How Our Franciscan Sisters Founding Charism is Lived

Paul Keggington

August 16, 2013

After moving forward with our 2013 Chapter, Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity are committed to ‘Living the Gospel and serving God’s people’. We’d like to take the time periodically in the months ahead to review how our fidelity to our Community charism (our unique gift of grace that is characteristic of our mission and values ) is evident throughout our history. We offer a few noteworthy references revealing something of our foundresses themselves-our founding charism lived. Sister Donna Marie Kessler is responsible for the research and text.

Franciscan-Sisters-founding-Clarks-Mills-WIIt is expressed in the simple faith response of Theresa Gramlich (Mother Gabriel) when called, through Father Joseph Fessler to teach catechism to the children of Clarks Mills. This is her own written words. “I replied, “If Father Oschwald wants me to go, I shall go.” (Father Oschwald was her ‘pastor’ at St. Nazianz, WI.)

Mother-Gabriel-Franciscan-Sister-Community- foundressTheresa embraced with faith and great dedication her call to a mission. A history of Clarks Mills speaks of the poverty in educational materials, but the quality of the teacher-good will, zeal, love for souls, and a natural aptitude for teaching.

A glimpse of God’s call to her vocation came a few months later when Father Fessler mentioned the prospect of building a little convent. She wrote later of this moment: “This had been my with long before, but poverty was the obstacle.”

Theresa’s early companions were inspired by her desire to be a religious and her dedicated commitment to the call to teach.

Together they experessed a desire to form a religious community. Father Fessler received permission for this from Bishop Henni.

To be continued…Franciscan-hall-of-holiness

 Do you find yourself a kindred soul of Theresa? Is God calling you to be a Franciscan Sister?  We invite you to our September 20-22, 2013 Vocation Discernment Weekend. Click here.

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