Seven Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ sisters who celebrate jubilees this year have ministered in the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend. Three other sisters have home parishes in the diocese.
Currently the director of mission integration at Ancilla College in Donaldson, Sister Jolise also served as an instructor, principal and dean of girls at Ancilla Domini High School from 1969-74. She was a member of the Elected Leadership team of the PHJC American Province from 1982-91 and served as provincial from 1997-2005. She was also the PHJC treasurer from 1994-97. Coordinator of sister residents at Catherine’s Cottage in Donaldson, she ministered in that role from 2006-07. Sister Jolise was general superior of the PHJC Congregation in Dernbach, Germany, from 2007-13.
Sister Deanne Blume celebrates 50 years as a PHJC Sister. She was born in South Bend and her home parish is St. Joseph, Mishawaka. In the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend, Sister Deanne ministered in education, health care, administration, leadership and elder care.
At present, she is the local leader of the sister residents at Catherine Kasper Home in Donaldson. Sister Deanne was director of compliance at Ancilla Health Care in Mishawaka from 1997-2000 and compliance education coordinator at St. Joseph Regional Medical Center in South Bend and Mishawaka from 2000-06. Additionally, Sister Deanne was an administrative assistant at St. Joseph Regional Medical Center from 2006-08, and an assistant with the Genesis Project at St. Joseph Regional Medical Center from 2008-09. She was also coordinator of sister residents at Catherine’s Cottage in Donaldson from 2009-14.
Sister Jean Christianson, formerly Sister Keith, celebrates her 50th jubilee as a Poor Handmaid sister this year. She is a Mishawaka native, and her home parish is St. Monica. She has served in the ministries of education, administration, leadership and parish ministry.
Presently, Sister Jean lives in Coatzacoalcos, Veracruz, Mexico, and is the novice director and leader of the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ Mexico Pro-region. In the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend, she was principal of St. Monica School from 1983-88. She was also a member of the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ Elected Leadership team from 1991-97.
Sister Joyce Diltz celebrates 50 years as a PHJC sister this year. She is also from Mishawaka, and hails from St. Monica Parish as well. She has ministered in the fields of education, administration, leadership, vocational direction, spiritual direction and spiritual wellness.
At present, Sister Joyce is the director of Bethany Retreat House in East Chicago, Indiana. In the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend, she taught at Ancilla Domini High School from 1974-79, was vocational director for the Poor Handmaids from 1975-77 and retreat leader and spiritual director at Crosier House of Prayer in Fort Wayne from 1980-83.
Sister Kathleen Kelley, formerly Sister Colleen, also celebrates her 50th jubilee as a Poor Handmaid of Jesus Christ this year. Originally from Asuchnet, Mass., she has served in numerous ministries including education, child care, health care, elder care and cosmetology.
Currently, Sister Kathleen volunteers in community at Convent Ancilla Domini, where she also resides. In the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend, she ministered in child care at St. Vincent Villa in Fort Wayne from 1967-68, and 1969-71. She served in community at Convent Ancilla Domini, Donaldson, and at Holy Cross Parkview Hospital in Plymouth from 1986-88. In 1988, she changed careers and began studying for her cosmetology license, which she obtained in 1989. She worked at several area salons while earning her license and returned to Convent Ancilla Domini, where she established on-site hair care services for the sisters and senior residents of Maria Center and Catherine Kasper Home, both Poor Handmaid ministries, in 1990.
Sister Kathleen ministered in health care at St. Joseph Community Hospital in 2000, and at Home Instead Senior Care from 2000-08, both in Mishawaka. She was a CNA at St. Paul’s Retirement Community in South Bend in 2001, and medical technician at St. Joseph Regional Medical Center in Plymouth from 2008-13. Sister Kathleen served as sacristan at Catherine Kasper Home Chapel from 2014-17.
At present, Sister Margaret Anne is the director of Mission and Communication at HealthVisions Midwest in Hammond. In the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend, she served as a teacher at Ancilla Domini High School in Donaldson from 1974-77. In addition, Sister Margaret Anne was the controller for the PHJC Ministry Center from 1994-97, and PHJC treasurer from 1997-2007. In July 2017, she returns to Donaldson as a member of the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ Elected Leadership team.
Sister Connie Bach celebrates 25 years as a PHJC sister. Born in Hammond, Sister Connie’s ministries include education, administration, leadership, vocations, volunteer program direction and music therapy.
In the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend, Sister Connie was principal of St. John the Baptist School in South Bend from 1996-2003 and a third-grade teacher at Queen of Peace School in Mishawaka from 2003-04. She became a music therapist and ministered in that field at Behavior Services and Therapy Inc., and Behavior Services of Indiana, both in South Bend, from 2006-08. In 2008-09, Sister Connie served as music therapist and an assistant at Hannah and Friends Farm in South Bend. She began BACHworks, a music therapy ministry sponsored by the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ, in 2009, and served as its director and therapist until it closed in 2016. Sister Connie is currently the vocations director for the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ and the co-director of the PHJC Volunteer Program.
For more information about the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ, visit poorhandmaids.org. Follow the order on Facebook and Instagram.
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