The Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ

As a member of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ support the following statement...

Jennifer Weinert is great at keeping secrets. Her husband Steve, the 2018 Blessed Catherine Kasper award recipient, had no idea he was the winner, even though she knew a week before the announcement. “The only thing she did (that day) was make sure I was wearing a clean shirt and jeans,” Steve laughed. 

Steve joined The Center at Donaldson fifteen years ago as a member of the Facilities and Ground Services team. “Overwhelmed,” is how he described his reaction to hearing his name called. “When I looked over at Ed, (Maria Center resident Ed Kirchhoff) his face just lit up,” he said. “I’m very grateful for it. It’s especially an honor now that she’s going to be a Saint.” 

There’s another secret that was hidden in the Weinert family, one which Steve and Jennifer, the 2014 Blessed Catherine Kasper Award recipient, recently discovered. His connection to the Poor Handmaids goes back two generations. Steve’s grandfather and great-uncle were raised by the Sisters at Angel Guardian Orphanage in Chicago. He made the discovery while going through family records not long ago. “Their parents passed away, and the Sisters raised them together,” Steve said. 

Co-workers who nominated Steve found him to be “a gentle, peaceful, welcoming presence to everyone – guests, co-workers, residents, all of creation which he treats with reverence.” That’s evident in the colorful gardens Steve plants on the grounds, something important to the Sisters; and in his love of art, which he and Jennifer share though activities with the Sisters and Maria Center residents. Others cited Steve’s “willingness to help all residents with whatever they need.” Another co-worker said he’s “a great guy who walks in the shoes of Catherine and embodies the Spirit of Poor Handmaids.” Perhaps the ultimate tribute to his sense of community came from a co-worker who noted, “he shares his tools!” 

In reminiscing about the awards luncheon several days later, Steve said of the honor, “It’s all about family: the residents, Sisters, and co-workers. It’s all special to me, and they’re part of my family and my history. It’s also an honor to my grandfather. He’d have been so happy.” 

Congratulations, Steve!

As a member of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ support the following statement of concern made by this national organization of women religious: 

LCWR Opposes Trump Administration’s Affordable Clean Energy Rule 

[Silver Spring, MD] The Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) is deeply troubled by the release of the Trump Administration’s Affordable Clean Energy rule. The proposed rule would significantly weaken the Clean Power Plan (CPP) which sought to speed the closure of coal-burning plants and the conversion to clean energy in order to reduce carbon pollution, mitigate climate change, and protect the health and welfare of all people, especially the most vulnerable. 

The 2014 CPP set flexible national standards to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 32 percent and premature deaths from power plant emissions by nearly 90 percent in 2030 compared to 2005. The new Affordable Clean Energy rule allows states to decide if and how they want to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from coal-burning power plants placing the health of the nation and the planet at continued risk. The Environmental Protection Agency’s own analysis shows that under the proposed rule carbon dioxide emissions will continue to rise and could lead to as many as 1,400 premature deaths annually. 

Climate is a common good given to all and for which all are responsible. Each of us is called to cooperate with God to protect our common home and to care for all of God’s creation.  We believe, with Pope Francis, that all nations have “a clear, definitive, and ineluctable ethical imperative to act” to protect Earth and its people. None more so than the United States as we, historically, have been the world’s largest carbon polluter. 

In his Encyclical, Laudato Si’, Pope Francis, reminds us of our biblical call to live in right relationship and to cooperate with God’s design for our world. We call on all people of good will to join us in opposing this rule that threatens the health and safety of our neighbors and our planet home. We urge all Americans to take the opportunity to register their concerns during the required comment period for the Affordable Clean Energy rule. 

LCWR is an association of leaders of congregations of Catholic women religious in the United States. The conference has nearly 1300 members, who represent more than 38,800 women religious in the United States. Founded in 1956, LCWR assists its members to collaboratively carry out their service of leadership to further the mission of the Gospel in today’s world. 

Contact: Sister Annmarie Sanders, IHM | LCWR Director of Communications | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. | 301-588-4955