"The greater the work the more
important it is to establish it on
a solid foundation. Thus it will
not only be more perfect; it
will also be more lasting.”

St. Louise de Marillac

“Be diligent in serving
the poor. Love the poor,
honor them, my children,
as you would honor
Christ Himself.”

St. Louise de Marillac


Sister Joyce Richter – Our Fearless Leader

By Maureen Scheiner, director of Wellness, Bayley Fitness Club

S. Joyce Richter (right) led a series of nature hikes on Bender Mountain as part of Bayley University’s spring session.

“Fearless leader,” “powerhouse of energy,” “inspirational,” “dedicated,” “intrepid hiker.” These are just a few of the words Bayley University students used to describe S. Joyce Richter as we finished a series of nature hikes on Bender Mountain.  

Knowing S. Joyce’s love of the outdoors and dedication to the study of flowers and the land, I asked if she’d lead a class of individuals on a four-week (two hours each week) adventure for the spring Bayley University session. She immediately agreed and began planning, and when we made all of our spring courses available to our Bayley community, the Bender Mountain Hike filled up fast and first!           

In S. Joyce’s preparation, she invited her fellow Western Wildlife Corridor member and enthusiast, Molly Hunter, to assist with the adventures on Bender Mountain. Together – one at the front of the pack and one at the back – they taught us the names of the trails, the history of the land, and the names of trees, plants and flowers!  

“Perpetually the teacher, S. Joyce prepared us for each hike with informational emails, and then helped us to remember and recall what we learned with her quizzes,” shared student Kathy.

Hiker Tom added, “S. Joyce and Molly surprised me with the breadth of knowledge they had on the many plants and flowers on Bender Mountain, as well as the history of the property. They were prepared and excited to share all they knew.” 

“Dedicated,” said hiker Margie. “In one instance, while the rest of us watched Tom climb a fallen tree, Sister stayed dedicated to her task of searching for wildflowers we had not yet seen … thank you S. Joyce!”        

As S. Joyce led us up and down mountains, across water, over rocks, and into beds of wildflowers, her enthusiasm never wavered! In fact, her smile seemed to grow with each new flower she pointed out and fact that she shared. Always looking for something interesting to point out, the hiking seemed “matter of fact” to Sister.  

Per participant Mary Jo, “She (Sister) never seemed to tire, not even on the last hike when the return was all uphill! Unlike me, she didn’t even look tired.”    

Adventurist Judy shared, “Do not be misled by S. Joyce’s quiet demeanor; she is a powerhouse of energy, dedication, information, and intense appreciation of the wonder that is our Earth.”  

Clearly a success, we hikers benefitted much from S. Joyce’s passion, her love of teaching, and her saying ‘yes’ to enhancing our Bayley University course offerings.   

“S. Joyce, in a word, ‘inspirational.’ She is living proof that staying mentally and physically active promotes a long, healthy life; thank you, S. Joyce!” remarked Hiker Valerie.

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