Thank you for considering a gift to Holy Spirit Retirement Home’s Annual Appeal. As a non-profit retirement community, we rely upon donations to make necessary improvements and enhance the overall care within our community. Your support will ensure we continue to provide vital services, equipment and programs for the residents of Holy Spirit. Donations received will support Holy Spirit’s annual fund as well as special projects, programs and services.

The Legacy of Holy Spirit

Holy Spirit Retirement Home’s beginnings date all the way back to 1950, across the Atlantic Ocean, on a different continent, in the country of Germany. There a priest of the Diocese of Limburg named Father Bernhard Bendel, a lively and joyful priest blessed with a charism-an extra special grace of the Holy Spirit-was asked by his bishop to begin a community of religious women in the essence of “Opus Spiritus Sandi” (latin for “work of the Holy Spirit”). Thanks to Father Bendel’s infectious optimism, Sisters came near and far to join this thriving new religious order to serve the elderly, orphans and the poor. Numerous OSS communities quickly sprouted up in Germany and eventually grew into a worldwide missionary community.

One wouldn’t think that this story leads to a start-up nursing home in a small Midwest town in northwest Iowa. But fast forward to 1962 when Bishop Joseph Mueller, himself inspired by the Holy Spirit, invited OSS Sister Elizabeth pfeiffer to visit him here in the Diocese of Sioux City to encourage the formation of an OSS community. He must have been very convincing because later that year, Sioux City became the first Opus Spiritus Sandi community formed outside of Germany! Bishop Mueller’s years-long campaign to build housing for the elderly in the Diocese was finally coming together with the arrival of the Sisters, a donation of land in the “Diocesan Hills” by Charles and Hildegarde Kerr and contributions received through parish Easter collections, estate bequests, and financial donations made by the Knights of Columbus and the OSS Motherhouse in Germany. Diocesan priests Father Jim McCormick and Father Tom Flanagan were instrumental in facilitating OSS Sisters to come to Sioux City and minister to the elderly at Holy Spirit over the years. Apartments were added, a new chapel was dedicated in 1989 and a major addition and renovation to the facility took place in 2012. The “work of the Holy Spirit” continues to this day.

Holy Spirit is a warm and inviting community, where residents and staff come together to form a family of faith and love, alive with the joy and positivity and spirit of Father Bernhard Bendel. I ask you to stand with me,

Father Bendel, Sister Elizabeth Pfeiffer, Bishop Mueller, Charles and Hildegarde Kerr, the Opus Spiritus Sandi Sisters, Fathers McCormick and Flanagan, and all those throughout the past 50 years who, inspired by the Holy Spirit, continue to support the unique legacy of Holy Spirit Retirement Home. Please give generously to this year’s Annual Appeal to help us reach our $600,000 goal!

Your brother in Christ,

Bishop Walker Nickless