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Special day at the Motherhouse
Sr. Alvina Miller marks 106th with prayer, special German meal and a little exercise
COURTESY PHOTO Sr. Alvina Miller, OP celebrates her 106th birthday at the Great Bend,Motherhouse on Feb. 17.

The Dominican Sisters of Peace announce the 106th birthday of one of their beloved sisters, Sr. Alvina Miller, OP, on Feb. 17. Sr. Alvina lives at the Congregation’s Great Bend Motherhouse.

A special highlight of the day for Sr. Alvina was a delicious meal, reminiscent of what her mother (of German descent) made her as a little girl - short ribs, mashed potatoes, sauerkraut, and chocolate pudding, served to her at the Great Bend Motherhouse. Also on the agenda during the birthday week is a Tai Chai class to stay active and social, listening to books on tape, attending Mass and saying prayers.

Sr. Barbara Kane, OP, Mission Group Coordinator at the Great Bend Motherhouse says, “Sr. Alvina is one of the best students in our Tai Chi class! Even though she is in a wheelchair she stays active with Tai Chi and other things that are important to her such as attending Mass. Sr. Alvina lives at the Motherhouse’s infirmary which has a balcony that enables her to join with other Sisters at the Motherhouse for the Eucharist and morning and evening prayers.

Sr. Alvina has been praying from an early age. She spent her life on her family’s farm until she left at age 14 to begin the journey towards Sisterhood. She recalls her father’s tears about her decision but also the pride her parents felt because of her vocation. She had one sister and two brothers, now deceased, but still has two sisters-in-law living. Sr. Alvina remembers the first step towards the Rite of Perpetual Vows when she promised to live by religious vows for one year (part of the ritual towards sisterhood in 1935), “This was a highlight of my life as a Sister. Even though it was a promise to keep the vows for only one year, when I was kneeling at the altar, I was making my vows for a lifetime.”

Sister Alvina has demonstrated her faith as well as her love of helping people countless times during her years as a Dominican Sister of Peace. A few of her many accomplishments include her ministry as a librarian and establishing a library within the Great Bend Motherhouse, her 35 year-long ministry as an educator - instructing first through sixth graders. She adds, “Teaching was not easy, many children didn’t know much coming in to school, but it was gratifying to watch them learn.”

Right now, the most satisfying thing in Sr. Alvina’s life is the time she spends in her prayer ministry. Sr. Alvina says, “I am grateful for all these years in religious life and so enjoy helping and praying for others. I remain appreciative of the permission to spend time in prayer, which is what I was given as a Dominican Sister of Peace.”

Sr. Pat Twohill, Prioress of the Dominican Sisters of Peace, describes Sr. Alvina as inspirational, “Sr. Alvina has truly spread Christ’s Gospel through her actions. This is what we are called to do as Dominican Sisters of Peace. She has lived her vows all throughout her life and continues to do so daily as she offers prayers as part of her Prayer Ministry.”

Sr. Alvina is the oldest living Dominican Sister of Peace. Sr. Francis Dominici Piscatella of the Sisters of St. Dominic of Amityville, N.Y. turned 110 on April 20, 2023, and is considered to be the oldest living nun in the country, according to the Gerontology Research Group.

The Dominican Sisters of Peace currently have seven women in formation for consecrated religious life. Women who are interested in pursuing a vocation to religious life can learn more on the Dominican Sisters of Peace website at The Congregation will hold a Come and See retreat in March 2024.

About the Dominican Sisters of Peace: Dominican Sisters of Peace, members of the Order of Preachers, are vowed Catholic women who preach the Gospel of Christ through lives of service and peace-making. The Dominican Sisters of Peace are present in 22 states and Nigeria. The Sisters serve God’s people in many ways, including education, health care, spirituality, pastoral care, prison ministry, the arts, and care of creation. There are more than 300 Sisters and more than 200 lay women and men associated with the congregation.

Courtesy photo A note written about Sr. Alvina by her parents.