Embracing the Gospel: Sisters’ Life, Mission and Ministry – Part One

Episode Six

Listen in as Sisters Mary Clare Fichtner, Judith Anne Haase, and Marcelline Koch reflect with host Sister Karen Freund about the changes they’ve seen in religious life during their combined 187 years of religious profession.


Sister M. Clare Fichtner gave much of her religious life to teaching and school administration. She is also a dedicated community organizer and antiracist ally. She lives at Sacred Heart Convent where she works in the supply room and revels in the time she has for study and contemplation. 

Sister Judith Anne Haase was also an educator and school administrator, having spent many recent years mentoring and teaching seminary students in the archdiocese of Chicago. Now she works in the community archives where she is contributing her skills to telling the story of the Dominican Sisters of Springfield’s first 150 years. 

Sister Marcelline Koch is the director of the Springfield Dominican Sisters Office for Social Justice. In that role she continues to teach, educate and preach about the justice mission of the Order of Preachers, represents the community in shareholder activism, and co-coordinates SDART, the Springfield Dominican Antiracism Team. 

The host for this episode is Sister Karen Freund. After many years in elementary and secondary education Sister Karen has served as a spiritual formator for new members of the community, and as a parish-based pastoral minister, university chaplain, and spiritual director.


Download our favorite bits of wisdom from this week's guests to share in social media.

  • God calls us to something more in life; listen for it. 
  • Religious life changes with the needs of the times. 
  • Community, prayer, and study are foundational to spiritual growth. 
  • Dominicans preach from the pulpit of our lives.



Learn how you can join the Springfield Dominican Mission 

Make a mini retreat at home 

Seek Spiritual guidance 

Read our Prayer for the Life of the World 

Learn the skill of contemplative dialogue 

Tell us the story of your relationship with the Springfield Dominicans 

1 thought on “Embracing the Gospel: Sisters’ Life, Mission and Ministry – Part One”

  1. Happy I took the time for this today. What I heard? Obedience includes listening/sharing. How do I listen to those I encounter? Jesus calls us to be one (with one another) and those in the margins have often been left out. I must look for the beauty inside those who look/act differently than I expect. I met a young man at the doctor’s office a few years ago. He had those huge holes in his ear lobes and a full beard. I had before thought this was just too weird for my taste. He was undoubtedly a radical. I found, however, that he was there with his elderly father, helping him navigate the doctor visit. He was kind and pleasant and I left with warm fuzzies for him and those who look/dressed as he did. This podcast reminded me of that encounter. Thanks Judith Ann, Marcelline and Clare for your sharing.

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