Left, from left, Sisters Jeanette Buehler, Rosemary Goubeaux, Paula Gero, Alice Schoettelkotte and Ceil Taphorn participate in the Good Friday Walk, 2018; Colleen Kammer photo. Right, Sister Alice at the Maria Joseph Nursing and Rehabilitation Center; Michelle Bodine photo.
It is a practice in many places around the world to publicly walk the stations of the cross on Good Friday not only to commemorate the sacrifice of our Lord, but to call attention and respond to our modern-day injustices.
The Sisters of the Precious Blood have been involved for many years in Good Friday walks for peace and justice in Dayton and in other places where they minister. They have participated as walkers, as readers and writers of prayer for the stations and as organizers. Sister Alice Schoettelkotte, in particular, has served on the interfaith organizing committee for Dayton’s Good Friday walk for 24 years. She will be retiring from the committee after this year’s walk.
As a Sister of the Precious Blood, it’s been important to Sister Alice to contribute to the walk for peace and justice, an event that draws over 100 people each year. “Precious Blood is entwined with Jesus’ journey to Calvary,” said Sister Alice. She believes that we are all called to that journey, though not in the same way; we each have different crosses to carry.
What does Jesus’ sacrifice mean for us today? Sister Alice described two important functions of blood in living creatures. Blood brings life to the body and it carries away what is no longer needed. Jesus’ shedding of his blood was a life-giving action. “I have to die to myself in order to bring life to our world,” said Sister Alice. “The Precious Blood has to be shed by me in some way today.”
Sister Alice understands the shedding of the blood to mean giving totally of herself to others, just as Jesus did. She does this in her volunteer ministry at the Maria Joseph Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Dayton, a place where she worked in various capacities for 37 years until her retirement in 2018. Whenever a resident stops her in the hall these days or needs to talk, Sister Alice takes time for them, even though other tasks may be on her agenda.
We are grateful to Sister Alice for her willingness to emulate Jesus in her lifelong ministries, including her service for the Good Friday walk for peace and justice. According to Sister Alice, “Precious Blood is really about following the path of Jesus, and it is lifegiving.”
Story by Colleen Kammer