Medaille Jubilarians – 2019 – Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph

Medaille Jubilarians – 2019

Sister Maria Rabalais , CSJ

75 years

Sister Maria was born in Simmesport, La. and baptized Catherine Anne, one of nine children of the late Blanche Guilbeau and Joseph Rabalais.  Her brother Harold (Yvonne) lives in Houston, Tx.  Seven other siblings are deceased:  James, Durwood, Anthony and Sims Rabalais; Anelia R. Gros, Mae Rabalais and Wilma R. Mclaughlin.

After graduating from St. Joseph’s Academy in Baton Rouge in 1942, Sister Maria entered the Congregation in New Orleans, taking first vows in 1944 and final vows in 1948.  She earned a B.S. in Education from Loyola University and an M.S. in Theology from Notre Dame Seminary in New Orleans.

She taught in Catholic education at St. Joseph’s Academy in New Roads, La. and in Bay St. Louis, Ms., at St. Rose in New Orleans, St. Rita in Harahan, La., Sacred Heart and St. Joseph’s Academy in Baton Rouge, La. and in Morgan City, La. from 1944 to1974.  She then moved into pastoral ministry and religious education , serving in St. Patrick Parish in Baton Rouge, Our Lady of Perpetual Help in White Castle, La., St. Pius X Parish in Baton Rouge, St. John the Baptist in Zachary, La. and St. Jean Vianney Parish in Baton Rouge.  After a sabbatical year she devoted herself to pastoral ministry at Sacred Heart Parish in Baton Rouge for 15 years.  Retiring in Baton Rouge in 2011, Sister Maria’s health necessitated a move to Mount St. Mary Convent in Wichita, Ks. in 2018 where she continues to minister in prayer.


Sister Mary Urban Aranyos, CSJ

70 years

Sister Urban, baptized Ethel Marie, is one of seven children of the late Helen Spisak and Joseph Aranyos.  Both sisters, Mildred A. Blom and Margaret A. Carpenter, live in Cincinnati.  Her brother Andrew lives in Windsor, Co. and brother Robert lives in Waxahatchie, Tx.  Brothers Richard and Joseph are deceased.

Sister Urban graduated from St. Joseph’s Academy in Cincinnati and entered the Congregation in 1947.  She professed first vows in 1948 and final vows in 1952.    Sister Urban earned a B.S. at Edgecliff College in Cincinnati and an M.A. in Education and Psychology and M.A. in Administration and Mathematics at Xavier University in Cincinnati.  Sister Urban taught for 23 years at parochial schools in Withamsville,  Russells Point, Mt. Washington, Forestville and Washington, Ohio and in New Orleans. She also taught three years at McNicholas High School in Cincinnati and two years as Chatfield Math Instructor in Georgetown, Oh.  She served five years as pastoral assistant at two parishes in Georgetown and five years as a teacher at Southern State Community College in Cincinnati.  For thirteen years she made pastoral visits to the housebound and at the Veteran’s home in Cincinnati before retiring in 2014.


Sister Caroline Benken, CSJ

70 years

Sister Caroline was born in Milford, Oh. and baptized Rita May, one of nine children of the late Evelyn Motz and Edward Benken.  Her sisters, Loretta B. Kaeser, Mary Ann B. Mofford, Caroline B. Spahn and brothers Edward (Pat) and Richard Benken all live in Cincinnati.  Sister Joyce B. Appelmann lives in Moscow, Oh. and brother James lives in Waynesburg, Ky.  Her sister Rose Anne Benken, C.S.J. is deceased.

Sister Caroline graduated from St. Joseph’s Academy in Cincinnati and entered the Congregation in 1949.  She professed first vows in 1951 and final vows in 1954.  She earned a B.S. in education from Our Lady of Cincinnati College, a Masters in Education from Xavier University in Cincinnati and a Masters in Theological Studies from the Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley.  Sister Caroline taught at parochial schools in and near Cincinnati for 28 years.  She was principal at Immaculate Heart of Mary in Cincinnati for three years and at St. Thomas More in Withamsville for 13 years.  After a sabbatical year of study she served in pastoral ministry at St. Xavier Church in Cincinnati for 18 years.  In 1999 she ministered as a General Councilor for the Medaille Congregation for eight years.  She retired in 2007 and is currently living at the congregational center in Wheeling, W.Va.


Sister Doris Vigneaux, CSJ

(Sister Mary Alfred)

70 years

Sister Doris was born in New Orleans, La., one of six children of the late Juanita Gaudin and Louis Alfred Vigneaux.  Her brother and four sisters are deceased:  Louis Vigneaux, Jr., Heloise V. Dallimore, Inez V. Felis, Elmire V. Coleman and Lois V. Dietz.  Sister Doris graduated from St. Joseph Academy in New Orleans and entered the Congregation in 1947.  She professed first vows in 1949 and final vows in 1952.

She earned a B.S. in Education and an M.R.E. from Loyola University.  Sister Doris began teaching in 1949 at St. Joseph’s Academy in Baton Rouge and continued at St. Rose and St. Frances Cabrini in New Orleans, at Sacred Heart in Baton Rouge, Guardian Angels in Cincinnati, Our Lady of the Gulf in Bay St. Louis , Ms., Sacred Heart in Norco, La and St. Thomas More and St. George in Baton Rouge.  She was principal at Our Lady of the Rosary in New Orleans.  She served as religion coordinator at St. Rita in Harahan, La., Sacred Heart in Baton Rouge and Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Belle Chasse, La.  From 1992 to the present Sister Doris has ministered in community service both in New Orleans and Baton Rouge with regard to liturgical preparation and has visited the elderly and shut-ins.  She will move to Mount St. Mary Convent in Wichita later this year.


Sister Maria Hill, CSJ

(Sister Maria Goretti)

60 years

Sister Maria was born in Minneapolis, Mn., one of four children of the late Lillian Knapp and Herman Hill, and baptized Mary Agnes.  Her sister Helen Hill lives in St. Paul, Mn. and her brother Dick lives in Sartell, Mn. Her brother John is deceased.

Sister Maria graduated from Holy Angels Academy in Minneapolis and entered the Congregation in Crookston, Mn. in 1956, professing first vows in 1959 and final vows in 1964.  She earned a B.A. in Education from the College of St. Catherine in St. Paul, Mn., an M.A. in Educational Administration from the University of Dayton, an MA. in Religious Education from Seattle University and a Certificate in Spiritual Direction from Center in the City, Minneapolis.  She taught and was director of Religious Education in Richfield, Mn., a parochial school principal in West St. Paul. and Coordinator of Sacramental Catechesis for the Archdiocese of St. Paul/Minneapolis. She served in leadership for the Medaille Congregation and was Vice-President at the Central Office in Cincinnati for six years.  She ministered as Pastoral Associate in Cincinnati and has been a group facilitator and spiritual director.  She is currently Coordinator of Spiritual Services at LaGrange Park Center.


Sister Joanne Marie Johnson, CSJ

(Sister Mary Clarence)

60 years

Sister Joanne was born in Minneapolis, Mn., one of four children of the late Ursula Farrel and Clarence Johnson.  Her brother Kenneth lives in Apple Valley, Mn. Two siblings are deceased, her sister Dorothy J. Dillon and brother Robert Johnson.

Sister Joanne entered the Congregation in Crookston, Mn. in 1956, professed first vows in 1959 and final vows in 1963.  She earned a B.M.E. with a Piano Major and has a Master of Ministry from Seattle University.  Sister Joanne began her teaching career at St. Joseph’s Academy in Crookston and at Brady High School in St. Paul, Mn.  She was a missionary to Recife, Brazil for two years.  For 17 years she ministered in church parishes in Mendota, Park Rapids, Strandquist, Dunseith and Grand Forks, Mn. working with religious education, liturgy, pastoral music, organ and guitar teaching and adult education.  She served as the parish facilitator in Argyle, Mn. and as the pastoral associate in Brooks, Oklee and Bagley, Mn. for three and a half years.  In 1998 she ministered in congregational administration in Cincinnati.  Since 2004 she has conducted bible study and liturgical music at a senior living center in Crookston where she is retired.


Sister Judi Keehnen, CSJ

(Sister Joan Elizabeth)

60 years

Sister Judi was born in Detroit, Mi., one of three children of the late Elizabeth Paddock and John Keehnen. Her sister Linda K. Connor lives in Cincinnati and her brother John lives in Loveland, Oh.

She entered the Congregation in New Orleans in 1959, professed first vows in 1962 and final vows in 1967. She has a B.S. in Education and an M.A. in Industrial Arts from Kent State University, an M.A. in Public History from Wright State University in Ohio and an Ed.S.  in Curriculum and Instruction. Sister Judi began teaching mechanical drawing, home economics and woodworking at McNicholas High School in Cincinnati. She became a professor in the technology department of Northern Michigan University and then a teacher of mechanical drawing and woodworking in Kettering, Oh. This was followed by nine years at the University of Dayton as an instructor in in engineering & aerospace technology. She worked at the national Aviation Hall of Fame for three years as Exhibit & Education director and a year and a half at the Athenaeum of Ohio as an administrative assistant for a major campaign. She also served as a Museum Specialist for the permanent “On Time” exhibit at the Smithsonian American History Museum 1997-1999. From 2006 to 2009 she worked at the Cincinnati Museum Center as a supervisor for traveling exhibits including the “Women in Spirit” exhibit for which she also served as the Assistant Registrar. She has been Assistant Archivist for the Medaille archives and continues to work as congregational archivist for the Congregation and Medaille collections.


Sister Ruth Kettman, CSJ

(Sister Joseph Eugene)

60 years

Sister Ruth was born in Cincinnati, Oh., one of six children of the late Virginia Stockelman and Eugene Kettman.  Three of her sisters live in Cincinnati – Carol K. Blom, Virginia K. Wirmel and Judith K. Jackson; her sister Jane K. Schwallie lives in Georgetown, Oh.  Her brother Robert is deceased.

Sister Ruth entered the Congregation in New Orleans in 1959, professed first vows in 1962 and final vows in 1967.  She holds an A.B. in sociology from Thomas More College in 1970 and an M.A. in theology from the University of Notre Dame in 1976.  Sister Ruth was a teacher and administrator at McNicholas High School in Cincinnati until 1976 when she became campus minister at the University of Cincinnati.  After 1987 she became deeply involved in social justice issues. In 1990-92 she taught theology at Xavier University in Cincinnati, and as an adjunct at Thomas More College and Mt. St. Joseph University.  In 1993 she enrolled in a one-year internship at the Jesuit Renewal Center. She served as the Director of Justice & Peace for the Diocese of Covington, Ky. for ten years.  From 2005 to 2014 she was director of Mt. Notre Dame Spirituality Center in Cincinnati.  Sister Ruth is retired and living in Cincinnati where she is involved in justice and peace work, especially to abolish the death penalty in Ohio.


Sister Miriam Mire, CSJ

60 years

Sister Miriam was baptized Ann Carol in New Orleans, La., one of ten children of the late Lucille d’Aquin and Andrew Mire, Sr. Her siblings are:  Evelyn M. Capitano, Janet M. Rovira, Marilyn M. Crosby, Denis, Sr., Michael, Sr., John Sr., and Peter.  All live in the New Orleans area.  Brothers Andrew, Jr. and James are deceased.

Sister Miriam graduated from St. Joseph’s Academy in New Orleans and entered the Congregation there in 1958.  She professed first vows in 1959 and final vows in 1964.  She taught at St. Rose de Lima in New Orleans and Guardian Angels in Cincinnati and then earned her R.N. at Mercy Hospital School of Nursing in New Orleans.  She worked at Terrebonne General Hospital in Houma, La. for 12 years and then became a Home Health Nurse in Houma.  After a sabbatical year she continued doing parish home nursing in Houma from 1988 until she retired in 2017.   She continues to do volunteer service in the community.


Sister Julie Ann Sheatzley, CSJ

(Sister Maris Stella)

60 years

Sister Julie was born in Cincinnati, Oh., one of six children of the late Ruth Dahlheimer and Howard Sheatzley. One brother, Joseph, lives in Cincinnati. Her sister, Patricia Sheatzley, CSJ, is deceased as are her brothers Robert, Howard, Jr. and Harry.

Sister Julie entered the Congregation in New Orleans in 1956, professed first vows in 1959 and final vows in 1964. She earned a B.A. in English from Our Lady of Cincinnati College (Edgecliff). Sister Julie taught in schools in Cincinnati from 1959 to 1975 including 8 years at Guardian Angel where she was also principal for four years. She was assigned as a supervisor and administrator at the Fontbonne Home in downtown Cincinnati for two years. From 1977 to 1994 Sister Julie was involved in provincial and congregational administration serving six years as President of the Medaille congregation. She and her sister, Sister Patricia, moved to Clinton, La. where she was a pastoral associate and together they ministered in the church and civil parishes (counties). She returned to Cincinnati in 2010 where she continued to do volunteer work until 2017 when she retired at the Baton Rouge Center.  She now lives in Wichita at Mt. St. Mary Convent.


Sister Gracelyn Soignet, CSJ

(Sister Bonaventure)

60 years

Sister Gracelyn was born in New Orleans, La., one of two children of the late Grace Walker and Mertyle Michael Soignet.  Her brother Donald and his wife Jeanne live in Metairie, La.

Sister Gracelyn graduated from St. Joseph Academy in New Orleans and entered the novitiate in New Orleans in 1956 where she professed first vows in 1959 and final vows in 1964.  She has a B.A. in Education from St. Mary’s Dominican College in New Orleans where she specialized in teaching special education.  Later she became a Licensed Practical Nurse.  Sister Gracelyn became a teacher in parochial schools in New Orleans and Baton Rouge, La. and taught special education at a vocational school in Baton Rouge.  After receiving her L.P.N. she served as nurse at the Mirabeau Convent and at an apartment complex for the elderly in New Orleans.  After Katrina in 2005 Sister Gracelyn moved to Wichita and became a devoted nurse caregiver at Mt. St. Mary’s.  She is retired and living now in Wichita.

 


Sister Julie Kraemer, CSJ

(Sister Julie Marie)

25 years

Sister Julie was born in Vacherie, La. to the late Elemente Granier and Wilbert Kraemer, Sr. Her step-mother Mary Jane Kraemer lives in Chauvin, La.  Her brother Wilbert, Jr. lives in Chauvin and brother Bruce lives in Edmunds, Wa.  Her sisters are Shelia K. Larousse in Thibodaux, La., Sarah K. Skiba in Youngsville, N.C., Mary Lou K. Levron and Donna K. Lirette in Chauvin, Brenda K. Parks in Raceland, La., Sandra K. Hammer in Madisonville, La. and Catheresa Kraemer in Houma, La.  Her sister Ann Kraemer is deceased.

Sister Julie entered the Medaille Congregation in 1993 in New Orleans, made first profession in 1995 and final profession in 2000.  She earned a B.A. in Elementary Education at the University of New Orleans.  Sister Julie taught at Sacred Heart of Jesus School in Baton Rouge for twenty years until her retirement.  She lives at the Baton Rouge Center and offers her service as a volunteer.

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