Latest News

Latest News

Word Gathering (Summer 2015)

Monday, 15 June 2015 00:00


  • The Linden Houses – A Fun Place to Live
  • International Ministries: Focus on Education and Health Care
  • Implementing the Beijing Platform for Action
  • Vietnamese Sisters at Home in Donaldson
  • Ancilla College Breaks Ground on Residence Hall and Student Life Dining Center
  • Coming Home to Mishawaka • South Bend
  • 2015 Poor Handmaid Jubilarians Celebrate
  • Celebrating Nurses’ Week
  • What a Wonderful World!
  • Plastic – The Problem with a Miracle Product
  • Creating Hope for the Hopeless
  • Baggin’s Story
  • An Update from Mexico – It Takes a Village…
  • Reflections on a Mission Visit to Mexico
  • Summer 2015 – MoonTree Invites Natural Builders
  • Call for Artists and Vendors – MoonTree Festival
  • In Memory of Our Sister
  • Coming Home to Chicago – Schedule of Events
  • In Memory of Our Sisters


Associating News Summer 2015

Monday, 15 June 2015 00:00


  • Companions on the Journey Retreat 2015
  • Reflections on Spiritual Companioning
  • Coming Home to Mishawaka • South Bend
  • Icon: Blessed Catherine of Dernbach
  • 2015 – A Recommitment Year
  • In Memory of Our Sister
  • PHJC Volunteer Program – Update
  • “Free Trial Offers” from MoonTree Studios
  • Lindenwood Retreat Offerings
  • Upcoming Events at John XXIII Retreat Center
  • Gathering XII and Associate Anniversaries
  • Associate Community 2015 Upcoming Events
  • Coming Home to Mishawaka • South Bend Schedule of Events





Angel Guardian Home - Nigeria

Angel Guardian Home began in 2006 to help the abandoned and unwanted street children in Mgbele.  Most children that are found on the streets have families, but they are too poor to care for their children.  Many families, with support and counseling, are reunited with their children.  The Sisters continue to support these families through spiritual guidance, assisting parents with job skills and continuing education for the children. 



When the Sisters found Orluebube, she was malnourished, neglected and unwanted at the age of 3 years old.  Her father had left the village and her mother had died.  Her aunt believed that Orluebube's mother had died of AIDS and therefore she did not want to accept her into their family.  She was made to sleep under a tree in the family's yard, even during the rainy season. The Sisters brought her to the Angel Guardian Home where she was fed, clothed and most importantly, loved.  Today, Orluebube is a  normally developed little girl, loves school and is very happy.


To Learn More About the Angel Guardian Home, Click Here


The Caring Place - Kenya

Sister Germaine Hustedde, PHJC, has always been passionate about children. When she began working in Kenya, she immediately saw a need to give the young "street boys" a better life.  "These kids needed so much love and so much training and so much everything". 

 Sister Germaine tells this story, "I met a bunch of kids, boys primarily, digging through the rubbish with sticks or metal poles or anything they could find.  These kids were dirty and emaciated.  One day I came upon a kid with a big cabbage leaf and he looked at it like it was a piece of silver.  Kids came flocking.  He stood there and tore up that cabbage leaf into about 25 pieces.  Every kid got a bite.  We became friends.  One day when I came along, a bunch of them came up to me and in their very best English, they said 'Sister, we want to go to school!'  And I thought, what am I going to do with these street kids?  I promised them I would do something about it." 

She started the Caring Place in 2007 opening the orphanage in a small abandoned slaughter house.  She raised enough money to build a larger facility and in 2011 opened St. Joseph Home, aka "Caring Place", with rooms to house up to 75 boys.  These children, having no place to live, no one to teach them, no one to show them simple skills, now call the Caring Place home.

 To Learn More About the Caring Place, Click Here  


  St. Anne Mission Hospital - Kenya


St. Anne Mission Hospital, in Igoji Kenya, has been a ministry of the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ since 2009. The hospital has experienced a lot of growth over the past six years. St. Anne's now provides dental services, a birthing center, outpatient services and a small surgical center. Recently, the hospital delivered their first set of triplets. The nurses from the mobile clinic visit the babies once a week to monitor their development. 

To Learn About St. Anne Mission Hospital, Click Here

Looking Towards the Future

Today, we are asking for your support and to partner with us in sustaining these ministries.  Your gift will help children at Angel Guardian Home, like Orluebube, receive the education, medical care and love they need to survive.  Your gift will help to ensure the boys at the Caring Place will have a place to live, opportunities to study and to learn job skills so that they have a brighter future.  Your gift will help St. Anne Mission Hospital continue treating those who cannot afford to have the necessary medical care.

For over 160 years, it has been the mission of the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ to serve the sick, the poor and the homeless. We rely on partners like you to help us continue our mission. Your gift can have such an impact on the people we serve. If you are able, please give today. 



Meg Distler Receives Award

Thursday, 07 May 2015 00:00

Meg Distler, Executive Director of St. Joseph Community Health Foundation received the Community Leadership Award from Healthier Moms & Babies on May 6, 2015. Healthier Moms & Babies is a program started at the St. Joseph Hospital in Fort Wayne by the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ and Meg in 1995.  

Meg was honored for her work in writing the initial grant that launched the program in 1995 and since, having been actively involved on its board, in fundraising, as a donor, as well as her activity on numerous other community boards.  The St. Joseph Community Health Foundation has also provided nearly $200,000 in support towards the program’s ongoing growth since 2003.  Congratulations Meg!

Sr. Bonnie Boilini, PHJC, JD presented a lecture entitled “Breaking the Silence: Elder Abuse, It Must Stop” as a part of the college's Lampen Lecture series Wednesday, April 22nd. Sr. Bonnie wanted bring awareness to the alarming prevalence of elder abuse in the United States. While many cultures revere the elderly in their community, too often older Americans are taken advantage of emotionally, physically, and financially by strangers and relatives alike. Sr. Bonnie is an attorney in Chicago who advocates for elders in abusive situations and she shared many of the cases she’s worked.


“Sr. Bonnie’s hands on experience as a court appointed Guardian ad Litem, a licensed attorney who investigates reports of abuse, brought to light how real this is in our own surroundings.  Sister called us to be watchful for signs of abuse, to have the courage to report suspected abuse, and to return to a culture of respect and care for our ‘wisdom people’” said Sister Jolise May, vice-president of mission integration at Ancilla College.


Many audience members were stunned by the sheer number of cases in Indiana alone and especially by the lack of case workers for Adult Protective Services. Audience members were encouraged to call 2-1-1 in any suspected cases of abuse. This hotline allows for anonymous reporting and will take the next steps for investigation.


Sam Soliman, sociology instructor, commented, “This was one of the hardest Lampen Lectures to sit through because of the disturbing nature of these abuses.” He was not alone in that sentiment. Sr. Bonnie certainly opened the eyes for all present at the need of awareness and discussions surrounding this topic.

“The Queens,” Elizabeth I of England and Mary, Queen of Scots, are coming to Ancilla Domini Chapel at the Center at Donaldson. Metamorphis Traveling Theatre, an outreach troupe of the Michigan City Acting Theatre, will present “The Queens” at 3:00 p.m. EDT on Sunday, May 3, 2015. “The Queens” is an original drama written by Ken Brelsford and directed by Judith Joseph and Doug Moon.


“The Queens” is the story of the political and family struggle for the throne of England between cousins, Elizabeth I and Mary Stuart, otherwise known as Mary Queen of Scots. Mary Queen of Scots was the Catholic heiress to Scotland's throne. While not mentioned in Henry VIII's succession will, the strikingly beautiful princess was related to the Tudor line and had some claim to the throne. Although most English Catholics recognized Elizabeth's rule, the Catholic world officially denied the legality of Henry VIII's marriage to Ann Boleyn, since they did not recognize the annulment of his marriage to Catherine of Aragon. Under the Catholic interpretation, this made Elizabeth illegitimate and unfit to rule.


“The Queens” is a drama in nine scenes. Set against the splendid neo-Gothic architecture of Ancilla Domini Chapel, the actors in elaborate Renaissance costumes--Jeanoma Babcock as Elizabeth I and Judith Joseph as Mary Queen of Scots--will evoke the treacherous plots that circled the British monarchy in the late 1500’s. The story, revealed through dialogue, music and dance, culminates on the eve of the Scottish Queen’s beheading by order of Elizabeth I. 


The matinee performance will be followed by a reception with the Metamorphis Traveling Theatre Players with refreshments--Queen’s Cake. Tickets are now available for the performance; $12.00 per person or $10.00 for people 55 or better. Ticket sales benefit MoonTree Studios Scholarships for Women.


For tickets visit or call (574) 935-1712.

In Memory of Sister Barbara Bruns, PHJC

Wednesday, 18 March 2015 00:00

Sister Barbara Bruns, PHJC passed away March 17, 2015 at the Catherine Kasper Home, Donaldson, Indiana. She was born to Herman and Wilhelmina (Kreke) Bruns in Germantown, Illinois on July 11, 1919. She entered the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ community and professed her first vows on June 25, 1940.

Sister Barbara began her long history in education in 1940 at Angel Guardian Orphanage in Chicago. From there she served in many schools as a teacher, principal and sacristan throughout Indiana and Illinois until 2005 when she retired to the Catherine Kasper Home.

During the 65 years, she taught at these Indiana schools: St. Monica and St. Bavo, Mishawaka; St. Ann and St. Mark, Gary; St. Vincent Villa, Holy Spirit and St. Paul, Fort Wayne; Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Hammond; and Ancilla High School and College, Donaldson.

In Illinois she ministered at St. Henry and St. Augustine, Chicago; St. John the Baptist, Quincy; St. Anthony, Beckemeyer; St. Mary Convent, Trenton; and Mater Dei High School, Breese.

Sister Barbara wrote, "Most of my life has been spent in a classroom serving students." During these impressionable years, what a blessing it has been for me to lead hearts to our God and minds to knowledge."

Sister Barbara was a poet and wrote many poems for special occasions. Here is one for her special occasion.

Going Home

As I come to the last moment of my life

When my time on earth will be over then,

Be glad God is calling me home,

to join all the souls now in heaven.

Sometime you'll be journeying this way,

It is God's plan for everyone,

should you feel sad then and miss me

cheer up; let a kind deed be done.

This goodness will lift your spirit

As you join with friends you know,

live your life in charity and patience

as God's love your actions show.


Sister Barbara Bruns, PHJC

June 18, 2011


May she rest in peace!


Memorial contributions may be made to the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ, PO Box 1, Donaldson, IN 46513.

Formation Newsletter (Spring 2015)

Monday, 16 March 2015 00:00


  • Life in Formation
  • Education
  • Final Vows


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