Eight Sisters of Charity celebrate golden anniversaries

by Therese Horvat

LEAVENWORTH – Eight Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth marked their golden jubilees with a combined celebration at the motherhouse here on June 22. Renewing their vows during a Mass of thanksgiving in Annunciation Chap- el were Sisters Margaret Finch, Maureen Kehoe, Jean Lockett, Susan Rieke, Jean Marian Rilinger, Phyllis Stowell, Mary Ann Theisen and Renée Washut. A reception followed for family and friends.

• Sister Margaret Finch has ministered in elementary education, clinics for the uninsured and social services, including Mother-to-Mother Ministry and Alliance Against Family Violence in Leavenworth. She currently is an administrator at the motherhouse.

• Sister Maureen Kehoe has served in schools, libraries, a nursing home, senior housing, small trade school management and the former post office at the University of Saint Mary, Leavenworth. Today, she applies her pastoral, liturgical, musical and Spanish talents as a volunteer at Saint Joseph Hospital, Denver.

• Sister Jean Lockett served as a physical therapist in hospitals, at the motherhouse and in home health. She then earned a master’s degree in social work and began offering counseling services in Topeka, a ministry she continues today as a military and family life counselor at Fort Riley.

• Sister Susan Rieke has taught at high schools in Falls City, Nebraska; Helena, Montana; and Kansas City, Kansas. For the past several years, she has been a professor of English at the University of Saint Mary, Leavenworth, where she currently holds the McGilley Chair for Liberal Studies.

• Sister Jean Marian Rilinger spent 32 years of service at Mount Saint Vincent (MSV), Denver, where she was an office manager, secretary and bookkeeper. She opened a unit for girls at the residential treatment center and eventually became assistant direc- tor and therapist at MSV. In her current ministry, Sister Jean Marian is secretary to the SCL community treasurer.

• Sister Phyllis Stowell realized her desire to be a teacher, enjoying service in schools in Kansas, Missouri and Montana. She spent the next 20-plus years in New Mexico as an educator and principal who opened Santo Niño Regional Catholic School in Santa Fe. She then became spiritual director and director of adult faith formation for the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi in Santa Fe. She currently ministers at St. Francis de Sales Parish, Lansing.

• Sister Mary Ann Theisen taught 10 years in schools in Missouri and Colorado. She transitioned to become a school secretary in high schools and elementary schools in Kansas, Missouri and Montana. Her current role is office assistant at the SCL community leadership offices in Cantwell Hall, Leavenworth.

• Sister Renée Washut was a teacher and assistant administrator for 23 years. Her other ministries have included roles with Denver’s Archdiocesan Housing, Catholic Charities of Wyoming and the Cheyenne (Wyoming) Interfaith Hospitality Network. Since 2006, she has volunteered with the Saint Joseph Hospital Foundation, Denver.

Founded in 1858, the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth serve in the United States, Peru and South Sudan. For more information, visit the website at: www. scls.org.

About the author

Anita McSorley

Anita, managing editor of The Leaven, has over 30 years’ experience in book, magazine and newspaper editing, including stints as the assistant editor of the “Diplomatic Papers of Daniel Webster” at Dartmouth College and then in the public relations departments of Texaco, Inc., and the Rockefeller Group in New York. Anita made the move to newspaper editing when she came to The Leaven in 1988, where she has been ever since. Anita is a member of St. Patrick Parish in Kansas City, Kan., and in her spare time, she enjoys giving her long-suffering husband, her children and her staff good advice that they never take.

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