DAVENPORT – Two religious sisters who journeyed together from volunteering in a nursing home in high school to entering religious life and then working together decades later will celebrate their 60th jubilees this year.
Born and raised in Chicago, Sisters M. Lois Joseph Baniewicz, O. Carm, and M. Jacqueline Joseph Wagner, O. Carm, volunteered at a nursing home run by the Carmelite Sisters for the Aged and Infirm. They attended a Come and See event for the Carmelites and entered the religious community on Sept. 7, 1961, in Germantown, New York.
Sister Baniewicz’s first mission was at the Kahl Home in Davenport. While there, she graduated from St. Anthony nursing school in Rock Island, Illinois, and received her master’s degree in religious studies from St. Charles Seminary in Philadelphia.
Sister Baniewicz has served in Joliet, Illinois; Columbus, Ohio; Trumbull, Connecticut; and the Bronx, New York. She served as the novice director for her community for 14 years. Sister Baniewicz has served at the Kahl Home four times — from 1964-67, 1971-81, 1991-96 and since 2006. She has served at the Kahl as director of nursing, administrator and now as director of Mission Integration — which ensures lay administration and staff live out the Carmelite mission throughout the facility.
Sister Wagner attended nursing school at St. Bernard in Chicago. She earned a master’s degree in health care from St. Joseph College in North Windham, Maine. She served in Chicago; Columbus, Ohio; Joliet, Illinois; Naperville, Illinois; and led the formation program at the motherhouse in New York. Since 2011, she has served at the Kahl Home. She currently serves as prioress and leads the infection control and quality assurance efforts. She ensures adherence to policies and procedures set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the local health department.
A Mass for all jubilarians was celebrated at St. Teresa’s Motherhouse in Germantown June 5. Msgr. Drake Shafer, a retired priest of the Diocese of Davenport, was the celebrant.