseph.

In 1990 Veronica moved to Minneapolis, Kan., and began working at the Good Samaritan Center Nursing Home in the inventory control department, ordering all the supplies needed for care of the residents. She was self-taught on the computer when this technology became necessary for her work, because, as she says, “You have to keep learning to keep up with the times.” She found working with the elderly to be a rewarding ministry, especially praying at the bedside of dying residents. She was also very active in Immaculate Conception parish, as a Eucharistic Minister, member of the Council of Catholic Women, singing in the choir and serving as the Catholic Register correspondent for the parish. Reflecting on these years of living and ministering on her own, she says, “I learned to be responsible for many things, including taking care of the car … Some of our Sisters who are my friends … hear me say, “I have come a long way baby.” She also said that living alone blessed her with more time to spend in prayer.

In her life review, written in 2008, she wrote, “My Christian faith calls me to empty myself in service for those in need. I am grateful to have the opportunity to do that … I am grateful that God called me to this vocation. It has brought me much joy and peace.”

Two of her friends said of her, “She had a servant’s heart.”

Sister Veronica Ann moved back to the Motherhouse in Concordia in July of 2012 because of poor health. Nevertheless, she was known to have a happy spirit and hearty laugh. When reading Sister Veronica’s yearly commitment to Mission over the years, one finds that nearly every one of them includes prayer for world peace and for those whom she was serving. She often spoke of her desire to serve and give witness, be faithful and be a presence to others. In last year’s (2017-18) commitment she said, “I will be of service to our Sisters at the Motherhouse, as I am able. I will accept God’s will for me at this time in my life.” She ended her life review with the words, “Thank you, Jesus, for taking good care of me.”

Yes, thank you Jesus for your call and loving fidelity to Veronica. And thank you, Veronica, for your ‘yes,’ and the myriad of ways you have cared for us your community and your family. May Jesus now welcome you home.

• • • • • • •

Memorials for Sister Veronica Ann Baxa 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 Veronica’s memory, click on the button below:

DonateNow

Fall into our fall edition of the Messenger

October 18, 2017 by  

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Be sure to check out our fall edition of the Messenger. It’s full of a wrap up of some of our summer activities, including repairs to the Motherhouse and the pipe organ, but includes information you’ll want to have for upcoming events like the Motherhouse Pumpkin Patch, Neighbor to Neighbor Holiday Boutique and Christmas Open House.  The new issue is in the mail, or if you just can’t wait, click on the icon below to open the flipbook.

Community gathers to celebrate a day of peace

September 18, 2017 by  

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A crowd of about 60 people gathered in the auditorium at the Nazareth Motherhouse in Concordia on Sept. 17 to join the Sisters of St. Joseph of Concordia in celebrating an International Day of Peace.

 

The featured presenter was the Rev. Janai-Robinson-Makarov, of the Concordia Lutheran Church. Her presentation was entitled “Now the Time has Come.” A link to a transcript of her presentation is included below for those unable to attend the event.

Now The Time Has Come International Day of Peace

“It was an exceptional prayer,” said Sister Anna Marie Broxterman.

This year, the International Day of Peace focused on engaging and mobilizing people throughout the world to show support for refugees and migrants. The theme was “Together for Peace: Respect, Safety and Dignity for All.” This theme was based on the TOGETHER global campaign that promotes respect, safety and dignity for everyone forced to flee their homes in search of a better life.

People from around the area joined the event, coming from as far away as Abilene and Assaria, said Sister Jean Rosemarynoski.

The celebration included fellowship, prayer, meditation, music and a peace walk. Refreshments included foods from a variety of countries, including Mexico, Ireland, Guatemala, Germany, Italy and Brazil.

The International Day of Peace, sometimes unofficially known as World Peace Day, is a holiday traditionally observed on Sept. 21. It is dedicated to world peace, and specifically the absence of war and violence, such as might be occasioned by a temporary ceasefire in a combat zone for humanitarian aid access. The day was first celebrated in 1982, and is kept by many nations, political groups, military groups, and people.
For more information about the International Day of Peace, visit www.un.org/peaceday.

Come & See Weekend set for October 7 & 8

August 29, 2017 by  

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The Sisters of St. Joseph of Concordia, Kansas, invite you to a Come & See Weekend Retreat at the Nazareth Motherhouse!

WHO: Single Catholic young women who are interested in learning more about religious life.
WHEN: From 10 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 7, through the noon meal on Sunday, Oct. 8.
WHERE: Nazareth Motherhouse, 1300 Washington, Concordia, Kansas

    Are you a young, single Catholic woman who may have wondered if you are called to religious life?
    Are you curious what religious life is all about?
    Spend a free weekend at the historic Nazareth Motherhouse to explore where God is calling you. There is no cost to attend the weekend. No pressure. No obligation. Just a chance to meet the Sisters and discern God’s call in your life.
• You will have a chance to meet informally with Sisters.
• Learn more about the power of discernment and prayer.
• Learn about the mission and charism of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Concordia.
• Meet other women seeking a joy-filled life.

For more information or to register, contact:
Sister Jean Rosemarynoski
P.O. Box 279
Concordia, KS 66901
785-845-2689
sisterjean@csjkansas.org

 

 

What can you do about the human trafficking crisis?

July 30, 2017 by  

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Today, July 30, is the World Day Against Trafficking in Persons. 

But what is Human Trafficking and why should you care? And what can you do, personally, to help? 

Human trafficking is considered to be modern day slavery.

There are an estimated 27 million adults and 13 million children around the world who are victims of trafficking.

While most human trafficking in the U.S. occurs in New York, California and Florida, Wichita, Kansas, is the fifth largest city in the U.S. for human trafficking. This is due to it being a hub in relationship to I-35 and I-70. 

Many victims can be found at truck stops, on the streets such as Broadway in Wichita, casinos, bars, strip joints shopping mall and motels.

Human trafficking isn’t just the sex trade. It includes forced manual labor and human organ harvesting, although prostitution encompasses the largest portion.

Human trafficking is one of the fastest growing criminal industries because it holds relatively low risk with high profit potential. It is estimated to be a $32 billion industry and growing.

What can you do?

One real thing you can do right now is 

  1. Grab your smartphone
  2. Look for the TraffickCam app and download it for free online from the Apple app store or Google Play.
  3. Use the app to take and upload photos of your hotel room every time you travel.

How does this help?

The TraffickCam app empowers travelers in the fight against sex trafficking by taking photos of their hotel rooms and anonymously uploading them to a national database, which will be used by law enforcement and investigators to locate victims and their pimps. Human traffickers often post pictures on the web of women and children they are advertising for sex. Hotel conference planners can help identify the hotel and the chain, and sometimes even the city just by the background in the photo. 

Photos taken and marked with a location are sent to a large database available for law enforcement agencies and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. The app has already had significant results.

For more information on human trafficking, visit these sites

www.raisemyhead.org out of Wichita, Kansas

www.ictsos.org out of Wichita, Kansas

www.truckersagainsttrafficking.com

www.veronicasvoice.org out of Kansas City, Kansas

www.acf.hhs.gov/trafficking

Or call the National Human Trafficking Resource Center 1-888-373-7888 This hotline can help victims safely and securely begin to rebuild their lives by connecting them to basic services including housing, health care, immigration assistance, food, employment and legal assistance.

 

 

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