sister anna m. schlett

October 5, 1928 - September 27, 2013

Caring and sensitive to the needs of others

Those who lived or worked with Sister Anna describe her in these words:

Caring and sensitive to the needs
of others...loving and supportive...
a hard worker, soft spoken and compassionate...a person of high values...

Anna Mae Schlett was born in DeSoto, Mo., on October 5, 1928, to Frank and Olive Hearst Schlett, the fourth of seven children. When Anna was five years old her father died. Although relatives suggested that her mother separate the children, she chose instead to move them to their Grandpa’s 800- acre farm. They adjusted to the hard work of living on the farm and the family was able to stay together. While there was no opportunity to attend a Catholic school, church attendance was important in their lives.

On Valentine’s Day, 1949, despite the fact that it was not the usual date to enter, 20-year-old Anna persuaded Mother Vivian Curtin to accept her as a postulant. Six months later, on August 15, Anna received the habit and was given the name S. Patrick Joseph.

Although Anna had worked as a secretary in a real estate company and also in the Personnel Department of

International Shoe Company before she entered, she began her ministry as many a sister before her had, teaching in an elementary classroom. Her first teaching assignment was at St. James Grade School in Denver, Colo., from 1951 until 1956. After teaching for a year at Holy Rosary Grade School in Kansas City, Mo., she lost her voice. Treatment for this impairment was not immediately successful, so 1957 brought S. Anna to St. Joseph Provincial House to recuperate.

Eventually, her voice began to return and her ministry in higher education began in the Registrar’s Office at Fontbonne College in 1958 when the sister who was registrar became very ill. From 1959 through 1979, S. Anna worked as registrar at the College of St. Teresa, which in 1963 became Avila College.

After 20 plus years working as registrar, S. Anna felt drawn to new ministry. She attended the Clinical Pastoral Education program at St. Joseph Hospital in Houston, Texas to prepare for hospital chaplaincy work. Even though the CPE program was difficult, S. Anna managed to find time to enjoy living with the sisters at St. Rose of Lima. Many a meal conversation erupted in laughter!

When she completed the program she was delighted to find work immediately at Providence St. Margaret Health Center in Kansas City. Four years later, in 1984, she continued her chaplain ministry at St. Joseph Hospital where, in 1988, she also became the director of pastoral care until 1992 when she was invited to do community service at Nazareth Living Center.

Two years later, S. Anna left Nazareth to do volunteer/research work for the Sisters of St. Joseph in Shawnee Mission, Kan. In 2003 she retired in Kansas City continuing to help when she could until her failing health brought her once again to Nazareth Living Center in 2010 where prayer and witness became her ministry.

Graciousness, a wonderful welcoming smile and the determination to serve the dear neighbor, characterized 

S. Anna throughout her life. Donating her body to science was one last example of her desire to be of service.

“Well done, good and faithful servant.”

May you rest in God’s loving embrace.

S. Helen Oates

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