Tuesday, June 25, 2024
Concordia Sisters of St. Joseph

Concordia Sisters of St. Joseph

Loving God and neighbor without distinction: A pontifical institute of women religious of the Roman Catholic Church


‘Girls on Fire’ fill Nazareth Motherhouse for annual camp!


With temperatures hovering at 100 degrees, three dozen junior high-age girls brought even more warmth to the Nazareth Motherhouse with giggles, chatter and song last week for the slumber party/spiritual retreat known as the annual Discover Camp.

With the help of about a dozen high school- and college-age counselors, two “camp directors,” a half-dozen “camp staff members” and countless other volunteers, the girls came from across Kansas to spend Thursday afternoon through Saturday evening (June 16-18) with the Sisters of St. Joseph of Concordia.

The campers spread their sleeping bags throughout the open space on the fifth floor of the historic Motherhouse Thursday evening, but that is the only section of the 114-year-old building that does not have air conditioning. So last week’s high temperatures forced them to bed down in the ground-floor — and air conditioned — auditorium for their second night.

Throughout the camp, the girls shared meals and other activities — including a Nazareth scavenger hunt and Mass — with the sisters who live there.

Each year one shared activity is playing bingo with the sisters, and this year there was a new twist: Half the campers stayed at the Motherhouse to play with the sisters who live there, while the other half traveled across town to Mount Joseph Senior Village to join in games with the sisters and other residents there.

One special shared activity Friday evening was a cookout on the Motherhouse grounds. The meal is made possible by the local Knights of Columbus, who donated the hamburgers and hot dogs and then handled the grilling duties.

All of the counselors had previously been campers, and both of this year’s camp directors — Micayla Pachta of Belleville and Kate Schieferecke of Salina — had been to Discover Camp before as both campers and counselors.

This year joining the ranks of camp volunteers was Sister Sarah Heger, a Sister of St. Joseph of Carondelet who lives in St. Louis. She is the principal of Marian Middle School, a tiny Catholic school geared toward transforming the lives of inner city girls.

Returning for another year as a volunteer was Donna Reynolds of Abilene, who has taken charge of all the music for Discover Camp for eight years.

The theme of this year’s camp was “Girl on Fire,” with play, prayer and discussions throughout the camp focused on a quote from St. Catherine of Siena: “Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire.”

Campers’ families were invited to a special Mass Saturday evening in the Sacred Heart Chapel at the Motherhouse, followed by an ice cream social hosted by the Sisters of St. Joseph.

The sisters have hosted Discover Camp for girls entering the sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grades since 2000.

One thought on “‘Girls on Fire’ fill Nazareth Motherhouse for annual camp!

  • Missy Ljungdahl

    This looks like a lot of fun already. Hope everyone enjoys the event. I’m thinking about y’all.

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