Jubilarians 2017: Precious Blood Sisters celebrate jubilees of religious life
Sister Rosemary Laux
A native of Bryant, Indiana, Sister Rosemary (M. Columba) attended Holy Trinity parish school and Bryant High School. She entered the Congregation in 1942, joining her sister, Sister M. Agnella Laux.
Sister Rosemary served in dietary in Denver, Canton, Cincinnati and Dayton and was the head sacristan at the Cathedral in Cincinnati. She also ministered at Maria Stein Shrine and Retreat House.
“While on this pilgrimage, we meet people of every race, color and creed: our sisters and brothers in the Lord,” she said. “We are asked to use the gifts God gave us to help our human family, if only by offering a listening ear and keeping their needs before the Lord.
“It is with a grateful heart that I am celebrating 75 years as a member of the Precious Blood community,” Sister Rosemary continued. “For all that has been, I am grateful, and for what is ahead, I know the One who is walking with me.”
Sister Irene Holz
Sister Irene (M. Florine) grew up in Cleveland and was a parishioner at the former Our Lady of Good Counsel. She earned a bachelor’s degree in education and a master’s in theology from the University of Dayton.
She entered the Congregation on Valentine’s Day in 1957 and began her education ministry in Falls Church, Virginia. In her roles as a teacher, principal and director of religious education, Sister Irene served in St. Joseph, Missouri; Rensselaer, Indiana; Deerfield and Midland, Michigan; and Cleveland, Brook Park, North Canton, Mansfield, Wapakoneta, New Carlisle and Dayton.
Most recently, Sister Irene assisted with teaching English and writing courses in Cleveland.
“The Eucharist is an essential part of my day and I marvel at the great love of Jesus in sharing His Body and Blood with us,” she said. “I am so grateful for our many blessings. Being a member of our Precious Blood community has offered so many gifts.”
Sister Barbara Ann Hoying
Originally from Mercer County, Sister Barbara Ann (M. Emma) attended Precious Blood School in Dayton. She earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from the University of Dayton and a master’s in religious education from Fordham University in New York.
“The Sisters of the Precious Blood were my teachers as I moved from grade one to grade eight in the public school on the Holy Trinity parish property in Coldwater,” she said. “I loved each one of them and had ambitions to be just like them. I wanted to live like them. I wanted to be a teacher. I wanted to tell Bible stories and teach about God.”
Those dreams were fulfilled as Sister Barbara Ann served as a primary grade teacher and director of religious education, as well as in retreat ministry and seminary formation in Ohio, Missouri, Virginia, New York and Texas. Currently she volunteers at Maria Stein Shrine.
“After 60 years as a Sister of the Precious Blood my heart is full of joy and full of peace,” she said. “I love my Sisters and all we stand for.”
Sister Donna Liette
Sister Donna (M. Dolorine) grew up in St. Louis parish in North Star, Ohio, and attended high school at Fatima Hall on the CPPS motherhouse campus. She earned a B.S. in elementary education from the University of Dayton and a master’s degree in education from New York University. From Loyola University Chicago she earned a degree in pastoral studies and a certificate in spiritual direction.
Currently, Sister Donna serves at the Precious Blood Ministry of Reconciliation in Chicago, ministering to mothers affected by violence, incarceration and gang activity.
Over the last six decades, she has ministered through teaching, vocations and campus ministry in California, Ohio, Indiana and Illinois. For 13 years, she served as director of Mercy Manor in Dayton, which provides housing and services for women with histories of addiction, incarceration and abuse.
“Thank you to God and to each of you, my Sisters for the surprises of the past and those yet to come,” she said.
Sister Rosemary Lindemann
A native of Millville, Ohio, Sister Rosemary (M. Christa) attended Queen of Peace School in Millville and Precious Blood High School in Dayton. She earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from the University of Dayton and a master’s in elementary education from Clarke University in Iowa. She also earned certificates from Colorado School of Mines and American University.
After five decades of teaching primary grades, Sister Rosemary currently tutors adults in reading at the Brunner Literacy Center. “This is just as challenging as teaching first grade and I am enjoying it just as much,” she said.
Her years of teaching ministry took her to various locations in Ohio, as well as Virginia, Colorado and Michigan.
“I try to live one of our community’s goals of being a ‘life-giving’ person for those whom I teach,” she said. “They, too, are a gift to me when I see how hard they work at the task after they have put in a long day at work.”
Sister Nancy McMullen
Originally from Bellefontaine, Ohio, Sister Nancy (M. Ann Patrick) attended Precious Blood High School and entered the Congregation in 1957. She earned a B.S. in education from the University of Dayton and a master’s in mathematics education from Webster University in St. Louis. She also earned an M.A. in theology from Xavier University.
Currently, Sister Nancy serves as council secretary for the Congregation. Nearly two decades of ministry in elementary and high school education took her to Indiana, Arizona and Missouri, as well as Cincinnati and Dayton.
She was also coordinator of the Lay Pastoral Ministry Program for the northern part of the archdiocese from 1992 to 2011. “The blessing of this ministry was to witness firsthand the lifeblood of the church which is flowing in the veins of many men and women who are searching for deeper spiritual lives and ways of giving back to the church and their community,” she said.
Sister Anna Maria Sanders
Sister Anna Maria (born Darlene Rose Sanders) was brought up in Immaculate Conception parish in Ottoville, Ohio. She earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from the University of Dayton and a master’s in educational administration from the University of Michigan. She also earned a certificate in clinical pastoral education from Kettering Medical Center.
Her life of ministry began with 20 years as a teacher or principal at Catholic schools in Missouri, Ohio, Colorado, Michigan and Arizona. In 1992, she began work as a nursing assistant and chaplain.
Following retirement in 2008, Sister Anna Maria volunteered in New Orleans. Since 2009, she has volunteered in Dayton at Miami Valley Hospital and the Brunner Literacy Center.
“With a grateful heart I rejoice at the many good things and opportunities the Lord, through my family, the people of God, and the Sisters of the Precious Blood, has done for me throughout my life,” she said.
Sister Elizabeth Westgerdes
Sister Elizabeth (M. Stephen Ann) left St. Henry, Ohio, to attend Precious Blood High School in Dayton and entered the Congregation in 1957. Her years of ministry began with teaching in Catholic schools in Dayton, Cincinnati, Cleveland and Ottawa, Ohio, as well as Phoenix, Arizona. She then spent four decades in parish ministry, serving in various locations around Ohio.
Following her retirement from full-time parish ministry, she returned to Mercer County and helped guide the RCIA program and other ministries at Holy Trinity parish in Coldwater. She now lives at Salem Heights in Dayton and serves as sacristan for the chapel there.
Sister Elizabeth earned a B.S. in education from the University of Dayton and an M.A. in religious education from Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
“I am thankful to God for his loving call to become a member of a wonderful group of women,” she said.
Sister Linda Pleiman
Following four decades as a teacher and administrator, Sister Linda now serves on the leadership team of the Precious Blood community and in addition serves as treasurer for the community.
Originally from McCartyville, Ohio, she attended high school at Fatima Hall in Dayton and entered the Congregation in 1967. She earned a bachelor’s degree in secondary education and a master’s in educational administration from the University of Dayton.
Sister Linda’s years of ministry began at Immaculate Conception School in Celina, Ohio. She went on to serve as a social studies and physical education teacher in Wapakoneta, Cincinnati and Dayton. Following a decade as an elementary principal in St. Marys and Toledo, she returned to teaching at Central Catholic High School in Toledo.
“Thank you to my family for their love and support and to all the Sisters of the Precious Blood, with whom I have lived, prayed, cried and laughed,” she said. “You all have showered me with many blessings.”
Sister Theresa Walter
A teacher and psychotherapist, Sister Terry lives in Guatemala City, where she serves as co-director of a university residence for Mayan women, teacher at Holy Mary of the Most Precious Blood School and psychotherapist at a mental health clinic.
She holds a bachelor’s degree in secondary education and a master’s in theological studies. While working as a director of religious education in Lima, Ohio, she began volunteer work with a mental health hotline. Her interest in that field led her to complete a Master of Social Work degree at Loyola University Chicago.
It was during a pilgrimage in Guatemala that Sister Terry discovered her love for that country and embarked on ministry there, training mental health promoters and helping to establish a clinic. She has also served in San Bernardino, California.
“I am grateful to God for the long adventure of ministry in my life and all the Sisters who encouraged me, taught me, and ministered and lived with me,” she said.