GARDEN CITY, KS – LiveWell Finney County, a coalition of professionals from health, social service, education, and the broader community has established the “Sister Janice Thome” award in honor of Dominican Sister of Peace Sister Janice Thome, Garden City, KS. The creation of this award acknowledges Sr. Janice’s vast contributions to the community to elevate access to healthcare for families and individuals who need it most.
The award, which was presented recently at LiveWell’s virtual annual meeting and celebration of the organization’s 20th anniversary, will be given annually to an individual that exemplifies the group’s charter to improve the health, well-being, and safety of the people of Finney County by collaborating to build a better community.
“We are pleased to present this award to Sister Janice, as she has been instrumental in the founding and success of LiveWell Finney County and by her efforts, has helped those in need gain access to care and health equity, while also educating community members about how to live active and healthy lives,” said Callie Dyer, executive director of LiveWell Finney County. “We are grateful for all Sister Janice does within the community and look forward to presenting the award next year to someone that is committed to furthering her legacy for the people of Finney County.”
Dominican Sister of Peace Janice Thome serves with the Dominican Sisters Ministry of Presence in Garden City and as the Teen Parent Educator for Parents as Teachers for the School District.
In an interview with the Southwest Kansas Catholic, Sr. Janice shared a little about her life as a vowed Dominican:
“I was taught by Dominican Sisters in grade school at St. Peter, Schulte, and I had cousins who were members of the religious communities in Wichita that I visited at their motherhouses. In eighth grade, the seven girls in our class went to the Dominican Motherhouse in Great Bend for a vocation day.
“The lightness and openness of the motherhouse impressed me. My seventh and eighth-grade teacher, Sister Rosalia, was a happy woman, as were my cousins. I wanted to be that kind of a person if I was a religious.”
“I entered religious life because of the attraction it held as a very different lifestyle. There was a curiosity as to how the Sisters I knew could be happy in such a life. There was a sense that God might be calling me to this life, and I had to try it out in order to know if it was a fit for me.”
Sr. Janice entered religious life in 1961. She ministered as an educator for 26 years and served her Dominican community as a Council Member for eight years. She became part of the Dominican Sisters Ministry of Presence, a direct ministry with the economic poor, in Garden City in the fall of 1996, and has served in that capacity since then.