February 17, 2016 // Local

In MY diocese: Marshall County

In the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend, we are all unique. From the urban cities to the rural farms, we each have a different Catholic story to tell. And yet — we are all One Diocese — One Catholic Church. “In MY diocese” is a monthly section of Today’s Catholic that will feature parishes and the Catholic community within a particular county. See when your county will be featured and how you can be involved at www.todayscatholicnews.org/advertising.

Other stories In MY diocese include:

St. Michael Parish, Plymouth

St. Dominic Parish, Bremen

St. Mary of the Lake, Culver

Marshall County home to the Poor Handmaids

By Julie Dowd

The Ancilla Domini Chapel

DONALDSON — The Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ, an international congregation of apostolic women religious, ministers to and with people of all faiths. They minister with the poor, the sick and children in nine countries. They live and serve in the United States’ rural, urban and inner city settings, mainly in the Midwest.

The Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ congregation was founded in Germany when Catherine Kasper and four companions took vows as Poor Handmaid Sisters in 1851.

In 1868, at the request of Bishop John Henry Luers of the Fort Wayne Diocese, Catherine Kasper sent the first eight Poor Handmaids to America where they staffed a school and cared for the sick in Hessen Cassel, Indiana.

The motherhouse, home to the American Province Sisters, was located in Fort Wayne from 1868 to 1923 when it was moved to Donaldson, in Marshall County. Since then, PHJC Sisters have ministered to the people in Marshall County, both in Donaldson and in the local area.

Over the years, a variety of ministries have developed. The campus is now called The Center at Donaldson.

A Confirmation retreat is being held on the grounds of The Center at Donaldson.

The Center at Donaldson is home for Poor Handmaids living in Catherine’s Cottage and Convent Ancilla Domini. Also located at The Center is the Ancilla Beef and Grain Farm, which operates in a manner that values and respects the soil and animals. All-natural beef supplies The Center at Donaldson and is offered to the local public through Earthworks Market. Ancilla College, a Catholic two-year, liberal arts college is also part of The Center.

Catherine Kasper Life Center, a faith-based Continuing Care Retirement Community, is comprised of Maria Center, senior independent living apartments; and the Catherine Kasper Home, a licensed skilled nursing facility providing short-term rehabilitation, long-term nursing care and a memory care unit.  Earthworks, an environmental education center, teaches adults and children to live in harmony with all of earth’s inhabitants.

Lindenwood Retreat and Conference Center offers those who visit The Center, both individuals and groups, an environment for faith development, personal growth, team building and artistic endeavors.

MoonTree Studios, the newest ministry at The Center, challenges people to experience mindfulness as they fearlessly explore the interconnectedness of art, nature and the Spirit within.

People around the world have visited The Center at Donaldson to enjoy its unique events and offerings. Many call The Center home, from college students to the residents of Catherine Kasper Life Center. The Center also provides hundreds of people a place to work and to feel part of something bigger than themselves as they carry forth the mission, values and charism of the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ.

For additional information visit www.poorhandmaids.org.

Julie Dowd is the communications director for the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ.


Ancilla College is on a roll

The small, private college in Donaldson, hosts about 500 students each year and, under the direction of President Dr. Ken Zirkle, has built its first residence hall and is working on number two.

As the least-expensive private college in Indiana, the two-year, accredited school offers exceptional value and close, personal attention. It is located in a safe, rural area on 1,100 acres of land with a lake at The Center at Donaldson — also home to assisted living facilities, an art studio and more.

According to Campus Minister Albert Escanilla, the ideals and principles that have characterized the college’s sponsor, The Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ (PHJC), are the backbone of Ancilla’s mission.

“Catholic social teaching and community building is fundamental to allowing students to develop unique gifts and insights at Ancilla. We offer reflection, service, intellectual inquiry, retreats and faith communities,” he said. “Students are challenged to engage in service opportunities and team-building activities in addition to their course work at Ancilla. We hope to guide them to become men and women of faith and in the service of others, especially the most vulnerable and disadvantaged. These values are at the core of Ancilla’s identity, binding the Ancilla Family across diverse backgrounds, faiths, cultures and traditions.”

Escanilla said that Ancilla College Campus Ministry’s inspirations are from our foundress Blessed Katherine Kasper and the PHJC’s charism of simplicity, service to the marginalized and discernment for God’s calling. Our Campus Ministry is the pastoral expression of Catholic higher education, by being the “hands and feet of Christ,” we can better serve everyone in our ecumenical climate.

With this underlying element of ecumenical faith, the college’s academic offerings are growing. The school offers more than 20 associate degrees including a thriving nursing program and has recently added agriculture, culinary arts and sports management to its catalog. Zirkle has also expanded athletic options to include bowling, lacrosse, cross-country, wresting, dance, tennis and more, in addition to standard college teams.

Athletic Director Gene Reese is quick to note that the vast majority of student-athletes receive over a 3.0 GPA due largely to emphasis on academics and coaches who see their team as family.

As the second residence hall construction completes summer of 2016, the new dining hall and student life center is open for delicious and healthy on-campus meals. Students can get made-to-order foods in addition to fresh comfort favorites, such as pizza and burgers.

There is also an ice cream machine.

“Ninety-five percent of our students receive financial aid of some kind,” Zirkle said. “We see it as our mission to help every student from every background earn a degree. Education is the key that unlocks all doors.”

For more information, go to ancilla.edu or call 866-ANCILLA to learn more.







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