Sunday, September 14, 2014




Jubilarians honored

By Victoria Advocate
July 26, 2013 at 2:26 a.m.


On July 13, the Most Reverend David Fellhauer, Bishop of the Diocese of Victoria, officiated at the 2 p.m. Mass honoring five Sisters who celebrated the 75th and 70th anniversaries of their religious professions as Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament Sisters.

Also in attendance and concelebrating at the Mass were Msgr. John Peters; Rev. Gary Janak; Msgr. Celestino Say; the Rev. John Kollannur; the Rev. Phi Nguyen; the Rev. Greg Houck, O. Carm.; the Rev. Brian Heneden, O. Carm. The Rev. Gary Janak was Master of Ceremonies.

The honorees were: 75 years - Sister Jeanne de Matel Hayden, Sister Annunciata Shumbera, Sister Callista Mares; and 70 years - Sister Alberta Novosad and Sister Marcella Srubar.

Together these Sisters have contributed a total of 365 years of service to the Church in ministries of education, administration, health care and pastoral services.

Sister Jeanne de Matel Hayden, daughter of the late Robert Joseph and Emma (Nocker) Hayden, was born in San Antonio. She attended St. Leo School in San Antonio and graduated from Blessed Sacrament Academy.

Sister Jeanne de Matel entered the Postulancy at Blessed Sacrament Convent on Aug. 17, 1936, received the habit June 10, 1937, and pronounced first vows June 11, 1938.

She received a BA degree from Incarnate Word College (now University) in San Antonio with a major in English and a minor in Spanish and her MA degree with a major in Education and a minor in History.

During 75 years as a professed member of the congregation, Sister Jeanne de Matel taught at Sacred Heart School in Hallettsville, St. Leo School and Blessed Sacrament Academy in San Antonio, St. Mary School in Praha, Holy Cross School in Bay City, Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Ganado, St. Michael School in Weimar, Sacred Heart School in Crosby and Holy Cross School in East Bernard. Sister Jeanne de Matel also served 15 years as principal in four of the schools.

When she retired from full-time classroom duty, she served the congregation as an assistant to the treasurer general. She also used her green thumb by tending the many plants and flowers at Incarnate Word Convent. She also made rosaries for the missions. Sister Jeanne de Matel now resides in the Congregation's Health Care, where she ministers in the Apostolate of Prayer and Suffering and spends time with her sister, Sister John.

Sister M. Annunciata Shumbera, daughter of the late John and Frances (Macha) Shumbera, was born in Weimar. She completed her grammar grades at Bois D'Arc School and St. Michael School in Weimar and high school at Blessed Sacrament Academy in San Antonio. She entered the Postulancy at Blessed Sacrament Convent on Aug. 30, 1936, and received the habit on June 10, 1937. On June 11, 1938, she made her first profession of vows. She received her BA degree from Incarnate Word College (now University) in San Antonio with a major in English and a minor in Spanish. Sister Annunciata received her M.Ed. from Our Lady of the Lake College (now University) in San Antonio with a major in education and a minor in library science.

During the 75 years of her religious profession, Sister Annunciata taught on the elementary, junior high and high school levels at St. Leo School, St. Agnes School and Blessed Sacrament Academy in San Antonio, Sacred Heart School in Hallettsville, Nazareth Academy in Victoria and St. Michael School in Cuero. Sister Annunciata also served as principal and librarian in some of the schools for many years.

During her retirement at Incarnate Word Convent, Sister Annunciata has continued to use her gifts as a librarian in the convent library and the congregation's archives as she also ministers in the Apostolate of Prayer and Suffering.

Sister M. Callista Mares, daughter of the late Cyril and Augusta (Otahal) Mares was born in Cistern. She completed elementary school at St. Wenceslaus School in Cistern and graduated from Nazareth Academy in Victoria. She entered the Blessed Sacrament Convent in San Antonio as a postulant May 10, 1937, and received the habit of the Sisters of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament on Dec. 18, 1937. Sister made her first profession of vows Dec. 19, 1938. She received her B.A. degree from Incarnate Word College (now University) in San Antonio with a major in history and a minor in philosophy.

During the 75 years of her religious profession, Sister Callista taught on the primary, elementary and junior high levels at Sacred Heart School in Hallettsville, Nazareth Academy in Victoria, Blessed Sacrament Academy in San Antonio, Ammannsville Public School in Ammannsville, Sealy Public School in Sealy, Falls City Public School in Falls City and St. Ludmila Academy in Shiner.

After retiring from full-time classroom duty, Sister Callista continued in various ministries at Incarnate Word Convent; she was sacristan, visited nursing homes and pursued her hobbies of crocheting and needlepoint and is now ministering in the Apostolate of Prayer and Suffering.

Sister M. Alberta Novosad (Bernadette), daughter of the late Paul and Mary Novosad, was originally from Fayetteville. Her early education began at St. John School in Fayetteville. The family moved in the early 1930s when she continued her education at St. Jerome School in Plum.

She completed her high school education at Nazareth Academy in Victoria and officially began her novitiate training in December 1941 with the Sisters of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament in Victoria.

After Profession in 1943, Sister M. Alberta Novosad studied at Victoria College in preparation for her teaching ministry and continued at Incarnate Word College in San Antonio, obtaining a degree in English. Later, she studied at St. Mary's University in San Antonio, obtaining a master's degree in counseling. To further her education for administrative duties, she obtained a master's in administration from the University of Houston/Victoria.

Sister M. Alberta Novosad was assigned to teach at various schools, staffed by the Sisters of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament: Sacred Heart School in Floresville; Nazareth Academy in Victoria, teaching first-grade boys for 11 years and later teaching high school English and Latin; Annunciation College, teaching English; Sacred Heart School in La Grange; St. Joseph High School in Victoria as principal (the first women principal of the all-boys high school at the time); principal at Mary Immaculate School in Dallas; Blessed Sacrament Academy in San Antonio as principal; principal of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel and Queen of Peace School in Houston. In the early days, to supplement the low teaching salaries of the Sisters, she taught piano lessons before and after school hours at many of the schools.

After retiring from the teaching ministry, Sister M. Alberta Novosad continued to serve at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel parish in Houston until 2008, when she retired to Incarnate Word Convent in Victoria, where she devoted her time in research and writing "Texas Footprints In the Sands Of Time," a history of the Sisters of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament coming to Texas, and their contribution to the Church, not only in Texas, but also in Illinois and Pennsylvania. She continues to enjoy her hobbies of making rosaries and doing embroidery and crocheting.

Sister M. Marcella Srubar is the daughter of the late Charles and Mary Rose Vecera Srubar of Plum. She attended St. Jerome School in Plum and received her high school education at Nazareth Academy in Victoria. She entered the Postulancy at Nazareth Convent on Dec. 8, 1941.

On July 27, 1942, she received the habit of the Sisters of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament and was given the name of Sister M. Marcella. She pronounced her first vows July 28, 1943, and pronounced her final vows Sept. 1, 1946.

Sister Marcella was awarded a BA degree with a major in English and a minor in Spanish and a M.Ed. with a major in elementary education and a minor in English and history from Incarnate Word College in San Antonio.

Sister Marcella's years of ministry included being an educator in the following schools: Holy Cross School in Bay City, St. Wenceslaus School in Cistern, Nazareth Academy in Victoria, Falls City Public School, Mary Immaculate School in Dallas, St. Leo School in San Antonio, St. Ludmila Academy in Shiner and St. Joseph School in Yoakum. After school hours, Sister Marcella taught piano lessons.

After leaving active ministry in the schools, she served the congregation as local superior at Incarnate Word Convent for nine years. She continued to capture memorable events with her camera and enjoy her hobbies of making Christmas ornaments, etc. She now resides in the Congregation's Health Care where she ministers in the Apostolate of Prayer and Suffering.

Honoring the 2013 jubilarians of the Sisters of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament celebrating 60th and 25th Jubilees

On July 14, the Most Reverend David Fellhauer, Bishop of the Diocese of Victoria, officiated at the 2 p.m. Mass honoring three Sisters who celebrated the anniversaries of their religious professions as Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament Sisters.

Also in attendance and concelebrating at the Mass were Bishop Charles Grahmann, Rev. Gary Janak, Msgr. Celestino Say, Rev. John Kollannur, Rev. Bob Knippenberg and Rev. Brian Eilers. The Rev. Phi Nguyen, chaplain, served as Master of Ceremonies.

The honorees were: 60 years - Sister M. Emilie Eilers and Sister Raphael Rose Stewart, and 25 years - Sister M. Clare Underbrink. Together these Sisters have contributed a total of 145 years of service to the Church in ministries of education, administration, health care and pastoral services.

Sister M. Emilie Eilers is the daughter of the late Joseph and Elizabeth Grafe Eilers, of Hallettsville. She completed grade school and one year of high school at Sacred Heart School in Hallettsville. She entered the Postulancy at Nazareth Convent on Dec. 2, 1951, received the habit June 2, 1952, and pronounced first vows June 3, 1953. She received a BA degree with a major in biology and a minor in chemistry from Incarnate Word College in San Antonio.

During her 60 years as a professed member of the congregation, Sister Emilie taught at Holy Cross School in Bay City, Assumption School in Ganado, Our Lady of Victory in Victoria, St. Leo School in San Antonio and St. Michael School in Cuero. Sister served as principal at St. Michael School in Cuero, Our Lady of Victory School and at St. Joseph High School and was on the Congregational Leadership Team for 18 years.

After a year's sabbatical at Berakah in New Hampshire, Sister Emilie received certification in Spiritual Direction and is serving as Ongoing Formation director for the Sisters. She served in the IWC Health Care as director of Spiritual and Recreational Activities and is presently serving as Dietary director. Currently, Sister Emilie also serves as president on the Amor Meus Spirituality Board, which she helped to organize over the last 6 years.

Sister Raphael Rose Stewart, the daughter of the late Alexander and Winona Sweeney Stewart, was born in Rockport. She received her education at Sacred Heart School in Rockport, Incarnate Word Academy in Corpus Christi, Rockport High School and joined the first graduating class from Sacred Heart High School in Hallettsville (1948).

She entered the Postulancy at Nazareth Convent on Dec. 2, 1951, and received the habit of the Sisters of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament on June 2, 1952; she pronounced her first vows June 3, 1953, and her final vows on Aug. 5, 1956. She attended Incarnate Word College (now a University), from which she received a BA degree with a major in math and a minor in chemistry.

She received a Master of Science in Administration from the University of Notre Dame and a Master of Theological Studies from the Oblate School of Theology. She also pursued studies in Clinical Pastoral Education at MD Anderson and became a Certified Chaplain Advanced.

During her 60 years of profession, Sister Raphael Rose ministered as a teacher at Sacred Heart School in La Grange, St. Michael School in Weimar, St. Leo School in San Antonio, Nazareth Academy in Victoria and Blessed Sacrament Academy in San Antonio.

Sister Raphael Rose served as principal at St. Paul High School in Shiner and Sacred Heart School in Hallettsville. After serving as administrator of Huth Memorial Hospital and studying to become a certified chaplain, She ministered as director of the Spiritual Care Department at Christus St. Mary Hospital in Port Arthur and Corpus Christi.

In her retirement, she took a Sarah Sabbatical to advance her spirituality and spent time at the Manna House of Prayer in Concordia, Kan. She now serves as chaplain in the Health Care for her Sisters. These past few years, Sister Raphael Rose has also been ministering in the Apostolate of Prayer and Suffering.

Sister Mary Clare Underbrink, the daughter of George and Rosemary Underbrink, of Dallas, was born in Garland. She attended St. Thomas Aquinas Elementary School in Dallas and graduated from Bishop Lynch High School in Dallas. Sister Clare earned a B.A. in Math and Special Education from William Woods College in Fulton, Mo., and an M.A.T in Math from the University of Texas at Dallas.

Then, for the next four years, she taught and coached at Skyline High School in Dallas. Sister entered the Postulancy at Incarnate Word Convent on Sept. 8, 1986, and received the habit of the Sisters of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament on Aug. 6, 1987; she made her first profession of vows Aug. 6, 1988.

Sister Clare taught at Nazareth Academy and at St. Joseph High School in Victoria and then began pursuing advanced studies in Theology at Oblate School of Theology in San Antonio. She continued teaching at Sacred Heart School in Hallettsville and then spent seven and a half years in France as she delved into studies in Incarnational Spirituality and 17th Century History and received two PhDs in her studies. Her residence in Lyon, France, has deeply enriched her in the heritage of the Sisters of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament.

Sister Clare now resides at Incarnate Word Convent and serves on the General Council of the Congregation as she teaches theology at St. Joseph High School in Victoria.

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