Sister Josephine Iffert, PHJC formerly known as Sister Concetta, passed away on Saturday, April 8, 2017 at St. Joseph Health in Plymouth, Indiana.
Sister Josephine was born on September 15, 1925 in Noble, Illinois to Kilian and Rosa (Kuenstler) Iffert who preceded her in death along with her siblings Ann Uebinger, Fr. Urban Iffert, CPPS, Katie Kuhl, Pauline Kessler, Sally Rudolphi, Bertha Dunnigan, and Leo Iffert.
Sister Josephine shared her personal desire when she said, “My hope is that I grow old gracefully and that I might be able to participate in community activities that give life to us all.” Those who knew her, know that Sister Josephine excelled in achieving this goal through her warm hospitality, a listening ear and a compassionate heart.
She entered the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ Community as a postulant on September 8, 1943 and professed her first vows on June 24, 1946.
Sister Josephine studied at Ancilla College in Donaldson, Indiana as well as Loyola University in Chicago, Illinois, where she received her B.S. and M.A. in Education.
Sister Josephine spent 28 years of loving service as teacher and principal in elementary schools at St. Augustine School in Hecker, Illinois; Angel Guardian Orphanage in Chicago, Illinois; St. John School in Belleville, Illinois; and Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Hammond, Indiana. After completing six years as a Provincial Team Member in the PHJC Community and the Corporate Ministry Program in St. Louis, Missouri, her ministry took a turn. Sister Josephine served as a Pastoral Associate in Davenport, Iowa and as a staff member of a Personal Growth Center in Cicero, Illinois. She also ministered to people with AIDS through Harbor Home and was Director of an RCIA program in Berwyn, Illinois. Later, she received much joy interacting with the people who came for services at St. Elizabeth Hospital in Chicago, Illinois, where she ministered as Sister Hostess for thirteen years.
Sister Josephine then shared her gentle spirit and welcoming presence as part of a supportive community of Sisters at Catherine’s Cottage and throughout the entire Center at Donaldson. She was actively engaged in life until two days before her death.
Sister Josephine proudly stayed a farm girl her whole life. She said, “Nature always brought great joy to me from childhood to my elder years. I delighted in gardening, and loved to see things grow, especially my relationship with God.” Truly it was in nature, in her family and through the many people who touched her life that Sister Josephine found God.
Visitation will be held at the Catherine Kasper Home on Tuesday, April 11, 2017 beginning at 4:30 p.m. and ending at 8:00 p.m. (EST). A Prayer Service will be held the same evening at 7:00 p.m.
Funeral Liturgy will be held in the Ancilla Domini Chapel on Wednesday, April 12, 2017 at 11:00 a.m. (EST). Burial will follow in the Mt. Carmel Cemetery, Donaldson, Indiana.
Contributions may be made in Sister Josephine’s memory to the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ, PO Box 1, Donaldson, Indiana 46513.