Sister Christella Buser — on her 70th Jubilee

December 15, 2016 by

PARENTS: George and Elizabeth Buser
HOMETOWN: Seneca, Kan.
BIRTH NAME: Maurine Buser

Marymount College, Salina (bachelor’s degree in music education); DePaul University of Chicago (master’s in music education)

1948-1961 Music educator in Tipton and Concordia, Kan.
1961-1965 Superior for new mission: Curé of Ars School in Leawood, Kan.
1965-1969 Elected assistant to congregational president, Sister Therese Marie Stafford
1969-1975 Assumed presidency at Sister Therese Marie’s death, then elected to a four-year term as president
1975-1977   Brazilian Mission Coordinator for the congregation
1977   L’Arche Community, Winnipeg, Man.
1983-1992 Established and then served in L’Arche Community in Overland Park, Kan.
1993-1997 L’Arche Community in Tacoma, Wash. (Ministry with L’Arche included service as the Western Regional Coordinator and a member of the L’Arche International Council)
1996 Published “Flower from the Ark”
1997-2000 Communications Director at the Motherhouse, Concordia
2000-present A variety of ministries based at the Motherhouse, including “The Joy of Laughing” series and creation of the Heavenly Bits Dog Biscuits


My whole life has just been pure gift. After my term as president ended (in 1975), I went on a retreat and the spiritual director there thought serving with L’Arche (an organization serving people with intellectual disabilities) would be a good thing. I said, “Oh, I don’t think I could do that!” It was so different from everything I had done.

But then I went — to Winnepeg, Manitoba, for just a year. Only it turned out to be 20 years, and it still continues. After Winnepeg, I was asked to establish the L’Arche community in Overland Park, Kan., and later I went to Tacoma, Wash. My ministry with L’Arche would eventually include service as the Western Regional Coordinator and as a member of the L’Arche International Council, which gave me the opportunity to travel — to France, England, Haiti, Rome…

Today I still take part in the Faith and Sharing retreat, as I have for 27 years now. That’s held in Leavenworth, Kan., over Memorial Day weekend, and brings together L’Arche volunteers and intellectually disabled adults from across Kansas.

I was also able to twice visit our sisters in Brazil during the time I served the community as our mission coordinator.

Throughout my whole life — through teaching and all the wonderful, inspiring places I’ve been — it’s always just been pure gift. I never in my life would have expected it.

I love religious life, and I’ve had so much joy!


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