Faith Afire Summer 2017

Page 1

Summer 2017

Given to God, in Community, for the Service of Those who are Poor

Inside This Issue: 4




Worldwide, Daughters Work 6 to End Human Trafficking; Province of St. Louise Sisters 8 Increase Efforts






Daughters of Charity Depart from Waco, Texas 12

14 8

14 Sisters Bid Farewell to



10 18 20 21 12 22

18 24

Binghamton, NY

Sisters Say Goodbye to Our 18 Lady of the Valley 20 21 2017 Jubilarians 22


A 24Glimpse into the Service ofthe Daughters during World War I. 26

28 20

28 In Memory


Province News


Sister Meg Kymes Makes Vows for the First Time

Dear friends,

A year or so ago, I attended a funeral of an 85 year old woman who had “made her mark in the world.” Not only did she leave behind children, grandchildren and dozens of greatgrandchildren, but she had also held prestigious public positions in the educational world not to mention her widespread philanthropic involvement. Also seated there among the hundreds of mostly older people in the church was a young mother cradling her newborn infant.

It seems that it was only yesterday when I was writing my first Faith Afire magazine letter. Today, I pen my last. The leadership of the Province of St. Louise is transitioning as the Province nears its sixth anniversary. I have been blessed to serve as the first Provincial of the Province. During the past six years, we have withdrawn from some longtime missions where others now carry forward the Catholic ministries; and we’re on the brink of opening a new mission in Mississippi in collaboration with our Sisters in our Sisters of Charity Federation. You may remember that we sponsor Rendu Services in Fayette County, PA with two congregations of Sisters of Charity. Our National Shrine of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton in Emmitsburg, MD has blossomed under the Seton Heritage Ministries Board, which includes members of the Federation and, soon, lay members. We have continued to collaborate with the Vincentian Family and rejoice with them as we celebrate this 400th Anniversary of its founding when the Ladies of Charity began in Paris, France. Its theme of “Welcoming the Stranger” is quite timely! We have seen the appointment of the first American as Superioress General of the worldwide Community of the Daughters of Charity (a member of our Province of St. Louise); and we have revisited the importance of care for migrants and refugees, the trafficked, and those living on the edges of society.

It was the contrast between the coffin holding the remains of this long lived and widely accomplished woman, and the brand new bundle of tiny life in the arms of the mother that caught me. Here was an ending and a beginning right there in the very same place and time. The ending was of a decades-long life of far flung accomplishments and hundreds of lives affected for the better. The beginning was of a life so small as to be hardly noticeable in that huge and packed space. A message came through. Past impact and length of years are to be honored and acknowledged; but that first breaking out of new life brings its own kind of balance. Death and birth nestled so close together highlighted both the gratitude due the past, and also the hope, however small, held out for the future. This issue of Faith Afire features endings of long term works of the Daughters of Charity, and the beginning of a young woman’s life of service in those same Daughters. Not only is there a look back at the ministry of the Daughters during the First World War, but the issue also contains the wintry news of departures from decades long apostolates in Binghamton, NY, Waco TX, and Gloverville, SC. But also there’s the springtime of the new promises (vows) recently made by Sister Meg Kymes at the Seton Shrine in Emmitsburg, MD to carry the legacy of the Daughters into the next generation. For sure, the contributions of the Sisters in all those places for all those years are cause for much thanks and praise. But doesn’t Sister Meg’s new beginning bring something of that elusive but promising balance to the scene? Endings and beginnings. Perhaps not of the same magnitude at the time, but how do you measure what’s been done against what might be....

When St. Louise first began to work with St. Vincent, they hastened to the aid of the hungry, the homeless, and the sick. Four-hundred years later, we witness daily, in person and through news reports, the very same concerns—hunger, homelessness, sickness, and a lack of basic education, especially for girls.


Faith Afire • Summer 2017

Daughters of Charity from the Province of St. Louise joined with other St. Louisans to walk in solidarity with some of the most vulnerable persons— immigrants and refugees. The walk,







parishes, Saint Louis University, and 16 communities of men and




entitled, “Solidarity Walk and Mass




Brothers and Sisters.” Held April 8, the walkers began at Saint Louis University and ended at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis for a Mass celebrated by Archbishop Robert J. Carlson.

As I bid you farewell, I ask for your continued prayers for our Provincial Councillors who finish their term with me: Sisters Rose Ann Aguilar, Nora Gatto, Jean Rhoads, Joanne Vasa, Mary Walz, and Mary Catherine Warehime. I also ask for your prayers for our newly-elected Provincial, Sister Catherine Mary Norris, and our new Council and Provincial Director as they lead the Province into the future, always with a focus in ministry for those living in poverty. Blessings,

Gratefully in Vincent and Louise,

Father Tom McKenna, C.M. Provincial Director

On the Cover:

Dear friends in Christ,

Sister Louise Gallahue, D.C. Provincial

Graphic Designer: Katie Zeller; Advisors: Province Communications Committee. Faith Afire is published by the Province of St. Louise. Comments, suggestions or address corrections may be directed to Nancy Katich, 314.561.4625; 4330 Olive Street, St. Louis, Missouri 63108. No part of this magazine may be reproduced without prior written permission.

Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul


Equally as important as the Daughters’ work is public awareness of human trafficking. Citizens can help fight against modern slavery by learning:

Worldwide, Daughters Work to End Human Trafficking; Province of St. Louise Sisters Increase Efforts

how to identify a potential trafficking victim;

reporting suspicions to law enforcement;

being a conscientious consumer;

Human trafficking is defined as “the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision or obtaining of persons for the purpose of a commercial sex act, through force, fraud, or coercion; or for labor purposes, subjecting victims to involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage, or slavery.” Although prostitution usually comes to mind when discussing human trafficking, modern slavery comes in many forms. Victims can be targeted for pornography, street work, or strip clubs; domestic servitude, agricultural or sweatshop labor; and even organ trafficking. This manifold industry operates on an enormous global scale. According to the U.S. State Department, 600,000—800,000 people are trafficked across international borders every year, making it the world’s third-largest crime industry, behind only the illegal drugs and arms trades. It reaps a staggering $32 billion every year, nearly half of which is made in “modernized” countries—including the United States.


Faith Afire • Summer 2017

Data show that women and girls constitute eighty percent of victims trafficked across borders, about half of which are children. Approximately seventy percent are used for commercial sexual exploitation, beginning as early as twelve years old. Abject poverty, political instability and armed conflict are often forces behind human trafficking, pressing families to flee across continents, hoping for a better life. However, if they reach their destination, lack of resources and complicated legalization processes still leave them vulnerable to traffickers. The Daughters of Charity in the Province of St. Louise are working to protect trafficking victims and those at risk and advocate for an end to the industry. Sister Michelle Loisel serves as Coordinator of Provincial Response at the Office of Migrants and Modern Slavery in Baltimore, MD. The office provides resources for victims, lobbies for an end to human trafficking, and promotes education and awareness. “Our connections to organizations such as the US Conference of Catholic

Top photo: Sisters Irma Vargas, Patricia Connelly, Jean Thomas Dwyer, and Denise LaRock, all who live and serve in San Antonio, pose for a photo with some Creighton University students who served alongside the Daughters during spring break 2017. Left: Sister Michelle Loisel speaking at the 2017 Vincentian Family Gathering. Right: Sister Mary Ann Azar, who lives and serves in El Paso, receiving an Outstanding Volunteer Award from Las Americas Migrant Advocacy Center.

hosting film screenings;

writing or meeting with government representatives;

Bishops, the Vincentian Family, and the UN allow us platforms to educate others on the plights of the migrants and the trafficked,” explains Sister Michelle. Sister Denise LaRock ministers at Casa Raices in San Antonio, TX, which serves hundreds of migrant families each month and helps protect them from falling into traffickers’ hands. They provide families recently released from immigration detention centers with shelter, food, and showers, giving them a chance to regroup and plan a journey that dodges traffickers seeking to exploit them. Sister Denise recently was the recipient of the Kelly Allen Service Award from the Interfaith Welcome Coalition in recognition of her service at Casa Raices. Sister Mary Ann Azar serves migrants and refugees at Las Americas in El Paso, TX, where immigrant families can avail themselves of legal representation; Las Americas also helps protect refugees from the harsh realities of trafficking along the US-Mexico border.



or supporting local organizations that fight to end modern slavery.

Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul


Daughters of Charity Depart from Waco, Texas It was to care for the patients at Providence Sanitarium (Hospital) that the Daughters of Charity first arrived in Waco, Tx. On November 29, 1904, the first three Daughters arrived from Emmitsburg, Md. They were Sister Mary Gabriel Murtagh, Local Superior; Sister Mary Otis; and Sister Louis O’Brien. The cornerstone for the hospital had been laid in 1903, and Providence opened to patients in 1905. Onehundred and twelve years later, 127 Sisters had served in Waco and it was time for the Daughters to bid the residents goodbye. From 1904 forward, Daughters of Charity have served at Providence, its affiliates, and in many other ministries in Waco. These include Reicher Catholic High School, the Learning Club of Waco, St. Mary the Assumption Parish, St. Catherine Center, the Area Agency on Aging, Providence Park/The Village, and the Veterans’ Administration Hospital. On May 11, the five Daughters of Charity who were still living and serving in Waco – along with many other Daughters of Charity -- were Providence Hospital circa 1960, Sister Mary Vincent Delaney and a staff nurse review patient charts.

bid farewell at a special Mass and Reception celebrated in their honor. Bishop Joe S. Vasquez of the Diocese of Austin officiated at the Mass held at St. Jerome Catholic Church. During his homily, Bishop Vásquez shared, “In today’s reading from the Acts of the Apostles we hear from Paul, a recent convert to Christianity. There is another person that should be mentioned here – Barnabas – who is the one who reaches out to Paul after his conversion. We need more disciples like Barnabas who reach out and welcome others in the mission of the Church. It is interesting to note that in the first part of the Book of Acts, Barnabas and Paul are mentioned as working together and Barnabas is always mentioned first. By the second half of Acts, Paul is mentioned first and then Barnabas. It’s a sign of the importance of Paul’s position in the Church. Dear Daughters, this is exactly what you have done. Saints Vincent and Louise reached out to others to join them in the mission to serve the poor. You also have reached out to many others asking them to help you in the mission to serve the poor. You have brought in new partners that are now co-workers and collaborators in this good work. The legacy which you now entrust to us has to continue calling others to serve with us in this mission. Years from now those that are here, and others, will mention your names as part of this great tradition which you leave for us to continue. We thank you for entrusting us with this good work.” The Daughters are confident they can entrust their Waco ministries of the Church to others. In many instances, the Daughters themselves


Faith Afire • Summer 2017

Sister Natalie Marengo and Sister Jean Rhoads peer into one of the new displays at Providence Health in Waco. The Archives was dedicated at the time of the Daughters’ withdrawal from Waco. Sister Natalie served at Reicher High School there for 30 years.

have formed the succeeding laity in the Vincentian charism. Sisters Cecile Matushek, Doris Brancato, Natalie Marengo, Mary Rogers, and Jean Ann Wesselman knew their departure would be bittersweet. They will miss the devoted and caring community in which they have served. Waco has not seen the last of the Daughters of Charity, though. Sister Joanne Vasa serves as Chair of the Ascension Texas Board, and Sisters Marie Thérèse Sedgwick, Ellen LaCapria and Mary Jo Stein are members of the Board at Providence Healthcare Network. They, along with co-workers and collaborators in Waco, will continue the tradition of Vincentian charism and oversight begun so very long ago.

Daughters pose with Bishop Joe S. Vásquez of the Diocese of Waco and the other Farewell Mass celebrants on May 11 at St. Jerome Catholic Church as the residents of Waco bid them farewell.

Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul


Sisters Bid Farewell to Binghamton, NY

Daughters who attended the Farewell Mass held May 5 at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church in Binghamton, NY, in their honor, pose for a photo with Bishop Robert J. Cunningham of the Diocese of Syracuse.

At the request of Bishop Daniel Curley of the Syracuse Diocese, the Daughters arrived in Binghamton, NY, in 1925 to establish a hospital at the former Corbett Mansion. Bishop Curley wrote to Mother Paula Dunn, then the Visitatrix of the Emmitsburg Province, “I would be pleased and gratified, therefore, if you would be kind enough to have the Daughters of Charity accept the responsibility of [the hospital’s] care and supervision… my admiration of their spiritual zeal and efficiency has grown apace.” The first Daughters to arrive—Sisters Martina Disney, Gertrude Eisele, Rosanna Hastings, and Louise McParland—quickly assumed management and a 25-bed hospital was established as Lourdes Memorial Hospital on Riverside Drive. As Binghamton and the surrounding region grew, so did the hospital. During the next 92 years, 370 Daughters called the Southern Tier home. The Daughters not only worked in the hospital, the Sisters also served in other ministries including St. Ambrose School in Endicott, Seton Catholic High School in Endicott/Binghamton, and St. James School in Johnson City. The Sisters were present in the boom times and through the years of shrinking manufacturing and industry. On May 11, residents of the Triple Cities area gathered for a Mass of Thanksgiving and to bid the Daughters Farewell. Held at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church


Faith Afire • Summer 2017

in Binghamton, the Mass was a true celebration of the Daughters’ presence. Bishop Robert J. Cunningham of the Diocese of Syracuse, celebrated the Mass. To the congregation, the departing Sisters and all of the Daughters present for the Mass, Bishop Cunningham reminded them, “There are many lessons we can take from the account of Paul’s conversion…God has a plan for each of us; occasionally, his plan may disrupt what we have determined our plans are or should be. His plans may change the direction of our lives and ask something new from us; something different from which we are accustomed…Sometimes it requires us to embrace the Lord’s way with renewed faith…. Today is bittersweet; bitter because you, Dear Sisters, are leaving…you have been a treasured gift…we will miss you…Today is also a sweet moment, a gratifying one, a rewarding one because an ending allows us to remember the many blessings we have received, to go forward to something new, a place where God’s plan takes us.” The four Daughters who most recently served in Binghamton/Johnson City—Sisters Mary Rose DeDonato, Fredrica Dunn, Linda O’Rourke, and Ellen Reilly—brought to an end the active day-to-day presence of the Daughters in the Triple Cities. Their legacy, and the legacy of all the Daughters who came before them, now is found in those who continue to carry on their missions of caring, compassion, and education for the residents in Binghamton, Endicott, and Johnson City.

Top left: Sister Paula Norton escorting a mother and her newborn home. Top middle: Late 1960s, unknown Daughter of Charity welcoming some young visitors. Top right: Sister Alphonsa McDermott teaching nursing students anatomy. Middle upper left: Kathy Connerton, Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital President & CEO, talks with Sister Helen Gertrude Carroll. Middle right: Sister Ann Molesevich (seated) and Sister Diane Louttit (standing) take a minute to visit with Lourdes employee Judy Wright at the Reception. Middle lower left: Sister Ann William Bradley with Lourdes physician, circa 1965. Bottom left: Sister Catherine Marie McGranary with a young Lourdes patient. Bottom right: Sisters serving and who had served at Lourdes in a 1990’s photo. Back Row, left to right, Sisters Helen Kelley, Mary Alice Roach, Catherine Joseph McDonough, Anna Marie Goodrich, Catherine Marie McGranary, Geraldine Coleman, Paula Slama, Ann Molesevich, Julie Lawrence and Marilyn Perkins. Front row, left to right, Sisters Kathleen Natwin, Mary Agnes O’Neil, Francis Michael Plantamura, Mary Matthew Mahar, and Catherine Cotter.

Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul


Sisters Say Goodbye to Our Lady of the Valley The Daughters of Charity recently bid Our Lady of the Valley Catholic Center and Church and the wonderful residents of the Valley farewell. For the past 40 years, the Daughters have overseen the operations at the Our Lady of the Valley Center in Gloverville, SC. The Center provides a wide range of assistance to residents of the area--one of the poorest in the state of South Carolina. A food pantry, GED classes, and activities for seniors as well as assistance with utility bills and applications for benefit programs, have been in the Daughters’ hands for four decades. Originally begun as the Horse Creek Valley Handicraft and Welfare Center, the Center was the first social service agency in the area. Women religious, including the Sisters of Christian Doctrine and the Franciscans, assisted with the administration of the Center prior to the Daughters. The Valley has struggled economically since the Great Depression. The 18-mile Valley, once the home to many textile mills, has watched as they closed one by one until the last mill shuttered in 2006.

Left photo: Sister Catherine Marie Lowe worked closely with Ernest Settler, a Social Worker from Aiken, who volunteered at the Center. Top photo: Our Lady of the Valley Church in Gloverville. Middle photo: Sisters Joan Ann Barrett and Sister Catherine Marie Lowe in front of their residence at Our Lady of the Valley. Lower photo: Sister Mary Shea at the Center in its early years of operation. Opposite page, top photo: Sisters Mary Sheehan, Mary Jean Doyle, and Mary Helen Edelen began the Center. This photo was taken in 1977. Middle photo: Sister Patricia Nee assisting clients at the Center’s emergency food pantry. Lower photo: In the 1970’s, Sister Frances McSherry helps some youngsters to watermelon on a hot summer’s day in South Carolina.

“Education and so many other services continue to be greatly needed.” - Sister Catherine Marie Lowe 10

Faith Afire • Summer 2017

As the three Daughters who were most recently in service at the Center bid all goodbye, Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Charleston assumed the oversight and management of the Center. Sister Catherine Marie Lowe, who had served as the Center Administrator, shared her happiness in knowing that the Center will continue. “We’ve seen the most increase in need for GED, and we’ve served students of all ages. It has been wonderful to see the impact we have had. Many of the younger students gain different perspectives on the importance of education when they see how hard the older students work. Education and so many other services continue to be greatly needed.” Sister Catherine Marie, along with Sister Joan Ann Barrett and Sister Patricia Nee will miss the Valley. “It is time for us to go,” Sister Catherine Marie shares. “We are called to serve where the Holy Spirit leads.” Sister Catherine, will serve in Wilmington, Delaware. Sister Joan Ann has been missioned to Evansville, IN; Sister Patricia Nee to Holbrook, MA. For more about Our Lady of the Valley Center, please visit:

Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul


2017 Jubilarians

From left to right, top to bottom: Sister Virginia Metz, Sister Enda McArdle, Sister Victoria Nolan, Sister Michael Friebe, Sister Geraldine Simonds, Sister Celeste Donohue, Sister Mary Clare Hughes, Sister Ursula Cazalé, Sister Jane Marie Otterson, Sister Mary Virginia Clark Second Row: Sister Alexandrine Lazzari, Sister Bertha O’Neill, Sister Ann Paul Chenard, Sister DeSales Wisniewski, Sister Jo Ann Cuscurida, Sister Naomi Libiak, Sister Gilbert Martin, Sister Jean McGrory, Sister Rosella Molitor, Sister Virginia Pellowski Third Row: Sister Carmeli Proano, Sister Honora Remes, Sister Mary Rogers, Sister Carlene Welker, Sister Jean Ann Wesselman, Sister Mary Celeste Lehman, Sister Hermana Hoelscher, Sister Joann Lukefahr, Sister Catherine Madigan, Sister Laureana Perez Fourth Row: Sister Mary Ellen Seo, Sister Sherry Barrett, Sister Kathleen Marie Christopher, Sister Anne Marie Graham, Sister Mary Vincent Haggerty, Sister Margaret John Kelly, Sister Ellen McElroy, Sister Linda O’Rourke, Sister Mary Sheehan, Sister Dorothy Ann Pyle Fifth Row: Sister Patricia Bouza, Sister Louise Gallahue, Sister Maureen Houlihan, Sister Maureen McGuire, Sister Veronica Tinseth, Sister Patricia Bachman, Sister Julie Cutter, Sister Rosemary DeDentro, Sister Denise LaRock, Sister Catherine Marie Lowe


Faith Afire • Summer 2017

Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul


Province of St. Louise

serves in the Ministry of Prayer in Evansville, IN.

Celebrating 3,030 Years of Serving Christ in Those in Need During 2017, 50 Daughters of Charity from the Province celebrate Jubilees. 80 Years Vocation Sister Enda McArdle, D.C. December 21, 1937 An Educator, Sister Enda has served in Washington, D.C., Virginia, Massachusetts, Maryland, and in New York. Sister currently serves in the Ministry of Prayer in Albany, NY. Sister Virginia Metz, D.C. March 14, 1937 A Medical Records Administrator, Assistant to the Treasurer, and Construction Supervisor, Sister Virginia has served in New York, Maryland, Florida, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Maine. Today, Sister is serving as the Local Community Bookkeeper, and Assistant to the Regional Sister Support Specialist, in Albany, NY. Sister Victoria Nolan, D.C. December 21, 1937 Sister Victoria served as an Educator, in Nursing and in Pastoral Care. Sister has ministered in Maryland, New York, Washington, D.C., Michigan, Florida, Pennsylvania and Connecticut. Sister Victoria currently serves in the Ministry of Prayer in Albany, NY. 75 Years Vocation Sister Celeste Donohue, D.C. December 14, 1942 As a Teacher and a Principal, Sister Celeste has served in Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, Delaware, Washington, D.C., Maryland, Virginia, and North Carolina. Sister now serves in the Ministry of Prayer in Emmitsburg, MD.


Faith Afire • Summer 2017

Sister Michael Friebe, D.C. June 19, 1942 As a Nurse, Sister Michael has ministered in Illinois, Louisiana, California, Texas, and in Kansas. Sister Michael spent many years as Head Nurse at the National Hansen’s Disease Center in Carville, LA. Sister currently serves in the Ministry of Prayer in Evansville, IN. Sister Mary Clare Hughes, D.C. December 14, 1942 Sister Mary Clare has served in Education, Nursing Education and Service, Health Care Administration, Development, as a Provincial Councillor, Visitatrix, Pastoral Care and in Seton Shrine Administration. Sister has ministered in West Virginia, Maryland, Washington D.C., Florida, Michigan, and New Jersey. Sister Mary Clare is serving in the Ministry of Prayer in Emmitsburg, MD. Sister Geraldine Simonds, D.C. June 19, 1942 Sister has ministered in Education, Health Ministry, Parish Ministry, and Pastoral Care. Sister Geraldine has served in Missouri, Texas, Mississippi, and Iowa. Today, Sister is serving in the Ministry of Prayer in Bridgeton, MO. 70 Years Vocation Sister Ursula Cazalé, D.C. January 31, 1947 Sister Ursula has ministered as a Nurse in Illinois, Alabama, Texas, Louisiana and Missouri. Today, Sister serves in the Ministry of Prayer in Bridgeton, MO.

Sister Ann Paul Chenard, D.C. November 21, 1947 Sister ministered as an Educator and as a Chaplain in Maryland, New York, North Carolina, and Connecticut. Sister Ann Paul currently serves in the Ministry of Prayer in Albany, NY. Sister Mary Virginia Clark, D.C. September 25, 1947 Sister Mary Virginia ministered as an Elementary Teacher and Principal, a Spiritual Counselor, Managed a Homeless Shelter and was an Executive Director of a Women’s Center. Sister has volunteered in Social Ministry and with the Ladies of Charity. Sister Mary Virginia has served in Louisiana, California, Mississippi, Missouri, Louisiana, and in Texas. Sister is serving in the Ministry of Prayer in Evansville, IN. Sister Alexandrine Lazzari, D.C. September 25, 1947 Sister has ministered in Social Ministry in Children’s Homes; Rural Pastoral Ministry; and visiting in Children’s Homes, Nursing Homes, and in Hospitals. Sister Alexandrine has served in Louisiana, California, Alabama, and South Carolina. Sister is currently serving in Mobile, AL, where she visits patients. Sister Bertha O’Neill, D.C. September 25, 1947 Sister Bertha has served as a Bookkeeper, High School Educator, Librarian, with Daughters of Charity Support Services, as Docent at the Elizabeth Ann Seton Shrine, and Volunteer. Sister has ministered in Wisconsin, Illinois, Texas, Utah, Louisiana, and Missouri. Sister now

Sister Jane Marie Otterson, D.C. August 2, 1947 Sister has served as an Elementary Teacher, Librarian, in Child Care, Parish Evangelization, and in Visitation and Outreach Services. She has ministered in Virginia, North Carolina, New York, Washington, D.C., Maryland, and South Carolina. Sister is serving in the Ministry of Prayer in Emmitsburg, MD. Sister De Sales Wisniewski, D.C. December 10, 1947 An Educator and a Nurse, Sister De Sales has ministered as an Elementary Teacher, a Nurse and a Hospital Education Director. Sister began the We Care Program and St. Vincent’s Mobile Health Program in Jacksonville, FL. Sister De Sales served in Virginia, Washington, D.C., Massachusetts, Maryland, and Florida. Sister is serving in the Ministry of Prayer in Emmitsburg, MD. 60 Years Vocation Sister Sherry Barrett, D.C. April 2, 1957 Sister Sherry is an Educator, Spanish Translator, and serves in Ministry with Refugees and Immigrants. Sister has served as a missionary in Bolivia, Mexico and in Guatemala. She has also served in Illinois, New York, Virginia, Michigan, Indiana, Arizona, and Mississippi. Sister Sherry is currently serving in Georgetown, SC. Sister Kathleen Marie Christopher, D.C.

April 2, 1957 As a Nurse, Sister has served in Washington, D.C., Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, and in Paris, France. Until recently, Sister Kathleen had served in Taipei, Taiwan, as a Foreign Missionary for most of her vocation. Sister soon will be ministering in Niagara Falls, NY.

Sister Jo Ann Cuscurida, D.C. June 4, 1957 Sister Jo Ann has served as a Nurse and served on Boards in several Hospitals. Sister has served in Wisconsin, Louisiana, Alabama, Michigan, Illinois, Tennessee, and Indiana. Currently, Sister Jo Ann is serving in the Ministry of Prayer in Evansville, IN. Sister Anne Marie Graham, D.C. April 2, 1957 Sister ministered as an Educator, Director of Adult Education and Social Service, Vocation Director and Provincial Councillor. Sister Anne Marie has served in Ohio, New York, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut. Sister currently serves as the Assistant to the Local Community Superior caring for the senior Daughters at St. Louise House in Albany, NY. Sister Mary Vincent Haggerty, D.C. April 2, 1957 Sister Mary Vincent has served in Health Care as a Nurse and an Administrator. Sister ministered in New York, Maine, Massachusetts, Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Florida. Sister Mary Vincent served in Scotland, Ethiopia and Taiwan. She currently ministers at Perry Family Health Center in Washington, D.C. Sister Hermana Hoelscher, D.C. January 25, 1957 Sister Hermana is a Nurse and an Educator, she has served in Health Care, Child Care, After School Education, in Parish Ministry, Home Visits, and Hospitality House Ministry. Sister has ministered in Wisconsin, Louisiana, Texas, Missouri, New Jersey, Maryland, and Arkansas. Today, Sister is serving in the Ministry of Prayer in Bridgeton, MO. Sister Margaret John Kelly, D.C. April 2, 1957 Sister served as an Educator and College Administrator, with the Catholic Health Association, and

as Visitatrix. Sister Margaret John ministered in Ohio, Maryland, New York, Massachusetts, and Missouri. Sister is working on the Vincentian Translation Project and serving in the Ministry of Prayer in Emmitsburg, MD. Sister Mary Celeste Lehman, D.C. August 12, 1957 Sister Mary Celeste, an Educator of Music, English, Art and Religion, Librarian, and Seminary Sister Assistant, has ministered in Utah, Missouri, and Louisiana. Today, Sister serves in the Ministry of Prayer in Evansville, IN. Sister Naomi Libiak, D.C. June 4, 1957 Sister Naomi ministered in Social Ministry, Parish Ministry, Child Care, and Pastoral Care. Sister served in Missouri, Wisconsin, Indiana, Kentucky, Illinois, Tennessee, Mississippi, and Maryland. Sister Naomi is currently serving as Pastoral Care in Emmitsburg, MD. Sister Joann Lukefahr, D.C. January 25, 1957 Sister served in Education, Counseling, Health Ministry, and in Parish Ministry. Sister Joann ministered in California, Texas, Louisiana, and in Missouri. Sister is currently serving in Ministry of Prayer in Evansville, IN. Sister Catherine Madigan, D.C. January 25, 1957 Sister Catherine has ministered as a Teacher, Provincial Councillor, Visitatrix, Director of Religious Education, and Foreign Missionary. Sister has served in Louisiana, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, and for a decade in Kenya, East Africa. Sister Catherine is currently serving at the Rebuild Center in New Orleans, LA. Sister Gilbert Martin, D.C. June 4, 1957 Sister has served in the Health Care Ministry as a Nursing Supervisor,

Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul


Hospital Chaplain, Director of Sick/ Homebound in Parish, Hospice Bereavement Coordinator and Assistant Care Coordinator. Sister Gilbert has ministered in Missouri, California, Texas, Colorado, Louisiana, and in Indiana. Sister is currently serving in Ministry of Prayer in Evansville, IN.

Sister Virginia Pellowski, D.C. June 4, 1957 An Educator in Elementary and Special Education, as well as Librarian and member of the Secretariat, Sister Virginia ministered in Missouri, Iowa, Pennsylvania, and Louisiana. Sister is currently serving in Bridgeton, MO, in the Ministry of Prayer.

Sister Mary Ellen Seo, D.C. January 25, 1957 As an Educator and a Resource Teacher for students with Learning Disabilities, Sister Mary Ellen has ministered in Iowa, California, Missouri, and Louisiana. Today, Sister is serving in Ministry of Prayer in New Orleans, LA.

Sister Patricia Bouza, D.C. April 15, 1967 Sister Patricia has served as a High School Teacher, Senior Housing Director, Provincial Treasurer and Bookkeeper. Sister has ministered in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. Today, Sister Patricia is lives in Albany, NY.

Sister Ellen McElroy, D.C. April 2, 1957 Sister Ellen’s ministry has been as a Teacher in Elementary and High School Art, and in Social Work. Sister has served in New York, Washington, D.C., Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Massachusetts. Sister Ellen is currently ministering at the Roarke Center in Troy, NY.

Sister Laureana Perez, D.C. January 25, 1957 Sister Laureana has ministered as an Educator, in Parish Ministry, as Director of Religious Education, in Diocesan Religious Education, as Parish Administrator and as a Hispanic Parish Minister. Sister served in California, Puerto Rico, Nebraska, Texas, and Indiana. Sister is currently serving in the Ministry of Prayer in Evansville, IN.

Sister Mary Sheehan, D.C. April 2, 1957 Sister has ministered as a Teacher, Principal, Director of Religious Education, Administrator in Health Care, Social and Outreach Ministries. She has served in New York, Maryland, South Carolina, and Florida. Today, she serves in the Ministry of Prayer in Emmitsburg, MD.

Sister Julie Cutter, D.C. June 9, 1967 An Educator, Pax Christi Coordinator, Missionary, Formation of Lay Leaders, Community Organizer, Provincial Counsellor and Executive Director of Sisters of Charity Federation, Sister Julie has served in Missouri, Iowa, Louisiana, Texas, and New York. Sister has served on the Guatemalan Refugee Project in Mexico and Guatemala. Today, Sister Julie is serving again as a Councillor for the Province of St. Louise in St. Louis, MO.

Sister Jean McGrory, D.C. June 4, 1957 As a Teacher and Provincial Secretary, Sister Jean has served in Louisiana, Missouri and in Taiwan. Sister Jean’s ministry has been in Taiwan for the past 45 years; there, she ministers in Taipei. Sister Rosella Molitor, D.C. June 4, 1957 Sister Rosella has ministered in Health Care, Parish Ministry, and with Daughters of Charity Support Services. Sister has served in Missouri, Louisiana, Texas, Kentucky, Oklahoma, South Dakota, and Arkansas. Today, Sister serves in the Ministry of Prayer in Bridgeton, MO. Sister Linda O’Rourke, D.C. April 2, 1957 Sister Linda has ministered in Education, Child Care and Social Service Administration. Sister has served in Maryland, Virginia, New York, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania. Sister Linda lives in Albany, NY.


Faith Afire • Summer 2017

Sister Carmeli Proano, D.C. June 4, 1957 Sister Carmeli, a Teacher, Parish Visitor, Docent and Teacher of Gifted Students, has ministered in Missouri, Iowa, Maryland, and Texas. Sister Carmeli will be serving as a Docent in Emmitsburg, MD. Sister Honora Remes, D.C. June 4, 1957 A Teacher, Pastoral Administrator, and Visitatrix, Sister Honora has served in Missouri, Iowa, Illinois, Mississippi, Michigan, and Indiana. She currently serves in Social Ministry at St. Patrick’s Center, Clayton County Jail, and at Room at the Inn in Saint Louis, MO. Sister Mary Rogers, D.C. June 4, 1957 Sister Mary has served as a Teacher, College Campus Minister, and in Parish Ministry. Sister has ministered in Arizona, Missouri, Illinois, Mississippi, Wisconsin, Indiana, Arizona, and Texas. Sister Mary currently ministers as Assistant to the Local Community Superior and cares for the senior Sisters at Seton Residence in Evansville, IN.

Sister Carlene Welker, D.C. June 4, 1957 Sister Carlene, a Teacher, Principal, and Parish Minister, has served in Arizona, Utah, Missouri, Louisiana, and Iowa. Sister is currently serving in Parish Ministry at Our Lady of the Holy Cross Parish in St. Louis, MO. Sister Jean Ann Wesselman, D.C. June 4, 1957 Sister Jean Ann has served as a Nurse and as a Chaplain. Sister has ministered in California, Texas, Louisiana, Maryland, Missouri, and Minnesota. Sister Jean Ann lives in St. Louis, MO. 50 Years Vocation Sister Patricia Bachman, D.C. June 9, 1967 Sister has ministered in Child Care, Clinical Social Work, Parish Ministry, Social Ministry to the Homeless, Public Housing Projects, as a FEMA Case Manager, in Healthcare Mission Integration, and as a Case Manager for Social Services. Sister Patricia has served in Louisiana, Texas, Nebraska, Arkansas, Missouri, and Illinois. Sister now serves in the Ministry of Prayer in Bridgeton, MO.

Sister Rosemary DeDentro, D.C. June 9, 1967 Sister Rosemary, an Educator, Director of a Day Care Program, Executive Director of a Social Service Center, an Administrator, and Mission Effectiveness Director, Sister has served in Louisiana, Missouri, and Texas. Today, Sister Rosemary serves at Kingdom House in St. Louis, MO. Sister Louise Gallahue, D.C. April 15, 1967 Sister Louise has ministered as a Hospital and Clinic Nurse in areas including Obstetrics, Maternity/ Pediatrics, and Psychiatry. She has served in Governance on Hospital Boards, as a Provincial Councillor, and as Visitatrix. Sister has served in Maine, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, and Missouri. Sister Louise is completing her term as Visitatrix of the Province of St. Louise and will be missioned to Niagara Falls, NY.

Sister Maureen Houlihan, D.C. April 15, 1967 Sister has served as an Elementary Teacher, Pastoral Minister, Director of Religious Education and in Social Outreach programs. Sister Maureen has ministered in Virginia, Maryland, Georgia, Washington, D.C., South Carolina, New Mexico, Arizona, and Indiana. Today, Sister Maureen serves at Seton Harvest in Evansville, IN. Sister Maureen McGuire, D.C. April 15, 1967 Sister Maureen has ministered as a High School Teacher, Social worker, Seminary Directress, and Vice President of Mission Integration in Health Ministries. She has served in Philadelphia, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Delaware, New York, Maryland, and in Missouri; she currently ministers as Executive Vice President, Mission Integration, Ascension in St. Louis, MO. Sister Dorothy Ann Pyle, D.C. March 22, 1956 A Teacher, Child Care Provider, Social Worker, and Parish Minister, Sister Dorothy Ann served in Washington, D.C., New York, Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina, Missouri, and South Carolina. Today, Sister is serving in the Ministry of Prayer in Emmitsburg, MD.

Sister Veronica Tinseth, D.C. April 15, 1967 As a Nurse, Sister Veronica has worked in Hospitals, Home Care, Hospice, Long-Term Care and Pastoral Care in Florida, Maryland, Washington, D.C., Missouri, West Virginia, and Indiana. Today, Sister Veronica serves in Ministry of Prayer in Evansville, IN. 25 Years Vocation Sister Denise LaRock, D.C. August 9, 1992 Sister Denise has ministered as a Teacher, After-School Program Director for Hispanic Children, Vocation Director, Spiritual Advisor, and on the Vincentian Leadership Commission. Sister has served in Maryland, North Carolina, Florida, Georgia, Missouri, and Texas. Sister Denise currently assists refugees at La Casa Raices and South Texan Family Detention Center in San Antonio, TX. Sister Catherine Marie Lowe, D.C. November 21, 1992 A Social Worker, Director of a Day Care Center, School Counselor, and Director of Family Services, Sister Catherine Marie has served in Illinois, Indiana, South Carolina, and Delaware. Sister is currently ministering at Saint Peter’s Outreach Center in Wilmington, DE.

Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul


A Glimpse into the Service of the Daughters during World War I

Known to many as “The Great War,” World War I began in 1914. Three years passed before the United States entered the war in April 2017—a little more than 100 years ago. At the request of Joseph Danna, M.D., Daughters of Charity were missioned to serve on the Italian Front from September 1918 through March 1919. The Daughters who made the journey Pictured with some of the Red Cross Nurses with whom they would serve at the ranged in age from 33 through 56. Their birth places included Ireland, Italian Front are five of the Daughters of Charity who served in World War I. England, Michigan, New Jersey, Louisiana, Wisconsin, Maryland, and Illinois. Accounts from the Sisters’ diaries provide a true perspective into the work they did—both medically and spiritually. Sister Catherine Coleman recorded the death of a young soldier who passed away in October 1918 at Base Hospital 102 in Vicenza, Italy. Sister Catherine wrote: “An American boy from New York by the name of Holden died of Pneumonia. He leaves his parents and a brother and sister in New York. He was baptized before his death. When asked what message he would like to have sent to his people, he said that is a hard thing to have to talk about, and asked Sister what she would say. The subject was dropped for the present, and as he grew weaker, he was asked the second time and he said: Tell my people I have fought hard against death, but it must be. Tell them I am glad Sister Catherine Coleman to die for my country. He was a lovely boy, just 21 yrs. Old. While in New York he posed for the Arrow collar for three years. Many remembered having seen his picture in the papers wearing the Arrow Collar. His Regiment took charge of the body. He was taken from the hospital to the cemetery. Six of the Sisters and a number of Nurses attended his funeral. His body lies at the foot of the Alps on a little mound, a very beautiful spot. He was buried with Military Honors. One of his comrades read the burial services at the grave. Sister Chrysostom [Moynahan, Chief Nurse] wrote his mother…also pressed one of the flowers from his grave and sent it in the letter.”

Sister Angela Drendel wrote on November 4 1918 after hearing the Austrians had surrendered on November 2: “Went in a large truck to Monte Greco the hill on this side of Monte Grappa where the hardest fighting was done on this front. We were heartily cheered by the French and Italian soldiers also by the civilians as we passed by. Saw many rear trenches and lookouts. Two of the lookouts were up in the high trees. On our way back, we passed several thousand Austrian prisoners. They looked as though as if they were hardly able to walk…they looked so hungry, sick, and tired.”

Sister Angela Drendel

In total, the 8 Daughters who served alongside the Allied Forces’ as Red Cross Nurses were estimated to have cared for 3,000 soldiers—not all American. Some were prisoners of war. The Daughters faced difficulties, too, conditions were difficult; sources for heat were hard to find; and at least one Daughter of Charity contracted the Spanish flu. We pray for the repose of the souls of all who have died in defense of their homeland. The Province Archives hosts a two-part video series entitled, “Over There.” You may view the videos online--Part 1: https://vimeo. com/117666142 Part 2:

Sister Florence Means wrote about her day in October 1918: “On duty at 7:30 PM; new wards opened to admit 30 gas cases; they had worn their masks but the order to remove them came before it was razed in the trenches so it was an unfortunate accident and some are very badly burned.”

Left photo: Daughters follow the march in formation as they depart Italy in 1919. Right photo: The 10 Daughters of Charity who served at Base Hospital 102.

Sister Florence Means


Faith Afire • Summer 2017

Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul


In Memory We remember the 15 Daughters of Charity who, in recent months, have gone to their Eternal Home. “Remain faithful until death and I will give you the crown of life.” Revelation 2:10

Sister Frances McSherry

Sister Patricia Coughlin

Sister Hilda Gleason

May 28, 1930 February 16, 2017 68 years vocation Educator, Librarian, Principal, Local Community Superior

January 10, 1922 February 22, 2017 76 years vocation Teacher, Child Care Provider, Pastoral and Social Minister

March 17, 1929 March 1, 2017 64 years vocation Elementary and Secondary Teacher who taught in China

Sister Margaret Mary Robins

Sister Vincentia Goeb

Sister Yvonne Thranow

Sister Josephine Cusimano

Sister Veronica Kuzma March 7, 1923 March 19, 2017 71 years vocation Nurse, Foreign Missionary in Bolivia

November 27, 1914 March 28, 2017 84 years vocation Educator, Local Community Superior, Provincial Councillor, General Councillor in Paris, Regional Superior in Taiwan

Sister Maureen Delahunt

Sister Edith Stricker

Sister Ann Shea

Sister Margaret Quinn

Sister Mary Beard

Sister Elizabeth Parham

August 4, 1921 November 24, 2016 78 years vocation Housemother, Bookkeeper, Teacher, Principal, GED/ESL Instructor

May 3, 1930 January 7, 2017 55 years vocation Nurse, Nurse Supervisor, Local Community Superior, Pastoral Care Associate


Sister Claire Mulé

Faith Afire • Summer 2017

September 14, 1931 November 29, 2016 66 years vocation Educator, Principal, Provincial Councillor, Local Community Superior

April 19, 1918 January 31, 2017 80 years vocation Teacher, Parish Minister, DRE

August 16, 1927 December 5, 2016 70 years vocation Teacher, Social Worker, Agency Director, Local Community Superior

July 12, 1930 February 13, 2017 59 years vocation Director of Catholic Charities, Pastoral Associate, Local Community Superior

May 22, 1918 March 15, 2017 82 years vocation Nurse, Nursing Director, Administrator, Patient Liaison

May 18, 1928 April 30, 2017 71 years vocation Teacher, Social Worker, Provincial Councillor

October 11, 1928 June 7, 2017 53 years vocation Case Worker, Administrator, Provincial Councillor, Local Community Superior

January 17, 1930 June 13, 2017 64 years vocation Dietitian, Administrator, Mission Director

Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul


Province News

Sister Joan Pytlik received the

2016 Dialogue Institute Award for Community Service from the Dialogue Institute of the Southwest based in Little Rock, AR, where Sister is in ministry at the Diocese of Little Rock.

Sister Helen Brewer was

honored with the Seton Society Medal from Saint Thomas Health in Nashville, TN, in recognition for her work on the Saint Thomas Board and service on many other Boards of Directors.


Faith Afire • Summer 2017

Sister Carol Keehan received

the first Humankindness in Health Care Award at the Dignity Health Foundation’s inaugural Humankindness Gala. The award recognizes individuals whose humanitarian contributions have made a profound impact on their communities.

Sister Elizabeth Ann Lingg was recently enrolled in the The John Carroll Society at the luncheon following its 26th Annual Rose Mass. Sister Elizabeth Ann, who ministers at Province Hospital in Washington, D.C., received the 2017 Monsignor Harry A. Echle Award for Outstanding Service in Health Care Ministry.

foundation of Seton Healthcare in Austin, TX in 1902. Celia Berry, artist of the “Tree” mosaic explained Sister Joanne Vasa helped her with inspiration and collaboration. Significant Heritage trees were saved during the construction of the hospital and the trees are a metaphor for the thriving health care community. The Chapel includes the wood from trees that were felled to allow room for the new hospital.

Sister Nora Sweeney was

presented with the Catholic Charities Hero of Hope Partner Award in recognition of her work at St. Mary’s Neighborhood Health Center in Niagara Falls, NY. Sister was recognized for her assistance linking clients to emergency assistance, counseling through Catholic Charities as needed, making home visits throughout the area, and offering those she visits a “hand up” by challenging and encouraging them.

St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Chapel dedicated to Daughters of Charity

The St. Elizabeth Ann Chapel at Austin’s Dell Seton Medical Center at the University of Texas was recently dedicated in honor of the Daughters of Charity. The mosaic in the Chapel commemorates the role of the Daughters in the

works, recognizes and thanks Barbara Gaver who has chosen to honor her aunt, Sister Mary Carroll Eby, by establishing the Sister Mary Carroll Eby Scholarship Endowment. Ms. Gaver initiated the endowment with a matching gift of $200,000.00. Elizabeth Seton High School raised $200,311 in response to that challenge. Thus a total of $400,311.00 was endowed so that the fund will grow in size and provide yearly scholarship revenue for quite some time. The fund remains available for other contributions from those who know Sister Mary Carroll or the Daughters of Charity or from those who wish to provide assistance for young women to have the opportunity to receive an exemplary Catholic Education. Three of Ms. Gaver’s relatives, in addition to Sister Mary Carroll, also were Daughters of Charity--Sisters Denise Eby, Miriam Eby, and Alexis Shorb (all deceased).

Province Recognized with Endowed Scholarships

Maryville University in St. Louis recognized the Daughters of Charity Province of St. Louise for its help sustaining and supporting La Salle Middle School and for being one of the founding communities of Marian Middle School, both in St. Louis, MO. The University’s Daughters of Charity Endowed Scholarships are annual, and include “full rides” for one Marian Middle School and Three La Salle Middle School Graduates.

Scholarship Endowment Established

Elizabeth Seton High School, one of the Province’s sponsored

Daughters Honored by Assoc. of the Miraculous Medal

The Association of the Miraculous Medal (AMM) in Perryville, MO, has launched a much needed major restoration that will include new features—a mile-long rosary walk leading to the Grotto and a new statue of the Blessed Mother dedicated to the Daughters of Charity who served in the Perryville region for 95 years. You can learn more at:

UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues

May 5, the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues concluded its 16th session with the adoption of a report including recommendations for States, UN bodies and indigenous peoples. More than 1,000 indigenous peoples’ representatives attended the session from April 24 to May 5, 2017 at the UN Headquarters in New York, NY, including Daughters of Charity and other members of the Vincentian Family. Lower, Sister Catherine Prendergast, Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul NGO, with Beth LaMont, of the NGO Committee on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples; upper, Sister Margaret O’Dwyer, Province of St. Louise, with Kora Kanamari of the Kanamari People of Brazil.

Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul



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Sister Meg Kymes Makes Vows for the First Time

At the Basilica of the National Shrine St. Elizabeth Ann Seton in Emmitsburg, MD., on January 7, Sister Meg Kymes (pictured fourth from left) made Vows as a Daughter of Charity for the first time. Sisters from her local community, Sisters Patricia Dunne, Dorothy Folmer, Rosalie Brocato, Joan Corcoran, and Brenda Monahan, all posed with Sister Meg following the Mass.