Franciscan Gospel Call Reaches Out to Special Needs Children

Sister JulieAnn Sheahan

October 15, 2016

Franciscan Sister Natalie Binversie shares on the life of Sister Marie Emmanuel Leannah and her many ways of responding to God’s call to live the Gospel. One of these ways was preparing special needs children for First Communion. Read Sister Natalie’s entire text: sister-marie-emmanuels-reflectionfranciscan-sister-marie-emmanuel-family

Sister Marie Emmanuel taught the primary grades for 50 years in Wisconsin, Michigan, Nebraska, Arizona, Ohio, and Hawaii.  Along with her teaching she participated in many ecumenical and outreach activities. She assisted in parish work, was co-spiritual director of a Cursillo group, a member of prayer groups, involved in RCIA, Bible Study, Choir, RENEW groups and served as Communion Minister and Lector.  For nine years Sister Marie Emmanuel did pastoral work among the migrants in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin.  When Sister Marie Emmanuel was missioned at San Damiano Convent in Slinger, Wisconsin she found great joy in teaching special needs children, preparing them to celebrate their First Reconciliation and receive their First Holy Communion. franciscan-sister-marie-emmanuel-prepares-special-needs-children-for-first-communion

In 1988, one of Sister Marie Emmanuel’s fondest dreams was realized. She went to Rome as a member of the Choir of Our Lady Queen of Peace Cathedral from Honolulu, Hawaii.  The choir was blessed to have an audience with the Holy Father, now, St. John Paul II.  As the Holy Father came down the aisle, he shook both of Sister Marie Emmanuel’s hands.  The choir sang for a Mass in a Vatican Chapel and gave a concert at another Church.  This pilgrimage also took them to Assisi where they sang their last Mass at the tomb of St. Francis.

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