Current Events

Current Events

    

 

 

 

Angel Guardian Home - Nigeria

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

 

 

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

 

To Learn More About the Angel Guardian Home, Click Here

 


The Caring Place - Kenya

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

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

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

 To Learn More About the Caring Place, Click Here  

 


  St. Anne Mission Hospital - Kenya

 

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

To Learn About St. Anne Mission Hospital, Click Here


Looking Towards the Future

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

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

 

 

Meg Distler Receives Award

Thursday, 07 May 2015 00:00

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

Where would you be without Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ Sisters?

Where would you be without our Sisters? How did they influence your life? Many of us have had our lives touched by a Sister. Whether it was at school by a teacher, a nurse that held you when you were born or a warm hug at night at one of the many orphanages. Hundreds of young women became Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ and influenced thousands of people, just like you.

Today, the congregation is alive and growing. Young women all over the world are working alongside Poor Handmaids to educate children, to minister to the sick, to visit the elderly and to provide shelter to young children and others who are homeless. These remarkable young women have felt a deep desire to follow in the footsteps of our Sisters, to give the same love and compassion to others, and to touch lives the same way yours has been touched.

Sister Raimunda of Brazil began reading at the age of seven – she read her father’s Bible. “While reading the story of Jesus, I began to feel a desire to do something for the needy people as Jesus did.” She lived with the Poor Handmaids in their boarding school for seven years and later asked the Sisters to join the congregation. As Sister Raimunda continues in formation to become a Poor Handmaid, she says her favorite part of being a Sister is the “relentless pursuit for simplicity and humility. It is also having the opportunity to be closer to the people, the poor and needy, and thus somehow finding a way of helping them.”

The Poor Handmaids continue to support these young women by offering housing, educational opportunities and daily living expenses as well as spiritual guidance and community life. When the congregation was founded in 1851 they never dreamed that 150 years later their mission would still be alive and growing as it is today. Living lives of simplicity and putting others before self, the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ congregation is alive internationally with many American Sisters involved in worldwide ministries. For more information about the Poor Handmaids, or to make a donation, please visit www.poorhandmaids.org.

My Journey to Become a Poor Handmaid...

By Sister Amalia Conde Domínguez, PHJC

Eight years have passed since my first vows; when I pronounced them, I did it for my whole life. I still remember that very special day, when one person said to me, “These are the first vows; they don’t count.” I responded, “Of course they count, without the first vows, we can’t make the final vows.”

Time passed quickly. During this period of going forward, there were many trials, difficulties and joys, all of this in order to reach one of my goals: to give myself completely to God through my “yes,” like the Virgin Mary did, a yes from the heart and with conviction. And the journey continues; it doesn’t stop here.

Many thanks for all your support and prayers. May our Lord continue filling you with blessings. It is a great honor to be a Poor Handmaid of Jesus Christ.

To read the full story of Sister Amalia, visit www.poorhandmaids.org/sister.

Your gift today helps to ensure the continued growth of the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ. You can help by sponsoring these young women to assist with the cost of their housing, education and daily living expenses. You will also help them to carry out the mission of educating children, ministering to the sick, visiting the elderly and providing shelter to young children and others who are homeless.

There are 110 young women in various stages of the Formation process all over the world. The average cost to support a Sister in Formation is:

Where would you be without our Sisters? Your gift can have such an impact, not only on the lives of these young women but on the people they serve. If you are able, please give today to help support these future Poor Handmaids.

Sincerely,

Sister Judith Diltz, PHJC Provincial
 

The Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ have a rich and lengthy history of serving the people of the Mishawaka and South Bend area.  To celebrate this history they are reconnecting with friends, family and people they have known, served and worked with in this area.  The event called, PHJC Coming Home Mishawaka/South Bend, will be held April 10-12, 2015.

 

Several events will be included in this weekend celebration. On Friday, April 10 from 6:30-9 p.m. EDT, a collaboration of the St. Pius X, Granger, young adult group and the Poor Handmaids will gather for a young adult evening of praise and worship, silent reflection, input, conversation and dinner. This gathering, for young adults in their 20s and 30s, will center on discernment and ways to find God’s guidance in relationships and work.

 

On Saturday April 11 at Marian High School in Mishawaka, a reunion for former Poor Handmaid Sisters and alumni of Ancilla Domini High School, Donaldson will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. EDT.  At 2:00 p.m., the public is invited to a festival for all ages with food, children’s games, music and a variety of fun activities. Come and meet or reconnect with Poor Handmaid Sisters.

 

On Sunday, April 12 at 9 a.m., a prayer service will take place at Catholic Cemetery on Liberty and Jefferson Avenues in Mishawaka honoring the Poor Handmaids buried in the cemetery.  At 10:30 a.m. a Eucharist Liturgy will be held at the Bishop Crowley Activity Center at Marian High School.  Father Ted Franzman will celebrate Mass.  A brunch will follow at 12 p.m. in the main gym. There is no charge for the brunch but please register for easier planning. Besides the weekend events, Poor Handmaids are also visiting several schools in the South Bend and Mishawaka area this spring.

 

For more information and to register for any of these events click here or call Julie Dowd, PHJC Communications Director, at 574-935-1768.

Join Ancilla College in its new adventure 4 p.m. March 10 on 9B Road to witness groundbreaking on two buildings.

“It’s going to be beautiful,” said President Ken Zirkle. “We will house nearly 100 new students and have a student life center with dining open to the public. It’s a great time to be at Ancilla College.”

Building plans, managed by Michael Kinder and Sons, Inc., of Fort Wayne, will include three stories of double rooms with full bathrooms. Additionally, there will be a two-story open lobby with fireplace, meeting rooms and a prayer room. The $6 million project also includes a 150-person capacity student life center and dining facility with coffee bar, fireplace and fitness center.

The buildings are on schedule for an Aug. 1 opening, Zirkle said. “Ancilla College has long been the best deal in the state but now we’ve sweetened the deal.”

Room and board will be frozen for two years at $8,500, which includes a meal plan. This rate is better than most colleges in the state.

The opportunity to expand Ancilla’s enrollment and build a learning community on campus has enthusiastic supporters across campus but maybe none more than vice president of enrollment management Eric Wignall. ““It’s incredible. Ancilla College can now open its doors even further, to more students, and to people from across the country. And we are truly a great deal for students. We were already the lowest cost private college in Indiana, but we’ve managed to keep a full year of full time tuition plus room and board under $23,000,” Wignall said. “That’s less than the tuition-only cost of most private colleges in the United States. Ancilla students can get an associate degree in any of our 17 academic programs, play on one of our 10 athletic teams and live on campus for less money than any other independent college in the state,” he said.

Vice President of Development, Todd Zeltwanger, said Ancilla College will be conducting a room naming fundraising campaign for the two buildings.  More information will be forthcoming in the new future.

Zirkle said the buildings will have keyless entry and 24-hour security. “This is a beautiful, safe campus with gorgeous historic buildings, a lake and an art center. I would have sent all five of my daughters here if it had been possible back then,” he said.

Wignall said, “Students can apply for housing online at the college’s website: www.ancilla.edu. Room reservations are first-come, first-served with preference given to freshman. If you have questions about living here next year, just call 1.866.ANCILLA!” 

Ancilla College (www.ancilla.edu), part of The Center at Donaldson, offers 17 associate degrees and 10 athletic programs. Since 1937, the College has been a sponsored ministry of the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ. It is a small, private, liberal arts school in Donaldson, Indiana. It is located two miles south of U.S. 30 on Union Road near Plymouth, Indiana.

Welcoming the Immigrant

Wednesday, 14 January 2015 00:00

The Leadership Conference for Women Religious (LCWR) placed a call for volunteers to work with refugees in El Paso, Texas.  Sister Barbara Kuper, PHJC and Sister Kathleen Quinn, PHJC have responded to the invitation and are serving there from January 3 – February 3, 2015. Here is an update about their first week experience as told by Sister Kathleen.

Our main desire in volunteering to join others in El Paso was twofold.  We wanted to experience at the ground level what the new immigrant was challenged with and to be of assistance in serving their needs.  We had some idea of how our services could benefit their situation, but we knew we had much to learn.

We left Chicago, Midway Airport assisted by Sister Michele and we were on our way.  Both of us had a feeling of adventure with a little trepidation deep within and a real desire of being of service.  When we arrived in El Paso, Eina Holder, Director of Nazareth Hall, welcomed us graciously.  We then went to the Sisters of St. Joseph Convent and felt right at home after meeting Sisters. Louanne, Kay, Bernadette and Esther along with Pauline a lay missionary.  Sisters Louanne, Kay and Bernadette were volunteering at Nazareth Hall, Pauline volunteering at the Columban Mission and Sister Esther our “hostess with the mostess” who is the “house mother” and all so gracious in welcoming Barb and myself.

Words composed by Martha Aiken, OP set us on our Journey as the three Kings/ Wise Women set on theirs. “Just as the Maji followed the star and were drawn by a light as a source of their HOPE, so we too are drawn to see more clearly and ask ourselves, ‘What draws me?’ ‘Who calls me?’ ‘Where will my life’s journey take me next?’ Are we open and ready to see the light in another’s eyes, in their longing for hope and in their life’s journey?  Are we willing to travel afar, to experience unknown territory, meet people from all walks of life and from other cultures to find our God?  We have all said our “yes” through our vows and to each call that has come to us because of them. In so doing, we embody and radiate God’s love for us all.”  So we, too, have asked ourselves these questions as we begin our journey in El Paso at Nazareth Hall in welcoming the Guests who come from the Immigration department.

As we began our first week, we would like to walk you through our initial experience at Nazareth Hall and the many delightful and challenging experiences we had. Eina Holder, a very generous person and also a volunteer, gave us a thorough orientation of what was expected of us.  She was very direct in that we are not to ask the guest about their trials and tribulations in coming to the USA.  When the guests come, they are graciously welcomed “Bienvenido” and given the information that they are free to move around the building and even leave the building, but to let the receptionist know.  They are told very clearly that they are not in detention and that they would be assisted in their needs to be processed and to get needed transportation along with a shower, clothes if needed. It is also explained that all the persons assisting them are volunteers and that everything given is through the kindness of the various churches in El Paso. That Nazareth Hall is being used through the generosity of the Sisters of Loretto. These guest have papers from immigration that they may travel to family, friend or whoever will assist them.  They are to report to the immigration place in three months in the location they are situated. They are interviewed for basic information and then are assisted in their travel arrangements.  Some of the guests leave within the hour, if they have contacted a ride, some within 2-3 hours and some remain overnight.

Our responsibilities vary according to the needs of the guests.  We prepare the lunch for the guest and the volunteers.  Each evening volunteers from the various churches in El Paso bring in food for 20-25 persons.  This is four days a week.  The food left over from the evening meal is then prepared for the lunch the next day.  This is where we come in.  After checking all food available, we place in the oven to be reheated.  This has been a challenge, as for two days this first week the food did not heat up.  We did not realize this until we began to serve it, as the outside of the pan was hot.  By the end of the week we had the food situation under control, with a little sweat and words I won’t repeat.

Before the food preparation begins, we clean rooms, mop floors, clean toilets, showers and then anything we are asked to do like cleaning up the toy room, sorting toys, checking sheets, pillow cases and all bed wear.  We have enjoyed the children especially and Barb tells the story of the little boy who she got a warm coat for and he was so happy with it, he would not take it off.  We have received many guests from Honduras, Guatemala and Mexico.  The expression on their face when they first come is one of fear and anxiety.  As they hear the welcome and experience the kindness of all, we receive many “gracias” and their expression is more relaxed and sometimes very joyful..

We have noticed that we have many women with their children, but often the husband is maintained in detention.  When inquiring about this, we are told there is very little rhyme or reason for this, and no definite reason is given.  When this happens, the wife asks to visit her husband, and arrangements are made for this.  Beth, a volunteer is most helpful in driving them to the detention center.  We have four detention centers in El Paso.

We ended our week with a farewell dinner at “Amigos” restaurant as Sisters Kay and Bernadette were leaving to go back to Montana on Saturday morning.  Very delicious meal was enjoyed by all and a delightful conversation.