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Seven Aberdeen Presentation Sisters Celebrate Jubilee

17 Aug, 2020
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Sister Elaine Goodell Celebrates 75th Jubilee

Sister Elaine Goodell was born in Reeder, N.D., grew up in Alexandria, Bridgewater and graduated from Parker High School, Parker, S.D.

She attended Notre Dame Junior College in Mitchell, S.D., receiving an associate teaching degree. She went on to earn a bachelor’s in piano and music education from Alverno College, Milwaukee, Wisc., a master’s in music and a doctorate in musical arts from The Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C.

For 17 years, Sister Elaine shared her love of music through teaching in schools in Huron, Mitchell and Sioux Falls, S.D. She also served as chair of the Presentation College Music Department from 1972-1980.

Always wanting to help others, Sister Elaine’s call led her to chaplaincy study and work. She began her pastoral care ministry in Austin, Texas, and at (Avera) St. Luke’s Hospital, Aberdeen, S.D. Then, at age 60, she began a 33-year career as a staff chaplain at the Healthcare Chaplaincy, Inc., and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York City, N.Y., receiving numerous awards throughout the years.

Now fully retired at Presentation Convent, Sister Elaine continues to share her bubbly spirit with all she meets. 


Sister Sabina Joyce (RIP – June 2020) Celebrates 75th Jubilee 

Sister SaBina (Marian Jeanette) Joyce was born in Aberdeen, S.D., and grew up in North Dakota, being taught by Fargo Presentation Sisters.

She attended Notre Dame Junior College and Presentation College, receiving her teaching certificate. She received a bachelor’s in English and elementary education from Northern State College (University), Aberdeen, S.D., and a master’s in English from Marquette University, Milwaukee, Wisc.

Sister SaBina shared her smile and love of learning with students for over 50 years in South Dakota, Minnesota and Montana. In addition, she spent several years at Presentation College teaching English, serving as the English department chair and directing the Shalom Singers.

She served as mission effectiveness coordinator at Presentation College and Mother Joseph Manor, and was also supervisor of pastoral care at Mother Joseph Manor. After retiring, she continued to volunteer at Nagle Inn, Sioux Falls, and as an ESL teacher at Caminando Juntos, the Presentation Sisters’ Hispanic ministry in the Sioux Falls, S.D., area.

After moving back to Presentation Convent, Sister SaBina shared her passion for music and cooking, sharing homemade caramels with family and friends.  


Sister Eileen Ford Celebrates 70th Jubilee

Sister Eileen (Virginé) Ford was born and raised in Dorchester, Mass., attending public school in the Boston, Mass., area. She went on to receive an associate’s degree from Presentation College, Aberdeen, S.D. Her early ministries included sharing her gifts with others through domestic service, physical therapy assistance and as a social service designee, at many schools, hospitals and parishes throughout South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Montana.

Sister Eileen went on to complete continuing education in preparation for the ministry of pastoral care and outreach ministry. For almost 25 years she walked with others through this ministry at (Avera) St. Luke’s Hospital and Mother Joseph Manor, both in Aberdeen, providing compassion and a listening heart to those in need.

Sister Eileen continued her service to others through the Foster Grandparent Program, where, for more than 10 years, she would share her smile and give her full attention to elementary students at C.C. Lee Elementary in Aberdeen. She commented, “I found the work uplifting and rewarding, and it filled me with a sense of joy.”

Now fully retired, Sister Eileen is engaged in prayer ministry.


Sister Josita Schwab Celebrates 70th  Jubilee

Sister Josita (Elizabeth Mary) Schwab was born and raised in rural Andover, S.D. After attending Presentation College, Aberdeen, S.D., she received additional training in clinical pastoral education, dietary administration and theology.

Sister Josita shared her gifts with others as she worked in dietary services in Huron and Mitchell, S.D., before returning to Aberdeen to supervise the Presentation College cafeteria where she became acquainted with students from all over the world, some of whom she still keeps in touch with today.

In 1978, Sister Josita was called to minister as a parish visitor in Huron, Jefferson and Elk Point, S.D., where she would visit and pray with people in need at hospitals, nursing homes and the regional jail.

She joined St. Joseph’s Catholic Housing in Sioux Falls, S.D., in 1996 and for 11 years, ministered as a friend and advocate to poor families, immigrants and elderly residents at Northridge Apartments and West Creek Woods.

After moving back to Aberdeen, she volunteered at Avera St. Luke’s Hospital. Now partly retired, Sister Josita serves on the convent Pastoral Care Committee and enjoys making cards and writing to friends and family.

Sister Josita reflected on challenges she has faced in her life and the role of prayer in getting her through.
Sister Josita Schwab Reflects on Challenges of Today and the Role of Prayer


Sister Myra Remily Celebrates 60th Jubilee

Sister Myra (Ann Frances) Remily was born in Aberdeen, S.D. She was raised in Brentford, S.D., where she graduated from high school. She received a dietary management degree from St. Louis University, St. Louis, Mo., and then obtained her bachelor’s of theology from University of Steubenville, Steubenville, Ohio.

After serving in parish ministry in Chamberlain, S.D., and Linton, N.D., Sister Myra answered the call and began catechetical missionary work. For 17 years, she lived in rural areas of Mexico and Bolivia where she trained young women and men to carry out the faith in their villages. As she walked and ministered with them, her love of the Hispanic culture deepened as she witnessed the joy in them when they realized the words to the Lord’s Prayer in their own language.

Responding the need for accompaniment with the newly arriving Hispanic population in the Aberdeen, S.D., area, Sister Myra continues her work for justice. Like foundress Nano Nagle, she welcomes and advocates for our new sisters and brothers, helping them to become self-sustaining in their new home.

In her spare time, Sister Myra enjoys listening to music, taking long walks and reading a great book. 


Sister Sheila Schnell Celebrates 60th Jubilee

Sister Sheila (Margaret Mary) Schnell was born and raised in Pierre, S.D. After receiving an associate’s degree at Presentation College, Aberdeen, S.D., she earned a bachelor’s in theology, philosophy and education, and a master’s in theology from Marquette University, Milwaukee, Wisc. She also received training in spiritual direction and retreat ministry, cross-cultural theology, diversity training, and Spanish language and Latino cultural studies from Catholic Theological Union in Chicago.

For nine years Sister Sheila shared her love of learning in schools in Sioux Falls, S.D., and Mound and Willmar, Minn. She served as the coordinator of retreats and spiritual development for the congregation and then pastoral associate at Sacred Heart Parish, Moline, Ill., before becoming the congregational formation director.

Sister Sheila lived in Mexico for a year before ministering at Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish, Omaha, Neb. Five years later, in Sioux Falls, S.D., she joined other Presentation Sisters in establishing a corporate Hispanic Ministry, Caminando Juntos, serving as a diversity trainer, office administrator, and ESL coordinator and teacher.

Now retired, Sister Sheila continues to enjoy reading, reflection and contemplative prayer, always keeping God’s poor and suffering in her heart.

Sister Sheila shares her musings on how her life has been fulfilling and has now come full circle.
Jubilee Musings by Sister Sheila – this is her reflection submission


Sister Pegge Boehm Celebrates 35th Jubilee

Sister Pegge (Margaret Mary) Boehm was born in Milwaukee, Wisc., and graduated from St. John’s Cathedral, Milwaukee. She attained a computer data processing associate degree, attended Creighton University, Omaha, Neb., obtaining a bachelor’s in theology and a masters of divinity from St. John’s School of Theology, Collegeville, Minn.

Having a heart for justice and those made poor, Sister Pegge spent three years serving with the Latino people in Mexico. She interned with NETWORK: A National Catholic Social Justice Lobby group and was director of Catholic Rural Life for the Diocese of Sioux Falls. She ministered with the National Catholic Rural Life and then served in parish and rural outreach ministry in Milbank and Timber Lake, S.D.

For six years, Sister Pegge worked at Caminando Juntos, our ministry with Latinos in the Sioux Falls, S.D., area. Welcoming all, she taught English, assisted with immigration cases, advocated for immigrant issues and was a resource to parents and potential sponsors of unaccompanied minor children.

Sister Pegge currently works with shareholder advocacy for the Presentation Sisters and enjoys working outside and sharing a cup of coffee with a friend.