Two Nielands celebrate 50 year Jubilee

The Catholic Globe, April  5, 2010
Official Newspaper of the Diocese of Sioux City, Sioux City, Iowa

(excerpt from article)

Seven sisters to celebrate jubilees

Seven religious womenserving in the Diocese of Sioux City are celebrating jubilees this year. They will be recognized at a 10:30 a.m. Mass celebrated by Bishop R. Walker Nickless on April 24 at Cathedral of the Epiphany in Sioux City. A dinner will follow for the sisters.

50 Years

Sister Ione Nieland, FSPA, native of Breda and daughter of Helen and Lawrence Nieland, graduated from St. Bernard’s Grade and High School in Breda. She received her B.A. from Viterbo University in La Crosse, Wis., an M.A. from University of San Francisco, Calif., and an M.A. at Loyola University in Chicago, Ill.

Sister Ione entered the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration in La Crosse, Wis., in 1958. She took first vows in 1960 and final vows in 1965.

She has served in teaching and administration positions in Catholic grade schools and high schools in Iowa and Wisconsin. She was the formation director for the FSPA congregation, a writing specialist for Viterbo University and a research aide at Iowa State University in Ames. She is now retired.

Sister Ione said she has enjoyed “being part of a caring community of women who live Gospel lives in a Franciscan spirit of joy and simplicity and who share their gifts with others.”

Sister Irene Nieland, FSPA, entered St. Rose Convent, the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration, from Arcadia. She chose the profession of health care. She was an operating room nurse in Sparta and Idaho Falls, Idaho for eight years before undertaking graduate studies at the University of Colorado-Denver. 

Sister Irene was a nursing instructor at Viterbo University (known then as Viterbo College), and then a registered nurse in St. Paul, Minn. She moved to Majuro, Marshall Islands, where she became director of the School of Nursing at the College of Micronesia (a position she held for eleven years) and, simultaneously, established the College of the Marshall Islands.

Upon returning to the United States, she served for two years as a nursing instructor at Avila College in Kansas City, Mo., and then as a part time massage therapist at Prairiewoods Spirituality Center in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. She also ministered as a registered nurse at a local nursing home for three years.

Moving to her home farm in Carroll, Sister Irene completed her active ministry at St. Anthony Regional Hospital and Nursing Home in the Alzheimer’s Unit. She retired in 2008, and serves her Carroll community today as a volunteer.


Sister Ione Nieland and Sister Irene NielandThe Catholic Globe, Sioux City, Iowa, May 6, 2010
By Katie Lefebvre, Globe staff reporter

Sisters celebrate milestone anniversaries

Although the service of religious sisters sometimes goes unnoticed and unappreciated, said Bishop R. Walker Nickless, “I want to thank all the women religious in our diocese.”

Photo: Bishop R. Walker Nickless poses for a picture with the jubilarians following a Mass on April 24 at Cathedral of the Epiphany in Sioux City. The two sisters on the left are Sr. Ione Nieland FSPA and Sr. Irene Nieland FSPA.

“Thank you for answering the call to serve as a religious woman, especially those who serve in the Diocese of Sioux City,” he said.

Seven sisters serving in the diocese celebrate milestone anniversaries this year. They were honored at a Mass on April 24 at the Cathedral of the Epiphany in Sioux City.

Celebrating 60 years are Sister M. Gertrude Keefe, RSM (who was unable to attend the Mass), Sister Mary Rosemunda Besch, BVM, and Sister M. Arnold Staudt, OSF. Sister Ione Nieland, FSPA, and Sister Irene Nieland, FSPA, are celebrating 50 years of religious life. Marking 25 years of religious life are Sister Anila Edakkamcheril, OSS, and Sister Elsa Puthuppallymattam, OSS.

The jubilarians participated in Mass as lectors and gift bearers. Sister Arnold played the organ.

“Sixty, 50 and 25 years of religious life is quite an accomplishment and a reason to celebrate,” said Bishop Nickless, during the homily. “For the sisters we honor today, I am sure that each of you in one way or another have made the words of the responsorial psalm your own – ‘How shall I make a return to the Lord for all the good he has done for me?’”

He said that those words sum up “years of faithful service to the Lord and to his church. In the teaching, the health care and nursing, the community life and many other venues of service in all kinds of places from right here in Sioux City even to Namibia and the Marshall Islands and all the places in between God’s work has been done.”

“On behalf of the church, I thank you from the bottom of our hearts,” said Bishop Nickless. “Because of your faithfulness great things have been accomplished. We truly do give thanks to the Lord today for all the good he has done for you.”

He thanked all the women religious who were present for the Mass who are serving or have served in the Diocese of Sioux City. He mentioned that at recent presbyteral council meetings the priests wanted to “recognize, thank, affirm and support all the women religious in our diocese.”

The bishop pointed out that women religious have played a role in the lives of many priests including his own. He acknowledged the sisters who helped him as a parish priest.

“Please never underestimate the example and influence that you make. You do make a difference,” he said. “Thank you for the good works you have done and continue to do for the church.”

Following the homily, all of the sisters present stood and renewed their vows.

“…I renew the vows I once made to live a life of Gospel, poverty, chastity and obedience according to the constitutions of my religious congregation,” recited the sisters. “In the presence of this faith community, I thank you for calling me to religious life and I commit myself to the mission of the church.”

At the conclusion of Mass, Sister Irene Nieland, on behalf of all the sisters, thanked Bishop Nickless for “this very beautiful liturgy” and friends and family for being there to help the sisters celebrate.


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