ATCHISON — To live past the age of 90 is remarkable in itself, but to spend 75 of those years faithful to the same life commitment is even more cause for celebration.
The Sisters at Mount St. Scholastica in Atchison gathered on Feb. 15 to witness the diamond jubilee of not one, but two Sisters who have reached that amazing mark in their lives. Sisters Theophane Reinecke and Sienna Rohlfer made their monastic profession in 1934 and have devoted their entire lives to their Benedictine community and their ministry of education.
Sister Sienna was an elementary teacher and principal, sometimes both at the same time, in a number of area schools, including St. Joseph in Atchison, St. Leo in Horton, and St. Patrick in Corning, as well as in Kansas City, Kan., at Sacred Heart, Christ the King, St. John the Evangelist, St. Anthony and Our Lady of Unity.
Sister Theophane, a native of Seneca, also began as a grade school teacher, but spent the last half of her career teaching high school. She was an instructor and principal at Mount St. Scholastica Academy in Atchison at various times in the 1950s, ’60s and ’70s. After she retired from teaching, she worked in the administration of Benedictine College from 1981 to 1987.
Prioress Sister Anne Shepard expressed admiration for the Sisters in her remarks at the ceremony of their renewal of vows. To the Sisters and to the many family and friends attending, she said, “Both are remembered for their care and love. They have spent their lives in community and service to others. More than that, to this very day, they continue in their most important ministry: They pray for all of us every day.”
For their part, the jubilarians see that work as what has sustained them these many years.
“The years went by fast,” said Sister Sienna. “There have been many changes in customs in our monastery, but not in the most important things.”