Franciscan Sister Walks for Life in Nebraska

Franciscan Sister of Christian Charity Sister Rochelle Kerkhof and several students and adults from the Southwestern Grant Deanery traveled five hours to attend the Nebraska Walk for Life. An estimated  4, 000 people were gathered in Lincoln on Saturday, January 26. On Friday evening, prior to event, hospitality was provided by the parents of Rev. Lothar Gilde, Pastor of St. Patrick’s, Imperial.

“The Walk for Life is the largest, longest-running First Amendment demonstration in the state, and I expect that will always continue, until we win this battle one day,” said Sandy Danek, president of Nebraska Right to Life and one of the event’s organizers. The crowd were vigilant and respectful, hopeful for change in our country at large.


What Franciscan Sisters Do in Nebraska’s Grant Deanery

Franciscan Sister Monica Mary DeQuardo continues to share news from the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity’s newest mission in the Grant Deanery of the Diocese of Lincoln, Nebraska.

Sister Rochelle’s focus is that of Youth Ministry in all the Parishes. In the Grant Deanery – this includes the students on the junior and senior high school level: CYO (Catholic Youth Organization). Besides Catechetical Instruction, Youth Retreats (Quest and TEC), Diocesan Camps for youth leadership, and participation in the Annual National Right to Life Walk broaden her scope of Evangelization. In collaboration with Father Matthew Eickhoff, Father Thomas Bush, and Father Chris Miller – Sister Rochelle coordinates these Youth Activities, keeping the young people involved, acquainted with one another, and aware of the importance of their Catholic Faith and the value of ‘Church’ in their lives.

Travel is extensive, as one can imagine – averaging between 20-40-60 miles – one-way between Parishes. This is especially challenging in the late evening and early morning hours when ‘sharing the highway’ with the deer and other critters is a ‘normal’ expectation. Curt Tomasevicz, a young man from Shelby, NE, who was a member of the USA National Bobsledding Team at the 2010 and 2014 Olympics – and, on October 9th, was a speaker at the Youth Gathering in Imperial. Curt, presently, is a Catechist at North American Martyrs Religious Education Program in Lincoln.

Sister Monica Mary is the ‘Parish Minister’ for the people of St. Patrick Church – serving as ‘Assistant’ to Father Gilde, as needed and requested; visiting the home-bound and nursing home residents; taking part in the weekly Parish Bible-Study; preparing and typing the weekly Parish Bulletin; and teaching Religious Education at all lower-grade and high school levels according to the schedule outlined by the Religious Education Coordinator. Once, during each semester, Sister Monica Mary will attend a weekend Mass at the various ‘out-lying’ Parishes – providing ‘Sister Presence’ when Sister Rochelle is in another part of the Deanery.

Living Franciscan Gospel Life: Imperial, Nebraska

Franciscan Sister Monica Mary DeQuardo shares on Gospel life in a new mission in Imperial, Nebraska, Diocese of Lincoln.

Two months have passed since Sister Rochelle Kerkhof and Sister Monica Mary DeQuardo arrived in Imperial, Nebraska, and the Grant Deanery. Our friends and Sisters-in-Community have written – asking what our lives are like serving in the everyday roles assigned to us by the four Pastors of the nine Parishes – in six Counties of western Nebraska. We are approximately twenty-five miles from Colorado and a forty-five minute drive from Kansas.

Southwestern Nebraska differs greatly in appearance from eastern Nebraska – e. g. West Point, where our Sisters have served for more that 125 years – and where the primary occupation is on the agricultural growing of corn, wheat, and soy beans – along with the raising of some cattle and hogs. The terrain of western Nebraska is terraced landscapes and beautiful, small canyon-creations formed from the wind and by the more extreme weather conditions. Most of the ‘farming’ is given to ‘open-pasture ranching’ and feed-lot productions. The air, at this time of year, is crisp, dry, and clear …

Our lovely small ‘Convent Home’ – called ‘St. Clare of Assisi Convent’ – is located at 640 Wellington Street. Immediately after settling in, Sister Rochelle and Sister Monica Mary had to ‘establish themselves’ via their respective applications for Nebraska Drivers’ Licenses, bank verifications, and voting registration. We have been warmly welcomed within our town of 2,000 people and at St. Patrick Parish – located kitty-corner across from the Convent.

Franciscan Sisters Serve Nine Rural Nebraska Parishes

Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity begin ministry in nine parishes in the Diocese of Lincoln, Nebraska.

IMPERIAL (SNR) – The nine parishes of the Grant Deanery recently welcomed two women religious to the area to work in parish and youth ministry.

Sister Monica Mary DeQuardo and Sister Rochelle Kerkhof of the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity from Manitowoc, Wisc., arrived July 25.

Sister Monica Mary is not totally new to the Diocese of Lincoln. She served in the John XXIII Diocesan Center between 2007-2010 as assistant director of religious education under Father Christopher Barak.

“I am extremely happy to be back in this diocese. I know it will be a wonderful experience,” she said. “I appreciate the Catholicity here and the dedication of the priests and all the people who minister within the diocese.”

Sister Monica Mary will assist Father Lothar Gilde in multiple roles of daily parish life at St. Patrick Parish in Imperial.
Sister Rochelle Kerkhof has previously worked in Catholic elementary and high schools as principal and teacher in the Omaha Archdiocese. During those 10 years of service, she participated in youth ministry events such as summer school camps, middle school retreats, Cursillos and TEC weekends.

Read more.

Nebraska Sisters Host Vocation Discernment Visit

Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity in West Point, NE invited a young woman to Sunday dinner who is discerning consecrated life.