Sister Constance "Connie" Krstolic
My home town is Kansas City, Ks., and I am originally from Wyandotte County.
I am an only child who enjoyed many cousins, aunts and uncles, who often gathered together as family. I am grateful!
Growing up on Strawberry Hill, I took much pride in the Croatian neighborhood. At St. John the Baptist parish, we sang the Croatian songs, danced the dances, bowled in “The Club” under the school, and learned to cook the Croatian dishes. We definitely were a a fun-loving faith community.
I attended Loretto Academy in KC, Mo., and graduated in 1962.
After Loretto, I wanted to attend college. I learned of Donnelly College, a junior college founded in 1949 by the Benedictine Sisters of Atchison Ks. It was a unique college whose philosophy was “to provide the opportunity for higher education to those who otherwise would not have it.” At Donnelly, classes were over by noon, meaning I could work while attending school.
I graduated from Donnelly in 1964 and then went on to KU during the turbulent 60s and found myself caught up in student leadership and the events of the era.
In 1967, I returned to my love at Donnelly, the sisters and their prayer life, and entered Mount St. Scholastica. These were turbulent times in the church. Vatican II was opening new doors, and I was walking through them.
Teaching was my first ministry: Junior High in St. Joe, Mo; Bishop Lillis High school, Bishop Hogan High, and KC, Mo, inner city schools. While I was there, the prioress asked if I would be our community’s vocation minister, which I was for 9 years. It was a very holy time of journeying with women who did enter our community and helping them try on the invitation of Jesus to become a Benedictine sister.
Eventually, I found myself in the corporate world working with realtors of various companies, preaching retreats throughout the U.S. in catholic as well as non-catholic congregations and religious communities. Eventually, I came back to the Mount working in Mission effectiveness with our employees and going full circle back to Donnelly as liaison between our community and Donnelly.
An honor which warmed my heart was being one of the 2010 inaugural inductees into the Donnelly College Alumni Hall of Fame.
In 2011, my prioress asked if I would serve as her sub-prioress to serve my sisters in their needs. I agreed and served in this compacity for 6 years.
I had come full circle. I was home.