Franciscan Sister Called from North Dakota

Sister JulieAnn Sheahan

June 29, 2017

Franciscan Sister Cabrini Schmidt was called to be a Franciscan Sister. Read about her call.

Home Life in North Dakota

Growing up the eldest of seven children, Eileen had lots of experience in caring for and enjoying children. This would be a great foundation for her life’s career as a teacher.

Eileen was born and raised on the farm of Edward and Mae Schmidt in North Dakota. Theirs was a strong Catholic family nurtured by prayer and good reading. Most of the family loved to read. She recalls: In those days we could pick up the Sunday Visitor in the back of church for only $ .02. Other Catholic papers and magazines were also a regular in the home. One magazine, Tabernacle and Purgatory, published by the Benedictine Sisters of Perpetual Adoration, made a great impression on Eileen so that, even before ten years of age, she was determined to be a Sister and, in particular, a Benedictine Sister of Perpetual Adoration.

The summer after Eileen finished seventh grade disaster struck the farm in the form of a terrible hail storm that decimated all the crops and even a flock (possibly 50) of the domesticated turkeys that were in the field. The large animals “ cattle and sheep“ ran for shelter. The disaster caused the family to give up the farm and move into the city of Appleton, Wisconsin, former home of Eileen’s parents.

Life in Appleton, WI

Here Eileen attended St. Therese grade school where she met and was attracted to the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity. Then she reasoned if God sent her to Appleton, He must want her to be this new kind of Sister. She continued her schooling in public high school. In July, after her sophomore year, their pastor, Father Hauch, took three girls to see the Convent in Manitowoc Eileen being one of them. Mother Generose wanted Eileen to stay right then; but she went home to get her list of things ready and returned in August.

Life as a Franciscan Sister

Upon reception, Eileen received the name, Sister Cabrini. She knew little about this holy woman but has read much since her reception day. Since St. Francis Cabrini specialized in hospitals and orphanages, Sister Cabrini often felt that the name really didn’t fit her. Obviously, God thought otherwise.

Sister Cabrini spent most of her religious life teaching in grades 1-4 in full-time teaching or in summer catechizing. A high point of teaching young children was preparing them for the sacraments of Penance and the Eucharist.

As years passed, Sister Cabrini began to think back that the Lord had always called her to this Community. From the moment she entered to the present day she has loved the Sisters, the Community, and all her mission assignments. As she celebrates her 75th Jubilee she gives God thanks and praise for her supportive family and Community. Her Bridegroom has in deed graced her abundantly. We invite you, if you are a young woman discerning your own call from God, to visit us. Click here.