A woman who came to know Sister Alice Gindt, SDS (formerly Sr. Herman Joseph) through Milwaukee’s Interfaith Older Adults Program once said, “The first time I met her I knew I liked her.” Sr. Alice’s volunteer service with Interfaith reflected a work ethic instilled by her upbringing as one of 13 children on a farm in Edson, Wis. While still in grade school, she met Sr. Bathilde Feder, SDS, a teacher she remembers as a gifted self-starter. Stirred by Sr. Bathilde’s example, Sr. Alice was drawn to the Sisters of the Divine Savior. Her father suggested that she keep working on the farm, but Sr. Alice felt called to serve elsewhere. She joined the congregation in 1951 and made her first profession in 1954.
In her first 10 years of apostolic ministry, Sr. Alice taught and cared for children in Minnesota, South Dakota, and Alabama. In 1965, she returned to Milwaukee and studied at Sacred Heart School for Licensed Practical Nurses. She received her LPN certificate in 1966 and then served at Divine Savior Hospital and at Divine Savior Nursing Home in Portage, Wis. From 1981 to 1996, she practiced nursing in Milwaukee-area health care facilities.
In Sr. Alice’s later ministry with Interfaith, she assisted seniors in Milwaukee’s central city with running errands and household tasks, enabling them to remain in their own homes. She spent many hours listening and chatting with her Interfaith clients and over time, many of them became friends. Sr. Alice applauded her Interfaith supervisor, Vicki Conte, for planning weekly activities to counteract loneliness and cultivate social connections. Vicki admired Sr. Alice’s humility, selflessness and courage, saying, “She visits people no one else on the planet cares about and washes their feet.” In this sense, Sr. Alice truly reflected Jesus’ ministry.
Once retired from active ministry, Sr. Alice continued to cook, grow herbs, read and welcome guests into her home at Salvatorian Sisters Residence (SSR). She also volunteered in the laundry and beauty shop at St. Anne’s Salvatorian Campus. Sr. Alice has kept her kind and helpful nature, according to Sr. Virginia Honish, SDS, care coordinator at SSR. She says, “Sr. Alice is one of the first persons to offer help whenever a need arises. She adds a positive outlook on life every day and has a unique and delightful sense of humor.” As she celebrates 60 years of profession in 2014, Sr. Alice still radiates joy to those around her.