Franciscan Sisters Respond to Vocation Outreach Needs

Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity are blessed to receive invitations to share our life with others through vocation visits. Throughout the country this happened recently near Catholic School Week.  Sister Marlene Schwaller, Sister Mary Frances Maher, Sister Kay Klackner and Sister Elizabeth Benvie were generous in responding to  Diocese of Green Bay elementary schools regarding presentations on consecrated life.  Furthermore, in geographical areas around the Motherhouse, Sister Julie Ann Sheahan coordinated dates for visits of children with Franciscan Novices and Postulant Hilda whenever possible.

In January we were on the road to Appleton, Wisconsin, Xavier High School Junior Retreat day at Sacred Heart Parish. Novice Sister Cecilia Joy and Hilda shared about God’s call to them,  entertained questions and distributed a simple bookmark or Pax button bracelet made by the Sisters.

Sister Rosalyn Muraski, serving at St. Thomas More School, Green Bay, WI, invited us to join her for a vocation talk with students. We traveled to the school and met with the girls in their school chapel.

High school students from Columbus Catholic Central High School, Marshfield, WI were our guests for an overnight Motherhouse visit. Students toured our Motherhouse, prayed with us, and had recreation with those in the initial steps of becoming Sisters. Chaplain Father Daniel Sedlacek and teacher Tammy Riegl planned some chapel reflection time for them before they stopped at Silver Lake College of the Holy Family for a tour on the way home.

Franciscan Gospel Reflection: Second Sunday of Lent

Begin the journey of the Second Sunday of Lent with a collaborative Franciscan Gospel post. This weekly Sunday Gospel reflection and questions are written by Fr. Paul Gallagher, OFM. They are edited by Franciscan Sister of Christian Charity Sister Anne Marie Lom and Joe Thiel. The excerpts from the Sunday readings are prepared by Joe Thiel. If you would like to read or download the complete pdf with excerpts for your prayer, please click here: Franciscan Gospel Reflection February 26 2018 Excerpts from the Lectionary for Mass for Use in the Dioceses of the United States of America, second typical edition © 2001, 1998, 1997, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC. Used with permission. All rights reserved. No portion of this text may be reproduced by any means without permission in writing from the copyright owner. Please include this information when printing.

Photos: Immaculate Conception Church, Yuma, Arizona

Mark 9:2-10

After six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John and led them up a high mountain apart by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his clothes became dazzling white, such as no fuller on earth could bleach them. Then Elijah appeared to them along with Moses, and they were conversing with Jesus. Then Peter said to Jesus in reply, “Rabbi, it is good that we are here! Let us make three tents: one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” He hardly knew what to say, they were so terrified.
Then a cloud came, casting a shadow over them; then from the cloud came a voice, “This is my beloved Son. Listen to him.” Suddenly, looking around, they no longer saw anyone but Jesus alone with them.

As they were coming down from the mountain, he charged them not to relate what they had seen to anyone, except when the Son of Man had risen from the dead. So they kept the matter to themselves, questioning what rising from the dead meant.


The transfiguration of Jesus is based on the belief that gods can change into different forms. Some schools of mysticism believe that humans and animals can also change form. Movies like the Lord of the Rings trilogy and Harry Potter contain contemporary expressions of this understanding. In the Jewish tradition the righteous will take on a new heavenly form. Many people hope that their heavenly body will be much different than the body that is theirs while on earth. In the text here, Jesus is transfigured not in the sense of taking on a totally new form, but in the sense that the way he appeared to the disciples is dramatically altered.

The fact that Peter, James, and John are present and witness this event makes it an historical event, not one that takes place only in the spiritual world. Nor is it a vision or dream of some moment in the future when the fullness of God’s presence will be revealed. Jesus is the only one who is changed, and he is the only one who enters into a dialogue with Moses and Elijah. But the disciples are participants in the event as it unfolds. They witness and participate in what is taking place: they see a change in Jesus’ appearance, they recognize Elijah and Moses as they converse with Jesus, Peter addresses Jesus, they are overshadowed by the cloud, and they hear the voice from heaven speaking to them. What is taking place occurs in such a way that they can experience it and participate in it to some extent. From the text it is not clear if they were able to hear and understand the conversation that took place between Moses, Elijah, and Jesus.

Mark’s community would have recognized many of the elements that Mark describes here as being similar to events from their religious heritage. Moses and Elijah each ascended a mountain and there encountered the presence of God. Both underwent a kind of transformation. When Moses returned with the tablets on which the commandments had been written, his face became so bright, after he had spoken with God, he had to cover it so that people could look at him. (Exodus 34:29-35) Elijah, when he died, was taken from earth in a flaming chariot. (2 Kings 2:11) For the people of the day, Moses and Elijah represented the law and the prophets, the whole of their religious tradition.

The cloud is another familiar image from the Hebrew scriptures that expressed the presence of God. For example: God spoke to Moses from a cloud; while in the desert a cloud led the people and would descend upon the tent whenever Moses entered to confer with God; a dark cloud totally enveloped the temple at its dedication so that the priests had to leave; and the Jews believed that when the Messiah returned the cloud would once again descend upon the temple.

Peter’s suggestion that they build three tents on the mountain reflects the custom associated with the feast of Tabernacles, when the Jews remember a period of their history of living in tents as they wandered in the desert. By the time of Jesus, the feast not only celebrated an important aspect of their liberation from the slavery, but also took on overtones of hope for a time when they would be liberated once again. Peter’s suggestion that tents be built may be an expression of his hope that this time of final liberation might be what is signaled by the events taking place before him. However, Jesus’ exhortation as they come down the mountain to tell no one of the experience “except when the Son of Man has risen from the dead” reminds Peter that there will be no glory before Jesus’ rejection and death. As Mark’s community hears the description of Jesus’ transfiguration, their own hopes for the future are also touched. Jesus’ note of warning would help them maintain some hope as they hear Mark describe Jesus’ rejection and death.

Reflection Questions

1. What is your experience of climbing significant hills or even mountains?
2. Why do you think climbing a mountain is used as an expression of going to encounter God?
3. Have you had experiences that changed you?
4. How has your relationship with God changed you?
5. Do you feel more like Peter, James, and John, invited to go up the mountain with Jesus, or more like one of the disciples waiting at the bottom for their return?
6. As we begin Lent, what transformation do you hope for in the world, in the church, or in yourself?
7. Do you see the transformation you seek more as something you are called to strive after or as something that God is going to accomplish?
8. Why do you think the Church gives us this reading for the Second Sunday of Lent?
9. Can you talk to God about the change you would like to see within yourself, or about that change that you suspect God might be inviting you to undertake at this point in your life, or about some other thought that arises in you as you read this gospel?

Franciscan Sister Moderates a Session at a International Congress in Rome

In this 800th anniversary of the life of Saint Bonaventure, Franciscan Sister Marie Kolbe Zamora moderated a session at a special International Congress in Rome, Italy highlighting this Franciscan friar. She shares her experience.

2017 marked the 800th anniversary of Giovanni Fidanza who, as a Friar, became renown as Bonaventure of Bagnoregio. Franciscans committed to the Franciscan Intellectual Tradition celebrated this important anniversary in a variety of ways. The Pontifical Gregorian University, in collaboration with the Pontifical University Antonianum and the Pontifical University of St. Bonaventure sponsored a 3 day international congress in Rome (November 15 – 17, 2017) entitled Deus Summe Cognoscibilis (God the Most Knowable of All Reality): The Relevance of St. Bonaventure’s Theology. Conference organizers brought together esteemed Bonaventurian scholars from Europe and the United States to demonstrate the relevance of Bonaventure’s theology for today. A year out from the conference, Sister Marie Kolbe Zamora received an invitation to moderate one of the scheduled sessions entitled “Trinitarian Institution of the Sacraments.” The panel for this session included Wayne Hellman, O.F.M. Conv. as the main presenter (who presented in English), a young theologian from the Antonianum (whose response to Wayne Hellman’s paper was delivered in Spanish) and a theologian from the Gregorian (whose response was delivered in Italian).

Well before the conference, the work of moderating tasked Sister Marie Kolbe with mediating an online conversation (via email) between all three presenters to ensure that their texts complemented one another. In some cases, she suggested editions to their papers in order to strengthen the “live” conversation in Rome. During the Congress, Sister Marie Kolbe 1) moderated the presentations to guarantee that there would be enough time at the end for a live debate with the audience and 2) moderated the live debate by directing questions (whether written or oral) to the appropriate panel member.

Sister Marie Kolbe in the Church at the Antonianum after the closing Mass celebrating the feast of Elizabeth of Hungary.

The days of the conference began at 9 a.m. and ended at 9 p.m.. The morning included 4 hours of panel presentations / debate, followed by a 2 hour lunch break. The afternoon recommenced with another 4 hours of panel presentations / debate followed by Mass and a late supper. Sister Marie Kolbe likened the experience to “being present to a living bibliography. All of the scholars whose work contributed to my own dissertation were making presentations and engaging in conversations that were enlightening and even inspiring. This is the first time I have been able to listen to such Bonaventurian experts live. It was a real blessing.” Thankfully a good number of Sister Marie Kolbe’s colleagues from her time in Rome also participated in the conference, making it possible to continue what she calls “important pilgrimage conversations”.

The work of moderating continues as she edits a number of the English language presentations, preparing them for the publication that will serve future scholars as a record for all of the contributions made at this Congress. “It was an honor to have been asked to contribute to this very important moment in Bonaventurian studies as well as to have been asked to contribute an article to the volume that will be published. I remain grateful for the investment that the community made in my education / formation that has made such contributions possible.”

Franciscan Sister Gifted in Mathematics Serves Others

Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity Sister Natalie Binversie reflects on the life of Sister Mary Fidelia Mindemann. Sister’s  gift of mathematics allowed her to serve in many ways. Read the whole reflection here: Franciscan Sister Mary Fidelia’s Reflection

Sister Mary Fidelia completed her High School at Holy Family Academy in 1938. She went on to Holy Family College to receive a Bachelor of Arts Degree in 1942 with a Major in Math and a Minor in French. In 1958 she earned a Master’s Degree in Math from Notre Dame University, South Bend, Indiana. To support the subject areas she was assigned to teach and to keep up-dated Sister Mary Fidelia also took classes throughout her active ministry years at the Universities of Michigan, Vermont, Wisconsin and St. Louis in the subject areas of Chemistry, Physics and Administration.

Sister Mary Fidelia taught in High Schools in Ohio, Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin for 22 years. She was High School Administrator for 20 more years. For 13 years she taught Math at Silver Lake College and worked part time in the Finance Office. She loved working with numbers. She prided herself in having a good mind! She enjoyed telling stories of her teaching days and had high praise and esteem for her former students. Some of them kept in contact with her. Sister Mary Fidelia enjoyed people, cats, crocheting and fishing.

At the time of her jubilee she reflected on the many blessings of her life in Community. God was always with her to answer problems and give solutions to her concerns. One of her concerns was her obligation as an only child to care for her parents. When her parents needed help in old age, they moved to the Nursing Home in Manitowoc that was a part of Holy Family Hospital. Later her Dad moved to St. Mary’s Home. In her words, “Solutions were readily at hand.” Read more: Franciscan Sister Mary Fidelia’s Reflection

Do you enjoy mathematics? Is God calling you to use your gift with numbers for others as a Franciscan Sister? We invite you to click here.

Franciscan Gospel Reflection: First Sunday of Lent

Begin the journey of  the First Sunday of Lent with a collaborative Franciscan Gospel post. This weekly Sunday Gospel reflection and questions are written by Fr. Paul Gallagher, OFM. They are edited by Franciscan Sister of Christian Charity Sister Anne Marie Lom and Joe Thiel. The excerpts from the Sunday readings are prepared by Joe Thiel. If you would like to read or download the complete pdf with excerpts for your prayer, please click here: Franciscan Gospel Reflection February 18 2018 Excerpts from the Lectionary for Mass for Use in the Dioceses of the United States of America, second typical edition © 2001, 1998, 1997, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC. Used with permission. All rights reserved. No portion of this text may be reproduced by any means without permission in writing from the copyright owner. Please include this information when printing.

Photos: Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity Motherhouse Chapel, St. Mary Chapel, Manitowoc, Wisconsin

Mark 1:12-15

At once the Spirit drove him [Jesus] out into the desert, and he remained in the desert for forty days, tempted by Satan. He was among wild beasts, and the angels ministered to him.

After John had been arrested, Jesus came to Galilee proclaiming the gospel of God: “This is the time of fulfillment. The kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.”


Mark’s account of the temptation of Jesus follows right after Jesus is baptized by John in the Jordan. His account of both the baptism and the temptation are very sparse. We might be tempted to fill in the details with what we remember from the descriptions from other gospel accounts. But this might hinder giving adequate reflection on the text that Mark has provided.

The opening verse of this gospel states that the Spirit drove Jesus into the desert. Mark’s community would be aware that “the Spirit” was the expression of the great power of God throughout their religious tradition. Examples of this would include when the Spirit enabled Othniel to help the Jews defeat their enemies:
“Because the Israelites had offended the Lord by forgetting the Lord, their God, and serving the Baals and the Asherahs (foreign gods), the anger of the Lord flared up against them, and he allowed them to fall into the power of Cushan-risha-thaim, king of Aram Naharaim, whom they served for eight years. But when the Israelites cried out to the Lord, he raised up for them a savior, Othniel, son of Caleb’s younger brother Kenaz, who rescued them. The spirit of the Lord came upon him, and he judged Israel. When he went out to war, the Lord delivered Cushan-risha-thaim, king of Aram, into his power, so that he made him subject.” (Judges 3:7-10)

When Samuel anointed the young shepherd, David, as the next King, the Spirit came upon him to guide him.
“Jesse sent and had the young man brought to them. He was ruddy, a youth handsome to behold and making a splendid appearance. The Lord said, ‘There–anoint him, for this is he!’ Then Samuel, with the horn of oil in hand, anointed him in the midst of his brothers; and from that day on, the spirit of the Lord rushed upon David.” (1Samuel 16:12-13b)

It was also that same spirit who came upon ordinary people and led them to be great prophets of God. The spirit who had animated so many people throughout their history was now acting once again to drive Jesus into the desert.

In the second verse Mark states that Jesus stayed in the desert for forty days, was tempted by Satan, was in the company of wild beasts, and was ministered to by angels. All of these statements would have been full of meaning for the people for whom Mark was writing. They would have presumed that the declaration of honor that was heard throughout the spirit world at Jesus’ baptism would be challenged: “You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.” (Mark 1:11) While Mark does not give the details of the testing, he lets his audience know that Jesus has prevailed. In the very first verse of Mark’s gospel he states, “The beginning of the proclamation of Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God (Mark 1:1). Mark states in the second verse of this reading that Jesus is present in the desert with the wild animals and that angels waited on him. Then in the third verse he begins to describe Jesus as he begins his public ministry. Without stating the details, Mark is indicating that Jesus has come through his trials and has prevailed. That Jesus was among the wild animals and they did him no harm would have suggested to people of the day that the original order of creation as it was in the garden had once again been established.

Reflection Questions

1. What do you associate with a desert, with dryness, and with being tested?
2. What have been your desert experiences?
3. What would those who heard that Jesus was “driven” into the desert recall? How did the experience of the desert affect their understanding of themselves and their relationship to God?
4. What are some of the ways that Jesus might have been changed by his experience of being in the desert, being tempted, being with the wild animals, and having had the angels minister to him?
5. Do you think there is a connection between Jesus’ experience in the desert and his ability to proclaim, “This is the time of fulfillment”?
6. Given the everyday life of the people of the day, what are some of the things that might have gone through their minds as they heard Jesus proclaim: “This is the time of fulfillment”?
7. When you hear this gospel proclaimed, do you take these words seriously?
8. Where do you see the action of the spirit operating in your life?
9. How will your Lenten practice lead you into an experience of desert, temptation, wild animals, being ministered to by angels, and being able to proclaim that “this is the time of fulfillment”?
10. Can you take some time now to talk with God about whatever thoughts or feelings arose within you as you reflected on this gospel; about your desire for your Lenten journey this year; or about any other thought that you need to bring to God?

Franciscan Sister Remembered in Nepal Chapel Project

The goodness of many kind people’s donations in remembering Franciscan Sister of Christian Charity Sister Doris Jurgenson’s 60th jubilee are building a Catholic chapel in Tulachan, Nepal.

Monies pledged in the name of Father Greg Adolf, pastor of St. Andrew the Apostle Church, Sierra Vista, Arizona and Sister Doris who serves in this faith community, are making building possible.  The structure hopes to be completed before the Monsoon Season, according to Father Silas Bogati, the Vicar General. Here’s the first picture of this house of God.

Recently, Sister Doris shared this message: “More exciting news is that Cross Sisters have finally received permission to build a school. Fr. Greg received a message from Fr. Silas saying the school will be built next to St. Andrew’s Chapel.”

Postulant Shares Discernment Journey

Postulant Hilda shares her discernment journey to the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity. We invite you to our coming retreat or plan a visit with us that works for you. Click here.

I was at a point of reevaluation. My life hadn’t quite turned out the way that I had planned. I suppose I was trying to find where I belonged and figure out what I was to do with the rest of my life.
My name is Hilda Concepcion Medina. I grew up in Clovis, New Mexico but found my home in Midland, Texas and yet so much of the New Mexican spirit remains within me. Home for me is in more places than one. I have five siblings, but I am the only one to choose religious life. Currently I am the only practicing Catholic out of my parents and siblings. Even then, the Church has always called to me. I have been active in the communities that I have been a part of. Most recently I have been a member of the hospitality committee, Eucharistic ministry, and in a group called Young Fire. I was also a member of the A.C.T.S community. (Adoration, Community, Theology, Service) Read more.

Franciscan Sisters Participate in Evangelization Program

Three Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity, Sister June Smith, Sister Jan Villemure and Sister Sharon Paul, are participants in A Christ Life Program held at St. Benedict’s Church, Cambridge, Ohio.  Five tables of eight people meet seven Wednesdays from 6:30 to 9:15 p.m. followed by a Retreat day. There are two weeks in between and the groups meet again seven Wednesdays in a row. It is a commitment.

It is an Evangelization, Spiritual Growth program that pursues these topics” “What is the Meaning of Life?,” “Why Does Jesus Matter?,” “Why Do We Need a Savior?,” “Why is the Resurrection Important?,” “Who is the Holy Spirit?,” and ” Our Need For the Church.”

Each Wednesday the groups eat Supper together followed by a video and then discussion.

Sister Sharon comments: “The seminars and video interview people of all ages, living today in our world on the different topics. Then in our groups, it is integrated into our own lives as we share experiences.”


Franciscan Gospel Reflection: Sixth Sunday of Ordinary Time

Here’s a Sixth Week in Ordinary Time collaborative Franciscan Gospel post. This weekly Sunday Gospel reflection and questions are written by Fr. Paul Gallagher, OFM. They are edited by Franciscan Sister of Christian Charity Sister Anne Marie Lom and Joe Thiel. The excerpts from the Sunday readings are prepared by Joe Thiel. If you would like to read or download the complete pdf with excerpts for your prayer, please click here: Franciscan Gospel Reflection February 11 2018  Excerpts from the Lectionary for Mass for Use in the Dioceses of the United States of America, second typical edition © 2001, 1998, 1997, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC. Used with permission. All rights reserved. No portion of this text may be reproduced by any means without permission in writing from the copyright owner. Please include this information when printing.

Photo: Immaculate Conception Convent, Yuma, Arizona and Holy Family Convent, Motherhouse of the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity, Manitowoc, Wisconsin

First Reading – Leviticus 13:1-2, 44-46

The Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “If someone has on his skin a scab or pustule or blotch which appears to be the sore of leprosy, he shall be brought to Aaron, the priest, or to one of the priests among his descendants.

If the man is leprous and unclean, the priest shall declare him unclean by reason of the sore on his head. “The one who bears the sore of leprosy shall keep his garments rent and his head bare, and shall muffle his beard; he shall cry out, ‘Unclean, unclean!’ As long as the sore is on him he shall declare himself unclean, since he is in fact unclean. He shall dwell apart, making his abode outside the cam

Mark 1:40-45

A leper came to him (Jesus) and kneeling down begged him and said, “If you wish, you can make me clean.” Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand, touched him, and said to him, “I do will it. Be made clean.” The leprosy left him immediately, and he was made clean. Then, warning him sternly, he dismissed him at once. Then he said to him, “See that you tell no one anything, but go, show yourself to the priest and offer for your cleansing what Moses prescribed; that will be proof for them.” The man went away and began to publicize the whole matter. He spread the report abroad so that it was impossible for Jesus to enter a town openly. He remained outside in deserted places, and people kept coming to him from everywhere.


The first reading from Leviticus is included this week, because it sheds light on the seriousness with which people dealt with the disease that is called leprosy in the culture of Jesus’ time. Reading the entire thirteenth chapter of the book of Leviticus would give a fuller picture of the concern people had about leprosy. An infected person was removed from society because of the highly contagious nature of the condition. The priest would examine the person and determine the length of quarantine/exile. Before the person could rejoin the community, they needed to be examined by the priest and declared clean. People were exiled despite the fact that a person’s survival was dependent upon maintaining family and social relationships. When appropriate, a funereal service was held for the person being permanently expelled.

Last week the gospel concluded with Jesus rejecting Peter’s suggestion that they return to Capernaum where folks were gathering who wanted to see him. Instead, Jesus said, “Let us go on to the nearby villages that I may preach there also. For this purpose have I come.” (Mark 1:38) The last line of the text was “So he went into their synagogues, preaching and driving out demons through the whole of Galilee.” (Mark 1:39) The gospel text for this Sunday follows. Jesus continues to demonstrate that he is more powerful than those evil spirits that were believed to be the cause of sickness.

The person described in the text has a skin condition that makes him both a social outcast and ritually unclean. By coming forward and presenting himself to Jesus, the man is disregarding the law that isolates those with his condition. Jesus is described in the text as being moved with pity. The verb in the Greek text would suggest moved with “deep inner groaning.” By touching the man, Jesus himself becomes ritually unclean. Responding to the man is more important than maintaining his own ritual purity. The touch which renders Jesus unclean brings healing to the man. Because ritual cleanliness needs to be verified by a priest, Jesus sends the man to the priest, with the warning not to tell anyone what has taken place. The text does not indicate that the man went to the priest, but instead he began to tell people what had taken place. As a result, large numbers of people were seeking out Jesus. This suggests that they could readily observe that the man had been healed of his condition.

Reflection Questions

1. Have you ever been quarantined?
2. Have you ever known someone who was quarantined? How did that affect your relationship?
3. Do you have areas of your body that you consider more attractive? Are there other areas of your body that you try to keep covered or hidden?
4. What do you think it was like for this leper to have Jesus touch him?
5. The text says that Jesus was moved with pity when he encountered the leper. Are there times when you find that you too are moved with pity for others? Are there also times when you are not? Do you know what keeps you from being moved with pity?
6. The leper says to Jesus: “If you wish, you can make me clean.” Have you ever spoken in a similar fashion to God? If yes, what do you recall now about that experience? If not, why not?
7. Can you take some time now to talk with God about your desire to be touched by God, about those around you who are in need of being touched, or about some other thought or feeling that arises in you from this text?

Franciscan Sister Serves Those Suffering from Disabilities

Franciscan Sister Adrianna Schouten, first Councilor to the Community Director on the General Administration, writes this reflection on the life of Sister Eugenia Vande Hey. Sister had a passion for those who lived with disabilities.

Rose Ann Vande Hey, the fifth of seven children, was born on June 5, 1929 to Peter and Odelia (Meulemans) Vande Hey in Hollandtown, Wisconsin. Rose Ann was baptized by Father John De Vries at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church in Hollandtown on June 8, 1929. The family lived on a small farm in Hollandtown and like many other families suffered great need during the depression. The Most Reverend Paul Rhode confirmed her on April 29, 1942.

Rose Ann attended St. Francis School in Hollandtown for 10 years. She was taught all those years by the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity. She graduated in 1945.

With her parents’ consent and encouragement and with the assistance of Sister Thomas More and Sister Rosaire Hart, she entered Holy Family Convent on August, 17, 1945. At her reception on June 13, 1946, Rose Ann received the name Sister Eugenia. Sister Eugenia graduated from Holy Family Academy in 1948. She pronounced her first vows on June 14, 1947 and final vows on August 15, 1952.

Sister Eugenia attended Holy Family College and graduated in 1957 with a major in Education and a minor in English. She was an elementary school teacher in schools in the Diocese of Green Bay from 1948-1968.

Sister Eugenia was unable to continue teaching and in a reflection she wrote:

“Yet, the Lord had another plan. Poor health, pain and surgeries followed for the next span of years along with a permanent handicap. The way was dark and shadowed with the cross. At an early age it was necessary for me to give up the active ministry of teaching. The gift now given was clouded with loneliness, separation and questions. With spiritual assistance and encouragement I continued to walk the way not alone any longer but with Jesus…the “yes” of acceptance of God’s way changed the darkness and self-blindness to a brighter light which helped to direct my future days”

Sister Eugenia began work as a volunteer in the occupational health ministry at Holy Family Memorial. Later she worked in occupational therapy at St. Paul’s Home in Kaukauna and took classes at Fox Valley Technical School to earn her certification as an Occupational Therapy Assistant. Read more by clicking here: Franciscan Sister Eugenia Vande Hey Reflection