Current Events

Current Events

A New Focus For Bethany Retreat House

Tuesday, 28 January 2014 00:00

Poor Handmaids are known for listening to the needs and responding in a courageous way. Sometimes this means opening or closing new ministries, or changing the focus of a ministry.

Sister Joyce Diltz, PHJC, Director of Bethany Retreat House in East Chicago, Indiana, listened to the Spirit in 1992 when she began providing silent retreat space at Bethany Retreat House. Along with day and overnight silent retreats and ongoing spiritual direction, over the years, Bethany added various workshops and reflection groups to its offerings, and has discontinued others.

Very Little-Known Lives

Tuesday, 28 January 2014 00:00

Turtles, Frogs, Caddisflies, Butterfly caterpillars, Snails, Stoneflies, Mussels, Earthworms, Ground Beetles…Dragonflies and Preying Mantises…

What do these apparently insignificant animals do for us?

Plenty!

A few months ago, I received a Facebook message from a friend inquiring if I would be interested in serving on the board of Sojourner Truth House (STH). My mind immediately raced back to my previous encounters with the organization. I smiled when I thought of the Walk for STH and how it made me feel to join a sea of others walking to make a difference in the lives of women and their children.

Valparaiso University Chorale to Perform

Wednesday, 01 January 2014 09:09

The Valparaiso University Chorale, one of the top Lutheran choirs in the United States, will be coming to Donaldson on Saturday Feb 22. The concert will take place at the Ancilla Domini Chapel, The Center at Donaldson, 9601 Union Road, in Plymouth, IN at 7:00 p.m. EST.

This workshop has been rescheduled for December 18, 2013 due to weather. A life overflowing with work, children, and filled schedules can make going back to school seem too difficult. News of tuition increases can make it seem too expensive. For some it may be the fear of going back to school after years away from classrooms and homework. Ancilla College is offering two ways adults can become successful college students in 2014.

On Wednesday, December 11th, Ancilla is holding a free workshop for adults who are interested in returning to school. “College for Adult Learners” is set for 6 to 7:30 pm on Ancilla’s campus in room 231. Workshop materials, food and parking are free.

“The workshop will feature information on Ancilla programs, classes and degree options plus offer insights into financial aid options for adult students returning to school after several years’ absence,” Ancilla’s Sarah Lawrence said.

Lawrence, the assistant director of Admissions at the college, said offering a free workshop was an easy way for adults to get a chance to see the college. “We’re offering the workshop in the evening so working adults can come in after work and see the options we have available,” she said.

“Over half of students in Indiana who attended college in the last ten years did not finish with a degree. At Ancilla we can work with adults to get back into college and learn the skills they need to succeed with flexible evening, online and Saturday courses,” Lawrence said.

Ancilla College is also trying to make it easier for adult learners to try out college by offering a free course to adult students as part of the “We Believe in You” program. “We Believe in You” allows any adult, 21-years and older, who has not yet earned 10 college credits, to take a class with up to three credit hours at no cost (free tuition and fees).

In addition, all students in the program will have an academic advisor to assist them with every aspect of attending college for the first time, including help with the registration process, completing a financial aid application, choosing educational opportunities, and more. Spring classes begin Jan. 6, 2014 at Ancilla’s campus near Plymouth.

“We Believe in You” was created in 1988 by the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ. “Over 50 people have taken part in this program,” said Admissions Director Eric Wignall.

“Many of them have gone on to take more classes and several have completed college degrees. They started with one course to test the waters and took advantage of the opportunity to restart their education. Adult students can use the ‘We Believe in You’ grant on top of other financial aid from federal and state programs to launch a college degree,” Wignall said.

Originally the program was designed for students who had never attended college, but this year the program was expanded to students and military veterans who may have taken a few courses but did not continue with a degree program. “If you are an older student who tried college, but earned less than 10 credit hours, you can come to Ancilla and get the extra help and information you need to be successful today,” Wignall said.

Both the free workshop and college course are ways that Ancilla is engaging with the region’s workforce. “College is not just for 19-year-olds. Working adults at any age can still earn a college degree, moving their education and career forward,” Lawrence said.

“Taking a college course in writing or computer technology can jump-start a college degree at any age. Faced with a difficult jobs outlook today I expect to see more students across Northern Indiana to take that first step in college and receive up to three credits of coursework for free,” she said.

For more information on the workshop or “We Believe in You,” please contact the Ancilla College Admissions Office at (574) 936-8898.

Sister Christiane Humpert, a German PHJC Sister, was the featured presenter for the Ancilla College Lampen Lecture series Wednesday, November 13.

Sister Christiane discussed the life and experience of Sister Aloysia Löwenfels, another PHJC Sister, who was a victim of the Holocaust.Sister Christiane has been a student of Sister Aloysia for some time and was born in Germany right before the beginning of WWII.

The story Sister Christiane shared was a touching account of how Sister Aloysia, a young Jewish woman, became a PHJC Sister.  Sister Aloysia was born into a German Jewish family but was educated like many young Jewish girls in a Christian school. She adopted the faith and left her family and home country to become a Sister in the Netherlands. During WWII she was found and arrested. She was sent to Westerbork, a holding camp in the Netherlands before being transported and killed in the gas chambers at Auschwitz.

“A significant historical event such as the holocaust takes on new meaning when we hear the stories of individual persons deeply affected by the event.  The intolerance, prejudice, and hate shown to Sister Aloysia and the other Christian Jews who died with her show us how devastating these negative thoughts, emotions, and actions can be.   Our present generation has the task of combating the intolerance, prejudice, and hate that we see in our country and in our world.  A very big task,” explained Sister Carleen Wrasman, coordinator of mission integration at Ancilla College.

The Lampen Lecture Series is free lectures open to the public and is held in Room 231 at Ancilla College. The series was named for Sr. Joel Lampen, the first president of Ancilla College, who opened the doors of Ancilla to the local community. 

The Lampen Lecture Series was designed to combine the universality of the Catholic Church, the international character of the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ, who sponsor Ancilla College, and the Earth Charter to promote thinking beyond one’s own experiences and interests. 

The Lampen Lecture Series will continue in the spring semester.

Former Governor of Indiana, Dr. Otis Bowen, was remembered on campus Thursday, October 31st.

Dr. Bowen had several connections to the Center at Donaldson including his time as an Ancilla College board member and Catherine Kasper Life Center resident.

“Dr. Bowen was a powerful advocate on behalf of Ancilla College and we are thankful for his service as a trustee and his contributions to the college.Through his generosity, Dr. Bowen has enabled us to continue to fulfill our mission.” said Dr. Ron May, president of Ancilla College,

In response to his dedication to Ancilla College and his time at the Catherine Kasper home, a “kousa” dogwood was planted. The hope is that the tree’s presence will remind those living, working, and studying on campus of Dr. Bowen’s generosity.

A small ceremony was planned for the event which included reflections by Dr. May, Margie Pixey, CKH chaplain, and Carol Bowen, Dr. Bowen’s wife. Todd Zeltwanger, executive director of institutional advancement at Ancilla College, opened the floor for audience sharing and several attendees included memories they had with Dr. Bowen. Sr. Carleen Wrasman, director of mission integration at Ancilla College closed the ceremony with a responsive prayer.

Dr. Bowen was elected Governor of Indiana in 1972 and served two terms in office. Later in his career, he was appointed as Secretary of Health and Human Services under the Reagan Administration, which he served until 1989. After his busy political career, he retired to Bremen, IN.

Ancilla College is a Catholic, liberal arts, Associate’s Degree college in Donaldson, Indiana, sponsored by the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ.


The Fort Wayne-Allen County Department of Health Board recognized the St. Joseph Community Health Foundation and their sponsor, the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ, on Monday, October 22 for their ongoing record of support which began in 2000.    Health Department Administrator Mindy Waldron read a statement noting that at a time when the funding of public health departments is at an all-time low in the United States--and Indiana specifically is 50th in terms of federal dollars coming to the state for public health initiatives -- the Foundation's ongoing support of important public health projects  has been exceptionally generous.

The St. Joseph Community Health Foundation's support began in 2000 with a grant of $622 to assist the Health Department in holding a Legislative Breakfast to speak to local legislators about five major public health issues in need of attention.  Since then, the Foundation has awarded 25 more grants including but not limited to a Teens Against Tobacco Public Service Announcement campaign, Lead Poisoning Prevention Case Managers salary support, the establishment of the Department's electronic medical records and most recently, medical interpreters enabling the treatment of Burmese refugees.  These grants have totaled $986,280 over the past thirteen years.

Read the full speech recognizing SJCHF's Meg Distler and staff by clicking here.