Bridget Boyum, ASC
Community Leader Scholar '12
The students of Newman University are forever grateful and inspired by the sisters of the Adorers of the Blood of Christ. We are thankful that they founded Newman, and continue to sponsor and support the university. The Sisters' spirit of service and stewardship is ingrained in this university, shaping its students and encouraging them to go out and make a difference in our world. They have always been our "living endowment!"
Below is a list of all ASC members (and their biographies) who have served on this campus. While this list is set to be in the order which they came, not all accounts can be considered accurate chronologically. To search for a sister alphabetically, see "Search A-Z" below.
Search A - Z
St. Maria De Mattias
Maria was a woman who loved passionately; she loved God and she loved others. She was born on February 4, 1805, in Vallecorsa, Italy to Giovanni and Ottavia De Mattias; she was baptized that same day as was the custom of the times. Maria was a woman of the word; the Word of God came to dwell in her heart from the day of her baptism and from the lips of her father as he told her the stories from God's written word. As she grew the Word of God came to her from the Sunday sermons; she became enamored with the image of the Lamb of God, who gave his blood for the sake of all. This early image led her to found a congregation of women religious, and she claimed that the spirit of this congregation was "all love: love for God and the dear neighbor." This love made her a contemplative woman of apostolic action, and it was on March 4, 1834 that Maria founded her congregation in the small mountain town of Acuto. Up and down the mountains and valleys of central Italy Maria De Mattias became known as "the woman who preached." Not only women and girls but also men and boys and even the clergy filled the piazzas and churches where Maria spoke. Women came from the surrounding villages to join her; she knew that this small band was growing and that there was need for a rule to guide their lifestyle as well as more adequate space to accommodate their needs. For forty years Maria turned constantly to Father John Merlini for spiritual guidance and for direction in the development of the congregation of the Adorers. At times he needed to provide special guidance in how she dealt with the priests and the bishops of the areas where the sisters were settling. Although Maria was obedient to those giving direction in her life, she also challenged some of the statements and actions of those members of the clergy who questioned her actions and intentions. She is often referred to as the "obedient rebel", a name which truly captured her mind and heart. Maria took time to communicate with her sisters and those with whom they labored; the congregation has a treasure in the hundreds of letters, which she penned. These letters are almost a miracle in themselves since Maria had no formal schooling. Maria struggled to teach herself how to write; somehow she knew that she had a special message to convey. She was also burdened with frail health, yet she continued her correspondence and her travels to be present to her sisters and to those whose lives she had come to affect deeply. Before the end of her life on earth, which came on August 20, 1866, Maria saw her congregation spread to sixty towns in Italy; she had also welcomed a group of women from the Germanys to aggregate with her community. One of these sisters, Clementine Zerr, actually had the opportunity to meet with Maria in Italy, and it was this woman who came to the United States carrying the charism and spirituality of Maria De Mattias not only to this country but also to the Great Plains and this very land, purchased from Bishop Hennessy in 1902.
Clementine Zerr was most essential in building the foundation for the Adorers' ministry which eventually became Newman University. She was born Barbara on December 8,1832 in Sasbachreid, Amt Buel in Baden, Germany. When she was not quite twenty, she joined the Precious Blood Sisters, a small group of women who came together under the spiritual direction of Father Carl Rolfus in 1845. By 1847 this band was incorporated with Maria's congregation. The following year, on December 3, 1853, she made her profession in Ottmarsheim in Alsace Lorraine. For several months in 1864 and 1865, Clementine and a fellow sister visited the Adorers in Italy. Not only did she spend time in Rome and Civitavecchia with many members including future leaders, but she also spent some days in November with Maria De Mattias in Acuto. Political and religious struggles dictated the ministries of the sisters from Ottmarsheim and Gurtweil, including their very existence in this area. The anti-clerical religious confrontation led many of the sisters to accept an invitation to settle near St. Louis in the United States, which was done beginning in 1870. Clementine herself made her first journey on August 26, 1873. Throughout the next 29 years, Clementine made four return trips to Europe, spending time in both Germany and Italy, and sent many sisters throughout the mid-western states. In 1901, she decided to open up a central house and novitiate in Wichita, Kansas as well as take up residence in the city. In early April of 1902, she traveled from Ruma, Illinois to Wichita with Sisters Johanna Siedler, Jerome Gehringer, and Josepha Goedde. The next few months were spent preparing for St. John's School to open in September of 1902. In the Spring of the following year, four more acres of land were acquired and December saw the Golden Jubilee celebration of Sister Clementine. The years of 1904 and 1905 were spent increasing the size and functionality of the school as necessary. In January of 1906, Mother Clementine practiced her custom of spending several hours in the new chapel in front of the Blessed Sacrament and as a result of a raised window, she contracted a severe cold. The cold eventually turned into double pneumonia and Clementine died January 24 shortly after the priest pronounced the words, "Proficiscere anima christiana." This could be translated as, "Proceed [to heaven], Christian soul."
Sister Gertrude Bohn was born Rosina on June 8, 1865 in Vimbuch, Baden, Germany. She came to America with Mother Clementine Zerr in 1879. Three years later in 1882, she made her first vows. Twenty years later, she came to St. John's where she taught from 1902 to 1907. From 1915 to 1923, she served as the local superior. She died December 17, 1924 and is buried in Ruma, Illinois.
Johanna Siedler was one of the four pioneer Sisters who helped open St. John's Institute in 1902. She was born in 1869 and, sixteen years later, on August 26, 1885 she entered Ruma from Carlinville, Illinois. Two years later, she made her vows on July 21, 1887. She taught in the Illinois schools until 1896 when Father Heimen (Odin, Kansas) requested teachers from Mother Clementine who possessed "a superior understanding for virtue." Mother Clementine sent Johanna to teach 80 children and her companion to teach 90. Because Johanna was a teacher of upper levels, she needed a certificate. She passed her oral exam and was paid $40 a month--an income sufficient for both Sisters. On April 2, 1902, Mother Clementine took Johanna, as well as Sisters Jerome Gehringer and Josepha Goedde, to open up St. John's Institute in Wichita. She worked there for the next sixteen years until she returned to Illinois to teach for a further sixteen years. After that time, she went to St. Clement's Hospital, located in Illinois in 1937 and spent the next 20 years of her life until her death in 1957.
Jerome Gehringer was one of the four pioneer sisters who helped open St. John's Institute and convent in 1902. She was born on November 14, 1870 in St. Mary's, Iowa. She entered at Ruma on June 26, 1895 and a year later, on July 28, received her habit, also at Ruma. She professed her first vows in 1896. During the years 1895 to 1900, she taught seventh and eighth grades at various schools throughout Illinois. Coming in 1902 to Wichita as one of the first sisters was fondly recalled by Sister Jerome as she retold her story on numerous occasions: "I was ready. I was young and strong." St. John's Institute, as the establishment was called, was lovely – it had a beautiful green lawn and a grove of trees as well as Bishop Hennessy's summer residence. She stated the house was in need of cleaning, and this became the first job she tackled. "I helped with the garden and took care of the chickens and milked the cow and painted the roof." When trips to town were needed, it was Sister Jerome who drove the horse and surrey at least as far as the street car line. She witnessed many renovations of the buildings on this property and recorded this growth primarily when she served as the treasurer for the Wichita province. Sister Jerome spent her retirement years in Wichita at the central house. She died on May 7, 1964 and is buried in the convent cemetery.
Sister Germaine was born Mary Wohler in Kansas on February 12, 1887. She was orphaned at six years old and came to live with the sisters in 1893. She decided to join the sisters and her reception was nine years later on August 3, 1902 at St. John's Institute. She made her first profession on August 13, 1905 and her perpetual profession July 13, 1911. From 1902 to 1910 and again in 1920 to 1921, she was a teacher throughout various missions in Kansas including St. John's. She died May 13, 1970 and is buried at Ruma, Illinois.
Sister Rufina Roechner was born in Freudenberg, Baden, Germany on May 23, 1861 to Frank and Maria Roechner. She entered from Freudenberg as a postulant on September 12, 1887. On July 10, 1888, she entered the novitiate. She made her first vows on July 14, 1889 and she was soon on her way to the United States. From 1903 to 1909, she taught at St. John's, having been requested of this service by her superior. She died on July 9, 1936 and is buried at Ruma, Illinois.
Sister Armella Burkhart was born Caroline on April 20, 1867 at Breithurst, Frasselt, Germany. She entered from Germany on April 17, 1891. She had her reception on August 2, 1891. Her first profession was on July 16, 1893. She was one of the young sisters who came to the United States. Shortly after the arrival of the four sisters in 1902, Armella was asked to join them at St. John's and worked in the kitchens until 1907. From 1907 until 1915, she did housework for various other Kansas missions before going back to Illinois. She died on May 28, 1957 and is buried at Ruma, Illinois.
Sister Stephanie was born on May 6, 1875 and entered the religious community on October 10, 1891, when she was just 16. Her sister, Sister Gertrude Bohn, came home to Germany to look for young women who wished to dedicate their lives to Christ and work in rural parishes in the United States. Stephanie decided to become one of these young women. She made her first profession on July 18, 1894. She had spent three years learning English so she was sent to work in parish schools in Illinois. She came to Ost, Kansas in 1902 and taught until 1910; her teaching career was ruined by defective hearing. In 1918, she became the Sacristan at St. John's Academy. In 1929 and until 1931, she became the first assistant to the Provincial Superior until she was bedridden for almost a year with a serious heart condition and inflammatory rheumatism. Afterwards, she spent six years at Pilsen and St. Mark's, Kansas. In 1938, she was missioned to St. Mary's Hospital in Enid, Oklahoma until she was moved to the Wichita Central House in 1960. On October 14, 1962, she passed away peacefully.
Sister Ludovika Donner was born Josephine to George and Catherine Donner in Evansville, Illinois on February 7, 1879. In 1899, when she was twenty, she entered the Adorers of the Blood of Christ and a year later on July 8, 1900, she had her reception. She made her first profession on August 18, 1901. From 1904 to 1909, she was in Kansas where she practiced as a self-instructed nurse, anesthetist, and laboratory and x-ray technician. From 1917 until 1923, she was a nurse in the Kansas mission in Carlsbad, New Mexico. For a year, starting in 1923, she worked at the St. John's Institute in Wichita as a nurse. From the mid-1920s until 1948, she moved to Illinois where she served as a nurse until her health weakened, and she was forced to retire. She died on April 9, 1965.
Sister Camilla Heiman was born on March 27, 1870 at Lafayette, Indiana to August and Louise Heiman. She entered the convent when she was twenty-five on September 11, 1895. She received the habit on July 28, 1896 and made her first vows a year later on July 31, 1897. In 1907, she was in Odin, Kansas with her brother, Father August P. Heiman; it was here she met a young woman she brought to the community in Ruma as a postulant, later known as Sister Amanda Bohatch. Camilla came to Kansas in the late summer or early fall to take care of the little boys at St. John's Academy in Wichita. It was at this location that she died of a ruptured gall bladder on November 23, 1911.
Sister Sylvana Houser was born on August 26, 1885. She entered the Adorers as a postulant on July 26, 1902 at St. Teresa's Academy and was sent as a novice to Wichita, Kansas where she helped to start St. John's Institute. She remained at St. John's from 1903 to 1925 and made her vows on August 16, 1904. Sylvana not only taught at the institute but served as its principal. At this same time, she was a student and received her high school diploma as a member of the first graduating class. Sister was also one of the first sisters to attend St. Louis University when women were finally allowed as students. She received both her bachelors and masters by attending evening, Saturday, and summer classes. She also taught at St. Teresa's Academy for 42 years--a period that was interrupted only when she taught one year at St. Libory's high school from 1937 to 1938. At the academy, she taught Latin, French, and occasionally, English. She also headed the social studies department. In the fall of 1968, she suffered a severe heart condition which caused her to be hospitalized. In January of 1969, she received heart surgery which improved her condition and in June she went to live at St. Clements. Sadly, Sister died while composing a letter to her sister on August 16, 1969.
Anna Clementine Stoer
Sister Anna Clementine Stoer was born on July 2, 1857 to Mathias and Anna Stoer in Bubsheim, Wuerttemberg, Germany. Anna entered when she was just fourteen years old on October 2, 1871 in Gurtweil, Germany. She received her habit a year later but the persecutions in Germany prevented her from wearing it. On August 26, 1873, Sister Anna, Mother Clementine, and forty-eight other sisters came to America. She had her reception on August 29, 1873. Two years after that, she made her first profession on August 28, 1875. From 1875 to 1907, she was a teacher throughout various schools in Illinois. In 1907, she became the Local Superior at St. Teresa's Academy in Illinois. She remained in this position until 1919. In 1919, she also became the Local Superior of St. Clement's Hospital in Illinois. In 1922, she was removed from this position and became the Local Economa at St. John's Institute in Wichita, Kansas. She remained in this position for the next seven years until she was reassigned in 1929 to the Ruma Motherhouse. However, Anna wanted to work and she became the Local Economa at St. Teresa's Academy until 1936. She retired and lived at St. Vincent's and St. Ann's Home until 1941. In 1941, she was removed to St. Clement's Hospital where she remained a patient until her death on July 29, 1944.
Sister Bernadine Miller was born on February 15, 1883 to Michael and Mary Miller of St. Mary's, Iowa. She entered the religious congregation in Ruma on January 30, 1904 from Corbin, Kansas. She made her first profession on August 13, 1905. From 1904 to 1907, she taught at the St. John's Boys School. After this time she spent 36 years teaching at various other schools throughout the Kansas and Oklahoma area. For 23 years after that, she did domestic duties in various hospitals staffed by the Adorers of the Blood of Christ. In February of 1963, she retired due to a leg sore but still did some domestic duties. In January 26, 1977, she broke her leg and after many unsuccessful attempts for a recovery, she died on February 18, 1977.
Sister Pauline Neu was born in Monroe City, Illinois on October 31, 1862 to Anton and Pauline Neu. She entered the congregation as a postulant from Monroe City on May 20, 1879. On August 9, 1880, she started her novitiate and made her first profession on August 6, 1882. In 1904, she was appointed directress of St. John's Institute and, with the death of Mother Clementine Zerr, she became the Superior at the community school. In 1915, she felt she was not able to be a productive Superior anymore, so she requested to be relieved. Sister Gertrude Bohn was soon appointed the new Superior. After she was relieved, she returned to the Ruma Motherhouse where she did domestic duties for various missions. In 1922, she became the Provincial Economa and Local Superior in Ruma, a position she held until 1929. Her eyesight began to fail, but she continued to work by spending one year each at St. John's Institute in Wichita, Kansas and St. Theresa Academy in Illinois, where she worked in the dining rooms. Pauline retired in 1934 and until 1937 she lived at St. Theresa Academy. In 1937, she returned to the Ruma Motherhouse. She fell ill and when it started to take its toll on her body, she was admitted to St. Clement's Hospital in August. She was diagnosed with stomach cancer and awaited her death with dignity and patience. She died on September 25, 1942.
Sister Mary Philomena Koerner was born on May 16, 1858 in Prussia, Germany; her family migrated to the United States where she entered the community when she was sixteen on May 26, 1874 at Piopolis, Illinois. She received the habit a year later at the same location and on August 24, 1881 she made her first vows. In 1901, she came to teach in Kansas until 1932. From 1924 to 1925, she taught at St. John's. Her total teaching career spanned fifty-two years. At the end of 1932, she stopped teaching and took up all sorts of handiwork. She especially enjoyed making rosaries to give to the poor students or to help raise money for the school. Sadly, in 1940, her eyesight began to fail so she was forced to stop her hand work. In 1942, she was stricken with apoplexy and died in July.
Sister Anna Meier was born in Vimbuch, Amt. Buehl, Germany on September 14, 1856 to Anton and Franciska Meier. She entered the religious congregation as a postulant when she was just nineteen on June 7, 1876; she entered the novitiate on August 1, 1877. She made her first vows on July 16, 1878. She traveled to the United States to assist in the work of the new foundation in this country. From 1911 to 1918, she did secretarial work in Wichita until she was forced to give up the position due to illness. In 1919 and until 1922, she was superior at St. Francis Hospital in Carlsbad, New Mexico; however, her health forced her to give up this position. She was hospitalized at St. Francis often between1922 to 1929 and died there on August 15, 1929.
Sister Mary Virginia Johanns was born on April 20, 1863 in Luxemburg, Germany; her family immigrated to the United States when she was quite young. On March 8, 1886, she decided to enter the community at Ruma when she was twenty-two years old. She received the habit on July 18, 1886 and made her first vows on July 31, 1887. In 1910, she came to St. John's Academy and for the next two years, she performed domestic duties at St. Mark's, Kansas and Newkirk, Oklahoma. From 1913 to 1922, she was the receptionist at St. John's as well as providing work as a seamstress which she continued to do until 1932. When the Wichita Province was established in 1929, she remained in the new province. From 1932 onward, she worked various missions until she came back to Wichita. In July of 1946, she broke her leg and was not able to function as easily as before. She grew weaker in the following years and died peacefully on March 18, 1950.
Sister Mary Theresa Gartner was born on December 22, 1876 in Vimbuch, Baden, Germany. She entered the community of the Adorers of the Blood of Christ in Wichita on November 4, 1905 when she was twenty-nine. She received her habit on August 27, 1906 and a year and a day later (August 28, 1907), she made her first vows. She performed household duties for thirty-five years and served as assistant in the kitchen at St. John's for several years. In 1919, she became the chief of the culinary department at the Wichita mission hospital, St. Francis in Carlsbad, New Mexico, which she held until 1924. She spent several more years working on various other missions for the Wichita Province. After she was not able to work in the kitchens, she was given the duties in sewing and mending. She especially enjoyed embroidering linens for the altar and sanctuary. Unexpectedly, Sister Theresa became ill in late September of 1941. After three weeks of little improvement, she was advised to go to the hospital and did so on October 16. She had surgery on the 29th, and she was diagnosed with malignant cancer. After her condition worsened over the next two weeks, she passed away on November 14, 1941.
Sister Genevieve Knobbs was born Celestia on December 27, 1882 in Oberlin, Kansas to Charles and Mary Knobbs. She entered the convent on July 11, 1899 when she was sixteen years old and was given the name of Genevieve as she was received into the novitiate. She made her first profession on July 21, 1902. She spent the majority of her career as a primary teacher and spent thirteen years as a teacher at St. John's Institute. After she gave up teaching, she was a housekeeper and in 1967, she retired to the motherhouse in Wichita. She was very skilled in both music and art and spent time practicing these skills. She started to have heart trouble, but this condition was alleviated by a pacemaker. On July 26, 1976, she was taken to the hospital to have surgery on her leg. The surgery proved ineffective and her condition worsened so much that the best option appeared to be amputation. On August 12, 1976, she was taken to surgery, but as the operation began, she went into shock and passed away on the operating table.
Sister Mary Adella Schank was born on January 25, 1896 to Frank and Mary Schank in New Hamburg, Missouri. On August 23, 1909, she entered the Adorers when she was just 13. She received the habit on July 13, 1911. She made her first vows on July 6, 1913 having reached the required age for religious profession. She majored in Latin at Mt. St. Scholastica College and received her Master of Arts from DePaul University. From 1937 to 1944, she was the principal of St. John's Academy. Adella also served at Sacred Heart College where she became the Dean until 1949. During the years 1938 to 1947, she served as Provincial Economa for the Wichita Province. For the next five years, starting in 1949, she taught Latin at Sacred Heart until she became exceedingly ill in November of 1954. She was moved to the Villa Madonna in Enid, Oklahoma. As her condition worsened, she was taken to St. Mary's Hospital in Enid where she would be able to live with the comfort and care she needed, having been diagnosed with stomach cancer. She spent the last few months preparing for her death, and on August 14, 1955, she died.
Sister Philip Dreher was born on November 16, 1893 at Liebenthal, Kansas. She entered the convent when she was nineteen on April 7, 1913. Three months later, on July 6, 1913, she received her habit. A year and a day later, on July 7, 1914, she made her first vows. Sister Philip performed domestic duties in both Kansas, at St. John's, and in New Mexico at St. Francis Hospital. She spent ten years taking care of the boys at St. John's Institute in Wichita. Sadly, she passed away on November 7, 1933 due to cancer. She faithfully served her community until two days before her death; she was only 39 years of age.
Sister Stanislaus was born Philomena on August 4, 1894 in Waterloo, Kansas to Michael and Philomene Meng. Sister Stanislaus entered as a postulant on September 1, 1911 from Waterloo. On July 16, 1912, she entered the novitiate and made her first vows on July 18, 1913. After her first vows were made, she was assigned to teach at various elementary schools throughout Kansas for five years. In August, 1918 she was assigned as a teacher at St. John's Institute. During the fall of 1918, the Spanish Influenza spread rapidly throughout the United States and eventually came to Wichita. Although the city attempted to keep everyone quarantined, St. John's Institute eventually caught the dreaded flu. Sister Stanislaus, along with 24 boys, 8 girls, and 9 sisters, caught the Spanish Influenza. Although some recovered easily, death was a certain side effect and some passed away the same day they caught the disease. Seeing that some sisters were not improving as quickly as others, a doctor was sent for on October 29, 1918. He concluded that Sister Stanislaus had contracted pneumonia, and three days later, on November 2, 1918, Father Alfred was called forth to administer her last sacraments. It was also on this day that she was allowed to make her final vows, seeing that she would have been allowed to do so in the summer and it appeared she was on her deathbed. She passed away on November 3, 1918; she was only 24 years of age.
Sister Serena Elsen was born Mary on March 10, 1901 to Nicholas and Johanna Elsen of Odin, Kansas. On the twenty-third of September, when she was a mere fourteen years old, she entered into the convent as a postulant from Colwich, Kansas. Two years later, on July 15, 1917, she entered the novitiate and received the name of Sister Serena. Her first vows were made a year later, on July 16, 1918 at St. John's Institute where, in August of 1918, she was sent to teach school. However, during the fall of 1918, the Spanish Influenza came to Wichita. Although the sisters were quite quarantined from the rest of the city, it eventually came to St. John's Institute. On October 29, 1918, a doctor was sent for the sisters who were not recovering as quickly as others. The doctor was more concerned with the condition of Sister Stanislaus and didn't seem as alarmed by Sister Serena's case. However, Sister Serena passed away on November 7, 1918 around three in the afternoon when she was only seventeen years old.
Sister Amanda Bohatch was born August 18, 1893 in Maren, Austria. She moved to America after her father died in 1900 and settled in Odin, Kansas. Sr. Amanda entered the Adorers of the Blood of Christ in Ruma, Illinois August 29, 1908. She completed her education at Creighton University in 1924, receiving her BA in English and then her masters in math in 1933 at St. Louis University, just in time for Sacred Heart College to come to life. Sister Amanda spent 60 years teaching in schools in Oklahoma and Kansas. Forty of those years were dedicated to Newman University, what was then Sacred Heart College. She contributed greatly through her teaching of math, physics, business and commerce. Serving as finance director from 1941-42, Dean of Studies 1942-44, registrar and working in the library from 1946-49, she was able to watch Sacred Heart grow. Sister Amanda taught at both the high school and college level from 1949-1959 until the State Board of Education refused faculty to teach both levels in the same term. She retired in 1968 at 75 years old, but continued to volunteer in the library until her health would no longer allow it. Sister Amanda died August 11, 1982 and is buried in the convent cemetery. She is remembered as intelligent and as a prankster, independent until the very end.
Sister Bertranda Ketzner was born on November 8, 1898 in Andale, Kansas. Her parents were John and Mary Ketzner and they named her Bertha. She entered the convent on June 29, 1916 at Ruma, Illinois. She received the habit and her religious name of Sister Bertranda a year later on July 15, 1917. She made her first vows in the following year on July 16, 1918. When Sister Bertranda completed her novitiate, she was assigned as an elementary school teacher at St. John's Academy for the 1918-1919 school year. It was during the year 1918 that the Spanish Influenza spread throughout Wichita. Although the school was sequestered, it too became infected. The origin of the infection at St. John's was in the boys' dorms. Sister Bertranda was part of the first group to be attacked by the disease. She was able to recover well enough to be on duty and help the others who were ill. However, she suffered a relapse of the disease which affected her spine. She suffered from spinal meningitis and remained unconsciousness most of the time. She was moved to St. Francis Hospital where she died on November 9, 1918, at the young age of 20.
Sister Albertine Baumer was born on March 5, 1864 at Obersimonswald, Germany. Sister learned the English language from her years spent as a maidservant to an Englishman in Scotland. This was also where she acquired her characteristic courtesy and refinement. When she was 21, she left Germany for the United States and entered the convent at Ruma, Illinois on November 27, 1885. Her talent was teaching and she taught at various schools in Illinois, Kansas, and Oklahoma. In 1919, she resigned from her teaching positions and desired to just perform domestic duties for the convent. From 1922 to 1925, she was assigned the position of superior over St. John's Boys School. In her later years, Albertine had to deal with the hardships of rheumatism. She spent two years, 1926 to 1928, in Illinois in an attempt to gain some relief. However, she did not find it and the drier Kansas climate seemed to afford her that comfort much more. During her last years, her eyesight began to fail and her memory was very poor. She truly loved and enjoyed nature and animals. She never spoke ill of anyone and always found good in others. Apoplexy struck her when she was feeding the dog--an exhibit of her trademark of kindness. Her condition was serious and she was stricken with mental confusion that evening. She was provided with the last rites and was then taken to the Wichita Hospital. She soon became unconscious and died four days later on August 30, 1939.
Sister Edmina was born on April 16, 1903 as Mary Veronica Drescher. Her parents, Julius and Anna, were born in Vienna but moved to America to settle on a farm near Spearville, Kansas. She attended the school taught by the Precious Blood Sisters in Spearville--St. John the Baptist School. When she completed the 8th grade, she was allowed to become a sister as well. She went to St. John's Academy for the majority of the school year in 1917. She went for her postulancy in Ruma, Illinois in April,1918 where, during the summer, she received her habit and the name Edmina. Because she was too young to make her first vows, she was sent to St. Louis for high school. Luckily for Edmina, there was a need for a sister in Andale, Kansas and she was sent to fill this need. The following year, 1920, she was able to return to Ruma to make her first vows. She enjoyed teaching and finished her BA at Friends in 1935. She also completed her MA at Wichita University in 1937. From 1937 to 1942, she was the Dean of Studies at Sacred Heart College. In 1959, she directed teacher training and student teaching. In 1942, she taught at the high school level with a focus on English and math. She retired to the Wichita Province Center and continued to help with various programs such as the Religious Correspondence program from 1980 to 1985 and in 1988 with the Literacy Volunteers program. Her health slowly started to decline due to diabetes which led to a much needed amputation of a leg. She died on September 3, 1993 when she was 90 years old.
Aloysia was born Loretta on November 14, 1896 in Joliet, Illinois to Joseph and Mary Barthelme. In 1905, her family moved to a farm that was situated near Caldwell, Kansas. In 1911, the family moved to Wichita and she enrolled in St. John's Institute. She helped to take care of the girls in the summer of 1912. Later that year, on September 2nd, she left to enter the community at Ruma, Illinois. She received the habit the following year on July 6, 1913. She made her first vows on July 7, 1914. She spent twenty years teaching at schools in Kansas--including St. John's. In 1931 to 1937, she was the local superior at St. John's Institute. She was appointed as the second provincial superior of the Wichita Province in November, 1938. She kept this position until 1947. After her time spent as provincial superior, she returned to St. Mary's Hospital as an administrator. In 1968, she went to St. Joseph's Villa where she helped with various domestic duties. In 1976, she retired and returned to the Wichita province. Due to diabetes, Sister Aloysia went totally blind in the years to come but found great pleasure in memorizing songs. In June of 1979, she had to undergo the amputation of her right leg just below the knee. In October of 1982, she fell and broke her left femur. Her recovery from this fracture was slow and her health started to decline. Throughout the next two years, she went in and out of consciousness. She died January 22, 1984.
Sister Silveria died quietly on January 29, 1999; she would have celebrated her 102nd birthday in March and had been a professed Adorer for 83 years. Born and baptized Elizabeth, she was the daughter of Joseph and Anna Wanko. Her father had come to America at the age of seventeen and had made the Cherokee Strip Land Run in 1893 for a claim of 160 acres near what became Newkirk, Oklahoma. Through the years this claim became the home for a family of twelve children; Elizabeth was the second oldest. Shortly after the turn of the century, Newkirk had a parish priest and two sisters from the Adorers of the Blood of Christ, who came to the two-room school to provide instructions. Elizabeth made the decision to join the sisters and she made her first profession in 1914; she was given the name Silveria. Her first mission was to St. John's Institute to teach seventh and eighth grades, to care for chapel plus other duties as needed. By 1933, after years of study, teaching and "various duties" she earned her B.A. in Music Education with a minor in Home Economics. In 1950, she completed her M.A. in Home Economics at Oklahoma State University. Most of Silveria's time was spent in teaching the girls both music and sewing; many of those years were at St. John's, Sacred Heart Junior College, Sacred Heart Academy and Madonna High School. Many women from the Andale area rave about Sister Silveria and state that they learned how to cook and bake under her guidance. Silveria was often asked to serve in leadership roles for the religious congregation mostly in a support position. In her years at the ASC Wichita Center, Silveria spent many hours sewing clothes and sometimes toys for the small children of the Crownpoint, NM area. Her 100th birthday celebration brought many nieces, nephews and friends to Wichita for her big day. Her hearing became more and more impaired the final two years of her life, but this did not keep her from greeting her loved ones on their recent visits; this included numerous ASC and friends also.
Sister Patricia was born on October 12th, 1896 in Olmitz, Kansas to Andrew and Mary Elizabeth Hickey. She completed her elementary education at St. Anne's and went to St. John's Academy. After spending one year at the academy, she headed to Ruma, Illinois for her postulancy and novitiate. In 1914, after she made her first vows, she taught piano and supervised the boarding school girls at St. John's. She also attended classes at Friends University. In 1920, she got permission to make her final vows and made them at East St. Louis where she was attending school. She preferred to work on a small mission but instead spent 13 years at St. John's in Wichita, Kansas. She also spent two years at St. Mary's School in David City, Nebraska. She completed her BA in Music at Friends University. After that time, she went back to David City for an additional three years. She returned to Sacred Heart Junior College, which had opened in 1933, from 1936 to 1942. After 1942, she was involved in administration in Carlsbad and David City. In 1947, she was appointed local superior at Sacred Heart Convent. From 1953 to 1959 she was the Provincial Superior. She was briefly at Bethany, Oklahoma in 1960 and then spent 1960 to 1966 as an administrator in David City. She was in Olmitz from 1966 to 1969 but at the end of this period, she went to Rolling Hills, California where she helped those sisters ministering to the poor. She stayed there until 1984 when her health started to fail, and she returned to Wichita. Although she was quite ill, she was determined not to let her health degrade her spirits or her faith. She died on May 24, 1987 at 7:35 pm.
Sister Innocentia Heldenberger was born on April 22, 1893 to Joseph and Catherine Heldenberger in Munich, Germany; she was baptized Mary. When she was a child, she attended classes at a parish school and once she turned 13, the Dominican Sisters from Great Bend came to recruit girls for the Missionary Sisters. Sister Innocentia was with the Dominican Sisters from 1906 to 1910, but she was hesitant to take the habit because of the persecutions going on at the time. Father Heiman directed Innocentia to the Adorers of the Blood of Christ where his own sister was a member. After her first vows in 1912, she taught in Ost, Kansas. She spent the rest of her active life teaching at various schools that were associated with the Adorers missions. She taught for 40 years (mostly elementary grades including at St. John's Institute) and afterwards she went to assist the elderly at Villa Maria in Mulvane, Kansas. In 1971, she returned to the Provincial House to help in various ways. On Friday, March 13, 1992, during the lunch hour, she was heard singing, praying, and clapping--a normal part of her day. However, when an aide went in to check on her a few moments later, Sister had passed on to her reward.
Sister Theophila Bauman was baptized as Mary Theresa in Okarche, Oklahoma on August 4, 1904. She entered the religious community on August 20, 1920 and began her novitiate the next year on July 25. She made her first vows on July 31, 1923. In 1921, she started her teaching career at St. John's Boys School in Wichita where she taught primary grades. She also taught primary grades in various other schools in Kansas and Illinois. She received a BS in education from Oklahoma State University in 1948 as well as her MS in industrial arts, again from OSU, in July of 1948. As a result, she taught art in Sacred Heart Academy, Sacred Heart College, and Madonna high school (all in the Wichita area) from 1948 to 1970. From 1938 to 1945, she also pursued another passion of hers: gardening. She took care of the flower gardens and lawns on the grounds of the provincial house and college. In 1970, Sister Theophila suffered a stroke and was therefore forced to retire from teaching. However, she was never idle and enjoying weaving fabric as a way to pass her time. Besides weaving, she stayed very involved in projects that would aid the poor or the Red Cross. One of her favorite programs was "Operation Holiday"- a program where individuals gather items for needy children to receive during Christmas time. Up until 1976, Sister Theophila stayed very active but this year also brought another stroke. This stroke took away her ability to physically work as well as made her mind and speech unclear. She became a patient in the convent infirmary and it soon became a problem to keep her from wandering throughout the convent or even outside. She eventually grew weaker due to numerous small strokes which wore her down even more; however, in her last few days, she was unusually clear and happy. At five in the evening on Thursday, after a celebration of the Liturgy, the Chaplain and the Sisters were called to her bedside. She did manage to prepare for dinner but she passed away in her wheelchair before the evening meal on June 30, 1977.
Sister Damiana Schomacher was born on November 3rd, 1875 in Damiansville, Illinois to Herman and Christine Schomacher. She joined the religious congregation in Ruma, Illinois when she was just sixteen years old on November 12, 1891. Not quite two years later, on July 16, 1893, she received her habit and in 1896 made her first vows on July 28th. In 1901 she taught in the Wichita Diocese and remained in contact with St. John's--the academy which was founded as a central house of the Ruma vicariate. She spent three years as superior of St. John's Boys School and afterwards she taught in various schools in the area. Starting in 1939, she spent six years at the provincial house of the Adorers in Wichita. Her Golden Jubilee was celebrated in July of 1943. In 1945 she became a seamstress for the Sisters at the Stillwater Municipal Hospital. She continued to work at the hospital until March of 1952 when her health started to fail drastically. She was hospitalized in St. Mary's Hospital, Enid, Oklahoma with advanced lung cancer. She died on April 10, 1952 after experiencing a severe choking spell.
Sister Bernard Durler was born on September 11, 1896 in Hochemingen Baden. Her parents Anton and Maria Anna Durler soon took their family and moved to the United States. When she was 16, she entered the religious community from Spearville, Kansas. She started her novitiate on July 11, 1915. Her first vows were made the next year. She spent 1916 to 1920 in Ost, Kansas working at St. Joseph's parish school. From 1920 to 1921, she worked at St. John's Institute. She spent a year from 1921 to 1922 at Ss. Peter and Paul in Kinsley, Kansas. From 1922 to 1925 she was in Andale, Kansas at St. Joseph's. In 1925 up until 1926, she worked at St. John's. Her health was weak that spring, and after a short illness she died, when she was not yet 30, on May 16, 1926.
Sister Salesia Weber was born on May 9, 1886 in St. Mark's, Kansas to Anton and Mary Weber. When she was 18, she entered the Congregation of the Adorers of the Blood of Christ on January 16, 1914. She received the habit on July 7 of that same year. A year later, her first vows were made on July 8. Sister served in Kansas, Oklahoma, and Nebraska with a focus on domestic services. In Kansas, she served in Angelus, Windthorst, St. Mark's, Ellinwood, Liebenthal, Spearville, Bushton, Kinsley, and in Wichita at St. John's. She also served in Okarche and Manchester, Oklahoma and David City, Nebraska. The last place she served was the Provincial House in Wichita where she did the sewing and mending until she retired due to illness in 1954. The rest of her years were spent at Villa Madonna in Enid, Oklahoma; the Provincial House in Wichita; and St. Mary's Hospital in Enid. In early February of 1972, Sister Salesia suffered a slight stroke and was taken to St. Francis Hospital where she stayed for a week; however, she was able to return to the Provincial House infirmary. On March 4th, she went into a coma due to her weakened condition and did not recover; she died on March 11 around 2:10 pm. She was 85 years of age.
Sister Ludmilla Axman was born on February 2, 1886 to Joseph and Genevieve Axman in Olmitz, Kansas. When she was not yet twenty, she entered the Adorers of the Blood of Christ on January 28, 1906. She received the habit that same year on August 27at St. John's Institute. Her first vows were made two years later on August 11, 1908 in Ruma, Illinois since the initial formation program had been centralized there. Her ministry was with various missions throughout Oklahoma and Kansas and was varied from the culinary arts field to religious correspondence work in her later years. She was also in charge of the laundry for many years and enjoyed gardening. She gathered clothes and sorted them and other items for donations to the poor. She packed various supplies for the ASC missions in the Amazon Valley of Brazil and cleaned and sorted stamps for the missions. She worked at the various institutions housed on the campus; at St. John's for 18 years and the Provincial House for 36 years. She celebrated her Golden Jubilee on July 1, 1958. In 1972, she suffered from a stroke that paralyzed her left side and confined her to the provincial house infirmary. In August of 1973, she was hospitalized again for 10 days. Her condition gradually worsened due to heart and diabetes complications. Sister was also expressing a desire "to go home to Heaven". On October 19, 1973, she passed away while a small group of Sisters were praying with her.
Sister Herman Kletsha was born on March 7, 1897 in Chicago. Her family moved to Oklahoma and it was from there that she joined the religious congregation. She began her novitiate when she was 19 on March 16, 1916. She received the habit on July 11, 1916 and made her first vows a year later on July 15. After completing her novitiate in Ruma, she came to Kansas where she spent 18 years performing domestic duties, some of which were spent at St. John's Institute. From 1927 to 1935, she was the superior of the hospital kitchen in Carlsbad, New Mexico. In the early spring of 1935, she was forced to take to her bed. She was confined there until her death on August 17, 1935 in St. Francis Hospital in Carlsbad, New Mexico. She died of tuberculosis at age 38.
Sister Boniface was born on August 3, 1882 in Baden, Germany to Philip and Sophia Loeffel. She made the decision to join the religious congregation shortly after her family immigrated to the United States. She began her novitiate on August 11,1908. Boniface made her first vows on August 12, 1909. She was missioned at St. John's and then went to Carlsbad where she spent a year; she also dealt with various health issues at this same time. She returned to Kansas and served in several places. From 1916 to 1929, she returned to Carlsbad as a nurse. After this period, she returned to Ruma where she worked in various missions in Illinois until the end of her life on April 20, 1944.
Sister Beata was born on February 21, 1880 at Damiansville, Illinois. She entered the convent on January 21, 1899 and received the habit on July 11 of the same year. She made her first vows on August 25, 1901. She served in educational activities for 29 years. She served in leadership as a member of the council to Mother Gertrude and Mother Mary Theresa from 1922 to 1926. From 1925 to 1929 she was a member of the Board of Education for the Sisters in Wichita and helped numerous sisters receive a higher education. Sister Beata was also partly responsible for having the Sacred Congregation for Religious in 1929 canonically change the American Adorers into three separate provinces. In August of 1929, she was elected first Provincial Superior of the Wichita Province and served in this position until November of 1938. During this period, Sacred Heart College was opened (1933) and the congregational constitution was revised in 1935. She also started many missions throughout the Kansas and Oklahoma area. After her service as provincial superior, she moved to the St. Francis Hospital in New Mexico where she worked until her health forced her to resign on May 31, 1945. On June 12, 1945, she went to the Barnes Hospital in St. Louis for an examination. It was found that she had lung cancer. She returned home to Wichita and prepared for her death. She spent those last few months with little pain but did suffer from coughing and exhaustion. She weakened noticeably before her death. She wanted to die on December 8 because it was the feast of Our Lady and she had a strong devotion to the Mother of God. On November 26, 1945, she was able to tell her death was upon her. That day she had a stroke and received the last rites. She remained alive though the night and when morning came, she received the Eucharist before the Community Mass. She remained conscious and the whole of the day was spent in prayer. Her breathing altered greatly and she passed away on November 27, 1945, when she was 65 years old.
Lucy [Arcadia] Lobmeyer
Sister Lucy was born on December 3, 1903 in Westphalia, Kansas to Henry and Clara Lobmeyer. After her birth, they moved to Kinsley, Kansas and when Lucy was six, her mother passed away. Lucy later joined the community of the Adorers of the Blood of Christ at Ruma, Illinois in April,1920. She cherished her first activity there: a Benediction service during a community Holy Hour on April 8. When she entered the novitiate, she was given the name of Sister Arcadia; she returned to her baptismal name in the late 1960s. She made her vows on July 26, 1922. Teaching was her chosen profession, and she started at St. John's Institute before teaching at various elementary schools in Kansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, and Nebraska. She received her BS in education from Friends University and her MA in education from Creighton University. After teaching for 49 years, she became a librarian. Lucy also loved nature and baseball- especially the Kansas City Royals. When she retired, she still enjoyed various activities as well as constant prayer. Not long after, her memory began to fail her but she was acknowledging and accepting of this change. Two days before her death, Lucy was at Friendship Coffee but seemed to be extremely unaware of those around her. She died on June 10, 2005.
Sister Evelyn Gorges was born on January 31st, 1900 to Matthias and Catherine Gorges. She was baptized on February 4 which was also the birth and baptismal dates of Maria De Mattias. Evelyn, along with 3 other members of her class from the Academy, left for Ruma, Illinois to enter the Adorers of the Blood of Christ. Her new name became Fides but when she went to make her final vows in 1922, she requested to return to her baptismal name which was granted. She began teaching in 1917 at Spearville, Kansas and taught for 16 years. In 1933, she was the secretary for Sacred Heart Junior College. While in Wichita, she earned her BS from Fort Hays State University and her MA from Wichita State University. She also served as local superior of the Provincial House community. In 1938, she was elected as a delegate to the General Assembly in Rome and during this gathering was elected General Councilor for the international congregation--a position she maintained until 1959. During her Italian sojourn, Evelyn did a great deal of research and writing on the life of Maria De Mattias and translated Maria's letters into English. In 1946, she went to Brazil with Sister Julitta Elsen to evaluate the situation in areas where the Redemptorists missionaries were asking for sisters to help in the mission as well as the area currently being served by some sisters from the province of Schaan, Lichtenstein. After her service, she stayed in Rome for a year to help the sisters. In 1960, she went to Schaan for a rest and then returned to Wichita. She taught in the language department at Kansas Newman College from 1961 to 1975 and then ministered to the elderly at St. Ann's Home in Oklahoma City. In 1978 she returned to Wichita to do more research into community documents and publications until failing eyesight and a weakened heart prevented her from doing so. Her translation abilities provided volumes of information and understanding of Maria De Mattias and the congregation of the Adorers. In December of 1992, she fell and hit her head, causing a subdural hematoma. She did recover from this illness and, although confined to a wheelchair, lived several more months. On September 8, 1993, her condition drastically reduced, she passed away on September 9, 1993.
Mary William Colburn
Sister Mary William Colburn was born on January 1, 1904 in Beaumont, Texas to Maurice and Majorie Colburn. Her mother died when she was young, but she and her younger twin sisters managed to live with their father for a short period until "a good lady took [them] in". At some point during her childhood, she and her sisters contracted typhoid fever. When the girls were still living with their father, he sent them to a boarding school for girls. The school was St. Francis Academy located in Carlsbad and run by the Adorers; it closed in 1910. As a result, she came to St. John's Institute in Wichita. When she completed the fourth grade, she was baptized and made her First Communion the following day. She continued her education in Andale and Colwich grade schools. When she was 13, she went to Ruma, Illinois and spent two years as a candidate before receiving the habit and religious name of Mary William near the end of July. She was then sent to teach first and second grades in Okarche, Oklahoma for two years. She returned to Ruma for her novitiate and enjoyed the hard work, study, and instruction in religious life that it afforded. After her first vows in 1922, she was assigned to teach at St. John's Boys School where she contracted diphtheria along with many of the students. She recovered and taught in various elementary schools until 1934. In 1934, she went to Wichita State University where she eventually earned her BA in 1936. From 1935 to 1944, she became the Diocesan Supervisor for the parochial schools. She also taught for two years at St. Ann's in Olmitz, Kansas. Sister Mary William returned to Wichita to serve as Dean of Women at Sacred Heart Junior College as well as to teach high school classes at Sacred Heart Academy. In 1950, she began to teach high school and occasionally served as principal in various locations staffed by the Adorers. In 1956, she earned her MA in education from Notre Dame. In 1974, she began to work in the Diocesan Chancery in the Adult Religious Correspondence School. In 1979, she returned to the Provincialate and was admitted into the health care facility in 1981. She spent eight years in the facility before she passed away on May 18, 1989.
Sister Venantia Meng was born on January 24, 1890 to Michael and Philomena Meng. She entered the convent on December 26, 1907 and received the habit on August 11, 1908. She made her first vows on August 12, 1909. Venantia taught primary grades in Ost, Kansas for one year before working in general domestic work--mainly sewing--in local communities in Kansas, Oklahoma, and New Mexico. From 1919 to 1933, she was the Supervisor of the Kitchen at the Provincial House. From 1939 to 1969, she was the seamstress successively at ASC managed hospitals in Carlsbad, Enid, and Tulsa while spending one year in Bethany, Oklahoma at the diocesan seminary. Sister had a great interest in mission--especially the one of Sister Marcellina and Johanna in Guatemala. She spent a good portion of the last year of her life at the Provincial house. She loved to make clothes from remnants for the poor as well as the Guatemalan children. On April 11, she became ill and had surgery on April 14. The effects of her surgery made her continually weaker and she died peacefully on April 22, 1970.
Sister Gerada Stratman was born on January 8, 1894 as Margaret in St. Helen, Nebraska. She was the seventh of sixteen children. She lived near Okarche, Oklahoma where she met the Sisters of the Most Precious Blood. Not long before Margaret left home to join the religious order in Ruma, Illinois, her mother died and the family moved back to Nebraska. Gerada entered on December 6, 1909 and began her novitiate on July 12. 1910 when she was given the name of Sister Gerada. She made her first vows on July 13, 1911, and she returned to Kansas and served on several missions where she would either teach or take care of household duties. She worked in various missions throughout Kansas, Oklahoma, and New Mexico. From 1918 to 1922, she assisted in the kitchen at St. John's and from 1922 to 1925, she taught at the school. From 1932 on, she spent most of her time at the provincial house and worked a great deal in the "vegetable room". From 1961 to 1974 she helped with the care of the sick although her own health was not good. In 1974, she went on her first plane ride to celebrate her sister's Golden Jubilee in Seattle. Sister Gerada's Golden Jubilee was in 1961. On December 9, 1981 at 2:25 pm, she passed away, having served as an Adorer for over 70 years.
Helen [Nothburga] Hermann
Sister Helen was born in Westphalia, Kansas on April 15, 1920; she was the daughter of John and Mary Catherine Herman. She had a twin sister named Clara, and they were the second and third of eleven children; there were four brothers and seven sisters. When the twins considered a vocation to religious life, they decided on the Adorers of the Blood of Christ because they had an aunt who had previously joined the order. They entered in January, 1936 and received the habit in August of the same year. Helen was given the name Nothburga while Clara was called Nicolette. Helen returned to her baptismal name after the 1968 General Assembly made this possible. They both made vows in 1937. Helen spent the majority of her ministry years in housekeeping or as a cook and in particular a baker. From 1961 through 1964 she served in the kitchen for the Academy and the College; the girls raved about her baked goods for which she won numerous prizes over the years for her bread and her cakes in particular. Over the years she perfected her abilities to serve these special needs by earning a dietary manager certificate as well as her GED. At times her health became a hindrance for Helen and in the early 1990s she became a resident of the Skilled Care unit at the Wichita central house. She died peacefully in 1994 having served as a professed Adorer for 57 years.
Sister Ernestine Hoenig was born on February 16, 1866 in Vimbuch, Germany; her family immigrated to the United States in the late 1800s. On November 4, 1905, she entered the religious congregation of the Adorers and received the habit a year later on August 27. She made her first vows on August 28, 1907 in Ruma, Illinois. Sister spent all of her religious life doing domestic work at St. John's Academy. Although she suffered a good portion of her life, she was always a very patient and kind person. Her death came as a surprise to all. On July 27, 1930, Sister Ernestine passed away from cancer at the age of 65.
Sister Antonia Studer was born on January 17, 1884 to Francis and Barbara Studer of Herndon, Kansas. On December 5, 1895, she entered the community of the Adorers of the Blood of Christ at Ruma, Illinois. She received the habit on July 11, 1899 and made her first vows on August 2, 1903. Her final vows were made on July 22, 1909. From 1899 to 1914, Antonia spent her time working in various missions staffed by the Adorers. In 1914, she was assigned to St. Mark's, Kansas, as a housekeeper for the Sisters there. She also served as housekeeper for short terms at Liebenthal, Andale, and Spearville, Kansas, as well as Okarche, Oklahoma. From 1919 to 1930, she held the position of gardener at St. John's Academy. After this time, she spent 1932 to 1938 at St. Francis Hospital in Carlsbad, New Mexico and 1939 to 1945 at St. Joseph's Villa in David City, Nebraska. In 1945, she joined the staff of Sisters caring for the Episcopal residence of the Bishop of Oklahoma City and remained active there until 1963. In the spring of 1963, she returned to the Wichita motherhouse and was then assigned to work at the Paraclete Retreat House in Wichita. She continued to be active at the retreat house until December 28, 1963. On this day, she was brought to the motherhouse due to ill health and was immediately taken to St. Joseph's Hospital in Wichita. It was here that she was diagnosed with pneumonia and remained confined in the hospital. She wished to return to the retreat house but it was likely she would not recover enough to continue. Near the beginning of the year, she was well enough to attend Mass at the hospital chapel but she was not permitted to attend Mass on Sunday, January 12. When the nurses made their rounds that evening, they found that she was sleeping peacefully. However, upon a second round, they found that Sister Antonia had passed on. She died just five days short of her eightieth birthday.
Sister Bertranda Ritter was born on April 18, 1887 in Malton, Illinois. She became acquainted with the Adorers and joined them on September 7, 1901. She received the habit on August 1, 1905 and made her first vows on July 9, 1907. She performed household duties until 1909 when she came to Kansas and served at St. John's Institute. From 1913 to 1916, she worked in Olmitz, Kansas. She worked in Colwich and St. Mark's, Kansas. From 1920 to 1921, she went back to Olmitz, Kansas. She was active until she became ill with cancer of the stomach. She died on September 7, 1936.
Sister Teresa Repking was born on July 23, 1857 in Bishop, Illinois. She met the sisters soon after they arrived in the United States and decided to join them on March 10, 1873, and she received the habit the following year on August 8, 1874. She made her first vows on August 28, 1875. Sister Teresa was part of the ten member pioneer group who came to Ruma when the Motherhouse was established on July 5, 1876. From 1877 to 1890, she taught at the parochial schools at Chester, Springfield, St. Rose, O'Fallon, and Bartleso, Illinois. She was also the organist for many of these schools. In 1890, she became of the Mistress of Novices and with this position, she trained numerous sisters. In 1900, she was appointed the first local superior of the newly erected St. Clement's Hospital, Red Bud, Illinois. In 1902 she was called to act as superior and novice mistress. In 1904, she was called to St. Teresa's Academy to act as local superior and as a representative of Mother Clementine Zerr. In 1905, she made a second trip to Rome with Mother Cecelia Gerber and in 1906 she was appointed Mother Vicaress. During the 16 years that Mother Mary Teresa piloted the community as Vicaress, the educational standards were advanced and the community more than doubled its membership. In 1922, in accordance with Canon Law, Teresa laid down her office as Mother Vicaress and was sent to serve at St. Teresa's for one year. From 1923 to 1929, she served as local superior at St. John's Academy. In 1929, she was appointed Superior of St. Francis Hospital, Carlsbad, New Mexico. In 1932, she resigned her position due to poor health and aging. She died February 6, 1935 in St. Francis Hospital, Carlsbad; she is buried in the convent cemetery.
Sister Lenora Schulte was born on March 29, 1900 to George and Gertrude Schulte. She made the decision to join the Adorers on March 24, 1918 and received the habit on July 17, 1919. She made her first vows on July 20, 1920. From 1920 to 1932, she taught in the elementary schools in Andale, Kinsley, Colwich, Spearville, and St. John's Academy in Wichita. She spent 1932 to 1933 at the Provincial House in Wichita working on her BS at Wichita State University, which she received in 1933. From 1933 to 1949, she taught in secondary schools at Windhorst, Okarche, Olmitz, and at St. John's Academy. From 1944 to 1945, she was in charge of the residents at Sacred Heart Junior College. In 1949, she came to the Wichita central house for health reasons and spent the next twenty years engaged in various duties at this facility.
Mary Clare Stegman
Baptized as Magdalena, Sister Mary Clare was born in 1899 in Pfeifer, Kansas; her parents were Caspar and Sophia Stegman, and she was the second oldest in a family of four brothers and one sister. Her mother died when she was six years old and Magdalena lived with her grandparents, first in Pfeifer and then in Olmitz. In Olmitz, the Adorers of the Blood of Christ were her teachers, and Sister Jerome Gehringer was an inspiration to her; she explained religious life and invited Magdalena to join her. At the age of fourteen she took this step but because of her young age she waited until 1917 to make her first profession, having entered in 1913 and receiving the habit and the name of Mary Clare in 1914. She completed her high school and college education through summer programs and correspondence courses and obtained a Kansas Life Certificate, and she began teaching in the primary grades. Although she never actually taught at St. John's or Sacred Heart, she was asked to manage the clergy dining room in the early 1940s, which was housed on the campus. She ministered at several Episcopal residences beginning in 1945. Always remembered for her cheerful spirit, Mary Clare was loved by her sisters and those she served. In 1998, after celebrating her 99th birthday, she peacefully passed from this life having lived 81 years as a professed Adorer.
Sister Carmela Linenberger was born on January 5, 1907 in Buffalo Park, Kansas to Joseph and Susan Linenberger. Having previously met the Adorers of the Blood of Christ, she entered the convent on January 9, 1922 and received the habit on July 26 of that same year. She made her first vows on July 31, 1923. From 1923 to 1932, she taught in the elementary schools of Liebenthal, Ellinwood, Angelus, Olmitz, Andale, and Ost, Kansas in addition to St. John's. She was prevented from teaching in 1932 when she became ill with tuberculosis and eventually had a kidney removed. She spent 1933 to 1940 in Carlsbad, New Mexico while she was trying to improve her health. Carmela returned to Wichita even though her health was not good and here managed a gradual recovery. At the Wichita motherhouse, she worked as an assistant librarian as well as with the religious correspondence program. She also gave music lessons and took up painting; during the last years of her life, she was of special assistance to the provincial secretary. In October, 1970, she entered the hospital; the doctors uncovered cancer of the liver, and it was treated chemically. She came home from the hospital a few days before Christmas and was taken care of by Sisters Cornelia Werth and Caritas Betzen until she was hospitalized again on January 31. Sister Celeste, the sister of Sister Carmela, stayed with her every day and even some nights. About midnight on February 5, the Sacrament of the Sick was given because she fell into such ill health. She had many visitors and was able to recognize them until a few days before her death. On February 10, 1971 she was unable to respond to those who spoke to her, and she passed away.
Sister Vita Christoph was born on August 20, 1904 in Ellinwood, Kansas to John and Agnes Christoph. In Ellinwood, she went to St. Joseph's School which was taught by the Precious Blood Sisters. She went to public school for grades seven to nine and then worked for some time before heading to St. John's Academy in 1921. In 1922, she entered the congregation on January 12 and on July 26 of the same year, she began her novitiate. She made her first vows on July 31, 1923. After completing her postulancy and novitiate in Ruma, Illinois, she returned to Kansas and taught primary grades in various Kansas schools including St. John's Institute. Her health was fragile and in 1968 she was relieved of her teaching duties. She did assist in various schools and the Provincial House when her health permitted. In 1978, she went back to the Provincial House full time and assisted in the library for the next four years. Her health started to deteriorate steadily in 1982 and during 1984 and 1985, she was admitted to the hospital numerous times. She was diagnosed with osteoporosis and was in constant pain. In April,1985, she was transferred to the Provincial Health Care Center where she was cared for until her death on October 18 of that same year.
Sister Ermenhilda Hermann was born on March 30, 1892 to William and Mary Hermann of Odin, Kansas. She entered the congregation on July 14, 1908, received the habit on July 6, 1909, and pronounced her first vows on July 12, 1910. After completing her novitiate, she came to Wichita to teach the third grade in St. Joseph School, Ost, Kansas. Her entire religious life of 57 years was devoted to teaching and most of it was spent teaching at the secondary level, in particular at Sacred Heart. When Sacred Heart Academy was discontinued in 1966, she continued to teach at Madonna High School but retired due to health at the close of the school year in May,1967. Early in the summer, she suffered a stroke and the downward trend of her health followed. On August 12, Sister was returning to her room from the restroom and she fell in the hallway. She called for help and Sisters came to her assistance and stayed with her throughout the night. Immediately afterwards, she was taken to the hospital. Her condition worsened each day, and on August 19, 1967 she passed away.
Sister Monica Moeder was born on December 31, 1887 to Engelbert and Catherine Moeder of Odin, Kansas. She was taught by the Adorers as a child and decided to enter their congregation on September 24, 1904; she received the habit on August 13, 1905. Sister made her first vows on August 27, 1906. Her teaching career began in 1905 when she was assigned to teach grades first through fourth in Okarche, Oklahoma. She taught parish schools in St. Anthony's, Wichita; Ost; St. Mark's; Andale; Angelus; and Carlsbad. She also taught high school in Angelus, Okarche, Olmitz, Andale, and at St. John's Academy. When Sacred Heart Junior College started in 1933, she taught history and served as the college's first dean of studies. She continued to teach history, government, and economics at Sacred Heart College until 1962. She also taught at Madonna High School but retired in 1967. She did, however, spend a year at St. Anne's School in Wichita as a teacher assistant. Even in retirement, Sister Monica still contained a zeal for helping others to grow in the faith. She and her blood sister, Sister Borromeo, spent a great deal of effort teaching religious education classes in McPherson, St. Cecilia's in Haysville, at Plainview, and other places. Even in her last year of life, 1971, she was sure to attend Resurrection parish in Wichita for Saturday instructions whenever she could. She had periods of illness throughout the last few months of her life but she was determined to continue on until she could no longer. From May 18 to June 4, she was hospitalized and was afterwards put into the infirmary. For the first two or three weeks, she was able to go to Mass in a wheelchair, but she eventually had to be contented with taking the Eucharist in her room. After August 25, she was not able to receive Communion. The last few days of her life were spent in much pain, but she passed away peacefully on September 1, 1971.
Sister Ferdinand Buchholz was born on March 20, 1907 to Charles and Regina Buchholz of Aleppo, Kansas. She entered the congregation on January 4, 1923 and started her novitiate on July 31, 1923 in Ruma, Illinois. She made her first vows on August 23, 1924. Much of her religious life was spent doing the housekeeping at various convents and schools in the Kansas and Oklahoma area. She also spent time teaching in Illinois and Kansas. From 1934 to 1936, she did housekeeping in the Wichita provincialate. She was also the kitchen supervisor from 1939 to 1941; this included cooking for the students of Sacred Heart and St. John's. From 1946 to 1960, she worked in various hospitals in Kansas and Oklahoma. Sister Ferdinand spent the next four years at St. Francis Hospital in Carlsbad, New Mexico in charge of central supply. On April 2, 1965, she chose to leave the congregation and join her blood sisters in Rolling Hills, California where she died July 26, 1996.
Sister Edvira was born in 1897 to Frank and Emilie Compas; her parents named her Alvina. In 1911 she entered the convent of the Adorers of the Blood of Christ in Ruma, Illinois. She was given the name Edvira when she received the habit of the religious order in 1913; her first vows were made in 1915. Her early years were spent in Kansas at Spearville, Colwich, and Ness City. She was asked also to serve at St. John's Boys School from 1923 through 1924. In 1926, Sister Edvira decided to return to the Ruma area and the rest of her ministerial years were spent in that area. She died in 1960 at the age of 63.
Anna (Columba) Hermes
Sister Anna (formerly M. Columba) Hermes was born in Ost, Kansas, on November 22, 1904. The Adorers of the Blood of Christ staffed the school in Ost, which eventually led her to the religious congregation in 1922. She entered the novitiate in 1923 and received the name of Sister Columba, which she kept until the late 1960s. Sister made her first profession of vows in 1924. She served primarily in the apostolate of domestic services in Kansas, Oklahoma, Illinois, and New Mexico including St. John's Academy in Wichita. In some of these missions Sister served with her gift of being an organist. Her last active service was at the Provincial House in Wichita, where she performed kitchen duties from 1965 until a week before her death on March 5, 1972. Sister Hermes suffered much of her life with Parkinson's disease, and despite its affects, she continued faithful to her duties, bringing joy to those around her by her helpfulness and her gift of humor. She dedicated 47 years of her life to the Adorers of the Blood of Christ.
Sister Adelaide Giesel was born on July 2, 1893, on a farm in Paderborn, Illinois and died at the age of 91 on July 12, 1984. She became acquainted with the Adorers when working as a maid in Ellinwood, Kansas. In 1911 Mother Pauline Neu brought her back to Wichita where she completed some of her education. She taught in neighboring small towns around Wichita for 15 years including a period at St. John's, but her hearing continued to deteriorate, forcing her to retire. She stayed very active through domestic work and other services despite her loss of hearing. Her creativity and sense of humor came through in the notes she wrote and the stories she told. Her physical health continued to worsen with her eyesight failing her. This didn't stop her work, for she served for 72 years as a member of the Adorers.
Mary Pauline Axman
Sister Pauline Axman was born in Olmitz, Kansas on January 15, 1891. She spent most of her religious life as a teacher in Kansas. Between 1909 and 1945, she taught in Colwich, Garden Plain, Pilsen, Angelus, Windthorst, Sacred Heart Academy, and in David City, Nebraska. In 1930 she was appointed diocesan supervisor of schools and served that position until 1934. Since 1945 Sister was involved in various activities and duties at Sacred Heart College and Academy serving primarily as supervisor in the school bookstore. Collecting stamps was one of Sister Pauline's favorite hobbies, the proceeds of which were placed in a fund for the beatification of Mother Foundress, Maria De Mattias. Due to liver cancer Sister Pauline, at the age of 59, died on January 2, 1951. She had a great zeal for the congregation and proved to be a loyal member until her death.
Pauline Elsen was born in Colwich, Kansas in 1902; she was the fourth of nine children of Nicholas and Anna Elsen. She attended elementary school in Colwich and by the time she completed the seventh grade her older sister, Mary, had decided to enter the Adorers of the Blood of Christ. Given the name Sister Serena, she came home for a visit and Pauline was ready to go back to Ruma, Illinois with her. She did go to Ruma and continued her education there, but in 1918 her sister was struck with the Spanish Influenza and taken by God. Pauline was given the name Julitta in 1919 and made her first profession in 1920. She returned to Kansas and began teaching in some of the local Catholic parishes; in 1933 she completed her degree at Wichita University and was assigned to teaching at St. John's Academy in the fields of English, History and Religion. The following year she served as the Dean of Girls at the academy supervising all their activities and becoming a "mother figure" for most of them. She spoke of these years during the final days of her life for she treasured and enjoyed them so much. Her "girls" returned her love and kept in contact with her until death in 1995. Sister Julitta also served her religious congregation in leadership roles; from 1938 to 1947 she served as a province councilor and at the same time was the local coordinator of the convent, college, and academy. In 1947 Julitta's life took a major turn because the sisters heard that year that henceforth the province of Wichita was being asked to take over a mission in Brazil where sisters of the province of Schaan, Liechtenstein had been serving since 1936. In 1946, Sisters Evelyn Gorges and Julitta visited Brazil to report on the situation and became acquainted with the Redemptorist missionaries who were also in the region. Sister Julitta was now being asked to go to Brazil and along with three others to make the mission thrive. Armed with a papal blessing for missionary work she began this important saga of her life. She lived through the difficult but energizing experiences of building a convent from an old "nut factory", beginning an initial formation program and building mission stations along the Amazon for education, health care and any needed services to the people of Amazonas. She watched the mission grow into a province as its membership grew with astonishing swiftness. Julitta returned to the United States in the 1960s, but she did return to Brazil more than once, helping out wherever there was a need. Finally in 1985 she returned to the United States and took up residency at the province center. Although she had numerous health problems, nothing seemed to keep her down. She continued to enjoy life and to get re-acquainted with her family and to make contact again with her "girls" from the Academy. She touched so many lives both in Brazil and here in Wichita; many came to pay their final respects at her wake service and funeral. Whenever one of the ASC comes from Brazil to Wichita, she goes immediately to pay a visit to Julitta's grave located in the cemetery adjacent to the Wichita Center.
Sister Benitia (Sophia Catherine) Blick was born in St. Mark's, Kansas on June 28, 1899. After elementary school, she entered the Adorers and went to Ruma, Illinois. From 1917 to 1939 she taught elementary school in Okarche, Oklahoma; Ellinwood, Windthorst, Angelus, Aleppo, Kansas; and St. John's in Wichita. Then she began service of administration in health care in Nebraska, Oklahoma, New Mexico, and Texas. In 1970 she began her last service, returning to Villa Christi Retreat House, serving fourteen years. Returning to the Provincialate in 1984, Sister Benitia helped in many ways. In 1993 she moved to the health care facility where her cheerful presence and her dry wit helped maintain a joyful atmosphere among the health care residents, staff, and visitors. Sister Benitia Blick died at the age of 96 on February 10, 1996. She was a member of the Adorers for 79 years.
Sister Majella (Anna) Ketter was born on September 5, 1905, in Okarche, Oklahoma. It was in her hometown that she began to meet the Adorers of the Blood of Christ, and when she thought of entering a religious congregation, she chose to come to the Adorers in 1923. She entered the novitiate in 1924 and received the name of Sister Majella; she pronounced her first vows in 1925. She began her ministry in 1926. Sister Majella was stationed in Kansas, Nebraska, and Oklahoma, using her talents in various ways: baking, cooking, gardening, sewing, and laundry supervision; she did some of these at Sacred Heart for the sisters and the students. In 1970 she returned to the provincial house in Wichita, but ill health forced her to retire. She was periodically hospitalized over the next several months due to heart problems and related ailments. On November 13, 1975, she peacefully passed away. Sister Majella was a jovial character, ready to tell a joke at any time. She accepted events cheerfully and was a hard worker. She was loved by all her Sisters and was ever willing to sympathize with them when difficulties came their way. She had been a member of the Adorers for 50 years.
Sister Cordelia (Helen Evelyn) Wessel was born on February 3, 1907, in Angelus, Kansas. Cordelia was taught responsibility early in life due to the death of her mother and older brother from the flu epidemic of 1920. This life change taught her the meaning of responsibility, a lesson she carried out faithfully throughout her entire life. Following in the footsteps of her older sister, Sister Stanislas, Cordelia entered the congregation in Ruma, Illinois in 1922. She began her novitiate in 1923 and received the name of Sister Cordelia; she pronounced her first vows in 1924. Having completed her high school program at St. John's Academy in 1925, Sister Cordelia finished requirements for her BA from Marymount College in 1950 and her MA in 1956 from Notre Dame. Always noted by others as a master in the art of teaching, Cordelia volunteered numerous hours tutoring students at Sacred Heart and Newman during her retirement years as well as lending a hand in other areas as she was able. She died peacefully at the Wichita Center in 2004; she served as a professed Adorer for almost 80 years.
Sister Dyonisia, baptized Helen, was born in St. Rose, Illinois in 1891. She met some of the sisters as a young girl and followed them into the congregation in 1905; she made her first profession in 1909. She spent most of her years in Illinois, but she was sent to Wichita, Kansas in 1926 and taught at St. John's Institute for a year. She returned again to Illinois and served in several domestic roles at the sisters' ministries in the state. She suffered heart disease, and it took her life in 1980.
Sister Emelyn was born in Rome, Italy in 1870. In 1896, she entered the postulancy of the Adorers in Rome, but she soon was transferred to assist in the new foundation in the United States. She had completed a study of music and was a concert pianist. She immediately was sent to work at St. Teresa's Academy in East St. Louis, Illinois; she stayed there to teach until 1927. It was then that her superiors asked her to help at St. John's Academy in Wichita, which she did from 1927-29. She did return to her home country for a year during the 1930s, but lived the remainder of her life in ministries in Illinois. She died in 1953 of arteosclerosis.
Sister Aquinas (Genevieve) Stieferman was born in Kliever, Missouri, on May 20, 1895. After her family moved to Okarche, Oklahoma, she entered the Adorers in Ruma, Illinois, in 1912. Her service began in 1914 as she taught grades 1-4 in Colwich, Kansas. She spent 27 years as a biology instructor at Sacred Heart College from its start in 1933. In 1933 she was able to receive a master's degree in Botany from Wichita State University. She also served at Dean of Woman of Sacred Heart College, 1939-1940, and was moderator of the College Alumni Association for almost 25 years. In 1968 Sister Aquinas retired and spent her time at the provincial house in Wichita by painting and producing over 300 pictures. In 1973 and 1974 Sister Stieferman broke both hips yet was able to walk again with the help of a cane. April 30, 1975 she suffered a heart attack and a few days later on May 9 passed away. Aquinas was a very happy person due to her great trust in God, with an outlook on life that was meaningful and wholesome that carried her though every difficulty. At the age of 79 Sister Aquinas had spent almost 61 years as a member of the Adorers of the Blood of Christ. Sister Aquinas was truly a pioneer, for she received the first masters degree in Botany given by Wichita State University in 1933. Many remember when she became the first moderator of the Alumni Association. She was known and loved by so many of the alumni and their families. When visiting with the early alumnae, one finds that Sister Aquinas was often recalled and known to them by the frequency with which she would visit with them or correspond with them and their growing families. She possessed a strong determination to do the things she thought had to be done. She had much concern for others' needs and tried to fulfill them whenever she could. In her later years she took up painting large murals as well as smaller works that can be found displayed in the homes of the sisters and also in the homes of several alumni.
Sister Reinolda (Rosalia) Korbe was born November 13, 1909, in Munjor, Kansas. By the time she finished elementary school she decided to join the Sisters. She went to Ruma, Illinois for her formation and was sent to teach at Spearville, Kansas in 1927. She spent several years teaching elementary school in St. John's Academy in Pilsen, Kansas and Olmitz, Kansas. She worked as a lab technician in several hospitals in Oklahoma and New Mexico for over 20 years. In 1979 she became PAS Coordinator at St. Mary's in Enid, OK. In 1991 she moved to the Wichita provincial house where she spent six years in the Provincial Business Office and working part-time in archives. She continued helping with service/hospitality for some years. After retiring, Sister Reinolda spent her time knitting items which often became gifts for friends and family. Her quick wit, sense of humor, and always present smile remained despite the deterioration of her eyesight and hearing. On March 28, 2003 she answered God's call, passing away peacefully. She was 93 years old and had been a member of the Adorers for 75 years.
Sister Zena (Frances) Baumann was born in Petersburg, Nebraska, on October 19, 1892. At a young age her family moved to Okarche, Oklahoma where the Adorers began to teach in 1903. It was decided by the time she was twelve that she would accompany Mother Clementine Zerr to Wichita to begin her formation as an Adorer. After finishing her postulancy in Ruma, Illinois, she was missioned to teach in Colwich, Ellinwood, St. Mark's, Ost, and Kinsley, Kansas, before going to David City, Nebraska. She served 19 years as an elementary teacher and was then appointed as diocesan supervisor of schools under Father Leon A. McNeill and also was the provincial secretary in the new province of Wichita. She completed her BA degree in 1931, her master's in education in 1932, and began working on her doctorate. She was appointed Academic Dean and Instructor of Education and Sociology at Sacred Heart Junior College in 1934. From 1937 to 1959 she continued as a full-time faculty member. Between 1959 and 1980 Sister Zena researched the history of the Wichita province. Sister Zena had a strong sense of mission throughout her life as she served as a teacher, principal, adult choir director, administrator, and historian. Sister Zena suffered from esophageal spasms and was moved to the Health Care Center in 1981 after being diagnosed with cancer of the bladder. For her, union with Christ in his redemptive obedience was vital. She concluded her mission by this quote from Philippians: "Have this mind in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who…emptied himself…becoming obedient to death, even the death on the cross…" She passed away on March 31, 1985, at the age of 92 and having served 74 years as part of the congregation.
Sister Alice (Pauline) Klenda was born in Pilsen, Kansas on June 21, 1913. Her family had a strong faith, and she witnessed religious life through her teachers of ten years; she went to Wichita to become an Adorer of the Blood of Christ. After her vows in 1931, she began teaching without any formal training. Despite this, her teaching went on to be a success story of 54 years in twelve different schools in Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, and New Mexico; some of these years were at St. John's. She attended Marymount College in Salina, Kansas, and Marquette in Milwaukee, and finally received her BS in Education from Alverno College in Milwaukee. In 1981 The University of Kansas honored Sister Alice for 50 years of leadership, and in 1996, eleven years after retiring, the National Teachers' Hall of Fame in Emporia, Kansas, honored her for "Accomplishments as a Life Changing Educator." Even during her retirement years, Sister Alice continued working in the Department of Religious Correspondence at the Wichita Center, helping students who weren't able to attend Catholic school. Teaching was very important to Sister Alice, but the spiritual life was also of utmost importance. Reverend Emil Kapaun, currently being considered for beatification by the Church, was one of her special friends. There are photos which show the two of them in Pilsen, and the archives of the Adorers has a few items Sister Alice treasured, which came from the Kapaun family. She remained always faithful to prayer and service, and after learning of the seriousness of her cancer, she graciously and serenely accepted the illness. She was able to receive God's call to eternal life on October 8, 2005. Sister Alice proved her eternal devotion and dedication at the age of 92 years and having spent 74 years as a professed member of the Adorers.
Sister Victorine (Teresa) Weber was born in Liebenthal, Kansas, on October 9, 1897. Two years before she completed her elementary education, the Adorers began teaching in Liebenthal and by her last year she knew that God was calling her to become an Adorer. In 1912 she went to Ruma, Illinois, to complete her novitiate training. She taught for 46 years in Kansas and Oklahoma, thirty-six of those years teaching secondary education; this included several years at St. John's and Sacred Heart Academy. When she reached the age of 73, she retired from teaching and continued to help at the provincial house in various ways including teaching English to young women from Korea and the Southwest Region. Sister Victorine was a courageous woman who displayed great confidence in her loving Father. This was very obvious as she faced major surgery for a brain tumor in 1945 without any fear. In 1972, she suffered from a rare viral infection of the lower spine which caused paralysis from the waist down, but she continued to express confidence in the Lord's care. She was able to recover from this near-fatal illness, but she had to face other sufferings such as arthritis, a peptic ulcer, and wide-spread cancer that was diagnosed in 1982. After general deterioration of her health, she passed away on May 6, 1984. She was 86 years old and had been a member of the Adorers for 67 years.
Sister Inez was baptized Agnes by her parents when she was born in Aleppo, Kansas in 1903. Twenty-one years later she entered the congregation of the Adorers of the Blood of Christ located in Ruma, Illinois. She returned to Kansas in 1926 completing her education at St. John's. She assisted with the young students at St. John's in the late 1920s, but then continued her education in the health care field; she was trained as a lab technician. She asked to leave the community in 1965 and joined a group of her blood sisters, who began a new community working to serve the poor, in Rolling Hills, California; she died there in 1988.
Sister Hugoline (Josephine) Zimmerman was born on February 29, 1912, in Park, Kansas. After her family moved to Kinsley, Kansas, she became acquainted with the Adorers through her education at St. Nicholas School. In 1926, at the age of 13, she longed to become an Adorer and went to Ruma, Illinois to continue her novitiate training. She returned to Wichita and immediately began her ministry as a housekeeper at several smaller parishes in the area. For 55 years she served generously in Kansas, Oklahoma, and New Mexico, primarily in larger institutions; this included Sacred Heart Academy and College. She took great pride in baking, canning, managing a cafeteria, serving seminarians, and caring for elderly priests. The rich aroma of her freshly baked bread and cakes drew people to her kitchen and even helped her earn the nickname "the cookie lady" in one parish. In 1975 the Central Oklahoma Multi-Media Association singled her out as Outstanding Woman of the Year for her work in ministry. Sister Hugoline's strong devotion to the Eucharist attracted her to Kingman, Kansas to take care of the Adoration Chapel at St. Patrick Parish. She returned to Wichita in 1995 as health problems slowed down her activities. She eagerly awaited God's call to eternal life, but remained prayerful and zealous, enjoying the presence of the Adorers. She passed away peacefully at the age of 95 on October 15, 2007, after 78 years as an Adorer.
Sister Monica Mueller was born October 16, 1881 in Bartelso, Illinois. She entered the Congregation of the Sisters Adorers of the Most Precious Blood at Ruma, Illinois on September 29, 1903 and received the holy habit on July 24, 1904. Following her reception of the habit, Sister Monica was sacristan at St. Teresa Academy in East St. Louis, Illinois. She was engaged in domestic cultures during her active career, which included some years at St. John's, and was at the motherhouse in Wichita for brief periods of time attaining to duties such as care of the cemetery and lawn, crocheting and sewing. Suffering from a weak heart, Sister Monica died August 18, 1961 at the Wichita Center.
Sister Bonaventure Steiner was born on the 21st of March, 1892 in Odin, Kansas. She entered the Congregation of the Adorers of the Blood of Christ on July 14, 1908. During her years of service, Sister Bonaventure taught for 56 years at both the elementary and high school level at schools in Nebraska, Oklahoma and Kansas. She taught at the former St. John's Academy and Sacred Heart Academy and served as the president of the academy from 1930-1933. After retiring in 1966, she settled into the Provincial house in Wichita until she died at St. Francis Hospital June 1, 1973. Sister Bonaventure is remembered as having a great sense of humor with the ability to tease others; she was a friend to many who knew her.
Sister Clarence Kraus was born August 6, 1909 in Okarche, Oklahoma. She entered the community of the Sisters of the Adorers of the Blood of Christ August 24, 1925 in Okarche, Oklahoma and took her first vows June 14, 1927. Sister Clarence worked at St. John's Academy from 1932-1934, before that working in Carlsbad, New Mexico and Ellinwood, Kansas. She left the community August 22, 1937.
Helen Kreutzer was born January 29, 1911 in Liebenthal, Kansas, the sixth child in a family of ten. She went to Ruma, Illinois to join the Sisters on December 18, 1928 and received her habit and the name Margaret July 1, 1929. Sister Margaret, along with seven other novices, came to the new province in Wichita to complete their novitiate in August of 1929 and was assigned the task of taking care of the chaplain's dining room and living quarters at St. John's, where she remained until 1940. She was then reassigned to the St. Francis diet kitchen in New Mexico until 1960, when she returned to Wichita again taking care of the bishops, priests, and guests. Starting in 1969 she traveled, taking care of Archbishop Lucey in San Antonio, Texas and Archbishop Strecker in Kansas City, Kansas and eventually ending in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma at the Center of Christian Renewal continuing the same type of work until 1984 when she returned to the Provincialate. In 1994 her health began to fail; Sister Margaret died January 4, 2001 and is buried in the convent cemetery.
Sister Beatrice Busch was born November 11, 1893 in Anthony, Kansas to Peter and Elizabeth Busch. She entered the Sisters of the Adorers of the Blood of Christ on July 4, 1911 in Ruma, Illinois and took her first vows July 18, 1913. From 1913 until 1938 Sr. Beatrice worked in housekeeping at convents in Oklahoma and Kansas and also at Saint John's Academy from 1936-1937. She sought a dispensation from her vows and left the community on May 5, 1938 when it was granted.
Sister Roberta Graf, a member of the Sisters of the Adorers of the Blood of Christ, was born July 4, 1914 in Munjor, Kansas, the fifth child of twelve. She joined the community on July 29, 1930 and became one of the earliest members of the Wichita province. During her first two years of service she worked in the Food Service at the Provincial House. In 1933 she began serving in parish convents and health care facilities in Kansas, Oklahoma, Colorado, and New Mexico. She returned to Wichita and although she claimed retirement, she continued to work in the linens department and performed other services for another ten years. Sister Roberta also participated in the Foster Grandparent Program from 1979-1987 and volunteered in pediatrics and at the day care center both at Riverside Hospital. Sister died on September 27, 1999 at St. Francis Hospital and is buried in the convent cemetery.
Sister Alicia Blick was born January 29, 1901 in St. Mark's, Kansas. She entered at Ruma, Illinois September, 1918 and was assigned to teach in elementary schools including St. John's, which she did faithfully all over Kansas. In 1931 she was asked to assist in the Novitiate in Wichita training novices, postulants, and aspirants in sewing, cleaning, and Latin prayers; she continued this until 1938 when she returned to teaching for a year. Starting in 1939 she began a long career in Episcopal residences and health care institutions in Oklahoma, Texas and Kansas. In 1983 Sister Alicia returned to the Provincialate and remained active in health care and sewing until 1988, when she began to devote most of her time to prayer. She died November 3, 1991, serving 71 years as a member of the Adorers of the Blood of Christ. Sister Alicia also had two blood sisters that served as well, Sisters Emma and Benitia Blick.
Sister Borromea Moeder was born January 31, 1892 in Odin, Kansas. She entered the convent on July 14, 1908 and received her habit and joined the Adorers of the Blood of Christ on July 6, 1909. For 25 years Sister Borromea taught elementary schools in Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska. She also taught business for 26 years in Windthorst and at Sacred Heart Academy in Wichita, Kansas. In 1971 she became semi-retired and returned to the Provincial House in Wichita. While there she taught CCD classes and catechism classes with her sister, Sister Monica until 1973. She was very involved and active within her community until she died July 5, 1974. Sister Borromea gave much of her time to, what was then Sacred Heart Academy and St. John's Academy. She served as supervising teacher in the primary grades for student teachers at Sacred Heart Junior College for four years and also taught business when the school was known as St. John's Academy. Another service Sister Borromea provided for the school was typing and mailing for the admissions office for Kansas Newman College, previously Sacred Heart College. Sister Borromea is remembered as having a very cheerful and fun spirit and not afraid to joke around. Many remember her as an excellent teacher and for her parakeet, Chico, which she kept in her classroom, sometimes in his cage but mostly free to flit around the room.
Helen [Thomas] Streck
Sister Helen [Thomas] Streck was born April 15, 1913 in Cherryvale, Kansas. Both of her parents died by the time she was just twelve years old; she then moved to Wichita to attend St. John's Academy. After she finished high school she joined the Adorers of the Blood of Christ in 1929 and continued her education at Friends University, receiving her bachelors in music education and English and graduating in 1937. She continued her education and received her masters in Music Education at Wichita State University and her masters in Library Science at Rosary College in River Forest, Illinois. Sister Helen began her service at what is now Newman University, teaching music and directing the choir at Sacred Heart College. After working at Sacred Heart she directed her teachings to high schools in Oklahoma and other towns in Kansas until she returned again to Sacred Heart College to become the academic dean from 1956-1961. While dean, she began studies in library science; she completed her degree in 1968. In 1966 she returned to the college and became the new head librarian; at that time, the library was located on the third floor of the administration building until Ryan Library was finished in 1971. She assumed these duties for 11 years, until she began utilizing her skills in writing the history of the Adorers of the Blood of Christ and became the archivist for the Province. While assuming her historian duties, Sister Helen, in 1984, wrote West-Wind Spirit-Wind, the treasured history of the Wichita Province of the Adorers of the Blood of Christ. During Sister Helen's life, she held membership in 16 different professional organizations, including Board of Directors at Kansas Newman in 1984, St. Mary's Hospital in Enid, Oklahoma, and the Newman Alumni Board. She was also a staff member of Along the Grapevine and Update, local ASC newsletters. One of her most prized accomplishments was being awarded the Beata Netemeyer Award in 1997 for her devotion and preservation of the memories of the history of the Adorers and also for her support of the mission of Kansas Newman. Helen was an avid reader; she always had a book in her hands or on her lap. Sister Helen's life was full of involvement until the day she passed away, December 1, 2004 at the age of 91. She is remembered as friendly, gracious, and grateful and will always be a "legend" to all who knew her.
Sister Lucy Black was born November 7, 1914 in Marion, Kansas to Peter and Anna Black. She entered the community December 7, 1930 and took her first vows July 31, 1932. She studied at Saint John's Academy, graduating in 1931, where she then taught music at Saint John's for one year. Sister Lucy then earned her bachelors in music and English at Friends University in 1937 and returned to Saint John's Academy to teach music, where she stayed from 1937-1940. She then earned her masters in music at DePaul University in 1942 and faithfully returned to Saint John's and Sacred Heart College to teach music. She became the dean of the music program in 1959 and served until 1961. Afterwards she went to Andale High School and taught English and music for two years. Amidst the turmoil at the College at the beginning of the 1960s, Sister Lucy requested a dispensation from her vows and left the community when it was granted on August 13, 1963. She resided in California for several years; she married Ralph Mason. After they retired Alice and Ralph moved to Las Vegas and then when Ralph died Alice moved to Minnesota to be near her step-son Dan. After some years there Dan and his wife moved to Florida in 2016. Alice was in an assisted living home and died there Feb. 18, 2018. She died at 103 years of age.
Sister Claudine Axman was born September 6, 1908 in Olmitz, Kansas, where she lived on a farm with her 6 sisters and 5 brothers. In 1923 she went to Saint John's Academy for schooling and after graduation went to Ruma, Illinois for her postulancy and novitiate. She took her first vows in 1929 and was assigned to teach in Pilsen, Kansas. In 1932, Sister taught grade school at St. John's Academy and biological sciences at Sacred Heart College. Sister Claudine then went to Friends University and earned her bachelors degree in biology, then going on to Wichita State University to receive her masters in 1940. From 1944-1947 she enrolled at Catholic University of America and earned her PhD in biology; she returned to Sacred Heart College as an instructor of biological sciences until 1952. In 1952, Sister Claudine became the academic dean and served in this capacity until 1956, when she once again returned to the classroom on a full-time basis until 1959. For two years she taught at St. Mary's in Dodge City, Kansas; she returned in 1961 to Sacred Heart College as an instructor and department head. In 1976, Sister Claudine was named a Professor Emerita in Biology as she ended her career in the education field and took training as a hospital chaplain; she served in this capacity at Riverside Hospital and Terrace Garden Nursing home until 1992. Sister Claudine was the first member of the Wichita Province to earn a PhD. She is also remembered for her involvement with the Wichita Associate Program and the Social Justice/Peace Committee; and she was very faithful in working with the poor in the city. Sister was one of the first members and creators of the Wichita Associate Program. She is remembered as a demanding but devoted teacher and as being very courageous. She served for almost 71 years in the community, being laid to rest in the convent cemetery June 18, 2000.
Sister Leona was born on January 20, 1898 in Carroll, Iowa; her family later moved to Okarche, Oklahoma where she met the Adorers of the Blood of Christ. She chose their way of life and received the habit in 1914. Her early years were spent teaching in various elementary schools including St. John's in 1922-23, 32-33 and 35-42. She loved music and often gave music lessons to the young students over the years. Sister Leona had been seriously ill several times during her life, but this was not a deterrent to the performance of her duties. She was cheerful, enjoyed being with people, and was willing to help wherever the need arose. Having served as an Adorer for 55 years, she suffered a heart attack and died in 1972.
Sister Josephine [Margaret Catherine] Fetsch was born in 1914 in Texas. Her father, quite concerned about providing his family with a Catholic education, moved his family to Marienthal, Kansas where she first encountered the Adorers of the Blood of Christ. Josephine was a member of the first postulant class in the new province of Wichita in 1929; she pronounced her first vows in 1931. Sister Josephine completed her education and taught in both elementary and secondary schools. She taught at St. John's in 1932-33; she taught high school religion at Sacred Heart Academy in 1959-60 and again in 1962-63. Many of her days were spent at St. Anthony House in Wichita, a precursor of Center of Hope. In the 1980s she was diagnosed with cancer; in 1997 she developed a malignant brain tumor, which took her life that same year.
Sister Petrona Stieferman was born May 13, 1900 in Kliever, Missouri. She entered the community of the Sisters of the Adorers of the Blood of Christ August 1, 1917 and took her first vows July 17, 1919. She studied at Saint John's Academy, graduating in 1920, and earned her bachelors at Fort Hays State College in 1929. Sister Petrona taught grade school and high school from 1919-1933 in schools throughout Oklahoma and Kansas and then was a librarian and registrar at Sacred Heart Junior College from 1933-1940; she was the first person to hold these positions. Petrona founded the alumni association as well. Leaving the college she was assigned to Holy Family in Chanute, Oklahoma to teach high school but returned to Wichita to become the manager for Catholic Action Bookshop. From 1946-1959 Sister Petrona taught high school in cities around Kansas. In 1961 she returned to the Provincialate in Wichita where she took on various duties. Sister Petrona died July 29, 1961.
Sister Rosalia Voegeli was born July 4, 1909 in Saint Mark's, Kansas, entering the community of the Sisters of the Adorers of the Blood of Christ August 15, 1930 and pronouncing her first vows August 15, 1932. She received her education at St. John's Academy and Sacred Heart Junior College, graduating in 1939. During the years of 1937-1938 she went to Marymount College in Salina, Kansas. After graduating from Sacred Heart Junior College she went on to Oklahoma A&M, earning her bachelors and masters degrees. During her ministry she taught grades 5-6 at St. John's Academy and high school at St. Ann in Olmitz, Kansas and Holy Trinity in Okarche, Oklahoma. She became an instructor at Sacred Heart Junior College and a Dean of Music at Sacred Heart College in 1949 serving until 1958. Sister Rosalia then went to Saint Mary's in David City, Nebraska to teach high school, but later returned to Sacred Heart College as an instructor for one year. She taught again for four years at Holy Trinity in Okarche until 1964; she made the decision to request a dispensation from her vows that year and left the community when it was granted. She remained in the Colwich area until her death.
Born in Olmitz, Kansas in 1898, Sister Corsina was baptized as Frances. Her family moved to Marienthal and from there she joined the religious congregation of the Adorers in 1913. Her first years in ministry were spent teaching in the elementary school. She completed her bachelor's degree in science from Fort Hays State University in 1931. Corsina was assigned to teach science at St. John's in 1934-37 and in 1938-44. With the name change to Sacred Heart Academy in 1945, she rejoined the faculty once again in 1946-59. Sister Corsina was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in the 1960s; she also suffered from increasingly failing eyesight. She was a great lover of nature and loved to take walks around the grounds of the convent. In 1977 she seemingly died of a heart attack or a blackout on one of those walks around the lake. She is buried in the convent cemetery.
Sister Stanislas Wessel was born on March 7, 1904 in the town of Angelus, Kansas. She died on October 1, 1989 in the care of the Provincial Health Care Center. Her death was caused by a cerebral vascular accident. Sister Stanislas served throughout her years as a teacher in many different areas within Kansas and portions of Nebraska. Her years of service started with her first vows, which she made on July 25, 1921. Sister Stanislaus was baptized Anna shortly after her birth in 1904. Her family had homesteaded in northwest Kansas from the state of Illinois. She grew up in a large family of seven brothers and two sisters. She entered the congregation in 1919 and joined the formation program in Ruma, Illinois; she returned to Kansas in 1921 to teach in the schools staffed by the Adorers of the Blood of Christ. She began with elementary teaching, but much of her education career was spent in high school teaching and administration. From 1944 to 1953 she was school supervisor for the diocesan parochial schools. After this she returned to the classroom. From 1980 to 1989 she served in the Curriculum Library at Newman University.
Sister Hildalita was born on June 19, 1903, to Conrad and Regina Brake in the town of Kinsley, Kansas. Her parents named her Clara. It was in Kinsley that she became acquainted with the Adorers of the Blood of Christ and in 1920 she made the decision to join their religious congregation. She entered the novitiate in 1921 and was given the name of Sister Hildalita; she pronounced her first vows in 1922. She was educated at St. John's Academy and at Kansas State Teachers College; the latter was located in Hays, Kansas where she completed her BS in Education in 1936. Sister Hildalita earned her MS in Education in 1940 from the University of Denver and a MS in Hospital Administration in 1959 from St. Louis University. In the 1930s through the mid-1950s, Sister Hildalita served at St. John's Academy [renamed Sacred Heart Academy in 1945] and Sacred Heart Junior College [renamed Sacred Heart College in 1952]. Over the years she taught history, commerce and was the Principal and the Dean of Studies. Beginning in 1955 she taught at other schools in both Oklahoma and Kansas. Toward the end of the 1950s' she became qualified in the field of hospital administration and served in both Tulsa and Carlsbad at hospitals sponsored by the Adorers. She returned to teaching in 1966. Sister Hildalita was an excellent administrator and loved dearly the students who attended both the high school and the college. She had an unusual talent for painting which she engaged in during her free moments for relaxation. She died on November 7, 1980 at the age of seventy-seven. Her death was said to be due to respiratory problems but may have been influenced by a past stroke in the summer of 1978.
Sister Ventura Schulte was born on July 23, 1902, in the town of Angelus, Kansas. She was 78 years old when she died on March 3, 1981. She was said to have passed away quietly after having spent the last four years battling a slow and gradual failure of health. Sister Ventura spent 60 years serving for the Adorers of the Blood of Christ. Her first vows were made in the year of 1920 and her final vows were made in 1925. She served throughout her lifetime as a teacher and was known as an influential person in helping others to correct their own lifestyles. From 1936-38, she served as Dean of Women at Sacred Heart Junior College. She also served as provincial of the congregation; it was during her tenure as provincial that the first missionaries from Wichita were sent to Brazil, Maria De Mattias was beatified, the former De Mattias Hall was built and dedicated, the lake near the Wichita Center was excavated, and the Chapel at the university had major renovations. Being tall in stature could have made her intimidating, but the warm smile on her face spoke volumes. Always a missionary at heart, she cherished her years serving in this capacity in Brazil from 1953 through 1967.
Sister Cecilia Knobbs was born on July 14, 1890 in the town of Culbertson, Nebraska. She was at the age of 57 when she died on September 10, 1947 due to multiple sclerosis of the spine. Sister Cecilia spent thirty-nine years of her life in religion and devoted her services as a teacher at Sacred Heart Academy and in many towns throughout Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, and New Mexico. Sister had a great devotion to the Blessed Mother and the Little Flower, and it is said other sisters often read to her about them while she was hospitalized during her illness.
Sister Aurelia Klenke was born on May 24, 1914 in the town of Windhorst, Kansas. Very tragically, she died at the age of only 36 due to hepatitis and edema of the brain on January 15, 1951. Sister Aurelia Klenke was associated with the institution of Sacred Heart Academy where she served for approximately 10 years. She served throughout her time as a teacher and also worked with the school and religious community newspapers. Sister Aurelia was of a quiet disposition. She was known for her nobility of total consecration of God and her admirable fidelity to that vocation of "showing forth in her life the goodness of God."
Sister Rosana Lichter was born on March 26, 1901 in the town of Olmitz, Kansas. She died at the age of 91 on November 9, 1992. The Adorers of the Blood of Christ were missioned in her hometown of Olmitz, and it was this acquaintance with them that led her to join them when she heard the call of God to religious life. In all she gave seventy-five years of her life as an Adorer of the Blood of Christ. One of the places in which Sister Rosana served was St. John's Institute; she taught grades 3 trough 5 during the 1937-1938 school term. She served many a student as a dedicated teacher, with simple desires and a happy heart. She was known for loving the classroom and truly being a wonderful teacher and individual. In 1971 she returned to the central house in Wichita and spent two years as a part-time library assistant at Kansas Newman College.
Sister Emerita Schuckman was born in Liebenthal, Kansas on July 25, 1905. She died at the age of 91 on October 5, 1996. She had just recently celebrated 70 years of service in God's vineyard. She served throughout her years as a teacher in many towns throughout Kansas, Nebraska and Colorado. She believed that her 56 years in elementary education was her greatest contribution to the Church. She was known for being a happy individual and spoke of spending her life "in much joy and peace in gratitude to the Lord." She was educated as a teacher, an administrator and as a librarian. While still attending college, she was teaching as the need arose and even substituted for teachers at St. John's. While serving at All Saints in Wichita as the librarian, she sometimes helped at Ryan Library over the summer months.
Sister Eleanor Skidmore was born on July 12, 1915. She was born in Danville, Kansas. She died at the age of 77 on February 18, 1992. She served many years at St. John's Academy, Sacred Heart Academy, and Madonna high school; she dedicated 60 years of her life to the Church. She was a music teacher throughout Kansas and Oklahoma. She was talented in music, so she spent much of her time in the training of choirs but she was also a teacher of religion. Sister Eleanor loved teaching, especially music. She felt as though her greatest contribution to the community was "to be a good Indian and to give my support to those better qualified as the Chiefs."
Sister Adeline was the twentieth child born to John and Sarah Claypool, both staunch Methodists. Her mother died when she was nine months old and her father nine months later. As a child she was adopted by a childless couple, also Methodists. Her foster mother and Adeline were received into the Catholic Church when Adeline was only six. Her foster family moved to Illinois and little Adeline soon met the Adorers of the Blood of Christ and was drawn to join their ranks. During forty-three years of active service as a teacher, she came to Kansas in 1923. In 1933 the Adorers undertook the project of supervising the Diocesan Religious Correspondence School, which was then housed at St. John's Institute and Academy. She faithfully labored in this part of God's vineyard for the next twelve years. In the summer of 1945, she began to fail slightly in health due to a weakened heart and passed to her eternal reward in August of that year.
Born in 1894 in Iowa, Euphrasia was raised by her parents as a protestant, and while attending St. John's Academy in 1909, at the age of 15, she asked to become a Catholic. She asked to enter the religious community in 1911 and after making her profession began a teaching career that spanned almost 50 years. She taught both at St. John's Institute and St. John's Academy in the 1920s and again in the 1940s. Besides her regular classroom instruction, Sister Euphrasia was a music teacher and a choir, glee club and orchestra director. She suffered many years of her life from acute arthritis and spent many years in a wheelchair. Besides her great love for music, especially the classics, Euphrasia loved to paint. During her lifetime she painted more than 100 pictures. As her illnesses continued, she weakened more and more and finally passed away in 1975 having spent 54 years as a professed member of the Adorers of the Blood of Christ.
Baptized Anna Marie in 1906, Sister Orvella Halbleib was the eldest of twelve children raised in Angelus, located in northwestern Kansas. Her parents emigrated from Germany and her father, a skilled carpenter, helped build the first church in this small community. Adorers of the Blood of Christ came to this area in 1915 and she continued her education under their tutelage. The sisters encouraged her to join them in the community, and soon she accepted the call and went to Ruma, Illinois for her initial formation. After finishing her own high school years, she began teaching in numerous elementary schools including a year at St. John's with grades 3-5. Later in life she returned to Wichita and served for eight years as a tutor with the Educational Lab connected with Kansas Newman College. In those last years of her life, she found some of the changes in the church and in religious life somewhat disturbing to her, yet she remained tranquil and cooperated with change in her own quiet way. Having been professed as an Adorer for 63 years, she breathed her last in 1988.
Cecilia [Irmina] Pollen
Cecilia, daughter of Thomas and Catherine Pollen, was born in Schulte, Kansas in 1916, the eldest of nine children. She grew up on a family farm and attended elementary school with the Adorers of the Blood of Christ in Aleppo. She went to St. John's Academy for her high school education and entered the congregation in 1932. Her college work was done mostly in summer school and she received advanced degrees from Alverno College, Notre Dame and Incarnate Word. In 1938 she was asked to teach music at St. John's, but the rest of her teaching years were spent in Oklahoma and Kansas grade schools. Her love for music continued and when she returned to the central house in Wichita because of various health issues, she continued to assist the community with playing the organ for liturgies. In 1989 she was battling cancer, diabetes and heart problems and had just begun some new treatment when she collapsed in the Chapel gathering place on March 13, 1989; she died later that day.
Sister Huberta was called to celebrate Easter in Heaven on April 10, 2001. Sister would have been 99 years of age in September and had been a professed member of the Adorers of the Blood of Christ for 78 years. Baptized Helen in 1902, she was the second oldest of thirteen children. Raised in a devout family in Odin, Kansas she followed two of her aunts who entered the congregation in Ruma, Illinois. After her first vows she went to teach in Oklahoma and schools in Kansas. In the late 1930s she supervised student interns from Sacred Heart Junior College. After many years of teaching in schools in Kansas, Oklahoma, and Nebraska, Sister returned to Newman in the 1980s to tutor in the Education lab. For the last fifteen years or so of her life, she chose Newman University as her prayer ministry; very seldom did a day go by that she did not mention to the sisters ministering there of this constant prayer chain on their behalf.
Mary Jane Comerford was born in 1910 in Blackwell, Oklahoma. Her parents were proud of their four sons and four daughters. The Comerford family had roots in Illinois until the days of the Oklahoma oil boom which took them to Oklahoma and eventually to Danville, Kansas from which Mary Jane entered the convent of the Adorers of the Blood of Christ. Given the name Ambrosine, she made her first profession in 1928. Immediately she took up teaching in various elementary schools including St. John's. She went on for advanced programs in speech and drama, which led to her teaching English, art, and drama at a number of high schools including both Sacred Heart Academy and Madonna in Wichita. Through all these years Ambrosine was involved in drama and art, but it was in 1975 when she plunged herself into the professional life of art and drama in the Wichita area as the Executive Director of Children's Theater and the School of Performing Arts. Sister Ambrosine also was associated with Mid-West Catholic Theater Conference and the Virginia Baker Theater. She received the National Thespian Award, the U.S. Armed Services Theater Award, and the NBC Theater Award for "Russian Christmas" in which Laurestine Bell, her life-long friend, played the lead role. Ambrosine's paintings also held a special place in her life and her soul. Her painting of John Henry Cardinal Newman has been displayed at Newman University for many years. In 1981 she retired to the Central House in Wichita where she turned almost full time to new murals and paintings. The painting she loved most, and the one most well-known, is that of the Virgin Mary. She wrote of that piece of art as the "greatest reward received as an artist." Prints of this painting are all over the world including one which hangs in a monastery in Moscow, Russia. Sister Ambrosine died quietly, peacefully, in 2005; she was 94 years of age and had been a professed Adorer of the Blood of Christ for 76 years.
The youngest of five children, Mildred was baptized Cecilia on April 19, 1915. She joined her two sisters in entering the congregation of the Adorers of the Blood of Christ; she made her first vows in the summer of 1932. The following year Mildred began her career in teaching, entering it without much professional preparation but with a willingness to serve. The last two years of the 1930s, she taught the middle grades at St. John's. Students and their discoveries in the learning process were her delight. She was caring, conscientious, prayerful, and always young at heart. Due to health problems Mildred had to prematurely end her teaching; she took up crocheting, reading, writing her family history, and working with cancelled stamps, which she saved and prepared for sale to financially assist the ASC foreign missions. She died peacefully at the Wichita central house in 1992 having completed her earthly journey of 77 years of which 60 were lived as an Adorer.
Margaret Mary Danler was born September 23, 1915; in addition to her loving parents she had seven brothers and one sister. Educated in Wright, Kansas by the Sisters of St. Joseph, Margaret was drawn to religious life. An older cousin had entered the Adorers of the Blood of Christ, and she chose to join her, entering in 1931. She received the name of Sister Mathilda in 1932; she made her first profession in 1933. She remained at the central house in Wichita and completed her high school studies and two years of college. One of her earliest ministries was the care of the young girls who boarded at St. John's. From 1942 to 1977 she taught the primary grades in Kansas, Nebraska and Oklahoma. Later in life she retired to the provincial house in Wichita but continued to tutor the young children who requested this help. She had a massive heart attack and died early on the morning of September 2, 1997, knowing that those people, whose lives she touched, would always remember her.
Gertrude Winter was born in Andale, Kansas in 1904. She had four brothers and four sisters, and they all attended classes in the Andale schools. She had an aunt, who had entered the Adorers of the Blood of Christ and she followed her to this community in 1921. She received the habit and the name Vitalia in 1921 and made her first profession the following year. By the end of the 1930s and throughout the early 40s Vitalia began teaching at St. John's Academy as well as in the late 50s and early 60s when it was known as Sacred Heart Academy. She recalled those years as "some of my most memorable days." She enjoyed directing the students in school publications, in debates and spelling contests, as well as teaching English and religion. As alumnae return, they talk about her keen memory as well as how they recall her as an excellent teacher and friend.
Irene was born on February 6, 1917 in Hays, Kansas to Joseph and Sophie Rupp. The family moved to Liebenthal, Kansas where she soon met the Adorers of the Blood of Christ and followed her call into the religious life. She made her first vows in 1933; she had been given the name Praxedis the year prior. Educated at both St. John's Academy and Sacred Heart Junior College, she continued her education and received a bachelor's degree in music from Alverno College in Milwaukee. She taught three years as the music instructor at St. John's; during most of the 1940s and the first half of the 1950s, she taught in several Kansas schools. In 1956 she recognized her struggles in religious life were more than she could handle; she further discerned her choice of vocation and decided to request a dispensation from her vows. She received it on March 17, 1956.
Sister Mary Vincent Werner was born January 6, 1905 in Seward, Kansas. She died on January 22, 1988 at the age of 82. She made her first vows on July 26, 1922 and was immediately assigned to teach in Ness City, where she taught first and second grade. She went on to teach in many different schools, helping children prepare for First Holy Communion and training choirs. Later she taught in high schools all over the area and taught classes of food and clothing. She is remembered by many alumnae for her instruction at Sacred Heart in the area of home economics.
Sister Sophia first entered the community of Adorers in Ruma, Illinois. Before she was professed she was called back home, where because of the illness of her mother, she was needed for the care of her younger brothers and sisters. After five years circumstances became such that Sophia was free once more to follow her call to adore the Blood of Christ with the Sisters she loved, who were now residing in Wichita. She entered on December 14, 1930 from St. Mark's, Kansas. She began her novitiate in 1931 and made her first profession of vows in 1932. She spent most of her years in the teaching ministry; this included a few years at St. John's teaching in the upper grades. Sister Sophia also participated with the religious education correspondence program in two separate decades, 70s and 80s. She spent her last years in Perry, Oklahoma followed by the Wichita Center. She completed her 62 years as an Adorer in 1994; she is buried in the convent cemetery.
Sister Dolores made her first vows in 1931. She successfully passed the County Teaching Exams and was awarded her teaching certificate. She began summer classes at the Cathedral, an extension program of Wichita University. In 1933 when Sacred Heart Junior College was established, she finished two years of college and then went to Mt. St. Scholastica College to attain her BA degree. Later education included her BS in Library Science from the University of Denver in 1941, and a MALS from Rosary College in Illinois. With the exception of two years in which she taught math at two high schools in Kansas and Oklahoma, Sister Dolores spent 57 years fulfilling her ministry at Sacred Heart College, Kansas Newman College and Newman University. She witnessed two complete transfers of the university library to different locations; in each move she was a key person in the "how to" process. She was never afraid of manual work; she always pitched in wherever she could. Library work was Sister Dolores' principal focus, but she also watched the university grow in all those years and provided assistance in various areas such as teaching children's literature, picking up trash around the campus, taking care of the garden and planting numerous flowers and plants each and every year. She served as the sacristan for the Chapel as well as a living alumni directory. She was the ASC energizer bunny with many miles to travel before she would be able to sleep. She was an avid basketball fan and typed numerous research papers or essays for so many of the athletes over the years—usually the males who played basketball and baseball, but she did not limit them to only these teams. In 1986 she received the Maria De Mattias Alumni Award and in 1991 the John Henry Cardinal Newman Award. She also laid claim to working with 35 deans and nine presidents. She did get away from the university once in awhile; a favorite trip was the one she was given in the 1980s; it took her to Rome and to the Holy Land. In 1997 health problems took their toll on Sister Dolores and in time limited her ability to journey to the campus and in particular the library. One wonders what she would have thought when the new Dugan Library and Campus Center was completed and dedicated; her spirit was surely there. On March 12, 2008 her earthly life came to an end. Many tributes were made on her behalf especially recalling her love and service to Newman University over the years; what a wonderful gift she was to Catholic higher education.
Anastasia, called by her family Daisy, was born in Andale, Kansas in 1912 to John and Mary Ketzner. She grew up on a farm near Andale and was educated at St. Joseph's School there. She worked for a time at St. Francis hospital in Wichita while she discerned her vocation. Two of her sisters had entered the Adorers of the Blood of Christ and she followed their example in 1932. She received the name Eugenia the following year and after her first profession began a career of teaching. She taught the elementary grades at St. John's but after further academic training earned her degrees in home economics. She taught home economics at Sacred Heart Academy in the mid-1940s and again in the 1960s; she also served at several other secondary schools teaching the homemaking arts. She took a great interest in social concerns whenever she ministered and this is what led her to volunteer her services in urban renewal projects, the YWCA, Newman's Developmental Lab, and the Foster Grandparents program in Wichita. As she developed some health problems in the 1990s, she was forced to give up her efforts with the Foster Grandparents; she found this difficult to do. In 1998 she suffered an attack of influenza; it was at this time that it was discovered that she had advanced lung cancer. She went to her eternal life in April; she was 85 years old and had served the congregation for 63 years.
Sister Hilary Yoggerst was the editor-in-chief of the publication of Along the Grapevine for several years. She was the first sister to be appointed to the office of president of Sacred Heart College from 1954 to 1961. Under her leadership the first moves in the establishment of a lay advisory board were made. The aim of the board was to make the school better known and to benefit from the advice and counsel of knowledgeable men, close to the growth of Wichita. Sister Hilary, baptized as Patricia, was born on March 20, 1912 to William and Elizabeth Yoggerst in Garden Plain, Kansas. During her childhood, her family moved to El Dorado, Kansas and it was from here that she entered the religious congregation of the Adorers of the Blood of Christ in 1929 right after the stock market crash. She made her first vows in July, 1931 and completed her education at St. John's Academy and Mt. St. Scholastica College where she earned her BA degree in 1945. She earned her master degree from Marquette in 1946 and her PhD in Literature from Fordham in 1952. She did serve as the Registrar for Sacred Heart Junior College in the early 1940s; she returned to the college in 1950s and served as its first woman president and the first ASC to hold this prestigious post. She resigned her position after seven years and returned to the classroom on a full time basis until 1973. Somewhat disillusioned during the 1960s by changes and actions of the religious congregation, she left the community in 1973. She later went to live in Rolling Hills, California along with four of the Buchholz sisters, who had previously left and begun a new order known as the Sisters of Charity of Rolling Hills. She was called from this life on December 7, 1996 and is buried in California along with other members of this community.
Mary Frances [Alodia] Menges
Sister Mary Frances died on May 15, 2005; her death came in the manner she desired, "quickly, quietly, and gracefully." She was 98 years old and had been a professed Adorer of the Blood of Christ for almost 79 years. Mary Frances, born in Ost, Kansas in 1906 to Frank and Teresa Menges, lost her mother when she was only nine. Her father took over the responsibilities of being both parents to his family of five. As she approached the time of making life choices, she chose to become an Adorer; she received the name Alodia in 1925 but returned to her baptismal name in 1971. Although in the early years she spoke of wanting to be a nurse, she became a teacher of elementary, high school and college age students. She taught at Sacred Heart Academy for almost thirteen years and at Sacred Heart College for nine years. She was fluent in the German language and this enabled her to do much translating for the sisters and for the congregation including the history of the Steinerberg Foundation. Sister Mary Frances also endured some trying times, especially when some of her Adorer friends went to California and started a new order as well as during the recent renovation of the Chapel of the New Covenant. In time, she was at peace with these changes.
Augustine was born in 1915 in Ness City, Kansas, to John and Catherine Weilert; she was the fifth child of a family of sixteen. Although a sickly child, her mother believed that God did not take her as a youth because He had bigger plans for her life. She attended school with the Adorers of the Blood of Christ and later entered the community, making her first profession in 1932. She was a woman of many talents and had unique experiences over the years. She spent several years working at Holy Savior parish in Wichita; in particular, she worked with the Lord's Pantry. She did teach at St. John's two years in the early 1940s. Through her own interest and educational experiences she began to practice as a counselor in the 1970s; she used techniques of graphology and reflexology and served as a consultant to various agencies, particularly in law enforcement. Her love for small children led her to write the text for the children's story of the life of St. Maria De Mattias, Someone Special, which was illustrated by Salome Herman, ASC. In October, 1986 she passed from this life at the age of 70; she had been a professed member of the congregation for 54 years.
Gertrude Lampe was born on a farm near Garden Plain, Kansas, in July, 1914, to Joseph and Theresa Lampe. Three sisters and a brother rounded out her family, who had first homesteaded in Oklahoma but moved to Kansas for the sake of a Catholic education for the children. The idea of religious life was welcome in the family, but by the time Gertrude finished grade school that "whole idea exploded" and she called herself a typical teenager, resisting the idea of a Catholic high school and ready to begin a life of her own. In spite of her resistance, she found herself coming back to Kansas ready to enter the Adorers of the Blood of Christ. She received the name Xavier when she donned the habit in 1931; she made her first vows in 1932. Her interest and ability in music were noted early, and because liturgical music was important in the community worship, she was encouraged to become active in this arena. Xavier taught at St. John's Academy in the early 1940s; with the name change in 1945 to Sacred Heart Academy she continued to be a vibrant member of the faculty. In 1962 she began a twenty-year tenure with Sacred Heart College and Kansas Newman. She usually found time to also direct the convent choir; later she did this on a full-time basis. She even spent five years as a Diocesan Liturgy Consultant and volunteered as an organist at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton parish in Wichita. Throughout her career, Sister taught many organists in the area, both at the College and Academy and in several parishes. These serve in many churches of the diocese, carrying on the legacy of vibrant, meaningful worship of the faithful. After De Mattias Fine Arts Center was dedicated at Newman University in 2000, an organ was dedicated in her honor in De Mattias Hall; it is usually played by her very grateful and loyal students. Mary Xavier passed to her eternal reward on February 23, 2003.
Sister Anna was born to Dennis and Mary Dillon on April 17, 1888; she entered the religious congregation of the Adorers of the Blood of Christ from Derby, Kansas in 1902, which made her one of the early pioneers of what became the Wichita Province. She made her first profession of vows in 1906 and began a career of teaching that same year and it extended over her life span. Most of those years were spent at St. John's with the young children and then later with the Academy. From 1942 until 1957 she taught at both the Academy and Sacred Heart College. At the College she can be called the "Department of Teacher Education" because Sister Anna supervised the teacher-training program. She was a great story teller and entertained many with her tales of those early years at the college. In January, 1968 she departed this life having spent over 60 years as an Adorer.
Viola Herman was born in Spearville, Kansas, in April, 1914, the daughter of Jacob and Agnes Herman. There were six boys and five girls in the family, who all attended school in Spearville under the direction of the Adorers of the Blood of Christ. Viola remembered the beautiful example of her teachers and decided to follow in their footsteps. She received the habit and the name of Sister Salome in 1930 and made her first vows in 1931. In 1942 Sister Julitta Elsen, coordinator of St. John's Academy, asked Salome to start a marching band with the high school girls, and though she felt unprepared, she bravely undertook the assignment. She later had the opportunity to complete her degree in music from DePaul University. Salome returned in 1948 and the band became a popular unit on the diocesan scene. The marching band performed for many civic and church celebrations, and a concert band also was formed. Her bands participated in the Tri-State Music Festival over the years and often brought home numerous awards and honors. Over the years so many of her former students would come back to visit, and they always wanted to see Sister Salome, their "pied piper". Not only were her music groups outstanding; she showed a natural talent in art and did many illustrations for programs, books, and community communications. She also constructed an outdoor crib which brought the Christmas spirit to the convent grounds for years; many years later a new one was constructed under her direction. Her illustrations in Someone Special are appreciated by the many children who read the book and look at the many pictures. In the mid-1970s she went to Villa Maria in Mulvane, Kansas as the activity director; here she continued her love of music and arts and crafts until the late 1980s when she moved to the Wichita Center and shared her many talents with the other sisters in this community. In 2001 at the age of 87 she died, having been a professed Adorer for 70 years.
Anna was born in Florence, Kansas to Norbert and Emma Drescher in 1923. By 1937 she decided to enter the religious community of the Adorers of the Blood of Christ. She received the name Sister Amelia and made her first profession in 1939 just before the outbreak of World War II. She taught in numerous elementary schools in her early years; she then became a teacher of both music and history which she enjoyed and was eager to share her excitement of these with the young high school students. She served at Sacred Heart Academy for a few years around 1960, but then went to serve in other secondary schools in Missouri and Colorado. In 1972 she became the vocation director for the community; it was then that she realized her journey needed to take a different path. She asked to be dispensed of her vows and left the congregation in 1973; she married and always remained close to the sisters with whom she had shared so much of her life. Anna Drescher Childers died on January 4, 2012.
Mary Beth [Leocadia] Ternes
It was in 1921, at Aleppo, Kansas, that Albert and Clara Ternes became the proud parents of their fourth child, Elizabeth; God blessed their family with other children, six boys and three girls. The family moved in the early years and finally settled in Conway Springs, Kansas where Elizabeth graduated from St. Joseph's School and then went to attend St. John's Academy. During these years she felt called to religious life and she entered the Adorers of the Blood of Christ in 1937. The following year she was given the habit and the name of Leocadia. After the Second Vatican Council she returned to her baptismal name of Mary Beth. In those early years she was assigned to take care of the little girls at St. John's; in time she grew into a wise and dedicated teacher. Mary Beth, as retiring years approached, enjoyed life in both the library and the bookstore at Newman University; the students remember her gentle presence. She was called from this life on March 15, 2004.
Born to Peter and Elizabeth May in 1914, in Ost, Kansas, Florence joined a large family. Having been taught by the Adorers of the Blood of Christ, she chose to enter this religious congregation in 1930; she made her first profession of vows in 1932. Always an educator, Florence completed her high school education at St. John's Academy and 20 years later she received her masters degree in Education from Marquette. She was teacher, administrator, and pioneer over the years. Whether she was teaching math, supervising the dormitory students, or serving as dean of Women at Sacred Heart College, the students remember her with fondness. She also served in leadership with her congregation and participated in the Better World Movement in Rome, Italy in the late 1960s. She also served in both Korea and Italy, always making such a difference in the lives of those with whom she shared community. In the 1980s she assisted at the college in the registrar's office and then also in the library as she responded to wherever there is a need. Sister Florence, who turned 100 in 2014 while living at the ASC Wichita Center and enjoying her years of retirement.. Sister Florence died on September 29, 2015.
Mary Alberta was born August 18, 1914 in Windthorst, Kansas-; she was the daughter of William C. and Mary Torline. She was the seventh of nine children and grew up in the country parish where she attended both elementary and secondary schools. Following high school graduation in 1932, she was struggling with the idea of a religious vocation. She stayed on the farm for a year, but when Sacred Heart Junior College opened in 1933 she left to be a member of its first class. By 1935 she had earned sixty hours of college credit, enough for a teaching certificate, and she took a job in the public school near her home. After one year of teaching she did not renew her contract, but she told her students she was entering the Adorers of the Blood of Christ, which she did in 1937 and was given the name of Esther; her first profession was in 1938. She completed her bachelor's degree and a MA in English during the 1940s. From 1946 to 1960 she remained at Sacred Heart Academy, teaching English and journalism and serving as principal from 1949-1956. It was during this span of time that she authored The Eternal Ballad in honor of the beatification of Maria De Mattias and the opening of the first De Mattias Hall. She also taught at the College from 1956-60; those students fortunate enough to have her as their instructor cherished each day of her classes. Esther not only served her students well but also her congregation. She served as Wichita Province secretary for numerous years as well as Provincial for the first three years of the 1970s. She went to Rome to serve as a delegate to the Adorers General Assembly three times; her writing skills were impeccable, and she is credited with the writing of the ASC Constitution in the English language. For so many years Esther and Along the Grapevine, the Wichita Province newsletter, were synonymous. In 1990 Esther's health failed and she was called to her reward. In her autobiography, completed in 1975, she wrote: "God willing, something I do will cause another to say sometime what I am saying now, 'Thank God for life—all of it.'" There is no doubt it has, Esther.
Sister Gertrude was born in Okarche, Oklahoma, in 1909 to Joseph and Mary Baumann; she was given the name Eva Cecilia at her baptism in the parish church. She was the second youngest of ten children. She decided at an early age to enter religious life; it is not surprising that she followed two of her sisters into the Adorers of the Blood of Christ. She left for Ruma, Illinois for her initial formation in 1925; she was given her name of Gertrude the following year and became a professed member in 1927. Summer after summer, Gertrude pursued her college degrees, attaining her BS in math/chemistry at Mt. St. Scholastica, and her MS in chemistry from Marquette; she completed post graduate studies at St. Louis University. Her expertise in the sciences was a great benefit to Sacred Heart College and Kansas Newman where she served from the late 1950s to 1976. Gertrude wrote of her apprehension in regard to her teaching in college, stating, "What I accomplished was due to much help from above." She also credits Claudine Axman, who encouraged and advised her throughout the years they worked together in the little white house west of Sacred Heart Hall and also in Heimerman Science Center at Newman. Gertrude kept a detailed record of every college course taken: 285.5 credit hours, plus many workshops at colleges across the United States. She spent numerous years collecting, identifying, and cataloging an impressive rock and mineral collection, which is on display in Heimerman Center. She kept herself active in mind and body, and such involvements continued long into her declining years. Her health failed quickly during her last days, and she died very peacefully on April 20, 2007.
Virginia Day was born in 1922 in Manhattan, Kansas; her parents Lloyd and Ellen Day moved their family to Florence, Kansas. In 1937, Virginia decided to enter the Adorers of the Blood of Christ; she was given the name Susanna and made her first vows in 1939. She completed her secondary education and the first two years of college by 1942 and a few years later she found herself teaching at Sacred Heart. She received her BMus from De Paul University and her MMus from Catholic University in 1957. She spent the majority of her years in the congregation teaching music and voice at Sacred Heart and serving faithfully in the women's residence hall on West 18th Street in Wichita. Her brother, John Day, who worked in maintenance, also had the task of driving the residents to and from the college in a school bus. Susanna became disillusioned when some of her sister friends left the congregation in the early 1960s; she also asked for a dispensation from her vows and it was granted in 1963. In 1992 after some thirty years outside of religious life, she entered the Sisters of Charity of Rolling Hills, California and is now known as Sister Ellen Day. She has suffered the loss of her vision, but her beautiful voice is still clear.
Born to Joseph and Sophie Rupp in 1917, Albina was from Hays, Kansas. Her family moved to Liebenthal, and it was here that she met the Adorers of the Blood of Christ. She entered the congregation and received the name Lioba in 1932; she made her first profession the following year. Lioba completed her two-year degree in 1938 and went on to Friends University, receiving her BA in commerce and economics; she also studied at Marquette University in the summers of 1946-50. From 1943 to 1947, she was the registrar at Sacred Heart College and taught some courses in the field of economics. Transferred to Okarche, Oklahoma to teach high school commerce classes for five years, she began to discern further her call to religious life. In 1953 she asked for a dispensation of her vows, which was granted later that year.
Sister Regina was born in 1912 to Charles and Regina Buchholz in Garden Plain, Kansas; she was baptized Mary. In time her family moved to Aleppo, and it was from this small Kansas town that she entered the Adorers of the Blood of Christ in 1929 and took the name of her mother the following year. She pronounced her religious profession in 1931. Regina was sent to Incarnate Word for her BA and to Catholic University for her MA; she studied for a year at Columbia University and completed her PhD in art from Ohio State University in 1951. After 1951 she spent a decade at Sacred Heart College and chaired the art department; an extremely talented artist, she was proficient in the use of many media in the field of visual arts. Some of her paintings can be found on the Newman campus as well as at the Wichita Center. During the late 1950s she served in leadership for the religious community; at this same time she was involved full-time in the design and production of the new central house for the Adorers, which was located just south of the college campus. Her design of the building and in particular the Chapel was truly on the cutting edge of liturgical space for this time in the history of the Church. During this time, Sister Regina was accused, whether justly or unjustly, by several sister companions of wrongdoings related to her religious commitment. The local Church as well as the Sacred Congregation of Religious was asked to intercede. Numerous interviews of all members took place at the end of 1959 and early 1960; Regina was removed from her position and then placed on imposed exclaustration by the Church. She and several other members including her three blood sisters, who were members of the Adorers' order, joined her in southern California where she and others founded the Sisters of Charity of Rolling Hills. She died on April 28, 2001.
Mary Caroline Meyer was born in 1902, the daughter of Bernard and Mary Meyer. There were six boys and two girls, and Caroline was the second youngest. They grew up on a farm near Belpre, Kansas and attended a country district school. Although she had little contact with Sisters, she began to think of religious life at the time of her confirmation. In 1921, she made the decision to enter and having received the blessing of her father began her initial formation in Ruma, Illinois. She received the name Redempta and made her first vows in 1922. She taught the middle grades at St. John's during the beginning of the 1940s. She embarked upon the study of medical technology, but after a brief stay in this field at the hospital in Stillwater, Oklahoma, she returned to teaching. She taught in many schools and often served as both the principal and the local coordinator for the sisters. Toward the end of her life, her eyesight failed and she was declared legally blind, yet she continued an active interest in community and Church. Sister Redempta was the first ASC to have her funeral in the Woman of the New Covenant Chapel, March, 1998.
Margaret Therese Leech
Margaret Clare was born in 1917, to Leo and Lula Leech in Carnegie, Pennsylvania. Margaret attended a Catholic high school in Ohio and completed her MA at Seton Hill College in 1937 and her MA from Columbia University in 1940. It was not until the mid-1940s that she decided to enter the Adorers of the Blood of Christ; she received the name of Margaret Therese and made her first vows in 1946. She was immediately sent to minister at Sacred Heart College in the field of English. She taught at Sacred Heart for some 20 years. Although sometimes thought of as an absent minded professor, one must note that Sister Margaret Therese prepared many young women to be excellent writers of both prose and poetry; she also worked with the school newsletter, College News. With the turmoil of the early 1960s at the college, Margaret Therese chose to request a dispensation of her vows; she left in 1966.
Winifred Miller was born to John and Mary Miller in 1923; at that time her family was living in Council Bluffs, Iowa. By 1939 the family had a farm in Ellis County, Kansas and it is from here that Winifred decided to enter the Adorers of the Blood of Christ. She was given the name Vivian and professed her first vows in 1940. Between 1944 and 1948, Vivian taught music at Sacred Heart Academy. She also counseled many academy students regarding their vocations for life. She continued to teach at other schools until 1953 when she was granted her dream to go to the missions in Brazil. She served in Manaus, Brazil as Novice Director, Vice Provincial and as Provincial; this was only the beginning of many years she would spend with members of the international congregation in Rome as well as in Tanzania, sometimes in the role of a leader but always in the role of service. Her love of rhythm often found her with a drum in her hand. With her international service over, she returned to Wichita and was offered a position in the education department at Newman University beginning in 1987. She served in the credentialing area for ten years. The faculty and the students came to love her and their spirits were always uplifted by her infectious smile. Sister Vivian served in the international archives in Rome and assisted with translation work while at the Wichita Center. At the end of the 1990s, signs of dementia were prevalent in Vivian; she continues to be cared for in the skilled health care unit at the ASC Wichita Center, now known as the Caritas Center. Sister Vivan entered her eternal reward on February 19, 2014 and many of her colleagues from Newman attended her services held at the Wichita Center of the Adorers.
Teresa Heimerman was born in Wichita, Kansas in 1906; she was the eldest daughter of Bartel and Elizabeth. She was baptized in St. Anthony Church, where she remained a parishioner until her entrance into the convent in 1940; she was then 33 years of age. She graduated from the Cathedral high school and took business courses at Wichita Business College. Always an accurate accountant, she was asked often to perform this type of ministry as a member of the Adorers of the Blood of Christ. She was given the name of Antonella when she received the habit in 1940; she made her first profession in 1941. Antonella was asked to serve in Wichita beginning in 1942, which she did most willingly. By 1944 she was helping Sister Adella Schank, the Province Treasurer with her work. She was given an accounting system which included the Convent, College and Academy: they were all under one corporation and none very rich in a financial way. As she assisted others who followed, Antonella helped to set up a division of the accounts into separate institutions. Sister Antonella then handled the College and Academy accounts until 1959. Shortly after celebrating her eightieth birthday, she took ill and died of congestive heart failure in 1986.
Catherine, daughter of Peter and Mary Stump, was born October 8, 1908, at St. Mark's, Kansas. She was the fifth child in a family of nine. She grew up in St. Mark's and attended the Catholic elementary school there. Here she met the Adorers of the Blood of Christ and asked to join them in 1925. She received the habit and was given the name Wilfreda June 13, 1926; she made her first profession the following year. Sister Wilfreda earned her BA degree in 1942 and her master's degree from Notre Dame in 1957. She taught at Sacred Heart Academy in the 1940s, 1950s, and early 1960s; she loved the sciences and motivated her students to do likewise. Sister Wilfreda loved teaching and loved her students, but she insisted on discipline and hard work in school. She was a dedicated teacher. "I love teaching and enjoy it. I also love to cook, clean, garden, plant flowers. . . "and it truly showed. In September, 1996, after 69 years as professed Adorer, Sister Wilfreda quietly went to her God.
Teresa [Mechtildis] Palsmeier
Teresa, daughter of Henry and Mary Palsmeier, was born in Okeene, Oklahoma in 1911, but soon the family moved to Ost, Kansas, where she was educated in the elementary school. She came from a family of five brothers and two sisters. She made the decision to enter the religious congregation of the Adorers of the Blood of Christ in 1931. She received the habit and the name Mechtildis in 1932 and made her first profession the following year. Many of her teaching and administrative years were associated with Sacred Heart Academy where everyone knew her as Sister Mechtildis. She returned to her baptismal name Teresa at the beginning of the 1970s, and is best remembered by this name in her religious family. In preparation for her teaching career, Teresa received her high school education at St. John's Academy; she received her BA from Marymount College and her masters in education from Marquette University in 1954. Sister came to Sacred Heart Academy in 1946 as a religion and math teacher. Since that time she also taught English, Latin, history, government, German, science and music. She also served as the principal from 1957—1959 and then again from 1960 through 1965. She was appointed as the provincial superior of the Adorers from Wichita in 1965; this closed the Sacred Heart Academy chapter of her life. Sister Teresa, as newly appointed provincial, found herself smack dab in the middle of one of the biggest changes to hit the Catholic Church—Vatican II. From 1965 to 1971, Teresa was asked to lead the community through major changes in religious life which she personally was still sorting through. A hot issue for the Adorers' congregation and others of the laity and clergy was the modification of the habit for women religious. She recalled the 1968 General Assembly in Rome in which Adorers first talked of modifying the habit. She did not at first favor the change, but Teresa was forced to come to terms with the changes: "I came to realize that my sign to the world was not my clothing, but the charity I practiced." Teresa once stated that serving as the provincial was the hardest job she ever undertook, but she credits this time in her life as the period in which she truly learned how to pray and that was for her a great blessing. In a special issue of Along the Grapevine, Teresa and her council were commended: ". . . for their ability to let the inevitable happen, for their diligence in providing opportunities for personal choice and growth and for the example of their personal lives of prayer and dedication to life and its true goals." After her service as provincial, Teresa spent over 20 years at St. Mary's Hospital in Enid, Oklahoma. For seventeen years she was the hospital's volunteer coordinator; after she retired from that position, she became a hospital volunteer herself. In her early 80s, she left Enid and moved to Oklahoma City where she joined other ASC in a part-time volunteer prison ministry. She valued this experience and noted that many of the prisoners had developed a deep spirituality in the years of enclosure. When she returned to the ASC Wichita Center, she took up tutoring of students of English as a Second Language. About ten years ago she stated: "I'm somebody who lives in the present. My philosophy is your life is what you make of it: you can be happy or unhappy. I now have more opportunity to come to the realization of what is important. I find it easier to let go of the things that aren't important and concentrate on the things that are important for here and the hereafter." Having celebrated her 101st birthday at the end of 2012, her wise words inspire all whose lives she continues to touch. Sister Teresa crossed the threshold to eternal life, surrounded by her Sister Adorers on July 11, 2013.
Imogene [Evangeline] Gosnell
Imogene was born in Tucson, Arizona in 1923; her parents were Harry and Mary Thelma Gosnell. She had a younger sister, Owanna, with whom she was always quite close. The family moved to Stillwater, Oklahoma where Imogene attended public schools, graduating from high school in 1940. She also attended Oklahoma State University, receiving her BS in secondary education in 1944. In that same year she was baptized into the Catholic faith by a priest friend, Victor Reed, who later became the Bishop of the Oklahoma City and Tulsa Diocese. While working at a local hospital to pay her expenses for college, Imogene met some of the Adorers of the Blood of Christ. Their friendship and example led her to seek entrance into the community of Adorers. She entered in 1944; she received the habit and the name of Evangeline in 1945 and made her first profession the following summer. She returned to her baptismal name at the end of the 1960s. She immediately began to teach both high school and college classes at Sacred Heart. She began graduate studies in the late 1950s; she received her PhD in political science in 1970 from Catholic University of America. Sister Imogene was a professor at Kansas Newman College for over ten years; she continues this ministry in a part-time capacity for the nest several years. Many recognized that Sister Imogene was highly gifted intellectually. She was diagnosed with Alzheimer's in the late 1980s; prior to this time her professional skills weakened. God seemed to be asking her to "let go," little by little, of that great gift of high intelligence that made her a marvelous educator at all levels. Sister Imogene died on August 14, 2004.
Rita Ann Johnson
Named Ruby by her parents Nels and Lena Marie Johnson, she was born in Minnesota in 1904. She and her family lived a number of years in North Dakota. In 1918, both her parents died from the flu and left Ruby totally on her own. Determined to get a high school and college education, the young woman worked hard. She earned her BA in 1927 and after teaching a few years, she received her MS from Iowa State in 1933. She was on the staff at Oklahoma State University as a home economics professor; it was during this time that she met members of the Adorers of the Blood of Christ. She had been baptized a Baptist but now became interested in the Catholic faith; she was accepted for membership in 1946 and almost immediately entered the religious congregation. She received the name Rita Ann in 1947 and professed her first vows in 1948. She began teaching home economics at both Sacred Heart Academy and College. She finished her teaching years at Madonna High School in Wichita. In the early 1970s her health began to fail and in 1981 Rita Ann suffered a severe stroke and died the day after Christmas.
Lucille Horsch was born on November 1, 1914. She was the daughter of Mathias and Barbara Horsch and was the oldest of seven children—three girls and four boys. Lucille grew up in Andale, Kansas and attended school in a one-room building located on their family farm for two years and then continued her education at St. Joseph's in Andale. She completed the eighth grade in 1929 and began thinking about becoming a sister because she was impressed by those who taught her religion. She completed high school in Andale and spoke about entering the religious congregation of the Adorers of the Blood of Christ. Her parents insisted that she wait until she was 21 years of age, so she worked in a home and then at St. Francis Hospital. In 1934 her parents realized her decision had been made and did grant her permission to join the order. She received the habit in 1935 and was given the name Romana; she made her first profession in 1936. She completed her college classes during this time at Sacred Heart and Friends University, majoring in business education. One of her first positions at Sacred Heart College was as registrar; she also served as an instructor in economics. Sister Romana served as secretary for the leadership team of the religious community for several years; she was relieved of these responsibilities in 1990. "Retirement" was not in her vocabulary, and she was soon at the college volunteering her skills in the Advancement Office. Although she had some health issues, it wasn't until the final year of her life that she was too ill to volunteer wherever she might be needed. Sister Romana was 87 when she died on July 27, 2002; she had been a professed Adorer for 67 years.
Alvina was born to Herman and Anna Beckerman in Fowler, Kansas in 1929. She completed her high school education in Fowler; in 1950 she made the decision to enter the Adorers of the Blood of Christ. She received her habit and her name, Cecile, that same year. Her first vows were made in 1951. She studied at Sacred Heart College and completed her BS in 1956 in business. She taught for awhile and then served as the assistant to the registrar at Sacred Heart College; at this same time the community asked her to be the Vocation Director for the province. In addition to this position she did teach history at two secondary schools in Oklahoma and Missouri. Cecile made the decision to leave the community in 1969; after one year she was granted a dispensation of her vows. She still lives on the West Coast.
Norma was born in 1925 to Frederick and Rose Gegen in Wichita, Kansas. She attended high school at St. John's Academy in 1943 and that fall she entered the religious congregation of the Adorers of the Blood of Christ. On July 1, 1944 she received the habit of the community and was given the name Loretta; the following year she made her first vows. She taught the upper grade for several years as well as attended her college curriculum during the summers at Mt. St. Scholastica College; she completed her BS in education in 1954 and was assigned to teach English at Sacred Heart Academy. After three year she became a full-time student at St. Louis University and received her MS in 1958 and her PhD in 1961. She spent a year while studying at St. Louis in Brazil, where she did her research for her dissertation; it was published as the text, Amazonia, in 1964. Sister Loretta served at Sacred Heart College as Academic Dean as well as Director of the Department of Teacher Education. In 1963 she went to Oklahoma City to serve as the Supervisor of Schools for the Diocese; she also taught at Oklahoma City University. Loretta was chosen to serve in leadership positions for her religious congregation. First she served her province as a council member and then in 1975 was elected to serve as a council member for the international congregation based in Rome, Italy; this service took her to 22 countries on all inhabited continents. In 1979 she returned to the now Archdiocese of Oklahoma City until 1990; here she served as Archdiocesan Director of Education. It was during this time that she began to write numerous articles, make presentations, and helped found a Pastoral Ministry program for the archdiocese with Kansas Newman College. In 1990, Sister Loretta was named the Educator of the Decade and was presented a plaque of recognition of this honor. During the 1990s she took on the position of Vice Chancellor and Director of Strategic Planning and Leadership Formation for the Diocese of Dodge City, Kansas; she remained in this position for seven years. Sister Loretta continued to be of service to her congregation of Adorers as she was called several times to provide leadership in the founding of the International Center of Spirituality at the central house in Rome. She is also known well for many books she researched, translated, and wrote over several decades. Her latest published volume is based on mysticism and the spirituality of Maria De Mattias and the Adorers; her previous volume on the Beatitudes received wide approval and acclaim. She lived in the Adorers' Caritas Center until her death on February 20, 2017.
Mathilda Rohr, daughter of George and Mary Rohr, was born in Antonino, Kansas, March 14, 1907 and baptized privately by her father. She was the sixth child in a family of fifteen. She started school in Antonino; but when she was eight, her family moved to Ness City, Kansas, where she attended the public school through the sixth grade. She then transferred to Sacred Heart School where she first met members of the Adorers of the Blood of Christ. Early on she felt the desire to become a sister and after eighth grade she accompanied the sisters to Wichita and then left for Ruma, Illinois where she would complete her initial formation. In 1924 she was given the name Mary Alban; she professed her first vows in 1925. While in Ruma she completed the first three years of high school; she completed her high school education at St. John's Academy when she returned to Wichita. In 1954 she began teaching high school classes at Sacred Heart Academy; her field of expertise was in the natural and physical sciences. She then spent several years at Bishop McGuinness High in Oklahoma City until 1970 when she was asked to direct a retirement program for the sisters at the central house in Wichita. Every so often she taught a class at Kansas Newman to help the other professors in the science department; she is fondly remembered as she rode her three-wheeler to the Heimerman Science Center for her classes. In her last years she made stuffed toys for children, showing a great sense of creativity, humor and generosity in doing the work herself and in assisting others in making hundreds of enjoyable toys for the children. On March 23, 2000, having been a professed member for 75 years, she died at the age of 93.
Benitia, born in 1921 in Hutchinson, is the daughter of John and Grace Blick. In 1936 she made the decision to enter the religious congregation of the Adorers of the Blood of Christ; she had three aunts who were members and two of her younger sisters also joined her within a few years. She received the habit in 1937 and was given the name of Carmelita; she made her first vows in 1938. Carmelita completed her high school education at St. John's Academy in 1939 and started college at Sacred Heart in 1940. She was sent to St. Mary's College in Leavenworth where she received her BS degree in Mathematics in 1954. She was asked to teach math at Sacred Heart Academy beginning in 1958 and continued to teach there as well as at Sacred Heart College, Madonna High and Bishop Carroll through 1972. Again in 1982 she returned to the college to provide some instruction in lower level math courses; many students have profited from her patient tutoring. During the decade of the 1990 she taught math and also worked part-time in the Advancement Office at Newman University. Carmelita now lives at the ASC Wichita Center and continues to help out wherever she sees a need.
Mary, daughter of Louis and Mary Lee Heard, was born in LaValle, Missouri in 1900 before the westward expansion to Wichita, Kansas was only a gleam in Clementine Zerr's eye and a dream in her heart. She had eight brothers and two sisters. She entered the convent of the Adorers of the Blood of Christ in 1915 and later received the name of Etheldreda; she made her first vows in 1918. She was one of the first women to attend St. Louis University; she held the distinction of being one of the first Adorers to receive a PhD. Most of her life was spent in secondary schools in the Ruma, Illinois area, but during the mid-1950s she came to Wichita and taught at Sacred Heart College in the English department. Always articulate in speaking and writing, Sister Etheldreda wrote that her retirement years were her "vigil for eternity. If I had a thousand lives, I would choose education as my work, but without the mistakes I made under pressure and inexperience in this my life." She died in 2002 at the age of 101, having completed 83 years as an Adorer.
Born at Waterloo, Kansas, on September 20, 1914, Sister Gabriel, baptized Leona, was the daughter of Anton and Christina Diller. She joined the congregation of the Adorers of the Blood of Christ in Wichita, from Fowler, Kansas in 1930. She was given the name Sister Gabriel at the same time she received the habit in 1931; she made her first profession the following year. She studied biology, completing her BA from Mt. St. Scholastica College and her MS from Notre Dame in 1955. She taught four years at Sacred Heart Academy, several years at Central Catholic High [now Bishop McGuinness] in Oklahoma City, a year at Bishop Carroll, and several years at Sacred Heart College. Her life was cut short due to heart problems, and she died shortly before her 61st birthday. All who really knew Sister Gabriel recognized in her not only a diligent co-worker, excellent teacher, good organizer and manager, but a woman of integrity who lived her convictions in complete honesty. Her dependability was remarkable and her ever willing, helping hand had its source in a truly kind heart. She was utterly practical yet very artistic. Her deep spirituality made of her a person who could walk alone with God if necessary.
On February 7, 1915, Sister Martina Beckerman was born in St. Joe, Kansas. She moved to Fowler, Kansas after eighth grade and it was from here she entered the ASC community December 29, 1930. Continuing her education at Sacred Heart Junior College in 1933, she was among the first graduates of the two-year institute in 1935. Sister Martina taught in many schools around Kansas and Oklahoma including Sacred Heart Academy. She was named principal of All Saints School in Wichita in 1961 and retained that position until her untimely death, March 4, 1964. Sister Martina, serving in the religious community for 31 years, is remembered as a good teacher, strict yet kind and gentle with a great sense of humor. She suffered much but was cheerful, uncomplaining and grateful for the life she was given.
Sister Jane was born in 1916 and christened Osmunda by her parents Aloysius and Anna Kreutzer. She and her family lived on a farm in Marienthal, Kansas, and it was from here that she met the Adorers of the Blood of Christ and made the decision to join them in 1929 in the newly established province of Wichita, Kansas. In 1930 she received the habit and the name Jane; her first vows were made on July 31, 1932. She attended both St. John's Academy and Sacred Heart Junior College and continued her higher studies at DePaul University in Chicago where she received her bachelor's degree. Jane was a gifted musician and taught music at numerous schools in both Oklahoma and Kansas. In April, 1956, she was diagnosed with breast cancer; she seemed to be recovering satisfactorily and was asked to teach music in Sacred Heart Academy. She also served as the organist at the convent for the sisters. In February, 1957, problems arose from her breast cancer surgery and it was evident that the cancer had metastasized; she passed away that May at the age of forty.
Sister Thomasine was born in 1923 to Joseph and Clara Stoecklein in Bazine, Kansas. Her parents christened her Edna, and she decided at age sixteen to enter the Adorers of the Blood of Christ. She received the habit of the religious congregation and the name Thomasine in 1940; her first profession was held the following summer. By 1942 she completed her high school studies at St. John's Academy; she attended Sacred Heart Junior College and completed her BS in education in 1953. She also studied at St. Louis University where she earned a MS in education in 1960. She taught at Sacred Heart Academy from 1957 to 1959. In 1961 she returned to the campus and was assigned to the education department at the College and, as many say, "the rest is history." When she received Maria De Mattias Alumni Award in 1994, it was noted that Thomasine had given over 25 years of service to the college. She actually estimated that she helped prepare over 800 teachers for service. It was further believed by college administrators that every state in the union probably has at least one teacher prepared by Sister Thomasine. There is no doubt that she certainly has touched so many lives during her years as an educator. She served as the chair of the education department from 1962 to 1986. She also established the Teacher Placement Office; yes, it has changed over the years but without a good foundation this growth would not have been possible. She handed the reins on to others and was asked by her community to serve as an administrator at the Wichita central house; she served in this role until 1992. It was then that she returned to the college as the transcript analyst for the registrar; in late 2010 her health weakened and this brought about her retirement from the university in 2011. In 2008 she was awarded the newly established Thomasine Stoecklein, ASC Spirit Award, which reminds all of us that our presence at athletic events and encouragement of student-athletes really does make a difference. Earlier during the same academic year, she was honored by numerous alumni with the naming of the curriculum lab in the Dugan Library. Sister Thomasine's enthusiasm has helped make her an informal ambassador for Newman athletics as well as academics both on and off campus; she is a living example of the term "school spirit." With true humility Sister Thomasine's accomplishments speak volumes to Newman's teacher alumni, its student athletes, and all students she encountered. She was awarded the Cardinal Newman Medal in 2009, which is the highest honor the university bestows. Currently, Sister Thomasine lives in the Adorers' Caritas Center. She was able to attend Coach Mark Potter's final game as the Men's Basketball Coach on February 25, 2017.
Bertrande Schnittker was born October 23, 1928 in St. Leo, Kansas. She entered the Sisters of the Adorers of the Blood of Christ December 29, 1944 and took her first vows July 1, 1945. Sister studied at Sacred Heart Academy and Sacred Heart College earning her bachelors in music in 1948. She then went on to Catholic University of America to receive her masters in music in 1959. During the time period between earning her bachelors degree and her masters degree, she taught at St. Mary's in David City, Nebraska and at All Saints and Sacred Heart Academy in Wichita. After receiving her masters she came back to Wichita and taught music at Sacred Heart College, becoming the department head in 1961 and serving until 1965. Sister struggled with her vocation during the early 1960s and requested a dispensation from her vows; it was granted on October 7, 1965.
Sister Gregory Stites was born December 8, 1927 in Chicago, Illinois. She entered the community of the Adorers of the Blood of Christ on August 31, 1945 and took her first vows July 1, 1947. Sister Gregory studied at Sacred Heart Academy, graduating in 1945 and then continued at Sacred Heart College earning her bachelors in music in 1958. She furthered her education at Catholic University, earning her masters in music in 1965. During the years of 1949-1961 she taught music, kindergarten, and high school at All Saints in Wichita and at St. Mary's and Aquinas High School in David City, Nebraska. Sister returned to Wichita in 1965 and taught music at Sacred Heart College until 1968. She had a beautiful mezzo-soprano voice, and many remember hearing her sing. Sister Gregory, after months of discernment regarding her vocation, asked for a dispensation from her vows and left the community December 15, 1968. She died December 21, 1992 in Pomona, California.
Sister Phyllis Marnell was born January 13, 1922 in Greenbush, Kansas. She graduated from Saint John's Academy in 1938 and received her BS in education at Sacred Heart College in 1954. Sister Phyllis taught at Sacred Heart Academy and also in schools in surrounding areas in Oklahoma, New Mexico, Nebraska, and Kansas. While in Nebraska, Sister assisted in the organization of a new school, St. Mary's, and stayed there for nine years. Starting in 1976 she became a school librarian for twelve years and a fifth grade teacher for two years at St. Francis of Assisi. She made this library one of the best libraries in Kansas, stocking it with books, videos and tapes. Sister Phyllis died May 29, 1992 the first day of summer vacation. She committed 52 years to the ASC community and is remembered as intelligent, friendly, and fun loving with a great sense of humor.
Jeanne [Lobmeyer] Cardenas
Born to Nicholas and Johanna Lobmeyer in Kinsley, Kansas, in 1931, Jeanne was baptized as Alfreda. She attended grade school in Kinsley and then came to Wichita for her high school education at Sacred Heart Academy; she graduated in 1949 and that September she took her first step in joining the Adorers of the Blood of Christ. She received the habit of the Adorers in 1950 as well as the name of Jeanne; her first profession was in 1951. She completed her BA in English in 1958 and had begun teaching religion at Sacred Heart Academy. Jeanne graduated from Marquette University with a MA in English in 1966, taking her classes during the summer months. In 1961 she served as the Director of Admissions for the college through 1965; from 1966 to 1969 she became an English instructor at Sacred Heart. Jeanne had been discerning her vocation to religious life over the years and in 1969 she requested a dispensation from her vows, and it was granted. Jeanne married Michael Cardenas, and in the mid-1970s she returned to Kansas Newman College to teach in the English department. She developed several timely programs for the students including one for returning adult women. She served as the faculty advisor for the student newspaper, Vantage, and assisted the students in receiving numerous awards in journalism. A number of her graduates have gone on to careers in journalism in several states; some of them are freelance writers for journals while others went into marketing arenas. Jeanne retired from Newman University shortly after 2000; she was declared a professor emerita by the Board of Directors and continues to be part of the Newman experience and heritage. Jeanne passed into eternal life on April 24, 2016.
Sister Maurice Yoggerst was born November 18, 1914 in Garden Plain, Kansas. She entered the community December 31, 1930 and began as a student at St. John's Academy and attended Sacred Heart Junior College in 1932 until 1936 when she became a teacher at Ness City. In 1936 she moved to David City where she taught at St. Mary's school until 1944. Afterwards she worked at St. Francis Hospital until 1954 and St. Luke's Hospital in Marion as an accountant until 1959. Sister Maurice then moved to Sacred Heart College and Academy in the business office until 1961. She returned to St. Luke's Hospital from 1961-1967 as a superior administrator and business person. Sister Maurice died January 13, 1969 serving 36 years for the community.
Sister Rita was born in North Ellinwood, Kansas, in 1930, to Andrew and Maria Robl. Rita met Adorers of the Blood of Christ in her early school days, and in 1946 she made her decision to join their ranks. She received her religious habit in 1947 as well as being given the name Jovita; she returned to her baptismal name in the late 1960s. Rita made her first profession of vows in 1948. She completed her high school years at Sacred Heart Academy and did her college work at Sacred Heart; in 1965 she was awarded a MS in education from Notre Dame University. She served in the early 1980s in the Academic Affairs office where she worked on special projects for the Academic Vice President. In 1984 her life took a different turn when she helped found the Acuto Center and served as its director for several years. The Acuto Center was housed at Kansas Newman College in McNeill Hall until it was moved to the ASC Wichita Center to make way for the departments of education and nursing to have office and classroom space in McNeill Hall. Sister Rita helped found the Great Plains Earth Institute; she still plays a role in its programming and operation. She remains active in several peace and social justice arenas for the Adorers.
Sister Tarcisia was born in Ransom, Kansas, the fifth daughter of William and Marguerite Roths; she was blessed with five brothers also. Baptized Patricia, her family moved to St. Joe, Kansas, where she began her high school education in the Andale school system. In 1946, at the age of 16, she joined the Adorers of the Blood of Christ and continued her education at Sacred Heart Academy. Patricia had several cousins who were members of this congregation. She received the habit of the Adorers and was given the name Tarcisia, by which she has been known throughout her entire professional and religious career. She made her first profession in 1948 and was immediately sent to teach at All Saints in Wichita. She continued her college education during the summers and then was given the opportunity to complete her BS degree in education attending Sacred Heart College on a full-time student basis; she completed this degree in 1954. After two more years at All Saints she was off to St. Louis University, where she studied from 1956 to 1959; she completed her PhD in history and was missioned to Sacred Heart College. With the exception of a few years, Sister Tarcisia and the college were almost inseparable. Besides being a Professor of history, Sister Tarcisia also served as the Registrar until 1962 when she was appointed as the Academic Dean, a position she held until 1973 although there was a break of two years when she returned to the classroom full-time. In the 1970s and early 80s, Tarcisia taught World and European History to hundreds of eager students; she convinced many to major and minor in the field of history simply by being an excellent instructor and making history come alive for them. In 1982 she was granted a leave of absence from the college responding to the call of her sisters to serve as the Provincial of the Wichita Province. She served in this role for two terms of four years each. After these years she enjoyed a one year sabbatical at the University of Maryland in 1990-91. During this time she was asked by the Board of Directors of Kansas Newman College to serve as President of the university. When she gave her "yes", often she thought of and spoke with Sister Sylvia Gorges, who had served as her mentor in higher education. Sister Tarcisia served as the Academic Dean for several years during the 1960s, sometimes called the "Gorges Decade" because Sister Sylvia served as Sacred Heart's President during this decade. The physical college campus had changed little since that time; the 1990s under Sister Tarcisia Roths witnessed tremendous physical changes on campus and an increase in student enrollments as well as in faculty ranks. The endowment of Newman rose from approximately $2 million to $20 million, and the college changed its name to Newman University in 1998 following the recommendation of the President and her leadership team. Over the years, Sister Tarcisia was given numerous awards from the university as well as from various organizations in the civic community. She was extremely pleased by being awarded the Cardinal Newman Medal in 2000. In 1996 she was awarded the Forum for Executive Women's Wing Walker Award; the organization founded in 1985 gives women in leadership positions an opportunity to network. The Wing Walker award recognizes persons possessing the traits of courage and determination and was named after the pioneering women aviators who showed their courage by walking on the wings of airplanes. Sister Tarcisia returned to the classroom after her presidency and continued to instruct in the history department until 2005. Throughout all of these years at the university, she continued to be active in her religious community by serving on numerous committees and task forces related to various aspects of the Adorers' life and mission. Although officially retired from the university, Sister Tarcisia, a Professor Emerita in history, remains visible on the campus to assist in friend- and fund-raising activities.
Hilary Ann Geisen
A daughter was born in 1908 to William and Catherine Geisen; they named her Margaret. She was raised in Cullman, Alabama and came in contact with the Adorers in Alton, Illinois shortly after this group of Adorers came to the United States from Croatia and Bosnia. Margaret entered the religious congregation on December 22, 1922. The sisters moved from Illinois to Pennsylvania and it was in Columbia, Pennsylvania that she entered the community; the following year she was given the name of Hilary. Sister Hilary made her first profession in 1926. She taught in numerous schools, which were then staffed by the Adorers from the former Columbia province of the Adorers. At times she struggled with community demands and she requested to be transferred to the former Wichita province to teach in its college, Sacred Heart. While at Sacred Heart College, she was known as Sister Hilary Ann to distinguish her from Sister Hilary Yoggerst. Sister Hilary Ann taught in the English department from 1957 to 1961. She then returned to Pennsylvania and requested a dispensation from her vows. She has since died; the exact date and place are not known.
It was 1917 when Frank and Anna Kerschen welcomed their first child, a girl whom they baptized Martha. They lived in the St. Leo, Kansas area but within a year of Martha's birth they moved to a farm at Aleppo, Kansas, and there raised a family of eight girls and two boys. Martha credits her teachers, the Adorers of the Blood of Christ, with planting the seeds of her desire "to be a Sister." In 1933 she entered the community and the next year received the religious habit and was given the name of Sister Remigia; she made her first profession in 1935. Remigia spent 20 summers in school to attain her BS from Mt. St. Scholastica College, her MS in Education from Notre Dame University in 1957, and an MA in Math from Catholic University in 1964. Remigia summed up those studies when she wrote: "those studies were 'Marvelously stimulating.'" More than once she was missioned to Sacred Heart College to teach from 1959 through the 1970s. She also was asked to serve in leadership positions for her community; therefore, she often taught as a part-time instructor. Many students remember her as an excellent instructor and wonderful tutor and mentor. She spent several years assisting in the ASC archives especially working with photos and artifacts. In November, 2007, Remigia passed from this life; her obituary noted that "Remigia was a thinker and doer, vibrant with ideas, energetic and adaptable, very spirited. . ."
Helen E. [Mariella] Lindsey
Helen Elizabeth was born in 1929 in Guthrie, Oklahoma; her parents were Archie and Doris Lindsey. She was educated in the Guthrie school system and completed her high school courses in 1947. She attended the University of Oklahoma for two years and then returned to Guthrie to attend Benedictine Heights College; she completed her BS in education in 1951. About six months later she made the decision to enter the Adorers of the Blood of Christ; she was given the religious name of Mariella as she received the habit of the Adorers. Sister Mariella returned to her baptismal name shortly after the 1968 General Assembly permitted this. Immediately following her first profession she began teaching the middle grades. In 1959 she was asked to serve as the art instructor at Sacred Heart College while she attended summer programs at Catholic University of America. She completed her MFA in 1963 and returned to Sacred Heart to serve in the Art Department. She had the opportunity to spend a year in Florence, Italy with the Adorers, who were ministering there. While still teaching at the college she also studied art therapy, with particular interest in gerontology; she received her certificate in 1982. She lives at the ASC Wichita Center and staffs its library; she continues to paint and sculpt when she can find the time. Sister Helen was the initiator of and a regular contributor to the Adorers' website page which is entitled the contemplation corner.
Sister Bertha Leiker was born February 25, 1918 in Ness City, Kansas. She entered the religious community on August 25, 1932, and made her first vows August 6, 1934. Sister Bertha attended St. John's Academy and Sacred Heart Junior College, graduating in 1942; she furthered her education at Mt. St. Scholastica College, receiving a BS in education in 1952. Later she received her masters in education at Creighton University. She did additional studies at St. Louis University. During her ministry she taught at grade schools in Oklahoma and Kansas. She also taught at Sacred Heart College from 1959-1962. Bertha requested a dispensation from her vows in 1977 and this was granted on December 21, 1977. She continued her work as a guidance counselor in Oklahoma for numerous years.
Mary [Raphael] Herman
Sister Mary [Raphael] Herman was born May 10, 1921 in Westphalia, Kansas. She entered the community September 2, 1940 and made her first vows December 3, 1941. Sister Mary began her ministry in housekeeping in 1941 at Holy Family in Chanute, Oklahoma. She also did this in Kansas, Colorado, New Mexico, and Missouri. During the late 1950s she prepared the meals for the college students who boarded at the Sacred Heart's residence at 204 W.18th Street in Wichita. Sister Mary served as supervisor of dietary departments at various hospitals including St. Francis in Carlsbad, New Mexico and St. Mary's in Enid, Oklahoma. She later worked at the Provincial House in Wichita and Villa Maria in Mulvane. In 1969 Sister Mary was appointed kitchen supervisor in St. Francis Mercy Hospital in Washington, Missouri where she stayed until her death May 13, 1976. She is remembered as a prayerful soul, diligent in her work, cheerful and eager to serve.
Born August 7, 1903 in St. Mary's, Kansas, Sister Honorata Posch entered the ASC community at Ruma, Illinois on August 26, 1926. In 1928 she started a long career in domestic housekeeping, beginning at St. Mary's Convent in Loretto, Kansas. In 1937 she became supervisor of the kitchen at St. Mary's Hospital in Enid, Oklahoma for four months; she then worked at the Provincial House in Wichita until 1939. Sister Honorata was appointed supervisor of the kitchen in the residence of late Bishop Francis Clement Kelley in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; she held this position until 1945 when she returned to St. Mary's Hospital. Sister Honorata also served at Sacred Heart College and Academy and later at the Villa Christi Retreat House in Wichita until she died January 9, 1976. She is remembered as a prayerful, contemplative, and dedicated woman who had a great sense of humor and always looked at the bright side of life.
Irene [Donata] Schmidt
Irene, the daughter of Jacob and Barbara Schmidt, was born in Liebenthal, Kansas, in 1918. Her sister, Martina, who was four years older than Irene, is the one who first decided to enter the Adorers of the Blood of Christ in 1931. The two sisters had met the Adorers in their hometown of Liebenthal. Irene entered the congregation in 1936 and received the name of Donata the following year; she chose to return to her baptismal name in the 1970s. She pronounced her first profession of vows in 1938. For many years Irene served her community of sisters in housekeeping and kitchen tasks. She also received some training in health care; she took courses at Mercy Hospital in Oklahoma City as a geriatric aide and then completed a course of study in Wichita to become a nurse aide. Her service at Sacred Heart Academy and College took place in 1959-60; she served in the kitchen and prepared numerous meals for the students who ate their lunch on the campus. Since the 1990s, Irene has been retired and living at the Wichita Center of the Adorers.
Sister Leonilla, baptized Catherine, was the second youngest of eleven children born to George and Catherine Ketter. She grew up on the farm where she was born near Okarche, Oklahoma. It was during her grade school days at Holy Trinity that she began to consider religious life as her calling. Her mother died when she was still in school and her father counted on her with many family responsibilities, but he agreed to let her enter the Adorers of the Blood of Christ in 1932. She became a novice in 1933 and was given the name of Leonilla by which she was known to her sisters; she made her first profession in 1934. Sister Leonilla was a gentle woman of joy. Her sense of humor and guileless spirit endeared her to her companions and co-workers. Throughout her years of service, she enjoyed her work in the domestic apostolate: housekeeping, laundry, and kitchen. She served at Sacred Heart College and Academy for five years from 1959 to 1964. Because of renal failure in 1979, she was placed on kidney dialysis; she endured many a treatment with the patience of Job. She had another sister in the religious order, Sister Majella, who preceded Leonilla in death. Sister Leonilla died on January 25, 1984; she was 68 years of age and had spent 49 years as a professed member of the Adorers.
On March 5, 1927, a daughter, who they named Irene, was born to Joseph and Margaret Schiffelbein in Ness City, Kansas. It was here in Ness City that Irene became acquainted with the Adorers of the Blood of Chirst. By the time she considered entering the congregation, her family had moved to Garden City, Kansas, and it was from here that she entered in 1942. She received the name of Paulette as she became a novice in 1942; she pronounced her first vows the following year. She graduated high school from Sacred Heart Academy in 1945 and entered nurses training at St. Mary's Hospital in Enid, Oklahoma in 1948. Paulette also received her BS in education from Sacred Heart in 1968 and her BS in nursing education in 1961. In the late 1950s while taking college courses at Sacred Heart, Sister Paulette served as the resident nurse for the students and the sisters. She became a reading specialist in 1974 and served in this capacity for some 15 years at Moore, Oklahoma. Due to her failing health, Sister Paulette retired from active ministry and returned to the Wichita Center and resided there in the Skilled Health Care unit until her death on November 29, 2009.
Cora, born on New Year's Day, 1917, was the daughter of Anton and Mary Werth. She grew up in Antonino, Kansas in a family of fourteen children. She attended school in several towns in western Kansas, as her family moved often during those early years. In church and school she met both the Precious Blood Missionaries and the Adorers of the Blood of Christ. She came to the newly-established province of Wichita at the age of 12; she had to remain as an aspirant until she was of canonical age  to be able to make her first profession in 1933. She was given the name Aegidia in 1932 when she entered the novitiate. She completed her high school courses at St. John's and her first two years of college work at Sacred Heart in 1937. She received her BA from Marymount in Salina, Kansas and her MS in education from Creighton in 1955. She served at Sacred Heart from 1960 to 1963 as the Dean of Women, but most of the years of her life were devoted to classroom instruction and serving as a school principal. In the late 1960s, Sister Aegidia became acquainted with the Institute for the Achievement of Human Development, and she began working more directly with students to relieve disabilities. A sometimes controversial program of "patterning" became her mission, and she spent many years helping families through this program. The program was housed at Sacred Heart College [also known as Kansas Newman] from 1970 through the mid-1980s. In 1983 she became a consultant for the program as well as for various families of individuals with disabilities; she traveled much to visit her clients and to train family and friends to work with the "patterning". In her spare time she loved to sit at her industrial sewing machine and create purses and other items which many people bought to financially help support Sister Aegidia's program. In 1994 while visiting her sister in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, sister suffered a heart attack and died at age 77; she was a professed Adorer for over 60 years.
Sister Helena Lies was born on March 20, 1908 in Andale, Kansas to Mathias and Margaret Lies. On August 24, 1925, she entered into the congregation of the Adorers of the Blood of Christ in Ruma, Illinois. On June 13, 1926, she began her novitiate and made her first profession of vows on June 14, 1927. After her first profession, she began her long career in domestic assistance in various communities in Kansas and Oklahoma where the Sisters were teaching. She also served on the housekeeping staff of the community's larger institutions: at the provincial house and at the College and Academy in Wichita; at St. Mary's Hospital, Enid, Oklahoma; and at St. Joseph's Villa, David City, Nebraska. In 1968, she served on the domestic team serving the Center for Christian Renewal in Oklahoma City but was forced from this position due to illness in 1974. In August of 1972, she had major surgery in Oklahoma City for removal of a section of her colon. After her recovery she continued in her work but she became a patient at Mercy Hospital, Oklahoma City, from December of 1974 to January of 1975 where she was diagnosed with cancer. Sister Helena had a series of treatments and was eventually able to return to the Center for a fair amount of time; however, she was readmitted to Mercy and her condition was pronounced as critical. On April 29, she was brought to the provincial house in Wichita and received excellent care from the staff and the other Sisters. On June 28, 1975, she passed away at two o'clock in the morning.
Sister Laura Meeriam was born on December 9, 1908 to Francis and Mary Meeriam of Angelus, Kansas. She entered the community on August 22, 1932 and received the habit on August 2, 1933. She made her first vows a year later on August 6, 1934. Throughout her religious life, she worked in general domestic duties at various missions for the sisters. From 1934 to 1936, she was at the provincial house and then spent the next 24 years traveling from mission to mission. In 1940, 1944 and 1948 she served at the academy and college in Wichita and came back from 1960 to 1961. In the fall of 1961, she was appointed to minister in Ashland but her health prevented her from carrying out this assignment, and she returned to Wichita. Between periods of illness, she helped out at the college. Prior to her death, Sister Laura had been hospitalized at St. Joseph's Hospital in Omaha, Nebraska. Her health was improving and it seemed likely she would be able to return to Wichita. She was able to attend daily Mass and Communion and even helped around the hospital. During the afternoon on October 14, 1962, she went for a walk with an attendant. Upon returning, it was noted that she was short of breath, and she was brought back to her room in a wheelchair. She died when the nurses were preparing to put her to bed.
Sister Dionysia Stump was born on September 6, 1918 to Henry and Theodora Stump of Oatville, Kansas. She entered into the congregation on August 25, 1933 and began her novitiate on August 6, 1934. She made her first vows the following year on August 7, 1935. She began her educational journey at St. John's Academy in Wichita, Kansas and spent 1935 to 1939 there. From here she was sent to teach various grades in Angelus, Kinsley, Loretto and Bushton, Kansas. From 1948 to 1953, she taught upper grades in St. Mary's located in Medford, Oklahoma. In 1951, she earned her BA from Marymount College in Salina. She went back to teaching in various schools and completed her MS in educational administration from Creighton University in 1958. She returned to Sacred Heart Academy where she served as the business counselor from 1959 to 1965. From 1965 to 1966, she served as the principal of Sacred Heart Academy. From 1966 to 1971, she served as the assistant principal of Madonna High School. Sister Dionysia returned to Sacred Heart College to be an assistant in financial aid from 1971 to 1972; her interest in the Academy alumnae resulted in having the names of these alumnae added to Newman's mailing list. Following this she went to Emporia, Kansas to work at Sacred Heart as a Religion Coordinator. During several of her summers she assisted a professor from Emporia State while he was at Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. She returned to Wichita in 1975 and worked at Bishop Carroll High School in religion, business, and the bookstore until 1998 when she returned to the province center and became a patient in the skilled care unit. She died on December 27, 2007.
Sister Linus Dinges was born on February 21, 1927 to Conrad and Anna Dinges of Ness City, Kansas. She entered the convent on August 27, 1941 and began her novitiate on July 1, 1942. She made her first vows the following year. She spent the first two years of her mission life in Windthorst, Kansas and Canute, Oklahoma as a housekeeper. After this period, she began working in the health care institutions operated by the Adorers. She spent a year as food service director for Sacred Heart College and Academy, and six years as director of food services for the Provincialate. In 1979, she was diagnosed with cancer which resulted in a radical mastectomy; she suffered reoccurrences throughout the years which forced her to return to the Provincial House in the 1990s. While in Texas on vacation in 1995, she was hospitalized for an infection; she returned to Wichita and continued hospitalization for several weeks. She weakened considerably and died on December 15, 1995 at 68 years of age.
Barbara Ann [Ottilia] Herrmann
Barbara Ann was born in Kinsley, Kansas in 1928; she was the daughter of John and Elizabeth Herrmann. After meeting and being taught by the Adorers of the Blood of Christ, Barbara Ann decided to enter the religious congregation in 1944. She was given the name Sister Ottilia in 1945 and received the habit of the community. She chose to return to her baptismal name after the permission to do so was given at the 1968 General Assembly. Sister made her first profession of vows in 1946. She attended Sacred Heart Academy and College; she completed her BS degree in medical technology in 1961. While attending college she was asked to staff the infirmary, which was available for students as well as the sisters' use. She stepped out of the health care field and took up training at Emmanuel College; here she received her MA in pastoral counseling/ministry in 1986. She served for almost ten years at Mercy Hospital in Oklahoma City as a Pastoral Minister and Chaplain. She returned to Wichita in 1999 and took up residency at the ASC Wichita center. She went to her eternal reward on June 22, 2014.
Sister Sylvia Gorges was born on October 7, 1912 to Matthias and Martha Gorges of Colwich, Kansas. She entered the congregation on December 8, 1929. She made her profession of vows on July 30, 1931. Sylvia felt very comfortable with the Adorers because her older sister, Evelyn, was a member and her family often visited her. She received her elementary education at the parish school in Colwich and then after attending St. John's Academy in Wichita for two years, she decided to become a sister herself. She continued with her education and received a BS in education in 1951 from Mt. St. Scholastica College, Atchison, Kansas, and an MS in education from Creighton University, Omaha in 1956, and an Honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters from Sacred Heart College in 1971. Beginning in 1932, Sister Sylvia spent a large part of her career in education. She continued for the next 40 years teaching various students at the elementary, secondary, and college levels. In 1961, Mother Marciana Heimerman asked Sister Sylvia to become president of Sacred Heart College. Her response was, "If I am given that assignment, God will have to do 99.10 percent of the work, but whatever you say goes." She began her position June 2, 1961 and served it faithfully for exactly ten years to the day. She resumed this position in early 1991 when she served as interim president following the resignation of the 8th president. In 1993, she was awarded the Newman Medal and in 2002, the atrium between De Mattias and O'Shaughnessy Halls was named the Gorges Atrium in honor of the numerous services she provided the university. Under her leadership, the university developed into a regionally accredited co-educational institution. A science hall, a residence hall, and library were all constructed during her time. As she once stated, "Providence was always been good to me." After her years at the university, she spent a year at Carlsbad, New Mexico where she worked with the poor alongside Sister Julitta Elsen. She then spent time in Seoul, Korea where she taught English at Sogang University. She came back to Wichita where she served as Province Mission Procurator and coordinator of hospitality. Sylvia then went to Oklahoma City to work with the poor at Corpus Christi Parish. Her health failed her in 2003 and she was moved into health care where she received hospice care for several months. Although she was ill and suffering, she never let her health affect her relationship with the Adorers and God. The highlight of her day was daily liturgy, and it was here that she was strengthened with the Body and Blood of Christ and prepared for eternal life. She passed away three years after being placed in health care on September 6, 2006. Many friends and relatives were present for her wake service and funeral; their tributes presented a woman who loved God fiercely and trusted abundantly in God's providence.
Sister Irene Hau was born on July 31, 1913 to John and Catherine of Okarche, Oklahoma. She entered the congregation on December 29, 1930 and began her novitiate on July 30, 1931. Her first vows were made on July 31, 1932. She attended both St. John's Academy, which she finished in 1932, and Sacred Heart College where she completed a BS in business in 1963. The first twelve years of her religious life were spent as a teacher in elementary schools in Ellinwood, Angelus, Aleppo, and Colwich. In 1944, she was sent to Artesia, New Mexico, General Hospital and served as accountant, medical records librarian and business manager in the hospitals at Marion, Kansas; Villa Madonna, Enid; Carlsbad, New Mexico; and at Sacred Heart College and Academy and later Madonna High School. In 1969 she returned to St. Mary's Hospital, Enid, as General Ledger Accountant until the summer of 1985. Some of her hobbies included gardening, candy-making, and oil painting. She had major surgery in October of 1984 and was found to be suffering from invasive cancer. She went through various forms of treatments while she continued to volunteer and participate in community activities. In August, 1985, she stopped her work as accountant and on September 22 she was brought to the Health Care Center at the Provincial House. On September 28, she was weakening and she thought she would die that day; she lingered and passed away on September 30, 1985.
Sister Beata Weiss was born on April 18, 1928 to Charles and Anna Weiss of Offerle, Kansas. She entered the congregation on December 29, 1945 from Dodge City, Kansas. She began her novitiate on July 1, 1946 and made her first vows on July 1, 1947. Education played an important part in her life; she attended Sacred Heart Academy. During the Christmas break of her senior year, she decided to enter the convent. She pursued higher education during the summers of her 26-year teaching career in elementary schools of Kansas, Oklahoma, Colorado, and New Mexico. She obtained a BS in education from Sacred Heart College in 1959 and a MA in theology at Marquette University in 1969. During the 1960s she served as Dean of Women at Sacred Heart College. After teaching, she involved herself in issues of social justice and was the Peace and Justice Representative for the ASC at both the local and state level. She also served as a field representative at State Employment Office in Topeka. After serving in this position for nine years, she was accepted into the Clinical Pastoral Education Program at Western State Hospital, Ft. Steilacoom, Washington and did her internship there. After completing her program, she became pastoral associate and then chaplain, at St. John's Hospital, Springfield, Illinois; she served there faithfully for 17 years. She decided to retire at the Wichita Center and in November of 2006, she was transferred into Health Care where she received loving care for her memory loss. Her last hours went exceedingly fast, and she passed away on December 23, 2007.
Sister Lucille Diller was born on February 18, 1913 to Anton and Christine Diller of Waterloo, Kansas. She entered the congregation on November 29, 1928 and began her novitiate on July 1, 1929. She made her first vows on July 29, 1930. After completing elementary school, she attended Sacred Heart Academy with full intentions of becoming a nurse. During her second year of high school, she, with three companions, went to Ruma for their postulancy and novitiate. After receiving her habit, Sister Lucille returned to Wichita and became one of the first novices of the new province. Shortly after making her first vows, she went to St. John's Hospital in Salina, Kansas for nurses training. However, she felt she was not receiving the training she needed and requested to be moved to St. Francis Hospital in Wichita. The move did take place. Sister passed the state board exams and was the first nurse graduate for the Wichita Province. She spent six months in Oak Park Hospital, Chicago, for training in anesthesia. After final vows in 1935, she went to St. Francis Hospital in Carlsbad, New Mexico. In 1939, she was transferred to Stillwater Municipal Hospital, where she realized she needed further education and was permitted to fulfill her liberal arts requirements at Oklahoma A&M. In 1945, she was Administrator of St. Mary's Hospital in Enid, Oklahoma and in 1946, she began graduate studies in nursing at Marquette University. From 1960 to 1970, she was the school nurse at Sacred Heart College and later Dean of Women; she also taught in the education department. In 1975, she retired from nursing but became a chaplain by taking a CPE course at Presbyterian Hospital in Oklahoma City; she stayed in this position until 1985. She returned to the Provincial House and passed away on April 27, 2003.
Agnes Therese Csonka
Sister Agnes Therese Csonka was born on April 1, 1929 to Frank and Lola Csonka of Washington, DC. She entered the congregation of the Adorers of the Blood of Christ on August 18th, 1947 and began her novitiate on July 1, 1948. She made her final vows on July 1, 1954. Most of her career was spent teaching music; her specialty was the violin – she always played with beauty and passion. From 1949 to 1952, she taught at All Saints in the intermediate grades in Wichita, Kansas, and after this she taught music at Wichita's Christ the King. In 1959, she received her bachelor's in music from Sacred Heart College. From 1960 to 1961, she worked at Aquinas High School in David City, Nebraska. Sister served in 1961 to 1962 as a member of Sacred Heart College's Music Department. In 1962, she went to Pius XII Institute in Florence, Italy where she received her MA in music. She returned to Wichita and became a member of the Sacred Heart College faculty again as a music instructor. She remained in this position from 1963 to 1973. In 1973 she requested a dispensation from her vows; it was granted on May 15, 1973, and she left the congregation.
Sister Fidelis Wintholz was born on February 7, 1913 in Liebenthal, Kansas to John and Katie Wintholz. She entered the congregation on June 3, 1929 from Liebenthal. She began her novitiate on July 29, 1930 and made her first vows on July 30, 1931. Her first years in the congregation were spent receiving an education at St. John's Academy from 1931 to 1933. Afterwards, she went to Sacred Heart Junior College from 1934 to 1937. She was also a teacher for elementary grades during this period. Most of her career was spent teaching and being involved with education. After teaching from 1937 to 1941, she returned to Wichita and performed housekeeping duties at St. John's Academy. She spent the next twenty years teaching before returning to Sacred Heart College to perform various duties in 1962. In 1963, she also performed various duties at St. Martin in Caldwell, Kansas. Upon returning to Wichita, she became the assistant librarian at the Provincialate and the librarian at Christ the King from 1966 to 1971 and at St. Margaret Mary from 1971 to 1972. From 1972 to 1977, she served as the librarian at St. Anne's. In 1977, she took a leave of absence and spent this time at the St. Joseph convent of the ASC in Columbia, Pennsylvania. In 1978, she returned to the Provincialate and did various duties until 1995; this included her great joy in gardening with her sister, Sister Seraphine. From 1995 to 1998, she continued to live her retirement years. She passed away on July 13, 1998.
Sister Joseph Mies was born on November 13, 1927 to Matthew and Rose of Garden Plain, Kansas. She entered the congregation on December 8, 1942 from St. Marks, Kansas. She began her novitiate on July 1, 1943 and made her first vows on July 1, 1944. Her career in the congregation was spent doing various domestic duties. She did these duties in the convent at Spearville, Kansas (1944-1945), St. Francis Hospital in Carlsbad, New Mexico (1945-1946), the convent in Marienthal, Kansas 1946-1947), St. Mary Hospital in Enid, Oklahoma (1947-1948), and the convent in Greenbush, Kansas (1948). From November of 1948 to 1957, she was a baker at the Wichita Provincialate. From 1957 to 1961, she performed domestic duties at St. Mary Hospital in Carlsbad, New Mexico. She returned to Sacred Heart College and Academy from 1961 to 1962 where she performed laundry and various other duties. From 1962 to 1983, she was at the bishop's residence in Oklahoma City. The next twenty years were spent as a pastoral assistant at St. Francis Parish in Oklahoma City. She held the position until 2006. In February of 2006, she returned to the Wichita central house where she is retired from active ministry. She lives in the Caritas Center, the skilled care unit for the Adorers. Sister Joseph loved butterflies and chose to display them in her room, on her wheelchair, and on her person -- what a beautiful symbol of life and its many changes. She passed her threshold into eternity on October 29, 2013 surrounded by both family and members of the Adorers of the Blood of Christ.
Sister Anastasia Jilg was born on October 18, 1920 to Joseph and Christina Jilg of Olmitz, Kansas. She entered the convent on August 31, 1935 from Olmitz. She began her novitiate on August 8, 1936 and made her first vows on August 10, 1937. She had considered other religious orders but decided upon the ASC because they were her teachers. Education was important to her, and she continued her studies at St. John's Academy and Sacred Heart Junior College. She obtained a 60-hour teaching certificate in 1940. When Sacred Heart became a four year institution in 1952, she finished her BS degree in education. She later completed her MS in education. She spent 1940 to 1960 teaching in various towns in Kansas- mostly upper grades. In 1960, she taught high school courses in commerce at Aquinas High School in David City, Nebraska, a position she kept until 1962. In 1962, she returned to Wichita, Kansas where she became the registrar at Sacred Heart College. She remained in this position until 1976. In 1976 she taught language arts at St. Francis of Assisi one-half of the time and spent the remainder as local treasurer at the Provincialate. In 1977, she became the assistant local treasurer and in 1978 she became the local treasurer which lasted until 1984. She left to spend a year in Korea as an English teacher but suffered a stroke in 1985 and her health lead to her return to the states. She spent a year in Carlsbad at the Centre Sangre de Christi, as a staff member, and then several years as librarian at St. Edward's School in Carlsbad. In 1996, she served as volunteer at Assumption School in El Paso, Texas. She kept up this position as long as her health would permit. During the summer of 2000 she weakened considerably and was diagnosed with cancer. In September she returned to the Provincial Center where she was alert and welcoming to the Sisters upon arrival, but her condition worsened and she passed away on October 16, 2000.
Lillian [Theophane] Taylor
Sister Theophane Taylor was born on February 28, 1933 in Bison, Oklahoma to Bohmil and Nettie Taylor. She entered the convent on August 29, 1946. Two years later, on July 1, 1948, she began her novitiate and made her first vows on July 1, 1949. In 1950, she graduated from Sacred Heart Academy and was sent to teach primary grades for a year at St. Joseph in Humboldt, Kansas. In 1951, she became a student for a year at Sacred Heart College with a focus in education. She completed this degree in 1959 and taught in various Kansas schools. She briefly taught music at Sacred Heart Academy. She taught speech and drama at Sacred Heart College from 1962 to 1969 but spent her summers as a student at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin getting her MS in speech and drama. The level of the students' accomplishments in the drama area skyrocketed under her tutelage. Many plays and musicals, which she directed, drew large audiences. Toward the end of the 1960s she requested a dispensation from her vows; this was granted and she left the congregation on July 23, 1970. She lived in Santa Fe, New Mexico for years where she taught at St. Michael's College; she continued to have many friends in the religious community and among the alumni whose lives she touched and help mold. Lillian died February 1, 2011 after battling cancer. 176 Angelica Ann Roybal On January 21, 1929, a daughter was born to Filberto and Catherine Roybal, and they named her Febronia. Having begun life in Fruita, Colorado; this is where she was educated in grade school and later at the local high school, Fruita Union, from which she graduated in 1947. Having met the Adorers of the Blood of Christ, who were ministering in this area, she decided to enter this religious congregation in 1949. She was received into the novitiate in 1950 and was given the name of Angelica Ann; she professed her first vows in 1951. Sister began her bachelor's degree at Sacred Heart College and earned a BS in education in 1957. Her first years on mission were at All Saints in Wichita; in 1957 she began advanced studies in Spanish at Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. Angelica Ann completed her MA in 1960 and her PhD in 1963. She also had the opportunity to serve as an interpreter for the Sister Formation Project in Peru, South America for six months as she completed her research for her doctorate. At the beginning of 1963 she returned to Sacred Heart College to teach Spanish, but this was short-lived. With the turmoil of these years in the congregation as well as at the college, she decided to ask for a dispensation from her vows; this was granted in August, 1963.
Sister Bertilla Kerschen was born on April 15, 1923 in Aleppo, Kansas to Frank and Anna Kerschen. She entered the convent on August 31, 1939 and began her novitiate on August 10, 1939. She made her first vows the following year. Teaching was her focus during her years as a sister. Education was essential, so she completed her high school education at Sacred Heart Academy in 1942. She also obtained her BS in education from Mt. St. Scholastica College in Atchison, Kansas as well as her MS in education from St. Louis University. During this period, she taught the upper grades in various Kansas towns. In 1962, she returned to Wichita and taught science at Sacred Heart Academy until 1964. She then became the principal at St. Joseph's in Andale, Kansas. In 1965, she went to Carlsbad, New Mexico and to San Jose where she served as Director of Religious Education. From 1966 to 1968, she taught sixth grade and high school science at Holy Trinity in Okarche, Oklahoma. She requested a dispensation from her vows in 1970; it was granted on July 21, 1970. She died on September 13, 1987.
Sister Bernadette Schmidt was born on January 31, 1912 to John and Anna Schmidt of Liebenthal, Kansas. She entered the congregation on December 20, 1928. She began her novitiate on July 1, 1929 and made her first vows on July 29, 1930. The first five years of her life as a sister were spent teaching at various schools in Kansas. From 1935 to 1943, she served by carrying out various domestic duties. She again taught from 1943 to 1963 and during this period she received both her BA in education from Marymount College in Salina, Kansas in 1955 and her MALS in 1963 from Rosary College in River Forest, Illinois. After completing her degree, she spent the next twenty years as a librarian at Sacred Heart Academy (1963-1966), Madonna High School (1966-1971), and at Ryken High School in Leonardtown, Maryland (1971-1983). From 1983 to 1988, she was on the library staff at Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. She also volunteered at the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception during this period. In 1988, she returned to the Wichita central house to perform various part-time duties. On June 4, 2004, she was moved to the skilled care unit. Her health deteriorated and she passed away on November 4, 2004.
Sister Marita, baptized Elizabeth, is the daughter of Franz and Gertrude Rother from Okarche, Oklahoma; she was born in 1936. She was educated at Holy Trinity grade school and attended her first three years of the high school here also. She came to Wichita, Kansas to complete her high school diploma at Sacred Heart in 1953. Approximately eight months later she entered the religious congregation of the Adorers of the Blood of Christ. She received her habit and the name Marita as she entered the novitiate in 1954; the following July 1 she professed her first vows. She completed her BS in education in 1962 and immediately was missioned to Sacred Heart Academy to teach mathematics; she even moved with the academy as it took up occupancy at the newly constructed Madonna High School, today Wilbur Middle School. She completed her master's degree in administration from Wichita State University in 1968. She also taught at Bishop Carroll High School for a year. In 1984 she returned to Kansas Newman College to teach in the Education Department. After three years she was appointed the superintendent of Catholic schools for the Dodge City Diocese; she later served as the Associate Superintendent in the Oklahoma City Archdiocese in the 1990s. Marita has always juggled her love for classroom teaching with administrative responsibilities throughout her years of service in the religious community. She currently lives at the Wichita Center of the Adorers.
Sister Angelita, baptized Josephine, is the daughter of Jose and Carmen Alfaro; she was born in 1927 in El Dorado, Kansas. After several years the family moved to Augusta, Kansas and this is where Angelita attended grade school. In 1946 she made the decision to enter the congregation of the Adorers of the Blood of Christ; the following year she entered the novitiate and was given the name of Angelita, which she has kept since that day. She made her first profession in 1948, and two years later she completed her high school curriculum. By 1960 she was awarded her BS in education and specialization in Spanish. She attended Wichita State University and received an MA in Spanish in 1966. In 1964 she began teaching at Sacred Heart College in the discipline of Spanish and bilingual studies; she remained at the College until 1979. Since that time she has served in parish ministry and as a translator. She celebrated her 60th anniversary of vows in 2008. She resided at the ASC Wichita Center until her passing into eternal life on October 26, 2016.
Margaret Rooney was born to James and Marguerite Rooney in Bennington, Nebraska at the end of 1929. In time the family moved to Cedar Bluffs, Nebraska and it is from this location that Margaret chose to enter the religious congregation of the Adorers of the Blood of Christ in 1946. She was given the name Patrick as she entered the novitiate in 1947; she professed her first vows in 1948. During her mission experience she taught mainly in elementary schools serving in a variety of grades. In 1964 she was asked to teach music at Sacred Heart Academy, which she did until it closed in 1966. She continued to teach at Madonna High until 1970. Margaret began to question her call to religious life and chose to ask for a dispensation from her vows; this was granted in June, 1970. She has remained in contact with the Adorers of the Blood of Christ over the years primarily through her blood sister Mary Kevin Rooney, ASC.
Sister Maureen was born in 1935 in Hobart, Oklahoma to Ralph and Isabelle Farrar; they baptized her as Mary Frances. She attended school in Roosevelt, Oklahoma and completed her high school curriculum in 1953. The following year she entered the Adorers of the Blood of Christ and was given the name of Maureen along with the habit of the congregation; she made her first profession in 1955. Her first years of ministry found her in several schools in Kansas teaching all grades from first through eighth but not all of them simultaneously. She attended Sacred Heart College in the summers and was awarded her degree in 1963. She was sent to teach English and journalism at Sacred Heart Academy and College in 1964; she started work on her master's degree at the same time. She completed her MA in communication arts from Notre Dame University in 1968. After seven years as a teacher, she became the public relations director for Sacred Heart and Kansas Newman College from 1971 to 1978. After a period of time in leadership for the religious community, she chose to go to the American Southwest to serve at St. Paul Navajo Mission centered in Crownpoint, New Mexico. As a parish administrator, director, and friend, the native people have welcomed her with open arms to their culture. Sister Maureen resigned her role as parish administrator in 2013 and made the decision to continue to live among the native people of the area.
Sister Mary Denis Ackerman was born on August 19, 1900 to John and Francis Ackerman of Twelve Mill, Kentucky. She entered the congregation on October 9, 1922. She began her novitiate on July 31, 1923 and made her first vows on August 5, 1924. She began her mission experience as a homemaker in Ness City, Kansas in 1924. She also served in various missions of the Wichita province in Kansas and Colorado. Sister was also a superb seamstress and she supervised the vestment department at the provincial house in Wichita from 1939 to 1946. In 1969 she was missioned at the provincial house and served in the general sewing room until her illness prevented her doing further work. She always took a lively interest in all activities--including those of both her school and religious community. One of her favorite interests was the athletic activities of Kansas Newman College, and she enjoyed watching the progress of the Jets as they went through each season. Her memory was strong and it served as a resource for community data. In 1979, she had exploratory surgery, and it was discovered that she had advanced cancer. She recovered from the surgery but chose not to take any additional kind of treatments. She performed light tasks and was mobile until February, 1981. In April, her health worsened and she breathed her last on May 1, 1981.
Sister Geraldine was born to Alphonsus and Christine Hotze in Cunningham, Kansas in 1920; they baptized her Elfreada. Before long the family moved to Wichita and it was from here in 1938 that she made the decision to enter the congregation of the Adorers of the Blood of Christ. That same year she had completed her high school studies at St. John's Academy. She entered the novitiate in 1939 and was given the name Geraldine. Sister Geraldine made her profession of first vows in 1940. She was sent to teach in several Kansas Catholic grade schools and also served her congregation as the director of candidates and novices. In 1962 she completed her BA at St. Mary College in Leavenworth; in 1966 she finished the course of study for her MS in theology from Notre Dame University. From 1966 to 1970 she served at Sacred Heart College in the Theology Department, but she decided that more one-on-one work with individuals as spiritual director and co-worker in houses of personal development and prayer were more suited to her style. One of her later services in the community was as head librarian for the ASC Wichita Center. On June 5, 2009 she passed from this life into her eternal reward.
Sister Mary Charles Werner was born on December 20, 1910 in Kinsley, Kansas. She entered the congregation on September 1, 1927 and made her first vows on July 2, 1929. Beginning in Andale in 1929, she taught in elementary school in Kansas and Oklahoma until 1963. She spent a year at Villa Madonna in Enid, Oklahoma and then worked in the bindery of Ryan Library (Sacred Heart College) until 1975. In the following years she worked at the Center for Christian Renewal, Oklahoma City and in St. Francis, Bishop Carroll, and St. Joseph schools in Wichita, as librarian or assistant librarian. She also enjoyed crafts--especially photography. This hobby led to a diploma and many happy days of photographing special occasions. In 1989, she returned to the provincialate because of her fragile health. She offered various services until she entered the skilled care unit at the provincial house. In the last few months she very weak and passed away on September 28, 1995. 186 Eileen Christopherson Born in 1922, Marie Lucille was the daughter of Oscar and Sarah Christopherson from Arkansas City, Kansas. She completed her elementary education in her home town, but she split her high school years between Arkansas City and Wichita, where she completed her high school diploma at St. John's Academy in 1944. She entered the religious congregation of the Adorers of the Blood of Christ in 1939 and the following year she was given the name of Eileen; her first profession of vows was made in 1941. She attended college at Sacred Heart and completed her studies for a BS in education at Mt. St. Scholastica College in 1953. She earned her MS in education from St. Mary College in Leavenworth and her PhD in elementary education in 1967 from Catholic University of America. In the fall of 1966, she came to Sacred Heart College to work alongside Sister Thomasine Stoecklein in the college Department of Education. After four years she requested to provide service to her aging parents in Arkansas City; it was granted and for two years she taught at Southwestern College in Winfield, Kansas. After further discernment she asked for a dispensation from her vows and received it in 1972.
Just before the stock market crash in 1929, Maurine entered this life as the daughter of Marcus and Mary Schmidt in Spearville, Kansas. After her grade school years, she decided to enter the religious congregation of the Adorers of the Blood of Christ; this occurred in 1943. She began her high school studies during her initial formation with the Adorers. In 1944 she entered the novitiate and was given the name of Delphine; she made her first profession of vows in 1945. She completed high school requirements in 1947 and received her BS in education in 1959. She had the opportunity to attend St. Louis University, where she earned a MA in philosophy in 1965. Sister Delphine came to Sacred Heart College to teach philosophy in 1966 and remained through 1975. With the exception of one year as a history instructor at Aquinas High School in 1975-76, all of her service years as a teacher were given in kindergarten classes or college courses of philosophy; several times she pondered this reality and stated maybe there isn't really much difference between the two. Sister Delphine lived a full life and entered eternity on August 2, 2009.
Mary [Richard] Herrmann
Born in 1929 in Kinsley, Kansas to Charles and Martha Herrmann was a daughter, whom they named Agatha Rosetta. Her early years of education were in her home town; she continued her high school courses at Sacred Heart Academy and completed the requirements for her diploma in 1947. While attending high school she decided to enter the religious community of the Adorers of the Blood of Christ, which she did in 1945 right after the ending of World War II. She entered the novitiate in 1946 and received the name Mary Richard; in the latter part of the 1960s she dropped Richard and was called Sister Mary. Sister professed her first vows in 1947. Completing her BS in education from Sacred Heart College in 1958, she was missioned to several schools in Kansas where she taught the middle and upper grades and often served as principal. She completed further studies at Loyola University in Chicago and received her MA in psychology in 1966. She began teaching at Sacred Heart College in 1966 and served there through 1974. She completed a chaplaincy program at Prairie View Mental Health Clinic in 1975. She worked in this field for over eight years at St. Mary's Hospital in Manhattan, Kansas. For several years Mary had been discerning her life's journey, and she made the decision in 1983 to seek a dispensation from her religious vows. The dispensation was granted in 1984. She retired and continued to live in the Manhattan area until her death on October 20, 2010.
Therese Marie Baldwin
Therese Marie was born in 1935 to Roy and Simone Baldwin in Okmulgee, Oklahoma; her parents named her Irma Yvonne. The family soon moved to Chaney, Kansas where she completed her high school education at the local high school in 1953. She attended Coffeyville Junior College and earned her BS in Education from Kansas State College in Pittsburg, Kansas. She continued her advanced studies at the same institution receiving her MS in French and Spanish in 1964. Just as she was finishing this degree she chose to enter the Adorers of the Blood of Christ in 1963. She entered the novitiate in 1964 and received the name of Therese Marie; her first vows were professed in 1965. She began teaching at Sacred Heart College in 1965 and continued teaching French until 1971. Therese Marie attended a special summer program in Quebec at the Universite Laval in 1968. In 1971 she moved to Bishop Carroll High School where she taught both French and Spanish; at the same time she had discerned that religious life was really not the call for her. She received her dispensation from vowed commitment in 1972. On August 18, 1998 the community received word of her death.
Margaret was born on February 13, 1931 in Spearville, Kansas to John and Olivia Knoeber. She received her early years of education in her hometown and then began her high school curriculum at Sacred Heart Academy in Wichita, Kansas. While in school she made the decision to enter the religious congregation of the Adorers of the Blood of Christ toward the end of 1948; the following May she graduated from the academy. Margaret entered the novitiate in 1949 and was given the name Carmeline; she returned to her baptismal name in the late 1960s. She made her first profession of vows in 1950. While teaching in grade school, she worked on her college curriculum and completed her BS in natural sciences in 1961. After attending summer sessions at Creighton University in the early 1960s, Margaret had the opportunity to attend Notre Dame University as a full-time student. It was here that her professors and advisors noted her outstanding ability to do chemical research; she completed her Ph.D. from Notre Dame in 1967. Sister Margaret was assigned to teach chemistry at Sacred Heart College upon her return to Kansas in 1967; she remained in this service for the next eleven years. At this time the natural sciences and the physical sciences made up one department; Sister Margaret was the initiator of the first Department of Chemistry at the college. The students recognized not only Sister Margaret's ability as a research scientist but also her outstanding capability as an instructor. They witnessed her accomplishments in the field of organic chemistry and her ability to make this difficult area understandable. She tutored them as well as instructed them; she went that extra mile to pass on her passion for this subject matter. During this time, Sister Margaret established the Pre-Med Committee for which the college/university has received accolades; the doctors she helped to begin their medical programs have been more than grateful for that extra nudge she provided without asking for recognition. Due to health issues Margaret had to reduce her teaching load as well as prepare herself to serve the congregation in additional ways. Whether she was helping to launch the Center of Values or the Pre-Professional Advisory Committee, Margaret's giftedness came to the fore. She returned to Notre Dame in the early 1980s to attend a Religious Leaders Program; she put her learnings to immediate use in the above mentioned programs. Sister Margaret became the Alumni Director at Newman in 1983, a position in which she served for the next seven years. The alumni from the academy and the college so greatly appreciated all her efforts on their behalf. She was called away from this service by her religious congregation; she became a member of the newly selected Leadership Team of the Adorers in 1990. She remained in this role until 1996. After a sabbatical year in Weston School of Theology in Cambridge, Sister Margaret directed the Pastoral Ministry Program in Dodge City, Kansas; she birthed this program to work in conjunction with Newman. In 2002 she returned to the Wichita area and accepted the position of Archivist for the Wichita province and then for the newly converged United States region of the Adorers. Health issues forced her resignation; she continues to serve as a consultant in the area. She has touched the lives of so many students who have been affiliated with Newman University; when alumni return to the Wichita area, they make sure they have the opportunity to spend some time with Sister Margaret. She currently resides in the Caritas Center of the Adorers.
Rose Therese Bahr
Mildred Bahr was born in 1930 to Frank and Mary Bahr in Great Bend, Kansas. She was educated along with her siblings at St. Ann grade and high school, which was located in Olmitz, Kansas, a small farming community near Great Bend. After her 1948 high school graduation, Mildred made the decision to enter the religious congregation of the Adorers of the Blood of Christ; she had been educated by numerous Adorers in Olmitz. She received her habit in 1949 as well as the name of Rose Therese, the name she has retained over these many years. Rose Therese received her RN from St. Francis Hospital School of Nursing in Wichita, Kansas and began service in various hospitals. She studied also at Catholic University of America in Washington, DC, receiving her MS in nursing in 1962. After a short time as director of nursing service at St. Mary's in Enid, Oklahoma, Sister Rose Therese became a student at St. Louis University; she earned her PhD in nursing in 1967. She taught at Sacred Heart and served a short time as the Academic Dean. Sacred Heart was forced to shut down its program in nursing in 1969; Rose Therese packed her bags reluctantly and took a position in the University of Kansas Medical Center for the next fourteen years. In 1984, she took another position at Catholic University as a professor of nursing; she remained there until her religious community called her into service as a member of the Leadership Team. After the completion of her term in leadership, Sister Rose Therese spent a year retooling herself to return to Newman; the field of nursing had returned to the college at the end of the 1970s, and sister was welcomed to be part of the master's program as a professor of nursing. As the new millennium started, the MS in nursing was dropped from the Newman University curriculum, and Sister Rose Therese's position no longer existed. Since this time, she has served many social outreach programs in the city of Wichita; it is difficult to recall all the organizations she has helped to receive funding for projects and programs by writing and directing numerous grant proposals. Today, Sister Rose Therese served on the Newman University Board of Trustees until 2015 when her term ended. She lived at the Wichita Center until her death on February 18, 2016.
Born to Gilbert and Evelyn Mark on November 21, 1940, in Platte Center, Nebraska, JoAnn became the sole girl in a family of four boys. She was educated in Humphrey, Nebraska and completed her high school curriculum in 1958; she actually entered the religious community of the Adorers of the Blood of Christ in January, 1958 and completed the one hour she still needed to receive her diploma from her local high school. She entered the novitiate in July, 1958 and was given the name of Ann Joseph; she returned to her baptismal name at the end of the 1960s. She made her first profession of vows in 1959. Sister JoAnn received her undergraduate degree in English; she took several math courses but SHC did not offer a math major at that time. During the 1960s she taught the upper grades in two schools in Kansas; then, beginning in 1966 she started graduate work at Oklahoma State University. JoAnn completed requirements for an MS in math in 1968 and for her EdD with emphasis in math in 1975. As was typical of many of the sisters, Sister JoAnn was asked to teach at Sacred Heart College while she was taking her graduate studies. In 1975 she became an Associate Professor at Newman and taught full time for the next six years. Not only did she teach numerous math courses but she also began to develop courses in the new field of information technology or computer science as it was then called. Sister JoAnn stepped into administration as the Academic Dean and then the Vice President of Academics during the first half of the 1980s. When she resigned in 1985, JoAnn left Newman for over twenty years. After serving as a computer coordinator in Clinton, Iowa, Sister JoAnn was hired as the Academic Dean and Vice President of Academics at Brescia College in Owensboro, Kentucky; she remained in this position until 1999. Her life took a different slant when she accepted the position of Director of Consecrated Life for the Archdiocese of Omaha, Nebraska. During this ministry, JoAnn was elected to community leadership as a member of the leadership team for the newly converged region of the Adorers in the United States. After a term of six years she spent a year in Tanzania working with the ASC who are ministering there among their people. After a year, Sister JoAnn returned to the United States and was hired at Newman University as the Director of Transfer Student Orientation and Advising. In addition to this role, she was asked to do institutional research for the university. Although Sister JoAnn was physically not on the campus for many years, she did remain tied to the university in her service as a member of the Board of Trustees and as a member of the corporation. NU alumni were very pleased she was back at NU. In 2015, JoAnn heard God calling her to full-time ministry in the arena of social justice and peace. She was offered the job of Executive Director of Partnership for Global Justice, a NGO associated with the United Nations. She resigned her position in April, 2018 and returned again to Wichita. She resided at the Wichita Center and works part time at Newman assisting with institutional research.
Alice was born to John and Catherine Schiffelbein in 1920 in the town of Ness City, Kansas. She attended school in Ness City as well as in Garden City, Kansas where her family moved; in 1936, while living in Garden City, she made the decision to enter the religious congregation of the Adorers of the Blood of Christ. She entered the novitiate in August, 1937 and received the name of Sister Juliana along with the habit of the order. She made her first vows in 1938. Her first years of ministry were spent in housekeeping roles in the kitchen and in custodial positions. She asked to attend high school; this was granted and she earned her diploma from Sacred Heart Academy in 1947. She was transferred to St. Mary's Hospital in Enid, Oklahoma, and it was here that she completed her studies for her RN through St. Mary Hospital School of Nursing in 1952. Later she attended Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. where she earned her BS in nursing in 1961. Sister Juliana worked at several of the hospitals sponsored by the ASC. In 1969 she became a faculty member in the short-lived nursing program at Sacred Heart College. She left Sacred Heart when the program was closed. In 1974 she discerned her life as a religious and made the decision to seek a dispensation from her vows; this dispensation was granted in early 1975.
Sister Paschal Kappas was born on January 13, 1920 in Columbus, Ohio to William and Theophilla Kappas. She entered nurses training after high school, under the direction of the Holy Cross Sisters at Mt. Carmel Hospital, where she worked two years after graduation. She enlisted in the Army Nurse Corps; her last two years were spent in an Evacuation Hospital in the 3rd Army under General Patton. After the war she attended St. Mary of the Springs College to earn her BS in nursing where she met Sister Regina Buchholz of the Adorers. She entered in the ASC on January 1, 1954. She became a novice July 1, 1954 and made her first profession July 1, 1955. She began her ministry at St. Mary's Hospital, Enid, Oklahoma and served in health care at St. Joseph Villa, David City, Nebraska; St. Luke Hospital in Marion, Kansas; St. Francis Hospital in Carlsbad, New Mexico; and Villa Madonna in Enid, until her return to Wichita in 1968. She served as a staff nurse for several years at St. Joseph Hospital, Wichita; in Blackwell, Oklahoma; in Wichita at Sacred Heart College; and in St. Francis Hospital, Washington, Missouri. In 1977, she worked in the Denver area and returned to Wichita in 1980 after suffering an aneurism and a stroke. Beginning in 1981, she entered the Provincial Health Care Facility as her health weakened. She passed away on May 19, 1998.
Frank and Alvina Kirmer welcomed their daughter Marilyn into their lives in Spearville, Kansas at the end of 1935. Marilyn attended elementary school in the area and completed her high school studies at Dodge City High School in 1953. After working for a few years, Marilyn decided to enter the congregation of the Adorers of the Blood of Christ; she left from her Dodge City home for Wichita in 1958. She also began her college studies at this time; she completed them in 1963 having earned a BS degree in business and theology. Marilyn entered the novitiate in 1959 and received the name of Renee along with the religious habit of the Adorers; she made her first vows in 1960. For most of the 1960s she served at Sacred Heart Academy and then Madonna High School. Sister Renee also fulfilled the role of Director of Aspirants for the community. In the 1970s she was missioned at Sacred Heart College and served in administrative capacities; while in this role she was asked to assume a leadership role as a councilor for her religious community. Having completed this service in 1982, Renee spent a year in a sabbatical program in Rome. After one year assisting in the Salina Diocese, Sister Renee became a member of the Pastoral Team at St. Mary's Cathedral in Wichita. After almost 20 years of ministry at the Cathedral, Sister Renee assisted the small town of Chaflin, Kansas as a pastoral assistant. In the summer of 2008, Sister Renee returned to Wichita to be a member of the newly founded discernment community for women who are discerning their vocations in religious life. She moved to the Wichita Center in 2012 where she assisted the community of sisters in many capacities as well as was actively involved as a board member of the Center of Hope. Sister Renee volunteered for several years at Newman University in the Registrar's office. In mid-September, 2017, she had a stroke and passed into eternal life on September 20, 2017. Serving as a volunteer in diocesan programs, which served the underprivileged, she will be missed In the greater Wichita community.
On July 3, 1918, Margaret was born to John and Mary Herman in Piqua, Kansas. She had opportunities to go to school in the area, and it was during the war years that she decided to enter the religious congregation of the Adorers of the Blood of Christ on September 3, 1943. In 1944 she entered the novitiate and received her habit and the name of Emiliana, which she has still to this day. She made her first profession of vows in 1945. Beginning in 1945, Emiliana served many of the sisters on mission with housekeeping responsibilities. A large majority of her years in this service were spent at St. Mary's Hospital in Enid, Oklahoma. Emiliana had the opportunity to attend Fontbonne College at the end of the 1960s; it was here that she took a program in food service supervision which she used at Sacred Heart College during the first half of the 1970s followed by Perry Memorial Hospital in Oklahoma and once again at St. Mary's Hospital in Enid. She took another program at Fontbonne in the mid-1980s which gave her the opportunity to specialize in dietary management. She put this training to good use at St. Mary's as a dietetic technician. Before retirement at the Wichita Center, she continued to serve as a volunteer at the hospital and the parish in Enid. Sister Emiliana died on February 4, 2015.
Sophia [De Paul] Kammer
Sophia was born to Michael and Pauline Kammer in Topeka, Kansas on July 11, 1933. As a young girl she decided to enter the religious congregation of the Adorers of the Blood of Christ, which she did in August, 1947. It was in Wichita, Kansas that she now began her life as an Adorer as well as completed her high school studies at Sacred Heart Academy in 1952. She began teaching in several of the parochial schools in Wichita and the nearby areas as she also completed her college program. She received her BS in education in 1960. She also received her MS in education from Kansas State Teachers' College in Emporia, Kansas in 1969. Sophia was received into the novitiate of the Adorers in 1949, and it was then that she was given the name of Sister De Paul. She continued to teach at many of the schools as well as to serve as a principal. From 1971-74, she served as the administrative assistant to the Academic Dean at Sacred Heart and Newman. She was employed during the latter part of the 1970s at local business colleges. After four years of service in the business office of the Adorers, Sister chose to attend the Corporate Ministry program at St. Louis University. At its completion she served many roles in the St. Louis area. In the mid-1990s she returned to Wichita and began working at Newman. In 1999 she returned to her baptismal name of Sophia. After 2000 she volunteered in the Education department and later in the Advancement area where she assisted with filing and projects for the Alumni office. Currently, she ministers in the ASC Associate office.
A daughter was born to Joseph and Clara Stoecklein on December 29, 1927, in Bazine, Kansas; they named her Velma. She attended the local school until she made the decision to enter the religious congregation of the Adorers of the Blood of Christ in 1944. Velma's older sister Edna had joined the order in 1939 and was given the name of Thomasine. In 1945 as she entered the novitiate she was given the habit of the Adorers and received the name of Joyce. She made her first profession in 1946. Sister Joyce completed her final courses of high school studies at Sacred Heart Academy; she graduated in 1946. She began teaching in many of the Kansas parish schools from 1946 through 1972; she completed her BS in education from Sacred Heart College in 1958. Joyce spent part of the year of 1973 as a Library Aide for Sacred Heart College; she truly enjoyed working with the students in this capacity. She did return to the classroom in 1975 when she became a clerk/receptionist for Bishop Carroll High School. She then moved to Topeka, Kansas where she served in various administrative positions over the years, the last one being Midland Hospice. Sister Joyce's health declined in 2004, and she returned to the Wichita Center shortly after this to have additional assistance. She moved to the skilled care unit in the final months of her life; she died on October 1, 2010.
Born in 1919 in Canute, Oklahoma to Frank and Mary Taylor was their daughter Angela. She attended elementary and secondary schools in the town of Canute. She graduated from Canute Consolidated High School in 1937. Angela had the opportunity to meet the Adorers of the Blood of Christ when they came to teach vacation religion courses in the summer months, and she decided to enter the congregation in 1940. She became a novice the following year and received the name of Sister Bernice; she professed her first vows in 1942. Sister Bernice completed a 60-hour certificate from Sacred Heart College, which certified her to teach in several schools in both Kansas and Oklahoma. She attended summer courses at Marymount College in Salina and graduated with a BS degree in education from St. Mary's College in Leavenworth. Bernice also earned an MS degree in education from St. Louis University in 1960. During the 1970s she served as an instructor in the Education Department at Sacred Heart and later Newman. For a short time she returned to the elementary school classroom, but by 1986 she was back at Newman where she worked on the Library Staff. She volunteered in the Thomasine Stoecklein, ASC Curriculum Library located in the Dugan Library for many years, but she is now retired and lives at the Wichita Center.
On October 1, 1941, George and Delphine Wetta welcomed their first born child into the world; they named her Therese. Therese was educated in her hometown of Andale, Kansas; she graduated from high school in 1959. She began her college work at St. Mary's College in Leavenworth; during her studies she made the decision to enter the religious congregation of the Adorers of the Blood of Christ where two of her mother's sisters had joined. In 1962 she entered the novitiate and was given the name of Sister Gemma; in 1968 she returned to her baptismal name. She professed her first vows in 1963, and she completed her BS in natural sciences in 1964. During the rest of the 1960s, Sister taught biology at Sacred Heart Academy and Madonna High School. After completing her MS in biology from Kansas State University in Manhattan in 1972, Sister Therese joined the faculty at Sacred Heart College and Newman. In 1973 she was asked to serve as the Academic Dean at the college; she remained in this position until 1981 when she returned to the classroom to teach biology. In 1983 Sister Therese had the opportunity to study on a full-time basis; she attended Boston College and completed a PhD in instructional leadership in 1988. During her study at BC, which was in the summer months, she served as the Vice President of Academic Affairs at St. Mary of the Plains College in Dodge City. In 1990, Sister Therese was elected by her religious congregation to serve as its provincial coordinator, which she did for the next six years. These years were ones of change for the ASC as the number of members decreased and those in active ministry dwindled. After a year of ministry discernment in 1996, Sister Therese worked on the staff at Shantivanam, a retreat setting in Easton, Kansas. In 1999 she joined the staff of Catholic Charities USA where she was employed as the liaison with religious congregations. She remained in this position until she was elected to the General Leadership Team of the International Congregation of Adorers; she served a six-year term in Rome, Italy from 2005-2011. During 2012 Sister Therese volunteered her services among the Adorers in Tanzania where she taught English and assisted the sisters in carrying out their mission as requested. She returned to Wichita at the end of the year and returned to Newman in March, 2013 to serve as the Director of Development for Science and Health Sciences. She played an important role in the Facing Forward capital campaign. She resigned her position in early December, 2016. After working with the USA Regional Leadership Team and the International Team on international projects, Sister Therese was appointed to return to service in Liberia, West Africa along with another ASC from Northern Europe Region. She currently resides in Liberia.
Born on August 26, 1943 to Bernard and Dorothy Adams, Elizabeth Ann was their only daughter. She was born in Hutchinson, Kansas but the family moved to Wichita when Betty was young; the family has been long standing parishioners of Christ the King Parish. Betty completed her high school studies at Sacred Heart Academy in 1961. That fall, she made the decision to join the religious congregation of the Adorers of the Blood of Christ. As she was received into the novitiate in 1962, she was given the name Sister Ruth Ann; she returned to her baptismal name in 1968 when the General Assembly held that year made this possible. Sister made her first profession of vows in 1963. Betty attended Sacred Heart College and completed her bachelor's degree in music in 1966. Over the next ten years she taught in schools in Kansas, Nebraska and Oklahoma, sometimes only the music classes but at other times she had other classes to prepare. She attended graduate courses at Wichita State University over the summer months and completed her masters in music in 1975. She immediately joined the teaching faculty at Kansas Newman College; she also served as department head. In 1982, Sister Betty was appointed to serve as the secretary of the Wichita Province; she served in this capacity for four years. In 1986, Betty embarked on a new adventure, the study of the Italian language. Being somewhat of a linguist, she became a master of simultaneous translation usually from Italian into English. With this skill she has been asked by her international congregation to give many years to this service usually while living in Rome, Italy or traveling to attend numerous meetings of the congregation where translation is needed. During the 1990s Sister Betty did return to Newman and served as the International Student Coordinator; the students she assisted were deeply indebted to her work with them. Sister Betty has also served her community as music director in Wichita and in Rome. She also was employed at Center of Hope for a period of time prior to being recalled to Rome in 2006. Sister Betty was awarded an honorary doctorate from NU for her global perspective. She returned to Wichita in 2011; she still provides translation for the international congregation, an invaluable service. In 2015, she accepted the invitation to serve on the Newman Board of Trustees.
Mary Ann Bahr
Mary Ann is one of four daughters of Henry and Frances Bahr who have entered the congregation of the Adorers of the Blood of Christ. She was born in Olmitz, Kansas in 1925, and it was here that she attended elementary and secondary school. She graduated from St. Ann High School in 1942 where she was educated by the Adorers; that September she entered the congregation. In 1943 she received the religious habit and was given the name of Sister Lourdes; she returned to her baptismal name at the end of the 1960s. Sister made her first profession of vows in 1944. Her first thirty hours of college credit were taken at Sacred Heart College, and she completed her BS in education at St. Mary's College in Leavenworth, Kansas. In 1968, she completed the curriculum for a Master Teacher certification from Central State University in Edmond, Oklahoma. From 1944 through 1992, Sister Mary Ann taught at numerous elementary schools in Kansas and Oklahoma, and she was dearly loved by her students. In 1992 she embarked on a new career with Newman in the teacher placement/credential office for the School of Education; she volunteered in this capacity until 2011. She resides at the Wichita Center.
Vincent and Dolores Bergkamp became the proud parents of their oldest daughter on October 20, 1949; they were then living in Kingman, Kansas. They named her Victoria Maria, but she has been called Vicki for most of her life. She received her elementary schooling locally, but she commuted to Sacred Heart Academy and then Madonna High School to complete her high school studies in 1967. She entered the Adorers of the Blood of Christ in 1967 and started her novitiate in 1968. Sister Vicki made her first profession in 1969. She began her college courses immediately and earned her MS in math in 1972. During the 1970s she taught math at Bishop Carroll and St. Francis Assisi in Wichita and at St. Mary's High School in Oklahoma City. She attended the University of Kansas from which she was awarded an MBA in 1979. She began teaching at Kansas Newman College in 1978 in the area of management science. In 1982 she was called into service for her religious congregation as the Treasurer and Financial Planner over the next eight years. This was followed by two years in the Tri-Conference Retirement Fund Office in Washington, DC; in 1992, Sister Vicki returned to Newman to teach in the business administration program. She also began her academic coursework for her EdD from the University of St. Thomas in 1996. She served as an Assistant Professor of Business and as the Director of Planning. Students greatly appreciated her knowledge imparted in the classroom but they also valued the numerous discussions she had with them as they made life choices in their careers and personal paths. Sister Vicki served briefly as a professor and academic administrator at Friends University in Wichita until she resigned this position to accept the position as the Treasurer for the United States Region of her congregation. Sister Vicki's work with the financial moves made by her congregation in the 1980s and her subsequent work with the managing of their investments have continued over several years. She has been quite active in National Association of Treasures of Religious Congregations [NATRI], an organization of financial managers/planners for religious congregations. She assisted the international congregation in establishing an endowment, which provides ongoing funding for works of the community and donations of the congregation to world needs. In 2012 Sister Vicki completed her service as treasurer for the US Adorers, but she continues to manage the congregation's investments. As 2013 began, Sister Vicki rejoined the Newman faculty as Professor of Business and Director of Newman Leadership Program. She continues to serve on various committees for the Adorers, nationally and internationally. In June, 2018, Sister Vicki was elected as the Regional Leader for the USA Region. She resigned her position at Newman to serve in her ministry of leadership from early October 2018 to 2024. She will reside in St. Louis, MO.
Sister Jean Dworak was born on February 17, 1938 to Anthony and Matilda Dworak of David City, Nebraska. She entered the congregation on September 7, 1958 and began her novitiate on July 1, 1959. She made her first vows on July 1, 1960. She became interested in the Adorers when she was taught by them at St. Mary's School. The early years of her religious life were years of great change within the Church. She loved the challenge that these changes afforded and accepted them with vibrancy and an eager spirit. She earned her BS in education from Sacred Heart College in 1963 and later obtained her MS in counseling from Emporia State University in 1972. She ministered as a teacher, administrator, and counselor to elementary and secondary students in Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, and Missouri; as director of International Students and Secondary Interns at Newman University; as Instructor of English Conversation at Kyingnam University at Masan, Korea, and as English Instructor at Pilzen in the Czech Republic, a ministry that gave Sister Jean an opportunity to explore her own family ethnicity of Bohemian, Moravian, Luxembourger, and French background. While she was serving at Sacred Heart School in Oklahoma City, she suffered a heart attack on October 28, 2002. Due to various complications, she had to have both legs amputated. On December 17, 2002, she returned to the Wichita Center Health Care; she passed away on May 25, 2003.
Born on January 21, 1947, Bernadette was the daughter of Louis and Fay Hotze, who were living in Wichita, Kansas. The family lived mainly in the Wichita area but they spent a number of years in Colwich, Kansas from which Bernadette entered the religious congregation. She was first drawn to the aspirancy program from 1961-65; it was during this time that she completed her requirements for a high school diploma from Sacred Heart Academy in 1965. In that September she formally entered the Adorers of the Blood of Christ and when she became a novice in 1966 was given the name of Sister Rachel; she returned to her baptismal name in 1968. Her first profession of vows was in 1967. Immediately following high school graduation, Bernadette began her college work at Sacred Heart College. She finished her BS in education in 1969. Bernadette's artistic talents were very visible and she had the opportunity to complete her bachelor's degree in fine arts in 1979 from Wichita State University. She then enrolled in the University of Arizona to complete a program earning her MFA. Her early teaching years were in the grade schools in Wichita and New Mexico. In 1981 she came to teach in the Art Department at Newman; she remained in this position for some thirteen years. Since 1993 Bernadette enrolled in several programs in the San Francisco area; she completed her doctorate in family counseling in 2008. She presently ministers and resides in Illinois..
On August 10, 1938 in Hennessey, Oklahoma John and Lucille Houska gave birth to their eldest daughter, Phyllis. In time the family moved to a farm just north of Hennessey and just south of the small town of Bison. Phyllis and her siblings were educated in the Hennessey schools where she graduated in 1956 having completed her high school education. Phyllis received a scholarship to attend Sacred Heart College in Wichita, Kansas, a college run by the Adorers of the Blood of Christ who taught in the parish school. Having finished her first three years toward her degree in music, Phyllis decided to enter the religious congregation of the Adorers. The new central house of the Wichita Province had been dedicated and blessed just weeks before she joined their ranks. Phyllis completed her college degree in music at the end of her first year in the order, and she began her novitiate training in 1960 right after graduation. It was at this time that she was given the name of Angela Marie; over the years she has shortened it to Angela, or just Angie. Angela completed her masters in music at Wichita State in 1969 and although she did teach a few years, she was called by her religious community into the service of leadership. She was the Director of Aspirants, Postulants and Novices over the years and in 1974 was selected to serve two terms as the Provincial of the Wichita Province. She also received clinical pastoral education training in the early 1980s. She helped to start a hospice program in Wichita; today it is the Harry Hynes Hospice. In 1989 Sister Angela came to the college and served as Campus Minister and the VP of Mission Effectiveness through 1996 when she was asked to direct the Associate Program for the ASC and to serve as a Co-Administrator for the Central House. Sister Angie continued to serve as a Sister Mentor for the ASC Associates and is also currently assisting her family with health care needs.
Sister Genevieve Kessler was born on December 31, 1925 to George and Frances Kessler of Marienthal, Kansas. She entered the congregation on September 3, 1940 and began her novitiate on August 10, 1941. She made her first vows the following year on August 16. She became interested in the Adorers when she was taught by them. She received her BS in education from Sacred Heart College and MS as master teacher from Kansas State Teachers College. She continued to expand her educational experiences by taking courses at Marymount and Xavier, as well as from Creighton and the University of Oklahoma. She spent much of her religious life as a teacher in various schools throughout Kansas and Oklahoma. After years in the classroom she came to Newman as an administrative assistant in the Student Affairs office. From this position, she moved to her favorite ministry—the Newman bookstore. Her public ministries were brought to a close in 2001 when she moved to the Wichita Center where she continued to enjoy life and help her sisters. Sister Genevieve was diagnosed with cancer and suffered much pain at times over the last year of her life. She passed away on June 3, 2006.
Dorothy Ann, the daughter of Peter and Emma Kisner, was born on May 26, 1927, in Offerle, Kansas. Her family moved around in the area, but never too far from Plains and Offerle. Dorothy was educated in the local schools. In 1941, she decided to follow her older sister into the religious congregation of the Adorers of the Blood of Christ. She entered the novitiate in 1942 and received the name of Madeleine; she pronounced her first vows on July 1, 1943. Coming to the convent at the early age of 14, Sister Madeleine took her high school courses at Sacred Heart Academy from which she graduated in 1945. She taught at several of the parochial schools in Kansas, New Mexico and Colorado. During this time she also attended class work at Sacred Heart College and completed her BS in education in 1957. In 1961 she was sent to teach English in the David City, Nebraska high school; during the summers she worked on her master's in English, which she completed in 1971. Before long she was asked to continue her studies at the University of Michigan; she completed her DA in English in 1975 and she immediately joined the faculty at Kansas Newman and remained a professor until 1991. Due to some health issues, Sister Madeleine was forced to leave the classroom and took up research on John Henry Cardinal Newman, the namesake of the university. She also took a sabbatical in Dublin, Ireland where she did more extensive research on Newman. She was later named a Newman Scholar and spearheaded the collection of works by Newman and about Newman; these works make up a significant collection in the Dugan Library and Campus Center. In 1997 she took a position at the Newman Center on the campus of Wichita State University and served as a volunteer for about ten years. Sister Madeleine enjoyed seeing the many students and friends she influenced over the years. She was eager for the beatification of John Henry Newman; she died on November 20, 2009 less than a year before it occurred.
Carolyn was born to Frederick and Marcella LeFevre on June 29, 1953. The family was already living in Wichita, Kansas, and they were members of St. Joseph's Parish, which is located near Newman University. Carolyn attended grade school at St. Joe and then went to Madonna High School to complete her secondary education. She graduated in 1971 and began attending Kansas Newman College studying in the field of chemistry. While attending Newman, Carolyn decided to enter the religious congregation of the Adorers of the Blood of Christ; she did this is 1974. After she completed her college degree, she entered two years of novitiate in 1975 and she made her first profession in 1977. Sister Carolyn became a registered lab technician at St. Francis Hospital [now Via Christi] and worked at the hospital until 1985 while living with different local communities of ASC. It was this year that brought her to the Newman campus to serve as the Director of Resident Life for five years; then she served in the Campus Ministry area until 1993. At this time, Carolyn discerned her vowed commitment and made the decision to ask for a dispensation from her vows; she received it on October 12, 1994. Carolyn remains a loyal alumna and a good friend of the ASC and Newman University.
Edwina was born to Ralph and Irene Pope on May 18, 1945 in Kansas City, Missouri. She along with her parents and siblings moved to Pratt, Kansas where she was educated and where she completed her high school requirements in 1963. She worked in various fields over the years as she continued her studies at Sacred Heart College and later Kansas Newman; she graduated with a BA degree in 1973. Three years later she entered the religious community of the Adorers of the Blood of Christ and made her novitiate beginning in 1978; she professed her first vows on September 14, 1980. Her first ministry in the congregation was as a clerk in the medical records area at St. Mary's Hospital in Enid, Oklahoma. In 1982, Sister Edwina began her many years of service at Kansas Newman in the library of the college. She spent her summers working on her master's degree in library science from Rosary College [now Dominican University] in Chicago. She completed her degree in 1989. She held her position at the library until 2004 when she was called by her community to assist the ASC located in Columbia, Pennsylvania with driving and other responsibilities. Sister Edwina returned to Wichita at the end of the decade and serves as the Archivist for the US region of the Adorers.
Diana, the oldest daughter of Bob and Katherine [Bonnie] Rawlings, was born on August 29, 1952, just south of Omaha in Nebraska City, Nebraska. Two additional siblings were born and all of them were educated at Lourdes High School in Nebraska City. After Diana graduated in 1970, she discerned whether she was being called to religious life in a community of religious. During that year, Diana met some of the Adorers and made the decision that religious life as an Adorer of the Blood of Christ was for her. She began her novitiate in 1972 and pronounced her first vows in January, 1974. She completed her college education at Kansas Newman, where she earned her BA degree in English. Her first years on mission were at Bishop McGuinness High School in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma and Bishop Carroll High School in Wichita, Kansas where she taught English and journalism. In 1985-86 she attended Barry University where she earned her MA in telecommunications. She joined the faculty at Newman immediately following the reception of her degree; she taught in the Communications Department for two years. After working for the Archdiocese of Omaha in the area of telecommunications, Diana was called to serve for six years in leadership of her province. From 1997 until 2007, she served as the National Vocation Director for the Adorers of the Blood of Christ in the United States. In August, 2016 was appointed to serve as a member of the Community Life Team member. Diana served on the planning committee for the 25th anniversary of the death of the ASC Martyrs, October 21, 2017. Currently, she serves of the ACC (Assembly Coordinating Committee) and the Futures Committee for the USA Region.
Sister Susan Reeves was born on January 19, 1950 in Wichita, Kansas. She entered the congregation in September of 1973 and made her first vows on July 23, 1977. She graduated from South High in 1968 and spent several years before deciding to become a sister. Before she made her vows, she spent a semester as a co-teacher of kindergarten at St. Anne's School in Wichita. Education was an important part of her life, and after she entered the religious congregation she obtained her BS in psychology from Kansas Newman College in 1979. She also obtained her MA in counselor education in 1986 and a PhD in curriculum and instruction in 1994 from St. Louis University. She ministered in St. Louis from 1983 to 1995 in various capacities related to the education of students with disabilities. Sister also opened a group home with Sister Sophia Kammer, the Isaiah House, which ministered to young men between the ages of 16 and 21. In 1996 she became a member of Provincial Leadership Team in Wichita as Councilor and Treasurer. Sister Susan was very instrumental in founding the Women's Initiative Network [WIN], in response to action taken by the members of the ASC provincial assembly. In 2000, Sister Susan began teaching at Newman University in the Education department. She served as Director of the Graduate Program in Adult Education, Co-Coordinator of NU Professional Development School Program, Interim Dean of the School of Education, and Associate Professor in the School of Education. She was deeply involved with church, civic, and community events and was always willing to give without bringing attention to herself. In 2006 as she discerned returning to a leadership position for the United States' Adorers, Susan was diagnosed with cancer. Her colleagues awarded her the Jim Mesa Academy Freedom Award in May, 2007 but her illness prevented her from being present at the ceremony. Her cancer advanced rapidly, and she was moved to the Wichita Center where she received care from the Harry Hynes Memorial Hospice Care beginning on June 7, 2007. Sister Susan passed away a month later on July 7, 2007 at the age of 57. Colleagues and students commemorate her memory in McNeill Hall in a room named in her honor.
Charlotte was born to Charles and Adeline Rohrbach on July 15, 1940, in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. She was their fourth child and the second one born in this new state; they had migrated to Oklahoma from Chicago where they were born, married, and raised their first two boys. Charlotte attended John Carroll Grade School and then went to high school at Central Catholic High [now Bishop McGuinness] in OKC; she graduated in 1958. She had been recruited to attend Sacred Heart College by some of the Adorers of the Blood of Christ who taught her science classes. While attending college, she decided to follow a call into religious life; she entered the Adorers in 1959. She completed her college work with her original class in 1962, but she was no longer in her chosen field of history. She graduated with a BS in education. Charlotte entered the novitiate in 1960 and received the name of Sister Mary Timothy; she returned to her baptismal name in 1968. She professed her first vows in 1961. Following graduation she taught in rural schools in Oklahoma and Kansas before coming to All Saints in Wichita. She began working on her master's degree in history at Creighton during the summers; it was completed in 1971. Sister Charlotte began teaching history at her alma mater, McGuinness in Oklahoma City in 1970 and stayed there until she was asked to complete work on a doctorate in American history from St. Louis University. She earned her PhD in American studies in 1976. Sister Charlotte began teaching history at Newman in 1974 and taught for the next ten years; she became a Professor of History in the early 1980s. After a sabbatical year in Rome, Charlotte returned to Newman to serve as the Academic Dean and Executive Vice President. In 1989 she returned full-time to the classroom, but in 1990 she returned to administration by becoming a member of the Advancement Team serving as Alumni Director. During the next six years she was involved with two of the capital fund drives conducted by the college. In 1996 she took a leave of absence from Newman to be the Provincial of her religious congregation; she had been elected to this position at the end of 1995. During her four and a half years in this position the Adorers were involved in the convergence of the three United States' provinces into one. At the end of 2000 she took a six-month working sabbatical in Rome. In 2001 she returned to Newman to work in the area of Campus Ministry; the president asked her to provide some leadership in the academic area as well. The following year Sister Charlotte became the Director of the Service Learning Program at the university. During her effort in this regard she was asked to initiate a study-abroad program to Italy. Needing to devote her energies to this program, she resigned her position with Service Learning. In 2004 she took ten students with her to study for three months in Viterbo, Italy. Upon her return, due to health issues, she lightened her load until fall 2005 when she returned to teach. In the summer of 2006, she rejoined the Advancement Team as they worked on the completion of the Library capital fund drive. In 2007 she was asked to serve as the Director of Mission and Archives and to provide leadership for the 75th Anniversary Celebration. Later she led the 80th Anniversary Celebration for Newman University. Having been a member of both the Board of Directors and the Alumni Board for the university and being the recipient of numerous awards, Sister Charlotte claims her most prized moments were when she said her "yes" to attend Sacred Heart and her subsequent "yes" to God as an Adorer. Currently she serves as the Director of Mission Effectiveness and Professor Emerita
Sister Celestine Roths was born on November 8, 1921 in St. Mark's, Kansas. She entered the congregation in August of 1937 and began her postulancy on August 10, 1938. She made her first vows the following year on August 10, 1939. Her first assignment was as a housekeeper in Angelus, Kansas. She spent at year the Provincial House followed by service at Windthorst and Colwich. From 1942 to 1945, she served in the Archbishop's Home in San Antonio, Texas. She then spent time at St. Francis Hospital, Carlsbad, New Mexico; Enid and Bethany, Oklahoma; and Sacred Heart College. She opened the food service in St. Francis Hospital, Tulsa and was also Food Service Supervisor at the Wichita central house and in Carlsbad. She was also the diet consultant in Enid's St. Mary Hospital. In 1973, she spent several months caring for an aged father in Conway Springs, Kansas. She returned to St. Mary Hospital in 1974 until the Adorers took over Memorial Hospital in Perry, Oklahoma--she then served as a dietary supervisor until 1979. She served at the Provincial House and in Enid again before she returned to Perry in 1983 as Food Service Coordinator. She retired in 1991 but remained assistant dietician until March of 1992 when she went to Manna House in Concordia, Kansas for a sabbatical program. She returned the Province Center and was later admitted to the Health Care Unit. Her health weakened considerably, and she died on August 3, 2001.
Leona, the daughter of William and Bernadine Schuette, was born in Spearville, Kansas in 1926. She attended the local parish school where she was educated by the Adorers of the Blood of Christ. She graduated from Spearville High School in 1943 and began teaching in some of the schools nearby. In 1948 she entered the congregation of the Adorers after several years of discernment on her part. She received the habit in 1949 along with the name of Anacleta; she professed her first vows that following year. She immediately began teaching in some of the parish schools staffed by the community and also attended college classes at Sacred Heart College; she completed her degree, a BS in education, in 1955. She earned a MS in elementary education from St. Mary's College in Leavenworth, Kansas in 1960. Called into a leadership role for her community with those in initial formation, Sister Anacleta also taught some courses at Sacred Heart College from 1962 through 1968. After this she moved to Christ the King parish in Wichita, where she served as teacher and principal through 1990. She worked for the Wichita diocese as mission director and presently is enjoying her years of retirement, at least retirement from active teaching and administrative roles.
Rita was born in 1934 to Alexander and Mary Schwarz, who made their home in Angelus, Kansas. She attended the local parish school where she was taught by the Adorers of the Blood of Christ. At the early age of 14 she decided to enter the religious community of the Adorers and did so in 1948. She received the habit in 1949 and was given the name of Sister Cabrini; she returned to her baptismal name in the late 1960s. Sister professed her first vows on July 1, 1950. She began her high school studies at Sacred Heart Academy and graduated in 1952. She began to teach at some of the parish schools in Kansas and Colorado, which were staffed by the Adorers; during the summers she worked to complete her college degree from Sacred Heart College, which she did in 1961 with a BS in Education. Sister Rita earned two graduate degrees: an MA in elementary education in 1968 from the College of St. Thomas in Minneapolis and an MA in religious education from St. Mary's College in San Antonio, Texas in 1976. Rita served as an administrative assistant at Newman in the 1980s. She has spent many years as a teacher, an administrator, a Director of Religious Education, Parish Administrator, and in leadership for her congregation. She also worked with the former Wichita province Associate Program for several years just before serving as Provincial Councilor from 1996-2000. She now lives at the Wichita Center and provides service whenever and wherever needed.
Born to William and Frances Shippen in 1935, Catherine was welcomed into her family who was living in Danville, Kansas. It was here that Catherine received her grade school education. Her family encouraged their children to have a strong faith and supported this by seeing that they had the opportunity for a Catholic high school education. She was sent to Sacred Heart Academy from which she graduated in 1953. The following year, she made her decision to join the congregation of the Adorers of the Blood of Christ. She began her novitiate in 1954 and received the name Sister Mary David; she retained that name until October 8, 1990. She began teaching in the primary grades at Kansas parochial schools and worked toward her degree from Sacred Heart College. Sister earned her BS in education in 1962 and continued teaching in numerous grade schools. She completed a MS in education at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater in 1974. From 1995 through the turn of the century, Sister Catherine ministered at Newman in the Department of Education and then in Admissions. Currently she lives at the Wichita Center and volunteers in various capacities whenever possible.
Barbara was born on May 21, 1953 in David City, Nebraska, the daughter of George and Minnie Smith. Barb attended elementary and secondary school in the area; Adorers of the Blood of Christ were on the staffs of these schools. After high school graduation she decided to enter the religious congregation of the Adorers and did so in 1971; at that time her family was living on a farm in Bellwood, Nebraska. She became a novice in 1973 and professed her first vows in 1974. She attended college at Kansas Newman and completed her degree in 1977, a BA in psychology. During her college years she assisted in the Campus Ministry department along with the Chaplain Thomas Welk, CPPS. Upon graduation she was hired as the Director of Residence Life as well as serving in the student life area. In 1982, she along with Sister Maureen Farrar struck out for Crownpoint, New Mexico, a Navajo mission located on the continental divide. Over the next 24 years she poured out her commitment as an Adorer among these people of God. She also maintained her relationship with the college by welcoming service trip groups to the mission on at least an annual basis. In 2006 she was called to leadership in her religious congregation and served in this capacity until the 2011 when she was elected to serve on the international leadership team through 2017. She resides in Ruma, IL and is discerning her next ministry.
Born in 1919 to Mathias and Catherine Thome in St. Mark's, Kansas, Loretta was welcomed into a family which gave two daughters to the religious congregation of the Adorers of the Blood of Christ. She was educated in the local schools, which were staffed by the Adorers, and she made the decision to enter this religious congregation in 1938. She received the habit of the Adorers in 1939 and was given the name of Sister Mary Ellen; she returned to her baptismal name at the end of the 1960s. Sister pronounced her first vows in 1940. She completed her high school studies at St. John's Academy in 1942; shortly after this she studied for her RN at the St. Mary's Hospital School of Nursing in Enid, Oklahoma. She continued in active service in several of the hospitals then sponsored by the Wichita Province, but this ended by the mid-1970s. Sister Loretta began to lose her hearing and because of this made the decision to serve the community in different capacities, which included the province printshop, bindery at Ryan Library at Newman, and other service in the area of hospitality. In 1998 she returned to Newman University as a volunteer at Ryan Library; although retired, she often visited the new Dugan Library to make sure all was well. Loretta died on March 25, 2011.
Susan was born as the eldest daughter to Ralph and Helenruth Welsby in Wichita, Kansas, on July 26, 1950. She and many in her family were educated by the Adorers of the Blood of Christ at St. Margaret Mary Parish in Wichita; Susan's mother had received her degree in the early 1940s from Sacred Heart Junior College and was glad that her children had the opportunity to receive their education from the same religious order. Susan decided to become an aspirant to the Adorers community in 1966 while she had been attending Sacred Heart Academy. She completed high school as an aspirant at Madonna High School in 1968. Susan entered the congregation in 1968 and began her novitiate in 1969; she pronounced her first vows in 1971. She also began her college courses at Sacred Heart College and graduated from Kansas Newman in 1973 with a MS in mathematics. She immediately began her ministry years in the Business Office of the Adorers. In 1978 she returned to Newman to take up leadership in establishing the college's first Computer Center. By 1982 she had begun her studies at University of Missouri at Rolla; she earned her MS in computer science in 1983. Sister Susan returned to Newman and continued her role as programmer and Director of the Computer Center. She also began to work on a part-time basis with the Business Office of the religious community. In 1990 she was called into full-time service as the Treasurer for the Wichita Province; she held this position until 1996. After a year of retooling in the field of computer information systems in coursework and practical application at Newman, Sister Susan took a position in 1997 with two religious congregations in San Antonio as their Finance Director. She also has been very active in NATRI [National Association of Treasurers of Religious Congregations] as a consultant; she was called upon by her own community to serve in this capacity in 2004. Susan was elected in 2005 to serve as the Treasurer for the international congregation of the Adorers; she was elected to this same position in 2011. She resigned this position in May, 2015 and returned to Wichita. She accepted the invitation to serve on the Newman Board of Trustees as it begins its 2015-2016 academic year. Sister Susan also serves on the Assembly Coordinating Committee for the USA Region. She is a member of the BOD for Center of Hope and InterFaith Ministries. Sister Susan recently was asked to provide computer technical support for the Wichita Center.
Louise was born in Colwich, Kansas on June 21, 1946, to Gerhard and Martha Betzen. She attended grade school in the area and was educated by the Adorers of the Blood of Christ; she had an aunt in the order. Louise attended her high school courses in Wichita, Kansas at Sacred Heart Academy; she completed her requirements in 1964. That following fall, she entered the religious community, which she had come to know over the years of her education. She received the habit of the Adorers in 1965 and was given the name of Sister Stephanie; she returned to her baptismal name in 1968. She made her first profession of vows in 1966. Her college years were spent first at Sacred Heart College where she completed her BS in education in 1968. She began teaching grade school at St. Margaret Mary Parish in Wichita, but she also served in other Kansas, New Mexico and Oklahoma schools. She took summer course work at Wichita State University and Central State University; she became a full-time student at the University of Colorado in Boulder and received her MA in anthropology in 1980. She was then missioned to teach at Kansas Newman in 1981. During this same time she began doctoral studies at Colorado University, but she was struggling with her religious vocation and requested a dispensation from her vowed commitment; this was granted at the end of 1981. Louise still lives in the Colwich area and remains an active member of the Alumni Association.
Sister Anita Winter was born on September 23, 1909. She entered the congregation on August 26, 1926 and made her first vows on July 1, 1928. After becoming a sister, she spent one more year at Ruma before being missioned to teaching fourth and fifth grades in Windthorst, Kansas from 1929 to 1930. Sister became the Director of Postulants from 1939 to 1943 as well as Diocesan and Community School Supervisor from 1958 to 1964. In 1960, she was appointed to be an administrator at the central house and also served as a Provincial Councilor until 1965. She was heavily involved in education and she served the community and Church in Ness City, Angelus, Kinsley, Augusta, Piqua, Liebenthal, St. Mark's, Ellinwood, and Marienthal, all in Kansas. She served as a teacher, mostly seventh and eighth grades, as well as principal. She also spent four year in Roggen, Colorado, and taught at St. Anne's in Wichita. She completed her bachelors' degree from St. Mary's College, Xavier, Kansas in 1951 and in 1956 she obtained a Master of Science in education form Creighton University, Omaha, Nebraska. She served as librarian at St. Margaret Mary and All Saints in Wichita and worked as part-time librarian at Kansas Newman College from 1984 to 1990. She suffered a stroke in April, 1998. Her health was permanently weakened, and she died peacefully on December 23, 2001.
Born to Thomas and Vivian Prescott in 1939 in New London, Connecticut, Joan moved to the Wichita area after high school; she was married for several years and acquired the last name of her husband, Greene; Joan was also the mother of three children. She became acquainted with the Adorers of the Blood of Christ through an extended community prayer group in which she participated. By this time she had been divorced for several years. This prayer experience deepened her desire to enter the religious congregation of the Adorers of the Blood of Christ. She then proceeded to follow the steps necessary for her to legally enter the community and entered the congregation on April 11, 1993. She made her novitiate in St. Louis from 1994-1996; after this she made her first profession of vows. Joan attended college work at Newman and received her BS in counseling in 1999. Although able to serve only a short time in her field due to major health issues, Sister Joan began working at Newman University in the Registrar's area for a few years in the new millennium. Her ministry at Newman was cut short by serious health issues. She died on September 23, 2008.
Elvira was born to Peter and Amelia Leiker in Ness City, Kansas, in 1932. She attended the local parish grade school where she met the Adorers of the Blood of Christ. Her half-sister Angeline had entered this religious congregation shortly after Elvira was born. Elvira attended her high school courses at Sacred Heart Academy from which she graduated in 1947. That fall she chose to enter the religious congregation. She began her novitiate year is 1948 and was given the name of Sister Cecilia; she made her first vows in 1949. Sister Cecilia attended Sacred Heart College and earned her degree in 1963, a BS in education with a concentration in social studies. Over the many years she taught at numerous grade schools in which the Adorers served in Kansas, Nebraska, and New Mexico. In 1989 she received a master's in ministry with a concentration in spirituality from Seattle University. From this time on, Sister Cecilia began to work for the Diocese of Dodge City and later the Diocese of Wichita as a Director of Religious Education, RCIA program coordinator, and as a Parish Administrator. In 2000 she began working at Newman University in the Campus Ministry office; later she volunteered her time in the Dugan Library. Cecilia passed from this life on November 5, 2008.
Gail was born in Denver, Colorado on March 18, 1948, to Ruben and Yvonne Gettman. The family moved over the years of her elementary education to Fort Lupton, Colorado and by 1962, Gail made the decision to become an aspirant in the religious order of the Adorers of the Blood of Christ. Gail had met some of the sisters as they taught in the area especially through vacation summer schools of religion. During these years of discernment, 1962-66, Gail was a high school student at Sacred Heart Academy; she graduated in 1966. She then entered the congregation and received the habit of the Adorers in 1967. Sister Gail pronounced her first vows in 1968. She began her studies at Sacred Heart College in 1966 and completed a BS in education in 1972. Gail was reluctant to teach, but she did so for a few years at parochial schools in the Wichita area. She really enjoyed her years at Christ the King School where she served as Librarian. In 1984, she was missioned to Newman to work in the Business Office. Over the years Gail had discerned her religious vocation often; finally in 1988 she asked to receive a dispensation from her vows and this was granted. Gail kept her position at Newman; she remains employed in the Business Office.
On August 21, 1916, while living in Ost, Kansas, George and Elizabeth Sigg were blessed with a daughter, whom they named Sybilla. With her family living in an area blessed with the service of many of the Adorers of the Blood of Christ, Sybilla had the opportunity to meet several of the sisters as she grew up; they were her teachers and her mentors. Her family moved to Colorado and settled in the town of Roggen; it was from here that she decided to enter the religious congregation on September 5, 1933. She entered the novitiate in August, 1934; at this time she received the religious habit of the Adorers and was given the name of Sister Bernetta. She made her first profession of vows in 1935. She attended her high school years at St. John's Academy, where she completed her studies in 1937. Sister Bernetta began her college work at Sacred Heart Junior College and received her degree in 1939. Sister Bernetta taught at several schools in Oklahoma and Kansas as well as completed her bachelor's degree in English from Mt. St. Scholastica College in 1948. She began teaching English at the Academy in 1949 and remained there until 1951. Sister Bernetta attended Creighton University during the summers and completed a master's degree in English in 1954. She again was asked to serve in various schools staffed by the Adorers in Oklahoma and Kansas during the rest of the 1950s and the early 1960s. In 1963 she was appointed to teach English at Sacred Heart College, and she faithfully remained in this position through 1973. Many of the alumni ask about her as they return to the college for reunions; many credit their love of both reading and writing to Sister Bernetta. From 1973 through 1976 she taught part-time at the college; later she did teach from time to time for the English department. Her interest in library AV materials peaked near the end of the 1970s; she loved photography and she excelled in this area. She offered assistance in the library at the college and at the provincial house of the Adorers. Since the end of the 1990s, Sister Bernetta has been enjoying her years of retirement at the Wichita Center; her contemplative nature led her to her involvement in the establishment of a spirituality center at the convent. Her quiet ways have been noted and appreciated by her sisters and loved ones over these many years. Bernetta passed to her eternal reward on November 25, 2015.
Edna Sigg was born on August 21, 1918; this was two years to the day after her older sister Sybilla. She was the daughter of George and Elizabeth Sigg, who at this time were living in Ost, Kansas. By the early 1930s, the family had moved to Roggen, Colorado. In both Ost and Roggen, members of the Adorers of the Blood of Christ served the people of God in these areas. Edna made the decision in 1932 to join these sisters in Wichita, Kansas; her older sister Sybilla followed her the next year, and they entered the novitiate in the same year of 1934. Edna was given the religious name of Sister Angeline as she received the habit of the Adorers. She graduated from St. John's Academy in 1937 and received her associate degree from Sacred Heart Junior College in 1939. While teaching in several grade schools in Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, and New Mexico, Sister Angeline also attended summer sessions at Mt. St. Scholastica College. In 1948 she completed her bachelor's degree in education. She also attended Creighton University and completed her master's degree in education in 1956. In 1962 Sister Angeline joined the Education Department at Sacred Heart College; she remained in this position until 1966. After this she returned to work in several grade schools staffed by the Adorers, where she served as teacher and principal. In the mid-1980s she returned to Wichita and actively assisted in the religious correspondence program coordinated out of the provincial house of the religious community; she continued this service on a part-time basis through 1998. Sister Angeline loved teaching and served as a role model to the students she trained at Sacred Heart. Sister died peacefully on January 25, 1999.
Marsha Jean Wilson was welcomed by her parents, John and Phyllis Wilson, on January 24, 1945. She was the oldest of 5 children and the only daughter in the family. Born in Emporia, KS, the family moved to Wichita where her father was employed at Beech aircraft as a project engineer; Marsha stated "I grew up in Wichita and spent my entire childhood there." Her mother's influence nurtured her early religious growth. She made the decision to enter the aspirant program of Adorers of the Blood of Christ and attended high school at Sacred Heart Academy. She became a postulant in 1963; she entered the novitiate on July 1, 1964 and made her first profession of vows one year later. She completed her bachelor's degree from Sacred Heart College in May, 1968. Sister Marsha taught elementary school in both Wichita and David City, NE for the next 8 years. She began summer studies at St. John's University in Collegeville, MN and completed a MA in Theology in 1979. During these years she began to teach religion classes and became a parish minister in Sedalia and Kansas City, MO. She assisted in the Institute for Religious Formation at St. Louis University for several years and was then appointed to serve the community as a formator of sisters who had just made their first profession as an Adorer. She returned to parish ministry in the 1990s again in the Kansas City area. Marsha was trained as a Clinical Pastoral Educator and served as the Director of Hospital Ministry for the Johnson County Catholic Parishes of Kansas City, KS. In 2007 she was appointed to ongoing formation work for the US Adorers and in 2008 joined the Campus Ministry team at Newman University; she resigned from this position in 2013. Sister Marsha serves as an adjunct professor in the Service Learning Program. Her work with the ASC Community Leader Scholars is truly affecting these students hearts and assisting them in making major life decisions.
The eldest of two daughters to Blaine and Murl Rose Borders was welcomed on January 3, 1941; she was named Barbara Jean. They were then living in Atchison, KS but some moved to Lawrence, KS where Barbara spent most of her childhood years. Her first acquaintance with the Adorers occurred when she met Sister Hilary Yoggerst on the steps of her parish church. In 1954, Barbara became an aspirant and attended Sacred Heart Academy; she entered the congregation in 1958 and the novitiate the following year. Sister made her first profession of vows in 1960. After her academy years she began studies at Sacred Heart College and graduated in 1963 with a bachelor of science degree in Education. Later she earned her MA in English in 1974 from St. Mary College in San Antonio, TX. In the 1960s she taught at several of the schools staffed by the Adorers usually in the upper grades. From 1969 on she taught high school English in Nebraska, Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas, and Kansas; this included a 21 years tenure at Hayden high school in Topeka. She transitioned from teaching high school English in 2007 when she came to Wichita to become the production manager at Women's Initiative Network, a social outreach program sponsored by the Adorers of the Blood of Christ. She loved this ministry which allowed her to use her gifts of sewing, knitting, and weaving as she assisted the women who participated started to put their lives back together after years of abusive relationships. Due to financial problems faced by the agency, Sister Barbara could no longer be employed; she continues to assist with the program on a volunteer basis. Barbara began working at Newman University in 2010; she is an adjunct instructor in English and serves as a tutor in the Math and Writing Center. Her Lawrence roots helped make her a loyal Jayhawk supporter; she is an avid follower of both TV and radio broadcasts of basketball and football games.
A daughter was born to Charles and Dorothy Stewart on April 6, 1944 in Portland, Oregon; they named her Dorothy Marie. The family eventually moved to Wichita, KS and Dorothy was educated by members of the Adorers of the Blood of Christ, first at St. Margaret Mary and then at Sacred Heart Academy. Dorothy entered the Adorers' aspirant program and graduated high school in 1962. She entered the novitiate in 1963 and received the name of Jeanne Helen; by the late 1990s she shortened her name to Jeanne. She completed her bachelor's degree in Education from Sacred Heart College in 1967 and received a MA in Theology from St. Mary's in San Antonio in 1981. Her first years of ministry were in various Kansas elementary schools, and in the mid-1970s, she began work in parish ministry in northeastern Missouri. Sister began work with the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City in the early 1980s especially with the Pastoral Ministry program the archdiocese had with Newman University. She became the Dean of the program and served in that capacity for over 10 years. In 1996 she was elected to leadership for the Wichita province as a councilor. After the consolidation of the Adorers in the United States, Sister Jeanne served as the local coordinator for the Wichita Center. She then returned to additional graduate studies at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago and was awarded her Doctor of Ministry degree. She taught at Newman as an adjunct theology professor for about two years. In 2012 she made the decision to leave the Adorers as a consecrated religious but continues to live the ASC spirituality in the area of Harrisburg, PA.