The OLVM Congregation has faced many challenges in recent years, many which have felt like endings. But the Victory Noll Sisters are embracing this as a time for re-commitment to live into the next phase of their life. They are called to explore the depths of the vowed life, open themselves to a new experience of community life, and continue their search for God and the questions of God, and to share who they are with others.
VICTORY NOLL SISTERS
FRONT ROW: Sr. Valeria Foltz, Sr. Betty Anderson (died Nov. 21, 2022), Sr. Alma Bill, Sr. Dennis Kerr,
Sr. Joan Arnold (died June 6, 2022), Sr. Maria Luisa Valdez, Sr. Rose Ann Kaiser (died Sept. 23, 2022),
Sr. Regina Marie Morrissey.
SECOND ROW: Sr. Helen Rodriguez-Marin, Sr. Connie Lewandowski,
Sr. Kathleen Cummings, Sr. Adela Amoroso-Medrano, Sr. Angeline Walczyk,
Sr. Judy Turnock, Sr. Rose Zita Rosonke, Sr. Christopher Rudell, Sr. Mary Louise Rowney.
THIRD ROW: Sr. Lucy Regalado, Sr. Francisca Olvera, Sr. Clarita Trujillo,
Sr. Beaty Haines, Sr. Guadalupe Aguilar-Huanca, Sr. Guadalupe Flores-Ocaña,
Sr. Leora Linnenkugel, Sr. Lucille Martinez, Sr. Rita Musante.
FOURTH ROW: Sr. Teresa Aparicio-Cervantes, Sr. Mary Jo Nelson, Sr. Ginger Downey, Sr. Jeanette Halbach, Sr. Terri Nederhiser, Sr. Mary Alice Murphy.
“As Missionary Sisters, we too are called together to form a community of life and service that we may better minister in Jesus’ name. We ask Mary’s help as we strive to achieve that unity of mind and heart for which Jesus prayed.” (OLVM Constitutions)
The common life is defined in such a way that it becomes a mutual support for all in fulfilling the vocation of each member by:
The mutual giving and receiving
The recognition of being interdependent with each other
Basing life relationships with each other not on blood or attraction but a shared faith in the Risen Jesus.
To be true to the values and spirit of the Common Life each member is called to assume the life-long responsibilities of:
Strengthening connections among the congregation’s members
Being dependable to bring stability to these connections
Participating in creating and sustaining the environment of our Congregation’s common life.
Mirroring respectfulness toward all members of the Congregation
Inviting members to awaken to the sacredness within their own person and the persons who surround them.
“We strive to love and support one another in a life of faith and service. We share friendships and a common heritage. Together, we make those decisions which enable us to continue Jesus’ mission with faith, hope and courage.” (OLVM Constitutions)
When the changing demographics left no Victory Noll Sisters willing or able to serve in leadership, they began a search for a commissary congregation — another community to provide them with a congregational leader. The Sisters of Providence in Terre Haute were approached, and in turn selected Sr. Jenny Howard to fill the OLVM leadership role.
The transfer of leadership completes a journey dating back to 2016. The Victory Noll Sisters, who recently celebrated their 100th anniversary, faced a reality their aging community would not have members who were willing or able to serve in elected leadership. Most of the 31 Sisters are over the age of 80 and there have been no new members in the past 25 years. They began the process toward petitioning for a commissary.
In 2020, OLVM Sisters held conversations with three communities about their willingness to become a commissary congregation. In 2021, OLVM voted to suspend their current governance structure and petition Rome for a commissary.
In January 2022, OLVM Sisters recommended the Sisters of Providence to provide leadership. Subsequently, the general superior of the Sisters of Providence delegated Sr. Jenny Howard to become the OLVM congregation leader starting in August 2022.
In addition to naming a congregation leader, a new OLVM Corporate Board was revised for new circumstances.
Sr. Jenny Howard, SP
Sister Jenny Howard has ministered as a Sister of Providence of St. Mary-of-the-Woods, for 39 years. She holds Master’s degrees in Biology and Secondary Education Counseling. From 1974-1996, she taught students junior high and high school science, biology, and served as guidance counselor. From 1996-2001 she served on the General Council of the Sisters of Providence. From 2001-2011, Sr. Jenny ministered in the role of Vocation Director for the congregation. Sr. Jenny has just completed two, five-year terms of elected leadership as general counselor, 2011-2016, and 2016-2022. Holding always a strong passion for justice, Sr. Jenny presently serves in part time ministry at Providence Housing Corporation in West Terre Haute, Indiana.
OLVM CORPORATE BOARD
Front row — Ronald Orman; Sr. Leora Linnenkugel OLVM, treasurer; Sr. Jenny Howard SP, President. Back row — Phillip McKenzie; Jason Kissel; Kevin Luechtefeld, Vice President; Keith Lawson, OLVM Chief Financial Officer.
The lay staff manages many of the day-to-day operations of Our Lady of Victory Missionary Sisters, including individual and corporate finances, purchasing, maintenance, communications
Saint Anne Communities
Even within an aging community, many OLVM Sisters remain in ministries, serving in a variety of fields as they advance the Victory Noll mission. Other Sisters, while officially "retired," still offer their services as volunteers or advocates for issues that have always been at the heart of mission.
Read more about these active ministries HERE
PRAYER & PRESENCE
As the OLVM Sisters age and the congregation grows smaller, their main ministry has become one of prayer and presence, with a focus on and support for those places, issues and concerns that have always been at the heart of our mission. They continue to follow the words of Father Sigstein, who said, “Always go to the poor first.”
An important way that many of the Victory Noll Sisters do “mission” today is by expanding their sense of compassion through contemplative prayer. Franciscan author Ilia Delio expresses it this way: “Compassion is the ability to ‘get inside the skin of another’ in order to respond with loving concern and care. It is a deep connectedness to another; one breathes in the pain of the other and breathes out compassion.” Their prayer for the world, Church, and community, is not to heal the suffering or remove their pain but to be with their brothers and sisters in solidarity as they breathe out compassion.
Mission Integration is the process of assuring that both Catholic and the Victory Noll identities, our Victory Noll Charism, Mission and Values, are integrated into all aspects of ministry (work) being done in the name of the congregation. Through a process of sharing both the Catholic and Victory Noll identities, each person comes to a deeper understanding of how their own spirituality and charism resonates with the Mission, Values and Charism of the Victory Noll Sisters. The Victory Noll charism historically identified with only the vowed members of the congregation is now expressed collaboratively along with and through the ministry of board members, committee members and co-workers. This collaboration reveals the on-going Victory Noll footprint of the Gospel. The Sisters are not the only ones who live this charism. All whom the Spirit calls to this unique relationship of ministry continues the presence of the Victory Noll Charism into the future. The Victory Noll Charism is a gift of and for the Church. Mission Integration assures it lives into the future.
STEWARDSHIP OF RESOURCES
Part of the legacy plan of Our Lady of Victory Missionary Sisters is how they share their abundant resources, and how they pass on their charism, mission and values through their corporate financial contributions. The Victory Noll Sisters have developed three main areas in which they will distribute these resources: Donations, Empowerment Grants, and Major Gifts.
In light of their charism and mission, resources will be used to support:
Local, good-neighbor needs
Emergency assistance for national and international needs
National justice organizations
To carry out the charism and mission of OLVM Sisters, they will support programs/projects that:
highlight justice and equality
benefit the poor and oppressed to overcome poverty
provide educational and leadership development
assist in self-help or enrichment programs
attend to key national issues
Giving a major gift is collaborating in some public way with an organization/ministry that carries on the charism, mission and values of OLVM Sisters.