When we are finally able to be in one another’s presence to honor these blessed, steadfast women, it will truly be a celebration! Until then, please pray for them, for all our Sisters, and for the health and safety of all.
Celebrating 40 years as a Sister of the Precious Blood
Sister Terry Maher
“Celebrating 40 years as a Sister of the Precious Blood is truly a gift — a gift to witness the life of God flowing in those I have met. From the time I celebrated my 25th anniversary as a Sister of the Precious Blood I have had the opportunity in my ministry to journey with people through a variety of grief experiences, grieving health issues, impending death, or the death of one so loved. The last 15 years has added to the humbling awareness of how God moves in the lives of others. The Blood of Jesus is flowing!”
Sister Karen Elliott
“Since 2004 my ministry has been in Catholic higher education. At Mercy College in Toledo, I earned the rank of full professor while serving as chair of the religious studies department. Currently I minister as director of mission integration at Mount St. Joseph University in Cincinnati. I continue to be inspired daily by our students who give witness to and grow in their faith as they seek to make a difference in our world. During my 40 years of ministry and for all of my future years of ministry, I pray it will be said of me that I ‘fought the good fight, finished the race, and kept the faith.’”
Celebrating 60 years as a Sister of the Precious Blood
Sister Benita Volk
Since celebrating her 50th Jubilee, Sister Benita Volk retired from teaching, published a book of poetry, and battled cancer twice. She is also a member of the Columbine Poets of Colorado and established a writing group at EarthLinks, a Denver nonprofit that creates opportunities for homeless people through environmental programming. “When I look back at my 60 years as a Sister of the Precious Blood, I am grateful for many things. But the largest portion of my gratitude goes to the wonderful women who have supported, encouraged and challenged me throughout those 60 grace-filled years,” she said.
Sister Pat Dieringer
“As a Sister of the Precious Blood, I have dedicated myself to God and the Church through the Congregation. Our charism mandates me to be a ‘reconciling presence of God,’ to give hope to the hopeless through the acceptance of everyone whatever their race, culture, language, creed or nationality. I am grateful to be accepted by my Precious Blood community and that Precious Blood Parish appreciated my presence. The living and ministry aspects of my life are tightly intertwined and, hopefully, integrated. I am privileged to be both close to the heart of Jesus’ message and to the motivation that inspired our foundress, Maria Anna Brunner.”
Sister Jean René Hoying
Over the past decade, Sister Jean René Hoying completed her ministry at Maria Joseph Nursing and Rehabilitation Center and “with an open mind and heart, I was offered golden opportunities to be a life-giving, reconciling presence in our fractured world through various volunteer ministries in the Dayton area” including Brigid’s Path, Food for the Journey Project and in assisting families settling in the Dayton area from Africa. “Celebrating 60 years as a Sister of the Precious Blood is an amazing privilege and an awesome accomplishment! With God’s incredible graces supporting me daily, I’ve been blessed with good health, a supportive family and faithful friends,” she said.
Sister Mary Ellen Lampe
In the decade since celebrating her 50th Jubilee, Sister Mary Ellen Lampe retired from active ministry as the Congregation’s computer resource person and volunteered to tutor and help with computers at the Brunner Literacy Center, across the street from Salem Heights, our central house in Dayton. “My cup of life has been filled to overflowing and greatly influenced by the people who have touched me and those whom I have been chosen to touch,” she said. “My life’s cup has also been filled with many opportunities to companion Sisters through doctor appointments, hospital visits and final days on Earth. God is GOOD.”
Sister Thelma Wurzelbacher
There’s a dizziness in my heart
Spun from mission and a touch of madness
To keep a single love this long.
There’s a gladness in my bones
Strengthened by beauty, rest, and laughter.
There’s a richness in my blood
Nourished by children, prayer, and promise.
There’s a fondness in my spirit
Decade after decade of days
The Keeper of the vowed.
Sister Nancy Recker
In an essay she wrote for the Congregation’s newsletter a few years back, Sister Nancy Recker recalled that she was in the sixth grade when she first thought about becoming a woman religious. Then, in the eighth grade, when asked what she would like to be as an adult, she responded that she wanted to be a nun. “I really think that God was calling me. I always liked the Mass. I was very attracted to Eucharist,” she wrote. “The call never left me. I just knew that this is where God wanted me to be. … I can’t imagine being anything other than a Sister of the Precious Blood.”
From top, Sister Terry Maher, 40 years; Sister Karen Elliott, 40 years; Sister Benita Volk, 60 years; Sister Pat Dieringer, 60 years; Sister Jean René Hoying, 60 years; Sister Mary Ellen Lampe, 60 years; Sister Thelma Wurzelbacher, 60 years; Sister Nancy Recker, 60 years. Contributed photos