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January 2015 Partner Spotlight: Marlene Lutkenhoff

Posted on: December 31, 2014 2:00 pm
Tags: Spotlight,

Marlene Lutkenhoff with Calvin and Sr. Mary Paul Zembrodt

The Sisters of Notre Dame are missioned to proclaim God’s goodness and provident care, but we do not do it alone! Hundreds of individuals and organizations dedicate their prayers, their time, and various resources to share in carrying out Jesus’ mission near and far. Each month we pass the mic to one or more of our partners and shine the spotlight on their relationship with the Sisters of Notre Dame.

January 2015 Partner Spotlight: Marlene Lutkenhoff (California, KY)

"Being involved with the Sisters of Notre Dame is such a rewarding experience. The Associate program was mentioned at a retreat I attended several years ago at the Heights. When I heard about it I was immediately intrigued. I enjoyed learning about the Sisters and all the good works they do at the local and international level. In the fall of 2010 I started the formation process to become an Associate of the Sisters of Notre Dame.

Going to Mass and staying at the Heights is always a treat. Throughout the year there are spiritual talks and retreats that are open to the Associates. There is a feeling of peace that permeates the halls. Walking the grounds and enjoying the beautiful flowers and foliage is restful. It is as if the wind rustling through the leaves whispers, “Relax, sit awhile, and feel His presence.”

Once I was an Associate, I began volunteering in Lourdes Hall. I went on a few outings and visited the sisters, but what I most enjoyed was reading to Sr. Mary Evangelita Spechtold. We both had a love of books and spent many hours reading spiritual books and discussing the content. Her mind was sharp and she shared her knowledge freely with me. She often expressed to me how much she enjoyed our time together and before she died, she said that she would pray that someone would read to me when I got older, like I did for her. She taught me so much--in her living and in her dying. I miss her still today.

After Sr. Mary Evangelita passed away in the summer of 2014, I had to find a new way to spend my time at the Heights. Now I bring my two-year-old grandson, Calvin, with me on a regular basis. First, we head downstairs to the dining room where Calvin has a snack and smiles and gives high fives to the sisters he meets along the way. We then go up to Lourdes Hall where we primarily stop in to visit Sr. Mary Sebastien Schmidt, Sr. Mary Joanne Lutkenhoff, and Sr. Mary Paul Zembrodt. One morning they had music time for the Sisters while we were there. Calvin performed his dance routine and had all the sisters watching him and enjoying his energy and enthusiasm. We don’t stay long but I know that our short visit brings many smiles to the sisters and the staff.

I am glad I chose to be an Associate of the Sisters of Notre Dame. From the time I step in the door to see Sheila’s welcoming smile to the time I leave, I feel loved and appreciated. I am grateful for all the sisters’ prayers and concern. My companion, Sr. Ruth Agnes Delaney, is especially thoughtful and knows that a good homemade cookie can do wonders for any soul. She loves children and is a part of my faith-sharing group. The faith-sharing group not only spends time studying the Word, but we usually go out to eat twice a year and have an annual “bring the grandchildren to the Heights day.”

I am blessed that I have a family that supports my volunteer work and I wish more people understood what religious sisters are all about and how much they do for others."

-Marlene Lutkenhoff

Anne Hood
Date: on January 9, 2015

I agree with Sr. Dolores!

Sr. M. Dolores Giblin
Date: on January 8, 2015

We certainly are glad you are part of our family, Marlene. I'm especially glad that you are part of our Women's Retreat team. Three cheers--no, make it 300!

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