Franciscanized World Feature: Sister Jubilarians Called to Share Vocation Wisdom

Paul Keggington

June 22, 2012

On June 24, 2012 Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity will be celebrating our Sisters’  jubilees. Please watch facebook for Sunday photos of our celebration with (75) Sister Marie Emmanuel Leannah, Sister Francella Yobst, Sister Evelyn Ann Schumacher, (60) Sister Colette Hoadley, Sister Gratia Hosfeld, Sister Mary Felice Wellman, Sister Estelle Vanden Heuvel, Sister Juana Lucero, Sister Arlene Virlee, Sister Bonita Morin, Sister Clarita Ryan, Sister Xavieria Wittman, Sister Shirley Spilker, Sister Renita Tadych (50) Sister Paulyn Vanden Hogen and Sister Georgellen Vissers.

In the days ahead, we will be featuring each of our Sister jubilarians on Franciscanized World. We invite you to get to know our Sister jubilarians better and learn what they feel has helped them to remain faithful in their call to be a Franciscan Sister. Sister Marie Emmanuel begins these special postings.

Sister Marie Emmanuel Leahnnah

Hometown: Kewaunee, WI

My Mother always prayed that her ten children would grow up well as adults. One answer to her prayers was that there were four religious vocations in our family.”

Sister Alfred Hebein was my first Franciscan Sister teacher. I was in second grade and I loved her and imitated her by playing Sister many times. I often helped her after school.

As my eighth grade graduation present I asked to enter the convent, but my dad did not give permission until after my sophomore year. I entered the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity, and when I was received I was given the name Sister Marie Emmanuel, my mom’s and dad’s names.

Three others followed me into religious life: my brother became a Salvatorian priest; one sister became a Sister of the Holy Spirit in Erie, Pennsylvania, and another, a Franciscan Sister of the Poor in Albany, New York. All are now deceased. I also have a niece who is a Salvatorian Sister in Milwaukee.

During my fifty years of teaching, I taught mostly primary grades in Wisconsin, Michigan, Nebraska, Arizona, Ohio and Hawaii. I found that having to work hard on school work myself  enabled me to help many students who had a difficult time with their studies. So my teaching became a special joy to me.

Besides classroom work, I also participated in many ecumenical and outreach activities. For the past several years I have lived in St. Rita’s Health Center at our Motherhouse .

I am grateful to the Community for the opportunity to grow spiritually because of the many and varied retreats which have helped me grow closer to God. I look back at my life and feel blessed and grateful to God and our Community for all the gifts and benefits I have received throughout the past 75 years. I thank God for calling me to be a gift to Him as a Franciscan Sister of Christian Charity.

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