VanDenHemel celebrates 25 years of monastic profession

YANKTON – Sister Carol Jean VanDenHemel, OSB, celebrated her 25th jubilee of monastic profession on June 15 at Sacred Heart Monastery, Yankton. S. Carol Jean is the oldest of three daughters born to Jim and Shirley VanDenHemel of Woonsocket. She attended Mount Marty University for one year before transferring to Northern State University in Aberdeen, where she earned a degree in English Education with minors in Speech and Theater in 1997. In 2010, S. Carol Jean earned a Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction from Marquette University. Attending many youth retreats, experiencing a prayer partner while at MMU, learning about the Oblate program, and participating in a summer “Learn and Earn” program at the monastery helped in her discernment. 

“My call to religious life has consistently been a call to community. I’ve had the opportunity to live in [communities] not only at the Monastery but also in smaller convent communities wherever we have ministered to the faithful. In all these communities, my sisters have been there to encourage, console, and celebrate with their prayer and presence.” 

S. Carol Jean made her first vows at Sacred Heart Monastery in August 1999 and final vows in 2003. 

Beginning her teaching ministry at Cedar Catholic Junior High in Hartington, Neb., S. Carol Jean then taught at O’Gorman High School in Sioux Falls, Nativity Jesuit Academy in Milwaukee, Wis., and is currently in her 13th year at Mount Michael Benedictine High School in Elkhorn, Neb., where she teaches freshman and junior Theology.

“The opportunity to share our Benedictine charism, values, and stories as a part of teaching theology has been a joy. I love teaching at MM, building community at our all-boys school.”

A lifelong learner, S. Carol Jean’s service has included the Central Forensics Conference (while at O’Gorman), the Accreditation Committee at Mount Michael, the Monastery Council, and the Mount Marty University Board of Trustees. She is also a member of the monastery’s Public Relations Committee. 

There will be a celebration for VanDenHemel during 8:30 a.m. Mass at St. Wilfrid Church in Woonsocket on Sunday, June 23, with a reception to follow.

…See a picture in this week’s issue of the Sanborn Weekly Journal!

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