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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

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Eulogy for Sister Barbara Ellen Apaceller — June 5, 1946 – June 26, 2021

Vigil: July 1, 2021, at the Nazareth Motherhouse
Eulogist: Sister Vera Meis

My deepest sympathy to you who are mourning the death of Sister Barbara Ellen Apaceller, our community, Barbara’s family, her sisters Anna and Linda and their children, cousins, her aunts, brother priests, bishops, former members of our community and the youth of the diocese.

Barb’s birth was unique. She was born in an Austrian train’s boxcar, enroute to Germany. The year was 1946 and the Russians had taken over the Apacellers’ native Hungary, so the family was headed for what they thought would be a better life.

Sister Barbara Ellen was known to most of us as “Sister Barb”— a woman of Great Love who touched the hearts of many people. She had a special gift of being able to relate to the youth of our Diocese. I believed Barb learned about loving and creating community from her mother, Barbara. Barb’s mother created a community with the children in the neighborhood by teaching them German songs and plays. She wanted them to know their heritage.

Barb had a special love for the youth of the Salina Diocese and desired to teach them the richness of their Catholic Faith. She loved them and they love her.

Barb was all about relationships, the importance of them which brought her to being nominated for the Extension’s Lumen Christi Award among many other forms of recognition.

The youth showed their love by attending retreats, going to National Catholic Youth Convention, helping with Prayer and Action and many religious programs. She had over 1,000 youth attend National Catholic Youth Conference. Other Diocese called Sister Barb with offers of a position in their Diocese. No one could miss the smile on Sister Barb’s face as she listened to the Young Church as they professed their faith in talks and actions.

Our Sister Barb had a deep and lasting love for the Church and her God and His people. She kept in touch with all the women who were in her group when she entered the convent. They formed a lasting bond with each other and continued to meet for years.

Our Sister Barbara Ellen had many challenges: she was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma and had to take treatments for cancer. She also needed both knees replaced. Barb was like the “Energizer Bunny” constantly moving so she could get back to her ministry in a short time. She had many good friends. She related well with the Clergy beginning with getting to know them and supporting them in their ministry. They became friends. Sister Barb would stand up to them if she didn’t agree with them but always did that with respect. She respected them and they respected her.

Sister Barbara spoke of her prayer life. How she would give the first hour of the day to God in private prayer then would attend Mass.

In Barb’s name I wish to say to you what she would want me to say. “I love you.” She believed we should tell people we love how we feel. So if they are the last words we can say to them you and they will feel blessed.

So in her name I say to you:   “I LOVE YOU”

To make an online donation in Sister Barbara Ellen Apaceller’s memory, click on the button below:


One thought on “Eulogy for Sister Barbara Ellen Apaceller — June 5, 1946 – June 26, 2021

  • Please make my donation in memory of Sr. Barbara Ellen. Thanks
    Beth McClary

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