At its annual banquet on April 15, the Marion Community Development Organization awarded its 2018 Distinguished Developer Award to the Sisters of the Precious Blood and Maria Stein Shrine.
The nonprofit organization coordinates planned development — including infrastructure, housing, family care, education, small business, recreation and agriculture — within Mercer County, Ohio. Sisters Barbara Ann Hoying, Nancy Kinross, Mary Ellen Lampe and Ceil Taphorn, as well as Maria Stein Shrine President Don Rosenbeck, attended the luncheon.
In a thank you letter to the MCDO, Sister Joyce Lehman, President of the Congregation, said that the Sisters of the Precious Blood “have spent our 180-plus years here doing what we are called to be and do. We’ve been teachers, farmers, caretakers, spiritual directors, pilgrimage guides and many other things, responding to both spiritual and physical needs. … We are grateful that in tending to our mission we have also enhanced the Marion Community.”
Jim Keller, MCDO president and coordinator, said the Precious Blood Sisters “truly have had a dynamic, positive impact on this area and are most deserving of the recognition we and this community have given them.” Keller also recalled some of his own family memories of the Shrine, saying that his mother could, as a young girl, watch from her front yard as Sisters pinned up their habits a bit to go out in the fields and shock up wheat.
While many changes have taken place at the Shrine over the years, Keller said the Shrine “has continued to function as a beacon in our community, welcoming people from everywhere to come, pray and reflect. It appears that the arrangement the good Sisters have coordinated [with the transfer of the Shrine to a nonprofit corporation] assures us that the Shrine will remain a beacon in our presence. This is truly my hope and, I firmly believe, the hope of our community.”
Story by Mary Knapke