Sisters elect new leadership team

February 15, 2020 by

A woman well known throughout Concordia has been re-elected to lead the Sisters of St. Joseph for the next four years.

Sister Jean Rosemarynoski was re-elected president of the Concordia congregation on Feb. 15, 2020, as the sisters’ four-day Senate of Elections neared its conclusion. The Senate — the congregation’s highest deliberative body — convenes every four years, and the schedule depends on the agenda. This Senate began in October 2019 with an assembly of all the sisters in the Catholic religious order and    then culminated this week with the Leadership Council elections.

Sister Jean will renew her office July 1, having previously served for the past four years.

Sister Jean is a native of Wichita and lives in Concordia. She earned her bachelor’s degree at Washburn University and then master’s degrees at Kansas State University and St. Mary University in Winona, Minn. Before being received as a novice in the Sisters of St. Joseph in 1994, she worked as an educator for the Topeka Public Schools, and later at Parkview Passages in Topeka as administrator for education.

She has served as communications director and development director for the congregation, and was first elected to the Leadership Council in 2008. In 2012 she was elected to a four-year term as vice president of the congregation and then elected as president in 2016.

Throughout her tenure on the Leadership Council, she has been active in civic organizations, as a member and president of the Rotary Club, board chair for the Concordia Chamber of Commerce and chair of the Concordia Year of Peace Committee. Currently she is a member of the Cloud County Complete Count committee for the census and the Concordia Sesquicentennial Celebration committee.

She will serve with a new congregational Leadership Team that was also elected this afternoon.

Sister Mary Jo Thummel, a native of Plainville, Kan., was elected as vice president of the congregation.

Sister Mary Jo was received into the Sisters of St. Joseph in 1959. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Marymount College in Salina and then a master’s in Christian spirituality from Creighton University in Omaha. She has also completed certificates in spiritual direction from Creighton and in corporate ministry from St. Louis University.

She was a teacher at various schools for 22 years, and then moved into parish ministry. She served as a pastoral associate in Oakley, Kan., and then served in Gorham, Kan., as pastoral administrator for 12 years and later as pastoral associate in Junction City, Kan., and was a member of the Diocesan Parish Council. In 2008, she was elected to the congregation’s Leadership Council and then re-elected in 2012 and 2016.

Sister Mary Jo, lives in Concordia, and assists with the programs offered at Manna House of Prayer.

Sisters Jean and Mary Jo will be joined on the Leadership Team by three councilors. They are:

Sister Janet Mary Lander is originally from Santa Monica, Calif. Sister Janet earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education from Mount St. Mary’s University in Los Angeles and another master’s in pastoral ministry from Boston College. She also completed a post-master’s certificate in the practice of spirituality at Boston College.

She originally entered the Sisters of St. Louis of Woodland Hills, Calif., and then in 2003 joined the Sisters of St. Joseph of Concordia.

She lives at Manna House of Prayer in Concordia, where she serves as a spiritual director and retreat leader. She has served as co-director of the CSJ Associates program since 2005 and been a member of numerous congregational committees. She has also had an active role in the U.S. Federation of Sisters of St. Joseph, serving on committees for associate directors and federation artists, as well as teaching in the Federation Novitiate currently based at Manna House. She was elected to the Leadership Council in 2016. Since then she has served as secretary of Leadership Conference of Women Religious Region XIII, and been active in the Leadership Collaborative with programs and mentoring Collaborative Leadership Development Program participants.

Sister Marilyn Wall, originally from Aurora, Ill., who was received into the Sisters of St. Joseph in 1961. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Marymount College in Salina and then master’s degrees from Kansas State University and St. Louis University.

Early in her religious life, she was a teacher in Fairbury, Neb., and Manhattan and Salina, Kan. She then taught biology for several years at Marymount College and eventually served as a social worker at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Concordia. She then joined the staff at Manna House of Prayer.

From 1987 to 1991 she served on the congregation’s Executive Council, and then began a new ministry working in parishes. She has lived and served as pastoral administrator or associate or parish life coordinator in Oberlin, Selden and Leoville, Kan. (1994-2002), Washington, Morrowville, Hanover and Greenleaf, Kan. (2002-2009), and Wilson, Dorrance and Holyrood, Kan. (2009-2012).  After five additional years at Washington County, where she was also a chaplain for Meadowlark Hospice, she was elected to the Leadership Council in 2016.

Sister Dian Hall was born and raised in Cedartown, Ga., and earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of West Georgia. By the early 1990s she was teaching in a migrant education program in Cartersville, Ga.

It was during that time that she stepped in to help raise one of her teenage students when the girl’s parents were killed. When Juana — now 34 — was in her 20s, she and Hall decided they wanted to “formalize” the family feeling they had had for years, so Hall adopted her. Juana is now a married mother of three sons, and lives in Cartersville.

That’s where Hall was living and working in 1994, when she met three Sisters of St. Joseph of Concordia who live in the Greater Atlanta area. That began a “conversation” with sisters that continued until November 2009 when Hall came to Concordia and was received as a candidate for agrégée membership. She spent two and a half years studying and praying with her mentors in Georgia before realizing that she was being called to canonical membership. She became a canonical novice in June 2012, and professed her first vows during a special ceremony at the Motherhouse on June 7, 2014. She professed her final vows in 2017. She returned to Georgia to continue in the work she did before coming to Concordia, as a special education inclusion teacher for the Cartersville schools. Dian is now retired from teaching and serves as Director of Parish Life in her parish in Cartersville, Ga.

Comments

4 Responses to “Sisters elect new leadership team”

  1. Bernadette Deab on February 18th, 2020 5:06 pm

    Congratulations!

  2. Patricia Cushing, CSJ Boston MA on February 18th, 2020 2:32 pm

    God’s great blessings on the Concordia leadership team.!
    May the Spirit inspire your every action!

  3. Betina on February 16th, 2020 11:08 am

    Sister Marilyn Wall…congratulations on your nomination to the council of The sisters of St. Joseph of Concordia. I am so proud of you. You were always one of the smartest pups in our band, “the Carpenters.” A big hug going to you all the way from NYC…and tons of love always. ❤️❤️
    Betina

  4. Mary Ferrara on February 15th, 2020 8:16 pm

    Congrats to all! You’ve all been in my prayers this weekend.

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