Franciscan Sister a Nurse and Advocate for Pro Life

Sister JulieAnn Sheahan

September 17, 2017

Franciscan Sister of Christian Charity Community Director Sister Natalie Binversie shares moments in the life of Sister Karen Anne Berger, a nurse with a deep-hearted interest in pro life concerns. To read full account, click here: Francisan Sister Karen Anne Reflection

Catherine had reddish hair and fair skin which didn’t allow her to stay out in the sun very long.  She had to always stay under a shelter when outside.  This made a nursing profession appealing to her, since she would have an inside job.  Doctor Carey, the Reedsville physician, knew of Catherine’s desire to be a nurse and told her about the nursing school at Holy Family Hospital in Manitowoc, Wisconsin, which was not too expensive.  She purchased three white nurses’ uniforms for $25.00 and entered the nursing program.  She graduated in 1939 from Holy Family School of Nursing and continued working as a nurse at Holy Family Hospital for three years.

In 1942 many of the nursing school graduates were enlisting in the Service to use their talents for the good of the Country.  Holy Family Hospital School of Nursing was granted approval for a U. S. Nursing Cadet Corps.  Holy Family graduates who wished could be called to duty in various parts of the world.  Catherine wanted to serve, but wasn’t sure just how or where.  The Sisters at the Hospital suggested that she talk to Father Jaekles, the Pastor at St. Paul Parish in Manitowoc where Catherine attended Mass frequently.  After she explained her desire to help and serve others, Father Jaekles asked, “Why don’t you try the Convent?  I’ll take you there for a visit!”

When they visited the Convent they met Mother Perpetua who gave a short tour and gave her an entrance application.  Father told her to fill it out which she did.  Catherine told her Mother who was very supportive of her call as was her sister, Sister Karlene, who entered the Community six years earlier. Read more–see pdf above.If you are a young woman desiring to live St. Francis’ Gospel way, we invite you to our upcoming discernment options. Click here. Call or Text Sister Julie Ann at 920-323-9632 for more information.