Sisters Celebrate Jubilees
This year 13 Racine Dominican Sisters will celebrate special anniversaries in ministry. On June 25, the Dominican community will honor these women who together have served Racine and other communities in Wisconsin and beyond for a total of 835 years. Jubilarians include:
Celebrating 75 years
Sister Lucy Edelbeck was born in Wausaukee, WI, and earned a bachelor’s degree from Mount Mary College, Milwaukee, and doctorate from Louisiana State University. She taught high school and college courses around Wisconsin, Michigan, and Illinois, including St. Catherine High and Dominican College in Racine. She served in parish and neighborhood ministry in Milwaukee for many years, helping women to reach for their place in society and church, encouraging inclusive language, designing greeting cards to highlight women’s role in the church, and lecturing across the country. S. Lucy lives at Siena Center, where the motherhouse of the Racine Dominican community is located.
Celebrating 70 years
Sister Audrey (Jane Dominic) Williamsen was born in Little Chute, WI, and earned bachelor’s degrees from the St. Norbert College, DePere, and the College of St. Catherine, St. Paul, MN, and a master’s from Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo. She taught and served as librarian in schools around Wisconsin, Michigan, and Kentucky, including St. Edward and Dominican College in Racine. From 1974-1986, and again from 1997 to the present, S. Audrey has lived at Siena Center and served as the librarian.
Sister Cecile Boehmer was born in Madison, WI, and grew up on a farm near Sauk City. She earned a bachelor’s degree from the College of St. Catherine, St. Paul, MN, a master’s from Notre Dame University, Notre Dame, IN, and a doctorate from UW-Milwaukee. She taught middle grades, high school and college science courses in schools around Wisconsin, New Mexico, and Kentucky, including St. Joseph, St. Mary, St. Catherine High and Dominican College in Racine. S. Cecile lives at Siena Center, plays in the Sisters’ orchestra and volunteers at the Racine Zoo.
Sister Bernadine Pohl was born in Fowler, MI, and earned a bachelor’s degree from Dominican College, Racine, and a master’s in counseling from UW-Platteville. She taught elementary grades in Wisconsin and Michigan before transitioning into chaplaincy, parish ministry, and hospice counseling. Her ministries in Racine included Sacred Heart, St. Rita, and St. Mary Schools. Since returning to Racine in 2005, S. Bernadine has tutored English as a Second Language and provided community service. She lives at Siena Center.
Sister Dolores (Andre) Enderle was born in Detroit, MI, and earned a bachelor’s degree from the College of St. Catherine, St. Paul, MN, a master’s from the University of Notre Dame, IN, and a doctorate from Ball State University, Muncie, IN. She taught elementary through college levels (including Racine’s St. Rose, St. Joseph, St. Edward and Dominican College); was a college president, coordinator of student aid and grant writer; served as vice president of the Racine Dominicans; and authored A Time to Grow, a volume of her community’s history. S. Dolores lives at Siena Center.
Celebrating 60 years
Sister Patricia (Henry Marie) Chaffee was born in Racine and earned a bachelor’s degree from Dominican College, Racine, and a doctorate from Indiana University, Bloomington, IN. She served as a teacher, technical writer and library coordinator in Wisconsin, Indiana, Maryland, Virginia, California, New York, Arkansas, and Missouri. She was also a pastoral associate for a parish in El Salvador and was active with Racine/Kenosha’s Central American Solidarity Coalition. S. Pat lives in Racine and serves as an advocate for Sisters living in skilled nursing facilities.
Sister Donna Marie (Leonard Marie) Koenigsknecht was born in Pewamo, MI. She has served in cooking, baking, gardening, maintenance and laundry ministry in Chicago, IL, and in Oconomowoc, Pewaukee, and for the past 28 years, at Siena Center in Racine. She completed a food service workshop at Dominican College in Racine. S. Donna Marie lives at Siena Center where she manages the front entrance garden, performs in the community bell choir, assists at Siena Retreat Center, and continues to provide service in many other ways.
Sister Barbara (Florence Ann) Kukla was born in South Milwaukee, WI, and earned bachelor’s degrees from Dominican College, Racine, and Ohio University, Athens, OH, master’s degrees from Notre Dame University, IN, and Ursuline College, Cleveland, OH, and a chaplaincy certificate from St. Luke Hospital, Milwaukee. She served as a teacher at St. Joseph and St. Edward schools and as a pastoral associate at St. Patrick Parish in Racine She was formation director for her community, counselor, artist, and art therapist. S. Barbara lives in Racine, volunteering as an art therapist.
Sister Kathleen Loewen was born in Kenosha and received a bachelor’s degree from Dominican College, Racine, and a master’s degree from Webster College in Webster, MO. She began her ministry as a private music teacher and later served as a parish liturgist and musician at St. Patrick Parish, Racine, and St. Elizabeth Parish, Kenosha. Sister Kathleen also served as director of the Office of Worship for the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, as a seminary faculty member, and as communication director for her community. She lives in South Milwaukee and serves as a musician for Siena Center.
Sister Rita (Alice Ann) Lui was born in Racine and earned a bachelor’s degree from Dominican College, Racine, and a master’s degree from St. John University, Collegeville, MN. She served as a teacher, formation director, vice president of her community, and for 20 years as director of Siena Retreat Center. S. Rita lives in Racine, volunteering at the retreat center, helping with many other projects, and serving on various committees. She also assists with fundraising events for the HOPES Center, a downtown ministry serving people who struggle with homelessness and mental illness.
Sister Suzanne Noffke was born in Appleton, WI, and received a bachelor’s degree from Dominican College, Racine, and a doctorate in linguistics from UW-Madison. She is a translator, writer, and historian, and has published commentaries and translations of the works of St. Catherine of Siena as well as Embrace the Swelling Wave, the first of a three-volume history of the Racine Dominican community. She lectures internationally and has led many pilgrimages to European countries to explore Dominican roots. She served as president of the Racine Dominicans for six years. S. Suzanne lives in Racine.
Sister Alice (Barbara Ann) Rademacher was born in Fowler, MI, and earned a bachelor’s degree from Dominican College, Racine, a master’s degree from the College of Racine, an LPN from Gateway Technical College, Racine, and a certificate in gerontology from UW-Parkside. After teaching for 30 years, including at Holy Name and Sacred Heart schools in Racine, S. Alice pursued ministry in nursing. She worked at Lakeshore Manor, Racine, from 1998-2004. Since 2004, she has been an LPN at Siena Center, where she lives, and now also serves Siena Retreat Center.
Sister Ruthanne Reed was born in Detroit, MI, and earned a bachelor’s degree from Dominican College, Racine, a master’s degree from UW-Milwaukee, American Montessori Teacher Certification, Chicago, and spiritual guidance training certificate, Siena Center, Racine. She taught in Wisconsin, Texas, and Idaho, and founded Small World Montessori School in Racine. S. Ruthanne was a missionary preacher, parish pastoral associate, and for the past 11 years, director of formation for her community and co-director of Racine Dominican associate relationship. She lives in Racine.