Sisters of Humility celebrate jubilees


DAVENPORT — The Congregation of the Humility of Mary (CHM) announces the 2019 jubilees of these members of the CHM congregation.

70 years

• Sister Patricia Heidenry was born in Mason City and entered the Franciscan Sisters in Dubuque, IA, in 1949. She transferred to the Congregation of the Humility of Mary in 1977.

Sr. Heidenry

Sr. Heidenry received a BA in elementary education from Briar Cliff College in Sioux City and later a pastoral ministry certificate from Seattle University. Her teaching ministry in Iowa took her to Melrose Park, Waterloo, Pocahontas and Remsen. In California she taught in Crescent City and in Illinois she taught in Melrose Park. She served the Springfield, Ill., diocese for 10 years at St. Joseph Parish in Quincy. She also served in pastoral ministry at Creighton University Medical Center in Omaha, Neb., and at the Dubuque Franciscan Sisters retirement home for 10 years. Sr. Heidenry currently serves in a ministry of prayer and witness at the Humility of Mary Center in Davenport.


• Sister Kathryn O’Meara (Mary Jeanine) is a native of Iowa City and entered the Congregation of the Humility of Mary in 1949. Her first vows were pronounced in 1952.

Sr. O’Meara

Sr. O’Meara earned a BA from Marycrest College in Davenport, an RN diploma in nursing from St. Joseph School of Nursing, a BS in nursing from Marycrest College in Davenport, a family nurse practitioner certificate from Frontier Nursing Service, and a masters in nursing from the Medical College of Georgia. After teaching for several years Sr. O’Meara entered the health field. As an RN she worked in the medical nursing/emergency nursing unit of St. Joseph Hospital in Ottumwa for several years before working for Project Hope, with experience in Tunis, Tunisia, with a land based team, and also with Project Hope on the Navajo Reservation in Ganado, Ariz. She worked in rural medically underserved areas in Georgia and Virginia and as nurse practitioner faculty with the Medical College of Virginia and Frontier Nursing Service in Kentucky. Prior to retirement Sr. O’Meara worked in occupational health in Virginia. She lives in Virginia and is active in a ministry of prayer and witness.

60 years

• Sister Rae Elwood (Mary Mark) was born in Williamsburg and entered the Congregation of the Humility of Mary in 1959. Her first vows were pronounced in 1962.

Sr. Elwood

Sr. Elwood received an associate’s degree from Ottumwa Heights College in Ottumwa and a bachelor’s degree in food and nutrition from Marycrest College. She received her master’s degree in counseling from Southern Illinois University. Her early ministries included that of dietitian at St. Joseph Hospital in Ottumwa and dean of students at Ottumwa Heights College. At Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Ill., she was the administrative assistant to the dean and later a campus minister and counselor. From 1976 to 1980 Sr. Elwood served as the vice-president of the Congregation of the Humility of Mary. She then served in Davenport as dean of admissions at Marycrest College, academic advisor at Marycrest International University, supportive living coordinator at the Humility of Mary Center, volunteer coordinator at CASI and a counselor in her private practice — Elwood Support Services. Sr. Elwood currently lives in Davenport and is program assistant for Our Lady of the Prairie Retreat, a CHM sponsored ministry near Wheatland.

• Sister Jude Fitzpatrick is a native of Dunlap and entered the Congregation of the Humility of Mary in 1959 and made her first vows in 1962.

Sr. Fitzpatrick

Sr. Fitzpatrick attended Ottumwa Heights College and received an associate’s degree in education. She received a bachelor’s degree in education from Marycrest College and a master’s in education from Arizona State. Sr. Fitzpatrick furthered her studies in education at Drake University in Des Moines and Iowa State University. Her ministry in education included teaching in Iowa at Lourdes Memorial School in Bettendorf, St. Joseph in Neola and St. Vincent in Davenport. She was also assistant principal at Lourdes Memorial School and principal at St. Theresa in Des Moines. Sr. Fitzpatrick worked for the Des Moines Diocese as assistant superintendent and coordinator of education funding and also superintendent of schools. From1996-2004 she was president of the Congregation of the Humility of Mary. Since 2005, she has served as director of administrative services, chancellor and currently as director of administrative and special services for the Diocese of Des Moines.

• Sister Kayleen Heffron was born in Georgetown and entered the Congregation of the Humility of Mary in 1959. Her first vows were pronounced in 1962.

Sr. Heffron

Sr. Heffron studied nursing and received an RN from St. Joseph School of Nursing in Ottumwa, an associate’s degree from Ottumwa Heights College, a bachelor’s degree from St. Ambrose College in Davenport and furthered her education with courses at Marycrest College in Davenport and the University of Iowa. She based her nursing ministry in Ottumwa at St. Joseph Hospital which later became Ottumwa Regional Health Center. Her RN skills were used as an emergency room supervisor and also in the skilled nursing facility. Sr. Heffron continued at Ottumwa Regional Health Center as an RN in the physical rehabilitation unit until her retirement. She currently lives at Bishop Drumm Retirement Center in Johnston.

CHM Associates – 25 Years

CHM Associates are people called to live the CHM mission without vows and within the context of their contemporary lives. They choose to deepen their baptismal call through prayer, service and community in the spirit of the founders of the Congregation. The purpose is mutual enrichment and sharing of energy, insight and inspiration. This year’s jubilarians are Phyllis Ammeter and Mary Jo Dawe.


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