Jubilarians mark special day with music, memories
With a special Mass, music and memories, 15 Sisters of St. Joseph celebrated their 850 years of love and service in Jubilee celebrations Sunday.
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The day began with Ascension Sunday Mass, celebrated by Father Jack Schlaf, in the Sacred Heart Chapel at the Nazareth Motherhouse. But the focus was on the 15 women celebrating the anniversary of the date they were received into the Sisters of St. Joseph of Concordia.
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FOR PHOTOS FROM THE JUBILEE MASS, CLICK HERE.
AND FOR EVEN MORE PHOTOS FROM THE DAY, ALL BY DOTTIE MOSS, CLICK HERE.
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The annual jubilee celebration is timed to coincide with the congregation’s June Assembly, so as many Sisters of St. Joseph as possible are in Concordia to take part.
The “matriarch” of the 2011 jubilarians is Sister Margaret Ann Buser, who celebrates her 75th anniversary, while Sister Pat Eichner was the youngest julibarian as she celebrates her 25th anniversary.
After a gala dinner with family and friends at the Nazareth Motherhouse, the Jubilarians were honored with a special program that featured a “singalong” with songs from each of their reception dates as well as news headlines and congregational highlights from those years.
The Jubilarians honored Sunday were:
Sister Margaret Ann Buser, who was born in Halstead, Kan., and was received into the congregation on March 19, 1936. Sister Margaret Ann was a teacher for many years in towns throughout Kansas, and in Silver City, N.M., and Grand Island Nebraska. She also worked for 11 years with the Marriage Tribunal for the Grand Island Diocese and then another decade with the Stephen Ministry there. She came to live at the Motherhouse in 2004.
Sister Rose Moos, who was born in Hays and received on March 19, 1941 (70 years ago). She taught at schools in Kansas, New Mexico and Nebraska from 1945 through 1971. She then served as a school librarian in Leawood and Salina, Kan., before moving to Wakeeny, where she was the religious education coordinator and was served as a senior companion. In 1994, she returned to Concordia to serve for three years as the assistant to the administrator of St. Mary’s Convent, before moving to the Motherhouse in 1997 where she continues to serve sisters as a seamstress.
Sister Marquita Murguia, who was born in El Paso, Texas, and received on March 19, 1941 (70 years ago). She was a teacher from 1943 through 1972, serving at schools in Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska. Then she returned to El Paso as an art teacher at St. Joseph’s Hospital there. Since 1988, she has been artist in residence in the El Paso Diocese, working in a variety of mediums, including encaustic paintings, acrylics, sculpture and jewelry.
Sister Cecilia Green, who was born in Herndon, Kan., and received into the congregation on March 19, 1951 (60 years ago). She was a teacher from 1954 to 1975 at schools throughout Kansas and then spent a year in parish ministry for several small Kansas towns. In 1977, she retuned to the Motherhouse where she continues to serve today as sacristan and as a driver, mail carrier, maintenance worker and gardener who is also responsible for decorating for special events and holidays.
Sister Rosalyn Juenemann, who was born in Leoville, Kan., and received into the congregation on March 19, 1951 (60 years ago). She taught school from 1953 to 1973 in Chicago and a number of Kansas schools. From 1973 to 1987 she served in parish ministry in Glenwood Springs, Colo., and then in Greenleaf and Clay Center, Kan. Sister Rosalyn returned to the Motherhouse in 1987 as coordinator of sisters’ services, and then was elected to the congregation’s Executive Council. She was later a pastoral associate or parish minister in Colby, Junction City and Chapman, Kan. Since 2006, she has lived and served in Plainville, Kan.
Sister Geraldine “Gerry” Milke, who was born in Hays and received into the congregation on Aug. 15, 1951 (60 years ago). During her long career in nursing, Sister Geraldine served in hospitals in Salina, Atwood and Manhattan, Kan., Belvidere, Ill., and Grand Island, Neb. In 1996 she returned to Concordia as a nurse at St. Mary’s Convent and the Nazareth Motherhouse. She retired from nursing in 2008, but continues to serve sisters as a part-time Motherhouse receptionist.
Sister Francis Margaret Otter, who was born in Clayton, Kan., and received into the congregation on Aug. 15, 1951 (60 years ago). From 1953 to 1995, she taught first grade and primary grades in Chicago; Concordia, Manhattan, Junction City, Herndon, Oakley and Plainville, Kan.; and El Paso, Texas; and was responsible for starting Montessori kindergartens in Leawood and Salina, Kan. After retiring from teaching, Sister Francis Margaret was the religious education coordinator in Plainville, Kan., until 2004. Then she came to the Motherhouse, continuing to serve in a wide variety of ways: giving tours, leading the Rosary and Litany, distributing mail, preparing food trays for sisters, helping with recycling and handcrafting items for the Nazareth Gift Shop.
Sister Anne Martin Reinert, who was born in Seguin, Kan., and received into the congregation on March 19, 1951 (60 years ago). She served as a nurse in hospitals in Manhattan, Kan., El Paso and Concordia from 1952 to 1983. Then she moved to Junction City, Kan., where she served as a nurse at the hospital and at St. Clare House for Women and Children until 2002. Sister Anne Martin then returned to Concordia as a nurse at the Motherhouse for several more years. In 2008, she began her current mission as community life coordinator for the sisters who live at Mt. Joseph Senior Village in Concordia.
Sister Leah Smith, who was born in Junction City, Kan., and received into the congregation on March 19, 1951 (60 years ago). She taught school from 1953 to 1974 in Salina; Chicago; Silver City, N.M.; Gladstone and Lake Linden, Mich.; and Grand Island, Neb. Then she returned to Concordia where she served as receptionist at the Motherhouse for six years. Beginning in 1980, Sister Leah’s primary service has been as an artist and craftswoman working from her home in Concordia.
Sister Carmella “Carm” Thibault, who was born in Damar, Kan., and was received on Aug. 15, 1961 (50 years ago). She served in the Registrar’s Office at Marymount College from 1962 to 1969 and then taught school in Leawood, Kan., and Fairbury, Neb., for 11 years. In 1981, she returned to Concordia to assume a variety of vocational duties for the congregation and then served as a staff member at Manna House of Prayer until 1995. Sister Carm then served for eight years on the congregation’s Executive Council and as a regional coordinator. In 2004 she moved to Salina as a pastoral minister at Sacred Heart Cathedral, and she continues that service today.
Sister Janis Wagner, who was born in Walker, Kan., and was received on Aug. 15, 1961 (50 years ago). She was a music teacher from 1963 to 1968 in St. George, Ill., and Park, Kan., and then served as the area religion coordinator for a number of northwestern and western Kansas parishes. In 1971 she moved to Salina and served in the religious education office of the Diocese, and then in 1973 went to Manhattan, Kan., as religious education coordinator and music teacher. She served in a team ministry for several small Kansas parishes from 1975 to 1977, and then spent a year as a campus minister and organ instructor at Marymount College and a year serving in the Office of Worship for the Diocese. In 1989, Sister Janis became pastoral associate and music director for the St. Elizabeth Seton Parish in Salina and remained there until taking on the same duties in Manhattan and Ogden, Kan., in 1994. From 2005 to 2007, she returned to the Motherhouse as liturgy coordinator, and then served as pastoral associate and music minister in Clay Center, Kan., from 2007 to 2009. In late 2009 she returned to the Motherhouse, again as liturgy coordinator.
Sister Jodi Creten, who was born in Escanaba, Mich., and was received on Aug. 15, 1961 (50 years ago). She was a teacher in Silver City, N.M., Chicago and Boonville, Mo., from 1963 to 1980. She then returned to the Motherhouse, first to assist with renovation projects and then to serve as director of Stafford Hall from 1984 to 1987. In 1989 she was named resident services coordinator at St. Thomas Manor in Eastpoint, Ga., and a year later began providing elder care. Since 2001, Sister Jodi has served as a caregiver with Home Instead Senior Care in Atlanta, where she lives.
Sister Judy Stephens, who was born in Denver and was received on Aug. 15, 1961 (50 years ago).. She taught primary grades in Chicago and Silver City, N.M., from 1963 to 1968, and then served in a religious education cooperative program in Clyde, Clifton, Clara, Morrowville and Washington, Kan., until 1973. After that came two years on the initial development team and as a part-time admissions counselor at Marymount College. Then Sister Judy moved to New Mexico, where she served as a youth minister in Bayard, Central and Hurley from 1975 to 1979. She spent the next four years as a pastoral minister in Palomas, Chihuahua, Mexico, before returning to Concordia and Manna House of Prayer in 1983. There she worked with Central American refugees in the Sanctuary program, and then in 1990 and 1991 she served with the Guatemalan Education Center, Salina. From there, Sister Judy moved to a farm in Tescott, Kan., where from 1991 to 1999 she began a new ministry in ecology/preserving the land and growing organic food. From 1991 on, she also served as a medical interpreter with Catholic Charities of Salina. Then, in 2008, Sister Judy was elected to the congregation’s Leadership Council and she moved back to Concordia for those duties.
Sister Marilyn Wall, who was born in Aurora, Ill., and was received on Aug. 15, 1961 (50 years ago). She was a schoolteacher in Fairbury, Neb., Manhattan and Salina from 1965 to 1969, and then taught biology at Marymount College until 1975. In 1977, she became a social worker at St. Hospital in Concordia and remained there until 1981 when she was named a spiritual director and associate retreats director at Manna House of Prayer. In 1987 Sister Marilyn was elected to the congregational Executive Council, and served in that role for four years. Then, from 1991 to 1994, she served in parish ministry in Salina and with the Office of Laity for the Salina Diocese. Her parish ministry continued in Oberlin, Selden and Leoville, Kan, where she served from 1994 to 2002. Then she moved to Washington, Kan., and continued parish ministry there and in Morrowville, Hanover and Greenleaf, Kan., until 2009. She now lives in Wilson, Kan., and serves as a pastoral associate there and in Dorrance and Holyrood, Kan.
Sister Pat Eichner, who was born in Ogallala, Neb., and was received into the congregation Sept. 7, 1986 (25 years ago). After serving as a youth minister in Salina from 1991 to 1993 and in North Platte, Neb., from 1993 to 1999, Sister Pat went to Gothenburg, Neb., where she served as pastoral minister from 1999 to 2006. Then she came to Concordia where she serves as finance officer for the congregation.
3 thoughts on “Jubilarians mark special day with music, memories”
CONGRATULATIONS, DEAR SISTERS…………..I remember each of you and grateful that you crossed my life’s path! Love and blessings always!
Enjoyed reading about the Jubilee celebration and seeing all the lovely pictures of everyone. Alleluhia!
Thank you for the lovely, memorable pictures of the 2011 Jubilarians.
Blessings, S Janis Wagner