Sister Elaine ministered as a teacher or administrator in schools in Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska for many years. She then traveled to the mission in Brazil, where she taught in the public school system, was director of the rural schools, coordinator of the adult literacy programs, and worked in parish ministry.
Returning to the United States, she taught at Donnelly College, Kansas City, then worked at the Mount St. Scholastica Academy, and served as principal in St. Joseph, Missouri, along with teaching in the prison.
Sister Elaine then shifted her ministry to pastoral care at La Verna Nursing Home in Savannah, Missouri. When she returned to Atchison, she continued her pastoral care ministry for the sisters in Dooley Center.