In Memory

In Memory

In Memory of Sister Alice Kunkel, PHJC

Monday, 10 August 2015 00:00

Sister Alice Kunkel, PHJC, passed away August 8, 2015, at the Catherine Kasper Home, Donaldson, Indiana. She was born to John and Elizabeth (Rolfers) Kunkel in Carlyle, Illinois on July 27, 1921. She entered the Poor Handmaid of Jesus Christ community and professed her first vows on June 25, 1947.

Sister Alice served 18 years as a teacher at St. Joseph, Fort Wayne; St. Bavo and St. Joseph Mishawaka, Indiana and at St. Boniface, Edwardsville and St. Mary, Carlyle, Illinois.  For the next 36 years she ministered in the business office at Convent Ancilla Domini and then served the PHJC Community as a volunteer.  

In reflection on her ministries, Sister Alice said, “After years of teaching, I came to the Motherhouse to work in the Business Office with Sister Symphoria and Sister Hermanda.  I loved the work very much. Besides loving the work and being here, the beautiful chapel was nearby and I found time for visits to the Blessed Sacrament.  It was a time to spend with my God whom I came to serve and love more fully.”

Sister Alice retired to the Catherine Kasper Home in 2012.

May she rest in peace! 

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

Sister Mary Edward Mason, PHJC, passed away June 19, 2015, at the Catherine Kasper Home, Donaldson, Indiana. She was born to Edward Leland and Estella Carmel Mason in Quincy, Illinois on July 5, 1922. She entered the Poor Handmaid of Jesus Christ community and professed her first vows on June 25, 1944.

Sister Mary Edward became a teacher in 1944 and taught hundreds of children throughout the years at St. Mark, Gary; St. Ann, Monterey, and St. Mary, East Chicago, in Indiana.  In Illinois, she taught at St. Augustine, Chicago; and St. John, Quincy. Her love of children was evident as a house mother and cottage mother at St. Vincent Villa, a PHJC orphanage in Fort Wayne, Indiana and Angel Guardian Orphanage, Chicago. In 1986 she became a Sister Hostess at St. Catherine Hospital in East Chicago, Indiana and then served as a pastoral visitor at St. Vincent Home in Quincy, Illinois.

During her 60th jubilee celebration, she said, “My ministry at St. Vincent’s Home is somewhat special since it is only a half block from where I grew up and is in the parish I belonged to before joining the convent. I feel God has given me this ministry at St. Vincent’s Home to prepare for my own retirement years—God willing.”

A little adventurous, Sister Mary Edward’s family gifted her a skydiving experience which she said she would never forget.

Sister Mary Edward retired to the Catherine Kasper Home in 2006.

May she rest in peace!

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

In Memory of Sister Barbara Bruns, PHJC

Wednesday, 18 March 2015 00:00

Sister Barbara Bruns, PHJC passed away March 17, 2015 at the Catherine Kasper Home, Donaldson, Indiana. She was born to Herman and Wilhelmina (Kreke) Bruns in Germantown, Illinois on July 11, 1919. She entered the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ community and professed her first vows on June 25, 1940.

Sister Barbara began her long history in education in 1940 at Angel Guardian Orphanage in Chicago. From there she served in many schools as a teacher, principal and sacristan throughout Indiana and Illinois until 2005 when she retired to the Catherine Kasper Home.

During the 65 years, she taught at these Indiana schools: St. Monica and St. Bavo, Mishawaka; St. Ann and St. Mark, Gary; St. Vincent Villa, Holy Spirit and St. Paul, Fort Wayne; Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Hammond; and Ancilla High School and College, Donaldson.

In Illinois she ministered at St. Henry and St. Augustine, Chicago; St. John the Baptist, Quincy; St. Anthony, Beckemeyer; St. Mary Convent, Trenton; and Mater Dei High School, Breese.

Sister Barbara wrote, "Most of my life has been spent in a classroom serving students." During these impressionable years, what a blessing it has been for me to lead hearts to our God and minds to knowledge."

Sister Barbara was a poet and wrote many poems for special occasions. Here is one for her special occasion.

Going Home

As I come to the last moment of my life

When my time on earth will be over then,

Be glad God is calling me home,

to join all the souls now in heaven.

Sometime you'll be journeying this way,

It is God's plan for everyone,

should you feel sad then and miss me

cheer up; let a kind deed be done.

This goodness will lift your spirit

As you join with friends you know,

live your life in charity and patience

as God's love your actions show.

 

Sister Barbara Bruns, PHJC

June 18, 2011

 

May she rest in peace!

 

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

In Memory of Sister Helen Watkins, PHJC

Monday, 29 December 2014 00:00

Sister Helen Watkins, PHJC, formerly known as Sister Nicholas, passed away December 29, 2014, at the Catherine Kasper Home, Donaldson, Indiana. She was born to Elmer and E. Jeannette (Kinnett) Watkins in Taylorville, Illinois on September 21, 1934. She entered the Poor Handmaid of Jesus Christ community and professed her first vows on July 16, 1959.

Sister Helen ministered in healthcare since 1955 as a nurse, clinical instructor, nurse practitioner, community health coordinator, or in administration at such institutions as St. Elizabeth and St. Anne Hospitals, Chicago; The Center at Donaldson, Donaldson, Indiana; St. Catherine Hospital, East Chicago, Indiana and Matthew 25 Medical and Dental Clinic, Fort Wayne, Indiana. 

From 1968 to 1970 she spent 19 months in Vietnam caring for refugees and as an adviser.  Previously she reminisced, “The time I spent in Viet Nam was an invaluable experience for me, it was good learning about a different culture, a simpler lifestyle which offered a chance to think, sort things out, and figure out what’s important in life and in nursing.”

In 2009 when she celebrated her 50-year jubilee as a Poor Handmaid of Jesus Christ, she wrote, “Although our ministries have changed, we have continued to seek and find new ways to serve the poor, the sick and the children.  I’ve never served in a ministry that I didn’t come to love both the people I served and the people with whom I worked.  With each change I always thought it was the best, only to find the next change was the best.”

Sister Helen retired to the Catherine Kasper Home in 2012.

May she rest in peace!

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

 

In Memory of Sister Aline Clesen, PHJC

Thursday, 11 December 2014 00:00

Sister Aline Clesen, PHJC passed away December 9, 2014, at the Catherine Kasper Home, Donaldson, Indiana. She was born to John and Susan (Sampont) Clesen in Chicago, Illinois on August 10, 1916. She entered the Poor Handmaid of Jesus Christ community and professed her first vows on June 26, 1937.

For her entire career Sister Aline ministered in education.  For 64 years, she taught, or was principal, in several schools in Southern Illinois and Chicago; Fort Wayne, Indiana; and New Ulm, Minnesota. For 25 of those years she worked and volunteered in the Registrars Office at Ancilla College, Donaldson, Indiana. Sister Aline also served as organist and sacristan at several of her ministries.

When previously asked what it means to be a Poor Handmaid, she replied, “To me being a Poor Handmaid means that I should first of all search out my faith in a service of poverty, chastity and obedience and display the spirit of simplicity as I reach out to my Sisters in community and to others whom I meet or work with in loving service.”

Sister Aline retired to the Catherine Kasper Home in 2001.

May Sister Aline rest in peace!

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

In Memory of Sister Stephen Brueggeman

Wednesday, 18 June 2014 00:00

Sister Stephen Brueggeman, PHJC died June 15, 2014 at the Catherine Kasper Home, Donaldson, Indiana. She was born Frances Josephine Brueggeman to Anthony and Helen (Dunkel) Brueggeman in Centralia, Illinois.

In 1945 she entered the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ congregation in Donaldson, Indiana and professed first vows on June 24, 1947.

Sr. Stephen was a graduate of Loyola University, Chicago with a B.SN.ED (Cum Laude) and a M. ED with a major in Education and a minor in Psychology. She also attended Cornell University for Hospital Administration and Wright Junior College for Accounting and Economics.

She began her ministry in healthcare in 1945 as a nurse at St. Anne’s Hospital, Chicago, a Poor Handmaid hospital. For the next 24 years she worked at St. Anne’s as a nurse, director of the nursing school and hospital administrator. After leaving St. Anne’s Hospital she ministered at St. Catherine Hospital, East Chicago, Indiana for 10 years as the hospital administrator.

Sister Stephen was a lobbyist for the Illinois Nursing Association after she impulsively got up during a Nurses Association meeting and defended the three-year hospital schools of nursing. She said she spent many hours in Springfield, Illinois legislature not only working to pass a new Nurse Practice Act, but also other legislative maters.

Sister Stephen served as the PHJC Provincial Superior of the American Province from 1979-1985.

After leaving office she returned to St. Catherine Hospital as Coordinator, Mission and Philosophy Education and then as Vice President of Mission Effectiveness at Ancilla Systems Incorporated, Hobart, Indiana. In 1997 she served the PHJC community, wrote a series of books on the history of the Poor Handmaids and volunteered her time at Nazareth Home. She was a wonderful storyteller and writer.

She retired to the Catherine Kasper Home in 2012.

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