Nine Ferdinand Benedictine sisters recently celebrated Diamond Jubilees with Mass in the monastery church at Monastery Immaculate Conception in Ferdinand.
Celebrating 80 years were Sisters Helen Maurer, Benita Biever and Dolorita Libs. Sister Victoria Pohl celebrated 70 years of profession. And 60-year celebrators included Sisters Mary Austin Blank, Mary Emma Jochum, Mary Cheryl Uebelhor, Rosa Lee Koch and Mary Oliver Reising!
Sister Helen Maurer, from Haubstadt, entered Monastery Immaculate Conception in 1937 and professed her monastic vows in 1939. She received a bachelor’s degree from St. Benedict’s College and master’s degrees in music and voice from Butler and Indiana Universities. She was a music teacher at the Academy of Immaculate Conception/Marian Heights Academy in Ferdinand, St. Benedict Cathedral School in Evansville, Christ the King in Indianapolis and Mater Dei High School in Evansville. At Grambling State University, she was a music instructor. Sister Helen also provided music lessons to students in Ferdinand and Tell City.
Sister Benita Biever, from Tell City, Indiana, professed her monastic vows in 1939. After receiving a degree in education, she taught elementary students in Washington, Columbus, Evansville, St. Anthony, Fulda, Rockport and Jasper. Sister Benita also was the Formation Director of temporary professed and postulants at the monastery and worked as a religious education teacher for St. Meinrad Parish in St. Meinrad. After working as a sacristan and in the vestment department, as well as the bakery, she continues her ministry in prayer at the monastery.
Sister Dolorita Libs, from Floyds Knobs, Indiana, professed her monastic vows in 1939. She earned a bachelor’s in Education from St. Benedict College and a Master of Education in home economics from St. Louis University. Sister Dolorita was an elementary teacher at St. Anthony, St. Michael, St. Paul, Mater Dei and Christ the King schools. She also completed missionary work in Guatemala. At Marian Heights Academy, she worked as the receptionist, was the activity director for a nursing center and did pastoral work at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Huntingburg.
Sister Victoria Pohl, from Haubstadt, made her profession of vows in 1949. Sister Victoria taught in Evansville at St. Theresa School and Mater Dei High School. She also was an Assistant Professor of the math department at St. Benedict College and Indiana State University, as well as a Math Instructor for the University of Southern Indiana. For several years she worked for the St. Vincent de Paul Food Pantry in Evansville as Coordinator of Food Pantry/Emergency Services. At the monastery, she worked as the mailroom supervisor and cash bursar.
Sister Mary Austin Blank, from Cincinnati, Ohio, professed her monastic vows in 1959. After receiving a degree in education, she worked as a math teacher for St. Theresa and Mater Dei in Evansville. She also taught at the Academy Immaculate Conception/Marian Heights Academy in Ferdinand, where she also served as President. While in North Carolina, she worked in the admissions office for Sacred Heart College, and Elms & Associates as a regional director. She also held the Director of Admissions role for Felician College in New Jersey and Brescia University in Owensboro, Kentucky. At the monastery, she taught online and helped as a switchboard operator and handling communication calls for the mission advancement department.
Sister Mary Emma Jochum, from Huntingburg, also professed her vows in 1959. She has a bachelor’s degree from St. Benedict College and a master’s in religious studies from Mundelein College in Chicago. Her teaching degree took her to Washington, Vincennes, Fort Branch, Boonville, Evansville and Tell City, working as a teacher and Director of Religious Education. She also held this role for the Diocese of Evansville. Today you can find her giving tours to visitors of the monastery, as well as making mission advancement calls to donors.
Sister Mary Cheryl Uebelhor, from Schnellville, entered Monastery Immaculate Conception in 1957 and professed monastic vows in 1959. Her bachelor’s in Education from St. Benedict College and master’s in mathematics from St. Louis University serve her well working in the monastery’s business office today. She was a teacher at St. Theresa, Mater Dei, Forest Park High School, and St. Benedict College in Ferdinand, where she was also the Dean of Students. Several other colleges obtained her services as a math instructor, including Vincennes University (Jasper), Spalding University in Louisville, and Brescia University in Owensboro. At the monastery, she has held roles as a business manager and salary administrator of the Hildegard Health Care Center.
Sister Rosa Lee Koch, from Evansville, professed monastic vows in 1959. She has a bachelor’s in Education from St. Benedict College. Her ministries over the years include teaching at Christ the King School in Evansville and St. Ferdinand Grade School and High School. Sister Rosa Lee performed missionary work in Guatemala and Peru for several years. At the monastery, she’s been an administrative assistant for development, as well as the business office, and was the first gift shop manager. Most recently, her skills have her working in the business office, managing the monastery sister’s database.
Sister Mary Oliver Reising, from Evansville, entered Monastery Immaculate Conception in 1957 and professed her monastic vows in 1959. Her St. Benedict College education degree led her to minister as a teacher in Mariah Hill, St. Henry and Evansville. She held the director of religious education position at St. Ferdinand and St. James Parishes, and she taught religion classes in St. Henry, St. John and St. Philip. At Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Owensboro and St. Joseph Parish in Dale, she served in pastoral and music ministry. Sister Mary Oliver currently serves as an organist and artist.