Stories

The Spirit Stirs Within

By Sister Annette Embrich, ASC

On Saturday, Sister Annette Embrich celebrated 50 years as a vowed member of the Adorers of the Blood of Christ. The occasion prompted her to reflect on how it all began, with a nudge from the Holy Spirit, she writes. Since Christians on Sunday celebrated Pentecost, the 50th day after Easter, when the Holy Spirit is said to have descended upon and inspired Jesus’ followers, her writings come at a good time.

Sister Annette spent much of her ministry in education, including with Spanish-speaking adults and children.

Q & A with Sister Frances

Have you ever noticed that Sisters tend not to retire? They avoid the “R” word, opting instead to branch out into another ministry.

Sister Frances Pytlik, one of this year’s Jubilarians, is a case in point. A 46-year veteran of the classroom, she has just completed her 32nd year of full-time teaching at St. Mary’s School in David City, Neb.

In the Fall, she will transition to two part-time jobs: reading teacher at St. Mary’s and visitor with residents of St. Joseph’s Villa and Court, both in David City.

We recently sat down with Sister Frances to learn more about her.

The End of Another Life Journey

Sister Ann Fearday has been walking the Camino since Easter Sunday, and finally arrived with “tears in my eyes” at Santiago de Compostela on Day 32 of her pilgrimage.

Her happy words:

By Sister Ann “Anitawa” Fearday, ASC

Today, we walked triumphantly into Santiago with our backpacks. I had tears in my eyes when I saw the spires of the Cathedral. We stood in line at the pilgrim office to receive our “compostela,” the document verifying we had walked the Camino.

I am very proud of this document and will be very happy to show it to you next time I see you.

Back to Liberia

By Cheryl Wittenauer

Five missionaries in their Liberia home

We go in twos to try to understand the impact of the five.

Two Adorers, two ASC Associates and two Newman University students are traveling to Liberia on a pilgrimage that marks the 25th anniversary of the death of our five missionary sisters in October 1992.

Two were ambushed on a road they traveled on Oct. 20 that year. Three others were shot to death three days later in front of their convent.

For long-suffering Liberians,

The Pilgrimage Begins

Fearday (1)By Sister Anita (Anitawa) Fearday, ASC

Twenty kilometers a day. 70 years old. Traveling the Way of St. James in Spain. Next week I begin my pilgrimage.

The Way of St. James was one of the most important Christian pilgrimages during the Middle Ages, together with those to Rome and Jerusalem.

Legend holds that St. James’s remains were carried by boat from Jerusalem to northern Spain, where he was buried in what is now the city of Santiago de Compostela.

My Brother, the Cardinal

To the world, he’s Blase Cardinal Cupich, the ninth archbishop of the Archdiocese of Chicago, appointed two years ago by Pope Francis.

But to Kathy Schulte and her seven other siblings, he’s just Blase, the “ornery” brother who teased his five sisters, shared a room with three brothers and delivered newspapers after school.

Kathy, administrative assistant and IT contact at the Wichita Center, traveled to Rome last month with 62 other relatives and friends to mark her brother’s elevation to cardinal.

cupich“People ask us all the time, ‘how does it feel to have a cardinal in the family?’” she said.

Remembering a ‘Soul-Mate Aunt’

Shirley Kolmer 261
Sister Shirley Kolmer, ASC

Diane Shirley Kolmer so loved and admired her “soul-mate aunt,” Sister Shirley Kolmer, that she adopted the legal middle name, “Shirley,” when her aunt and four other missionary sisters were killed in Liberia in October 1992.

Now 62, the retired Des Moines, Iowa, lobbyist had grown up admiring and emulating Sister Shirley, whom she described as a “born leader,” a “force of nature” who was “ridiculously smart” and “so damn funny.”

“She was my soul-mate aunt,” she said. “She was who I wanted to be when I grew up.

Our Missionary Sister Martyrs Remembered

martyrs-sculpture_ruma
Memorial of the Martyrs of Charity outside the Adorers’ Ruma Center in Ruma, Illinois

Today begins 12 days of remembering our missionary Sisters who died this month, 24 years ago in Liberia, during that African nation’s brutal civil war.

Adorers had been in Liberia since 1970 educating girls, working in health care and doing other ministries. They had come at the invitation of the SMA Fathers, Society of African Missions, based in Tenafly, N.J., who begged the Sisters to come. Many did.

But in the 1980s, as the war heated up,

War, Women and Girls: A Special Kind of Violence

By Sr. JoAnn Mark, ASC

A little more than a year ago, I moved from my university job at Newman University in Wichita, Kan., to run an NGO (non-governmental organization) in New York. In my work for Partnership for Global Justice, I frequently attend meetings at the United Nations.

You get numb to them after a while. But one particular meeting in March left me feeling overwhelmed. The topic was the inhumane treatment of women and girls, including rape and sexual violence in war.

I came to understand that sexual violence, unlike torture,

Life is Full but the Worry is Always There

By Sister Janis Yaekel, ASC

I am Sister Janis Yaekel, ASC and I have pancreatic cancer. In fact, I have lived with cancer since 2012. I hope to share in my blog my journey and my reflections on the presence of God in my life. It is my hope that those who read my entries will find strength for their own journeys.

A lot of life has been coming at me recently, leaving little time for cancer. For that, I am glad. Cancer the physical disease also can creep into the mind.