Remembering Sister Grace Brouch, OSF

It is with deep sadness that we announce the death of our Sister Grace Brouch, OSF.  Sister Grace died peacefully at Our Lady of Angels Retirement Home in Joliet, IL on September 22, 2017.

We will be broadcasting her wake and funeral Mass on Wednesday, September 27 beginning at 4:45 p.m.  Click on our Congregation’s shield on our home page and it will take you directly to her service.

Wake and Prayer Service : Our Lady of Angels Retirement Home – 1201 Wyoming Avenue, Joliet, IL  beginning at 4:45 p.m.

Mass of Christian Burial:  Our Lady of Angels Retirement Home Chapel beginning at 7:00 p.m.

Burial – Thursday, September28, 2017 leaving Our Lady of Angels Retirement Home at 9:00 a.m. for Resurrection Cemetery in Romeoville, IL.

Joliet Franciscan Sisters Announce 2017 Honorees

The Joliet Franciscan Sisters will present the annual Mother Alfred Moes Award and Joliet Franciscan Heritage Award at the 28th Annual Franciscan Autumn Feast on Sunday, October 22 at the Bolingbrook Golf Club.

The Mother Alfred Moes Award was first presented in 2008.  Mother Alfred Moes, Joliet Franciscan foundress, was a woman ahead of her time.  A pioneer and a visionary, she used her own dowry to transform her vision into service.  Mother Alfred responded not only to the needs of the people of Joliet, but wherever the need of communities across the country called her.  This award, named after Mother Alfred, recognizes individuals and organizations who also transform vision into service.

This year, the Mother Alfred Moes Award honoree is St. John the Baptist Parish.  In 1863, Mother Alfred was invited by the pastor of St. John the Baptist Parish, a parish which was only 11 years old, to come to Joliet and begin teaching the children of the predominantly German immigrant community.  All of the Sisters’ ministries, from the beginning of their history, evolved from St. John the Baptist Parish.  Throughout its 165 year history, St. John’s has responded to the changing needs of its parish family and beyond through its many programs, including a food pantry.

The Joliet Franciscan Heritage Award was established in 2010 to honor individuals and organizations that recognize the needs of their community and use their gifts of time, talent and treasure to care for those needs.  The 2017 Joliet Franciscan Heritage Award honorees are Joe and Jodie (posthumously) Adler.  The Adlers were involved with the Christian Family Movement, were founding members of the Will County Conference of Religion and Race and the Spanish Community Center.  They were active in the civil rights movement since the 1960s.  Joe and Jodie were founding members of the Will County Habitat for Humanity.

After Jodie’s death in 2014, Joe has continued to be a force for peace and justice in the Joliet area through his tireless contributions of time, talent and treasure to the many needs of the Joliet community.

For more information about the 28th Annual Franciscan Autumn Feast, please contact the Joliet Franciscan Sisters’ Mission Advancement office at 815-725-8735, x116.

Sister Martha Eckstein Retires

Sister Martha Eckstein has retired after ministering for over 50 years in the classroom.  She spent her last 15 years at Assumption Academy in Broadview Heights, located near Cleveland, Ohio.  She was honored at the schools’ last assembly for the 2016-2017 school year.  Mrs. Joanne LoPresti spoke of Sister Martha’s service to the school and said that Sister Martha had blessed them with her knowledge, grace, beauty and love of teaching. “She has been a source of inspiration, and motivation not only for her students but for her coworkers and parents as well. No matter what the challenge was, Sister faced it with dignity, compassion and kindness.”

Sr. Marlene Ambrose Recently Honored

A classroom at the University of St. Francis’ St. Clare Campus in Guardian Angel Hall, was recently dedicated in honor of Sr. Marlene Ambrose, thanks to the generosity of Mr. & Mrs. Edward Dollinger.  The recently renovated classroom contains state-of-the-art equipment which is used by the students in the Leech College of Nursing.

Ed Dollinger, a member of the Board of Trustees at USF, was Sr. Marlene’s first grade student at St. Mary Immaculate in Plainfield, IL. “She was a great teacher,” said Ed.  He wrote about Sr. Marlene in a journal he had written while he was in 8th grade.

Pictured in front of the “Marlene Ambrose classroom” are Ed and Gloria Dollinger and Sister Marlene Ambrose.

14 Sisters Celebrate Jubilee

On June 24, 2017, fourteen Joliet Franciscan Sisters celebrated their jubilee at the Cathedral of St. Raymond in Joliet.  To read more about this celebration, please click on Jubilee-2017

My Vocation Story – Sr. Karen Berry, OSF

When I came to the Joliet Franciscan community I was looking forward to being part of the joyful group I had come to know when these sisters were my teachers in elementary school. Also, because I had always wanted to be a teacher from the time I was a child, I felt that this teaching community’s charism was a good fit. Over the many years I have been a Franciscan I have learned much more about St. Francis, about ministry, and about the Church than I ever knew as a fresh high school graduate with high ideals and vocation energy. But through all these years my desire to teach has never waned, and my love for this Spirit-filled, musically gifted, multi-talented, forward-looking, warm-hearted, quick-to-laugh community of sisters has only grown.

Times have changed since the early 1960’s when I entered my community. The post Vatican II Church blossomed and called for renewal from religious congregations. Responding to new needs, Joliet Franciscans expanded their ministries to embrace the spirit of our foundress in her outreach to those who most needed her in her lifetime. Not many of us are working in schools anymore. Feeling born to teach, however, I have pursued new ways to do that through religious education for families and adults and through writing about Scripture and prayer. I am passionate about helping people understand the reasons for the changes they have experienced in the Catholic Church and equally passionate about helping Catholics to learn about other religions so that peace can come from understanding.

I look to Jesus and to St. Francis as the peacemakers who gave me shining examples of loving our enemies, loving all of creation, bridging divides and embracing those whom others reject. I look to my community of Franciscan women who are also shining examples of Gospel living. I look to myself to stay in touch with the sense of vocation and mission that first inspired me those many years ago.

 

 

The Call – By Marianne Saieg, OSF

Remembering Sister Rose Spatny, OSF

It is with deep sadness that we announce the death of our Sister Rose Spatny, OSF, who died on June 12, 2017, at Our Lady of Angels Retirement Home (OLA) in Joliet, IL.  Sister Rose would have been celebrating her 80th Jubilee this year.  We extend our prayers and sympathy to her family and friends.

Sister Rose’s wake and funeral Mass took place at Our Lady of Angels on Tuesday, June 20, 2017.  You can view her wake and Mass service by clicking on the Congregational Shield towards the bottom of our home page.

May she rest in peace.

Remembering Sister Kay Francis Berger, OSF

On April 14, 2017,  Sister Kay Francis Berger, artist laureate of the Congregation, died at Our Lady of Angels Retirement Home (OLA) in Joliet, IL.  She was known internationally for her Franciscan-themed artwork.

Sister Kay Francis’ wake and funeral Mass took place at Our Lady of Angels on Wednesday, April 19, 2017.  Her cremains were buried at Resurrection Cemetery in Romeoville, Illinois, on June 12, 2017.

Sister Kay Francis’ prayer service can be viewed on our Livestream channel by clicking the Congregational Shield on our home page.

You can read more about Sister Kay Francis’ life by clicking on: Sr. Kay Francis Berger, OSF.  May she rest in peace.

 

 

Sister Elaine Kerscher Joins Congregation Leadership

On May 3, Sister Elaine Kerscher took her oath of office as a member of the Joliet Franciscan Sisters Governing Board during the Eucharistic Celebration in the chapel at Our Lady of Angels Retirement Home.  In front of her Sisters who were present, Sister Elaine took the oath she had written promising to serve her Congregation as a Councilor through June 2020.

In addition to her ministry as a Joliet Franciscan Councilor, Sister Elaine, who is a canon lawyer, is a member of the Diocese of Joliet Tribunal Office serving as Defender of the Bond.

Sister Elaine is not new to Congregation Leadership having served as Vice President and Councilor for the Membership from 2004 – 2008.

Congratulations, Sister Elaine.