Latest News

Latest News

Sister Kate Kuenstler in her Rhode Island office

Sister Kate Kuenstler, PHJC will be presenting a teleconference titled “Finding Your Voice” on February 12, 2013 for Future Church. You can choose to participate either at 12:30-2:00 p.m. EST or 8:30-10:00 p.m. EST. The main theme of the presentation will be the rights and obligations of the laity as found in Book 2 of Canon Law. After the presentation, participants will have a lively discussion of how Canon Law can empower and guide our actions as Catholics.

In Memory of Sister Jude Henken, PHJC

Friday, 01 February 2013 13:09

October 18, 1924 - February 1, 2013

Sister Jude Henken, PHJC

Sister Jude Henken, PHJC passed away on February 1, 2013 at the Catherine Kasper Home, Donaldson, Indiana. She was born to Gerhard Henry and Bernadine (Timmermann) Henken in Germantown, Illinois on October 18, 1924. She entered the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ community and professed her first vows on June 25, 1946.

Sister Jude’s first ministry was as a 4th grade teacher at St. Mary’s School in East Chicago, IN and then as a childcare provider at St. John’s in Belleville, IL. In 1948 she began a new ministry in food service where she worked for the next 51 years at several locations. Prior to retiring to the Catherine Kasper Home in 2005, she provided services to the PHJC community.

A few years ago, when asked what does being a Poor Handmaid mean to you, Sr. Jude answered, “Having the privilege and obligation to live prayerfully, joyfully, and simply in order to praise God and thereby attract others to serve Him in their vocation.”

May Sister Jude rest in peace!

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


Something remarkable happened at Saint John's Abbey and University in Collegeville, MN in 1998.  The first handwritten, hand-illuminated Bible in 500 years was commissioned to be completed. A team of artists and scholars, brought together by renowned calligrapher Donald Jackson, combined the ancient techniques of calligraphy and illumination with an ecumenical Christian approach to the Bible rooted in Benedictine spirituality. The result is a living document and a monumental achievement that captures the beauty and tradition of centuries of liturgy that will carry it into the future.

Two presentations will be held at The Center At Donaldson, and sponsored by the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ.

The Valparaiso University Choir

The Valparaiso University Chorale, one of the top Lutheran choirs in the United States, will be coming to Donaldson on Saturday February 23, 2013.  The concert will take place at the Ancilla Domini Chapel, PHJC Ministry Center in Donaldson, IN at 7:00 pm. ET.  Admission to the concert is free however a free-will offering will be accepted.

The Chorale will perform a variety of sacred and secular music, featuring Frank Ticheli’s ethereal “There Will Be Rest,” Daniel Gawthrop’s robust “Sing a Mighty Song,” and classical works from Schütz and Bach in celebration of the Chorale’s upcoming performance of Mass in B Minor at Valparaiso University.

Ancilla Softball Delivers Gifts and Socks to Homeless

For the second straight year, the Ancilla College softball team put their Christmas spirit to work by helping the homeless.

The Chargers kept up their tradition by allowing fans to donate socks at all home softball games in the fall and spring, in place of paying admission. Over 200 pair of socks were collected and donated to Hope Rescue Mission in South Bend. The team went one step further this year.

Sjchf Grants

The St. Joseph Community Health Foundation, a ministry sponsored by the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ, announces $488,257 in grants to local organizations to improve the health, wellness and health care access for the low-income and vulnerable in Allen County.


In the wake of the violent deaths in Newtown, CT, the bells at the PHJC Ministry Center tolled during a national moment of silence. The day included additional observations around the world and the PHJC Ministry Center held a special service today to pray for peace.

Don Barnes and David Roos, Executive Director of CKF

Don Barnes, CEO of HealthVisions Midwest was chosen as the “Governor Frank O'Bannon Memorial Kids First” Award winner for 2012. Dr. Seabrook from Community Health Net in Gary presented the award to him at the Annual Meeting on December 4, 2012. Norma Napoli, RN, MSN Deputy Director of CKF said “this is a big honor, and Don deserves it for all the great work he has done for Covering Kids and Families of Indiana (CKF)”.


Ancilla College's Arynn Curtis was one of the 31 students from Indiana's independent colleges and universities who was recently celebrated at the Indepenent Colleges of indiana's (ICI) "Realizing the Dream" banquet.

Arynn, a sophomore from Mishawaka, was selected as Ancilla College's "Outstanding First-Generation Student".

Ancilla College Baseball Team and JESSE Kids

The Ancilla College men’s baseball team hosted their annual game with students from Joint Educational Services in Special Education (JESSE) last Friday.

In Memory of Sister Maris Krimmel, PHJC

Monday, 12 November 2012 09:22

March 8, 1911 - November 10, 2012

Sister Maris Krimmel

Sister Maris Krimmel, PHJC passed away on November 10, 2012 at the Catherine Kasper Home, Donaldson, Indiana. She was born to William and Theresa Rose (Wohnhas) Krimmel in Chicago, Illinois on March 8, 1911. She entered the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ community and professed her first vows on June 25, 1935.

Sister Maris taught grade school and high school from 1933 to 1975 at which time she began work as a Nuclear Medicine Technologist. She returned to teaching in 1978. In 1984 she became a teacher’s aid and then a volunteer at Ancilla College. For many years she tutored college students on computers.

Sister Maris stated, “I was asked to help the computer students at Ancilla College. Having ‘retired’ this was a most wonderful 20 years, learning new skills and participating in the progress of this new technology.”

She retired to the Catherine Kasper Home in 2007 at the age of 96 where she continued to enjoy working on her computer.

May Sister Maris rest in peace!

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

Sister Linda Volk, PHJC presenting her lecture entitled "Meeting Catherine Again".

The second presentation of the Lampen Lecture series this fall given by Sister Linda Volk, PHJC was entitled Meeting Catherine Again. Catherine, also known as Blessed Catherine Kasper, is the foundress of the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ.


Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ, family and friends celebrated the profession of final vows of Sister Nkechi Iwuoha, PHJC on November 3 in the Ancilla Domini Chapel.

Sister Nkechi, a member of the Poor Handmaid American Province was born in Lagos, Nigeria. She obtained her Masters Degree in Social Education at Manchester University in England. She was introduced to the Poor Handmaid community while in Nigeria and was impressed with their spirituality and charism of their foundress Blessed Catherine Kasper. Sister Nkechi entered the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ Congregation in Tiefenthal, Germany in 2003 and professed her first vows on December 8, 2006. She was a pioneer member in establishing a PHC mission in Nigeria where she worked with street children and established a home for them. She also worked with children in juvenile detention centers.

Culver Academy Choir

The Culver Academies Choir, Band and Orchestra will present a program of Christmas music on Sunday, December 2, 2012, at 3:00 p.m. EST in the Ancilla Domini Chapel. The Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ invite you to come and enjoy this free concert that is open to the public.

The program will include seasonal favorites such as In the Bleak Midwinter by Gustav Holst; Christmas Time is Here, by Lee Mendelson and Vince Guaraldi; Mary, Did You Know, by Mark Lowry and Buddy Greene; Greensleeves; and Fanfare from the Realms of Glory by Chad A. Gard.

In Memory of Sister Bernice Buescher, PHJC

Monday, 05 November 2012 09:52

January 26, 1915 - November 2, 2012

Sr Bernice Buescher

Sister Bernice Buescher, PHJC, passed away on November 2, 2012 at the Catherine Kasper Home, Donaldson, Indiana. She was born to Frederick and Anna Marie (Bender) Buescher in Avila, Indiana on January 26, 1915. She entered the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ community and professed her first vows on June 6, 1937.

Sister Bernice, then known as Sister Leo, began teaching at Angel Guardian Orphanage in 1939. She continued teaching for the next 26 years at various schools in Indiana and Illinois. When class sizes reached 60 or more children, she asked for a new ministry. In 1965 she began working as an office clerk in PHJC hospitals, in schools and in the Business Office at the PHJC Ministry Center. She retired in 1999.

Sr. Bernice celebrated her 75th Jubilee in 2012. In her Jubilee reflection she states, “The greatest enjoyment of Jubilee year will be to hope everything we do to celebrate will be pleasing to Jesus and Mary. I hope God will guide and bless the activities of the PHJC community in the U.S., Mexico, India, England, Netherlands, Germany, Brazil and Africa.”

May Sister Bernice rest in peace!

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

Shown (l-r) are Nazareth Home gala committee members Janice Moss-Woods; Co-Chairs Peggy Guernsey and Joyce Koch; Nazareth Home Director/Foster Mother Jean Bowman; Chairman Tom Collins; Karren Lee; Beth Kaminski; and Ancilla Systems Incorporated Administrator, Toni Mola. Not pictured:  Reggie Dotson, Sharon Hylek, Angela Moore, and Susan Riddering.  Photo provided by Damian Rico

The Hammond Federal Courthouse was again the scene for hundreds of guests who gather on Thursday, October 18, to support the area’s foster children of Nazareth Home in East Chicago, Indiana.

Celebrating 10 years of fundraising on behalf of medically at-risk or victimized infants and toddlers, the Nazareth Home Gala Chef Tasting and Live and Silent Auction donated 95-percent of its proceeds to the licensed foster home.


Helen Unger is no stranger to a crochet needle. When the 93-year-old Hobart, Indiana resident stopped at the Ancilla Systems office in Hobart recently to drop off another bag full of homemade afghans, she estimated that she has crocheted more than 1,000 items for area charities.  While her creations include mostly “mile-a-minute-stitched” adult and infant blankets, she also has made and donated dozens of hats, scarves, and lap robes.

Bishop Rhoades Speaking about immigration | Photo by Carrie Shelhart

Bishop Rhoades presents a world view on immigration at Ancilla College

The clashing viewpoints over legal and illegal immigration in the US change dramatically when viewed through a framework that emphasizes human life, work and family, Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades said last night at Ancilla College.

Bishop Rhoades, of the Fort Wayne-South Bend diocese, presented a coherent, Catholic-centered overview of the controversial topic as the first of this year’s long running Lampen Lecture series at Ancilla College.

Bishop Rhoades provided a brief look at church teachings on work, family life, and human rights before delving into the public debates about immigration.

April 27,  1914 - October 8, 2012

Sister Longinia

Sister Longinia Pobiedzinski, PHJC passed away on October 8, 2012 at the Catherine Kasper Home, Donaldson, Indiana. She was born to Casimir and Sabina (Baranowski) Pobiedzinski in Mishawaka, Indiana on April 27, 1914. She entered the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ community and professed her first vows on June 25, 1933.

In 1933 Sister Longinia began her long teaching career. For the next 56 years she taught in schools in Illinois and Indiana, including Ancilla Domini High School and College for 34 of those years.  She also served the PHJC Community as Local Leader and Sacristan.  She retired to the Catherine Kasper Home in 1998.

Sr. Longinia enjoyed many activities throughout the years.  She shared that she was thankful for the gift of education, for work and leisure, and for the many creative opportunities related to her teaching assignments.

May Sister Longinia rest in peace!

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

Poetry Reading Event

The PHJC Ministry Center, an Intergenerational Living and Learning Center, held their first Poetry Contest. On September 18, 2012 a poetry reading and reception awarding the winners was held at Lindenwood Conference and Retreat Center.

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