Sister Yvonne Arnoldi (Rose Stephen)
The example set by Yvonne Arnoldi’s Racine Dominican teachers at Sts. Peter and Paul School in Green Bay, WI, led to her “desire to be a part of this ‘family’,” she reflected. The sisters “were dedicated to their ministry and exhibited peace and joy in their lives.”
And so, shortly after her 14th birthday, Yvonne headed to Racine to become a Racine Dominican aspirant. Four years later she was received into the community and given the name Sister Rose Stephen, which she kept until the 1960s when she returned to her baptismal name.
Her 44 years of teaching took S. Yvonne to just five Wisconsin schools – in Kimberly, Milwaukee, Merrill, Janesville, and Green Bay. In each situation, she found great reward in experiencing her students’ joy in learning. Also in each, she found the people had a “deep love and desire for a strong development and growth of their children’s faith, knowledge, and character,” she said. “I tried to instill these elements in my ministry, especially in my love of music and prayer in Church celebrations and throughout our school day.”
S. Yvonne recalls many rich times in her 50+ years as a sister – “not always easy, but always learning experiences that helped me, hopefully, to be a better person individually and as a community member.” Included in these rich experiences are the larger “community celebrations and assemblies that are filled with beautiful prayer, music, and joy.” The unity found in striving toward the same goals is very meaningful to her.
She would like people to know that Racine Dominicans are committed to truth and compelled to justice. “No matter what ministry we are involved in, we strive to live this motto each in our own way,” she noted. She is “proud of our sisters who are able to be involved in seeking truth and justice in cities and in governments,” as well as all who serve in less visible ways.