Latest News

Latest News

PHJCs Coming Home to Minnesota/Wisconsin

Wednesday, 22 June 2016 15:35

Sister Magdalen Hellmann (Lorraine) PHJC passed away on June 17, 2016 at the Catherine Kasper Home in Donaldson, Indiana, after a life spent appreciating and nurturing the lives of children and all growing things entrusted to her care.

 

Sister Magdalen was born in Aviston, Illinois to Henry and Elizabeth (Ottensmeier) Hellmann who preceded her in death along with her brothers Joseph, Cletus and Stephen and her sisters Genevieve Hellmann and Bernadine Kussatz. Her sister Rita Heimann survives along with many nieces and nephews. Sister Magdalen credited her father and life on the family farm for introducing her to the miracle of birth and growth in both nature and humankind. She entered the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ Community as a postulant on December 8, 1948, professed her first vows on June 25, 1951, and celebrated 65 years as a Poor Handmaid Sister this year.

 

Sister Magdalen earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Sociology and Psychology from Loyola University in Chicago, Illinois in 1960. From 1951 until 1976 Sister ministered as a childcare worker in Chicago (Angel Guardian Children’s Home) and in Belleville, Illinois (St. John’s Children Home). From 1976-1990 she ministered in management at Ancilla Domini Convent in Donaldson, Indiana. From 1990 until 2003 she served as a Sacristan at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart at Notre Dame University. After retiring from Notre Dame and working with college students she returned to working with the younger set…caring for babies at Nazareth Home in East Chicago, Indiana. Following her 11 years at Nazareth Home Sister Magdalen “officially” retired to the Catherine Kasper Home in November 2014.

 

All who knew Sister Magdalen appreciated her gentle sense of humor, her caring ways, her skills with handicrafts, gardening, and quilting. As she appreciated the miracle of growth of the tiny seed into its full potential with God’s help, those who knew her found in her a nurturing, caring, special friend.

 

Visitation will be held at the Catherine Kasper Home on Tuesday, June 21, 2016 beginning at 4:30 p.m. (EST) A Prayer Service will be held the same evening 7:00 p.m.

 

Funeral Liturgy will be held in the Catherine Kasper Home Chapel on Wednesday, June 22, 2016 at 11:15 a.m. (EST) Burial will follow in the Mt. Carmel Cemetery, Donaldson, Indiana.

 

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

Co-Founders of the social enterprise startup Handtoheart, an online border-less market allowing refugee women free access to sell their handicrafts to an international audience, paid a visit to the St. Joseph Community Health Foundation May 5. HandtoHeart gives refugee women the ability to work from their homes or community centers in Istanbul. The non-profit organization was the recipient of Istanbul’s first Borderless Hackathon prize, an award sponsored by the U.S. Consulate and Kolektif House. They were in Fort Wayne to learn more from area non-profits who help refugees.

 

HandtoHeart was invited to the United States under the auspices of the Department of State’s International Visit Program. The group ranged from age 19-29, and are from all over the world. They are united by their humanitarian effort to help Syrian refugees in Turkey

 

St. Joseph Community Health Foundation in Ft. Wayne, Indiana, is a ministry sponsored by the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ. 

Helping Others Happens in Unique Ways

Wednesday, 13 April 2016 08:38

When I asked my brother-in-law for some old jeans to use for a project, my sister quickly put together a bagful that I brought back to Donaldson from a weekend visit with my family. Collection bins were placed near the serving line of our dining room for people to contribute their old, clean jeans.

 

Maria Center residents, Sisters, co-workers, friends from the area who had read about the event in the local newspapers, joined on March 30, 2016 and worked for two hours cutting apart the jeans and then cutting parts traced on the denim that would be assembled as shoe parts for children in Uganda.

 

Those who gathered watched a video from the Sole Hope organization that explained how people in Uganda usually wear flip-flops, but there are no flip-flops small enough for the very young and growing children.  As a result, children often get jiggers in the soles of their feet that cause infection and health-related problems.

 

Using cut up tires, the actual sole is made of a piece of rubber and the denim parts are sewed to that piece of rubber as the upper part of the shoe and the heal.  The shoes are assembled by local people in Uganda and given to the children.

 

This project made all of us aware of how we can help people we have never met by just giving a few hours of our time to work together on a project that helps people to be healthy.  Some of the women attending from local churches were going to take the project back to their churches. 

 

Another afternoon will be scheduled so that people continue this project here at The Center at Donaldson.

 

Just a one month shy of her 100th birthday and celebration of her 80th Jubilee, Sister Johnilda Mannhard (Marcella), PHJC died on Sunday, April 10, 2016 in the Catherine Kasper Home in Donaldson, Indiana.

 

As a small child, Sister Johnilda wanted to help children especially the handicapped and those whom society deemed socially unacceptable by doing what she could to make people feel better. Sister Johnilda was “mother” to many children at Angel Guardian Orphanage (AGO) in Chicago. During a heartfelt speech at the 2015 AGO reunion, former AGO alumnus Joe Ellis said, “Sister Johnilda is the mother I never had and Angel Guardian was my home growing up. Without her efforts, I would have remained the cold, detached and lost child who showed up on Angel Guardian’s doorstep. I would have been unable to understand or value what was being offered to me here.” Because of Sister’s love and care, Joe and some of her other former “kids” called her the “Angel Guardian.”  Her love for them was evidenced as she continued to write, call and visit with them.   

 

Sister is survived by one sister, Rita (Floyd) Kirstein, and several nieces and nephews.  She was preceded in death by her brothers, Paul (Eileen) Mannhard, Louis (Marcella) Mannhard, Maurice (Vera) Mannhard and her sister Irene (Theodore) Zurliene.

 

Sister Johnilda (Marcella), the oldest of six children, was born in Highland, Illinois to John and Mary (Luber) Mannhard.  She attended St. Mary’s School in Trenton, Illinois where Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ taught.  She knew at a young age she wanted to be a religious Sister. Sister Johnilda attended Ancilla Domini High School in Donaldson, Indiana.  She entered the Poor Handmaid of Jesus Christ Community as a postulant on September 2, 1933 and professed her first vows on June 25, 1936.  She later graduated from DePaul University with a degree in Education.  She began her elementary school teaching career in 1936 until 1956.  In 1956 Sister was missioned to Angel Guardian Orphanage in Chicago where she ministered for 18 years. Sister Johnilda officially retired to the Catherine Kasper Home in 2015.  

 

Visitation will be held from 4:30 p.m.- 8:00 p.m. EDT at the Catherine Kasper Home on Thursday, April 14, 2016.  A Prayer Service will be held the same evening at 7:00 p.m.

 

Mass of Resurrection will be celebrated in the Catherine Kasper Home Chapel on Friday, April 15, 2016 at 11:15 a.m.  Burial will follow in the Mt. Carmel Cemetery, Donaldson, Indiana. 

 

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

An Earth Day celebration and award presentation will be held at The Center at Donaldson, 9601 Union Road, on April 22, 2016 from 3-5 p.m. EDT.  All are invited.

 

Multiple activities are planned for the day in honor of Earth Day.

 

Bring your plastic bags and stuff Baggin' the Dragon - the Earth friendly dragon. One reusable cloth bag per family will be exchanged for your plastic bags.

 

Learn about worm composting and enter to win a yard sized compost bin! Also enter to win a rain-barrel, so you, too, can conserve water.

 

To help protect your identity and eliminate some waste from going into the landfills, a shredding event will be available. Bring your personal documents, clean out your files, and get ready for spring.

 

Also part of this celebration is the presentation of the Bicentennial Green Legacy Award to The Center at Donaldson in recognition of its important contribution to Indiana’s Bicentennial Green Legacy for leading the way to a safer and more sustainable future.  The award, presented by Sustainable Indiana 2016, will be held on the front lawn at The Center at Donaldson at 4 p.m. EDT. 

 

The Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ and their ministries’ belief that all life on the planet is sacred and deserves respect and protection is confirmed by their endorsement of the Earth Charter. The Earth Charter is an ethical framework for building a just, sustainable, and peaceful global society in the 21st century. (earthcharter.org/)

 

Some of the practices adopted by The Center at Donaldson that live into this belief and which made The Center eligible for the award, include: installation of rain gardens, green houses, geo-thermal heating and cooling, and use of hybrid cars, earth-friendly cleaning solutions and recycling.  The Poor Handmaids also have put land into three classified forests, protecting the land from further development.

 

The strong belief in recycling has led the Poor Handmaids to hire a full-time recycling person. A recycling demonstration will be offered during the celebration.  A new Land Manager position is also currently being filled.

 

During the event, visit Earthworks, an environmental education center, and meet Luigi, Donté, and Sweet Annie, Earthworks’ resident goats. Tour the greenhouses where food is grown to feed the residents, co-workers and visitors at The Center.

 

Take a tour of MoonTree Studios, which has achieved LEED-Gold certification by the U.S. Green Building Council.  The 10kW wind turbine located on the property generates power from prevailing winds for use in meeting MoonTree’s electrical load and demonstrates MoonTree’s energy consciousness.

 

Come celebrate the Earth with the Poor Handmaids on April 22.  Learn ways you can help protect the natural communities, visit the PHJC ministries, and enjoy the beautiful grounds at The Center.  

Word Gathering (Spring 2016)

Monday, 04 April 2016 16:04

IN THIS ISSUE…

  • Some Hard (Not Just Inconvenient) Truths
  • Sarah’s Tent Manifests the Mindful Connection of Art, Nature and the Spirit Within!
  • Baldino to Visit The Center at Donaldson
  • Meet Carol McGuigan, Catherine Kasper Home’s New Executive Director
  • The Gift of Mercy – Transforming Lives
  • Miracles Happen at Nazareth Home
  • A Look at Bethany Retreat House
  • Residential Campus Creates a New Culture
  • Reflections from El Salvador
  • HealthVisions East St. Louis – Transformational Collaboration at Work
  • Rehabilitating at Catherine Kasper Home
  • Pro-Region Chapter in Mexico
  • PHJC Volunteer Program – Advisory Committee Members Share Their Gifts
  • Prayer to be Merciful to Others
  • Mark your calendars! 17th Annual Walk for STH
  • On being merciful this year…
  • In Memory of Our Associates and Sister
  • Coming Home to Minnesota • Wisconsin Schedule of Events