July 21, 2018 // Diocese

Seven Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ celebrate jubilees

DONALDSON — Seven Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ celebrate jubilees this year. Sister Inez Wilmering leads the group, celebrating 75 years in religious life. In the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend, Sister Inez served as a nurse and nursing supervisor at St. Joseph Hospital in both Fort Wayne and Mishawaka; and as an instructor of nursing at Ancilla College. She served in the PHJC treasurer and business offices for over 20 years. She has also ministered at the Catherine Kasper Home in Donaldson, where she now resides and volunteers.

Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ 2018 jubilarians are, from front row, from left: Sr. Marie Heppeler, 50 years; Sister Carleen Wrasman, 60 years; and Sister Inez Wilmering, 75 years. Back row; Sr. Esther Dolezal, 50 years; Sr. Michelle Dermody, 60 years; Sr. Mary Baird 60 years; and Sr. Mary Jo Shingler, 60 years.

Sister Carleen Wrasman is a 60-year jubilarian. In the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend, Sister Carleen served as provincial counselor of the Poor Handmaids. She taught at the Elkhart Adult Basic Education Center in Elkhart and at Ancilla College in Donaldson, where she also served in mission integration and campus ministry. Currently, Sister Carleen volunteers for the PHJC community and resides at Convent Ancilla Domini, Donaldson.

Sister Mary Baird, also a 60-year jubilarian, has ministered in the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend in numerous capacities. Sister Mary taught at St. Joseph School, now the grades 3-5 campus of Mishawaka Catholic School, in Mishawaka, and has also served in communications and environmental ministries. She founded both the Earthworks and MoonTree Studios ministries of the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ and served as the sisters’ first communications director and heritage director. She also ministered as an interpretive naturalist at Potato Creek State Park in North Liberty and at the Marshall County Soil and Water Conservation District in Plymouth. She is the current director of MoonTree Studios, where she resides and teaches.

Sister Mary Josef Shingler celebrates 60 years as a Poor Handmaid of Jesus Christ sister. In the diocese, she served as a teacher and the principal of St. Joseph School in Mishawaka and as a member of the PHJC elected leadership team, PHJC treasurer and development director. Sister Mary Jo currently resides at Convent Ancilla Domini and coordinates the Heritage and Archive Office of the Poor Handmaids.

Sister Michelle Dermody celebrates 60 years as a Poor Handmaid of Jesus Christ sister. In the diocese, she has taught at St. Monica School in Mishawaka and was the director of religious education at St. Michael School in Plymouth. She also served as youth ministry director at St. Bavo in Mishawaka. She has served at Lindenwood Retreat and Conference Center in Donaldson and at the Catherine Kasper Home and Catherine’s Cottage, where she’s a resident and an active volunteer.

Sister Esther Dolezal celebrates her 50-year jubilee this year. A registered nurse, she served as the director of long-term residence for the Poor Handmaids in Donaldson before being missioned to Kenya. She has served at Materi Girls Centre, St. Joseph Children’s Home and St. Anne Mission Hospital, all in the Diocese of Meru in Kenya.

Sister Marie Heppeler is also a 50-year jubilarian with the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ. She has taught at St. Joseph School and the Penn-Harris-Madison district in Mishawaka, St. John the Baptist School in South Bend and St. Pius X School in Granger. She is currently a teaching assistant at St. Pius and lives in South Bend.


* * *

The best news. Delivered to your inbox.

Subscribe to our mailing list today.