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Schoettelkotte scholarship will train aides

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Precious Blood Sister Alice Schoettelkotte, center, poses for a photo with Maria Joseph Nursing and Rehabilitation Center Administrator Nick Anderson and Sister Joyce Lehman. The scholarship will train nurse aides and help employees further their training. (courtesy photo)

Scholarship named for Precious Blood Sister will train staff for Dayton senior facility

This story first appeared in our July, 2018 print edition

By Walt Schaefer

Precious Blood Sister Alice (Rose Miriam) Schoettelkotte was more than thrilled when told scholarships will be awarded in her name. She said she was: “Flabbergasted!”

     Sister Alice has served at the Maria Joseph Center (MJC) in Dayton for 37 years, primarily in pastoral and spiritual care. The Sister Alice Schoettelkotte Scholarship will provide grants to local high school students, as well as current employees of the nursing and rehabilitation center. The name is a way of recognizing her for her service, and her vocation to counseling and, before that, teaching. 

      “Sister Alice embodies the compassionate, listening presence one would hope for in a caregiver.” said Sister Joyce Lehman, congregation president. “We hope that the recipients of the scholarships will progress not only professionally, but also in their commitment and care for others, inspired by Sister Alice.” 

     MJC Administrator Nick Anderson said he believes it is important to invest not only in the center’s facilities, but also its people — and that Sister Alice’s years of dedication made naming the scholarship program for her a “no-brainer.”

     Her call to religious life “came about over a period of time,” said Sister Alice, who became acquainted with the Precious Blood Sisters as a student at the former Regina High School in Norwood.  She recalls many conversations with Sister Clarencia, a teacher who happily shared her vocation story with the eager young woman. 

      “I decided that the very best thing I could do with my life was to give it entirely to God,” Sister Alice said. “On the day I made my first vows, Aug. 15, 1957, that’s exactly what I did. I said ‘God, I give my life completely to you. What do you want of me? Show me how I can best serve you.’’’

     Following early stints teaching in Colorado, California, Virginia, and Ohio, Sister Alice discovered her niche in life. She earned a degree in counseling from Purdue University and became an elementary school counselor at St. Margaret Mary School in North College Hill. After 10 years there, she moved to a position at MJC, where she was retained as an admissions counselor in August 1980. After more than two years, Sister Alice assumed the post as resident representative and pastoral care counselor. In 1985, she was named director of pastoral care for the 298-bed facility. She currently serves as a spiritual care volunteer. 

     “I love being able to bring God to the people,” Sister Alice said of her ministry. “I work a lot with making sure we have chapel services, and we are one of the few places around with daily Mass. 

      “Maria Joseph is a totally integrated place where all races work together,” she added. “One of my big things is to bring together people of different races and positions in life. I want to get rid of racism.”     

     The Sisters of the Precious Blood founded MJC in 1930, in a building next to the current center, when a group of women in Dayton asked them to build and operate a facility for seniors. Eventually, the order donated a parcel of land on the corner of Salem Avenue and Demlinger Road for senior housing and services.     

     The scholarships in Sister Alice’s name are available to seniors at Trotwood-Madison and Northmont High Schools who wish to pursue studies for State Tested Nurse Aide (STNA) certification. Center employees who wish to gain further education in their field and advance professionally within the organization may also apply. Grants will cover both tuition and test fees. Recipients agree to work at the center after graduation.

     The sisters have budgeted $1,500 annually for the nursing assistant certificate program and $5,000 for anyone employed at MJC to advance his or her education.

      “When the sisters initiated the scholarship program, one of the things they noticed was a large proportion of our nursing assistants were coming from other parts of Dayton, farther away from the center,” Sister Alice said. “Here we are, living in Trotwood, and it’s a little bit of a depressed kind of an area, so the sisters thought they needed to try to get some people from the Trotwood area — a way we can help the people.” 

     Students from Trotwood-Madison and Northmont High Schools in Dayton and employees of the Maria Joseph Center may now apply for the scholarship. For information call Nick Anderson at (937) 278-2692.

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