Franciscan Religious Witnesses to Vocation as Teacher

Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity Community Director Sister Natalie Binversie reflects on the life of Sister Pavel Morin. Read the entire account here: Franciscan Sister Pavel Morin reflection

On June 26, 1951 Therese wrote the following letter:

Dear Mother Edna,
I’m very interested in your order and would like to join. Please send me the necessary papers so that I may apply for admittance. Thank you,
Therese Morin

On August 13, 1951 Therese’s pastor, Rev. Raymond J Garin, wrote the following letter:

To whom it may concern,
Therese Morin, a member of my Parish, has informed me of her wish to become a member of the Order of the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity. I have known her for a number of years and I feel reasonably sure that she was in earnest when she told me of her desire. I have been very favorably impressed with her piety. She assists at Mass and receives Holy Communion practically daily. Furthermore, I feel practically certain that she is morally suited for the Convent. She impresses me as a good, clean-cut girl, of excellent character. And whatever I have heard others say concerning her was to her credit. Therefore, I feel justified in recommending Therese to the Convent of the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Rev. Raymond J. Garin
Administrator of St. John’s

Therese was accepted to enter Holy Family Convent on August. 23, 1951. On her Reception day, June 13, 1952, she received the name Sister Pavel. She attended Holy Family College earning a Bachelor of Arts Degree on July 28, 1965 with a Major in Education and a Minor in English. Sister Pavel was an excellent Primary Grade teacher for 38 years in Wisconsin, Arizona, Ohio and Michigan. She was very generous and caring.


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 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.

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 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


Novice Experiences Convent Life in Nebraska

Novice Sister Cecilia Joy shares  her mission experience with our Sisters at St. Francis Convent, West Point, NE. Her eleven hour road trip with Sister Thelma Weise from West Point, Nebraska went incredibly smooth, though she “now knows what Sisters mean when they say Iowa seems to stretch on forever.” After unpacking and settling back into the Novitiate routine, she shares her reflections.

What activities did you do/ministries did you shadow while on mission?

One of my highlights was being able to shadow the Communications Coordinator at St. Francis Memorial Hospital. It was a fun day of sharing stories, viewing each other’s work, and shadowing a type of position God might be calling me to in the future.

Describe “community life” based on your experience.

A lot of cooking and laughs. I enjoyed spending time with Sister Joy Rose, Sister Barbara Mathe, and Sister Elizabeth Ann Miller.


What were some memorable moments?

It was a joy to share and listen to farming stories from Guardian Angels Central Catholic students and St. Joseph Retirement Community residents alike. I also liked sitting in on some of Sister Joy’s meetings and in-services. Oh, and who could forget the cattle auction and volunteering at the movie theater!



Finish the Sentence: My time on mission taught me_________

that I can cook. I just need to continue growing in confidence.

Anything you’d like to say to sisters and readers viewing this article?

I’m so grateful I was sent to West Point for my mission experience. I now have a better understanding of why sisters who grew up in West Point are so friendly and sociable. If you are reading this article and you/someone you know is discerning religious life, please consider visiting our sisters. The best adventure is the one Jesus sends you on.

God calls you. We invite you to one of our coming retreats, a visit at a time that works for you or Camp Franciscan. Click here.


Novice Visits Arizona Convent

Sister Clare Rose shares her reflections on a recent visit with our Sisters at Immaculate Conception Convent, Yuma, Arizona.

What activities did you do/ministries did you shadow while on mission?

I think I had a few highlights! One was going to the schools and talking to the kids. Another was being involved with the Sisters in their daily routines. I loved helping to cook and helping out in the classroom. I got to spend time with each Sister in their jobs such as teaching, working in an office, or even tutoring. Each Sister had an important job.

Describe “community life” based on your experience.

Honestly it felt like a family. We cooked (and they let me help), cleaned, went for walks, did a puzzle, and laughed a lot together. I loved every minute of all of this just being there and living as they would. I loved praying together as well. We didn’t have to go out to have a good time together.

What were some memorable moments?

Trying to figure out a crossword puzzles with Sister Alexandra, going to the three schools and playing P.E. and basketball with the kids, going to the classrooms and talking to all the students, when Sr. Hannah told her kids that I was coming back to Wisconsin and they all turned around and said “noooo”!!! I also enjoyed walking and talking with both Sr. Hannah and Sr. Janet. The day Sister Mary Beth and I decided to grill hamburgers outside it decides to rain!! (We still grilled them though!!!) When Sister Ann Mary and I tackled changing the sweeper bag and seeing both her and Sr. Janet tutoring. All the talks with Sister Charlene and going shopping with her and having some new spicy foods!

Finish the Sentence: My time on mission taught me_________

just how much we really are one big family!

Anything you’d like to say to sisters and readers viewing this article?

All the Sisters out in Yuma, Thank you!

Is God calling you? We invite you to our March 16-18 Franciscan Discernment Retreat! Click here to register!

Franciscan Sisters Announce Camp Franciscan 2018

Discover God’s goodness! Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity invite young women active in their professional lives or in college as well as high school June 11-14, 2018 to Camp Franciscan: Do Not Be Afraid. You Have Found Favor With God. (Lk 1:30) Camp begins on June 11 at 10 a.m. and closes on June 14 at 1 p.m..

I learned that to bring yourself closer to God start with simple things and not being afraid to shine your light. – Allie, Wisconsin

What can you expect at camp?

  • Experience growth in your relationships: yourself, others, God and the world.
  • Discover skills for developing personal reflection and discernment of one’s vocation.
  • Encounter religious and develop an awareness of a call to be a Franciscan Sister.

I learned about dedication and how I really need to be more sociable and allow myself to be myself. – Isabel, Arizona

To register 2018CampFranciscanregistration  Download health record need: CampHealthForm Cost: $45
For more information, call or text Sister Julie Ann at 920-323-9632.

Novice Experiences Ohio Convent

Novice Sister Colleen fortunately arrived safely from the icy snowstorms of Zanesville, Ohio after experiencing life with our Sisters at Good Samaritan Convent. Read about her visit.

What activities did you do/ministries did you shadow while on mission?

I had the opportunity to shadow with a few of the chaplains at Genesis Hospital in Zanesville, Ohio. Sister Bernadette and I visited patients and their families in the cancer center, and I was given the opportunity to sit in a session with inpatients at the behavioral health center. I attended a presentation on Pediatric Cardiac Sudden Death, presented by a Cardiologist from Ohio State University. Sister Maureen Anne took me under her wing for the new employee orientation, and I was able to interact with those that were in attendance. One afternoon, Sister Mary Ann and I assisted with families in the surgery waiting room.

Describe “community life” based on your experience.

Each sister brings her own gifts to the “community life”, some like to play cards, and read, others cook or help with chores. The sisters in Zanesville like to play Jeopardy (TV) from their chairs in the living room .The Hallmark movies were a big hit too. Prayer and Mass were a part of our day, and we all shared in the recitation of the Liturgy of the Hours. We cleaned and packed items for the eventual move to a new living space.

What were some memorable moments?

I would have to say the 15 hour car ride to Ohio definitely made the headlines. I will never forget that day of travel. While in Ohio, Sister Bernadette took me on a tour of Zanesville, where she showed me the world famous “Y” Bridge. Tom’s was a lunch stop one of the days, I had a delicious sundae and shared in good conversation, while listening to the oldies on the jukebox.

Driving up one of the hilly side streets and not knowing what is on the other side, proved to be a new experience, especially since the streets were snow covered. The overnight in Cambridge, where we encountered an intruder of the inhuman kind. Thank goodness for Sister Helen Marie!!

Finish the Sentence: My time on mission taught me_________

Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity are very much a respected presence in the communities in which they serve. There are so many people in need of spiritual, emotional and socio-economic assistance.

How did you grow closer to Jesus/His call for you while on mission?

Jesus was the cancer patient, the newborn addicted to drugs, the patient seeking treatment for mental illness. I was deeply touched by those I met and appreciate the inner strength of those who face so much adversity.

Anything you’d like to say to sisters and readers viewing this article?

I have a deep appreciation for all sisters who are currently on mission or have been on a mission. Thank you for providing a non-judgmental and compassionate environment for those you have served. Thank you to Sister Bernadette, Sister Maureen Anne, and Sister Mary Ann, for serving the people of Zanesville, Ohio. Thank you for the mission experience!!

We invite you to one of our upcoming retreats or plan a visit that works for you. Click here.

Meet the Franciscan Sisters Event

Ever wonder what life is like as a Franciscan Sister? On March 10, 2018 from 1-4 p.m. Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity invite Grades 5-7 girls to our Motherhouse, 2409 South Alverno Road, Manitowoc. Expect conversations with many Sisters and a tour of our convent home. There will be an interactive craft, group game and snack social. The whole family is invited to join us at 4 p.m. to celebrate a Sunday Liturgy to close our time together.

Cost is $5.  Click here for the registration form: 2018 Meet the Franciscan Sisters registrationdraft Call or text Sister Julie Ann at 920-323-9632 with further questions.