Thank You for Making an Impact: Sister Samuella is Thrilled

This is a copy of Sister Samuella's hometown newspaper, the Mt. Sterling Democrat-Message, from January 11, 1950. The BIG NEWS, on the front page—just below the report of the Mt. Sterling city council meeting—is the story about the day Sister Samuella gave her life to God as a novice with the Dominican Sisters of Springfield:


We had to show you. Isn't it amazing?

Thank you from all of us.

Here's a transcript of the whole story, so you can celebrate with Sister Samuella today—January 3—the moment 70 years ago when she committed her life to God.

We thought that might be a nice way to say thank you, and to share our true appreciation for the gift you've given us.

The Impact of your Gift.

Donations made to our 2019 Christmas appeal will be used to purchase technology that will give our nurses fast access to our sisters' medical charts the moment they need them. This will be a game changers for our sisters, who count so much on your generosity for their care.

Thanks for helping us know that soon our nurses will be able to respond to the critical health needs of our sisters at a time when moments count.


Phyllis Volk, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Matt Volk Jr., was one of 19 postulants who received the white veil of a Dominican novice, amid the brilliant ceremonies of a two-hour service, in the Sacred Heart convent chapel, Springfield, on Tuesday, January 3. During the same service, eight novices pronounced their first vows, marking completion of the year of novitiate. Also, four professional religious pronounced their finals vows as Dominicans.

Bishop William A. O’Connor, Springfield, presided at the service, and preached the sermon. Because of the large number of postulants and novices involved, the seating of parents and near relatives was by ticket. Others thronged the galleries, aisles, and even the hallways outside the chapel.

The 19 postulants entered the sanctuary in solemn and stately procession, each one being dressed as a bride for marriage. Each one received from the Bishop, neatly folded, the religious habit she would later wear as a Dominican novice. Each then retired from the chapel in procession, while the eight novices and the four professed religious pronounced their vows.

In the meantime, the postulants having exchanged their bridal dress, for the more solemn garb of a bride of Christ, returned in procession to the Bishop, who presented them with a cross, a rosary, and a new name. The religious name of Miss Volk is, Sister Mary Samuella.

Relatives and friends of Sister Samuella, who were present at the ceremony, included: Father Burtle, Mr. and Mrs. Francis Volk and family, Mr. and Mrs. Henry Volk and family, Mr. Ray Howard and family, Mr. and Mrs. James Volk and family, Mr. and Mrs. Harry Volk and family, Mr. and Mrs. Foote, Mr. and Mrs. Harold Markert, Mr. and Mrs. Matt Volk and family, Mr. and Mrs. Albert Prillmayer, Joan Ray, Joan Henricks, Sister Mary Mercedes, Sister Mary Mary all of Mt. Sterling; Mr. and Mrs. Roger Shelts, Quincy; Mr. and Mrs. Roger Michael Laska, Chicago; Mary Ann and Nancy Garmes, Peoria; and Patricia Hurr, Peoria.

Mt. Sterling Democrat-Message, January 11, 1950.


4 thoughts on “Thank You for Making an Impact: Sister Samuella is Thrilled”

  1. Congratulations Sister, what a Wonderful way you chose to Serve Our Lord. We feel Blessed to have had the opportunity to have met you while visiting our Dear Friend, Sr. Aniceta Skube. Praying for you as you continue to Serve.🙏

    1. Sister Elizabeth Murphy
      Sister Beth Murphy, OP

      Thanks for the encouraging words, Ann. We are so blessed to have Sister Samuella with us, and healthy! Did you know Sister Aniceta from Ss. Peter & Paul Naperville? She touched so many lives there.

  2. Seeing mention of Sister Aniceta brought back many memories for me. She came to Paris in the fall of 1946 to teach Grades 7 and 8 at St. Mary’s School. She was a wonderful teacher and especially impacted the life of one of the boys in my class (we were 7th graders that year) who had previously floundered as a student. As an adult, he gave Sister Aniceta full credit for encouraging him and guiding him in turning his life around so that he became an exemplary citizen in his adult years.

  3. Marylin McDevitt

    Congratulations to Sr. Samuella! I enjoyed reading her life story so much. I have gotten to know her through my visits with my sister, Sr. Anne Lawrence, and through my visits to Sacred Heart Convent through my becoming a Dominican Associate in 1998.
    Sr. Samuella and I share a love of growing flowers. Whenever I visit, she always gives me a plant or some seeds and she shows me how well the seeds/plants I have given her are growing. She has a “green thumb”!!
    Sister Samuella is a marvelous example of God’s love expressed in every day living. She always has a beautiful smile and another project going!! Thank you, Sr. Samuella!

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