Latest News

Latest News

In Memory of Sister Agnes Muehlenfeld, PHJC

Monday, 11 January 2021 12:03

Sister Agnes Muehlenfeld (Joan), Poor Handmaid of Jesus Christ, died on January 7, 2021 at the Catherine Kasper Home, Donaldson, Indiana.

She was born in Quincy, Illinois on June 17, 1928 to Arthur and Caecilia (Broemmel) who preceded her in death along with her brothers James, Arthur and Joseph and her sisters Virginia Muehlenfeld, Rita Schulte and Milly Bruce. Sister was the sixth of seven children.

Sister Agnes entered the Poor Handmaids at the age of 18 in 1946. She professed her vows on June 25, 1949. Her ministry included time in Gary, IN and Milwaukee, WI. In both of these missions, she was a house Sister and cared for the needs of the Sisters who lived there. Sister’s longest ministry for 50 years was at the PHJC Motherhouse in Donaldson, IN. The Sisters lovingly recall that part of her ministry consisted in playing jokes on people. She considered this as her “hobby.” Sister lived her life of innocent fun, but Sister felt the favorite part of being a sister was the service she was able to offer to God for many years and the great graces she received in that service.

She officially retired on July 4, 2017 when she moved to the Catherine Kasper Home.

A private visitation will be held at the Ancilla Domini Chapel at the Center of Donaldson, IN on Friday, January 15, 2021 from 9:30 am to 11 am EST. The Mass of Resurrection will follow in the Chapel at 11:00 am EST and burial will follow the Liturgy in Mt. Carmel Cemetery, Donaldson, IN. The services will be livestreamed beginning at 11:00 am EST: 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.

In Memory of Sister Margaret Urban, PHJC

Monday, 11 January 2021 10:23

Sister Margaret Urban (formerly Sister Raymond), Poor Handmaid of Jesus Christ (PHJC) died on January 5, 2021 at the Catherine Kasper Home, Donaldson, Indiana.

She was born in Wanlock, Iowa to Thomas and Mary (Slahta) who preceded her in death along with her brothers Bill, Thomas and Frank McEllis and her sisters Leona Vilianoff and Marie Spencer. She was the oldest of 6 children. Sister Margaret is survived by several nieces.

Sister Margaret entered the Poor Handmaid Community on December 1, 1942 taking the name Sister Raymond and professed her vows on June 25, 1945.

Sister Margaret received her B.A. from Alverno College Milwaukee WI and her Master’s degree from St. Mary College Winona MN. She was a Teacher/Principal for her initial years in ministry. She ministered at St. Augustine Chicago IL; St. Joseph Mishawaka IN; Angel Guardian Orphanage Chicago IL; St. Boniface Edwardsville IL; St. Monica Mishawaka IN; and St. Mary’s East Chicago IN. In 1987 she joined the community at St. Catherine of Siena Convent and for 18 years she provided Parish Ministry specifically to shut-ins. In 2005 she moved to the PHJC Motherhouse in Donaldson IN and provided community service. Sister was a witty conversationalist and had a wonderful sense of humor. She was an endearing friend and advocate for the elderly. Most especially Sister enjoyed her moments spending time before the Blessed Sacrament.

Sister Margaret lived for 2 years at Catherine’s Cottage and in 2015 she moved to the Catherine Kasper Home at the Center of Donaldson, IN.

A private visitation will be held at the Ancilla Domini Chapel at the Center of Donaldson, IN on Monday, January 11, 2021 from 9:30 am to 11 am EST. The Mass of Resurrection will follow in the Chapel at 11:00 a.m. EST and burial will follow the Liturgy in Mt. Carmel Cemetery, Donaldson, IN. The services will be livestreamed beginning at 11:00 am EST: 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.

Word Gathering (Fall 2020)

Thursday, 03 December 2020 14:57

You may recall that following the murder of George Floyd, the PHJCs...

In Memory of Sister Julia Barry, PHJC

Wednesday, 25 November 2020 09:16

Sister Julia Barry (Catherine), Poor Handmaid of Jesus Christ (PHJC) died on November 23, 2020 at the Catherine Kasper Home, Donaldson, Indiana. She was 95 years of age.

Sister was born in Belleville, IL to Patrick and Julia (Geehan) who preceded her in death along with her only sibling, Sister Christine Barry PHJC. Her parents were born in Ireland. Sister is survived by very special cousins.

Sister Julia entered the Poor Handmaid Community on September 8, 1943 and she professed her vows on June 25, 1946. On the occasion of her 70th Jubilee sister stated: “As I reflect on my life, I am grateful for the 70 years of my vowed life as a Poor Handmaid of Jesus Christ. Seventy years ago, I did not realize the journey God had for me, or the plan of ministry He had for me. Now after many years of living in Community, I would gladly do it all over again.”

Sister Julia ministered in a variety of ways over the years, including homemaker, childcare, parish ministry, care for the elderly and community service. Places of ministry included St. Henry, Chicago IL; Angel Guardian Orphanage, Chicago IL; St. Vincent Villa, Fort Wayne IN; St. John Orphanage Belleville IL; St. Boniface Edwardsville IL; St. Mary Edwardsville IL; St. Augustine Chicago IL; Holy Angels School Gary IN; and 24 years of community service at the PHJC Motherhouse in Donaldson, IN.

She officially retired to Catherine Kasper Home in September 2016 at the Center in Donaldson, IN.

A private visitation will be held at the Ancilla Domini Chapel Friday, November 27, 2020 from 9:30 am to 11 am EST. The Mass of Resurrection will follow in the Chapel at 11:00 a.m. EST and burial will follow the Liturgy in Mt. Carmel Cemetery, Donaldson, IN. The services 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.

The Provincial Leadership of the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ congratulate Archbishop Wilton Gregory on his appointment as a Cardinal in the Catholic Church. As members of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, we support the below statement.

The Leadership Conference of Women Religious rejoices over the news of the appointment of Archbishop Wilton Gregory as a cardinal in the Catholic Church. Over the years we have been grateful to Archbishop Gregory’s leadership within the church where he has not only been a strong pastoral presence, but also a fearless outspoken critic of injustice. His public stances on many critical matters such as the repair of the US immigration system, race relations, climate change, sexual abuse within the church, LGBTQ matters, and much more reveal his deep integrity and courage.

In making this historic appointment of the first African-American cardinal, Pope Francis is clearly giving a message about the importance of assuring racial diversity at all levels of society and within the church. We are pleased that the African-American voice will be represented in this important decision-making body.

As an organization headquartered in the Washington archdiocese, we are especially pleased to have the opportunity to work closely with Archbishop Gregory. We look forward to this continuing relationship and congratulate him on this important recognition of his gifts and abilities as an outstanding leader.

The Provincial Leadership of the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ endorse this statement as members of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious.

The presidency and staff of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious congratulate President-elect Joe Biden, and Vice-President-elect Kamala Harris and promise to work with them to build a society worthy of the values to which our imperfect union aspires.

After a difficult election season, it is time for us to take up the twin tasks of reconciliation and healing. In these challenging times it is critically important that we break through that which divides us one from another, repair fractured relationships and reclaim our essential unity.

The people of this pluralistic nation form a diverse community characterized by different beliefs, experiences, and interests. We know that our differences can be our greatest strengths; our disagreements, opportunities to seek the truth. Our challenge is to embrace those differences and together seek the common good lest we rend the bonds that unite us.

Now is the time to make space in our hearts and our communities for the needs and concerns of all God’s people, the undocumented mother, the Midwest farmer, the unemployed steel-worker, the suburban business woman, and the children and elders consigned to live in poverty. It is time to tear down the walls, real or imagined, which divide us by gender, race, class, geography, lifestyle, ideology, political party, and religious belief and to make room in our body politic for all who have been disaffected, disenfranchised, and discarded.

Now is the time to banish the fear that infects our souls and diminishes our hope. There is no room in this nation for fear of the other; no need to fear change; no reason to fear the future. This is a nation built on the dreams of our ancestors and the visions of our children. Our task is to make room at the table for every voice and every vision.

We thank those who turned out in record numbers to exercise their right to vote in a peaceful and respectful way. Their clear commitment to this democratic experiment of ours bodes well for the success of the difficult task that lies ahead.

We know that the work will be slow and arduous, and yet with Catholic sisters across this nation we renew our commitment to exercise courage in the face of injustice, fear and division. We will not shrink from the challenge before us to protect the sacredness of all human life, to dismantle white supremacy, welcome the stranger, care for creation, and to stand with those who have been exploited and marginalized by our throwaway culture.

We promise once again to be the healing presence of God. We pledge to hold the needs and concerns of all in the heart of a loving and ever faithful God. We recommit ourselves to the sacred task of building the Beloved Community of which Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke so eloquently and we invite all people of good will to join us.

LCWR is an association of leaders of congregations of Catholic women religious in the United States. The conference has more than 1300 members, who represent approximately 80 percent of the more than 40,000 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 Communications Director This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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