Six Benedictine Sisters Celebrate Jubilee

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Six Benedictine sisters celebrated special anniversaries of their religious profession on Sunday, October 29, at Monastery Immaculate Conception in Ferdinand, Indiana. Sister Sylvia Gehlhausen marked the 75th anniversary of her profession of monastic vows. She entered the monastery in 1940 and made monastic profession in 1942.  Sister Jan Youart, Sister Mary Agnes Sermersheim, Sister Mary Ann Schepers, Sister Christine Kempf, and Sister Corda Trouy celebrated their 60th anniversary.  They entered the monastery in 1955 and made monastic profession in 1957.  These sisters have served over 370 years in ministries in Indiana, Kentucky, California, and Pennsylvania.

Sister Sylvia Gehlhausen is a native of Ferdinand, Indiana.  She taught at Sts. Peter & Paul School in Haubstadt, Schnellville Elementary School in Schnellville, St. Joseph School in Evansville, St. Philip School in St. Philip, St. Mary of the Knobs School in Floyd Knobs, St. Bernard School in Cannelton, Dale Elementary School in Dale, Dubois Elementary School in Dubois, St. Anthony School in St. Anthony, Ireland Elementary School in Ireland, and St. Meinrad School in St. Meinrad.  She served as assistant director of Oblates and as co-director of Oblates for the Sisters of St. Benedict.  She currently serves as a minister of hospitality at the monastery.

Sister Jan Youart is a native of Shelbyville, Indiana.  She taught at Holy Rosary School, St. Theresa School, Christ the King School, Holy Spirit School, and Holy Redeemer School, all in Evansville; Sacred Heart School in Vincennes, St. Meinrad School in St. Meinrad, and Holy Family School in Jasper.  She served as a library assistant for the Southeast Dubois School Corporation, as staff chaplain at Deaconess Hospital in Evansville, and as administrative secretary and archives assistant at the monastery.  She currently serves in the ministry of prayer.

Sister Mary Agnes Sermersheim is a native of Ireland, Indiana.  She taught at St. Benedict School, Holy Redeemer School, and St. Theresa School, all in Evansville, and at St. Meinrad School in St. Meinrad.  She served as teacher and principal at St. Matthew School in Mount Vernon and as principal at St. Joseph School in Evansville.  She served as formation director for the Sisters of St. Benedict of Ferdinand and as director of religious education for All Saints Church in Cannelburg and St. Joseph Church in Jasper.  She served in parish ministry at St. Benedict Church in Evansville.  She currently serves as sacristan, works in the liturgy office, and helps with health care at the monastery.

Sister Mary Ann Schepers is a native of Celestine, Indiana.  She taught at St. Joseph School and St. Benedict School in Evansville and at St. James School in Haubstadt.  In 1969, she was sent to California and formally transferred to Holy Spirit Monastery, a foundation of the Ferdinand community, in 1972.  While in California, she served as teacher and principal at St. Francis of Assisi School in Huntington Beach.  She taught part-time at St. Frances de Sales in Moreno Valley and served as associate director of vocations and seminarians for the Diocese of San Bernardino.  She served as director of religious education, youth and adult RCIA at St. John Parish in Rubioux.  She served as prioress and as formation director at Holy Spirit Monastery.  She returned to Ferdinand in 2012 and currently serves in the ministry of prayer.

Sister Christine Kempf is a native of Dubois, Indiana.  She taught at St. Joseph School, Holy Rosary School, and Holy Spirit School, all in Evansville; Holy Cross School in Fort Branch, and at St. Francis Xavier School in Poseyville.  She served as principal at St. Theresa School in Evansville and at St. Matthew School in Mount Vernon.  At the monastery in Ferdinand, she served as monastery coordinator and currently serves as director of tourism.

Sister Corda Trouy is a native of New Albany, Indiana.  She entered St. Joseph Monastery in St. Marys, Pennsylvania, and, as a member of that community, served as a teacher at St. Marys Parochial School, Sacred Heart School, and Queen of the World School, all in St. Marys, Pennsylvania; St. Boniface School in Kersey, Pennsylvania, St. Joseph School in Lucinda, Pennsylvania, and St. Joseph Catholic School in Mayfield, Kentucky.  She transferred to Monastery Immaculate Conception in Ferdinand in 1998.  Since that time, she served as a religious education teacher at St. Martin’s Church in Siberia and at Sacred Heart of Jesus Church in Schnellville (now Divine Mercy), and taught reading literacy and served as assistant director of activities at the monastery.  She currently serves as a religious education teacher at St. Ferdinand Church (now Christ the King), ministers to the senior sisters in Hildegard Health Center, offers hospitality at Kordes Hall, and works in supportive services at the monastery.

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.

CLICK TO READ SISTER MARY ANN VERKAMP’S REFLECTION