Wichita Jubilarians – 2020 – Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph

Wichita Jubilarians – 2020

Sister Dorothy LeBlanc, CSJ

(Sister Mary Andrew)

75 years

Born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana Sister Dorothy LeBlanc entered the Congregation of St. Joseph following high school graduation and received the name Sr. Mary Andrew.

In 1995 Sister Mary Andrew began forty-five years of teaching in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas. In 1985 sister served for eight years at Casa de Esperanza for children and in Aids ministry in Houston. She then spent 5½ years in Our Lady Of Lourdes social service center In New Orleans ministering to senior citizens.

In 1999 she served our senior sisters needing health care at Our Lady of Wisdom facility and in 2005 she evacuated with them to Wichita, Kansas.

I am very grateful to continue in care of our Sisters and social service interests and for all the love and caring of our Sisters.

Sister Eula Linnebur, CSJ

(Sister Helen Marie)

70 years

Born in Tipton, Missouri she followed 3 sisters into the Congregation of St. Joseph and received the name Sister Helen Marie but returned to her baptismal name, Eula. At a later date another sister came to join her as an Associate.

She began her ministry in hospital dietary for one year followed by 20 years of teaching in Kansas, Missouri and California. Nothing stays the same and neither did the ministries. She began as Director of Religious Education for 8 years. Following a sabbatical at St. Louis University in St. Louis, Missouri she served in the position of Pastoral Associate in parishes without a resident priest for 8 years. It was back to Religious Education for 5 years. Taking a year to learn sign language she worked in Deaf Ministry for 18 years and continues to keep in touch with the Deaf.

She ministered to her mother, 3 brothers and 4 sisters in their final days

Interests have been many: Clowning, origami, etc. but above all Scripture.

Sister Elaine Dufresne, CSJ

(Sister Mary Edward)

70 years

Sister Elaine Dufresne (formerly Sister Mary Edward), a native of Somerset, Wisconsin, entered the Congregation of St. Joseph, Minnesota in 1948.  She holds a B.A. in Social Studies from the College of St. Catherine in St. Paul, Minnesota and certification for Pastoral Ministry from Seattle University and chaplaincy from the National Association of Catholic Chaplains.

Her ministry career includes 17 years in Catholic elementary and high schools in Wisconsin and Minnesota and nine years in community leadership positions including six years as provincial coordinator.  Sister Elaine worked in pastoral care at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Park Rapids, Minnesota for five years and at Roger Maris Cancer Center in Fargo, North Dakota for six years.  She assisted in vocation ministry, pastoral care of the elderly and coordination of hospitality accommodations for CSJs in the Minnesota Twin Cities area until 2010.

Sister Elaine then moved to the Congregational Center in Wichita, Kansas where she ministered in pastoral care to the residents in Assisted Living and Skilled Care for seven years.  In 2018 she became a resident in the newly constructed licensed facility where she now spends her retirement years participating in community activities and prayer.

Sister Guadalupe Martinez, CSJ

70 Years

Born in Del Norte, Colorado, Margaret Martinez entered the Congregation of St. Joseph following high school graduation and received the name Sister M. Guadalupe.

In 1952 Sister Guadalupe began a career in education that spanned 56 years.  She ministered as a teacher or principal in Kansas, California and Oregon.  Following a sabbatical at the Weston School of Theology in Boston, Sister Guadalupe taught religion at Trinity High School in Hutchinson, Kansas, for 14 years.

Sister Guadalupe retired from the ministry of education in 2008 and moved into St. Joseph Villa at the Wichita Center.  Currently she assists sisters by driving them to appointments, serves on the sacristy team and helps take “on call” responsibilities when the Center coordinator is away.

Sister Guadalupe feels blessed because of the support she has received from other sisters on her local mission and in her various ministry assignments.

Sister Patricia Ann Regan, CSJ

(Sister Mary Sheila)

70 years

Sister Patricia Ann was raised and educated in Kansas and California, as her family moved from Independence to Long Beach when she was 11 years old.  Her ministry has been in both states as well.

Known in religious life as Sister Mary Sheila until she returned to her baptismal name, Sister Patricia Ann ministered as a teacher and principal in Catholic elementary schools from 1951-1988.

She served as the director of pastoral services for the residents of GeorgeTown Village, a retirement community in Wichita, Kansas, from 1988-2016. During this time, she also assisted Sister Kathleen Regan, her sister, with fundraising events such as the Emerald Ball (St. Joseph Hospital) and Wine Fest (Guadalupe Clinic). In 2016, Sister Patricia Ann retired to Mt. St. Mary’s Convent in Wichita.

In her free time Sister Patricia Ann enjoys listening to good music, reading, working on the computer, and doing puzzles.

Sister Janelle Ann Brittain, CSJ

60 years

Education has been Sister Janelle Ann’s ministry her entire religious life.  Given the name Sister Michaela upon entering the Congregation of St. Joseph, she returned to her baptismal name following Vatican II.

Sister Janelle Ann taught in schools in Kansas, California and Oklahoma, including Holy Savior School in Wichita, which she attended as a child.  From 1995 to 2001 Sister’s fulltime ministry was serving as a caregiver for her mother. in Coffeyville, Kansas.  Even during these years she also taught part-time  at Holy Name School, which was located across the street from her mother’s home.

Since 2002 Sister Janelle Ann has ministered in Holy Name parish by serving as a religion teacher, Eucharistic minister, lector, Director of Religious Education, an organizer for the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults and the Parish School of Religion.  She also visits parishioners who are confined to their home and those who are hospitalized.

Sister Rose Monica Donnelly, CSJ

60 years

Although never taught by the Sisters of St. Joseph, Rose Mary Donnelly knew our congregation through her cousin Sister Lela Marie Donnelly, and was attracted by our spirit of joy and peace.

Educated at St. Joseph elementary school and Sacred Heart Academy in Wichita, Rose Mary entered the Congregation of St. Joseph during her freshman year of college and received the name Sister Rose Monica.  After making her First Vows in 1962, Sister Rose Monica entered the health care ministry by becoming a nurse.  She ministered in hospitals in Kansas and Colorado for 20 years.

In 1985-86 Sister Rose Monica completed a program in Clinical Pastoral Education.  After serving in mission effectiveness in Hayward, California and Halstead, Kansas, Sister Rose Monica began ministering as a chaplain.  She has ministered in this role in Manhattan and Salina, Kansas. Sister Rose Monica currently serves as a staff chaplain at Good Samaritan Hospital in Kearney, Nebraska, a position she has held since 2003.

Sister St. Joseph Wakabayashi, CSJ

60 years

Sister St. Joseph Wakabayashi was born on October 10th, 1937.  She was the first baby for her parents.  Since the expected date of delivery was in December and she was a premature infant, many people were worried about her and she was told that she would not grow.

In spite of their anxieties, she grew up and entered grade school in 1944.  In the next year 1945 World War Ⅱ became so severe, she had to move to her uncle’s house.  When she was in the 4th grade, the war was over, so she could go back to her own home in Kyoto.

After she returned to Kyoto, because of the elder sister of her friend who was a Protestant Missionary, she toured the church of Christianity and attended the Sunday School. Later a church was newly built near her house and she went to see the church.  Then she knew there were Protestants and Catholics in Christianity.  She chose Catholicism and started to study Catechism.  There, she got acquainted with one of our St. Joseph Sisters.

At Easter, April 1953, she got the grace of baptism.  She received Confirmation in May 1955. She also became an aspirant of Sisters of St. Joseph of Wichita on September 8th, 1958. In 1960, she entered the novitiate and received the religious name Sr. St. Joseph.  She also made her first vows in 1962 and her final vows on September 8th, 1967.  She gives thanks to the grace in the hands of God’s great love!

She could participate in 30 days’ Ignatius retreat in 1977.  She was very grateful to be able to touch God’s love and feel and taste the joy as a religious and the wonder of the vocation which God prepared for her.  Later she could get the chance to visit the present Wichita Center which used to be our Mother House.  This also is one of her great and grace-filled experiences as a Sister of St. Joseph.

She was missioned to St. Joseph Hospital in Kyoto as an office worker and to our Nursing Home in Azaka as an administrator. She has just moved to our Care House to enjoy her prayerful life.

Her hobby has been knitting and cooking.  Even she herself does not know how many sweaters she made for others. So many people remember that her apple pies and orange marmalade were so delicious!

Sister Mary Magdalene Hayashi, CSJ

60 years

Sister Mary Magdalene Hayashi was born on January 7th, 1933.  She was the first daughter of three brothers and three sisters. The first time she heard about Jesus Christ was when she went to Methodist kindergarten.  Still, she can remember the Christmas Play about the Baby Jesus and His mother Mary.

During Junior high school, her best friend went to church to study English conversation and then she became a Catholic, so she followed her friend in studying catechism, praying together, attending Sunday Mass, etc. She was baptized on Christmas Eve, 1949, when she was 16 years old.  Her new life in Christ began with many blessings.  At that time as a member of Legion of Mary, she found joy and happiness through apostolic work, visiting the sick, teaching catechism, etc.  During this time she met the Sisters of St. Joseph.  Then every month she visited the convent until she entered.  Through visiting the sick and taking care of the challenged, she received many signs of a religious vocation.

She had to wait 8 years since she felt God’s call because her father had been sick.  After he died, she entered the convent on September 7th, 1959.  In 1960, she entered the novitiate and received the habit.  She also made her first vows in 1962 and her final vows on September 8th, 1967.

In 1980, she spent 1 year in the USA to take IRF (International Religious Formation) Program.  It was her first visit to our former Mother House in Wichita.  It was such a great experience for her.  After returning to Japan, she took another year for the courses for the Ongoing Formation in Tokyo, Japan. Then, she began to work for the vocation and formation of the congregation.  She had had many experiences of serving the aged at our Nursing Home in Azaka for 16 years.  She recalls the experiences were a time of grace for her.

She loved to visit sisters in the USA and has been to the USA several times for chapters and gatherings. Now, she is living at our Nursing Home where she used to serve God’s people.  She has been a positive person.  She loved to welcome people and to host them warmly with a delicious meal.  She was good at baking bread.


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