Sr. Bernadette Hengstebeck
Sister Bernadette, coming from Detroit, Michigan, joined the Glenmary Sisters at the age of 21. Being very new to the community she was assigned to preparing the meals for the priests, brothers and sisters. Never cooking at home, this could have presented itself to be her first challenge. Her first week went by and as meals were finishing, she was called in to see Father Bishop. Father inquired as to whether she had ever cooked before. She responded that “due to things being so tight at home, all I did was watch Momma and Grandmother do the cooking.” At this time, Father had to tell her that her meals this week were excellent!
Joining the community with bookkeeping skills, she was the first Treasurer-General of the community.
Being very active in community and pastoral work, she served in Kentucky, Virginia and our Texas missions. Sister Bernadette became an advocate for the Spanish speaking community while serving in Texas. In order to aid with the language barrier, Sister was sent to Cuernavaca, Mexico to study Spanish. She worked to help the community obtain justice in job-related disputes and court cases. For her outstanding work in the Texas community, Sister Bernadette was awarded Titus County’s Woman of the Year Award.
After spending 15 years in Guthrie, Kentucky, Sister Bernadette retired in Owensboro, Kentucky. Since retiring, she celebrated her 65th Jubilee in 2010. Today, along with helping in the kitchen, Sister enjoys spending time crocheting scarves and afghans, playing on her computer and taking an occasional motorcycle ride.