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Latest News

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

When three groups of ladies get together, there is sure to be fellowship, fun and service. Recently Kelly Redinger, Delta Theta Tau Representative, brought materials and scissors to the Catherine Kasper Life Center where she was met by the Sisters of Catherine’s Cottage, the “Sister Power” support group, and the Ancilla Women’s Volleyball Team for their third annual blanket making project. 

 

Kelly delivers the finished baby blankets to the St. Joe Regional Medical Center in Plymouth. She expressed her gratitude, saying, “I am very thankful to be a part of such a wonderful group of ladies, I hope we can continue this project for many years.” 

 

Sister Marlene Ann Lama, PHJC, commented, “This was our third baby blanket gathering with the Lady Chargers. I am convinced that these exchanges between the Lady Chargers and the Sisters just keeping getting better and better! It is heartwarming to see Ancilla’s vibrant young women so open and responsive to our older Sisters. They didn’t hesitate to share with us about themselves, their goals and future dreams. This inter-generational service project was filled with respectful listening, inquisitive sharing and good deal of laughter. It also confirmed the great team work that existed between the generations in getting the baby blankets made for the newborns.” 

 

Lana Singleton, volleyball coach, expressed her appreciation, “I feel very blessed that we have opportunities like this to strengthen our inter-generational relationships with the Sisters. They are amazing women and my team benefits greatly every time we spend time together. I also feel very blessed that Kelly Redinger from Delta Theta Tau came up with this wonderful idea and it is a yearly tradition now.”

 

Associating News Spring 2016

Friday, 18 March 2016 15:20

IN THIS ISSUE:

  • PHJC Volunteer Program
  • NACAR Anniversary Celebration
  • Companions on the Journey Retreat
  • Celebrating Our 2016 Associate Anniversaries
  • In Memory of Our Sisters and Associates
  • Lindenwood Events
  • John XXIII Retreat Center Retreats and Activities
  • Each One Reach One
  • MoonTree Studios
  • Upcoming Associate Events

With the arrival of spring at Ancilla Beef & Grain Farm comes the arrival of newborn calves.  The first, a male, was born Tuesday, March 8.  As of Tuesday, March 15, seven of the expected 101 calves have made their way into the world. So far, there are three females and four males.

 

In this herd, which is the Angus-Slaers breed, all but 11 are naturally conceived.  The 11 AI calves (conceived through artificial insemination) are all due at the beginning of April. Like humans, the gestation period for calves is 9 months.  The average birth weight is 70-90 pounds, with the females being on the lighter side.  

 

To date, only two deliveries have required assistance.  Co-directors Tim and Joe Reinhold have assisted two of the mothers by chain pulling the calf’s legs when their deliveries became difficult. Security and Support Staff team leader Zeb Smitha, who was making his rounds last Tuesday, assisted Tim and Joe with the year’s first delivery.  “He asked if we needed any help,” Tim said.  “Sure. We always take help,” Tim replied.  

 

“He ain’t a bad puller,” Joe surmised. About the experience, which was his first calf delivery, Zeb said, “It was pretty nice to be present for the birth of first calf of the year, especially when everything was going well for the mother, calf, and Tim and Joe. It’s spring, and it means that summer is right around the corner.”  

 

Ancilla Beef and Grain Farm, a ministry of the Poor Handmaids, operates in a manner that values and respects the soil and animals. It grows hay, corn and soybeans that feed the cattle. Ancilla’s prime beef is raised all-natural.