sister ann rose kraus
Sister Anna Rose Kraus
May 27, 1912 – September 18, 2010
“In spirit fervent serving the Lord” was the motto S. Anna Rose chose as a postulant. She said she tried to be fervent, especially at daily Mass and at prayer. Her desire was to serve wherever needed and for her it was almost a lifetime helping deaf children.
She told the story of her birth: “On a lovely May morning when Tom Kraus, County Clerk of Jersey County, Jerseyville, Ill., walked home for lunch, he found out that he had another daughter, born Thursday, May 27, 1912. This new child was baptized Dorothy Lenore.
Eventually, the family moved to St. Louis into St. Ann’s Parish, where the children attended school and were taught by the Sisters of St. Joseph. S. Anna Rose believed this was all in God’s plan for her religious vocation. She made friends quickly and soon found that after graduation from St. Ann’s, eight of the 12 girls went with her to Rosati-Kain High School.
It became clear to her during her senior year that she had a religious vocation. A persistent voice kept saying, “You are having a wonderful life, but what are you doing to help others?” She responded to that call and entered the community in 1929 along with three others from her grade school days. Their pastor, Father James Douglas, requested that all the girls receive a religious name that included Ann. So on March 19, 1930, she received the habit and name S. Anna Rose.
At Carondelet, she was willing to do whatever the Lord asked of her. Her daily prayer became “Jesus, meek and humble of heart, make my heart like unto thine.” Gratefully, then, she accepted her first mission at St. Joseph Institute for the Deaf and to be guided by Mother Sylvania Hoffman. She felt privileged to work with hearing-impaired children, a ministry that continued the work of our very first sisters. S. Sylvania set their sights high. “Aim at a star, you’ll at least hit a telephone pole,” she said. That thrust pushed S. Anna Rose forward along with all others at St. Joseph Institute, to its present day international prominence.
S. Anna Rose remained at St. Joseph Institute for 29 years, during which time she was teacher, principal and superior. She was then assigned to Fontbonne College as assistant to the president. There she began a training program for teachers of the deaf.
Simultaneously she coordinated a fundraising effort for the 1965 building at Nazareth—a $2,000,000 undertaking. She took it on reluctantly, but was very successful in coordinating the project. Her appeal letters were person-oriented and so moved the recipients that they gave generously. She attributed the fundraising’s accomplishment to the faithful efforts of all in the province who helped her and her committee.
In June 1964, she was assigned to St. Joseph Home for the Friendless in Chicago. Immediately she set about changing its name to St. Joseph Carondelet Child Center. For the next 12 years S. Anna Rose served as the administrator, her priority being that the children receive loving care. She considered these years the most enjoyable ones of her life.
Beginning in 1976, S. Anna Rose served on the formation team for the community. She made a point of listening to the novices, trying not to push too hard. At the end of her three-year term, during which she felt inadequate and somewhat frustrated, she asked to return to the Institute. There she became director of 25 volunteers, ran the gift shop, sold over 100,000 Christmas cards, all the while continuing her unique ministry of correspondence with over 100 prayer partners. She retired to Carondelet in 1997 and to Nazareth in 2000.
In March 2010, S. Anna Rose celebrated 80 years as a Sister of St. Joseph. May she now enjoy life to the full.
S. Rita Louise Huebner
S. Kathleen Karbowski