Sister Carol Kopff Honored

Sr. Carol Kopff, OP

On June 9, 2013, Sister Carol Kopff, OP, was awarded the Distinguished Alumna Award by Ursuline Academy in St. Louis at their annual Alumnae Day Mass. The award was given to Sister Carol in recognition of the spirit of service and strong faith that embodies the values that the founder of the Ursuline sisters held most dear: courtesy, loyalty and courage in serving the community.


Upon graduating from Ursuline Academy in 1954, Sister Carol entered the novitiate of the Sparkill Dominicans. After completing her novitiate and professing her vows as a Dominican sister, she taught in various schools. She taught junior high students in Missouri and New York for 19 years.


When she left St. Elizabeth of Hungary Parish in Crestwood, MO, Sister Carol moved on to a position that was relatively new for women, becoming Pastoral Administrator of a rural parish serving 128 families on the Missouri/Iowa border. She supervised the administration of the parish, helped form a parish council, prepared children to receive the sacraments, gave guidance to the RCIA program, and empowered the laity to take responsibility for their parish community.  


Asked in 1980 to assist at the Menard Prison, the largest maximum security prison in Illinois, Sister Carol was hesitant at first, but she soon realized what she experienced there was a “reverse evangelization moment,” and she was changed by the people she met. She called the diocese about the need to begin spiritual formation at the prison. When the Bishop said “you do it,” she assisted in introducing and implementing the Residents Encounter Christ (REC) Prison Retreat program which has now grown to include 12 state prisons and more than 200 volunteers from Missouri and Illinois.


Since beginning to minister at the Missouri Eastern Correctional Center in Pacific, MO, in 1992, Sister Carol has worked with both men and women, but has a special interest in helping women gain the skills they need to successfully return to their communities. She has assisted in the facilitation and development of the Violent Offenders Program, an intense and challenging therapeutic program for violent offenders. Sister Carol tells us that, for herself as much as for the individuals participating in the program, “it is a blessing to see offenders rise above their situation and grow in knowledge of self and God.”

Sister Carol poses with Residents Encounter Christ group.


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