February 20, 2024

We are pleased to announce that Sr. Carole Langhauser, PHJC began serving as Interim Executive Director of Mission Integration in November 2023.

Sr. Carole previously ministered as Mission Integration Director at St. Joseph Regional Medical Center, Mishawaka, IN. She brings a graduate certificate and fifteen years’ experience working in Mission Leadership. Sr. Carole will be responsible for new coworker orientation in Donaldson and Board formation initiatives with assistance from Sr. Linda Volk, PHJC and Justine Johnson (DEI Executive Director). Her education background in Mission and years of involvement with the St. Joseph Community Health Foundation Mission and Spirituality Committee give her a wealth of experience in this role.

Sr. Carole will be working part-time. Beyond new coworker orientation, her role will be specifically directed as a resource to St. Joseph Community Health Foundation, Sojourner Truth House and HealthVisions Midwest as they transition to self-sustainability and independence. This role is integral to each ministry as they uniquely determine how to integrate the charism of Saint Katharina and the Vision, Mission and Values of the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ into the Boards’ and Ministries’ future governance and operations.

Sr. Carole is already known to most of our ministry leaders and will be connecting with each in the weeks ahead.

Partners in the work of the Spirit!

Provincial Leadership

We are very pleased to announce that Sharon Tubbs has accepted the Executive Director position for HealthVisions Midwest, Inc.

Sharon has been serving as the Director of HealthVisions – Fort Wayne since March of 2020. Prior to accepting her position as the Director, Sharon worked as Community Liaison for the HEAL Program with St. Joseph Community Health Foundation.

Sharon comes with a Master’s degree in Human Services and a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism. Not only did Sharon spend seven years as the Editor for the largest newspaper in Florida, she is also an author and a keynote speaker/presenter in various venues.

Sharon is a native of Allen County but spent 20 years in Florida before returning in 2016. Sharon has excellent networking skills and has expanded programs in Fort Wayne through grants and partnerships.

We’re very pleased to have Sharon step into this Executive role bringing her experience within the PHJC organization to this next level of leadership. Sharon will begin her new role by January 1, 2024.

We ask God’s blessings on Sharon, HealthVisions’ Board of Directors, staff and all they serve!

Provincial Leadership:
Sr. Shirley Bell, PHJC – Provincial
Sr. Deborah Davis, PHJC – Councilor
Sr. Nkechi Iwuoha, PHJC – Councilor
Sr. Marybeth Martin, PHJC – Councilor

GARY, IN – As part of its Art Therapy course, Sojourner Truth House (STH) recently worked with program participants to create a new art mural adorning one of its classroom walls.

STH serves women and their children experiencing homelessness through programs to help them obtain housing, such as career services, intensive case management, counseling, art therapy, and more.

The idea for the art mural came from art therapist instructor Chasity Armstrong. Her goal was to create a mural that participants could see themselves in. The inspiration for the design is to look like a clock with participants able to see their progress from when they first arrive at STH.

“Art therapy is a way to connect with yourself, your spirit, and the world,” says Director of Client Services, Dr. Pamela Key. “Art shows you to look at the good; we should look at the good in everyone. Everyone has different situations. We hope our clients just become a better version of themselves. We celebrate everything that they accomplish.”

The mural took three months, with Chasity, STH clients, and children working together.

“The faces have no features,” says Dr. Key. “This is so our clients can see themselves in it. They’re already there. They’re here.”

Each figure represents different aspects of how a woman goes through the process at STH. A woman is working in the STH garden, which also shows the woman working on her roots. There’s a child with a woman, highlighting women with children are welcome. Another woman is working on the computer, showing the career services programs at STH.

“I saw myself in each woman there,” says a client. “It gives me hope. I learned so much about the power of being a woman by being at Sojourner. They teach that here. This is more than just a job to them; STH is a ministry.” 

STH provides a comprehensive range of services to at-risk women and their children to help them overcome their homelessness permanently. STH is a ministry of the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ.

August 11, 2023 | By Marlene A. Zloza, Northwest Indiana Catholic

Shoes come in all colors, sizes and styles, and chances are you have at least one perfectly good pair in your closet that you never wear, which makes them a perfect fit for Sojourner Truth House.
    
The women’s resource center is in the midst of a Shoe Drive that is accepting donations of all kinds of new and gently used shoes – men’s, women’s and children’s – through Aug. 31.
    
“We are asking people to donate their gently used pairs of shoes, and for every pound of shoes we collect, we receive 40 cents, which will contribute to our mission and programs,” said Angela Paul, STH executive director.
    
“The donated shoes will be sent to developing countries, where they will help people create micro-enterprises and improve their lives by selling the shoes,” explained Shelley Boyer, special events coordinator for the Poor Handmaids of Christ, STH sponsor, and a Community Ambassador for STH. “We work with an entrepreneur program that teaches people how to make a living and also to cover their own feet if they need shoes.”
    
Denise Carney, another STH ambassador from Crown Point, has been taking the donated shoes home to sort and band or tie them in pairs before returning them to store at STH. “I’ve already found 40 single shoes, which we can’t use, so I want to stress to bring in only pairs,” she said. “We have every kind of shoe, including plenty of gym shoes.”
    
In addition to a barrel outside the main entrance to STH, collection boxes are available at a number of churches, offices and businesses around Northwest Indiana. To see the complete list, or to add a site, visit sojournertruthhouse.org/shoe-drive/.
    
“It’s a way to get people to contribute without having to give money. The funds we raise will help our clients with their personal needs, things like meals, clothing, security deposits for housing … all kinds of expenses as they get back on their feet,” said Paul.
    
Another fundraiser that keeps STH going is the annual Walk for Sojourner Truth House, held for the 24th year on June 10. “There was a lot of excitement this year, with about 200 walkers, and it was a great success,” said Paul.
    
“Our goal was $110,000, and we exceeded that by raising $120,084.26,” added Boyer.
      
Both women agreed substituting bubbles for colored powder to mark the race was very popular. “We had bubbles at the stations, on the walk perimeter, coming out of shooters and bubble cameras, and everyone really enjoyed them,” Paul said.
    
“They were so much easier to clean up, too,” said Carney.
    
Coordinating the shoe drive and the STH Walk this year are the new Community Ambassadors for STH, an auxiliary that was formed in January. Boyer and Carney are among the 18 members who meet at 6 p.m. on the third Wednesday of every month at STH.
    
“They are our spokespersons, embodying our pillars of advocacy, awareness, fundraising and volunteerism,” Paul explained. “They find things happening in the community and get us involved, get our name out there.”
    
The latest project undertaken by the ambassadors, who register with a $25 membership fee, is “Five Loaves and Two Fish,” which invites organizations and businesses to sign up to hold a monthly food drive for the STH food pantry.
    
Five sponsors have already signed up, and Paul noted that if collecting food is not convenient, the donor can provide a gift card for the purchase of needed supplies. “We have one church that gives us a $100 gift card for groceries,” she said.
    
“Eventually, we hope to get 52 organizations signed up, and then each one will only have to hold a food drive once a year,” added Carney, who became an ambassador “because I think Sojourner Truth House is a worthwhile cause.”
    
Boyer, a fundraiser by profession, joined the auxiliary “because it’s a nice way to bring people in to help STH. There are so many ways to help.”
    
For more information about the ambassador program or volunteering with STH, email ambassadors@sojournertruthhouse.org or call 885-2282 to RSVP for an upcoming STH Coffee and Conversation meeting and tour; future dates include Tuesdays, Aug. 8 and Sept. 12, from 1 to 2:30 p.m., and Thursdays, Aug. 17 and Sept. 21, from 9 to 10:30 a.m.

Read full article here.

Grace Opinker | The Times of Northwest Indiana

Last November, a young man wearing a sweatshirt and sandals walked up to the clothing bins outside the Sojourner Truth House in Gary.

The man grabbed a coat that came halfway up his arms. Although he was very grateful to have the ill-fitting coat, volunteer Dennis Kenning knew they could find him something better in the pile of donated winter jackets.

Dennis and his wife, Sharon Kenning, asked what else they could help with. The man, who wore a size 13, needed an appropriate pair of shoes for the freezing temperatures. By coincidence, Dennis looked down and noticed a gently used pair of Nikes in a size 13, something STH rarely receives.

“It gave us chills,” Sharon said. “It got down to 19 degrees that night. If this young man was sleeping on the streets that winter coat and those shoes could have made a huge difference for him.”

STH, a nonprofit organization, primarily serves as a food pantry to Gary residents. It also provides women and children living in local shelters with a day center program to attend throughout the week.

STH opened its doors in 1997 at 410 W. 13th Ave., after Sister Joan Fisher saw a need for an organization like this in Gary.

At the food pantry, clients are eligible to receive a food basket containing grains, protein, dairy, and fruits or vegetables once every 30 days. Food baskets are designed to last clients for a few days. They are also eligible to receive personal hygiene items once every 90 days.

The food pantry is open Tuesday through Thursday from 9-11 a.m. and 1-2 p.m. STH receives food from the government, the Food Bank of Northwest Indiana and donations.

“We recognize the strong need for help here in Gary. We see the disparity,” said Sharon, a Valparaiso resident. “We’ve had people turn down milk because they don’t have a refrigerator to put it in.”

STH’s food pantry can serve 270 clients per week, though nutritious foods aren’t always available. Recently, STH started the “Five loaves and two fish initiative,” which asks for churches, organizations or businesses to commit to participate in one food drive a year to help support the food pantry.

Sharon said this initiative can add to STH’s budget, and help put more nutritious foods in baskets. To donate, contact Sharon Kenning at 219-789-2222 or email, accounts@sojournertruthhouse.org with the subject “5 Loaves & 2 Fish.”

STH is also looking for volunteers to assist with its garden, the food pantry, and clothing closest that’s available to women and children.

“As the need in the community grows, we need more assistance to make it easier,” Volunteer Coordinator Airiel Crenshaw said. “The more the merrier.”

Women who attend the day center program have the opportunity to attend classes designed to identify the root causes of financial and emotional instability, and how to overcome those barriers. On-site case management services assist women with finding employment and housing, Executive Director Angela Paul said.

The center serves nearly 20 women and their children each day. Women who’ve walked through STH’s doors have lived in hotels, on the streets and inside rented storage units, said Pam Key, director of client services.

“We’re desperately in need of affordable housing in Gary,” she said. “Some of the reasons women are becoming homeless is because they can’t afford the housing. There’s a need for awareness to our problem of homelessness in Lake County and the state.”

The day center is available to residents across Northwest Indiana and beyond. Women who attend the program receive breakfast and lunch, and have the option to pick out gently used or new clothes from the clothing closet if necessary.

STH accepts donations of gently used clothing items, accessories and small appliances. Crenshaw said STH also tries to provide women with a variety of home furnishings and cleaning supplies once they move out on their own.

“It’s a very worthwhile mission to help these women get back their independence, and back on their feet,” Sharon said. “We have a passion for it because we see the need.”

View full article here.

Welcome to the spiritual oasis provided by the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ. Experience a calming and transformative Taizé prayer service, open to the public and available online through live streaming.

What Is Taizé Prayer?

Taizé prayer service is a meditative form of worship that transcends traditional boundaries. Focusing on repetitive singing, praying of psalms, and scripture reading, it’s a way to reconnect with your spiritual self. Join us for this peaceful time of contemplation and reflection, regardless of your faith background.

When and Where?

Location: Ancilla Chapel, 9601 Union Road, Plymouth, IN 46563 

Time: 7:00 p.m. EST 

When: 1st & 3rd Wednesday of every month

Online Access to Taizé Prayer Service

Can’t make it in person? You can still be a part of our contemplative worship through our live stream, accessible wherever you are. Our virtual Taizé prayer services are designed to bring the serenity of Ancilla Chapel straight to your home.

Why Attend a Taizé Prayer Service?

  • Embrace Unity: Taizé prayer is a universal form of prayer that fosters unity and reconciliation.
  • Experience Peace: Find tranquility in our chaotic world through the calming melodies and reflective readings.
  • Nourish the Soul: Connect with your spiritual core in a community that welcomes all.

Join the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ for an enriching Taizé prayer service experience in Plymouth, IN. All are welcome, and we look forward to praying with you.

Live stream

Get Directions

For more information or assistance, please contact us.