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Two local women mark anniversaries

Special to The Courier

St. Stanislaus parish recently celebrated the Diamond and the Golden Jubilee of two of its native daughters as Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word. During the 11:30 Sunday Eucharistic Liturgy on August 3, Sister Bernadette Anderwald and Sister Dorothy Batto renewed the religious vows they professed in San Antonio 75 years and 50 years ago, respectively.
Father John Nolan presided over the liturgy. Thirty one Incarnate Word Sisters came from San Antonio to join the St. Stanislaus parishioners in celebrating the consecrated life and ministry of these two women in the Church.
From an early age, both chose to dedicate their whole life to being a presence of God's unconditional love in a world yearning to experience such love in very tangible ways. Becoming a nun "was something I wanted to do from first grade on," Batto said in an earlier interview. "I felt like it was the right thing to do."
A reception followed in St. Joseph's Hall where members of the parish could mingle with the Sisters and share even more about their mission, ministry, spirituality and history. Posters on display included photos and brief biographies of six additional women from Bandera who had joined the same religious order, the first as early as 1880, only 11 years after the order was founded in San Antonio.
Sister Bernadette and Sister Dorothy are descendants of the early Polish families who settled Bandera. In their youth, both were members of St. Stanislaus Church and both had obtained diplomas from St. Joseph School during the years when it was staffed by Incarnate Word Sisters.
Sister Bernadette Anderwald is the daughter of Thomas and Eleanora (Snaer) Anderwald. After graduation from Bandera High School, she entered the religious order in San Antonio and has served in a variety of its ministries including education at every level, child care, administration, hospitality, and campus ministry. In 2001, Sister Bernadette retired in the Village at Incarnate Word in San Antonio where she continues a ministry of prayer.
Sister Dorothy Batto is the daughter of Raymond and Agatha (Mazurek) Batto. In 1959 she entered the Aspirancy of the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word. Her ministries have included education, parish and diocesan catechesis, hospital mission services, spiritual direction, and religious formation. In 2013, Sister moved back to Bandera where she opened The Sacred Garden, a ministry open to all for on-going personal and spiritual development at 1306 Oak Street.
After the Jubilarians renewed their perpetual profession of vows, all present in the Church stood to offer their prayerful support and pledged to do all they could to make God's love more visible in their own daily living.