Featured here are Presentation Sisters who celebrate 10, 25, 50, 60 and 75 years in religious life.
2016 60th Jubilee Celebration
“We proclaim a year of jubilee!” Mass and the celebration of 60 years of religious life for six Dubuque Presentation Sisters began on July 13, as Sister Mary Louise Scieszinski, on behalf of Sister Julianne Brockamp and all Presentation Sisters and associates, called all to worship announcing:
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon you. You bring love, joy and hospitality to the winding lanes where you bind up the broken hearted, counsel the doubtful, instruct the needy, advocate for the trafficked, welcome the refugee, liberate captives and release prisoners from bondage. Because of what you have done for the poor ones in your midst’ for 60 years, we proclaim a year of jubilee!”
The symbol of Nano Nagle’s lantern and the theme of “Joy, Love and Gratitude” set the tone for jubilee day as sisters and associates honored Sisters Mary Emilie Bormann, Donna Determan, Sheila Ann Dougherty, Jeanine Kuhn, Hermann Platt and Raeleen Sweeney.
The jubilarians entered the Dubuque Sisters of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary in 1956 and 1957 and professed first vows in 1959 and final vows in 1964. Each has served as teachers and individually they have given generously in other ministries or service such as chaplaincy to prisoners; advocacy for the unborn; volunteering for those made hungry, homeless and veterans of war; spiritual companioning; promoting the dignity of immigrants; and mentoring future and new teachers.
Sister Mary Emilie Bormann
Sister Mary Emilie Bormann, daughter of the late Charles and Anna Hartmann Bormann of Whittemore, Iowa, is currently in community prayer and service, Mount Loretto Presentation motherhouse, Dubuque, Iowa. Formerly Sister Emilie served as an elementary teacher and principal in Catholic schools at Monona and Algona in Iowa; and in Oak Lawn, Illinois; in parish ministry in Monticello, Minnesota; and as a chaplain in a federal correctional facility in Marianna, Florida; and the Federal Medical Center in Rochester, Minnesota.
Helping to beautify the Mount Loretto grounds, Sister Emilie assists in keeping the property weed free and tends the roses that are shared throughout the house. “It’s a blessing in these retirement years to have the time to care for God’s creation on our spacious Mount Loretto grounds,” she comments. “I get energized by reverencing and celebrating all creation as gift.”
She also accompanies senior sisters to appointments and assists in the Mission Room packing and sending clothing to those in need. “I enjoy crocheting Afghans for gifts, raffles at fund raisers and for donations and purchases in our gift shop,” she comments.
“As I celebrate jubilee I reflect on the past 60 years and am most grateful for my call to our Presentation community. My heart is filled with joy for the opportunities I have to serve God, God’s people and all of creation.’
Sister Mary Donna Determan
Sister Mary Donna Determan, daughter of the late Raymond and Bonita Shire Determan of Mason City, Iowa, is currently in community prayer and service at Mount Loretto. She also gives support to the Dubuque County Right to Life and spends time visiting the sick and elderly. Formerly Sister Mary Donna served as an elementary teacher in Catholic schools at Dubuque, Whittemore, Storm Lake and Mason City in Iowa, and in Chicago.
“The inspiration and zeal of Nano Nagle, our Presentation foundress, and the example of Presentation Sisters in education and service to others and praying daily in community energize me,” states Sister Donna.
“This jubilee celebration is a special way of thanking God for His grace and blessings the past 60 years,” comments Sister Donna. “I’m also grateful to my family and friends for their loving support.”
Sister Mary Sheila Ann Dougherty
Sister Mary Sheila Ann Dougherty is the daughter of the late Everett and Mayme Hall Dougherty of Mason City, Iowa. Currently Sister Sheila Ann is in community prayer and service at Mount Loretto. During her years in retirement, Sister has also been involved in ministry to the Veterans at James A. Lovell Federal Veterans’ Hospital in North Chicago, Illinois. In the Dubuque area, Sister volunteers regularly at the Dubuque Food Pantry and Dubuque Rescue Mission. She is an active member of the Coalition Against Human Trafficking in the tri-state area. Sister Sheila Ann continues to use her musical ability by accompanying regularly for liturgical celebrations.
“As a woman religious today I am most passionate about direct ministry to the homeless and those in poverty, as well as facilitating education and advocacy on behalf of victims of human trafficking,” states Sister Sheila Ann.
Formerly Sister Sheila Ann served as an instrumental and classroom music teacher in Catholic elementary schools at Monona, Osage, Algona, and Dubuque (elementary and high school) in Iowa; in congregational leadership; and in pastoral ministry in Oak Lawn, Illinois; and as director of parish liturgy and music in Dubuque and Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
“As I celebrate 60 years as a Presentation Sister, I am grateful to God for the many opportunities I’ve had over the years of ministry to God’s people in parishes, schools and volunteer ministries. I thank God for the gift of music, which has been such a part of me since my childhood years. I live with joy and gratitude for all that has been and all that is yet to be.”
Sister Mary Jeanine Kuhn
Sister Mary Jeanine Kuhn, is the daughter of the late Sylvester and Elizabeth (Sullivan) Kuhn of Osage, Iowa. Currently Sister Jeanine offers spiritual direction in the Waterloo area and volunteers at Cedar Valley Hospice Home. This fall she will become a member of the formation community in Dubuque.
Formerly Sister Jeanine served as an elementary teacher and principal in Catholic schools at Dubuque and Farley in Iowa; in St. Paul, Minnesota; in congregational leadership as president and councilor; in congregational formation and vocation ministries; as a pastoral minister in Charles City, Iowa; and as administrator, spiritual and retreat director at American Martyrs Retreat House, Cedar Falls, Iowa. For six years she worked at St. Stephen the Witness Catholic Student Center at the University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls, guiding students on their spiritual journey.
“With a grateful heart I celebrate these 60 years living in community with the Sisters of the Presentation. I am so grateful to all who supported me along the way with their love, joy and friendship. God gifted me with a call to follow in faith and has given me many blessings to serve in a variety of ministries,” reflects Sister Jeanine. “The mission call from our foundress Nano Nagle described by Raphael Consedine, PBVM, in her book One Pace Beyond, is still my call: ‘Go out! For need calls loudly in the winding lanes, and you must see Christ there.’”
Sister Mary Hermann Platt
Sister Mary Hermann Platt, daughter of the late Joseph Platt and Elizabeth Marking Platt of Algona, Iowa, is archivist for the Sisters of the Presentation, Dubuque, Iowa.
“My passion at this time is to keep before us the history of the Dubuque Presentation Sisters. We stand on the shoulders of so many brave women who have built the community and have left us Nano Nagle’s legacy. The more we know about them the better we can carry on her work in the world today. Part of the work also is to help people connect to their family roots, providing stability in their lives and informing them of the mission carried out by their ancestors.
Formerly Sister Hermann served as an elementary teacher and principal in Catholic schools at Osage, Storm Lake, Ryan, Dubuque, Whittemore and Algona in Iowa, and Oak Lawn in Illinois; as educational Associate for the Dubuque Archdiocesan Office of Education and Presentation community consultant; and as editor of the former Mount Loretto Bulletin.
“Jubilee is a time of rededication of my life to God and to the work of the community,” states Sister Mary Hermann. “I see it as a celebration of what God has brought about in my life and a time to look ahead to the years to come and discern what God has planned for my future. My passion at this time is to keep before us the history of the Dubuque Presentation Sisters. We stand on the shoulders of so many brave women who have built the community and have left us Nano Nagle’s legacy,”
Sister Mary Raeleen Sweeney
Sister Mary Raeleen Sweeney is daughter of the late Ralph Sweeney and Ileen Birdsell Sweeney of Waukon, Iowa. Currently she is consultant to the CEO of the Golden Apple Foundation in Chicago, Illinois, while continuing to mentor Golden Apple Scholars. Formerly Sister Raeleen served as an elementary teacher in Catholic schools at Dubuque, Elkader, Farley and Mason City in Iowa; at Oak Lawn, Illinois; and as director of Golden Apple Scholars Core Professional Development, Golden Apple Foundation.
“I continue to reverence relationships with Golden Apple Teaching Scholars as they meet their daily challenges and successes in life,” remarks Sister Raeleen. “I am energized by daily contemplation for myself and others.
Reflecting on this jubilee time she says, “This jubilee celebration reminds me of the ever-constant loving support I receive from my Sisters of the Presentation, my family friends and my colleagues at Golden Apple without whom I would not be the individual I am today. My life has been and continues to be shaped by blessings in abundance; I am deeply grateful for all the joy, love and the light of Nano Nagle's Lantern. I am passionate with all the possibilities in life today from the past and graced by the present to live with hope for the future.”