When Home and Community Educators Tour Franciscan Convent

Paul Keggington

April 28, 2013

During the month of April a group of 50 men and women, mostly members of the Home and Community Educators-a branch of the University Wisconsin Extension-asked for a tour of  Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity Motherhouse, Holy Family Convent.

Franciscan-Sisters-Tour-Manitowoc-County-Extension-HomemakersCheryl Domrath and her assistant Ann DeMark organized the tour date with Sister Caritas Strodthoff. Community Archivist.

Four leaders (Sister Linda Brandes, Sister Karen Suhr, Sister Mary Frances Maher and Sister Elaine Turba) took individual groups throughout the convent halls taking time to view:

  • St. Francis Chapel with stained glass windows over 100 years oldSr. karen - Generose 2
  • Heritage Room with memorabilia of days gone by
  • Generose Hall-once the beginning of Silver Lake College of the Holy Family and then Holy Family Academy and now used for significant departments of service
  • St. Thomas-once a class room and now a recreation room and sometimes named ‘the Packer Room’
  • Cafeteria-for punch and cookies

Who are HCE – Home and Community Educators?

Franciscan-Sister-Elaine-Library-hallNow under a branch of the University of Wisconsin Extension, groups of homemakers were first organized under the direction of a county agent. In November 1938 a resolution was adopted to hire a home demonstration agent.

Previously, specialists from the extension service put on demonstrations at 4-5 meetings a year. Ms. Ruth Huckstead was the first home demonstration agent. The county was divided into 5 centers: Kiel, Manitowoc, Two Rivers, Valders and Whitelaw. At these centers the home agent presented leader training meetings and the leaders in turn took the project back to local clubs. Spring Valley being the latest addition.

The homemakers clubs cover all phases of home and community life. Food, nutrition, clothing, housing, household equipment, child care, family economics and community social problems are some of the important subjects. Manitowoc County now has 43 clubs with a membership of 718.

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