Copyright©2008. Congregation of Saint Joseph.
Sister Mary Alice Giese, CSJ
(Sister Dorothy Ann)
Sr. Mary Alice Giese celebrates her 75 years as a Sister of St. Joseph this year. She is presently residing at Resurrection Life Center in hospice. Mary Alice spent most of her career years in education as a teacher, administrator and as the Congregational School Supervisor. She served as vice president of the LaGrange Park Sisters of St. Joseph and on the finance department team.
In her retirement years, she gave much time to helping get the products of St. Joseph Press completed and out to the customers.
Those are some of the facts of Sr. Mary Alice’s career, but it was how she went about doing these jobs that make her so special to so many of us. She is a woman of wisdom, understanding, gentleness, joy, humility and love. Before her illness, she could be counted on to listen, to guide; and with gentleness, point the way. Even now beset with Alzheimer’s disease, her inner joy and the smile on her face, makes visiting her a special experience. The two trusted responses to inquiries about her health are met with “I’m A OK” or “A plus.” Mary Alice, you truly are an A + Sister of St. Joseph!
Sister Lorraine Ruh, CSJ
(Sister Clare Joseph)
At the age of 16, Sr. Lorraine Ruh entered the Sisters of St. Joseph. Now 75 years later she can look back on many successful years as a primary grade teacher, mentor to new teachers, director of CCD programs, and supervisor of the LaGrange Park Center switchboard staff. As an added role she could be counted on to print name tags, invitations and address envelopes using her gift of calligraphy and her ability to get things done to perfection.
She never wanted to quit, but physical problems and memory lapses made it necessary to end her ministry. She does not welcome change but struggles through it.
On the days that she wins the battle, her great gifts of warmth and welcoming combine with a big smile make it a delight to share her company. Your co-workers and friends congratulate you on the wonderful occasion of your 75th Anniversary!
Sister Adrienne Schmidt, CSJ
As I reflect on seventy years of religious life and the seventeen years before I entered, all I can say is, “God has done great things for me. Holy is His name.” Memory is truly gratitude of the heart.
I am proud of my start in life on a farm in Illinois. My parents were simple, hard-working, loving God fearing people. I remember them as always ready to help anyone do anything.
My vocation to the LaGrange CSJ’s came through the guidance of a Viatorian priest from our St. Patrick parish/school. He fell in love with the CSJ’s when he was a councilor at St. Joseph summer camp with the Sisters. My desire to be a religious teacher was nurtured by Father Haungs and Mother Walburga’s letters which were grace-filled correspondence, which drew me to LaGrange. I entered on September 7, 1945.
My particular love for homemaking activities, which I inherited from my mother—the Mom of all Moms, must have been evident to others. Mother Walburga asked me if I would like to study Home Economics and so I did. I received my degree from Rosary College in 1950 and did further study for a Masters at St. Louis University.
I spent twenty years in food service at the Motherhouse as well as teaching at Nazareth Academy from 1950 to 1965. I later taught at St. Leonard, Berwyn, Our Lady of Bethlehem Academy and St. Francis Xavier as teacher and principal. Leaving teaching, I went back to food service and ministered with the Religious of the Cenacle. I managed and prepared meals for retreatants and sisters for seven very happy years. I was asked to return to the motherhouse as administrator and manage food service for thirteen years. Now I am taking time “to be” -- relaxing and praying and enjoying my crocheting. I give to God everlasting gratitude for all of you: Sisters, 29 nieces and nephews and friends in abundance.