On Sunday morning, June 21, 2015, our sister, Marilyn, was enfolded by the radiant beauty of sunlight filtering through the window of her bedroom window. The stormy night of teeming rain, rolling thunder and crackling lightening had given way to an atmosphere of peace and calm. Her breathing slowed as did the beating of her generous and kind heart. As she made her transition from this life to eternal life, her long-awaited and beloved angels seemed to have made their presence known. Safely and securely, they led her into paradise to abide in the Heart of God.
Born to her parents, Pearl Zimmerman and Charles Franze, on July 17, 1932, Marilyn was a “Joliet girl” from the very beginning of her eighty-two years of life. Taking delight in being the younger sister of her older brother, Charles, she knew she had a lifelong friend whom she could count on. Yet, important as family was for her throughout her childhood, as an eighth grader at St. John Parish School, Marilyn began to think about her future. Inspired by the Joliet Franciscan Sisters who were her teachers, and encouraged in her Franciscan aspirations by Fr. Conan Mitchell, O.F.M. (1915-2009), Marilyn enrolled at St. Francis Academy, where she studied for three years before entering the Congregation as a postulant on September 4, 1950. She was received into the novitiate on August 12, 1951, and given her religious name, Sister M. Jacinta. Two years later, with a joyful heart, she made her first profession of vows and in 1956 she made her final profession as a Sister of St. Francis of Mary Immaculate.