Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Nun Who Touted Christmas Cards Plans to Retire Sister Anna Rose Kraus Helped Raise More Than $1.5 Million for St. Joseph Institute for the Deaf

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Nun Who Touted Christmas Cards Plans to Retire Sister Anna Rose Kraus Helped Raise More Than $1.5 Million for St. Joseph Institute for the Deaf

Article excerpt

Sister Anna Rose Kraus, alias the Christmas Card nun, is retiring at the end of this holiday season.

For nearly a half-century, Kraus has worked for St. Joseph Institute for the Deaf in University City. Over the years she has written letters, visited corporations and chatted on the radio to get people to buy Christmas cards. The money raised pays to teach children who have trouble hearing.

Through the cards and other fund-raising she has raised more than $1.6 million in the past 15 years.

"I'm not a businesswoman, but there are a lot of miracles here," Kraus, 82, said in a recent interview at her desk in the basement gift shop of the institute.

"The real miracles are the children born deaf who come to school and learn to talk by reading lips and using hearing aids."

Kraus lives at the school and spends nights, weekends and the Christmas and New Year's holidays writing by hand 400 to 500 thank you letters to donors. Holiday letters to relatives come later, she says.

Kraus grew up in St. Louis, attending Rosati-Kain High School before training to become a nun.

As a sister of St. Joseph of Carondelet, Kraus helped open the school in University City 60 years ago. The sisters had established the institute in 1837 in St. Louis. At the school, Kraus taught deaf children to read lips, use hearing aids and talk. For nearly 30 years she worked as teacher, principal director and superior of the school. Then she moved to Fontbonne College, where she organized a program to teach those who teach the deaf.

After that she moved to Chicago, where she directed a program for 12 years for emotionally disturbed boys at the St. Joseph of Carondelet Child Center.

In the mid-1970s, she returned to St. Louis. For the past 15 years, she has directed the gift shop and fund-raising activities at the St. Joseph Institute.

Sister Joyce Buckler, principal of St. …

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