Latest News

Latest News

Sister Inez Wilmering, PHJC

Thursday, 12 May 2022 09:10

Sister Inez Wilmering (Louise), Poor Handmaid of Jesus Christ, died on Tuesday, May 10th at the Catherine Kasper Home, Donaldson, Indiana. She was 99 years of age.

She was born in Mishawaka, IN to Paul and Catherine (Young) who preceded her in death along with her brother John R. Wilmering.

Louise entered the Poor Handmaid Community on December 8,1940 taking the name Sister Inez. She professed her vows on June 25,1943.

Sister Inez’ early ministry was in clerical work at three hospitals. In 1952 she received her nursing degree and served as a nurse and supervisor at various PHJC hospitals. The hospitals included St. Mary Mercy, Gary, IN; St. Mary, East St. Louis IL; St. Joseph, Fort Wayne IN; St. Joseph, Mishawaka, IN. At St. Catherine, East Chicago, IN Sr. Inez was discharge planner and clinical instructor in pharmacology and diabetes. She completed her nursing career at the Catherine Kasper Home in Donaldson, IN from 1977-1985. She then moved on to internal community service being quite adept at wrangling the challenges of Medicare in the business office. Later, she served as a faithful volunteer. She loved God’s beautiful earth and being outdoors. Her garden was her joy!

Sister Inez shared that her call in Baptism gave her the wonderful gift of faith. Faith was her guide and support throughout her 99 years and continued to grow as she experienced God’s love for all of creation.

She officially retired in October 2015 moving to Catherine Kasper Home, Donaldson.

Visitation will begin at 9:30am EDT on Tuesday, May 17 in Catherine Kasper Home chapel, with a reflection and sharing of her life at 10:00am EDT. The Mass of Resurrection will follow at 11:00am EDT with burial in Mt. Carmel Cemetery. Services will be live streamed at 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.

Excerpt from WORN OUT SHOES: Walking in the Wisdom of Saint Katharina Kasper
written by Sister Nkechi Iwuoha | PHJC

The virtue of humility is one of the most outstanding qualities of Saint Katharina Kasper in all her search for the divine will of God. She was committed to God in humility and simplicity of heart. She was truthful and transparent to her Sisters and to God in all her endeavors to promote the reign of God.

The spirit of humility enabled her openness to being the handmaid of the Lord. She listened attentively to the Bishop, the various authorities that the Sisters worked with, to her Sisters and to the spirit of God within her heart. In her work, she had the mind of Christ who humbled himself to do what his Father wanted of him till death. This was exemplified when Saint Katharina took care of children in their homes so that their mothers could have a break or work outside the home to support their family. In all her deliberations with the governmental authority she maintained a humble spirit that respectedand listened to them yet stated clearly and firmly what she needed to continue her mission. She always listened attentively to Bishop Blum and had a humble way of expressing herself without automatically submitting to his words. She obtained the best she could for her Sisters in every negotiation with the authorities. This was also evident in her discussion with Bishop Blum regarding the name to be given to the new congregation. Though he had chosen another title she stated the name she preferred for her congregation with simplicity and respect in the dialogue on this matter with the Bishop. The humble approach she always employed in dialogue teaches us the power of humility, choice of verbal and body language and the respect due when dialoguing with one another. For me it is also a learning that the best opinion may be rejected depending on the spirit with which it is presented.

Please enjoy this small excerpt from Worn Out Shoes written by Sister Nkechi Iwuoha, PHJC. Copies of her book can be purchased at the Lindenwood Retreat and Conference Center’s Christian Book and Gift Shop located at 9601 Union Rd, Plymouth 46563. Hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. For additional questions please call 574-935-1780.

"I know no foreign countries and no foreign sisters, there are only Handmaids of Christ, filled with the spirit of their vocation and truly working in blessed ways..."
-Saint Katharina Kasper

The Language Company, located on the IUSB campus in Mishawaka, provides advancement in areas of listening, speaking, reading and writing and looks to be a good fit for her needs at this time. Because of her extended stay till mid-summer, Sister Cailla has the opportunity to complete a number of classes. When Cailla is not in class, she is sharing community life at Sarah House in South Bend with Sisters Connie and Marie. Our days together have been and continue to be filled with laughter, funny stories, tasting chili for the first time, introduction to Brazilian cooking, praying and singing in both English and Portuguese, and conversations that include our favorite APP – Google Translate!

This is such an amazing opportunity for all three of us and for our province – certainly a graced time “to see the other face of God.”
(Antonio M. Pernia, SVD)

“Interculturality must touch every aspect of our Institute’s life. Our understanding of the vows, community, ministry, and our spirituality should be transformed as we engage this process honestly and intentionally… nothing short of a transformation of the heart is required.”
(Sister Teresa Maya, CCVI)

I believe Saint Katharina was on to something when she shared her belief of knowing “no foreign countries and no foreign sisters…” She may not have known the term intercultural living, but she definitely had a vision of how her sisters were to live – with lifegiving hospitality, with mutuality in community living and with openness and appreciation for diversity. We are experiencing all this with our PHJC sister from Brazil.

Bem vinda a casa, Sister Cailla!
WELCOME HOME!

By Vanessa del Carmen Vergara Aguilera | Social Worker at Casa Catalina

Casa Catalina, a ministry located in Coatzacoalcos, Mexico is supported by the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ. This ministry, begun in 2012, provides temporary shelter to those most in need of healthcare services. Created and identified as a safe, caring place, it possesses all the means necessary to accommodate patients from a day up to several years. Most patients who come to Casa Catalina are suffering from chronic illness or physical trauma. However, emerging social problems such as migration, homelessness and domestic violence have brought people from all over to the doors of Casa Catalina.

Casa Catalina serves persons who have been abandoned by family and society and do not have the economic resources to cover their basic needs. Our mission is to conserve their physical, mental, and psychological stability. Our donors are critically important to this ministry by ensuring that we are able to care for all who need our services.

At Casa Catalina we make an impact on the lives of our patients, but we are also touched by those in our care. A patient, an older gentleman by the name of Manuel Rodriguez Gonzalez, was referred to Casa Catalina by a local hospital. Through our ministry he found the help and compassionate care he needed from our nurses and volunteer doctor, Sister Frances Gallinatti, PHJC, all of whom were attentive to his progress, especially since he had no family to tend him.

Manuel was a patient at Casa Catalina for more than two years. In July of last year when we celebrated his birthday it also happened to be Grandparents Day. Manuel loved sharing his birthday and being a grandfather to all those who had the privilege of knowing him. After some ups and downs in his health, Manuel passed away January 4, 2022. A man of character and faith, our Grandfather Manuel, trusted in God’s providence right up to his last moments. He will always be remembered with love by every single one of us.

“Casa Catalina is a place where we offer human warmth, care, attention, respect, tolerance, and love without distinction, and we definitely receive it in return. A prime example of this was our patient and friend Manuel Rodriguez Gonzalez whose memories, blessings, love, affection, and moments of joy were transmitted to us and remain in our hearts,” said Nurse Maria Elena Sanchez Cruz.

Nurse Lesvia Leon added, “Manuel died leaving great sadness in our hearts, but also left us with the message that life is to be embraced and enjoyed despite adverse circumstances and illnesses that can appear in any of our lives. We say to this wise, cheerful man of strong character, may he rest in peace and may God receive him into glory.”

To make a gift to Poor Handmaid ministries in Mexico visit PoorHandmaids.org/Donate.

In person event Saturday, May 21

We Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ of the American Province stand in solidarity with our sisters and brothers of Ukraine who are facing the unprovoked terrors of war.

Sister Antoinette Volk, PHJC

Wednesday, 05 January 2022 12:21

January 15, 1922 – January 1, 2022

Sister Antoinette (Marie) Volk, Poor Handmaid of Jesus Christ, died at 99 yrs old on January 1, 2022 at the Catherine Kasper Home, Donaldson, Indiana. She was just 2 weeks away from her 100th birthday.

Born to Anton and Catherine (Kuenstler), Wendelin, IL she was preceded in death by her parents along with her brothers Virgil, Anton, Don, Louis and her sister, Sr. Loretta Volk, PHJC. She is survived by her sister Ethel Zwilling.

Sister Antoinette entered the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ September 8, 1943 and professed her vows June 25, 1946.

Sister Antoinette began her ministry in the dietary departments at Angel Guardian Orphanage, St. Mary’s School Carlyle IL, St. Mary’s Hospital East St. Louis IL, and St. Joseph Hospital Fort Wayne IN. Beginning in 1960 she held dietary supervisory positions at Convent Ancilla Domini in Donaldson IN, St. Mary’s Hospital Gary IN, and St. Augustine Convent Chicago IL. In 1990 she became the Coordinator of Hospitality for the United Family Center, Chicago IL. and transitioned in 1996 as a companion to the elderly from Saint Peter and Paul parish Chicago IL. Sister Antoinette considered each new mission a new beginning and in it she made love visible. Sister’s daily living was a prayer of loving service which she offered up for each person. Before Sr. Antoinette left her last mission and retired, the presenter at her farewell expressed the sentiments of so many people: “We are humbled by her gift of prayer and the beauty of her complete trust in God not on a day-to-day basis, but, minute-by-minute.”

Sister Antoinette officially retired to the Catherine Kasper Home, Donaldson, IN on July 1, 2001. Even in retirement she continued to serve by caring for the other sisters and residents at Catherine Kasper Home. She also designed and sewed baby quilts and comforters, selling or gifting to those in need, and her creations were always admired and appreciated.

Visitation and Services will be held at Ancilla Domini Chapel in Donaldson, Indiana.
Visitation on Tuesday, January 4, 2022 (4:30 – 8:00 p.m. EDT); Prayer Service (7:00 p.m. EDT)

Visitation on Wednesday, January 5, 2022 (10:00 – 11:00 a.m. EDT ) followed by the Mass of Resurrection and burial in Mount Carmel Cemetery, Donaldson, Indiana.

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

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.

Page 1 of 34