Sister Hilary Veith
Sr. Mary Hilary Veith was born in Keokuk, Iowa. She entered the Congregation of the Humility of Mary in 1955 and made her first vows in 1958. Sr. Hilary’s life ministry was spent in Ottumwa, Iowa, visiting and counseling shut-ins in nursing homes, the home-bound, persons in jail and writing letters to those in prison. She currently lives in Johnston, Iowa, where she is in a ministry of prayer and witness.
In retirement Sr. Veith resides at Bishop Drumm Retirement Center (BDRC) in Johnston, Iowa. In March 2021 Sr. Hilary was a featured resident in the BDRC newsletter "The Beat." The article reads "Sr. Hilary had a unique ministry of reaching out to inmates at the Wapello County Jail in Ottumwa, Iowa for over 45 years. She earned the respect of jailers and inmates alike as they called her their "Spiritual Director" and "the light in my darkness." As you might imagine, new inmates may not always be respectful as they should be but the "veterans" set them straight and they got with the program immediately. During her career she has visited the 3rd generation of offenders with the same families. Sister was known for having a kind and gentle soul but we all know that to have earned these individuals' respect, she had to have many outstanding qualities. Those she ministered to continued to reach out to her to stay connected."
Read her obituary HERE...
A poem written by one of the inmates Sr. Hilary ministered to:
Religion, incarceration, no better time to start;
to look for the man who completes the heart.
Faith and belief is all we need to begin;
To worship God, not ourselves, until the end.
Every Wednesday you brighten our day;
And not for the things that you give away.
After you leave with Our Father’s prayer;
Feeling revived because you care.
When you come to visit every week;
To all us inmates, it’s a Godly treat.
So when we go home and everything’s scary;
We’ll think of the wonderful, Sister Mary.