Nine Ferdinand Benedictines to Celebrate 50th Jubilee

Posted on:
Categories: News

Front Row (L to R): Sister Kathy Bilskie, Sister Brenda Engleman, Sister Laura Marie Schmitt, Sister Sharon Hollander. Back Row (L to R): Sister Mary Lou Dick, Sister Ann Francis Hillenbrand, Sister Patty Lasher, Sister Jeanne Ellen Niehaus. Not pictured: Sister Linda Campbell.

Nine Sisters of St. Benedict of Ferdinand, Indiana, will celebrate the 50thanniversary of their monastic profession on Saturday, June 2, at Monastery Immaculate Conception in Ferdinand. The Jubilee Mass will be at 1 p.m. EDT in the monastery church. A reception for family and friends will follow in Monastery Event Hall.

The jubilarians, Sister Ann Francis Hillenbrand, Sister Brenda Engleman, Sister Kathy Bilskie, Sister Sharon Hollander, Sister Jeanne Ellen Niehaus, Sister Patty Lasher, Sister Laura Marie Schmitt, Sister Mary Lou Dick, and Sister Linda Campbell, entered Monastery Immaculate Conception in 1966 and professed their monastic vows in 1968.

Sister Ann Francis, from Evansville, taught at St. Joseph School, Holy Spirit School, and St. Benedict School, all in Evansville; at St. Matthew School in Mount Vernon: and at St. Theresa School in Phoenix, Arizona.  She served as director of temporary professed for the Sisters of St. Benedict of Ferdinand and as pastoral associate at St. Benedict Cathedral in Evansville.  She currently serves as a sales representative for Monastery Baked Goods, the bakery of the Sisters of St. Benedict of Ferdinand.

Sister Brenda, from Loogootee, taught at Nativity School in Evansville, St. Anthony School, in St. Anthony, Indiana, and St. Matthew School in Mount Vernon, Indiana.  She served as a counselor and teacher at Pine Ridge Elementary School in Birdseye, at Washington Catholic Middle School in Washington, Indiana, and at Benet Learning Center in Fort Wayne.  She served as liturgist and pastoral minister at Good Shepherd Parish in Evansville, and as pastoral associate at St. Mary of the Woods School in Whitesville, Kentucky, St. Celestine Parish in Celestine, and St. Raphael Parish in Dubois.  She served as principal at St. Matthew School in Mount Vernon, Indiana, and at St. John the Baptist School in West Frankfort, Illinois.  She currently serves as Oblate director and works in music ministry and monastery service at Monastery Immaculate Conception.

Sister Kathy, from Vincennes, served as secretary to administration, administrative assistant, and assistant administrator at St. Joseph Hospital in Huntingburg, Indiana, and as assistant to the president, director of client services, and internal administrator at Appalachian Regional Hospital in Lexington, Kentucky.  She served as director of development for the Sisters of St. Benedict and as a pastoral associate at Cathedral of Christ the King in Lexington, Kentucky. She currently serves as administrator of Hildegard Health Center, the nursing facility for the Sisters of St. Benedict.

Sister Sharon, from Evansville, taught at Mother of Sorrows School in Tucson, Arizona.  At Monastery Immaculate Conception in Ferdinand, she has worked in the development office and laundry.  She currently maintains the swimming pool, coordinates bulk mailings, mows the lawn, chauffeurs sisters to appointments, and serves as technology assistant at the monastery.

Sister Jeanne Ellen, from Ferdinand, taught at St. Meinrad Elementary School in St. Meinrad, Fulda Elementary School in Fulda, and at David Turnham Education Center in Dale.  She served as maintenance supervisor and housekeeping supervisor for the Sisters of St. Benedict of Ferdinand.  She worked in social services at the Refugee Training Center, Our Lady of Peace Hospital, and Harmony House, all in Louisville, Kentucky. She currently serves as the social services coordinator for St. John Center for Homeless Men in Louisville.

Sister Patty, from Evansville, taught at St. Mary School in Washington, Indiana, and at St. Bernard School in Rockport.  She served in parish ministry at St. George Parish in Apache Junction, Arizona.  She served as director of vocations and director of temporary professed for the Sisters of St. Benedict of Ferdinand.  She currently serves as a counselor at St. Meinrad School of Theology in St. Meinrad.

Sister Laura Marie, from Evansville, taught at Holy Redeemer School, Resurrection School, Christ the King School, and St. Joseph School, all in Evansville; at Holy Family School in Jasper: and at Holy Cross School in Fort Branch.  She worked as a baker for Monastery Baked Goods, and currently serves as a cook for the Sisters of St. Benedict of Ferdinand.

Sister Mary Lou, from Evansville, served as a nurse at St. Joseph Hospital in Huntingburg, Indiana, at the infirmary for the Sisters of St. Benedict of Ferdinand, and at Dialysis Center, St. Mary’s Hospital, and Stepping Stones, all in Evansville.  She currently works as a nurse at Stepping Forward, a section of the Stepping Stones program that is specifically for pregnant women recovering from additions.

Sister Linda Campbell, from Evansville, taught at Holy Spirit School, St. Benedict School, and Resurrection School, in Evansville, and at Mother of Sorrows School in Tucson, Arizona.  She served in pastoral care ministry at Mother of Sorrows Parish in Tucson, St. George Parish in Apache Junction, Arizona, and at St. Thomas the Apostle Parish in Phoenix.  She served as youth director for the Diocese of Phoenix, Campus Minister and Guidance Counselor at St. Mary’s Catholic High School, guidance counselor at Arizona Charter Academy, and served in Student Services at Benedictine University-Mesa.   Sister Linda is presently the prioress at Our Lady of Guadalupe Monastery in Phoenix, Arizona, which was founded on December 12, 1998.

Founded in 1867, the Sisters of St. Benedict of Ferdinand currently number 141 and serve in areas of education, parish work, health care, retreat and spirituality work, social services, and counseling in Indiana, Kentucky, and Peru.