When Sister Helene Mertes relocated to Milwaukee a few years ago, she wanted to do some volunteering and learned that the Cornerstone Card Shop at the Motherhouse needed some volunteers.

Her vision and skills have changed not only the appearance of the shop, but also broadened the variety of items for sale.

The face lift Sister Helene envisioned in­cluded revised display possibilities. New wall fixtures and shelving helped to achieve that. In addition, the décor in the shop changes seasonally. Sis­ter’s gardening skills are evident from the live plants that are part of that décor.

One of Sister Helene’s goals was to make the shop a “community” gift shop, and she accomplished this by asking a number of sisters to offer their handcrafted items for sale. Some of the residents from Canticle and Juni­per Court, the affordable senior living apartments on the convent grounds, also contribute items. Sister Helene makes baskets and wreaths and other items which she, too, has for sale.Volunteers-Winter_2012-1

So now, if you come looking for a greeting card, you may also like to buy an em­broidered tee shirt, tote bag, or decorated kitchen towel, to name just a few of the items you can find in the craft corner. 

Volunteers staff the shop when it is open, and Sister Helene has recruited several new volunteers since she came. They enjoy their work and are always eager to make a sale. Customers are always welcome.


Reprinted from:  Nojoshing Notes, Winter 2012, Volume 26, Number 1  (A publication of the Development Office of the Sisters of St. Francis of Assisi)