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Latest News

In Memory of Sister Mary Kevin Ryan, PHJC

Monday, 22 November 2021 14:53

Sister Mary Kevin Ryan (Sarah), Poor Handmaid of Jesus Christ, died on Friday November 19 at the Catherine Kasper Home, Donaldson, Indiana. She was 90 years of age.

She was born in Gary, IN to William Thomas and Sarah Ann (Cross) who preceded her in death along with her siblings Bernard Ryan, Mary Margaret Smith and Betty Honkoski. Sister is survived by many nieces and nephews.

Sister Mary Kevin entered the Poor Handmaid Community on December 7, 1949 and professed her vows on June 25, 1952.

Sister Mary Kevin graduated from Alverno College in Milwaukee WI. She was an educator from 1952-1966 and served at St. Augustine Chicago IL; St. Monica Mishawaka IN; St. Henry Chicago IL; and Angel Guardian Orphanage Chicago IL. She then moved into the clerical ministry at St. John Belleville IL; St. Mary Mercy Hospital Gary IN and at several hospitals in the Chicago IL archdiocese. She loved music. She was a member of the choir at St. Bartholomew Parish and taught guitar at Our Lady of Victory, St. Bartholomew and St Mathias Parishes in Chicago from 1979 until 2018.

She officially retired to Catherine Kasper Home in 2018 at The Center in Donaldson, IN.

Welcoming of Sr. Mary Kevin to the Ancilla Domini Chapel will be held on Monday November 29 at 9:00 a.m. followed by visitation, storytelling at 10:00 a.m. and private viewing by family at 10:30 a.m. The Mass of Resurrection will be celebrated at 11:00 a.m. (EST). All are invited to stay for lunch after the Mass. For those that are unable to attend in person, the Mass of Resurrection will be livestreamed at www.poorhandmaids.org/live.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ, PO Box 1, Donaldson, Indiana 46513 or on www.poorhandmaids.org.

Sister Joetta Huelsmann, PHJC

I train people to be spiritual companions who are also known as spiritual directors and spiritual guides. One of the units we spend time on is Self-Care which is important during this pandemic. When I see my own spiritual director, he usually begins with this question. “How is it with your soul?” This is a good question for all of us. Can we slow down enough to know how our relationship with the Divine is effecting our life. In spiritual care we look at the whole person so even our mental and physical being is important since we relate with our whole self. It is primary to care for our self.

In the course the person we look to as an example is Jesus and how he cares for himself. A prayer life was important to him. He went to the garden to pray. (Lk. 22:39-42) He also went to the mountains and hills and the synagogue to pray to pray.( Mt. 14:23 & Lk. 4:14-19) This prayer life nurtured him. We need to ask ourselves: What can I do to establish a regular prayer life for myself?

Jesus also cherished solitude. He was led into the desert to pray. (Lk. 4:1) When he heard of his cousin John’s death, he went to a lonely place by himself. (Mt. 14:13). For myself during COVID walking through the woods gave me that solitude. It enabled me to let go of whatever was on my mind and be in the present. I could take in the smell of the forest, listen to the birds sing and delight in the beauty of the wildflowers. Nature has a way of calming us. I would encourage you to find some places of solitude for yourself.

Jesus also took time for rest. He allowed himself to fall asleep in the boat. (Mt. 8:24) How can you take more time out for rest? It has been proven that even a short nap can refresh us and make us more productive.

Healthy intimacy with others was also something Jesus modeled. He ate with a Pharisee. (Lk. 7:36). He spent time with Martha, Mary, and Lazarus his friends. (Lk. 10:38) Yes, it was difficult to meet face to face during COVID, but many people were engaged with others through phone calls and zoom. Healthy intimacy can be a support.

The ability to deal with emotions is important as well. Jesus wept at Lazarus death. (John 11:35-36) He expressed healthy anger with the merchants in the temple. (John 2:15). Sometimes just talking through some of our deep feelings with another can be helpful in getting our emotions out there.

Celebrations and leisure were also important to Jesus. He went to a wedding feast. (John 2:2) He allowed the children to come to him. (Lk. 18:16) Leisure is just as important as work, it refreshes us again. We need to build time in our calendars for those things we enjoy.

If nothing else works there is nothing shameful about going to a counselor for our mental and emotional health. It is important to remember that we are all in this together, so don’t be afraid to ask for help.

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PHJC Volunteers Summer 2021

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In Memory of Sister Florence Kuhn, PHJC

Wednesday, 26 May 2021 11:05

Sister Florence Kuhn (Sister Virginice), Poor Handmaid of Jesus Christ, died on May 25, 2021 at the Catherine Kasper Home, Donaldson, Indiana.

She was born in Quincy, IL on June 16, 1923 to Theodore and Anna (Kroeger) who preceded her in death along with her brothers Albert, John, Clarence, and Carl and her sisters Virginia and Esther. She was the sixth of seven children. She is survived by her sister-in-law Margie Kuhn and several nieces and nephews.

Sister Florence entered the Poor Handmaid Community in 1941 taking the name Sister Virginice. Sr. Florence professed her vows on June 25, 1944.

Sister Florence graduated with a B.S. in Humanities at Loyola University, Chicago, IL and received her Master’s degree in Special Reading from Cardinal Stritch College. Her primary ministry for 43 years included assignments for St. Augustine, Chicago, IL; Angel Guardian Orphanage, Chicago, IL; St. Mary’s Edwardsville, IL; Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Hammond, IN; St. John’s Belleville, IL; Germantown Elementary, Germantown, IL; St. Mary’s Mt. Carmel, IL and St. Mary’s East Chicago, IN. Semi retirement provided time for her to be a Sister Hostess at St. Mary Medical in Gary, IN and then for Pastoral Care activities at St. Vincent’s Nursing Home in Quincy, IL.

No life story would be complete without acknowledging that Sister was a diehard Cardinal baseball fan. Visitors to her room might readily conclude that was so true when viewing walls, mementos and often her clothing. Her excitement with the Cardinal teams passed onto others most especially to those when she ministered when she was close to St. Louis not so much the Chicago area!

She officially retired on February 17, 2013 and moved to Catherine’s Cottage and then moved to the Catherine Kasper Home at the Center of Donaldson, IN.

Visitation will be held at the Ancilla Domini Chapel at the Center of Donaldson, IN on Friday, May 28, 2021 from 9:30 am to 11 am ET. The Mass of Resurrection will follow in the Chapel at 11:00 am ET and burial will follow the Liturgy in Mt. Carmel Cemetery, Donaldson, IN. The services will be livestreamed beginning at 11:00 am ET: www.poorhandmaids.org/live.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ, PO Box 1, Donaldson, Indiana 46513 or on www.poorhandmaids.org.

The Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ call for an end to hate and violence against...

You may recall that following the murder

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