Antigo Catholic Parishes Welcome Franciscan Sisters

Sister JulieAnn Sheahan

May 05, 2024

Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity Sister Sue Ann Hall, Sister Catherine Peter Logan and Sister Michelle Marie Ozuna were invited to the Antigo Catholic Parishes to share on discernment journeys to the call of religious life. Sister Catherine Peter and Sister Michelle Marie share their own perspectives on the experience. Comparing and contrasting comments, it certainly appears the encounter with this parish was memorable.

Sister Michelle Marie, Sister Sue Ann, and I had a wonderful journey on our visit to Antigo, Wisconsin. We were invited to speak to the 8th graders at All Saints Catholic School during the day and in the evening to speak to the high school youth. When we arrived the principal, Mr. Galuska, was so welcoming to us, as well as Deacon Andy who was our host for the day. It was such a joy to speak with the 8th graders about Religious life, as Deacon Andy led the session, and then to have a chance to chat with some of the youth after the talk. In the evening, we headed over to Saints Mary & Hyacinth for a panel discussion with the high school youth, and this time Fr. Joel, the pastor, was able to join the panel. One of the adult youth leaders, Chelsea, led us through with some thoughtful questions. With each of those youths, our amazing God has a plan for each one of them and we hope they are open to the possibility that God may call them to the Priesthood or Religious life/Consecrated life just as each one of us on the panel was in our unique ways. As the day ended, I realized that it had been a joy to share and learn from the youth and adults as well as to hear the stories of my fellow Sisters and Fr. Joel. By the end of our time in Antigo, we had the opportunity to tour St. John Catholic Church (8th Grade panel took place), Saint Wenceslaus Catholic Church, and Saints Mary & Hyacinth Catholic Church (High School youth panel) with Deacon Andy. We also happened to meet Elmer, the brother of Sister Joy and Sister Janet in our community. What a small world and always so much fun to meet family of our Sisters. As we were leaving I thought of how special the parish/school community was that we met that day. There is something hard to describe but there is a beauty and a real presence of Christ working among all those we had met in Antigo. We are so thankful for the hospitality and welcome. Pax et Bonum! – Sister Catherine Peter

Sister Sue Ann, Sister Catherine Peter and I were blessed to visit the community of Antigo and speak with the middle school students of All Saints Catholic School as well as the high school students of the Antigo Area Catholic Churches’ Religious Education program.  We went to All Saints Catholic School first and were greeted by the Principal, “Mr. Galuska, or Mr. G, as his students call him and he shared their enthusiasm to have us visit.

We shared our vocation stories and answered various questions the students had prepared ahead of time as well as took new questions that came up throughout the talk.  The students were really engaged and asked great questions.  A few came by our table after the talk and asked questions privately as well. Deacon Andy Bures took great care of us and moderated the discussion.  He also gave us a tour of all three churches that make up the Antigo Area Catholic Churches (Saint John, Saint Mary & Hyacinth, and Saint Wenceslaus).

Later in the evening we were able to meet with the high school students at Saint Mary and Hyacinth Catholic Church.  It was nice to see the students so engaged in what we were sharing.  Again, they had prepared questions in advance.  We were joined in our panel discussion by Father Joel Sember who currently serves the Antigo Area Catholic Churches.  Father George Daniel was present amongst the students and commented after, “You do not know the number of sparks that will come out of this.”  The High School Religious education teachers were amongst the students as well and stayed after to talk with us and ask us a few questions.  It was amazing to see the Holy Spirit at work amongst the panel as we shared so succinctly in our thoughts and responses.  

There was a beautiful “pouring out” and “filling of grace” that took place as we spoke of the many joys and challenges of answering the call to Religious Life. It was such a hopeful and inspiring day in which we reflected Christ’ love to the community and they reflected Christ’ love right back.  The community of Antigo was so warm and welcoming and it was such a joy to meet and speak with everyone. The community loves so richly and the youth are very well cared for spiritually.  We even got to meet Elmer Rose, little brother to Sr. Janet, Joyce and Joy, he could not be prouder of his Sisters. – Sister Michelle Marie


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