| Sisters Return for Celebration
Gasper-O'Brien, Diane. "Sisters Return for Celebration." Hays Daily News, 29 July 2001.
Volga-German Homecoming: 125th Jubilee Celebration
VICTORIA Sisters Mary Elise Leiker, Lucy Ann Wasinger and
Mary Ann Schippers all grew up in Ellis County.
But they never really knew each other until they all entered the
order of the Sisters of St. Agnes in Fond du Lac, Wis.
Little did they know that years later, they would all end up doing
mission work together halfway around the world in Siberia.
Last week, they all returned together, just in time to help take
part in the 125th anniversary of the Volga-Germans settling communities
in Ellis and Rush Counties.
"It´s great to be home," Schippers said Friday.
Schippers looked every bit the grateful part as she sat under a
tree just outside St. Fidelis Catholic Church in the town where
she spent her childhood.
The three nuns, who have a combined 159 years of religious service
among them, were guests at the last of six celebrations honoring
the 125th anniversary of Volga-Germans settling in the area.
"I think it´s wonderful how beautifully they celebrated
the Volga-German heritage," Schippers said.
The three nuns had been in Siberia doing mission work since 1994
and had returned home only a few times since then.
The Ellis County natives had helped build the parish in Chelyabisnk
to nearly 300 members. Money used from memorial contributions from
people in Ellis County helped to build the church, Our Lady of Immaculate
Conception, which seats 500 people.
As the trio talked of the harsh winters of Siberia and their mission
work, the strain of the long trip home was evident.
Now, the nuns said, they will try to make adjustments to being
back home before deciding on their future.
"We'll go to Fond du Lac and make a retreat," Wasinger
said. "Then we will discern where God needs us."
Reprinted with permission of The
Hays Daily News.