The funeral Mass for Sister Janis Yaekel, ASC, was celebrated May 17 at the Ruma Center Chapel in Ruma, Ill. Sister Janis died May 12 at the Ruma Center. She was 66 years old and had been a professed Adorer of the Blood of Christ for 37 years.
Born Aug. 2, 1951, in Belleville, Ill., Sister Janis made first profession on June 1, 1980, and final vows on Aug. 14, 1983. She earned a bachelor’s degree in social studies from the former Notre Dame College in St. Louis in 1973, and a master’s degree in religious education at St. Meinrad (Indiana) School of Theology in 1980.
Sister Janis taught in Catholic schools in the Diocese of Belleville in the 1970s and early ’80s, was pastoral associate at St. Joseph the Worker Parish in Ozark 1983-87 and served in spiritual direction and coordinated retreats Center of Peace Retreat Center at Ruma in the late 1980s. She later joined the ministry team at King’s House Retreat and Renewal Center in Belleville, leading guided and individual retreats and offering spiritual direction for 10 years.
She served as director and chief executive officer of Earthworks, Inc., a sustainable farm and education center in Plymouth, Ind., a ministry of the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ. She oversaw a 3-acre organic garden, cared for livestock, raised funds, offered retreats on Earth spirituality and more.
Diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2012, she wrote about her cancer journey for the past three years for the Adorers’ website to help others in their own sufferings. She was featured in a story on KPLR-TV in St. Louis in February 2016.
Sister Janis is survived by her siblings: Jim, Jerry and Jack Yaekel.