Latest News

Latest News

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.

Formation Newsletter (Spring 2015)

Monday, 16 March 2015 00:00

IN THIS ISSUE…

  • Life in Formation
  • Education
  • Final Vows

 

Where would you be without Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ Sisters?

Where would you be without our Sisters? How did they influence your life? Many of us have had our lives touched by a Sister. Whether it was at school by a teacher, a nurse that held you when you were born or a warm hug at night at one of the many orphanages. Hundreds of young women became Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ and influenced thousands of people, just like you.

Today, the congregation is alive and growing. Young women all over the world are working alongside Poor Handmaids to educate children, to minister to the sick, to visit the elderly and to provide shelter to young children and others who are homeless. These remarkable young women have felt a deep desire to follow in the footsteps of our Sisters, to give the same love and compassion to others, and to touch lives the same way yours has been touched.

Sister Raimunda of Brazil began reading at the age of seven – she read her father’s Bible. “While reading the story of Jesus, I began to feel a desire to do something for the needy people as Jesus did.” She lived with the Poor Handmaids in their boarding school for seven years and later asked the Sisters to join the congregation. As Sister Raimunda continues in formation to become a Poor Handmaid, she says her favorite part of being a Sister is the “relentless pursuit for simplicity and humility. It is also having the opportunity to be closer to the people, the poor and needy, and thus somehow finding a way of helping them.”

The Poor Handmaids continue to support these young women by offering housing, educational opportunities and daily living expenses as well as spiritual guidance and community life. When the congregation was founded in 1851 they never dreamed that 150 years later their mission would still be alive and growing as it is today. Living lives of simplicity and putting others before self, the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ congregation is alive internationally with many American Sisters involved in worldwide ministries. For more information about the Poor Handmaids, or to make a donation, please visit www.poorhandmaids.org.

My Journey to Become a Poor Handmaid...

By Sister Amalia Conde Domínguez, PHJC

Eight years have passed since my first vows; when I pronounced them, I did it for my whole life. I still remember that very special day, when one person said to me, “These are the first vows; they don’t count.” I responded, “Of course they count, without the first vows, we can’t make the final vows.”

Time passed quickly. During this period of going forward, there were many trials, difficulties and joys, all of this in order to reach one of my goals: to give myself completely to God through my “yes,” like the Virgin Mary did, a yes from the heart and with conviction. And the journey continues; it doesn’t stop here.

Many thanks for all your support and prayers. May our Lord continue filling you with blessings. It is a great honor to be a Poor Handmaid of Jesus Christ.

To read the full story of Sister Amalia, visit www.poorhandmaids.org/sister.

Your gift today helps to ensure the continued growth of the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ. You can help by sponsoring these young women to assist with the cost of their housing, education and daily living expenses. You will also help them to carry out the mission of educating children, ministering to the sick, visiting the elderly and providing shelter to young children and others who are homeless.

There are 110 young women in various stages of the Formation process all over the world. The average cost to support a Sister in Formation is:

Where would you be without our Sisters? Your gift can have such an impact, not only on the lives of these young women but on the people they serve. If you are able, please give today to help support these future Poor Handmaids.

Sincerely,

Sister Judith Diltz, PHJC Provincial
 

Word Gathering (Spring 2015)

Wednesday, 11 March 2015 00:00

IN THIS ISSUE…

  • Bowen Fund Reception
  • A Legacy of Faith and Family
  • My Friendship with Sister Mary Baird, PHJC
  • Upcoming Events at MoonTree Studios
  • Conversations That Save Lives
  • Celebrating the Year of Consecrated Life
  • Through the Magnifying Glass
  • Poor Handmaid Volunteer Program Update
  • The Halls Are Alive at The Center at Donaldson
  • An Update from Nazareth Home
  • Nursing Instructor Beth Bailey Serves in Haiti
  • Fracking: The Facts You Need to Know
  • Coming Home to Mishawaka • South Bend Schedule of Events
  • Caring Place – Widening Perspectives
  • In Memory of Our Sisters

 

The Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ have a rich and lengthy history of serving the people of the Mishawaka and South Bend area.  To celebrate this history they are reconnecting with friends, family and people they have known, served and worked with in this area.  The event called, PHJC Coming Home Mishawaka/South Bend, will be held April 10-12, 2015.

 

Several events will be included in this weekend celebration. On Friday, April 10 from 6:30-9 p.m. EDT, a collaboration of the St. Pius X, Granger, young adult group and the Poor Handmaids will gather for a young adult evening of praise and worship, silent reflection, input, conversation and dinner. This gathering, for young adults in their 20s and 30s, will center on discernment and ways to find God’s guidance in relationships and work.

 

On Saturday April 11 at Marian High School in Mishawaka, a reunion for former Poor Handmaid Sisters and alumni of Ancilla Domini High School, Donaldson will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. EDT.  At 2:00 p.m., the public is invited to a festival for all ages with food, children’s games, music and a variety of fun activities. Come and meet or reconnect with Poor Handmaid Sisters.

 

On Sunday, April 12 at 9 a.m., a prayer service will take place at Catholic Cemetery on Liberty and Jefferson Avenues in Mishawaka honoring the Poor Handmaids buried in the cemetery.  At 10:30 a.m. a Eucharist Liturgy will be held at the Bishop Crowley Activity Center at Marian High School.  Father Ted Franzman will celebrate Mass.  A brunch will follow at 12 p.m. in the main gym. There is no charge for the brunch but please register for easier planning. Besides the weekend events, Poor Handmaids are also visiting several schools in the South Bend and Mishawaka area this spring.

 

For more information and to register for any of these events click here or call Julie Dowd, PHJC Communications Director, at 574-935-1768.

Join Ancilla College in its new adventure 4 p.m. March 10 on 9B Road to witness groundbreaking on two buildings.

“It’s going to be beautiful,” said President Ken Zirkle. “We will house nearly 100 new students and have a student life center with dining open to the public. It’s a great time to be at Ancilla College.”

Building plans, managed by Michael Kinder and Sons, Inc., of Fort Wayne, will include three stories of double rooms with full bathrooms. Additionally, there will be a two-story open lobby with fireplace, meeting rooms and a prayer room. The $6 million project also includes a 150-person capacity student life center and dining facility with coffee bar, fireplace and fitness center.

The buildings are on schedule for an Aug. 1 opening, Zirkle said. “Ancilla College has long been the best deal in the state but now we’ve sweetened the deal.”

Room and board will be frozen for two years at $8,500, which includes a meal plan. This rate is better than most colleges in the state.

The opportunity to expand Ancilla’s enrollment and build a learning community on campus has enthusiastic supporters across campus but maybe none more than vice president of enrollment management Eric Wignall. ““It’s incredible. Ancilla College can now open its doors even further, to more students, and to people from across the country. And we are truly a great deal for students. We were already the lowest cost private college in Indiana, but we’ve managed to keep a full year of full time tuition plus room and board under $23,000,” Wignall said. “That’s less than the tuition-only cost of most private colleges in the United States. Ancilla students can get an associate degree in any of our 17 academic programs, play on one of our 10 athletic teams and live on campus for less money than any other independent college in the state,” he said.

Vice President of Development, Todd Zeltwanger, said Ancilla College will be conducting a room naming fundraising campaign for the two buildings.  More information will be forthcoming in the new future.

Zirkle said the buildings will have keyless entry and 24-hour security. “This is a beautiful, safe campus with gorgeous historic buildings, a lake and an art center. I would have sent all five of my daughters here if it had been possible back then,” he said.

Wignall said, “Students can apply for housing online at the college’s website: www.ancilla.edu. Room reservations are first-come, first-served with preference given to freshman. If you have questions about living here next year, just call 1.866.ANCILLA!” 

Ancilla College (www.ancilla.edu), part of The Center at Donaldson, offers 17 associate degrees and 10 athletic programs. Since 1937, the College has been a sponsored ministry of the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ. It is a small, private, liberal arts school in Donaldson, Indiana. It is located two miles south of U.S. 30 on Union Road near Plymouth, Indiana.

Associating News Spring 2015

Friday, 13 February 2015 00:00

IN THIS ISSUE:

  • Quincy Welcomes Newest Associate – Greg Schoenekase
  • Coming Soon…Companions on the Journey
  • Recommitment 2015
  • Lindenwood Retreat Offerings
  • PHJC Volunteer Program Update
  • In Memory of Our Sisters
  • MoonTree Studios Special Event – Praying with Imagination: The St. John’s Bible Experience
  • John XXIII Retreat Center Retreats and Activities
  • Timeline Tales
  • Directory Updates
  • Coming Home to Mishawaka • South Bend Schedule of Events

Welcoming the Immigrant

Wednesday, 14 January 2015 00:00

The Leadership Conference for Women Religious (LCWR) placed a call for volunteers to work with refugees in El Paso, Texas.  Sister Barbara Kuper, PHJC and Sister Kathleen Quinn, PHJC have responded to the invitation and are serving there from January 3 – February 3, 2015. Here is an update about their first week experience as told by Sister Kathleen.

Our main desire in volunteering to join others in El Paso was twofold.  We wanted to experience at the ground level what the new immigrant was challenged with and to be of assistance in serving their needs.  We had some idea of how our services could benefit their situation, but we knew we had much to learn.

We left Chicago, Midway Airport assisted by Sister Michele and we were on our way.  Both of us had a feeling of adventure with a little trepidation deep within and a real desire of being of service.  When we arrived in El Paso, Eina Holder, Director of Nazareth Hall, welcomed us graciously.  We then went to the Sisters of St. Joseph Convent and felt right at home after meeting Sisters. Louanne, Kay, Bernadette and Esther along with Pauline a lay missionary.  Sisters Louanne, Kay and Bernadette were volunteering at Nazareth Hall, Pauline volunteering at the Columban Mission and Sister Esther our “hostess with the mostess” who is the “house mother” and all so gracious in welcoming Barb and myself.

Words composed by Martha Aiken, OP set us on our Journey as the three Kings/ Wise Women set on theirs. “Just as the Maji followed the star and were drawn by a light as a source of their HOPE, so we too are drawn to see more clearly and ask ourselves, ‘What draws me?’ ‘Who calls me?’ ‘Where will my life’s journey take me next?’ Are we open and ready to see the light in another’s eyes, in their longing for hope and in their life’s journey?  Are we willing to travel afar, to experience unknown territory, meet people from all walks of life and from other cultures to find our God?  We have all said our “yes” through our vows and to each call that has come to us because of them. In so doing, we embody and radiate God’s love for us all.”  So we, too, have asked ourselves these questions as we begin our journey in El Paso at Nazareth Hall in welcoming the Guests who come from the Immigration department.

As we began our first week, we would like to walk you through our initial experience at Nazareth Hall and the many delightful and challenging experiences we had. Eina Holder, a very generous person and also a volunteer, gave us a thorough orientation of what was expected of us.  She was very direct in that we are not to ask the guest about their trials and tribulations in coming to the USA.  When the guests come, they are graciously welcomed “Bienvenido” and given the information that they are free to move around the building and even leave the building, but to let the receptionist know.  They are told very clearly that they are not in detention and that they would be assisted in their needs to be processed and to get needed transportation along with a shower, clothes if needed. It is also explained that all the persons assisting them are volunteers and that everything given is through the kindness of the various churches in El Paso. That Nazareth Hall is being used through the generosity of the Sisters of Loretto. These guest have papers from immigration that they may travel to family, friend or whoever will assist them.  They are to report to the immigration place in three months in the location they are situated. They are interviewed for basic information and then are assisted in their travel arrangements.  Some of the guests leave within the hour, if they have contacted a ride, some within 2-3 hours and some remain overnight.

Our responsibilities vary according to the needs of the guests.  We prepare the lunch for the guest and the volunteers.  Each evening volunteers from the various churches in El Paso bring in food for 20-25 persons.  This is four days a week.  The food left over from the evening meal is then prepared for the lunch the next day.  This is where we come in.  After checking all food available, we place in the oven to be reheated.  This has been a challenge, as for two days this first week the food did not heat up.  We did not realize this until we began to serve it, as the outside of the pan was hot.  By the end of the week we had the food situation under control, with a little sweat and words I won’t repeat.

Before the food preparation begins, we clean rooms, mop floors, clean toilets, showers and then anything we are asked to do like cleaning up the toy room, sorting toys, checking sheets, pillow cases and all bed wear.  We have enjoyed the children especially and Barb tells the story of the little boy who she got a warm coat for and he was so happy with it, he would not take it off.  We have received many guests from Honduras, Guatemala and Mexico.  The expression on their face when they first come is one of fear and anxiety.  As they hear the welcome and experience the kindness of all, we receive many “gracias” and their expression is more relaxed and sometimes very joyful..

We have noticed that we have many women with their children, but often the husband is maintained in detention.  When inquiring about this, we are told there is very little rhyme or reason for this, and no definite reason is given.  When this happens, the wife asks to visit her husband, and arrangements are made for this.  Beth, a volunteer is most helpful in driving them to the detention center.  We have four detention centers in El Paso.

We ended our week with a farewell dinner at “Amigos” restaurant as Sisters Kay and Bernadette were leaving to go back to Montana on Saturday morning.  Very delicious meal was enjoyed by all and a delightful conversation.