Page 1


Pilgrimage to Rome Sisters of St. Francis of Mary Immaculate



A Welcome from Sister Dolores Zemont

A publication of the Sisters of St. Francis of Mary Immaculate 1433 Essington Road Joliet IL 60435 (815) 725-8735

Dear Friends, As I write this, it is still January, so I feel I can still wish you a Happy New Year filled with God’s abundant love. This year will mark a significant milestone for the Congregation. On December 14, 2012, we began a year-long celebration leading to the 50th anniversary on December 18, 2013, of our Congregation’s ministry in Brazil. Some of our Sisters will be traveling to Brazil later this year for the huge celebration taking place in Santa Helena de Goiás, our first mission.

Editor/Layout Design

L ucy Sanchez Dir ec tor o f Co mmunicatio ns l sanc h ez @jo lietfrancians . o r g

Copy Editors Sr. Carlene Howell Jennifer Cmolik

INSIDE THIS ISSUE Sacred Ground, Sacred Journey


Meet My Ministry


Associate’s Corner


At Jou rney’s End


Remembering Our Associates




Mission Statement Led by the Spirit, we embrace the Gospel life by commitment to Franciscan values and respond to the needs of our time through prayer, community and ministry.

© 2013 - Joliet Franciscans



In the early 1960s, Pope John XXIII asked congregations of women religious throughout North America to send a percentage of their memberships to Latin America, which was predominantly Catholic. Mother Borromeo Mack, General Superior of the Joliet Franciscans at the time, said yes. And so it began. On December 18, 1963, four North American Sisters arrived in Santa Helena de Goiás, covered in red dust from a day-long journey, mostly on dirt roads. They were unable to speak but a few words of Brazil’s native language, Portuguese. These pioneering Sisters charted their course as teachers, catechists, and ministered in the ways presented to them by the people they were sent to serve. Today, almost 50 years later, Joliet Franciscans, both from North America and Brazil, serve in Hidrolândia, Santa Cruz da Goiás and Tocantins, as well as in Santa Helena and Goiânia in a variety of ministries. And Sister Ruth Berry, one of the original four Sisters, still serves in Brazil today. Our Mother Borromeo was a woman of great foresight, not to mention great ambition! In addition to founding the Congregation’s mission in Brazil, she also built the current Joliet Catholic Academy, which was then St. Francis Academy. If you know Joliet, you know that JCA’s neighbor is Our Lady of Angels Retirement Home, also started by Mother Borromeo where today many of our retired Sisters live side-by-side with lay residents, just as she had envisioned. OLA is celebrating its 51st year. You are remembered in the prayers of all of our Sisters, in both the United States and Brazil. We thank you for all that you do for us through your spiritual and financial support. Please keep our Congregation in prayer as we continue to do God’s work among his people. Peace and all good,

Sister Dolores Zemont, OSF President

Advancing the Mission Hello Everyone! Thank you for the wonderful support shown for the 2013 Christmas appeal. Many of you made your gifts in honor or in memory of one of the Sisters, a family member or friend. We also enjoyed reading the notes you sent. I need to wrap up a bit of business from 2012 and that would be the 23rd Annual Franciscan Autumn Feast. We plan for many months and then it is over in a few hours. But those many months produced a wonderful and memorable few hours. And it was a very successful event raising 37% more than the 2011 Feast. Through your generosity, funds were raised for the support of our retired Sisters and the Congregation’s work in Brazil. We are grateful to the following sponsors: Jim Albritton, Andromeda Technology Systems, Elizabeth Bach Luong, Luise Baldin, Bill & Margaret Benoit, Brown & Brown Insurance, Larry & Sue Burich, Jim & Pat Byrne, Arthur & Pamela Cirignani, Mark & Sharon Dames, D’Arcy Buick-GMC, John & Jeanette D’Arcy, Mando & Lillian DiBartolomeo, First Midwest Bank, Marjorie Fitzgerald, Fred C. Dames Funeral Home, Great Lakes Advisors, David & Margaret Heniff, Henry Bros. Co., Thomas & Patricia Herrmann, Jennifer Kacvinsky, Robert Kochevar, Raymond & Mary Louise Krysl, Michael & Laura Ladewski, Tony & Leona Laouras, Ed & Bonnie Leracz, Lincolnshire Properties, Julia Malloy, Rocco & Roxanne Martino, Donna Mays, Joan McCabe, Helen McCormick, Joannice Metzger, Claire Millweard, Minarich Graphics & Supplies, Inc., Dennis & Marianne Murphy, Northern Illinois Steel Supply Co., Judge Sheila M. O’Brien, Rita Ohlson, Dr. & Mrs. George Osterberger, John & Margaret Peifer, Ronald & Michele Phelps, Presence (formally Provena) - St. Joseph Medical Center, Linda Quinlan, Dr. & Mrs. Al Ray, Remco Medical, Kenneth E. Resh, Fran Naal Sczepaniak, David & Margaret Sevening, Marie Shroba, Larry & Janet Simpson, Linda Sticklen, Margaret Sticklen, David & Nancy Takashima, Tracy Johnson & Wilson, Attorneys-at-Law, Patricia Winter, Dr. & Mrs. Lawrence Wyllie and more than a few who choose to remain anonymous. Thank you also to the many donors of items for our Silent Auction and Basket Raffle, and to those who placed ads in our program book. Thank you to our committee members who help us in planning and producing the Feast. They are Marcia Bianco, Lucy Brogla, Dottie Brown, Jo Collins, Jeanette D’Arcy, Matt and Dolores Gross, Jeanne Jacobs, Claire Millweard, Julie Murphy, Marianne Murphy, Sister Nadine Overbeck, Michele Phelps, John and Jean Roach, Fran Naal Sczepaniak, and Cheryl Shaw. Thanks also to Joseph Bianco, my family, and the many Sisters who helped us the day of the Feast. We also thank the Sisters who sang for our guests under the direction of Valerie Giuliani and accompanied by Keith Kwiatkowski.

The 24th Annual Franciscan Autumn Feast is scheduled for Sunday, October 27th at the Bolingbrook Golf Club. As part of the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, individuals who are 70 ½ years of Nan Nagl Director of Mission Advancement age or older may make a charitable contribution directly from an IRA of up to $100,000 through 2013 without paying income tax on IRA funds. For more information, please visit our website at You are remembered in the prayers of our Sisters. Please know you make a difference in not only their lives, but the lives of those to whom they minister. I ask that you continue your financial support of the Joliet Franciscan Sisters by considering a gift through one of our appeals, remembering the Congregation in your estate plans, or making a donation through this publication. We appreciate all that you do. Until next time, enjoy the miracle of each new day.

Claire Millweard and Fran Naal Sczepaniak are members of the Feast Committee.



Sacred Ground, Sacred Journey By: Sister Kathy Salewski, OSF

Webster‘s New Compact Desk Dictionary defines a Pilgrim as a wanderer, one who travels to a shrine or holy place as a religious act. Above: The facade of St. Peter’s Basilica with hanging photos of the newly canonized Saints. Right: Sister Grace Ann dressed in her native attire.

Constitutions #9

Constitutions #35

We treasure one another as we share our possessions and talents, our joys, our sorrows, our ideals – our very selves. We recognize that diversity among us marks the action of the Spirit and serves both to enrich us and to expand our ministry to others.

Recognizing our pilgrim status, we cling neither to persons nor to things, neither to places nor to positions. We continually strive to free ourselves from all that could enslave us. Knowing that God cares for His own, we live and work in the present moment without anxiety.


n October 18, 2012, three Sisters, Grace Ann Rabideau, Maria Bui and Kathy Salewski and Associate Lolita Ranchero embarked upon The Canonization Pilgrimage to celebrate the canonization of Kateri Tekakwitha. Indeed, the diversity among these women was great – Lolita, native of the Philippines, nurse, wife and administrator; Sr. Kathy, of German/Irish ancestry, chaplain, currently doing basic human services in the very poor Deep South; Sr. Maria, from Viet Nam, artist and music teacher; and Sr. Grace Ann, member of the Ojibwa Nation, Bad River Band, living and working among her people in Bayfield, WI and the Red Cliff Reservation. What were the common threads that the Spirit used to weave this band of differ-


The Constitutions of the Sisters of St. Francis of Mary Immaculate give a deeper insight into the concept of pilgrim and pilgrimage:


ent women together in a foreign country? They are followers of St. Francis of Assisi, who encouraged them to make pilgrimage a way of life. They are drawn to the charism of Mother Alfred Moes, who journeyed from Luxembourg to the United States with a young woman’s desire to teach the Indians, and which matured into the desire to answer the needs of the people of God as presented to her. They are American women, willing to spend their time and energy to honor two other American women, Kateri Tekakwitha and Mother Marianne Cope. They are Catholics, awed to be among the 80,000 persons present in St. Peter’s Square to hear Pope Benedict XXVI proclaim: “…we declare and define Blessed… Marianne Cope, Kateri Tekakwitha to be Saints and we enroll

them among the Saints, decreeing that they are to be venerated as such by the whole Church.” What prompted these women to leave their busy ministries and full lives to journey to Italy in a group of 780 United States and Canadian pilgrims? Sr. Maria expresses it this way, “I am living Sr. Grace Ann’s excitement about making the journey as a Native American to Kateri’s and Franciscan Mother Marianne Cope’s canonization. Our Associate, Lolita Ranchero, invited me to make the journey with her. This was an opportunity and a privilege that I could not refuse. This was a special Blessing for me!” Sr. Grace Ann, who has been yearning for Kateri’s canonization since childhood, put it this

way: “I was motivated to request this journey from my Community because we American Indians have been praying and waiting for years and years to learn of Kateri’s canonization. I know that Kateri Circles all over the US have been doing the same – as well as Kateri conferences every year.” For Sr. Kathy this was the completion of the story in the fourth grade Faith and Freedom Reader, the opportunity to learn more about this young woman who was willing to leave her family and nation, traveling over 200 miles north on foot, so that she would be able to worship Jesus freely and with others. In addition to being present for the canonization of Kateri Tekakwitha and Marianne Cope, Lolita heard her fellow countryman, Pedro Calungsod, proclaimed a Saint. Besides being present at the actual Canonization Liturgy on October 21, 2012, these four pilgrims experienced other Sacred Places in Italy. On Monday, October 22, 2012, the group of 780 pilgrims returned to St. Peter’s, this time going inside to participate in a Liturgy of Thanksgiving. As at the canonization, the Native Americans (the majority of the

group) were in native dress. A choir of Native Americans led the pilgrims in original music in Mohawk, Kateri’s native language, accompanied by flutes and drums. Very special was the time in Assisi, walking the streets walked by Francis and Clare. Siena, the home of Kateri’s patron saint, Catherine, was touching and meaningful. Florence, Padua (another special place for all Franciscans), Venice and Montecatini rounded out the the places, each holding an array of Sister Grace Ann, Associate Lolita Ranchero experiences, emotions and insights. and Sister Maria on the tour bus.

An ongoing privilege experienced by Sr. Kathy, was the opportunity to sit with Native Americans and learn of the honored place Kateri has held in their lives. There was a young woman who chose Kateri to be her name and Catherine of Siena to be her patron saint, when she was baptized at the age of 20. Her Native American name, Tekakwitha means “she who puts things in order, she who advances, she who opens the way before her.” For many of the pilgrims, Kateri’s love of the Eucharist, her practice of teaching children to pray, her respect for Mother Earth, her steadfast-

ness in living her sexuality as a gift from God as a chaste virgin and her willingness to undergo physical hardships to be free to love Jesus did indeed “open the way before her” and them to live as Catholics within the Native American culture. These pilgrims look to Kateri to help them continually “put in order” the reality of inculturation and mutual enhancement of their cultures. It is now late winter and the pilgrims are back in the United States going on with life. At least it looks like they are doing what they did before packing their bags and heading to Italy on October 18th. Andre Cirino, OFM, in Pilgrim’s Companion to Franciscan Places, has an insight as to what might be happening within our Joliet Franciscan Canonization Pilgrims, “The biggest item taken home is the collage of memories, which weigh nothing, go easily through customs and can be enjoyed for a long time. It is the memories of sacred events, sacred places and sacred experiences that will enliven the continuing pilgrimage through life toward the final homeland.” May Kateri bless them with the grace to open their ways and put things in order.

Enjoying the beautiful sites in Rome are from left to right: Sister Kathy Salewski, Sister Maria Bui and Sister Grace Ann Rabideau.



Meet My OUR Ministry Meet our Sisters Kathleen Bushur and Sandra Sudkamp who minister at Catholic Charities in Effingham, Illinois. They enjoy working with people and consider it a privilege to help those in need. By: Sister Kathleen Bushur, OSF

Above: Sister Sandra at the food pantry. Right: Sister Kathleen (on right) working at the MedAssist Office.


he mission of Catholic Charities of Effingham, which is part of Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois, is to “To extend to all the healing and empowering presence of Jesus.” Catholic Charities of Effingham has provided nationally accredited programs to seven counties in south central Illinois for the past 31 years. The counties they serve are Clark, Crawford, Cumberland, Effingham, Fayette, Jasper and Shelby. They also provide services that include Counseling, Crisis Assistance, Food Pantry, MedAssist, and Second Hand Rose Resale Shoppe and Ramblin’ Rose. Ramblin’ Rose is a bus that goes out during the summer to distribute school supplies and clothing to the needy children to get them ready for the new school year. The MedAssist Program is currently staffed by Sisters Sandra Sudkamp and Kathleen Bushur. We help people access necessary medications for free or discounted prices in the dosages needed to maintain their health from various Pharmaceutical Companies. Many companies have established patient assistance programs which make their medications available to people in need. Each company has its own criteria, application form, and eligibility guidelines. We serve as client advocates who interview clients to determine if they are eligible for these patient assistance programs. If the clients qualify, we work with them and their physicians to enroll them in the company’s assistance program. People who are currently being helped are those on Social Security and are not yet 65 and have no insurance. Since they are on a fixed income they find it very difficult to pay for both



their living expenses and the full price of medications. The working poor also need our help because they do not receive health insurance at their workplace. Those who lose their jobs also lose their insurance, so we assist them with their medications. When clients are proven disabled, they usually have to wait two years to qualify for Medicare and we assist them during this two year period. Young adults who turn 19 and have lost their Medicaid coverage also come for help along with their parents who have also lost their Medicaid coverage. I began The MedAssist office at Effingham Catholic Charities in May, 2000. Sr. Sandra joined in October, 2009. One day a week she travels to Robinson, Illinois, where she does the Emergency Assistance program called Caritas and our MedAssist program. Twice a week she also works in the Food Pantry in Effingham, where we receive food from various groups including Wal-Mart. I also supervise a satellite office of the Effingham MedAssist program in Marshall, Illinois, which is staffed by Barbara Igleheart and Etta Lindley. At our Effingham MedAssist office, we are seeing an increased need of our services. In 2009, we averaged 85 clients a month. Currently, we average 114 a month. We receive close to 98% of the medications that we apply for to aid our clients. Last year we received over $2M worth of medications for our clients. In 2002, the Diocese of Springfield, Illinois installed a new data base in all of the MedAssist offices thoughout the State. Since we began using this data base, we have processed over 11,000 service events and have secured more than 32,000 three-month prescriptions, valued at $11M dollars. This has been a blessing for the clients we have served during the past 12 years. They are able to get their medications and stay on the dosage that their physicians recommend. Their quality of life has improved because they are able to take their medications on a daily basis. In our client surveys, a client commented, “I wouldn’t be alive today if it weren’t for this program.” Another client said, “I was not able to get any other help.” We consider it a privilege to help those who are in need of their life-saving medications and the help that we are able to give them.

Associate’s Corner

The San Damiano Cross “Most high and glorious God, be the light to the darkness of my heart, give me true faith, certain hope and perfect charity. Lord give me insight and wisdom so I might always discern your holy and true will.”


he Sisters and Associates gathered together on a beautiful November morning for a day of recollection, reflection and companionship. All were warmly welcomed by Sister Dolores Zemont who encouraged us to absorb all the wonders of this day. Sister Sandra Sudkamp began the day with a beautiful prayer service. We lifted our hearts and voices, singing the prayer that St. Francis prayed at San Damiano. In this spirit of St. Francis, we rejoiced in the ability to be the hands, heart, voice and feet of Christ. Sister Sandra then introduced Sisters Carol Beckermann and Ann Pierre Wilken, Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Help, who presented us with an incredible day of grace and prayer as we turned our undivided attention to the mystery and symbolism of the San Damiano Cross. As the story of the San Damiano Cross began to unfold for us, we began to understand what the artist was trying to convey. We began to see the resurrected Christ. The Savior who looks at us with a compassionate gaze, triumphant and regal, can become a real part of us. He is no longer hanging

Sister Sharon Frederick, Director of Associates, smiles alongside Associate Nancy Davis.

on the cross but supporting it and standing strong and firm. We do not see the ugliness of Crucifixion but the gentleness and nobleness of eternal life. We can also see the precious people who supported and loved Jesus throughout His life standing beside Him on the cross. The angels are looking with awe upon the Divine Sacrifice. We also see how the colors chosen by the artist help to re-enforce the message of the cross. The San Damiano Cross is no longer just a pretty cross to be worn around the neck or hung on a wall. It truly has a story. It is the one that we are now happy to pass on to others when they ask us about this Franciscan symbol. Our day was intertwined with table talk and discussion. Over lunch we had the wonderful opportunity to share and socialize in the true Franciscan spirit of hospitality, jocularity and genuine care for each other. As our day came to a close, we were asked to reflect in the spirit of St. Clare on the San Damiano Cross. A mirror was then placed before us, while the cross was held behind us so that we could gaze at ourselves in the center of the cross. We were then asked: “How do you see yourself? Did you see Christ in that mirror? Is the image bringing you to see and be Christ for others?”

Associates Eileen Hartke and Donna Aye travelled from Effingham, Illinois to attend the gathering.

The day concluded with a celebration of liturgy by Father John Dombrowski. What a beautiful finish to a spectacular day and what a thoughtful, marvelous, educational and prayerful experience for each of us in attendance!



At Journey’s End Sister Grace (Gretchen) Straub, OSF November 10, 1934 - October 22, 2012


aptized and educated at St. Peter’s Parish in Mansfield, Ohio, she came under the influence of the Joliet Franciscan spirit as a child. With a desire to be an educator and a Franciscan Sister, Grace’s vocational paths converged as she ventured forward into adulthood with her characteristic sense of simplicity and joy. Entering the Postulancy of the Sisters of St. Francis of Mary Immaculate in January 1953, she was received into the Novitiate in August and given the religious name of Gretchen. After making her first profession of vows in August 1955, she was assigned to the wonderful world of first and third graders, a world that she would weave her way in and out of for many years to come. Professing her final vows in August 1958, Sister Gretchen continued to

grow in her own convictions about the spirit-filled dynamics of teaching and learning as she completed studies in Sociology at the College of St. Francis (now University of St. Francis). Engaged by the challenges and opportunities of a world and a Church in the process of unprecedented change and renewal, she responded to her missionary calling with an unwavering heart full of love, solicitude, gentle humor and humility. In a 1963 letter to her classmates, she reflected upon her experiences in language school and the difficulties she faced when required on a weekly basis to tell a story in Portuguese. “Boy, does the language ever get murdered then! I usually end up winning the prize for the most errors, but someone has to be the others’ consolation!” As one of the four founding Franciscan missionaries in Santa Helena de Goiás, Irmã Gretchen planted many seeds during her decade of ministry in Brazil. In August 2011, as the Congregation celebrated the concluding liturgy of its 145th anniversary, it was with tears of joy that she counted herself blessed and witnessed those seeds continuing to bear much good fruit in and through the lives of her sisters in Brazil.

a former student wrote: “I closed my eyes. I couldn’t bring myself to gaze at her, knowing that she knew. I was beside myself. Her eyes were flooded with tears, not the anger and disappointment I expected and deserved. ‘Too many friendships end because people just can’t say I’m sorry’ were her words.” Indeed, Sister Grace embodied the ideal of what it means to be “truly present” to those whom we love and serve in God’s name as sister, teacher, story-teller, reconciler and friend. Always inclined to trust in God’s “holy manner of working,” Sister Grace possessed a generosity of spirit. Unfaltering in her Franciscan conviction that “it is in giving that we receive,” our sister Grace leaves to us a parting gift, a fundamental lesson to be learned from the legacy of her life, an insight captured in a passage from Annie Lamott’s book, Traveling Mercies: “I do not understand the mystery of grace – only that it meets us where we are and does not leave us where it found us.”* * As quoted in Becoming Catholic Again (Loyola Press, 2012) by Catherine Wiecher Brunell, a graduate of St. Peter’s – Mansfield and a devoted former third-grader of Sr. Grace.

It is said of Sister Grace that she was “as serious about piety as she was about the Golden Rule.” Whether it was a novena of prayers that was needed or a dozen freshly-baked cakes for a parish event, she could be counted upon to deliver whatever was asked of her. Described as a fun-filled teaser, with a straight face and a sense of German-Irish wit, she could tell an incredible tale and convince everyone that it was true. On a playground or pathway one could easily identify Sister Grace’s location as the place where the largest concentration of children could be found, drawn as if to a magnet with an incredible and affectionate gravitational pull. Recounting an experience of having to apologize to Sister Grace for a terrible misdeed,



Sister Grace (third from left) was one of the four original sisters sent to Brazil by Mother Borromeo.

At Journey’s End Sister Margaret (Jean Marie) Duffy, OSF December 19, 1922 - December 6, 2012


efore entering religious life, Sister Margaret was a member of St. Thomas Parish in Columbus, Ohio, and attended the parish grade school. She graduated from St. Mary High School in Columbus and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the College of St. Francis (now University of St. Francis) in Joliet, Illinois, and a Master of Arts degree from DePaul University in Chicago. Sister Margaret was a “go to” person in all her roles in life. Margie, as the family called her, was from her earliest days blessed with a pleasant disposition. She would take life as it came with a straight forward, no nonsense approach that endeared her to many. When she met the Joliet Franciscan Sisters at St. Mary High School, she immediately knew her calling was to be a religious sister. Her oldest sister, Mary, was also considering becoming a Joliet Franciscan Sister, but times were hard and Mary was the only full-time worker in the family. Sister Margaret knew that after graduation she, too, would have to help support the family and she did so for two years working at the U.S. Army Depot as a secretary. But in January of 1944, Margaret finally left home to enter the postulancy. The advice of her father that morning was, “Do what the Sisters tell you to do.” Margaret would recall those words many times during her nearly 70 years in our Congregation, and she rightly believed that she followed them. Sister Margaret spent her life in education and in Joliet, never serving in any institutions other than St. Francis Academy and the A College of St. C Francis. She loved F tteaching business ssubjects, working as a counselor, and her work as the regisw trar at CSF. Her wit tr aand candor were well known by both w ffaculties. She had a way of challenging w the status quo with th a blunt common sense approach to problems and was Left: Sr. Mary Jean Morris celebrates often quoted by “Sister Margret Duffy Day” at CSF those who worked (now USF), where Sr. Margaret was closely with her. the registrar for over 33 years.

She touched the lives of many students in her early years, and contributed much stability during the significant times of the proposed merger of the college and the innovations of co-education and computer scheduling and grading. Sister Margaret knew everyone on the CSF campus and, although she disliked attention to herself, thoroughly enjoyed “Sister Margaret Duffy Day,” a surprise by her CSF colleagues. Sister Margaret thrived on Vatican II, the vernacular Mass, collegiality and co-responsibility, and she co-chaired many of the Congregation’s General Chapter committees. When she retired, she lived at the Motherhouse and Guardian Angel Home, before choosing to live at OLA (Our Lady of Angels Retirement Home. Sister Margaret’s ability to make decisions aided her in each of these roles, and often she was the person from whom others sought opinions, knowing that she would act on a situation if it seemed the right thing to do. She lived by Sister Christine (Hortense) Fahrenbach’s saying, “The one who sees the problem is anointed to solve it.” Sister Margaret Duffy was a person of candor, loyalty and prayer. She loved the daily Mass, the lives of the saints, the lives of foundresses of religious communities, the Divine Office, and the liberation of spirit and responsibilities that Vatican II gave to all in the Church. Sister Margaret appreciated the faithfulness of classmates and friends and often would speak out on behalf of anyone whom she felt needed a voice. We are grateful for the life of Sister Margaret among us and recommend her to God. Over the years, she had cousins at Motherhouses in Baden, Pennsylvania; Dubuque, Iowa; Springfield, Illinois; and Detroit, Michigan. One of the members of the Dubuque Franciscans sent her a saying

that she used as a mantra over the last two years: “God, come when You are ready, and make me ready when You come.”



Remembering our Associates VERONICA “BONNIE” WEBER Associate Veronica (Bonnie) Weber died on September 12, 2012. Born on the south side of Chicago, Bonnie attended St. Francis Academy as an aspirant and graduated from the College of St. Francis. In 1949 she was received as a novice and given the name “Sister Thomas Marie.” In 1960 Bonnie left the Congregation and later married Richard “Dick” Weber, who died in May, 2012. They had two children. In 1983 Bonnie became an Associate. As Bonnie expressed in her commitment letter to Sister Ann James Murray, she wanted to “become part of us again.” When Bonnie pronounced her Mutual Agreement she stated that her desire was to make Gospel Living more credible by sharing hospitality in her home with the Congregation, and by becoming involved in the CCD program of her parish, St. Damian in Oak Forest. Bonnie will be deeply missed by her children, Cindy and Danielle, her family and friends, the Associates, her Companion Sister, Sharon Frederick, her dear and devoted friend, Sister Dominic Krivich, and the “monthly Missio” group who brought her so much joy. We are grateful for the years Bonnie spent as an Associate and friend to our Congregation. She now enjoys the presence of the God whom she loved and served.

DR. MARY ANN POPRICK Associate Dr. Mary Ann Poprick died on October 20, 2012. She was born in Chicago in 1939. For a short period, she was an affiliate in our Congregation. Mary Ann was a well-respected, successful, licensed clinical psychologist who had a PhD in General Experimental Psychology. She had a long established practice in South Holland, Illinois and was also on the medical staff of several hospitals in the Chicago area. She also worked for the Peoria Diocese on their Marriage Tribunal. Mary Ann’s teaching expertise spanned several universities including Loyola and Lewis Universities. She became Chair of the Department of Psychology at Lewis. There she met her dear friend Sister Noel Dreska. Mary Ann’s national honors were many. She was a respected author, having published several articles. She also spoke widely to many groups including elementary, high school, college, church affiliated organizations, nurses and physicians. In 1995 Mary Ann became an Associate of our Congregation. Sister Noel Dreska was her Companion Sister. After Sister Noel’s death, Sister Sharon Frederick became her Companion Sister. For Mary Ann, becoming an Associate seemed to fill the void that she had been experiencing since leaving the Congregation as an affiliate. We are grateful for the years Mary Ann spent as an Associate and friend of our Congregation. She now enjoys the presence of the God whom she loved and served.

ROSE LENHART Associate Rose Lenhart died on October 27, 2012. She was born in Montreal, Quebec, Canada and baptized Caterina Rosina Gallo. Although raised in Montreal she moved to Joliet in 1948 and in 1952 she married her husband Charles (Chuck). After 35 years of marriage, Chuck converted to Catholicism and Rose attributed his conversion to her association with our Sisters. Rose gave of her time and talents to many organizations throughout the Joliet area. She was a member of St. Anthony Church, and was involved in many activities. In 1982 St. Anthony’s named Rose “Woman of the Year.” In 1995 she was given the Leadership Award by the Illinois Hospital and Health Systems Association. She also volunteered at Provena St. Joseph Medical Center and St. Patrick’s Retirement Home Auxiliary, where she received the Claddagh Award. Rose also belonged to the Joliet Area Community Hospice Auxiliary, Daughters of Isabella, Catholic Women’s League, CCW, Our Lady of the Angels Auxiliary and our own “520” Ladies. She was a very prayerful and gifted woman. With a desire to be closer to our Sisters and “live her life as a Catholic in the spirit of St. Francis,” Rose made her commitment as an Associate in 1993. Sister Albert Marie Papesh became her Companion Sister. We are grateful for the years Rose spent as an Associate and friend of our Congregation. She now enjoys the presence of the God whom she loved and served.




Prayer Evenings The Joliet Franciscan Sisters and Associates invite you to join them for an evening of prayer and reflection on the fourth Tuesday of each month. Prayer Evenings are held at the Joliet Franciscan Center, 1433 Essington Road, Joliet at 7PM. The theme for the month appears on both our website and Facebook page. For additional information, please call 815-8725-8735.

Prayer Breakfasts Join us for Prayer Breakfasts held throughout the warmer months of the year. The morning begins with prayer and includes an inspirational talk and breakfast. Our Prayer Breakfasts are for both men and women. Dates for 2013 are: - Wednesday, April 17, 7AM - Wednesday, July 17, 7AM - Wednesday, September 18, 7AM Prayer Breakfasts are held at the Joliet Franciscan Center, 1433 Essington Road, Joliet. The suggested donation is $10.00. For more information, please call 815-725-8735, x116.

24th Annual Franciscan Autumn Feast Sunday, October 27th at 3:00 PM Celebrate with us at the Bolingbrook Golf Club. The Mother Alfred Moes and Joliet Franciscan Heritage Awards will be presented to our 2013 honorees. There will be a silent auction and cash raffle. For additional information, please contact the Office of Mission Advancement at 815-725-8735.

We are on Facebook - Like us!

Sisters of St. Francis of Mary Immaculate, Joliet, IL

As part of the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, individuals who are 70 ½ years of age or older may make a charitable contribution in 2013 directly from an IRA of up to $100,000 without paying income tax on the IRA funds. Limitations on the provision include: • The donor must be age 70 ½ or older. • Caps on annual IRAs are limited to $100,000. • Contributions must be made as a direct gift to the Sisters of St. Francis of Mary Immaculate (not as a planned gift). For more information, please contact your financial professional. You may also call the Mission Advancement Office for the Sisters of St. Francis at 815-725-8735.

SIGN UP FOR E-NEWS! Do you want to hear more about the Sisters? We send updates on the Joliet Franciscans through our E-News. If you would like to be added to our list, send your name and email address to Nan Nagl, Director of Mission Advancement: You may also sign up through our website homepage at

HELP US UPDATE Do we have your current address? Are you receiving duplicate copies? Do you know someone who would like to receive our Magazine? Please let us know by using the enclosed envelope, sending an email to or by calling the Mission Advancement Office at 815-725-8735, x116.



1433 Essington Road Joliet, IL 60435-2873

You’re Invited! 24th Annual Franciscan Autumn Feast October 27, 2013 Bolingbrook Golf Club

Raffles - Silent Auction 3:00 pm (More information at: 815-725-8735)

Visit us at: Photos are from the 2012 Autumn Feast

Non-Profit Org. U.S. Postage PAID Permit No. 148 Joliet, IL

Confianca Magazine Winter - 2013  

A publication of the Sisters of St. Francis of Mary Immaculate, Joliet, IL

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you