Alice Pfeifer


Since 1975, Alice Pfeifer has been a Roman Catholic sister. She has a master's degree in English from Marquette University and a master's degree in Pastoral Studies from St. Joseph's College of Maine. Over the years has worked as a teacher, editor, writer, and foreign missioner.

Smashwords Interview

It has been over a decade since you served in Russia. Why did you choose to write and publish "Conversations with the Elders" now?
These essays were originally published in the Ellis County Star, but Sister Mary Elise has always hoped that one day we could put them all together in a book. However, they needed some good strong editing first, and that was something I wanted to do myself. I was waiting for a period of unemployment or under-employment to tackle the job, and that time finally arrived.
What inspired you and Sister Mary Elise to conduct these interviews?
We both grew up in Volga German communities in Kansas, and we long had wondered what had happened to the people our families left behind after they came to America in the 1870s. When we got the
chance to go to Russia in 1994, we met many German Russians who had been deported to labor camps during WWII. We wanted to collect as many of their stories as we could before the people of that generation died. As a matter of fact, the very first person we interviewed turned out to be a man whose birth date was the exact same as my dad's -- November 9, 1918 -- but Frederick Staab had already outlived my dad by 20 years.
Read more of this interview.

Where to find Alice Pfeifer online

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Conversations with the Elders
By Alice Pfeifer
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 46,130. Language: English. Published: November 25, 2012. Category: Nonfiction
(4.00 from 1 review)
What few people know about WWII concerns the fate of thousands of Russians of German descent who were exiled to Kazakhstan and Siberia after Hitler invaded the USSR. From 1995 to 1997, two US Catholic sisters interviewed 22 labor camp survivors whom they met while serving in a Catholic parish in Chelyabinsk. How these men and women managed to survive will both inspire and astound you.
Poems Hidden in the Secret Annex
By Alice Pfeifer
Price: $1.49 USD. Words: 4,840. Language: English. Published: July 2, 2012. Category: Fiction
(4.00 from 1 review)
The title poem for this collection considers one of the simple everyday joys denied to Anne Frank during her cramped life in the secret annex. These poems include personal observations and memories, spiritual and biblical reflections, and social commentary. All are rooted in the life of a US Catholic sister whose work has taken her to several different US states and two foreign countries.
When Among Painted Icons
By Alice Pfeifer
Price: Free! Words: 5,150. Language: English. Published: March 13, 2012. Category: Fiction
This book contains 82 poems offering brief reflections on the Gospels, Gospel-inspired social concerns, and the author's personal life as a Roman Catholic sister. The author names the 20th-century German theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer as a major influence on her writing for this collection. A study guide is included to aid both personal reflection and discussion in reading circles and book clubs.

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Smashwords book reviews by Alice Pfeifer

  • Knowing Nature on March 29, 2012
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    "Knowing Nature" is a collection of free-verse poems that refreshes the soul the way a walk in the woods or a dip in the lake refreshes the body. For just a few seconds you are transported somewhere else, to a cool northern place -- breathing the scents, enjoying the sounds. You are no longer in a chair reading words on a laptop in a slightly overheated office. In "A Hundred Feet from Shore" you are in a rowboat, feeling the threat of unstable weather as "waves hit the boat trying to come aboard." In "Bandits?" you are in the mind of the mother racoon when she warns her children why it is ncessary to to stay away from people, and by poem's end you think maybe you should, too. The poems speak universal truths in an accessible way, yet always locate them in very specific points and places -- on a construction site where "Wrens bathe in / the workman's tracks" or in a woods "where the hazel brush / stands higher than / the head of a tall man." While taking any real walk in the woods, have you ever wondered how that particular tree happened to grow in that particular place, taking that particular shape? Poika has, and he takes you on a seed's incredible journey in "A Leaf in the Hand." Have you ever wondered what really goes on in the mind of your dog during one of those routine outdoor walks? Poika offers some comic possibilities in "My First Turtle." I have a friend who makes it a practice to read a poem a day "just like taking a vitamin." If the idea strikes your fancy and you'd like to try doing the same, I recommend UC Poika's "Knowing Nature" as a good place to begin.