Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity are blessed today to celebrate Bishop Daniel Felton’s episcopal ordination at Our Lady of the Rosary Cathedral, Duluth, Minnesota. As teachers, neighbors from a small village a few miles from Appleton, Wisconsin, and in other roles of service in the Diocese of Green Bay, we’ve known and served for many years with Fr. Dan.
One of his teachers, our Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity Sister Francita Meyer, would be especially pleased that his Bishop’s episcopal motto ‘Believe in the Good News’ is so truly Franciscan.
His Sister teachers at St. Edward School in Mackville, Wisconsin (also one his most recent parish assignments) are promised priority seating joining others of the Communion of Saints, including his Dad, for this liturgy.
Mackville, Wisconsin Roots
Sister Mary Ann Spanjers, OSF comments: “Growing up in the farm community of Mackville had many blessings! One of them was our Catholic Grade School of St. Edward.
Because it was a small rural school, everyone knew each other and each other’s families! Fr Dan Felton was a few years older than me, he was in 8th grade when I was in 5th grade! Dan was a regular altar server at Mass with Fr. Nicolas Gross; it was evident that he enjoyed being a server. His presence and respect at Mass was real! He was part of a group of 8th grade boys who hung out in Sister Francita’s office before and after school on a regular basis! There was always laughter and teasing whenever I passed the office. Sister Francita enjoyed these students and encouraged all of us to do our best and have fun! I know that when Fr Dan wrote to the Green Bay Diocese Vocation director as he was discerning if priesthood was a direction for him, Sister Francita also wrote a letter of recommendation and support!
I have had the joy of being part of St. Francis of Assisi parish when Fr Dan was pastor in Manitowoc. He invited me to get more involved in the parish as RCIA coordinator, which opened me up to a new ministry in the Church of experiencing the work of the Holy Spirit.
Fr. Dan was a wonderful support in my adult education ministry with the Green Bay Diocese as well!
I feel blessed to have “grown-up” with now Bishop Dan Felton, I am thrilled for the Diocese of Duluth! They have a bishop who will be a wonderful Shepherd of Jesus for them. He continues to be in my prayers as his journey with the Lord goes ever deeper.”
Another daughter of St. Edward parish, Sister Anne Marie Lom, OSF reminisces: “Bishop Dan Felton and I have common Mackville roots. Our parents knew each other. I remember him as a youngster but I was many grades ahead of him!
Bishop Dan initiated the ministry of Spiritual Direction as a parish ministry while he was pastor at St. Raphael, Oshkosh. He hired me as a staff member to begin that ministry. His dream was that anyone was able to come for Spiritual Direction at no cost to them. He thought Spiritual Direction should be a regular ministry in a parish as is Faith Formation, Religious Education, Teen Ministry et al.
That ministry continued for eleven years while I was there providing parish retreats, parish days of recollection, Busy Women’s Retreats, talks explaining Spiritual Direction in the RCIA and Life Teen Programs, and individual Spiritual Direction. Father Doug LeCaptain continued that staff position until I left in 2013.”
Watch for more messages of congratulations and prayers of support from the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity.