Current Events

Current Events

Located in Chicago, IL, and Gary, Hobart, and Mishawaka, IN, Linden Houses provide affordable independent-living apartments for seniors and physically challenged individuals. Designed to meet the physical, social, and psychological needs of the residents, each Linden House creates a caring community as it promotes health, security, purposefulness, and the opportunity for interaction and involvement of residents.

Last year the Linden House in Chicago, the first facility established by the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ, celebrated their 20 year anniversary! What fun to see the residents enjoy a delicious dinner, lively entertainment and dancing! A good time was had by all.

We are pleased to announce that the Linden Houses have launched a new website. Check it out at:

This website provides information on all four Linden Houses and includes information about their locations, how to contact the site manager for more information, amenities and activities at each facility. This new site will allow potential residents and family members to view information and learn how to apply.

PHJC Elect General Leadership Team

Monday, 06 May 2013 10:44

On April 30, 2013, after two days of prayers and reflections, the General Chapter delegates in Dernbach, Germany, elected Sr. Gonzalo Vakasseril as General Superior of the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ Congregation.

On May 2, the General Chapter elected the following General Councilors: Sr. Annemarie Kampwerth, vicaress; Sr. Barbara Spiegelhoff; and Sr. Shirley Bell. Together with Sr. Gonzalo, they are the newly-elected team.

Poor Handmaid delegates from nine countries elected the new team. They will take office in July 2013. With the prayerful support of the international congregation, they will serve for the next six years.

Currently, Sr. Gonzalo serves as a councilor on the General Leadership Team in Dernbach, Germany. Sr. Annemarie ministers at HealthVisions Midwest in East Chicago, Indiana. Sr. Barbara is a teacher in Limburg, Germany. Sr. Shirley Bell is the Director of Maria Center, senior living apartments, in Donaldson, Indiana.

Congratulations to all!

How I Spent Arbor Day Weekend

Wednesday, 01 May 2013 15:56

This weekend the staff of Catherine Kasper Place and our Fresh Food Initiatve clients were joined nearly two dozen community members at the Slataper Street farm for a tree planting to celebrate Arbor Day.

The Hoosier ReLeaf team brought us peach and nectarine trees, each in bloom and expected to produce fruit thisseason. As the team educated our clients, volunteers and the public I had the joy of taking some photographs of all the happenings. Now looking at the pictures, I find myself once again feeling lucky to be part of such an amazing community that includes gardeners, farmers, and citizens, all of whom appreciate the benefits of urban farming.

Much of the time I am engaged in the operations aspect of CKP so it was invigorating to spend my Saturday at the farm, under a gorgeous sky, with friends who share my belief that planting trees and flowers and vegetables is not only creating a better world now, but ensuring those who follow us can sit in the shade of trees and provide food for themselves in healthy soil.

There's a Chinese proverb that says, "Keep a green tree in your heart and perhaps a singing bird will come." When you look at the photographs you will see two dozen such singing birds, who all came out on a spring Saturday to celebrate our two new trees, and all the trees in our hearts.

On April 11, 2013, The Center at Donaldson, previously called The Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ Ministry Center, held a dessert reception at Lindenwood Retreat and Conference Center celebrating the new name. The event was open to local business leaders and pastors from Marshall, Starke and LaPorte Counties.

Over the years, a variety of PHJC ministries have emerged and grown. During the evening, there were representatives from each ministry that gave a brief overview of what experiences are offered as part of The Center at Donaldson. Earthworks Market in Plymouth provided desserts.

These ministries offer intergenerational living and learning opportunities. These opportunities include Earthworks’ summer camps where children have fun while learning to care for the environment, Ancilla College classes for people of all ages, beautiful state of the art facilities at Lindenwood Retreat and Conference Center, used by retreatants from around the world.

At The Center at Donaldson, you can also purchase delicious natural beef from Ancilla Beef & Grain Farm, and your loved ones are cared for at Catherine Kasper Life Center, the only faith-based Continuing Care Retirement Community in Marshall County. MoonTree Studios, the newest of the ministries, invites you to discover a variety of art experiences, which awaken and explore your inner creativity.

The Center at Donaldson - Experiencing the Unexpected - invites you to discover what opportunities we have and to come and visit. For more information:

The Messiah by George Frideric Handel

Friday, 12 April 2013 16:24

A performance of The Messiah by George Frideric Handel will take place on Sunday, November 17, 2013, at 7:00 p.m. (EST) in the Ancilla Domini Chapel, The Center at Donaldson. The Messiah is one of the most famous and widely shared pieces of music in history.

The Messiah will be conducted by Dr. David K. Lamb of Columbus, Indiana. The choir will consist of Sisters and members of the wider community. Professional soloists will be from the Chicago Lyric Opera. Members of the South Bend Symphony Orchestra will accompany the performance.

Everyone is welcome to attend. Admission is free.

Following a process of discernment and prayer, the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ Chapter delegates, during the Provincial Chapter of Elections held April 5-7, elected a leadership team who will direct them during the next four years. Sister Judith Diltz was elected provincial and Sister Michele Dvorak as first councilor. Sister Loretta Schleper and Sister Carole Langhauser were elected as councilors.

Sister Judith Diltz, a native of Mishawaka, Indiana, took her first vows as a Poor Handmaid on August 6, 1969. Since that time she has ministered in education and served the Poor Handmaid Community. She taught English at various schools in Indiana and Illinois and served as the PHJC Vocation Director, Postulant /Affiliate Director, and Director for Development. Currently she is a Professor of English and Humanities and Faculty Assessment Coordinator at Ancilla College in Donaldson, Indiana.

Sister Michele Dvorak has ministered in education since 1976. She has been a teacher and principal in Indiana and Illinois and currently is an Associate Professor at Calumet College of St. Joseph in Whiting, Indiana where she also held the position of Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs. Sister Michele was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota and took her first vows on August 15, 1976.

Sister Loretta Schleper has served in different ministries since taking her first vows on August 6, 1965. She has been the Assistant Director at Villa Maria in Donaldson, an occupational therapist, house coordinator, nurse assistant, staff chaplain, the Director of Community Health Improvement program at HealthVisions of Fort Wayne and currently serves as the Volunteer Coordinator at Sojourner Truth House, a ministry sponsored by the Poor Handmaids in Gary, Indiana. Sister Loretta was born in Highland, Illinois.

Sister Carole Langhauser, born in Breese, Illinois has been in healthcare since taking her first vows on August 11, 1974. She has served as a staff nurse, oncology clinical nurse specialist at various hospitals in Indiana and Illinois and currently serves as the Vice-President of Mission Integration at St. Joseph Hospital in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Sister Carole also ministered in Thailand in 1980.

The Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ community promised unity, support and collaboration to the new team during the next four years. Installation of the leadership team will be held on July 7, 2013 in the Ancilla Domini Chapel, Donaldson, Indiana.

Hot Off the Press

Wednesday, 27 March 2013 16:54
Color Word Gathering

Dear Word Gathering Readers,

It is with pleasure that I introduce our new color Word Gathering.

We hope you find it vibrant and informative. Word Gathering has been keeping our friends and families informed about the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ and their ministries since the fall of 1978 when the first issue was printed. At that time the format was a one sheet, folded tabloid-size newsletter and Sister Mary Baird was the editor.

International Water Day

Thursday, 21 March 2013 11:21
International Water Day

Have you ever heard of water poverty? The lack of adequate sanitation and clean freshwater is one of the main factors which contributes to lack of universal socio-economic development and poverty reduction throughout our world. All life must have water.

This Friday, March 22, is International Water Day. It offers an occasion to focus attention on the importance of freshwater and advocacy for the sustainable management of freshwater resources, an issue near and dear to the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ American Province.

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