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Latest News

In Memory of Sister Philomene Pawlik, PHJC

Thursday, 26 December 2013 12:41

Sister Philomene Pawlik, PHJC passed away on December 25, 2013 at the Catherine Kasper Home, Donaldson, Indiana. She was born to Hugo and Filomena (Romanovsky) Pawlik in Knox, Indiana on July 6, 1923. She entered the Poor Handmaid of Jesus Christ community and professed her first vows on June 25, 1944.

Sister Philomene began ministering in the medical profession in 1946 at St. Anne Hospital, Chicago.  Over the next 51 years she served as a nursing, medical and surgical supervisor; clinical instructor; pediatric playroom supervisor; in pastoral care; or Sister hostess at many medical facilities throughout Indiana and Illinois. When the Catherine Kasper Home opened in 1970, she became the first head nurse and between 1985-1989, she served as Parish Ministry volunteer at Our Lady of Prairie in Belle Plaine, Minnesota.

Sister Philomene retired to the Catherine Kasper Home in 1997.

Once when reflecting back on her life, Sister Philomene said the most comforting word to her was faith – faith in God and faith in the people that touched her life.  She said being a Poor Handmaid of Jesus Christ meant to love and work in the presence of God and in the footsteps of Blessed Catherine Kasper.

May Sister Philomene rest in peace!

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

Associating News (Winter 2013)

Tuesday, 10 December 2013 10:27

In This Issue:

  • Associates Celebrate Gathering XI and 30th Anniversary
  • Jan Macey Keeps Things Running Smoothly
  • Update from East One
  • In Memory of Our Sister
  • Listening to God's Call: Catherine Kasper Vocation Center in Mexico
  • Associate John Powen - Did you Know?
  • South Region Associate Welcome Rita Heimann
  • Upcoming 2014 MoonTree Studios Experiences

Word Gathering (Winter 2013)

Tuesday, 10 December 2013 00:00

 

In this issue:

  • New Board Member Reflects on Involvement with Sojourner Truth House
  • The Associate Community Celebrates 30 Years
  • Ancilla Alumni Visits Poor Handmaids in Mexico
  • Poor Handmaids Culminate Their Celebration of 25 Years of Presence in Mexico
  • Fall Fundraising Events
  • Choosing Compassion: The Paradox of Power
  • Earthworks First Annual Farm to Fork Dinner
  • "Little Boy Blue" - Part One
  • Tree Planted in Honor of Dr. Otis Bowen
  • Then... and Now... and Everything in Between
  • Catherine Kasper Life Center Recognized for Outstanding Resident Satisfaction
  • Hands that Serve, Hearts that Care
  • Photo Gallery: MoonTree Studios 2013
  • LARE Grant for Lake Galbraith
  • Poor Handmaid Ministries Continue to Serrve in Fort Wayne
  • Sr. Henrietta Okeke Professes Perpetual Vows
  • Notes from Our Readers
  • Sojourner Truth House Board Member Recognized
  • In Memory of Our Sister

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.

In Memory of Sister Vivian Brand, PHJC

Tuesday, 19 November 2013 00:00

Sister Vivian Brand, PHJC passed away on November 17, 2013 at the Catherine Kasper Home, Donaldson, Indiana. She was born to Henry and Josephine (Foppe) Brand in Germantown, Illinois on April 11, 1917. She entered the Poor Handmaid of Jesus Christ community and professed her first vows on June 25, 1938.

Sister Vivian spent her whole life in education.  She began teaching in 1940 at St. Boniface School in Edwardsville, Illinois and in 1946 she taught at St. Augustine High School in Chicago, Illinois.  In 1946 she came to Donaldson to be the assistant dean/dean, librarian and teacher at Ancilla High School and later, as teacher, dean, professor and library volunteer at Ancilla College.  From 1946 until her death she lived and worked in Donaldson.  She will be buried at Mt. Carmel Cemetery in Donaldson. 

Regarding education, Sr. Vivian said, “Serving God’s poor in the education ministry was rewarding, especially in the college.  Many students were nontraditional; many were the first in their families to attend college.  Helping them to attain marketable skills to support themselves and their families fulfilled a purpose of the college.”

May Sister Vivian rest in peace!

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

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.