Wichita Jubilarians – 2021 – Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph

Wichita Jubilarians – 2021

Sister Sedonia Isenbart, CSJ

(Sister Florian)

85 years

Sister Sedonia May Isenbart was born on August 12, 1917, to parents Henry and Eva (Kunzman) Isenbart on a farm near Capron, Oklahoma, the seventh of nine children. She completed her first four years of elementary education at a small rural school, and finished at Sacred Heart Parochial School in 1929. The Isenbarts were members of Sacred Heart Parish in Alva, Oklahoma, and it was there that Sedonia’s spiritual life was nourished.

Following her oldest sister, Agnes Mary, she was received into the novitiate on August 15, 1936. She later earned her GED as a Sister of St. Joseph. Sister Sedonia served the dear neighbor in various capacities over the years including through housekeeping, hospital dietary work, home visitation, elder care, religious instruction, second language and GED instruction, and in the classroom as a substitute teacher.

She currently resides at our center in Wichita where she enjoys her ministry of prayer.

Sister Jean Louise Diskin, CSJ

75 years

Bernadine and Bernadette, twins, joined their family of three brothers and two sisters in St. Paul, Kansas, on November 12, 1928. The family were members of St. Francis Church and attend school there. In 1945, Bernadine entered the Sisters of St. Joseph in Wichita, Kansas, and received the name Sister Jean Louise. After finishing her secondary education at the Mount, Sister Jean Louise continued her education at Sacred Heart College in Wichita, and St. Mary of the Plain College in Dodge City.

Her first teaching assignment was at Headstart, where she served for several summers. Sister taught for 60 years, many of them in California. Teaching was a joy and brought much satisfaction to me. The children were interesting, challenging and a continual source of growth spiritually and mentally. In 2006, Sister retired from teaching and returned to Wichita, where she volunteered at the front desk, helped distribute mail to the Villa, and was a member of the funeral committee.

She currently resides in Wichita where she enjoys her ministry of prayer.

Sister Elizabeth Ann Engels, CSJ

75 Years

Sister Elizabeth Ann Engels was born on October 23, 1928, to parents Matthew and Elizabeth (Brady) Engels, a family that eventually grew to include six boys and four girls. Her family was attended Blessed Sacrament Parish, and Sister Elizabeth attended Franklin Grade School and Rose Hill High School in Rose Hill, Kansas.

On September 4th, 1945, she was received into the novitiate. She continued her education at St. Mary of the Plains College in Dodge City, Kansas, where she earned a BS degree in Education, and at Notre Dame University where she earned her MA degree in Education. After her education, she became a teacher and taught at many schools in the Wichita area and also in California and Texas. She later became a principal. She loved teaching and had a great love for poetry.

Sister Elizabeth Ann currently resides at our center in Wichita where she once served as a Sacristan, and now enjoys her ministry of prayer.

Sister Rosina Van Leeuwen, CSJ

75 years

Sister Rosina Van Leeuwen was born on February 9, 1930, to parents Jake and Bertha (Jennings) Van Leeuwen, on a farm near St. Paul, Kansas. She was the sixth of eleven children. She attended a one-room country grade school, and then completed one year at St. Francis High School before entering the convent of the Sisters of St. Joseph in Wichita, where she finished High School. Her education continued at Sacred Heart College in Wichita, at St. Mary of the Plains College in Dodge City, Kansas, and finally at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana.

She started teaching in 1948, a ministry that would last 34 years and included many elementary schools in Wichita and Dodge City, Kansas, and in Eugene, Oregon. In 1985, Sister Rosina came home to take charge of Marian Hall, the wing for our retired Sisters at our former Wichita Center. She then spent the next ten years in Pittsburg, Kansas, where she helped in the grade school library and taught 8th grade Religion. In 2003, she returned to Wichita where she helped at the center switchboard and in hospitality seeing to the needs of guests.

Sister Rosina currently resides at our center in Wichita where she enjoyed painting and now takes pleasure in her ministry of prayer.

Sister Cordis Mary Horie, CSJ

60 years

Sister Cordis Mary Horie was born on March 6, 1934 to parents Sueno and Haruji Horie, in Nagoya, Japan. She attended primary school in Matsuzaka, Japan, and high school in Kyoto, Japan.

She entered religious life on March 19, 1961, in Kyoto. Sister Cordis Mary has worked in mission work in Japan since 1966, including Waifu Mission for Kikuchi Kindergarten, Hakubaicho Mission for St. Joseph Hospital, and Kinugasa Mission for Parish Ministry.

She currently resides in Matsuzaka where she is active in prayer ministry.

Sister Dolora May, CSJ

60 years

Sister Dolora May was born on March 22, 1945, in Wichita, Kansas, to parents Henry Michael and Ann Theresa (O’Keefe) May. She attended Mt. Carmel Academy grade school and Mt. St. Mary High School, both in Wichita. She entered religious life from St. Patrick Parish in Wichita, and received the habit on March 20, 1961.

Following novitiate, Sister Dolora entered nurses’ training and attended St. Mary of the Plains College in Dodge City, Kansas, and later St. Louis University in St. Louis, Missouri and Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska. Sister Dolora took an administrative residency program in Kansas City MO at St. Joseph’s Hospital in 1976. From 1965 – 2002, Sister Dolora ministered in hospitals in Wichita and Pratt, Kansas, Ponca City, Oklahoma, and Hayward, California. From 1977 to 1983, Sister served as the administrator of Blackwell Hospital in Blackwell, Oklahoma. From 1984 to 2002, she engaged in pro-life ministry at St. Joseph Medical Center and Abate Abortion in Wichita, and Crisis Pregnancy Center in Kansas City, Missouri.

In 2001, Sister Dolora along with Sister Mary Immaculate Healy co-founded St. Joseph Adoption Ministry in Kansas City, and became its first director, a position she joyfully continues today.

Sister Mary Ellen Proulx, CSJ

(Sister Monica Noel)

60 years

Sister Mary Ellen was born in Crookston, Minnesota in 1942, one of nine children – five girls and four boys in the Proulx family.  She entered the novitiate of the Sisters of St. Joseph in Crookston on August 15, 1960 and made final profession of vows in 1963.  She earned a Bachelor in Music Education from Viterbo College in LaCrosse, Wisconsin.

Beginning in 1966 Sister Mary Ellen spent 14 years in music ministry teaching choral music, music appreciation, guitar and piano classes; directing and assisting with school musicals; serving as choral director and/or liturgy coordinator; training organists and teaching organ.  She served in many parishes and schools over those years:  St. Joseph’s Academy in Crookston, Archbishop Brady High School and St. Joseph’s Elementary in West St. Paul, the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception and St. Anne’s Parish in Crookston, St. Peter’s Parish in Mendota, Minnesota and the parishes of St. Joseph’s and Corpus Christi in West St. Paul.

In 1986 she was asked to serve on the CSJ Formation Team in San Antonio, Texas.  In 1992 she became Director of Music and Liturgy for two years at the Church of the Little Flower in St. Louis, Missouri.  She was accompanist for four years at St. Ambrose Parish in Woodbury, Minnesota and Director of Recreational Activities for eleven years at Health East Care Center – Marian St. Paul.  Sister Mary Ellen retired in 2011 and moved in January 2019 to Mt. St. Mary’s Convent in Wichita, Kansas where she joins with the community in prayer ministry.

Sister Janice Roberts, CSJ

(Sister John Mary)

60 years

Sister Janice Roberts was born on September 12, 1944, to parents John Leroy and Florence (Miller Smith) Roberts in Independence, Kansas. She attended St. Andrew Grade School in Independence, and high school at Sacred Heart Academy in Wichita.

She entered religious life on March 20, 1961, from St. Andrew parish in Independence. She continued her education at St. Mary of the Plains College in Dodge City, Kansas. As an educator, Sister served in Catholic elementary schools in Kansas and California as a teacher, substitute teacher or principal from 1964 to 2010. Her education ministry took place in Garden Plain, Derby, Parsons, Dodge City, and Coffeyville, Kansas, and in Sunnyvale and Paso Robles, California. She also served as an English teacher to our sisters in Japan for a year in 2005 & 2006. She later served as a nanny to a family with seven children.

Sister Jan currently resides in Dodge City where she is active as a substitute teacher, a catechist for the Cathedral of Our Lady of Guadalupe, and is involved with several activities and ministries at St. Andrew Parish in Wright, Kansas.

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