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New Members Elected to the PHJC Provincial Leadership Team

Thursday, 26 September 2019


During a Special Chapter on September 18 & 19, 2019, the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ elected new members to the American Province leadership team. The new Provincial is Sister Joetta Huelsmann and the elected leadership team includes Sister Nkechi Iwuoha, Sister Michele Dvorak, and Sister Margaret Anne Henss.

Sister Joetta had been a member of the team along with Sister Michele and Sister Margaret Anne. Sister Nkechi was newly elected member. Sister Joetta remarks, “We begin our journey as a new team with the support of our community and so many co-workers. It is indeed an exciting time as we venture into the future.” 

Sister Joetta Huelsmann has served in different ministries since taking her final vows in 1972. She was a teacher, parish minister, director of religious education, pastoral associate, retreat house staff, and co-director and director of John XXIII Retreat Center in Hartford City, Indiana. Sister Joetta previously served on the Provincial Team as councilor from 1997 to 2005 and reelected in 2013 to current. She was born in Breese, Illinois.  

Sister Nkechi Iwuoha, born in Lagos, Nigeria, previously was a social worker in Owerri, Nigeria and a case worker at Sojourner Truth House, a Poor Handmaid ministry in Gary, Indiana serving homeless women and their children. She is the newest member of the Provincial team.  Sister Nkechi professed her final vows in 2012. 

Sister Michele Dvorak ministered in education since 1976.  She has been a teacher and principal in Indiana and Illinois and a Professor at Calumet College of St. Joseph in Whiting, Indiana where she also held the position of Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs. For the past six years, she served as first councilor and as interim Provincial of the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ and currently she is also the president of Ancilla College. Sister Michele was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota and took her first vows in 1976. 

Sister Margaret Anne Henss, born in Trenton, Illinois, has been an educator, and controller and treasurer for the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ American Province.  She ministered at HealthVisions Midwest in Hammond, Indiana as financial assistant/special projects and as the director of Mission and Communications. Sister Margaret Anne has served the PHJC Congregation as Provincial councilor since 2017. She took final vows in 1973. 

This was a special Chapter due to Sister Judith Diltz's election as General Superior of the PHJC congregation last May. This new team will guide the American Province for the next two years until Chapter 2021. Installation of the new team took place directly after elections.