Latest News

Latest News

In Memory of Sister Jeanne Koehler, PHJC

Wednesday, 24 January 2018 14:31

Sister Jeanne (Rita) Koehler, PHJC died peacefully on January 22, 2018 at the Catherine Kasper Home in Donaldson, Indiana. 

Sister Jeanne loved life and dancing. As a young girl she dreamed of becoming a world-famous dancer. Throughout her childhood, she appeared on stage tapping her way into the hearts of the many audiences she entertained. In later life she said, “I see so clearly how I’m still dancing for God. A dancer not on a worldly stage, but a spiritual one.” 

Sister Jeanne was born in Chicago, Illinois on December 31, 1917 to Edward and Anna (Putz) Koehler who preceded her in death along with her siblings Joseph, Carol, Frances (Michalzuk), Edward, Charles, and Dorothy (O’Malley). Her sister Marlene (Mickie) Meyer survives along with her sisters-in-law Florence and Bernice and brother-in-law Emil Meyer. Sister Jeanne counted many friends in her extended family. 

On September 2, 1935, she entered the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ Congregation in Donaldson, Indiana and professed her first vows on June 25, 1938.  This year she was celebrating 80 years as a Poor Handmaid. On December 30, 2017 Sister Jeanne celebrated her 100th birthday with friends and family at the Catherine Kasper Home. 

Sister Jeanne began her teaching career at St. Monica School in Mishawaka, IN in 1938.  She continued teaching at St. Boniface, Edwardsville, IL; St. Joseph, Mishawaka; St. Catherine of Siena, Hammond, IN; Mater Dei High School, Breese, IL; Angel Guardian Orphanage, Chicago; Bishop Dwenger High School, Fort Wayne; and finished her teaching career at Ancilla College, Donaldson, IN as an instructor and coordinator of campus ministry in 2000. During her career, she opened three new schools and remarked, “I love challenges and I had them.”  

For her 60-year jubilee, Sister Jeanne said, “For 60 years I have been a teacher and I still love it.  From a first grade teacher to a college professor, I feel I have been an enthusiastic instrument of God’s love and caring.” 

Sister Jeanne received her B.A. in history from Alverno College and her M.A. in Library Science from Rosary College. In 1980, she received her degree in Pastoral Studies. From 1980-1982 she ministered at St. Joseph Parish in Mishawaka as a Pastoral Minister and then as a Pastoral Associate at St. Peter in Winamac, IN from 1982-1989. In 1989 Sister Jeanne returned to the Motherhouse as a program assistant at Lindenwood Retreat and Conference Center. In addition, she was a spiritual director. 

Sister Jeanne officially retired to the Catherine Kasper Home in 2012. 

Visitation will be held at the Catherine Kasper Home in Donaldson, IN on Thursday, January 25, 2018 from 4:30 – 8:00 EST. A Prayer Service will be held that same evening 7:00 p.m. EST 

The Mass of Resurrection will be celebrated at Catherine Kasper Home on Friday, January 26, 2018 at 11:15 a.m. EST. 

Burial will follow in the Mt. Carmel Cemetery, Donaldson, IN. 

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

Word Gathering (Winter 2017)

Friday, 22 December 2017 14:23

Word Gathering (Fall 2017)

Thursday, 05 October 2017 16:00

In Memory of Sister Agatha Niebrugge, PHJC

Thursday, 05 October 2017 15:21

Sister Agatha Niebrugge (Zita Therese), PHJC passed away on Wednesday, October 4, 2017 at the Catherine Kasper Home in Donaldson, Indiana.    

Sister Agatha was born in Effingham, Illinois to Anthony and Anna (Aulenbrock) Niebrugge who preceded her in death along with her siblings Paul, Lawrence (Dorothy), Alphonse, Martha Muehlenfeld (Joe), Johanna Spracklin (Bernard), Ambrose (Dorothy), Father Herman, Dolores Bede (Stockman), Mary Ann, Anna Marie, Father Richard, and Bernard. Her brother Tony Niebrugge survives along with sister-in-laws Barbara, Dolores and Margaret Niebrugge.  Sister Agatha noted in her biography, “Needless to say, Father and Mother had sufficient opportunities to practice parenting.”

Sister Agatha entered the Poor Handmaid of Jesus Christ Community as a postulant on September 2, 1946. She professed her first vows on June 25, 1949. Sister Agatha graduated from Alverno College in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and Loyola University in Chicago. In addition, she pursued Art Training from the Washington School of Art.

Sister’s teaching career spanned 55 years. She taught at St. Monica School in Mishawaka, Indiana (1949-1953), St. John Orphanage in Belleville, Illinois (1953-1958), St. Augustine High School, Chicago (1959-1976), Mater Dei High School in Breese, Illinois (1976-1987) from there she received the Distinguished Educator of the Year Award. In 1987 she moved on to Ancilla College in Donaldson becoming a Professor of Sociology (1987-2005). The Ancilla College Board of Trustees awarded Sister Agatha the Trustee Emeritus Status. Sister Agatha once said of teaching, “Teaching has been an excellent vehicle for bringing Christ to the world. Hopefully the ‘ripples’ outward continue from the values and truths imparted to the students thus enabling them to face their challenges and hopes.”

Sister Agatha officially retired to the Catherine Kasper Home in 2013. She continued her humble quiet ministry of listening as she reached out to many of the Catherine Kasper Home residents.  

Visitation will be held at the Ancilla Domini Chapel on Sunday, October 8, 2017 beginning at 4:30 p.m. EDT. Evensong Service will be held the same evening 7:00 p.m. EDT 

Funeral Liturgy will be held in the Ancilla Domini Chapel on Monday, October 9 at 10:00 a.m. EDT

Burial will follow in the Mt. Carmel Cemetery, Donaldson, Indiana. 

Contributions may be made in Sister Agatha’s memory to the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ, PO Box 1, Donaldson, Indiana 46513.

 

Word Gathering (Summer 2017)

Thursday, 31 August 2017 09:56

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.

 

 

Page 4 of 17