Sister Barbara Ellen Apaceller — on her 50th Jubilee

December 17, 2014 by

Sister Barbara Ellen Apaceller

Sister Barbara Ellen Apaceller

PARENTS: Sebastian and Barbara Apaceller
HOMETOWN: Aurora, Ill.
Marymount College, Salina (bachelor’s degree in theology); Mundelein College, Chicago (religious studies)

1967-1970 Music teacher and religious education coordinator for St. Michael Parish, Fairbury, Neb.
1971-1972 Religious education director for Seven Dolors Parish, Manhattan, Kan.
1972-1974 Coordinator of religious education, Diocese of Salina, Kan.
1974-1976 Religious education coordinator, St. Mary’s Parish, Salina
1976-1984 Team ministry for parishes in Oberlin, Leoville, Selden, New Almelo, Densmore, Logan and Herndon, Kan.
1984-today Director of youth ministry and director of religious education, Diocese of Salina


  I grew up in a very close, faith-filled family, and the church was very important to us.

The Sisters of St. Joseph lived down the block and they were very instrumental in my life — especially Sister Mary Paul Buser. She seemed so happy and full of life and would keep in contact during the summer months with writing to me. I saw something in her that I also wanted in my life.

I have belonged to a religious community for 50 years, and I am deeply convinced of the value of this way of life. I see that religious life still has tremendous drawing power for women yearning for a meaningful way to live for Christ.

I joined because I had a passion for service. I remember going to Morgantown, W. Va., with Sister Paulette Hake and doing a summer of service with the poor. It was a life-changing experience for me.

I love being a Sister.

When I was a teenager, it was something that seemed to fit. A number of Sisters invited me to consider religious life in my high school years. I knew that I wanted to do something with my life that would help other people, and it seemed like God was OK with religious life being the way to do it. In my youthful enthusiasm and idealism I went for it.

After 50 years as a religious woman, I’ve come to realize that there are three things that I want to do with my life. I call them the three S’s: I am willing to sacrifice and I want my life to be significant and satisfying. I suspect that the three S’s would be true for anyone’s life.

As a religious woman, I am willing to sacrifice, I’ve given up marriage and having children, and I work hard to do God’s work. I find myself sacrificing to give of my time for others. My ministry working with our youth, young adults and parish ministry gives me the opportunity to touch the lives of these young people. That’s significant to me.

I have truly been blessed to be a religious woman and to be part of their lives as they share their struggles and their successes with me.

I have worked as a coordinator of religious education, taught music in Nebraska, was part of a ministry team with three priests in western Kansas, worked with college students as a spiritual director for young adults and have served in a formation ministry in our community. I have worked in the Chancery for 32 years ministering to our youth in our diocese as a director of youth ministry and to our adults as director of religious education.

These 50 years have been very satisfying for me for God continues to use me as His instrument.

Sacrifice, significance, and satisfaction — the three S’s. I wasn’t looking for them as a teenager. But I found them in religious life, and I love it!

I have truly been blessed these last 50 years of ministry. I want to thank everyone who has touched my life.



2 Responses to “Sister Barbara Ellen Apaceller — on her 50th Jubilee”

  1. Annette Burkhalter on June 28th, 2021 12:04 pm

    Sister Barbara Ellen has been a presence in my life for over 60 years. We went to High School together & entered the Community with 13 other great women. By 1970 Sister Barbara Ellen was the only one of us remaining as a Sister of St. Joseph. This time was tough on her but she persevered in her vocation as you can see by the resume of all she gave in service. 9 of us returned to Concordia every 5 years or so & reconnected & shared what was new in our lives. She always welcomed us with open arms. She was our anchor to the Religious Community we still loved & respected. It is such an honor to be asked to be her Pall Bearers. Thank you for allowing this special honor. Sister Barbara Ellen will be so missed by so many especially by the 8 of us her fellow Band members.

  2. Brianna Perkins on May 6th, 2015 12:43 pm

    Love and miss you Happy 50th Jubliee!!

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