2022 Jubilees

2022 Jubilee Celebrations

Every year, our community celebrates jubilees, special celebrations designating an anniversary year.

This year, we have sisters celebrating 50 and 60 years of religious life. 

Celebrating 50 Years of Religious Life

Born and raised in Cascade, Iowa, Sister Suzanne Takes has ministered in several places: she taught at St. Columbkille, Resurrection, St. Joseph, Key West all in the Dubuque area and since September 14, 1985 as a missionary in Bolivia. She has been involved as youth minister, religion teacher for junior high and high school students, director of the Academia trade school, administrator of the pharmacy in the local hospital and now with the Guaraní people.

Sister Suzanne’s current focus of ministry has been to assist people in obtaining necessary legal documents such as birth certificates and identification cards. She expends energy and offers empathy to each person with whom she journeys. She travels between the rural communities, the village of Entre Rios and the city of Tarija to accomplish the task of assisting the people to receive the documents which are their legal right.

“I recall Nano’s words when she expressed that her schools brought such joy to her, that she considered her work a blessing, certainly not a sacrifice. That is how I feel about my ministry here, total blessing,” reflects Sister Suzanne.

Experiences of radical hospitality and deep gratitude are evident for Sister Suzanne as she lives her missionary spirit in Bolivia. “We never visit the people without being offered something, no matter how little they have. It is humbling knowing that they are gifting us with all they have, not from any surplus. I am reminded of the widow who gave all she had to the prophet Elijah,” states Sister Suzanne.

“As I reflect on this moment in my life, my heart is filled with gratitude for the honor of being a Presentation Sister, and the privilege of accompanying the Bolivian people for 37 years. When I left for Bolivia, I wasn’t aware of the new reality that was to be beyond anything that I ever imagined. There have been challenges, hardships but especially blessings. My greatest blessing is family: my immediate and growing family; my Presentation family; all my students from my earliest teaching days to the present; and my Bolivian family. I have indeed been blessed, totally overwhelmed by God’s love shining in each of them.”

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Celebrating 60 Years of Religious Life

Sister Marilyn Breen is a life-long learner and continues to grow in her faith and spirituality with each new opportunity. Sister Marilyn taught in Catholic elementary and high schools in Algona, Dubuque and her hometown of Farley, Iowa. For 27 years, she served as director of religious education at St. Patrick Parish in Cedar Falls, Iowa; and St. Columbkille Parish and St. Joseph the Worker Parish, both in Dubuque, Iowa. She was in congregational leadership from 1989-1998, serving as vice president from 1993-1998; and, more recently, as councilor from 2018 until present.

Sister Marilyn resides in the Pilsen neighborhood in Chicago, Illinois, and has completed an internship in spiritual direction at the Claret Center. She enjoys walking with others as they discover God in the ordinary experiences of life. For several years, Sister Marilyn has lived with the newest members in the Presentation community. Her great love for community is expressed as she meets each new candidate at the door, welcoming them with open and honest sharing of herself and all that she has. Her quiet, unassuming, steady presence fosters the gifts of others. Her hospitable heart shares without counting the cost.

“Community has allowed me to be a part of something bigger than myself,” reflects Sister Marilyn. “I can stand with others who share the same values and work together to make the world a better place for all, especially those on the margins. Being part of a loving community has been one of my greatest blessings of religious life.”

“As I celebrate another jubilee, I am grateful to my family, friends, the Presentation community and the many people with whom I have ministered over these 60 years. The communion of saints, both living and deceased, has brought hope, forgiveness, challenge and experiences that have helped me to grow and to live with joy. I celebrate with thanksgiving to God and to all who have graced my journey,” states Sister Marilyn.

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Sister Michaeline Healy is a true servant leader who is connected to the people she serves. For 27 years, Sister Michaeline taught at Catholic schools in Algona, Bankston, Bode, Dubuque, Farley, Osage and Salix, all in Iowa. In 1997, she decided to change her ministry to bring presence, care and enjoyment to others through pastoral care. Today, Sister Michaeline is the pastoral associate at St. Mary Parish in Caledonia, Minnesota, a position she has held for 25 years. Her strong compassion for those in need is demonstrated in her untiring service to her parish community.

Sister Michaeline believes one of Nano’s greatest gifts was being present to the needs of people. Emulating Nano, this is what Sister Michaeline tries to do by offering presence and support to the families of St. Mary Parish and the Caledonia community. A native of Schaller, Iowa, Sister Michaeline came into the world with a twin sister and was raised with 10 sibilings on a farm in western Iowa. According to Sister Michaeline, her upbringing has made all the difference in how she views life.

“It is my belief that I was called to the ministry of pastoral care by God, from the first night I was called to minister to an elderly woman who was dying. I had never experienced someone dying,” shares Sister Michaeline. “I repeatedly prayed, ‘God help me to know what to say and what not to say; when to be there and when to leave.’ Today I continue to say this prayer knowing I am not alone in my ministry. I am standing on the shoulders of my Presentation foundresses, my deceased and living Presentation sisters, associates, family members and all who walk with me. I believe I make a difference by just being myself and being present to others in times of joy and in times of difficulty and crisis.”

“My year of jubilee is a wonderful time to reflect on Nano Nagle’s words, ‘Go out into the winding lanes and there you find Christ.’ Indeed I do with my ministry of pastoral care,” states Sister Michaeline. “My ministry is about being willing to walk the journey of life and faith with another. My heart is filled with joy and gratitude for those who have touched my life, who have welcomed me into their lives.”

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Sister Margaret Anne Kramer loves life and people with zest and joy. An outgoing person, she is always ready for experiences of fun and laughter. She draws strength from her deep faith and helps others to accept difficulties and loss. Her pleasant and steady presence brings strength to others while her laughter and playful banter convey an energetic delight.

Presently of Dubuque, Sister Margaret Anne taught at Catholic schools in Dubuque, Iowa; Chicago, Illinois; and St. Paul, Minnesota; and was principal in Waukon, Iowa. She served as house coordinator at Mount Loretto; pastoral minister at the Cathedral of St. Raphael in Dubuque; and associate director for catechesis for the Archdiocese of Dubuque. Currently, Sister Margaret Anne is pastoral associate of St. Anthony Parish in Dubuque, and director of pastoral care for the Sisters of the Presentation at Mount Loretto.

Attending to the sick and elderly brings Sister Margaret Anne face to face with the diminishment that is part of life – loss of mobility, limitations of sight and hearing, the loss of family members and friends at the time of their death. And yet, she brings comfort and consolation during her pastoral visits. She brings the gift of hope, and in turn, is gifted through the sick and elderly. Her ministry is extraordinary, not so much because of what she does but because of the people to whom she ministers. “As I minister to many in their time of need, I receive far more that I am able to give. Their strong faith, their love of Christ and their acceptance of life’s circumstances are treasures I will never forget.”

Reflecting on this jubilee, she expresses, “My heart is filled with joy and gratitude for the many blessings I have received during these 60 fulfilling years. I am thankful for all those who have journeyed with me and brought me to this day - my parents, my family, friends, community, students and coworkers. What a blessing you have been. I look forward to the tomorrows I know the Lord’s everlasting love will be with me.”

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“What you have received as a gift, give as a gift.” This quote found in Matthew 10:8 resembles Sister Joellen Price’s gifts of music and liturgy. She received these gifts at birth, and throughout her life, she continued to give them back to all the communities where she ministered.

Serving since 1967 in parishes in Lawler, Sheldon, Key West, Algona and Storm Lake, all in Iowa, Sister Joellen taught classroom music and piano lessons while being the parish liturgist. For a few years, she served as the house coordinator at Mount Loretto. Then, she worked in Kansas City with the Kansas City Organizing Project, whose goal was to help people close down drug houses. Later, Sister Joellen became the liturgist and musician at Christ the King Parish in Kansas City, Missouri, and for Immaculate Conception Parish in Sioux City, Iowa.

After years of serving as a music teacher, and then as a liturgy and music director, Sister Joellen hungered to conclude her active ministry years by serving those made poor. So she moved to St. Pius X Church in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, to coordinate efforts for social justice and pastoral care. Through that time she commuted to LaCrosse, Wisconsin, for a training program in spiritual direction. This certification has been invaluable as she listens to people on their journey to a deeper spiritual life.

In 2018, Sister Joellen returned to Mount Loretto to serve as the liturgist and musician for the community until recently. She continues to offer spiritual direction for various persons in the Dubuque area.

Sister Joellen Price partners with God by always working with creative hands. Stitching, quilting and making music have been some of her lifetime endeavors. Gifted with a symbolic connection between faith and life, Sister Joellen, is a genuine problem-solver who is willing to take risks and be of help in many ways to make other people’s lives richer by sharing her many talents with them, especially her Presentation community.

Looking back over the last 60 years, Sister Joellen expresses, “I am grateful for God’s presence in my life along with my family and the Presentation community who support what I do and who I am.”

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