In this Year of Consecrated Life, Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity announce the recent publication of A Star of Hope Shone in the Convent Sky, history of our Community and Placement in History to 1945 researched and compiled by Sister Donna Marie Kessler, OSF. Detailed footnotes are of utmost significance. Sister Mariella Erdmann, OSF designed the cover. Sister Martin Flavin, OSF writes the preface shared here.
In the Apostolic Letter of 2011, Porta Fidei, Pope Benedict XVI called attention to “one thing that will be of decisive importance in the Year of Faith is retracing the history of our faith.” How opportune that this book recounting the story of the beginnings and early years of the Congregation of the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity is being published, based as it is on the faith of the women whose lives are described in A Star of Hope Shone in the Convent Sky. The reader will find the chapters of this well-documented history clearly articulating the words of Pope Benedict XVI: “It is faith that enables us to recognize Christ and it is His love that impels us to assist Him when He becomes our neighbor along the journey of life. Supported by faith let us look with hope at our commitment in the world…”
The author, as archivist of the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity and professor of theology, spent many years researching and documenting the contributions of each leader called to guide faith-filled pioneer women courageous in their efforts to bring their love of Church and fellow-Christians to this new world of America. Sister Donna Marie Kessler has positioned the story of our Congregation within the larger history of the Catholic Church, the United States and Wisconsin, giving emphasis to the place of the Sisters within the political and social culture of each era. The more than adequate documentation gives the reader opportunity for further study on topics ranging from prehistory until the aftermath of World War II.
Sister Donna Marie died on November 10, 2014, the day after Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity celebrated the 145th Anniversary of Founding, November 9, 1869.