Life

500 years of service: Nine Sisters of Mercy honored

Sisters of Mercy Community event set for June 9

Mount Mercy University is shown in an aerial photograph in Cedar Rapids on Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2015. (Adam Wesley/The Gazette)
Mount Mercy University is shown in an aerial photograph in Cedar Rapids on Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2015. (Adam Wesley/The Gazette)
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CEDAR RAPIDS — The Sisters of Mercy Community in Cedar Rapids is celebrating the more than 500 collective years of service among nine of their nuns.

Jubilee celebrations for the sisters will be held from 2:30 to 4 p.m. June 9 in Cedar Rapids.

The Sisters of Mercy celebrating jubilees are:

Sister Mary Corkery — 75 years

Corkery was born in Sumner and went to college at St. John’s University in Cleveland. She taught in several Iowa schools, including All Saints in Cedar Rapids.

Corkery retired in 1990 and continued participating in volunteer ministries. She also served as Eucharistic Minister at Mercy Medical Center in Cedar Rapids.

Corkery’s celebration will be in the Sacred Heart Convent Activity Room.

Sister Mary Kurt — 70 years

Kurt taught for more than 50 years in the Archdiocese of Dubuque before retiring in 2004. After that, she continued to serve as a volunteer and in 2008, she moved to Sacred Heart Life Center in Cedar Rapids. She volunteered at St. Matthew School until 2012.

Kurt will have a private celebration.

Sister Emily Devine — 60 years

Devine — whose former religious name was Sister Mary Noreen — entered the Sisters of Mercy in Marion in 1958.

She held several positions over the years and in 2009, she began ministering as a volunteer. She lives at Sacred Heart Life Center in Cedar Rapids.

Devine’s celebration will be at the Sacred Heart Convent Dining Room.

Sister Loretta Thul — 60 years

Thul received her bachelor’s degree from Mount Mercy College — now Mount Mercy University. She served more than 15 years with the Dubuque diocese. She was involved in pastoral care at Mercy Hospital in Cincinnati from 1988 to 2003.

Thul will have a private celebration.

Sister Marge Friedhoff — 50 years

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Friedhoff entered the Sisters of Mercy in 1969 in Cedar Rapids. She spent time at hospitals in Cedar Rapids and Oelwein before earning her master’s degree in nursing from Marquette University in 1986.

She now is focused on support for Mercy Focus on Haiti, located in Gros Morne, Haiti.

Friedhoff’s celebration will be held at Mount Mercy University’s Campus Ministry.

Sister Delores Hannon — 50 years

Hannon joined Sisters of Mercy in Cedar Rapids in 1969. She spent her first six years teaching until becoming a principal. She became the vice president of the leadership team of the Sisters of Mercy’s former Cedar Rapids Regional Community. She serves almost 400 students as president of Mercy High School in Omaha.

Hannon’s celebration will be held at Mount Mercy University’s Campus Ministry.

Sister Susan O’Connor — 50 years

O’Connor has ministered in Iowa for the last five decades, including about eight years as president of the Sisters of Mercy Cedar Rapids Regional Community.

She now is vice president for mission integration at Mercy Medical Center.

O’Connor’s celebration will be held at Mount Mercy University’s University Center Commons.

Sister Phyllis Ann Ries — 50 years

Ries began her ministry as a primary teacher and taught at St. Matthew and All Saints in Cedar Rapids, as well as St. Joseph in Marion.

She also ministered as a baker at American Martyrs Retreat House in Cedar Falls. She has been an independent baker since 2012 and ministers as a child care provider and volunteer.

Ries’ celebration will be held at Mount Mercy University’s Busse Library Atrium.

Sister Joan Margret Schwager — 50 years

Schwager entered Sisters of Mercy in Cedar Rapids in 1969. She taught in multiple communities including Cedar Rapids, Waterloo and Kalispell, Mont.

In 2002 she became a vocation minister in Cedar Rapids and she has been teaching at Joplin Catholic Schools in Missouri since 2009.

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Schwager’s celebration will be held at Mount Mercy University’s Busse Library Entrance.

• Comments: (319) 398-8309; mitchell.schmidt@thegazette.com

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