Benedictines celebrate golden jubilees

ATCHISON — The Chapel of Mount St. Scholastica here was filled with people who came to celebrate with the Sisters who marked their golden jubilee of profession on July 8.

The honorees — Sisters Dorothy Wolters, Janelle Maes, and Thomasita Homan — were joined in the celebration by Sister Marilyn Carpenter, who made her profession with them and is now a member of the Benet Hill Monastery in Colorado Springs, Colo., which was founded from Atchison.

Sister Dorothy Wolters, daughter of the late Catherine Mary (Duncan) and William Henry Wolters of Atchison, was the tenth of eleven children. She attended St. Benedict’s School, and Mount St. Scholastica Academy and College. During her teaching career, she served as principal/president of Mount St. Scholastica Academy for 11 years. She has also spent many years in administration at the monastery and is currently director of human resources for employees of the Benedictine Sisters of Mount St. Scholastica.

She looks back with gratitude saying, “My life has been very graced by God’s presence and guidance, beginning with the family into which I was born and nurtured, to the community of Sisters I now call my family.”

Sister Janelle Maes, a native of Shawnee, was taught by Benedictine Sisters, who were an inspiration for her own life. She became a teacher and later trained many other teachers in the education department of Mount St. Scholastica/Benedictine College. This work led to her decision to study counseling.

“I became aware that we had a responsibility to Atchison,” she said. “So I studied pastoral counseling and returned to set up All Faith Counseling Center. I have been a licensed clinical marriage and family therapist running it for almost 25 years. I know none of this would be possible without the strong bond I have with my Benedictine community.”

The third member of the class, Sister Thomasita Homan, came from Nebraska and has taught in the English department of Benedictine College for nearly 30 years.

As she reflects on her life, she observes, “Sometimes people ask me why I entered the monastery. All I can say is that it seemed that my heart went ahead of me. I followed. The journey is profound. As Benedictines, we seek God, and that takes a lifetime of careful attention to others, to ministries, to people on this earth, to the land and its environment, to ourselves, and to our God. I think I need at least 50 more years of listening to complete this statement.”

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