Family, friends and the Sisters of St. Joseph packed the Nazareth Motherhouse’s chapel on Saturday, to celebrate “jubilees” with 15 of the sisters.
In a special Mass in the morning, followed by an afternoon jubilee program, the sisters were among 18 honored this year for the anniversary of their entrance into the congregation.
Two of the sisters will be honored in a separate celebration later this month at their home, Mount Joseph Senior Village in Concordia, while another sister will celebrate in Teresina, Brazil, where she lives and serves.
Together the 18 jubilarians represent 1,060 years of service to the congregation and to God, amply demonstrating the theme of Saturday’s program, “Celebrating Abundant Gratitude.”
Sister Chris Meyer served as emcee for the afternoon program. Sister Nancy Meade and Sister Lucy Schneider read tributes to each of the jubilarians, who were marking anniversaries ranging from 25 years up to 80 years. Sisters Nancy and Lucy also wrote the parody lyrics for two songs performed by a choir of sisters, with Sister Nancy accompanying on the piano.
Each of the 15 jubilarians who were present received a gift bag hand made and decorated by Sister Loretta Clare Flax and Twila Younger.
The sisters who were present for the celebration Saturday, listed with the number of years they have been in the congregation, followed by their hometown and where they live now, were:
- Sister Agnes Dreher, celebrating her 80th anniversary, born in Schoenchen, Kan. , and now living in Concordia.
- Sister Celestine Ruder, 75th, Antonino, Kan.; Concordia.
- Sister Liberata Pellerin, 70th, Lake Linden, Mich.; Concordia.
- Sister Marie Coleman, 70th, St. Marys, Kan.; Concordia.
- Sister Rita Ann Mazanec, 60th, Colby, Kan.; Concordia.
- Sister Jackie Kircher, 60th, Escanaba, Mich.; Concordia.
- Sister Lila Marie Schmidt, 60th, Pfeifer, Kan.; Concordia.
- Sister Therese Richstatter, 60th, Clay Center, Kan.; Concordia.
- Sister Alice Marie Stalker, 60th, Aurora, Ill.; Concordia.
- Sister Mary Jean Assell, 60th, Aurora, Ill.; Concordia.
- Sister Rita Plante, 50th, Juneau, Alaska; Silver City, N.M.
- Sister Jeanne McKenna, 50th, Kingman, Kan.; Topeka.
- Sister Veronica Ann Baxa, 50th, Cuba, Kan.; Minneapolis, Kan.
- Sister Beth Stover, 50th, Beloit, Kan.; Concordia.
The jubilarians who were not able to attend Saturday’s celebration were:
- Sister Viatora Solbach, 70th, Clifton, Kan.; Concordia.
- Sister Leo Frances Winbinger, 60th, Cuba, Kan.; Concordia.
- Sister Joseleide da Silva Neves, 25th, Aroeiras, Teresina, Piauí, Brazil ; Teresina, Piauí, Brazil.
Every year the Sisters of St. Joseph schedule their “Jubilee Day” immediately following their annual June Assembly so that most of the sisters in the United States “come home” to the Motherhouse in Concordia to attend. About 130 sisters serve in Kansas and 10 other states, and fewer than a dozen missed this year’s celebration. There are also about 15 Sisters of St. Joseph of Concordia who serve in Brazil.
For more on these special women, CLICK HERE for a listing of all of them. Also check out the PHOTOS from the Jubilee Mass Saturday morning.