Michigan Universities Nun Run with Franciscan Sisters and Sisters of St. Paul Chartres

Sister JulieAnn Sheahan

November 09, 2021

Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity and Sisters of St. Paul Chartres were joined by eleven young women from Lake Superior State University, Michigan Tech and Northern Michigan University on a Nun Run November 5-7, 2021. It was an opportunity to visit us and experience our Consecrated Life. Our pilgrimage began at Koski Corners in Champion, Michigan.  While Sister Jacqueline Spaniola arrived with passengers from Houghton, Michigan,  Sister Carol Seidl and Sister Julie Ann Sheahan welcomed students from other locations into two vans. The next official stop was Holy Family Convent, Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity Motherhouse in Manitowoc, Wisconsin.

On arrival guests first dropped off personal items in their individual rooms in guest houses within walking distances from the Motherhouse. Sister Linda Brandes and our Sisters in Initial Formation were prepared to serve a  simple supper  and enjoy some initial conversation with our visitors.  A video on The Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help, Champion, Wisconsin was next  shared to better prepare everyone for Saturday’s travel itinerary.  Night Prayer followed in St. Francis Chapel.

Indeed, prayer was an important part of the weekend. Saturday began with morning prayer followed by Eucharist and breakfast. Next, Sister Jacqueline offered a Scriptural reflection on Jesus the Bridegroom as an introduction to a  a Eucharistic Holy Hour in St. Francis Chapel. Moving from contemplation to action, Sister Cecilia Joy Kugel lead the group in a Motherhouse tour allowing plenty of time for everyone to explore the grounds around the Motherhouse.

After lunch as our convent ‘Angeles bells’ rang at noon on Saturday, pilgrims departed for Our Lady of Good Help Shrine. The group made the most of their time of personal prayer at this only one of its kind National Marian apparition spot only 40 minutes from Manitowoc.  Continuing our travels, we stopped at a nearby Devotional Chapel and Rosary Prayer Garden open year round about  five miles east of Denmark, WI in the small town of Curran, WI.

More of our Franciscan Sisters joined us for Mass at St. Francis of Assisi Parish Church on Grand Avenue and some served as musicians for the liturgy. The evening included a taco and ice cream bar at Chiara Convent with outside s’mores and indoor board games.

Sunday we headed after breakfast to visit the Sisters of St. Paul Chartre in Escanaba. We toured Bishop Noa Home for Senior Citizens, a beautiful setting offering quality services of various kinds of care. We were able to meet one of the residents, Gail Houle, wife of Irving C. “Francis” Houle who received the wounds of Christ in his hands. He was 67 years old when he received the stigmata on Good Friday, April 8, 1993.  His wife attested that Francis Houle was a humble man who didn’t appear out of the ordinary where he lived in Escanaba, in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. But he had the stigmata for nearly 16 years when he died on Jan. 3, 2009, at age 83.

After enjoying lunch with the Sisters, learning about their international flavor of living religious life and touring  more of their wonderful facilities and convent home, pilgrims completed their journeys to Northern Michigan University Campus Ministry, Koski Corners or Houghton. God gave us a  safe and memorable time of learning, sharing and praying together. May St. Francis and St. Paul continue to intercede for us.

Are you feeling God is directing your heart to experience your own Nun Run? Let us know of your interest. Call or text Sister Julie Ann at 920-323-9632. We hope to set a date in spring for another Michigan pilgrimage. You are invited to be among us.



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