This year, the Dominican Sisters of Peace (formerly the Great Bend Dominicans) celebrate a year of Jubilee, commemorating significant profession anniversaries of 70 Golden and Diamond Jubilarians. Six of these Sisters made their original professions of vows in Great Bend.
Sr. Kathy Goetz, OP (50 years professed)
When she entered the convent from St. Joseph parish in Hays in 1962, Sr. Kathy Goetz could not have imagined the blessings religious life had in store for her. In her early years, Sr. Kathy taught at various schools in Kansas, including St. Magdalen in Wichita, St. Joseph in Scott City, and St. Dominic in Garden City. At the young age of 30, Sr. Kathy was made motherhouse coordinator and later was named novice director. Earning a certificate in theological studies from the Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley (California) in 1980, Sr. Kathy began a ministry in accompanying individuals on their spiritual journeys, which she has continued in various roles since. She served in Canton, Oklahoma, ministering to the pastoral needs of Cheyenne and Arapaho Native Americans, then ministered for seven years as pastoral care director at Mount Joseph Senior Care Center in Concordia. She went on to serve in spiritual direction at the House of Contemplation (Liebenthal), in pastoral ministry at St. John Evangelist Parish (Hoisington), and as director of Associates for her congregation. When the Great Bend Dominicans united with six other congregations to form the Dominican Sisters of Peace in 2009, Sr. Kathy moved to St. Catharine, Kentucky, where she served until recently as pastoral minister to her elderly and infirm Sisters at Sansbury Care Center. In August, she will assume the role of Hospitality Coordinator at Heartland Center of Spirituality in Great Bend.
Sr. Cecilia Ann Stremel, OP (50 years professed)
Growing up on a farm in Hays, Kansas, Sr. Cecilia Ann Stremel was surrounded by strong examples of faith and commitment, with numerous aunts, uncles, and cousins who had entered religious life or the priesthood. As she celebrates 50 years as a Dominican Sister, she proclaims that her great aunt Mother Mary Clare had the greatest influence on her. “She was such a gentle, kind, holy person,” she explained. “I truly believe that her prayer, example, and love were the reason I became a religious.” Sr. Cecilia Ann was a teacher from the time she graduated from Newman University, Wichita, in 1965 until 1987, ministering at schools throughout Kansas and at times even serving at two schools simultaneously. Her assignments included St. Rose in Great Bend (1965-66, 1980-87), St. Mary in Garden City (1965, 1969-80), Sacred Heart in Cunningham (1966-67), and St. Boniface in Sharon (1967-69). Following a sabbatical year, in 1988 Sr. Cecilia Ann embarked on a new ministerial direction in health care, which has proved to be a great blessing ever since. She feels privileged, she says, to be part of healing in the lives of persons of all ages, nationalities, and afflictions at the Heartland Center for Wholistic Health in Great Bend.
Sr. Mary Rose Engel, OP (75 years professed)
Sr. Mary Rose Engel has given her entire ministerial life to the education of parochial school students. She once tried education as a nurse but soon learned that her calling is to be a teacher and principal in Kansas Catholic elementary schools. She taught and/or was principal in almost all the years from 1938 to the 1990s. She also gave nearly four years to the position of Local Coordinator at the Motherhouse in Great Bend, Kansas. At this time Sr. Mary Rose resides in the convent infirmary in Great Bend and gives her days to prayer and friendship with the other sisters in the infirmary and at the Motherhouse.
Sr. Amata Pantel, OP (75 years professed)
Sr. Amata Pantel has had a varied ministry in domestic services. She resided on many educational missions of the Sisters and was skilled in cooking and sewing. She has also served as a teacher aide in parochial schools in Saint Leo and Liberal, Kansas, as a home health aide in Great Bend, and as a gardener in the lovely shrines and grounds of the Motherhouse in Great Bend. Currently Sr. Amata resides in the convent infirmary and is one of the daily prayer intercessors for the world’s needs.
Sr. Bertilla Brungardt, OP (65 years professed)
Sr. Bertilla Brungardt has given excellent ministry in domestic support work for Sisters’ educational ministries, a bishop’s residence, Manna House of Prayer in Concordia, Kansas, and at the Dominican House of Studies in Rome, Italy. She worked as a health aide, a kitchen supervisor, and a cook at an adult day care center. Currently she volunteers at Saint Rose Ambulatory and Surgery Center in Great Bend as a volunteer, and in this way continues a ministry in health care that she loved so much when she was in pastoral care at Saint Catherine Hospital in Garden City, Kansas. She also assists in many duties at the Motherhouse in Great Bend where she resides. Sr. Bertilla is always a smiling, positive presence among her Sisters at the Motherhouse.
Sr. Diane Traffas, OP (60 years professed)
Sr. Diane Traffas began her ministry as an educator in parochial students of Kansas, Oklahoma, and Colorado. Later she served as Vice President for Mission Integration for Catholic Health Initiatives and was a missionary in Amakohia, Nigeria, West Africa. Currently, Sr. Diane is Motherhouse Coordinator at Saint Catherine convent in Bardstown, Kentucky, where she resides, and a member of the Sponsored Ministries Board for her congregation, the Dominic Sisters of Peace. Sr. Diane loves singing and spreads joy with her clever, appropriate, and often humorous verses to well-known tunes for community celebrations!