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Holy Angels Echoes Olivetan Benedictine Sisters Jonesboro, Arkansas 72403-1209 Volume 30 No 2

Swiss Crackers  Every Institution has specific traditions or customs that are carried on from year to year. Holy Angels e Porres Polk eiter and Sr. D R ie Convent has a custom that our ar M an lli Sister Li rackers. C s is w founding Sisters brought over S g in rv se from Kloster Maria Rickenbach in Switzerland. At the evening meal on Holy Thursday, the Sisters are served “Swiss Crackers.” Traditionally, the Prioress and Subprioress serve the plates of crackers to the Sisters. This custom symbolizes the service Jesus gave to His apostles at the Last Supper, the evening He instituted the Holy Eucharist. The original recipe included unusual ingredients, such as real cream. The early Sisters would roll out the dough to almost “paper thin” before deep-frying the pieces. Some were as large as half of a dinner plate. After removing them from the fryer, the “crackers” were sprinkled with powdered sugar before serving. Today a modified recipe is used. Anyone interested in the recipe for Swiss Crackers, send a note and a self-addressed envelope to: Sr. Henrietta Hockle, Holy Angels Convent, PO Drawer 1209, Jonesboro, AR, 72403.

A New Look

There’s something new at St. Bernards. It’s not the experience and dedication of our staff. It’s not the mission of providing Christ-like healing. It’s not the commitment The Heart of Great Medicine to the community healthcare in its truest sense. New logo for St. Bernards. It is the St. Bernards logo – an icon which represents who we are and what we do. It’s fresh. It’s bright. It’s bold. And it gives an updated look at what St. Bernards is – the heart of great medicine. The stylized “B” is in the shape of a heart – a forward moving heart – a heart which extends “outside the box.” As we begin to use the new logo, we are also moving to a new look in other ways. Because of strong physician support, HMG has changed its name. It is now St. Bernards Medical Group. Our Medical Clinics are changing their names to signify alignment with the premier provider of healthcare in the region. Those include St. Bernards First Care, St. Bernards Clopton Clinic, St. Bernards OB-GYN, St. Bernards Heart and Vascular (formerly Cardiology Associates) and more. All will use adaptation of the new logo. We are St. Bernards – the Heart of Great Medicine.

Spring 2013

Sister Georgia


Sister Georgia Felderhoff, age 84, died in the Infirmary at Holy Angels Convent at about 5:55 p.m. on March 29. She was born in Muenster, Texas on November 2, 1928, and was named Laura Ruth Sister when she was Georgia Felderhoff baptized in Sacred Heart Parish. She was the fourth child of Joseph and Mary Felderhoff. She had three Aunts at Holy Angels Convent, Sr. Lutgardis, Sr. Amora and Sr. Mildred Felderhoff. She considered these three Aunts as an inspiration when they came to Muenster for a home visit. She considered the Sisters who taught her in Sacred Heart Grade and High School also, as inspiration. Laura Ruth entered Holy Angels Convent on Sept. 8, 1946, and was given the name Georgia when she was invested as a Novice. Sr. Georgia made First Profession of Vows on August 15, 1948. She celebrated her Diamond Jubilee (60) years in 2008. Sr. Georgia spent her life in education; many years in junior high level and/or principal of a school. She considered teaching to be one of the highest callings. Her assignments took her to St. Andrew’s School and Holy Souls, Little Rock, Blessed Sacrament School, Jonesboro, St. Maria Goretti, Lake Arthur, Louisiana, and Sacred Heart School, Muenster, TX. Her last 17 years in education were spent as teacher, then principal at St. Michael School, West Memphis. Her last thirteen years were spent at the motherhouse, two and a half years, as Formation Directress and five and a half years as Subprioress of the Community. A highlight of her life was a trip to Maria Rickenbach, Switzerland, from where our community was founded. Continue on page 4

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Message From The Prioress Sister OSB Reiter, n Marie


Greetings to all! Spring is a time for seeds to be planted, a time for new life, and a time for new growth. As one sees the beauty and new life in nature, one should take time to ask oneself, what am I doing to help the love of God grow in each person I meet in life? Do I let the love of God in my life shine so each person will feel and see God’s loving care for them? One’s words and actions can be like the sun and the rain that will help each person grow stronger in loving God. By doing this, you will also bring His love to those you meet and see. I hope you will be able to bring the joy, peace and blessings of the Easter Season to everyone you meet on your journey to become another Christ. May God bless and guide you on your journey.

Oblate Spiritual Day 

Sr. Mary John Seyler and Sr. Lillian Mar ie Reiter with gr oup of


At Evening Prayer on February 9th, eve of the Feast of St. Scholastica, the community celebrated a joyous occasion. Jessica Luttmer, of Lindsay, Texas, received the Olivetan Benedictine habit Novice and was invested Catherine Luttmer as Novice Mary Catherine. This event formally began the 18 month period dedicated to her formation in religious life and preparation for the 5 Benedictine vows: Poverty, Chastity, Obedience, Stability in Community and Reformation of Life. During the simple ceremony, Sr. Lillian Marie, Prioress, presented Novice Catherine with the Holy Rule of St. Benedict, which she will study gradually during her Novitiate. She then called forth Sr. Ann Marie Ferricher, Formation Directress, who will be the primary guide for Novice Catherine as she begins the path of religious life. Sr. Lillian Marie then urged the rest of the community to encourage and pray for Novice Catherine, saying, “Although one Sister is entrusted with formation, every Sister is responsible to assist along the way by her prayers and good example.” Please remember to keep Novice Catherine and all those formation in your prayers!

Special Guest Oblates

The Spring Spiritual Day for Oblates and guests was held on March 16 at Holy Angels Convent. Pope Benedict XVI declared this year a “Year of Faith,” so Father Michael Sinkler, Pastor of St. Mary Parish, Paragould, discussed this theme. The topic of the first session was on “The Nicene Creed – What we Believe,” and the second session of the program was a “Guided Meditation”. At the conclusion of the talks, Father asked each to write their own creed, specifically listing those important things that guide one in daily living. After the 11:00 Mass, the Oblates renewed their Oblation. Before the conclusion of the Mass, Sr. Mary John Seyler, who is completing 13 years as Directress of the Oblate Program, presented Jan Richardson, St. Paul, Pocahontas and Gary Bridgers-Tollison, St. Mark’s Episcopal, Jonesboro, for enrollment in the Program. Leona Pecoraro, of St. Paul the Apostle Parish, Pocahontas made her Oblation. Sr. Lillian Marie Reiter, Prioress, officially received them. A Lenten luncheon with the Sisters was enjoyed by all the visitors. In the afternoon, retreatants participated in meditation and the Way of the Cross. One special treat occurred when Father Sinkler’s dog, “Paulie Girl” demonstrated her ability to “pray” when commanded. In addition to the Convent Gift Shop being opened, Sr. Marya Duscher and Sr. Miriam Burns had art work for sale.

  Present Superintendent, Vernell Bowen with Former Superintendent, Sr. Henrietta Hockle (1973-1993).

On the evening of March 5, the Sisters of Holy Angels were honored to host the current Superintendent of Catholic Schools, Vernell Bowen. While making visitation to Catholic Schools in the area, she made Holy Angels her headquarters. During her visit, Bowen expressed appreciation to all the Sisters of Holy Angels for their many years of dedicated service in our Catholic Schools both past and present.

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Remembering the Past

 By Sr. Angeline Massery and Sr. Glorea Knaggs

“You can trust God – that things will always work out.” For those who knew Sr. Helen Swirczynski, this saying of hers was both a spoken and lived testimony. Sr. Helen entered Holy Angels Convent from Muenster, Texas in 1933. For most of her Religious Life, she served in various kitchens, at mission houses, St. John’s Seminary, and especially at the Mother House. She was known to have been an excellent cook, and a kind, joyful sister, with a terrific sense of humor. Sr. Angeline Massery, who worked with Sr. Helen in the kitchen for many years, said that she always taught her fellow cooks, “Never put anything on the table for the Sisters to eat if you yourself would not eat it.” Most sisters felt she was not capable of such a thing – especially when she prepared one of her delicious turkeys or the Swiss Crackers for Holy Thursday. Sr. Helen was also a great lover of plants and animals. In her free time, she was often found working in one of the convent gardens. She had a particular way with animals,


especially dogs. She told many humorous stories of her experiences with the dogs she trained and cared for. One day Sr. Helen took a walk on the convent grounds with a large dog named Scottie. Scottie accidently bumped Sister and she fell to the ground, in such a painful manner that she was not able to get up. She called for Scottie to help her, thinking she could grab onto his collar and the strong dog could pull her back up. To her chagrin, his “help” consisted of lying down on her to offer some consolation! One could imagine her full, roaring laughter at his kind attempt at assistance! Sr. Helen was always ready with a sincere and often witty response. She once recalled that as a young sister, she was singing quietly as she cooked in the convent kitchen, “Let me call you sweetheart…” An older Sister commented, “That’s not a very nice song for a sister to be singing.” “But Sister!” replied Sr. Helen innocently, “I’m singing it to Jesus!” And sing to Jesus, she did, until she began her eternal life with Him in 2010. May she rest in peace!


February 9 – A number of Sisters attended the Mardi Gras Fund Raiser sponsored by Blessed Sacrament School. Fe bru ary 28 – Ribbon Cutting and Open House was held for the new location for St. Bernards’ Total Life Healthcare Department. h

it ’Brien w Scott O r e e th a F f th ffey and utside Chapel o TX. orah Co o ving, Ir Sr. Deb installed Cross in te ovitia newly ry and N an Fria ic in m o D

Sr. Deborah Coffey finished a beautiful gilded cross for the Dominicans at St. Albert the Great Priory in Irving, Texas. Since it was too large to ship safely, she and Sr. Romana Rohmer delivered it. HOLY ANGELS CONVENT Echoes published quarterly by the Olivetan Benedictine Sisters Sister Henrietta Hockle – Editor Sister Glorea Knaggs – Associate Editor Sister Monica Swirczynski – Proof Reader Sister Marilyn Doss & Sister Miriam Burns – Photos Sister Thèrése Johnson, Sister Virginia Baltz & Sr. Mary Anne Nuce – Circulation

Master Print Group • Jonesboro, AR – Printing

March 2 – A number of Sisters attended the annual Kiwanis Club Pancake Day. Thanks to Warren and Marti Shull for providing tickets. March 12 – Sr. Romana Rohmer gave a talk on “Our Hands/Jesus’ Hands,” to a group in Mountain Home, Arkansas. Sr. Joanne Sandoval accompanied her.

Significant Service

Sr. Eile en

Schneid e


After serving two terms as Prioress, the community and Chairperson of the Board for St. Bernards Medical Center, Sister Eileen Schneider continues to provide significant service to the community. Sr. Eileen serves as secretary to the Prioress. She also keeps current on the changes in the Medicare Part D and Medicaid Programs and does the paper work required for the Sisters enrolled in these Programs. She works closely with the head Infirmarian, Betty Buhrmester, in keeping current information on the Sisters’ health records and prescription medications. Two days each week, your will find her doing phone duty, and on another, she is teaching a class to our Novices. One day each week, she does volunteer work at the local Ecumenical Helping Neighbors Food Pantry. She also faithfully attends Visitations for families or friends of our Community who have died. Thank you, Sister Eileen!


March 15 – Ten Sisters attended the 135th Anniversary of the founding of Subiaco Abbey.

June 14 - Hospital Corporation Meeting

March 21 – Surprise Spring Snow was enjoyed by all on the evening of the Feast of St. Benedict.

June 15 - Convent Corporation Meeting

Ap ril 5 – Sr. De Porres Polk, Sr. Eileen Schneider, Sr. Joanne Sandoval and Sr. Deborah Coffey attended the annual KC Fish Fry at Blessed Sacrament Parish.

June 16 - Retreat begins Sunday evening ( Msgr. James E. Mancini)

April 5-7 – Sr. Elaine Willett and Sr. Josita Lopez attended a workshop on “The Year of Faith,” sponsored by Institute on Religious Life, in Libertyville, Illinois. April 20 – Several Sisters attended the annual Diocesan Catechetical Day in Little Rock.

June 21 - Retreat Closes Friday evening June 23 - KC Barbeque July 11 - St. Benedict’s Day

July 26 -Perpetual Vow Day (Sr. Glorea Knaggs)

NOTICE Please note: our P.O. Box Number has been changed to 1209, so please use that number in the future. If you move or have a change in your address, please notify Sr. Therese Johnson in Circulation Department, Holy Angels Convent, P.O. Box 1209, Jonesboro, AR 72403 -.1209. THANK YOU!

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L E AV E A L E G A C Y Six Ways to Leave a Legacy to Holy Angels Convent: • Remember Holy Angels Convent in your Will. • Name Holy Angels Convent as a beneficiary of your IRA or Pension Plan.






“Return Service Requested”

• Purchase a Life Insurance Policy and name Holy Angels Convent as beneficiary. • Remember deceased loved ones with memorial gifts to Holy Angels Convent. • Remember Holy Angels Convent with planned gifts. • Establish a Charitable Remainder Trust with Holy Angels Convent as the charity. Contact your attorney for correct procedure.

Vocation Activities

Fe bruary 1-6 – Sr. Mary Clare Bezner, Vocations Directress, did a mini “Vocations Tour” in Northeast Texas. She presented talks to the Little Flowers and Homeschooling groups of Lindsey and Muenster, Texas. She also presented Vocation Talks to the RCIA and Confirmation classes at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Gainesville.

New Postulant Left - S r. & Sr. G Mary Clare B ezner, S lorea Kn r. Ann M agg Novice J arie Fer eanne N s Right – Nov richer ice Cath icholson erine Lu & Postu group a ttmer, lant An ttending ne Carte Vocatio r with n Week end.

March 19-21 – Sr. Mary Clare Bezner and Sr. Maria Christi Cavanaugh attended the CMSWR Conference for Formators and Vocation Directors. The annual event was held in St. Louis, Missouri and the theme for this year’s conference was entitled, “Formation in Faith.” March 22-24 – A “Come and See” vocational discernment retreat was held at Holy Angels Convent. Several Sisters presented talks about Religious Life and Vocations to15 participants. The young ladies participated in prayer and meals with the Sisters, and were given time for personal prayer and discernment.

A pril 6 – Sr. Mary Clare Bezner gave a Vocations talk at the Midwestern Awakening Retreat at Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, Texas. A pril 14 – Sr. Laura Cathcart, Sr. Mary Clare Bezner, and Sr. Glorea Knaggs gave Vocations talks at St. Jude’s Parish in Jacksonville, Arkansas.

During the months of February, March and April, several young ladies visited Holy Angels Convent. Please continue to pray for A p r i l 4 – Sr. Mary Clare Bezner gave a those who are discerning a vocation to Vocations talk at Blessed John Paul II Religious Life! University Parish in Denton, Texas.

continued from page 1 Visitation and Rosary were held at 7:00 p.m. on March 31, and Mass of Christian burial was held at 10:30 a.m. on April 1, in Holy Angels Convent Chapel. Father Ken Robinson, Pastor of Sacred Heart Parish, Muenster, was the celebrant of the Mass. Fr. Leonard Wangler, OSB, Prior of Subiaco Abbey, Father Felix Joseph and Father Vincent Udo, Chaplain concelebrated. Sister Georgia is survived by one brother,

Arthur Felderhoff, two sisters, Imelda Rohmer and Mary Anne Walterscheid, and a number of nieces and nephews. Pallbearers were the Knights of Columbus, Council 1702, of Blessed Sacrament Parish, under the direction of Emerson Funeral Home. Internment was in Our Lady of Mount Olivet Cemetery on the Convent grounds. Memorials may be made to Sacred Heart School, P.O. Drawer 589, Muenster, TX 76252, or to Holy Angels Retirement Fund, P.O. Box 1209, Jonesboro, AR 72403.

At Evening Postulant Anne Carter Prayer on March 20, the Sisters of Holy Angels Convent welcomed Postulant Anne Carter to the community. Postulant Anne is from St. Joseph’s Parish of Lutcher, Louisiana. Before coming to Holy Angels, Postulant Anne worked for many years in the Louisiana Department of Youth Services Office of Juvenile Justice. During a small ceremony at Vespers on the eve of the Feast of St. Benedict’s passing, Sr. Lillian Marie Reiter, Prioress, called Postulant Anne forward to receive the Benedictine Medal and commended her to the care of Sr. Ann Marie Ferricher, Formation Directress. Although one Sister is responsible for the Formation Program, all the Sisters are encouraged to participate by their good example and prayers. Please pray for Postulant Anne and all those discerning a call to Holy Angels.

Sympathy & Prayers We extend sincere sympathy and prayers to the following who have lost a loved one recently: The Felderhoff Family on the death of Sister Georgia Felderfoff who died on March 29.

2013 Spring Echoes  

2013 Spring Edition of Echoes - the newsletter of Olivetan Benedictine Sisters Holy Angels Convent.

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