Latest News

Latest News

Coming Home to Celebrate the 150th Anniversary

Wednesday, 01 August 2018 14:27

We Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ continue to honor our rich and lengthy history on August 17-19, 2018 in a weekend event called, “Coming Home to celebrate the 150th Anniversary of Poor Handmaid Presence in America.”

Since June 2014, we have organized “PHJC Coming Home” events in various cities in Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin and Minnesota where we served. During this final Coming Home, held at The Center at Donaldson, we will continue to honor our connection with the many people who are part of our blessed past, vibrant present and empowered future. 

Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ came to America in 1868. During the next 150 years we served in education, childcare, healthcare and other ministries in nearly 400 different organizations. American PHJC Sisters continue to minister today in Illinois, Indiana, Georgia, Ohio and Rhode Island, as well as in Mexico, Brazil, Kenya and Germany. 

“Coming Home to celebrate the 150th Anniversary” event includes a reunion for former Poor Handmaids and Ancilla Domini High School students on Friday, August 17.

On Saturday, August 18, starting at 9:00 a.m. EDT and running throughout the day, tours of the campus, social activities, displays, prayer gatherings, visiting, and an early evening cemetery prayer service will be held at The Center at Donaldson.

On Sunday, August 19, 11:00 a.m. EDT Bishop Kevin Rhoades from the Fort Wayne-South Bend Diocese will celebrate Mass in the Ancilla Domini Chapel at The Center at Donaldson. A reception and program will follow.

Please join us for these free events in celebrating all who have and continue to partner with us in the work of the Spirit.

Click here for the SCHEDULE OF EVENTS 

 

 

 

In Memory of Sister Lucy Megaro, PHJC

Sunday, 15 July 2018 11:33

Sister Lucy (Rose) Megaro a Poor Handmaid of Jesus Christ died on July 12, 2018 in the Catherine Kasper Home in Donaldson, Indiana.

She was born in Chicago, Illinois on June 30, 1932 to Carmen and Lucia (Ferarra) Megaro who preceded her in death along with her brothers, Carmen, Christopher and Tony and her sisters, Josie Amato and Della La Femina, She was the youngest of the six children. Sister Lucy is survived by nieces and nephews.

Rose, her name given at birth, was educated by the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ and after starting high school, she worked as a beautician on the Northside of Chicago. She said she chose to be a Poor Handmaid because she experienced how joyful and caring the Sisters were with children of all ages.

Sister Lucy was a houseparent for adolescent girls at St. Vincent Villa in Fort Wayne, Indiana from 1954-1957. She was expecting to continue to care for girls when she transferred to Angel Guardian Orphanage in Chicago 1957. She was surprised when she was assigned adolescent boys, but her love of sports helped her win them over. She coached many intramural softball teams. Later, she also cared for girls at Angel Guardian Orphanage and served there for the next 17 years. 

Sister received her Associate of Arts degree in child development at Kennedy King College, Chicago and her Bachelor of Arts degree in early childhood at Mary Crest College, Davenport, Iowa. She then taught preschool at Angel Guardian Day Care on the south side of Chicago from1985-1990. From 1991 until 2011, Sister Lucy ministered in home health care to the elderly in Chicago and Cincinnati, Ohio. After semi-retiring, she became a volunteer for the Little Brothers of the Poor to continue service to the elderly.  Sister shared, “I have been blessed and challenged in many ways in sharing my gifts with people in various stages of their lives.”

Sister Lucy officially retired to the Catherine Kasper Home in 2013.

Visitation will be held at the Catherine Kasper Home in Donaldson, Indiana on Monday, July 16, 2018 from 4:30 – 8:00 p.m. EDT. A Prayer Service will be held that same evening at 7:00 p.m. EDT.

The Mass of Resurrection will be celebrated at Catherine Kasper Home on Tuesday, July 17, 2018 at 11:15 a.m. EDT.

Burial will follow in the Mt. Carmel Cemetery, Donaldson, Indiana.

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

Update on the Canonization Pilgrimage

Friday, 01 June 2018 16:28

Greetings to all of you who have expressed interest in traveling to Rome/Germany for the canonization of Saint-to-be Katharina Kasper!

Here is the link to the travel agent's brochure and online registration for the pilgrimage to Rome from October 11-18, 2018. All arrangements are being handled by the travel agent.

The Germany trip from October 18-23, 2018, is still being planned.  Note there is a box to check on the reservation form if you are interested in the Germany trip - or if you just want more information about the Germany trip.

This is going to be a once-in-a-lifetime experience and it will be such a blessing for all of us to be able to experience it together!

 

 

 

 

Sister Celine Tomasic (Mildred) a Poor Handmaid of Jesus Christ died on May 12, 2018 in the Catherine Kasper Home in Donaldson, Indiana. 

She was born in Gary, Indiana on July 5, 1924 to Steve and Helen (Dolanar) Tomasic who preceded her in death along with her brothers, Joseph and John and her sisters, Rose Frisch, Ann Kachur, Mary Larson and Helen Tomasic. She was the youngest of the seven children. Sister Celine is survived by nieces and nephews. 

As a child, Sister Celine felt close to the Poor Handmaid Sisters at St. Mark School in Gary and wanted to find out what their life was all about. So on December 7, 1943 she entered the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ Congregation and professed her first vows on June 25, 1946. 

Sister received her Bachelor of Education degree at DePaul University, Chicago, Illinois and her master’s degree in Education at St. Francis College, Fort Wayne, Indiana.  

Sister Celine was an elementary teacher in Illinois for 19 years. She served at St. Augustine School, Chicago; St. John, Quincy; St. Boniface, Edwardsville; and St. Henry, Chicago. For the next 41 years she continued as an educator in the Gary, Diocese. Those schools included Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Hammond; St. Francis Xavier, Lake Station; Blessed Sacrament, St. Mark and St. Ann, Gary. 

Sister loved teaching and shared her thoughts in a reflection, “I began teaching in 1945.  Every year each class was fulfilling in a way. Children have a way of making the difficult job of teaching a joy. By striving to lead children to God—God has come to me and graced my life with blessings.” 

In 2006 Sister Celine joined the Woodland Carving Club in Portage, Indiana where she mastered her skill of wood carving. She chiseled many statues including a nativity scene which is displayed at Catherine Kasper Home at Christmas. She shared, “I loved that the Lord let me do something I always wanted to do – CARVE and DRAW. Chiseling is hard work. At times, I thought my arms would fall off. But oh, the satisfaction to show the work of his hands through the work of my hands is a wonderful gift, and just think, he blessed me with that gift. Thank you God!” 

Sister Celine officially retired to the Catherine Kasper Home in 2011. 

Visitation will be held at the Catherine Kasper Home in Donaldson, Indiana on Wednesday, May 16, 2018 from 4:30 – 8:00 p.m. EDT. A Prayer Service will be held that same evening at 7:00 p.m. EDT. 

The Mass of Resurrection will be celebrated at Catherine Kasper Home on Thursday, May 17, 2018 at 11:15 a.m. EDT. 

Burial will follow in the Mt. Carmel Cemetery, Donaldson, Indiana. 

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

PHJC Sesquicentennial Quilt

Friday, 11 May 2018 06:24

In Memory of Sister Magdala Oswald, PHJC

Wednesday, 18 April 2018 15:07

Sister Magdala (Colette) Oswald, PHJC died peacefully on April 17, 2018 in the hospice room at Catherine Kasper Home in Donaldson, Indiana.

Sister Magdala, named Colette by her parents Joseph and Ida Oswald, grew up in a loving faith rooted home with her brothers and sisters: Ida, Fr. Ewald, Ann, Anthony, and Helen, all of whom are now deceased.

It was the dedicated PHJC Sisters teaching at St. Augustine school in Chicago where Colette attended that drew her to religious life.

Sister Magdala entered the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ Congregation novitiate on June 25, 1951 and professed her final vows on July 15, 1958. Her first ministry as a Poor Handmaid was to care for the children at Angel Guardian Orphanage on the Southside of Chicago.  She lovingly cared for children for 21 years at Angel Guardian Orphanage and then at St. John’s Orphanage in Belleville, Illinois.

In her 60-year jubilee reflection she wrote, “I am filled with gratitude for the good memories of helping the children grow up in a world that gave them many challenges.” Sister Magdala cared for all ages of children and enjoyed the preschoolers the most. She received her B.S. in Sociology from Loyola University while caring for these children.

Since 1974, Sister Magdala served in various positions in Donaldson: refectorian, housekeeper, assistant director at the Villa for high school girls, and as the Lindenwood Retreat and Conference Center office assistant and volunteer. She said of her time at Lindenwood, “It was a delight meeting so many folks at The Center and we have shared many joys and blessings as we continue to share in the charism of Blessed Catherine’s way of service.”

Those privileged to know Sister Magdala were recipients of her wonderful sense of humor and willingness to always be a help to others.  The Lindenwood staff and guests can especially attest to her warm, friendly spirit and gracious hospitality.

Sister Magdala was an avid Cub fan and enjoyed watching sports of many kinds. She received great pleasure in attending Ancilla College games and rooting for the Ancilla Chargers. A volunteer bread maker for Earthworks, a long-time quilter, and a gardener in awe of all creation (except geese!), Sister Magdala lived life to the fullest as a dedicated Poor Handmaid in a quiet and unassuming way.

Visitation will be held at the Catherine Kasper Home in Donaldson, Indiana on Friday, April 20, 2018 from 4:30 – 8:00 EDT. A Prayer Service will be held that same evening 7:00 p.m. EDT.

The Mass of Resurrection will be celebrated at Catherine Kasper Home on Saturday, April 21, 2018 at 10:00 a.m. EDT.

Burial will follow in the Mt. Carmel Cemetery, Donaldson, Indiana.

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

 

By Rosemary Schroeder 

The word HERO is used too much these days. But I know someone who was truly worthy of that title...she was not a celebrity or movie star. I am honored to write about this very unique, dedicated and selfless PHJC, Sr. Magdala Oswald. Our journey together began in 1952. My sisters, Carol, Kay, our brother Bill and I, Rosie (The Smitty's), first arrived at AGO in a "paddy wagon" from St. Joseph's Home of the Friendless, leaving behind our Father, and very sick mother. While waiting in the office receiving area, we noticed a very young, spry Nun, coming toward us with a gait that would put the best gymnast to shame. She introduced herself as Sr. Magdala. We were unaware then, but she would be our primary caretaker and "Mother" for the remainder of our time at AGO. 

How fortunate we were to have such a kind and caring person to help us. In retrospect, Sr. Magdala's kindness, gentleness, and devotion spoke everything about what the PHJC's were. Through the years, Sr. Magdala became our safety net and best friend. Teaching, guiding and encouraging us, she taught us valuable lessons in life--especially treating others with respect. We were all equal and in the same "boat." At 4 yrs. old I was the youngest and assigned a "big kid" to show me the ropes of what was expected to complete daily chores. We learned how to keep cottage 48 clean - dusting, and mopping floors in "chorus-line" fashion, ironing and making our beds - with "corners" ugh! After many tears and angst, I had finally mastered it - thanks to Pat Cunningham. We were taught to take care of younger kids- daily washing them, keeping their hair neat, and their clothes put into their assigned #cases on a daily basis. Occasionally at playtime, we could roller skate on our outdoor attached porch while listening to the hand-cranked Victrola. Outdoor fun included baseball and volleyball and playing on outdoor equipment. To our surprise, we learned that Sr. Magdala and the other Sisters were very athletic and could actually run fast even with their "habits" on. 

One of the best memories I recall was Halloween. Sr. Magdala and Sr. Julienne changed our locker room into a haunted house. Not a year passes that I don't recall this treasured memory. Thank God for the Sisters' youth, ingenuity and creativity. On non-visiting Sunday's, Sr. Magdala gave us the opportunity to show-off our singing talents, with amateur hour in our dining room. We shared our favorite songs to impress our fellow diners. 

Realizing that we would be leaving AGO was a double-edged sword. We had become family with our cottage 48 friends, and sadly, we had to say goodbye to Sr. Magdala. Our six years had passed by very quickly with rewarding memories and lessons about life. We owed everything we learned and knew about our world after our mother Marian's death, to Sr. Magdala. She was the glue that kept us together, providing a safe and secure family setting. Sr. Magdala showed us how to cope in a world that we could change for ourselves and others. It's hard to imagine grooming a child to face a world of unknowns, but the SMITTY'S were given God's special grace and shown His abundant love and compassion through Sr. Magdala. How could we thank Sr. Magdala for her compassion, wisdom, and works of mercy? In our eyes, Sr. Magdala was our unsung hero. She is what led us to our lifetime quest of HIS love.

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