Date: May 4, 2024
Time: 4:00 PM (EDT)
Location: Ancilla Domini Chapel
Admission: Absolutely FREE! Seats are on a first-come, first-served basis.

About the Concert:

Immerse yourself in a transcendent musical experience at the serene Ancilla Domini Chapel. “All Things Bright & Beautiful” is not just a concert, it’s an evening where the divine meets the melodic, featuring Soprano Jessica McCormack and Tenor JR Fralick. Witness a captivating showcase of vocal mastery, as each solo and duet unfolds into an aural tapestry of classical music’s most heartfelt expressions.

Why You Should Attend:

  • Extraordinary Performances: Jessica and JR are renowned for captivating audiences worldwide with their vocal elegance and expressive musical narratives.
  • Meet the Artists: Engage with Jessica and JR post-performance, in a rare opportunity to hear about their artistic inspirations and future aspirations.
  • A Musical Feast for All: This event welcomes everyone, from long-time enthusiasts of classical music to newcomers eager for an enriching cultural experience.

About the Artists:

Jessica McCormack brings an impressive blend of depth and versatility to her soprano performances, earning international acclaim. An advocate for vocal health and a passionate educator, Jessica’s involvement extends beyond the stage to nurturing the next generation at Phillips Academy in Andover.

JR Fralick‘s rich tenor voice has graced opera houses and concert stages across the globe. His skillful interpretations and performances leave audiences in awe. As a dedicated music educator at Baldwin Wallace Conservatory, JR is committed to shaping the voices of future artists.

Special Preview:

Enjoy a glimpse of the ethereal atmosphere awaiting you with a clip of Jessica McCormack’s moving performance at the Ancilla Domini Chapel here.

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February 20, 2024

We are pleased to announce that Sr. Carole Langhauser, PHJC began serving as Interim Executive Director of Mission Integration in November 2023.

Sr. Carole previously ministered as Mission Integration Director at St. Joseph Regional Medical Center, Mishawaka, IN. She brings a graduate certificate and fifteen years’ experience working in Mission Leadership. Sr. Carole will be responsible for new coworker orientation in Donaldson and Board formation initiatives with assistance from Sr. Linda Volk, PHJC and Justine Johnson (DEI Executive Director). Her education background in Mission and years of involvement with the St. Joseph Community Health Foundation Mission and Spirituality Committee give her a wealth of experience in this role.

Sr. Carole will be working part-time. Beyond new coworker orientation, her role will be specifically directed as a resource to St. Joseph Community Health Foundation, Sojourner Truth House and HealthVisions Midwest as they transition to self-sustainability and independence. This role is integral to each ministry as they uniquely determine how to integrate the charism of Saint Katharina and the Vision, Mission and Values of the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ into the Boards’ and Ministries’ future governance and operations.

Sr. Carole is already known to most of our ministry leaders and will be connecting with each in the weeks ahead.

Partners in the work of the Spirit!

Provincial Leadership

By Maria Mellis

What does God want me to do with my life? Where is he calling me? Will I ever find my vocation? Few things cause as much anxiety for Christian young people as vocational discernment. I’ve been there, and I’ve seen it — over and over again.

Yet St. Paul tells us to “have no anxiety at all” (Phil 4:6), and Blessed Solanus Casey cautions us to “be on guard against” worry as “this most insidious enemy of our peace of soul.” God’s plan for vocational discernment is one of peace, trust and freedom, not one of anxiety and fear. If you are in a place of seeking God’s will for your life, I pray that these reflections will lead you to peace in the present.

Happiness

We all too easily buy into the lie that, if God calls us to a certain thing, we are just going to have to grit our teeth and bear it — that we will somehow manage to do it for love of God. That is not God’s vision of vocation! While our vocations will challenge us, they will not leave us miserable. God uses our vocations to make us happy. When we sincerely seek God’s will for our lives, God molds our hearts to a perfect plan and fulfills the deepest desires of our hearts (cf. Ps 37:4).

I recall going on a religious sister discernment retreat when I was in college. While I didn’t feel called to a religious vocation, I did feel called to be open to discerning it. This led to nervousness that, because I was open to it, God was going to call me to religious life even though I didn’t “want it.” However, my experience of the retreat was freeing. I walked away with a deeper conviction of the beauty and goodness of religious life as well as the single and married states of life. This is all a part of holy indifference! It is knowing I can be happy in either of the three states when I believe in and know God’s personal and intimate love for me. It is knowing that God desires only good and peace and happiness for me.

Love the present

Years ago, I came across a bookmark which read, “Serve the garden where you have been placed.” That wisdom continues to reecho in my mind. Right now, you are in a certain place for a purpose. You are called to serve where you are. To paraphrase St. Thérèse, you are called to be a flower along whatever path you are walking. In truth, the only moment you ever get to live is now. So we might as well all work on getting good at it!

We can be in a big hurry to find our vocations and “settle down,” but there is no need to force it. God knows how and when to tell us when God wants us to move or adjust our lives. At least in my life, God seems to share the next step of the plan on a need-to-know basis. We don’t need to know what is next until we are there, probably largely because knowing too much would distract us from living in the present moment. And while it may seem scary to not know the future, I can assure you that it makes life a glorious adventure. God wants to offer you a life full of adventure, purpose and surprises. Let God do it!

Primary vocation

Ultimately, we all have the same primary vocation. Our vocation is to love. I am not being dismissive of the real need to discern. But that said, if you don’t know your secondary vocation, it doesn’t matter all that much after all. Uncertainty about the next stage in your life shouldn’t dictate your level of contentment, peace or joy. You can still live your primary vocation. Choose to love where you are, and let God sort out the rest.

What if I miss it?

Perhaps the most crippling vocational fear is that we are somehow going to miss God’s plan for our lives because of our incompetence, sin or inability to hear God’s voice. You can’t do a single thing to change the past, but God can do everything to redeem it. In simplest terms: live in the state of grace, pray sincerely every day (this means both talking and listening), and say yes to what you know God is calling you to do today. If you do those three things, I assure you, you will not miss God’s plan for your life!

In fact, thinking that you will be able to “miss” God’s plan for your life when you are sincerely seeking it is utter nonsense. What that fear really boils down to is a belief that God is somehow not powerful enough to weave through your mistakes, possible misunderstandings, and moments of deafness to lead you to him. But that couldn’t be further from the truth. If you actually are trying to hear and respond to what God is calling you to do, you will not miss his will for your life. Be not afraid!

So what is my vocation?

Your vocation is this: God is calling you to peace in the present moment, living a lifetime of love and watching God’s perfect plan unfold. Maybe that is all you ever need to know. Next time you fret over your vocation, speak the truth aloud. Live in the freedom of a daughter of God, trusting in the most exquisite plan for your life!


More about Maria Mellis

Date & Times:

  • Christmas Eve
    • 8:00 PM ET – Lessons and Carols
    • 8:30 PM ET – Mass of the Nativity of Our Lord (Livestream Available)
  • Christmas Day
    • 11:00 AM – Christmas Day Mass

Location: Ancilla Domini Chapel, 9601 Union Rd., Plymouth, IN 46563

Description: Join us for a meaningful Christmas celebration at Ancilla Domini Chapel. We invite you to participate in our Christmas Eve service, featuring Lessons and Carols followed by the Mass of the Nativity of Our Lord. On Christmas Day, join us for a special Mass as we commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ. These services provide an opportunity for reflection, prayer, and unity in the spirit of Christmas.

Livestream Available: Only the Christmas Eve service will be livestreamed for those who cannot attend in person.

We look forward to sharing this joyous occasion with you, your family, and the community. May the blessings of Christmas fill your hearts with love and peace.

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We are very pleased to announce that Sharon Tubbs has accepted the Executive Director position for HealthVisions Midwest, Inc.

Sharon has been serving as the Director of HealthVisions – Fort Wayne since March of 2020. Prior to accepting her position as the Director, Sharon worked as Community Liaison for the HEAL Program with St. Joseph Community Health Foundation.

Sharon comes with a Master’s degree in Human Services and a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism. Not only did Sharon spend seven years as the Editor for the largest newspaper in Florida, she is also an author and a keynote speaker/presenter in various venues.

Sharon is a native of Allen County but spent 20 years in Florida before returning in 2016. Sharon has excellent networking skills and has expanded programs in Fort Wayne through grants and partnerships.

We’re very pleased to have Sharon step into this Executive role bringing her experience within the PHJC organization to this next level of leadership. Sharon will begin her new role by January 1, 2024.

We ask God’s blessings on Sharon, HealthVisions’ Board of Directors, staff and all they serve!

Provincial Leadership:
Sr. Shirley Bell, PHJC – Provincial
Sr. Deborah Davis, PHJC – Councilor
Sr. Nkechi Iwuoha, PHJC – Councilor
Sr. Marybeth Martin, PHJC – Councilor

Date: Sunday, December 3, 2023

Time: 3:00 PM

Location: Ancilla Domini Chapel, 9601 Union Rd. Plymouth, IN 46563

Event Details: Join us for a captivating afternoon with Dr. Kevin J. Vaughn, a distinguished concert artist and music scholar, as he performs an organ recital at the serene Ancilla Domini Chapel.

About Dr. Kevin Vaughn: Dr. Kevin Vaughn is the esteemed Director of Music and Organist at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in South Bend, Indiana. With a rich history of performances spanning various states and countries, he brings an exquisite blend of musicality and scholarly insight to his recitals. His collaborative works, including the acclaimed recording ‘Sacred Song’, have been celebrated nationally.

Dr. Vaughn’s educational background is as impressive as his musical endeavors, holding the honor of being the first recipient of a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in organ performance from the University of Notre Dame.

Discover More: To learn more about Dr. Kevin Vaughn and his musical journey, please visit Kevin J. Vaughn’s Official Website.

Admission: Free (Donations welcomed)

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March 5, 1933 – October 30, 2023

Sister Michelle Dermody, Poor Handmaid of Jesus Christ, peacefully passed to eternal life on October 30, 2023 at Catherine’s Cottage, Donaldson, IN.

As the youngest of four children, Sr. Michelle was born in Hammond, IN and in her words, began her first roller coaster ride! Her parents, Michael V. Dermody and Mary Cecil O’Connor, brother Michael (Micky), her sisters Bernadette Hufford and Margaret (Peg) Johnson and brother-in-laws, Richard Hufford and Robert Johnson, as well as many Poor Handmaid Sisters preceded Sr. Michelle in death. Sr. Michelle is survived by numerous nieces, nephews and great nieces and nephews.

Joan Dermody entered the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ on January 6, 1956, taking the name of Sr. Michelle. She professed vows on July 16, 1962.

With a focus on education, her ministry of teaching included schools in Indiana— Gary St. Mark’s, Mishawaka St. Monica’s, East Chicago St. Mary’s and in Chicago—St. Henry School.  Her ministry expanded to include parish religious education and youth ministry at: St. Ansgar in Hanover Park, IL; St. Bavo in Mishawaka; St. Rosalie in Harwood Heights, IL; Faith, Hope and Charity in Winnetka, IL. St. Catherine in Wellingborough, England. After studying sign language at Gallaudet College for the Deaf, Sr. Michelle also served the deaf community at St. Augustine’s in Cleveland, OH. Residents and staff were also blessed with Sr. Michelle’s loving presence when she served at the Catherine Kasper Home as assistant coordinator.

Sr. Michelle loved sign language and saw it as an art form, as well as a means of communication. She often used it as a personal expression of her spirituality. She will be remembered for her Irish wit and humor, celebration of life, joyful perspective and the smiles she brought to everyone she met.

Because of Sr. Michelle’s wish to be cremated, there will not be a viewing. Because storytelling was so natural to Sister Michelle, her wake service will include telling of stories.

The wake and funeral will be held on Friday, Nov. 3, 2023, at Ancilla Domini Chapel, Donaldson, IN. Directions best through this address: 9601 Union Road, Plymouth, IN, 46563.

All times are EDT

Wake Service and Storytelling— Friday, November 3, 2023, 10:30 am

Mass of Christian Burial— Friday, November 3, 2023, 11:15 am

For those unable to attend in person, the Mass of Christian Burial will be livestreamed at poorhandmaids.org/live.

Memorial contributions to the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ, P.O. Box #1, Donaldson, IN 46513 or on poorhandmaids.org.

GARY, IN – As part of its Art Therapy course, Sojourner Truth House (STH) recently worked with program participants to create a new art mural adorning one of its classroom walls.

STH serves women and their children experiencing homelessness through programs to help them obtain housing, such as career services, intensive case management, counseling, art therapy, and more.

The idea for the art mural came from art therapist instructor Chasity Armstrong. Her goal was to create a mural that participants could see themselves in. The inspiration for the design is to look like a clock with participants able to see their progress from when they first arrive at STH.

“Art therapy is a way to connect with yourself, your spirit, and the world,” says Director of Client Services, Dr. Pamela Key. “Art shows you to look at the good; we should look at the good in everyone. Everyone has different situations. We hope our clients just become a better version of themselves. We celebrate everything that they accomplish.”

The mural took three months, with Chasity, STH clients, and children working together.

“The faces have no features,” says Dr. Key. “This is so our clients can see themselves in it. They’re already there. They’re here.”

Each figure represents different aspects of how a woman goes through the process at STH. A woman is working in the STH garden, which also shows the woman working on her roots. There’s a child with a woman, highlighting women with children are welcome. Another woman is working on the computer, showing the career services programs at STH.

“I saw myself in each woman there,” says a client. “It gives me hope. I learned so much about the power of being a woman by being at Sojourner. They teach that here. This is more than just a job to them; STH is a ministry.” 

STH provides a comprehensive range of services to at-risk women and their children to help them overcome their homelessness permanently. STH is a ministry of the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ.

“Never has the use of violence brought peace in its wake.
War begets war, violence begets violence.”

Pope Francis, Angelus, September 1, 2013.

The members of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR), in solidarity with the global community of faith, stand in the shadow of the horrors initiated on October 7, 2023 in Israel and Gaza.  As women of the Gospel, we grieve with those who grieve, seek release of those held captive, and recognize the root causes of violence as well as the urgent call for the use of all possible resources to stabilize the Middle East, secure refuge for those in humanitarian crisis, and negotiate peace that will last.

United with the interfaith community, we take seriously our responsibility to protect the safety of all people of faith throughout the world.  We stand united with leaders of other faiths, intolerant of any form of hate or violence towards places of worship, and ready to witness to the transformation of consciousness necessary for sustainable peace.

LCWR is compelled to work toward a world where reverence for all living beings finds expression in a life of nonviolence. We stand in solidarity with the victims of brutality and with faith leaders as we heed the Gospel call to follow Jesus’ way of nonviolence, reconciliation, and care for the most vulnerable across lines of division.

We commit ourselves and the members of our religious communities to choose the peaceful path of Jesus and exercise all of our rights and duties as citizens to urge our leaders to act as responsible members of the world community. We join our prayer with religious people of all faiths who recognize that war is not the solution, and we commit ourselves to be those who believe that peace is possible.

We call upon world leaders and the United Nations to activate those mechanisms necessary for an immediate ceasefire and the negotiation of peace, so that justice may prevail.  We are each responsible to be aware, to be informed by factual information, to look at root causes, and to reject rhetoric that fuels violence. 

We, the members of LCWR, will continue to speak on behalf of the truth of faith, the strength of prayer, the power of nonviolence and the only pathway that will provide a future for our children: peace.

Resources for Review and Use:

USCCB Statement on Violence in the Middle East

HIAS and the Call to Humanitarian Response

Invitation to Weekly Wednesday Prayer, Churches for Middle East Peace

Friends Committee on National Legislation

Churches for Middle East Peace

Patriarchs of Jerusalem Churches Unite in a Call for Peace and Justice

FOSNA:  Colonial Violence and the pursuit of a just peace

Revised on October 14, 2023