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The classes provide opportunities for growth, enrichment and socialization. They are organized in two sessions, fall and spring. This includes the Arthritis Aquatic program included in the class offerings. Registration for both sessions takes place midsummer; currently, fees are based on the particular needs of each class.

Download the 2016-2017 Courses and Registration Form.


Our instructors are a mixture of talented and enthusiastic retired BVMs and lay people, teachers, nurses, college/university faculty, administrators, a psychologist, and experienced craft instructors who are volunteer faculty waiting to share their expertise and knowledge with you. Many of them are longtime presenters in the program and a few are new this year. The faculty is a well-prepared, committed group of educators. Their energy and commitment is appreciated by RKC participants.


$25 fee per class plus a minimal supply fee for certain classes. Supply fees vary per class and are listed with course descriptions. Financial assistance available: call RKC office at 563.582.4155. BVM Sisters: $20 per class plus supply fees if applicable.


An Artist’s Choice
In this “do it yourself” class there is no formal instruction. Suggestions and encouragement will be offered among class participants in this shared studio setting. Choose your own subject, bring your materials and enjoy working with others in a relaxed and friendly environment. Beginners are welcome. Brigid Mary Hart, BVM; Tuesday, 9:30–11a.m.; $25

Collage: By Design
If you love to collect images, words, letter forms, colors, textures and patterns, Collage By Design is an opportunity to learn and apply simple techniques and basic design concepts and to arrange multiple elements into delightful and fascinating compositions. No skills necessary except the ability to cut, fold, tear and glue with spontaneous abandon. Carmelle Zserdin, BVM; Monday, 10:15–11:30 a.m.; $25 +$10 supply fee

Doodle, Draw and Such
Pablo Picasso said, “Art washes from the soul the dust of everyday life.” To enjoy this class it is not necessary to possess a “talent” for art, only the desire to have fun, let go, and be free to play. Some simple drawing skills may be introduced, reviewed and practiced. Marilyn Wasmundt & Kim Daykin; Monday, 9–10:10 a.m.; $25 +$10 supply fee

Painting with Ellen
Love to paint? Join us for wonderful afternoons of pure joy. All levels are welcome. Learn to mix with confidence and use composition to make your work shine. In studio work with oil, acrylics, dry pastel. Choose and bring the media you enjoy. Limit 14. Ellen Hartmann Henkels; Tuesday, 12:45–2:30 p.m.; $25

The Emergence of Humanism: Art of the Italian and Northern Renaissance
Why did the Renaissance begin in Italy? What made Florence the center of the Renaissance? Why is Giotto called the “Father of Western Pictorial Art?” Was Michelangelo a better sculptor or painter? How does the art of Northern Europe differ from that of Italy? Let us explore these questions and others as we consider the art of the Early and High Renaissance of Italy and Northern Europe. Joan Lingen, BVM; Monday, 1–2 p.m.; $25 + $5 supply fee

Sculpture & Architecture: From Early Renaissance On…
The focus of this class is the history of Western architecture and sculpture and will consist of lecture and discussion, plus many images projected via digital technology. We will consider how these architects and sculptors created in the culture of their time and how they influence us in the modern and postmodern world. We will begin our study with the Early Renaissance and proceed from there. Margaret Mear, BVM; Friday, 10–11a.m.; $25

History Comes Alive: The Journey of Women Continues
The journey of women in hist
ory remains unfinished and so it will continue. This class will include a study of women in Asia and the Muslim world. We will travel from modern to contemporary times to view women who rule empires, who become heads of state, and who make significant contributions in every field of study. Join us as we discover if the first American woman will break the glass ceiling and be nominated and possibly elected president. We will conclude our study by evaluating prominent women in the world today. Judy Biggin; Wednesday or Thursday (please specify which day on registration form), 1–2 p.m.; $25 + $5 supply fee

Great Discussions: World Issues Today
This class focuses on important foreign policy issues facing our nation. Using the Great Decisions 2016 manual prepared by the Foreign Policy Association, participants discuss topics in a balanced, civil and educative setting. Some topics include: Cuba and the U.S., Middle East Alliances, the Rise of ISIS, and the U.N. A team of presenters coordinated by Vince Meis will facilitate class discussions with guests and media presentations. Wednesday, 10:45–11:45 a.m.; $25 + suggested, but optional, Great Decisions book of issues available for $25 for new students. Please indicate on the registration form if you would like a copy.

BVM Pioneers Continuing
Who were the BVMs living in the 20th century, teaching in schools, opening new missions across the country? Who were the women who dealt with the hierarchy of the church at challenging moments of our history? What was their legacy that attracted over 4,000 women to join the BVM congregation? Archive stories provide the answers. Kathryn Lawlor, BVM; Tuesday, 9:15–10:15 a.m.; $25

The Sacred Universe
This course will continue exploring the deep time and space of the universe story. It will include readings on our interrelatedness with all of creation, consciousness of the universe, spirituality, and our place and role in this universe. Various media resources will be used, including opportunities to connect/reconnect with nature, as well as a variety of prayer forms, and sharing of thoughts and ideas. Meg Gemar, OSF; Thursday, 9:15–10:15 a.m.; $25 + $10 supply fee

Centering Prayer
Prayer is a lifelong pursuit of deepening one’s relationship with God and all beings. Centering Prayer is a contemplative practice which leads us to interior silence where we rest in God’s presence. This class will involve learning the practice, praying together, listening to lectures, and participating in class discussions. This is a disciplined contemplative practice that has the potential to enrich your daily life. Mary Jean Ferry, BVM & Therese Jacobs, BVM; Monday 9:15–10:15 a.m.; FIRST SEMESTER; $25 + $5 supply fee

Connecting with the Characters of Scripture
This class will study characters of the Old and New Testament. Several translations will be used to read passages about each character; discussion will follow on the characters themselves as well as possible connections between these figures and ourselves. Possibly you will find your scriptural twin or perhaps people you can relate to on your journey. Dolores Becker, BVM; Monday 1–2p.m.; FIRST SEMESTER; $25

Threshold of Wisdom: Life’s Journey
Our life’s journey and the people we meet teach us. This interactive class will consider themes (via our life experience) that have taught us, and now, shape our living during these senior years. Using a variety of texts, we will walk through wisdom doors that invite radical hospitality, welcoming, belonging, listening, openness, forgiveness, joy, family, boundaries, silence, etc. Limit 16. Karen Zeckser; Thursday 10:45–11:45 a.m.; BEGINS SEPT. 15; $25

Psychology of Aging: “Growing Old, Old and Growing”
“I will bring what I have learned from over 50 years of study and practice of psychology about healthy aging. You (class members) will bring the practical wisdom of your experience of meeting the challenges and enjoying the achievements of your long lives.”  Together we will try to define what is required to live a good and meaningful life and leave a map for those who follow us. Limit 12. No repeats. Jerry Beckman; Tuesday 1–2 p.m.; $25

Positive Aging Seminar
This class continues the journey begun in Psychology of Aging. Participants will use the principles and skills learned in the introductory course to inform our continued investigation and discussion of current issues and challenges of aging. Limit 14. Jerry Beckman; Thursday 1–2 p.m.; $25

Music Medley
Prerequisite: Desire to explore and enjoy music. Each semester we will view an opera, a musical, and other vocal and instrumental music. Operas will be “Amahl and the Night Visitors” and “Rigoletto.” Broadway musicals will also be studied. The class will include the piano music of Robert Schumann and Sergei Rachmaninoff, and the music of Leonard Bernstein. Selected symphonic and choral works, as well as popular styles of music will be explored. Nancy Lease; Wednesday 9–10 a.m.; $25 + $10 supply fee

Poetry Appreciation
Contemporary writer Anna Quindlen has said, “Poetry can whisper to our very souls if we will only listen.” Join us as we allow poetry to nourish our souls. Come and discover the adventure and the challenge of reading and talking about three or four poems per week. Poems are provided. Limit 15. Pat Nolan, BVM; Wednesday 10:15–11:15 a.m.; $25 + $10 supply fee

Shakespeare and Beyond: A Celebration
More than any other writer Shakespeare has posthumously forged the creative consciousness of the Western World. The first semester of this class will concentrate on the Shakespearean plays that we have not previously read such as “Antony and Cleopatra” and “Richard III.” The second semester in 2017 will concentrate on other great writers such as Sophocles, Ibsen, Chekhov, Miller and Beckett. Let’s celebrate the genius of these artists! Carol Blitgen, BVM; Tuesday, 1–2 p.m.; $25 + $10 supply fee

Reading for Enjoyment
This group enjoys lively and thoughtful discussions from a variety of fiction and nonfiction writers. Study guides offer conversation starters for each of two meetings per book. Everyone’s ideas and opinions are valued within a friendly atmosphere. Participants select books in the spring for the following fall. Class members provide their own books; newcomers are welcome. The first book will be Inside the O’Briens by Lisa Genova. Limit 16. Facilitated by Helen Garvey, BVM & Mary Martens, BVM; Monday 10:30–11:30 a.m.; $25

Creative Writing: It’s Your Choice
This is your chance to join an actual writing group. Writers of all levels welcome, from beginners to the more experienced. Enjoy positive support as you share your choice of stories, memoirs and poems in an informal, friendly learning atmosphere. Any type of writing is welcome. Periodically, local authors and guest speakers will give helpful tips and read from their works. Limit 15. Dr. Bill Dall; Tuesday 10:30–11:30 a.m.; $25 + $5 supply fee

Spanish for Adult Learners
This course introduces participants to the Spanish language and culture and the grammar of basic conversational Spanish. Emphasis will be placed on using the present tense in the areas of speaking and listening, and some reading and writing. Spanish will be spoken as much as possible so participants develop increased familiarity. Minimum of 6 for class offering. Lueann Bregman;  Wednesday, 1–2:30 p.m.; $25 + $10 supply fee

French for Fun & Travel
This class introduces participants to French language and culture. The emphasis will be on conversational French and developing skills in listening and speaking. The grammar emphasis will be on present and near future tenses. This will be accomplished through study of practical topics relating to travel and daily life in France. Returning students welcome; new vocabulary will help to expand vocabulary and knowledge, and review concepts learned earlier. Marvell Eagleson; Monday, 9:15–10:15 a.m.; $25

Beginning Family History: Genealogy
We will begin with traditional research using these questions: Where do I start? What do I know? What do I want to learn? Where will I look? What do I do now? We will use basic vital record/census examination, etc. Thus, we will learn where and how to search and how to gain the most from records. We will also discuss the importance of writing down family stories and rumors as part of our search process. Limit 15. Marian Mallder; Thursday 1–2 p.m.; $25 + $10 supply fee

Intermediate and Advanced Family History Research
This class is for those continuing to pursue their family history, having attended earlier sessions of genealogical research at the RKC. We will be working on independent projects as well as sharing ideas and discoveries to assist one another to find ancestors. If you haven’t taken the earlier course and want to enroll, contact the RKC office. Limit 15. Michael Boyd; Monday, 1:30–2:30 p.m.; $25 + $10 supply fee

Quilter’s Group
Presenters on various techniques, tools and tips will talk from their areas of expertise every other week in class. Topics will include machine and hand work. On opposite weeks, sewing space will be available for collaborative or individual work on quilting projects. Some experience with quilting is required. Choose either morning or afternoon class. Limit of 20 per class. Facilitated by Karen Kane-Herber; Thursday 9:30–11:30 a.m.  or noon–2 p.m.; $25 + $10 supply fee

This class includes all skill levels of crocheting with lessons and practice for beginners. Space is also available for intermediate and advanced participants. Pattern reading assistance is provided. Patterns, talents and ideas are shared among participants while enjoying good company. Rosie Dietzel; Thursday 1–3 p.m.; $25

Beginning Card Making
Participants will learn the basics of card making including use of a variety of paper, inks, embellishments, and tools. As class continues, the group will advance to simple card making. Limit 8. Caroline Moody; Wednesday 1–3 p.m.; $25 + $15 supply fee

Advanced Card Making
Experienced participants will enjoy stretching their talents with new ideas and experiences in the area of card making and rubber-stamp art. Limit 14. Caroline Moody; Wednesday 9:30–11:30 a.m.; $25 + $20 supply fee

Beginning Computer I
This course is for people with little or no computer experience. We will learn the basics of computer vocabulary and the mechanics of opening/closing programs. We will then proceed to an introduction of word processing skills and how to organize, save and retrieve files. Limit 8. Judy Callahan, BVM; Wednesday 9:15–10:15 a.m.; $25 + $20 lab fee

Beginning Computer II
This course follows confident completion of Beginner I and is designed to further very basic computer skills. We will learn tips and techniques in word processing plus other basic processes. Prerequisites: be able to access the internet, save and retrieve files, some experience with word processing, and familiarity with email. Limit 10. Judy Callahan, BVM; Wednesday 10:30–11:30 a.m.; $25 + $20 lab fee

Photo Shop Elements I
This class is for those who want to learn the basics of photo editing. Participants are introduced to Photoshop Elements 13 and the three editing formats included in the program. We learn to edit provided photos with encouragement and work to practice independently. The focus is on the technical aspects of Photoshop. Important prerequisite: Be comfortable with computers, file management, and have a working knowledge of the internet. Limit 12. Sandy Clark; Tuesday 9–10:30 a.m.; $25 + $20 lab fee

Photo Shop Elements II
This class will continue mastery of the material presented in Photoshop Elements I also through the use of Photoshop Elements 13. This class is project based, using technical knowledge gained in the beginner class then moving to a higher level of skills, including adding more creativity in the photo editing process. Prerequisite: Completion of Photoshop Elements I. Limit 12. Sandy Clark; Tuesday 10:45–12:15 p.m.; $25 + $20 lab fee

Open/Recreational Bridge
This bridge group is available for those with some experience playing the game of bridge. Enjoy the cards, enjoy the company, enjoy the mental exercise! Facilitated by Sue Rink, BVM & Mary Kintzle; Monday 1–3:30 p.m.; $25

Join us for an afternoon of cribbage. This class is open to players of all levels from beginners to pros. Bring a partner or find one in class. Enjoy the fun and challenge of the game with a great group of people. Facilitated by Betty & Tony Boland; Friday 1–3 p.m.; $25

Beginning Line Dance
Line dance is a great way to ease the obstacles of aging while enjoying music and the energy of the group. This class features easy, fun-to-learn and fun-to-do low impact dances. Limit of 16; Merilyn Tommaro; Friday 9–9:50 a.m.; $25

Intermediate Line Dance
This class, while still low impact exercise, adds variations for the more experienced dancers as they continue to enjoy the music and company of others in the group. Limit 16; Janet Edgar; Friday 10–10:50 a.m.; $25

The following three classes meet in the Caritas Center. Parking is in Lot 1 and participants are issued access cards which open the door along the back of the building directly across from the drive into Lot 1. The access cards will be issued the first day of class. There will be someone at the door to let you in that day.

Tai’ Chi Chih
T’ai Chi Chih is a gentle, harmonious movement of mind, body and spirit toward wellness and peace. Participate in meditative “Joyful Movement” which balances, renews, calms and relaxes. The Justin Stone method will be practiced. Movements are typically done in a standing rocking motion, but can also be done from a sitting position. Half hour class instruction with half hour available for individual assistance if needed. Limit 15. C. Jean Hayen, BVM; Wednesday 9–10 a.m.; $25 + $5 supply fee

Gentle Yoga for the Young at Heart
Try this gentle yoga class, designed for people over 55 and great for the 60+ set! Basic yoga stretches and breathing build strength, flexibility and balance. Relaxation practices relieve tension and stress. There are two sessions of each class during the fall semester and two sessions of each in the spring semester. Classes begin promptly. Class minimum 6/maximum 14; Deb May & Nancy Thompson, co-teacher, instructors.

Select any or all of the sessions; $40 each five-week session. 

Beginning Yoga: Monday 11:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m.

Sept. 12–Oct. 10; Session I
Oct. 17–Nov. 14; Session II
Feb. 13–March 13; Session III
March 27–May 1; Session IV (No class week of April 10–14)

Basic Yoga: (previous experience): Tuesday 11:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m.

Sept. 13–Oct. 11; Session I
Oct. 18–Nov. 15; Session II
Feb. 14–March 14; Session III
March 28–May 2; Session IV (No class week of April 10–14)

Advanced Yoga: Tuesday, 10–11 a.m.

Sept. 13–Oct. 11; Session I
Oct. 18–Nov. 15; Session II
Feb. 14–March 14; Session III
March 28–May 2; Session IV (No class week of April 10–14)

Women’s Arthritis Aquatics
This class offers gentle exercise in 4 ft.-deep, 90-degree water. The class meets two days a week for one hour. Physician’s approval, waiver form, and emergency contacts paperwork all due on first day of class or before. This class is a two semester commitment. Regular attendance is required, with only four unexcused absences per semester. Payment can be made all at once or each semester. Paperwork will be mailed upon receipt of registration. Towel, swimwear, and water shoes required. Non-beginner class limit 12/beginner limit 10; $80 for the year.

Monday & Wednesday

Fall Semester: Sept. 12–Nov. 16;
20 classes
Spring Semester: Feb. 6–April 12;
20 classes

8–9 a.m.; Connie Booth/Sue Lemon 9–10 a.m.; Connie Booth/Sue Lemon
10–11 a.m.; Iyla Ant/Jan LoBianco       
11a.m.–noon (beginners only); Elaine Droessler/Bettie MacVey

Tuesday & Thursday

Fall Semester: Sept. 13–Nov. 17; 20 classes
Spring Semester: Feb. 7–April 13; 20 classes

8–9 a.m.; Betty Takes/Elaine Timmerman
9–10 a.m.; Betty Takes/Elaine Timmerman
10–11 a.m. (beginners only); Laurie Parker/Cinda Welu
11a.m.–noon; Laurie Parker/Cinda Welu