Dominican Sisters honored for
decades of service to God’s people
Editor’s Note: Due to the high number of Sisters celebrating their jubilees, space constraints only allow the SKR to include the three 50-year jubilarians in this issue. The other Sisters celebrating their jubilees will be highlighted in the next issue of the Register. Congratulations to all the Sisters celebrating their jubilees!
This year, the Dominican Sisters of Peace celebrate a year of Jubilee, commemorating significant profession anniversaries of 63 golden and diamond jubilarians, including 14 Sisters with ties to the Dodge City diocese.
Here are the three Sisters who are commemorating milestone “golden jubilees”:
Sister Francine Schwarzenberger, OP
Sister Francine was born in Collyer, Kansas, to Michael and Ida Heier Schwarzenberger. She has four brothers and three sisters: Donald, John, Richard, Martin, Mary Beth Segawa, and Serena Billmeyer. Her parents are still living and reside in Denver.
After earning a BS in Elementary Education, Sister Francine taught in Catholic schools of the Dodge City diocese for 10 years, but her call to pastoral ministry and liturgical music began early in her ministerial life. She earned an MM in liturgical music from Catholic University in Washington, DC, and also holds an MA in specialized ministry from Iliff School of Theology in Denver. She held various positions in the Dodge City diocese in this ministerial area: Diocesan Liturgical Coordinator, Associate Director of the RENEW Program, and Diocesan Coordinator of Pastoral Services.
Many of her positions brought her to minister in her native Kansas: she served on a pastoral ministry team in Offerle, Saints Peter and Paul (Kinsley) and Saint Mary’s (Hodgeman County), and later in Pratt. She was a member of the leadership and formation teams of the Dominican Sisters in Great Bend. She also was a staff member of Heartland Center for Spirituality in Great Bend for six years. During a sabbatical year, she worked with Habitat for Humanity International and was twice a co-supervisor of Women’s Build houses in Americus, Georgia, in 1993 at a time when women were just beginning to do “women only” builds in the organization. She spearheaded the establishment of the Barton County Habitat for Humanity affiliate.
Sister Francine lives in Denver where she has been a core member of the Dominican Sisters House of Discernment, Coordinator of In-Home Care Services, and House Manager of Father Woody’s Haven of Hope. Currently she is one of the Mission Group Coordinators for the Dominican Sisters of Peace, overseeing the pastoral needs of Sisters ministering in her geographic region of the United States.
The poor, the marginalized; care for planet Earth; nuclear disarmament and the prevention of nuclear war; foreign missions; homelessness; peace; closing the School of the Americas: the list of causes dear to Sister Francine’s heart are many. She has been among the poor and homeless, with missionaries and protesters, and is preacher and pray-er of all the causes that spark her response in love of God and others. She loves her ministries and the people with whom she is connected in life.
“Being a Dominican,” says Sister Francine, “is a grace beyond comprehension – a challenge, a gift, a life-giving motivation to be part of an Order that for 800 years has blessed the world community with its mission.” With pride, excitement, and gratitude, she claims Sisters and Brothers in the Order as her family. “Who wouldn’t want to say ‘Yes!’ to such a call! I love everything Dominican and being a part of it!”
Sister Rose Mary Stein, OP
Dominican Sister of Peace Rose Mary Stein, the daughter of Raymund and Clara Stegman Stein (both deceased), was born in Spearville, April 6, 1936, and baptized at Saint John the Baptist Church. She has one brother, Don (Dodge City). Her brother, Melvin, of Spearville died June 25. She attended Saint John Catholic grade school and the public high school in Spearville, and later Marymount College in Salina. After entering the Dominican Sisters of Great Bend, she completed a BS degree in elementary Education at Newman University in Wichita (then Sacred Heart College) and an advanced degree in Adult Christian Community Development at Regis College in Denver.
Early ministry experiences for Sister Rose Mary began in 1962 in the classrooms of elementary students in the Dioceses of Wichita, Dodge City, and Denver. By 1968 she was teaching in high school at the Christian Leadership School in Great Bend (Immaculate Conception High School), then at Luckey High School in Salina. Following her time as a teacher, she was part of a team ministry in three rural parishes of western Kansas where she served as coordinator of family religious education; she continued in that role at Our Lady of Perpetual Help parish in Goodland, and then in the two parishes of Dighton and Scott City. From there, Sister Rose Mary became an itinerant minister living from a suitcase and traveling among rural parishes in Scott City, Leoti, Tribune, Marienthal, Syracuse, and Johnson.
Sister Rose Mary also served as councilor on the Leadership Team of the Dominican Sisters of Great Bend for eight years. Beginning in 1994, when Sister Rose Mary was hired by the Diocese of Dodge City, her ministerial focus widened greatly and she began working in a field she calls the “love of her life” – parish ministry. She traveled to 56 parishes of the diocese to work with parents and the elderly. By 1998, she was ministering in Sacred Heart Cathedral Parish, now Our Lady of Guadalupe Cathedral Parish, as director of adult religious education/formation, a position she still holds.
Some parish activities she oversees include the Search Program, retreats at Camp Saint Malo in Colorado, the Love and Logic Parenting Program, small faith communities, “Little Tin Box” retreats, and a successful clown ministry as “Rainbow.” Just recently she organized and pulled off an art fair in the cathedral parish hall to increase unity and to help parishioners to know one another.
Having June and July off from parish ministry gave Sister Rose Mary a chance almost every summer to organize a small group of volunteers to help the needy or elderly somewhere. She taught Native American children in Canton, Oklahoma. She taught Powder Puff Mechanics and Defensive Driving to the Sisters in Great Bend. She spearheaded Family Day in Great Bend for Sisters’ families. She traveled with groups to Europe and to the Holy Lands. She was a volunteer missionary in Zambia, Africa, with Dominican Sisters there for six months in 2006. She worked in soup kitchens and community gardens, and at Heartland Farm near Great Bend. She participated on a Habitat for Humanity house-build with former President Jimmy and First Lady Rosalyn Carter in Americus, Georgia. She and her volunteers painted houses for the elderly in LaJara, Colorado, and organized a similar trip to Monte Vista, Colorado. She worked in New Orleans for a week after Katrina and in Greensburg after a major tornado, and helped with a census of rural Hispanic families in Hereford, Texas. Verdenburg, Alabama, was even a site of Sister Rose Mary’s attention to the poor children there when she and others went there as tutors. And this is only a partial list of endeavors of the seemingly endless energy of Sister Rose Mary.
Even after 2009, when her Great Bend congregation merged with six others to become the Dominican Sisters of Peace, Sister Rose Mary and others worked at two of the new community’s ecology centers – Shepherds’ Corner near Columbus, Ohio, and Crown Point in Akron, Ohio. “0Wherever I went in those eventful summers,” she says, “I had fun. It was invigorating to be able to share my talents and myself with the less fortunate, to bring smiles where they were in short measure, to play hard and long, to become acquainted with new peoples and new cultures, to tutor and share what I had learned, to make homes where there were only shacks, to brighten sorry-looking buildings, to be involved in growing things to add to the beauty of the Earth, and to drop the seeds of the Gospel at all my destinations. God has blessed me with good health and deep stamina and for this I am grateful.”
Sister Joan Ice, OP
Sister Joan Ice was born in Topeka as Joan Yvonne to Albert and Magdalene Glotsbach Ice (both deceased) on June 7, 1940, one of three boys and five girls: William, Gerald, Thomas, Carolyn (May), Theresa (Boley), Rita (Johnson), and Catherine (Fuller). She attended Hayden High School in Topeka. When Sister Joan first received the habit as a Dominican Sister in Great Bend, she received the name Sister Mary Albertine. She later returned to her baptismal name, Joan.
Sister Joan attended Immaculate Conception College in Great Bend, and Sacred Heart College (now Kansas Newman University) in Wichita. She spent a year of internship at Saint Francis Hospital in Wichita and graduated from Sacred Heart College with a BS in medical technology. She achieved accreditation with the American Society of Clinical Pathologists as a medical technologist, and later with a specialty in blood banking.
In 1999, Sister Joan took a position at Manna House of Prayer, a retreat house ministry of the Saint Joseph Sisters in Concordia, and remained there for 11 years. While in Concordia, she became an accomplished quilter and made several queen-sized quilts for the Dominican Sisters’ Annual Mission Bazaar in Great Bend. At Manna House she also ministered in therapeutic touch with retreatants as a form of prayer.
Throughout most of her 50 years of ministry, Sister Joan has shared her gift of music with parishes where she has worked. She played guitar and sang at Masses at Saint Joseph Hospital and the Cathedral in Wichita, led a small guitar group at Saint Dominic’s in Garden City, and with her lovely soprano voice, led the singing for Our Lady of Perpetual Help parish in Concordia and at her congregation’s Motherhouse in Great Bend.
Sister Joan has just recently moved to Heartland Farm, a ministry of the Dominican Sisters of Peace near Great Bend. There she hopes to continue her quilting and be a part of all the retreats, gardening, ecological activities, and simple sustainable living practices of Heartland Farm.
Grateful for her vocation as a Dominican Sister, Sister Joan says, “I entered religious life because I felt God was calling me to this way of life. Over the years I have felt God’s presence and love sustaining me in this call.”