Sisters formerly in diocese celebrate 50th anniversaries of professions

Benedictine Sisters Anne Shepard, Sharon Hamsa, Rose Marie Stallbaumer, and Rita Killackey (Photo courtesy Benedictine Sisters of Mount St. Scholastica)

By Marty Denzer
Catholic Key Associate Editor

KANSAS CITY — Four religious sisters who served in the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph for many years, but have since left the diocese, are celebrating 50 years of consecrated life. Benedictine Sisters Anne Shepard and Rita Killackey and Daughter of Charity Barbara Bachman all made solemn profession of vows in 1967.

Sister Anne Shepard grew up in the Washington, D. C. area before moving to Atchison, Kan., to attend Mount St. Scholastica College. She entered the Benedictine community while a student.

Sister Anne later earned advanced degrees in Education; peace education was the emphasis in her doctoral program. She served as teacher and as principal before being appointed Superintendent of Schools for the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph. She returned to the monastery in Atchison when she was elected prioress of the Mount St. Scholastica community, a post she would hold for 12 years.

Like her classmate Sister Anne, Chicago native Sister Rita Killackey moved to Atchison to attend Mount St. Scholastica College and entered the community while a student. Sister Rita worked in parish religious education in both the Archdiocese of Kansas City, Kan., and the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph. She later earned a degree in Canon Law, and served as a Canon Lawyer for the Kansas City-St. Joseph Diocese working in the Tribunal. She retired to the monastery in 2016 and now serves in spiritual direction and other ministries.

Two other Sisters of the Mount St. Scholastica class of 1967 celebrated 50 years of religious life as Benedictines. Sister Sharon Hamsa, who formerly taught at Longview Community College in Lee’s Summit for two decades, and now teaches at Donnelly College in Kansas City, Kan., and Sister Rose Marie Stallbaumer, who served as a teacher and principal before returning to Mount St. Scholastic in 1988 to serve first as the monastery’s business manager and now as treasurer.

In a video recorded shortly before their anniversary celebration at the monastery July 31, the four classmates talked about what religious life means to them and what impressed each about the other three.

To Sister Anne, it’s all about faith. “We talk about faith, and I tear up,” she said. She was described as outgoing, guitar-playing and as having a care for every Sister in the community, which really showed while she was prioress.

Sister Rita said, “Something very basic in me responds to the needs of the Church; this is where God wants me to be.” She was described as kind and resilient. The day before her first day of teaching she received two black eyes from getting hit with a basketball on the court. She went to work anyway, forgiving the sister whose wild shot hit her. Her 35 years in the Kansas City-St. Joseph diocese were spent teaching, earning her Canon Law degree and serving in the Tribunal. Her knowledge of Spanish and Portuguese was noted.

Sister Sharon, who was honored at the diocesan Mass and reception for her Golden Anniversary in religious life Oct. 1, was described as a talented Math teacher who connects with foreign students at Donnelly College and gets to know something of their families, which helps them succeed academically. Her cakes and parties were lauded, as well as her professionalism and creativity, especially in dance.

Sister Patricia Bachman

Kansas City native Sister Patricia Bachman grew up in Guardian Angel Parish and entered the Daughters of Charity, making her solemn profession of vows in 1967. She has renewed those vows annually on the Feast of the Annunciation, March 25, as is the rule of the Daughters of Charity, a Vincentian order.

Her first mission was serving as Housemother at St. Elizabeth’s Home in New Orleans, first an orphanage and later a home for troubled children run by the Daughters of Charity. While there, she remembered attending 23 parades since the city provided transportation and snacks for children to and from the parades. Her mother died during that mission, tinging her memories with sorrow.

From 1976 through 1981, Sister Patricia served at several social service agencies in Austin and San Antonio, Tex., then returned for one year to St. Elizabeth’s Home.

After serving in Lincoln, Neb., Pine Bluff and Little Rock Ark., where she sang in a Gospel choir, she returned to New Orleans. She served as Program Coordinator at St. Monica Social Service in the mid-1990s and recalls many clients calling her Teresa because she reminded them of Mother Teresa.

Sister Patricia returned to Kansas City in 1995, serving until 2003 at St. Elizabeth’s Parish in several ministries. Except for four years in healthcare services in San Antonio Tex., since 2003 she has lived at the Sarah Community in Bridgeton, Mo., a suburb of St. Louis, and now serves in the Ministry of Prayer, as a moderator for the Ladies of Charity and as a volunteer at SSM DePaul Health Center.

Congratulations to all the Sisters celebrating anniversaries of profession in 2017 with gratitude for your service.

 

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Wednesday
November 22, 2017
Newspaper of the Diocese of Kansas City ~ St. Joseph