Three BVMs celebrate golden jubilees

Sr. Lukefahr

Three Sisters of Charity, BVM, with ties to the Davenport Diocese are among 13 Sisters who will celebrate 50 years in religious life this summer. The jubilarians will gather in the Mount Carmel Motherhouse Chapel in Dubuque on July 31 for a liturgy of thanksgiving.

Sister Irene Lukefahr, BVM, is a native of St. Louis, and has served as educator, administrator and pastoral minister. She says, “Each of my many ministries and mission experiences has had its rewards and joys as well as challenges!”

Sr. Lukefahr taught elementary school in Davenport and also in Missouri and Illinois. She taught and was an administrative assistant in Illinois, a principal in Tennessee, director of religious education in Georgia and director of adult education and also a parish minister in Missouri. She served in parish ministry and as a counselor in California too. Sr. Lukefahr has ministered in Kumasi, Ghana, since 2006.

“For me, being a BVM in today’s Church means being part of a wonderful and gifted community of women religious and lay associates who together witness to God’s steadfast love and serve the cause of justice wherever we are in the world.” She plans additional informal jubilee celebrations with family and friends and also celebrated on April 19 at the Mass of Holy Chrism in Ghana.


Sister Sandra Rodemyer, BVM, (St. Philip) was born in LaCrosse, Wis. She has served as an educator and administrator. Sr. Rodemyer taught high school in Iowa City and elsewhere in Iowa. She has been able to serve her home Diocese of Des Moines for 43 years of ministry.

“I am blessed to have been able to do that. I always wanted to serve the diocese that gave birth to my vocation.” She ministered as director of DMARC food pantry in Des Moines for over a decade. She currently serves in ministry at the Iowa Correctional Institution for Women/

Mercy Hospice. “I have been doubly blessed to have served God and his people as a Sister of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary. This journey, in the company of such wonderfully strong, faith-filled women, has been a blessing in itself.”

Sister Joyce Rohlik, BVM, (Joyce Mary) is a native of DeKalb, Ill. and has served as an educator and pastoral minister. “Whatever mission I was on,” she said, “that was my favorite at that time and I thought it was the best place for me.” She taught elementary and high school in Muscatine as well as in Illinois and Florida. In Florida, Sr. Rohlik also was coordinator for Americana Healthcare and the Life Care Center. She served as coordinator of ministries and as pastoral minister and in parish ministry in Florida. Since 2007, she has ministered as diocesan annulment advocate in Lakeland, Fla. “I feel blessed to have shared these past 50 years with so many special BVM women who have touched my life.”

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