Blood Sisters Prepared Franciscan Sister for Religious Life

Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity Community Director Sister Natalie Binversie reflects on the life of Sister Joanne Plain. Just like St. Clare, she was blessed with blood sisters who supported her call to religious life. To read the entire sharing, click here: Franciscan Sister Joanne Plain Reflection .

Margaret Mary Plain was born on August 23, 1932 to Frank and Gladys (Cleary) Plain in Oconto Falls, Wisconsin. Margaret Mary was baptized at Saint Anthony Church in Oconto Falls on August 28, 1932 and confirmed there on April 18, 1945 by Bishop Bona. All of her siblings were girls. The oldest girls in the family were twins. Jean died when she was 4 months old and Joan died when she was two months old. Margaret Mary was the fourth of nine children. As she wrote in a Jubilee reflection, the name Margaret Mary was never used unless she was in trouble. Her nick name was Momie.

Momie attended St. Anthony School which was staffed by the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity. She was impressed that a group of Sisters were always on the playground during recess playing baseball and volleyball. Momie and her sisters would help carry the Sisters’ things to the Convent in their wagon. Momie found school studies challenging. Since the students were usually in double grades her sisters would report back to her parents. The Sisters and her parents supported her as best that they could. This impressed Momie deeply.

When Momie told her Mom that she wanted to be a Sister, her Mom was reluctant. In a reflection on her vocation story, she wrote:
My mom was just like so many other moms – she didn’t want to see her little girl grow up. When still in eighth grade, I told her that I wanted to go to the Convent with my classmates, she thought I was too young. If she lived in the era of the TV hit, “Who Wants to Be A Millionaire,” I would say that she used one of her lifelines. Mom contacted her Reverend Brother who worked in the Southern Missions. He gave the decision that became my “final answer.” If I didn’t like it, he said, I could always come home.


Franciscan Sister Teaches 19 Years in Peru

Franciscan Sister of Christian Charity Community Director Sister Natalie Binversie shares on the life and ministry of Sister Maria Jose Scharinger. To read the whole reflection, click here: Franciscan Sister Maria Jose Reflection Here are comments on Sister Maria Jose’s many years of serving in Lima, Peru.

Sister Maria José found all of her years in religious life enjoyable and rewarding, however, the 19 years in Peru meant the most to her. She was always deeply grateful to God and to the Community for giving her this missionary opportunity. Not only did Sister Maria José treasure the Peruvian experience, the people who knew her there also valued all she was and did. In one of her formal yearly evaluations the Principal of Maria Reina School, Mr. Eduardo Pecol, wrote, “Sister Maria José is an excellent English teacher. She is creative, exercises common sense, is careful and clearheaded. She considers her and the school’s success as synonymous and welcomes new assignments as opportunities to prove her abilities. Sister Maria José has the ability to grasp a situation and draw correct conclusions. She reaches sound decisions promptly, is not easily disconcerted and is discreet.”

Another Principal, Maria Isabel Quinones, affirmed Mr. Pecol’s evaluation and added, “She is not just deeply involved with her students’ reality, but also with the school and her colleagues, trying to assist them whenever they need her. We can say that she is a role model. She projects her humbleness through her classes and many other virtues and values that are part of the Franciscan Charism. In other words, we can say that she shows through her daily actions the coherence that the Franciscan and Marianist Congregations proclaim.”

Franciscan Sister Presents 6 Thinking Hats

On a recent Thursday afternoon Franciscan Sister of Christian Charity Sister Marcolette Madden presented the Workshop Six Thinking Hats. Sisters who were interested in learning about a practical and positive approach to making decisions and exploring new ideas were exposed to Dr. Edward De Bono, a world-known expert in creative thinking.

The main idea is have a group only wear one hat at a time when considering a problem. The wearing of the hat is metaphorical. At any one time, everyone will wear the same color, in other words, look at the problem at hand from only one perspective, the perspective indicated by the hat color. Team members helped demonstrate the concepts which encourages parallel thinking focusing on looking in the same direction.

Hats represented:

White Hat: Information-what information do we need to know?

Red Hat: Emotions-how do I feel about this issue now?

Black Hat: Caution-What are the risks involved in this project?

Yellow Hat: Positive-What are the good points of this proposal?

Green Hat: Creativity-what alternatives do we have?

Blue Hat: Focus-What is the purpose of our meeting?

May we look for ways to use this kind of discernment in daily living.

Franciscan Sister Professes First Vows

Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity Sister Natalie Binversie shares her breakfast comments to Sister Mary Teresa on her First Profession of Vows. Later at 2 p.m., the Solemnity of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist Sunday liturgy was celebrated with her public profession of vows with clergy, Community and family present. We will be sharing more pictures and a podcast in the near future of this graced moment for our Church.

Good morning, Sister Mary Teresa and everyone present for this momentous day, celebrating your First Profession of Vows. Sister Mary Teresa, this occasion was in God’s plan from the beginning of time. The day of your birth, August 3, 1993 was followed by another significant event, your Baptism on September 5, 1993. God had a significant role for you to fulfill in your life. God called and you responded. Today you publically profess your “Yes” to God. Through your profession of the Evangelical Counsels of Poverty, Chastity and Obedience, you are proclaiming in your own words that, “Religious Consecration is Baptismal Consecration lived more deeply.”

The title that you chose at the time of your Reception was “Daughter Zion.” The model for you to look to in order to embrace and live this title is Mary, the Mother of God. She is Mother, Daughter and Spouse. She is the model of perfect relationship. She is the model for the baptized, the model for all religious, especially for consecrated women religious.Today we also celebrate the Solemnity of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist. The Scripture readings for the Liturgy this afternoon will be a sacred reminder of what needs to be born in each person’s life every day which include:

  • Someone who leaps with joy before the presence of the Lord making us want to live our relationship with Jesus with greater ardor and fervor.
  • Someone to prepare the way of the Lord and to give us knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of sins.
  • Someone who turns attention away from distractions and preconceptions so that we will behold the Lamb of God as the true desire of each heart.
  • Someone who models that there is no greater joy in life than for Jesus to increase and for me to decrease, especially as regards self-reliance, self-assertion and self –importance.
  • Someone who is a burning and shining lamp whose radiance gives light to one’s path and courage to one’s heart, making each of us want to live for others.
  • Someone committed to the truth that we are willing to lay down our life for the Truth-become-flesh, Jesus Himself, witnessing that all true happiness comes through sacrifice.
    -Father Peter John Cameron, O.P.

St. John the Baptist prepared the way and continually pointed to Jesus. This is the message of the Liturgy today. Sister Mary Teresa, by living your life as a Franciscan Sister of Christian Charity you will follow the example of St. Francis of Assisi who showed us how to walk in the footsteps of Jesus. You are assured of our prayers for the grace of perseverance and we pray that you will see this example in each of your Sisters in Community as we together will carry out the work of John the Baptist to prepare the way for the Lord. Welcome to our Community! Along with your Sisters, family and friends, enjoy the many blessings of this day!



Franciscan Sister Presents to Omaha Serran Club

Franciscan Sister of Christian Charity Sister Renee Mirkes shares with Nebraska’s Omaha Serrans on her ministry of NaProTECHNOLOGY.

On April 9th, I had the privilege of addressing one of the three very active Serra Clubs of Omaha about the work of the Pope Paul VI Institute, particularly how its women’s health science of NaProTECHNOLOGY and its natural system of family planning, the Creighton Model FertilityCare System, provide an antidote to all the moral fallout in our culture from the contraceptive mentality.

I’ve never been so enthusiastically applauded on two scores: first, that I, a religious Sister, am actively involved on a national scale in doing this kind of work in the Church and, second, that the city of Omaha houses the headquarters for NaPro and FertitlityCare. I was reminded of the many, many holy, committed Omaha natives with whom I have the privilege to rub elbows every day. Pictured above is the president of the OSC-West (left) and members of the organization who were responsible in booking me as a speaker for April’s meeting. Dear people all!

Franciscan Sister Presents at Florida Catholic Medical Association Meeting

Franciscan Sister of Christian Charity Sister Renée Mirkes comments on her participation in a Florida Catholic Medical Association Meeting. Sister Renée directs the Center for NaProEthics, the ethics division of the Pope Paul VI Institute, Omaha, NE.

I [Sister Renée Mirkes] had the privilege of giving two lectures at the Florida Catholic Medical Association meeting in Venice, Florida in the last months. The keynote lecture, entitled The Domino Theory Revisited, recounted the moral fallout from the first domino of contraception. The second lecture discussed the ethics of various applications of the revolutionary genetic editing tool–CRISPR-Cas9.

The best part of the whole experience was working with the marvelous physicians pictured here who comprised the planning committee for the event. They are an inspiration in today’s healthcare world!

Franciscan Sister Called to Use Gifts

Franciscan Sister of Christian Charity Community Director Sister Natalie Binversie shares on the many talents God bestowed on Sister Renita Tadych. Read the entire reflection: Franciscan Sister Renita Tadych Reflection

Sister Renita loved being a Sister and a teacher. As a teacher she taught in Ohio, Michigan, California, Illinois, Nebraska, Arizona and Wisconsin. Sister Renita taught Elementary Grades for 13 years, High School for 16 years, 20 years in College and two years were spent as an Elementary School Librarian. Sister Renita also loved being a student. She prized the educational opportunities given to her which broadened her knowledge base and enabled her to share so much more with her students.

Since her dissertation covered Franciscanism in the Nature Poetry of Gerard Manley Hopkins she presented a course three different summers for Continuing Formation either for audit or for credit. The past few years she has led Book Discussions. She was beginning to outline the book chosen for this summer, Treasures Uncovered: The Parable of Jesus. From her perspective now, many unknown treasures have been uncovered for Sister Renita.

When asked about her special talents, skills, hobbies and interests Sister Renita said she liked to knit, crochet, draw, play piano, sing, cook, read, sew and tutor. Sister Renita said, “God gave me many talents and I hope that by sharing them with others I can enhance their lives and their perspectives on life. My deepest joy, however, is not being a teacher, though that is a close second. My deepest joy is trying to be the religious the Lord wants me to be. Being able to see the good in things that happen and not ‘sweating the small stuff’! …. When my health broke down and I could no longer go out to teach, I realized that this was part of the ‘small stuff’ and that the Lord would set it aright.’” Sister Renita earned many prestigious awards in her lifetime. In the past few years we can add the achievements of the International Sister Students whom she encouraged and challenged in her tutoring. Read more Franciscan Sister Renita Tadych Reflection

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Franciscan Sister Follows Mother’s Advice

Franciscan Sister of Christian Charity Community Director, Sister Natalie Binversie, reflects on the life of Sister Ronald Held. Read the entire document here: Franciscan Sister Ronald Held Reflection

Dolores Marie Held was born on April 14, 1925 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin to Frank and Veronica (Hartmann) Held. She was Baptized at St. Michael’s Church in Milwaukee on April 19, 1925 and received the Sacrament of Confirmation there on October 7, 1938 by Bishop Samuel A. Stritch, later to be known as Cardinal Stritch.

Dolores was the oldest of six children. She attended St. Michael’s Elementary School and was taught by the Notre Dame Sisters whom she admired very much. Her vocation story is rooted in her infancy. As a very small child, she was choking and turning blue. Her mother told God that she would give Dolores to Him if He saved her life. God took her up on that promise. Dolores did not know of her Mother’s prayer until many years after her profession. Her strong desire to become a Sister was first realized when she was in the Third Grade. Her mother supported and nurtured her vocational desire, however, she told Dolores that she would have to wait until she was 18 if she wanted to be a Notre Dame Sister.

Dolores’ Mother had been educated by the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity in Kiel, Wisconsin. She told Dolores how wonderful the Sisters were and what a beautiful Motherhouse they had. So at the age of 14, Dolores wrote to Mother Generose on May 12, 1939… Read more: Franciscan Sister Ronald Held Reflection

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 Sister and Nurse Responded to God’s Call

Franciscan Sister of Christian Charity Community Director Sister Natalie Binversie reflects on the life of Sister Mary Felice Wellman. To read the entire reflection, click here: Franciscan Mary Felice Wellman reflection

Jane wanted to be a nurse, so after high school she went to Good Samaritan School of Nursing in Zanesville, Ohio, graduating in 1950. While in Nursing School Jane got to know more members of the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity, since they were her teachers. After graduation Jane worked at St. Francis Hospital in Cambridge.

Jane also was acquainted with the Sisters of Charity from Mount St. Joseph where one of her Aunts, Sister Catherine Therese, was a member. When she felt that God was calling her to be a Sister she wrote the following letter to Mother Edna dated May 27, 1950:

Dear Rev. Mother Edna,
Please may I be permitted to enter your Community? I have prayed, longed and given serious thought to know God’s will in my regard. At first I had the consent of my parents. Now I do not and the difficulties and problems appear insurmountable.

My father visited me today and has asked me to wait till I have taken State Board examinations which are in November. His reasons for this request are based primarily on financial embarrassment and the refusal of my mother to acquiesce to my desire. My mother hasn’t been herself since I told her what I really want to do. My father feels that if I wait until after November, it will give me a longer time to think about the matter and also give mother more time to see God’s holy Will in my regard. These clouds seem to hang heavy over my head.

Mother, I do want to do the right thing regarding my vocation and also my parents and yet I don’t want to hurt them. I would appreciate any help you may give me in this matter. Should I continue to work here at Good Samaritan Hospital until November, or would you advise me to go to the Convent in August without necessary items? In the meantime I will continue to pray to Our Lord for grace to accomplish my main desire to serve Him as a Franciscan Sister. Thank you.
Jane Wellman

Jane eventually did receive permission to enter the Convent after taking her State Boards. She sent her pre-entrance medical record and application to Mother Edna in a letter dated August 14, 1950. In this letter she wrote, “I am eagerly looking forward to my arrival in Wisconsin in November. I have been praying and studying hard that I will write a successful State Board.” Jane had her physical for entrance done by Doctor Fred Phillips who was a surgeon on staff at Good Samaritan Hospital. He was described as a gentle, kind-hearted, grandfatherly type of man. His closing comment to Jane was, “I bet you $5.00 that you will not last five years in the Convent.” At the end of five years she received five dollars in the mail from him.

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