Our Sisters are especially grateful for your prayers throughout their Jubilee year. To send Jubilee greetings, email: email@example.com. If you wish to honor a Jubilarian’s life of service with a gift in her name, know that your donation will support active ministries and retirement needs of the Sisters of the Divine Savior.
“Whatever it takes” is her ministry
Sister Dora Zapf, SDS has slowed her pace since retiring last June, but slowing down is a relative thing. For 42 years, Sr. Dora sifted through mounds of donations at Salvatorian Mission Warehouse in New Holstein, Wis. She helped sort and pack donated goods to ship to missions all over the world. When the warehouse opened, Sr. Dora was on the receiving end in Tanzania, East Africa. Back then, she unpacked clothing, medical supplies, foodstuffs and toiletries for delivery to sites with the greatest need. In 1973, Sr. Dora came to the U.S. to serve at the warehouse.
Sr. Dora was born in Germany and completed her Salvatorian formation there. After four years in England to learn English, she went to Tanzania where English-speaking Salvatorian Sisters ran a primary school. Sr. Dora served as a housemother for boarding students, and shopped for electrical parts and other supplies for missions in the rural southern region. She also taught Tanzanian girls sewing, first aid and other domestic skills, and coordinated the kitchen and workers at the Nandembo mission. From 12 years serving in Africa, Sr. Dora understands the great need Salvatorian Mission Warehouse helps to fill. Today, Sr. Dora remains in New Holstein and offers pastoral care to people who are homebound or living in assisted or nursing care facilities.
She helps others to find God’s footprints
Stairs leading to the office of Sister Pat Kieler, SDS are well worn. Lay persons, married and single, clergy and religious have been climbing them for many years seeking spiritual direction. Sr. Pat explains, “Individuals already have a spiritual direction, which I seek to support. Faith in a living God is often absent in our culture, yet there is a great hunger for God. It is a great privilege to reverently hold the story of another. I encourage others to discover God’s footprints in their lives, find healing, stay close to their inner fire, and be light for the world.”
Thirty-five years ago Sisters of the Divine Savior leadership invited Sr. Pat to create her spiritual direction ministry. It has included giving directed retreats and guided retreats on contemplative prayer for retreat houses and religious communities in Wisconsin and Illinois. Her international experience includes a retreat for Salvatorian men and women in Taiwan. Earlier, she taught 15 years at Divine Savior High School in Milwaukee and did vocation ministry for three years. Since 1960, Sr. Pat’s complementary ministry has been directing the SDS choir and coordinating liturgies for special Salvatorian events such as jubilees, professions and funerals. “I love this ministry for the way it enhances our praying together from the deepest places of our Salvatorian calling.”
School children kept her young
Sister Jane Barman, SDS (Sr. Jane Frances) once said, “You don’t retire when you come to St. Nazianz.” She was right. She cherishes her 24 years in the tight-knit Wisconsin village steeped in Salvatorian history. In early years, she cared for aged Salvatorian Sisters. Before departing St. Nazianz last year, Sr. Jane drove 38 miles each week for Meals on Wheels, and tutored kindergarten through second graders at St. Gregory School. She says teaching little ones to tie their shoes and recite the alphabet kept her young.
Perhaps Salvatorian Sisters said the same about Sr. Jane when she attended St. Joseph’s School in East Bristol, Wis. She graduated from eighth grade amid World War II, but didn’t begin high school until entering the convent. Sr. Jane earned a degree from Milwaukee’s Mount Mary College, and served 38 years in education. She taught five years at Divine Savior High School and served four years as principal at Mother of Good Counsel, both in Milwaukee. Her longest teaching assignment was 22 years at Holy Name School in Wausau, Wis.
Sr. Jane once joked about early retirement to make time for all her hobbies that include gardening, bird watching, sewing and candle making. She has always managed to wrap them around her ministries.
Her golden years glow in service to others
When Sister Rita Faust, SDS (Sr. Frederick) departed St. Nazianz, Wis. in 2015, she left behind a community she loved and ministries that fulfilled her long past typical retirement age. She moved to St. Nazianz in 1997 after retiring from full-time ministry, and before long was volunteering with Meals on Wheels and at St. Gregory Church and parish school.
Sr. Rita acquired her work ethic as sixth of 14 children raised on a farm in Elkhart Lake, Wis. She attended high school at Sisters of the Divine Savior convent, and earned a degree from Mount Mary College in Milwaukee. Sr. Rita taught first through eighth grades. For many years at schools in Bloomer and Rothschild, Wis., and Huntsville, Ala., she served as principal while also teaching. In 1973 she shifted to parish religious education, including sacrament preparation.
In 1983 Sr. Rita moved to Sisseton, S.D., where she served as director of pastoral care in a nursing home and visited elders in the community. She came well prepared to coordinate care for elder Salvatorian Sisters upon returning to Milwaukee in 1991. Now at age 91, Sr. Rita is an elder, but since moving to Portage, Wis. last summer, she’s already found new ways to continue serving in our Savior’s name.