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Remembering Sister Rita (Mary Alexander) Greene, OSF

Greene_Rita_web“My aim in religious life has never been to acquire a great name for myself as an artist but to be of service to others.” Our Sister Rita Greene wrote those words thirty-four years ago. They are words that marked her entire Franciscan life, a life of service to others.

Sister Rita Greene was the fourth of nine children born to the late Helen (Scheiblich) and Michael Greene on July 6, 1919, in Columbus, Ohio. Her older siblings, now deceased, were Michael, James and Helene and younger siblings, now deceased, were Jerome, Lydia, Luella, and Joseph. Her remaining sister, Patricia Sorenson, still lives in Columbus.

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Remembering Sister Tecla (Mary Cephas) Snyder, OSF

Tecla_webAs we approach the Feast of Christ the King and the end of the Church’s liturgical year, our Sister Tecla quietly made her way to the King’s Court and the end of her earthly life. It was shortly before midnight on November 15, while the nurse stepped out to get some medication, that Sister Tecla responded to the divine invitation with her song: “Alaboré a Mi Seńor” (Praise to my Lord!).

Sister Tecla was born in Mansfield, Ohio, on March 21, 1923, to the late Anna Santos and Lester J. Snyder, and baptized Thekla Adilla Snyder, at St. Peter’s Church. She was the third of five children: her brother Frederick, sisters Florence and Lucille (all deceased) and her sister Elizabeth who resides in Mansfield, Ohio. After attending Hedges Grade School and Mansfield Senior High School, Tecla, inspired and encouraged by the Joliet Franciscans teaching at St. Peter’s, entered the postulancy of the Sisters of St. Francis of Mary Immaculate on September 4, 1940. Tecla completed her senior year in high school and graduated from St. Francis Academy in 1941. Entering the novitiate in August of 1941, Tecla was given the name Sister Mary Cephas. Two years later she made her first profession, and in 1946 pronounced her final vows to which she has been faithful for these past 70 years.

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Remembering Sister Anne Marie (Grace Cecile) Furiel, OSF

Furiel_webOn the evening of August 25, our Sister Anne Marie Furiel was called by the Lord she loved and served so well to enter into eternal peace and joy — where heavenly choirs no doubt welcomed her!

Born January 31, 1925, to Olga (Hermann) Furiel and Thomas Furiel, Anne Marie was baptized Anna Mae but later was called Anne Marie. She was raised in Joliet and attended St. Francis Academy (now Joliet Catholic Academy) and the College of St. Francis (now the University of St. Francis) where she earned both Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Music degrees.

Anne Marie entered the postulancy of the Joliet Franciscans on February 1, 1942 – just one day after her seventeenth birthday. When she became a novice she was given the name “Sister Grace Cecile.” Years later she returned to the name by which we know her – Sister Anne Marie.

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Remembering Sister Marian (Louis Marie) Voelker, OSF

Marian_Voelker_webOn Saturday, February 9, 2013, our sister, Marian Voelker peacefully made her journey home to God. Sharing with her beloved Mother Alfred a lifelong devotion to Our Lady of Lourdes, after whom she was named and whose feast day was close at hand, Marian rested confidently in the knowledge that at the hour of her death she would not be alone. Graciously living out her faith-filled “Fiat,” she quietly reached the end of her days and entrusted to the God of History the final chapter in the story of her life.

Born on October 18, 1935, Marian Bernadette Voelker was the sixth of ten children to be lovingly welcomed into the world by Robert and Marian (Schilling) Voelker. As a young child, Marian and her family lived in close proximity to her Voelker grand-parents from whom she acquired an inter-generational appreciation for “living histories.” Growing up in East St. Louis, Illinois, Marian’s inquisitive mind and historical imagination were stirred at an early age as she began to make meaning of the joys and sorrows of life as seen from the banks of the Mississippi River, the railway crossroads of the Midwest and a city that was an urban crucible of rapid social and economic change. Nurtured in the faith at St. Elizabeth’s Parish and educated by the Adorers of the Blood of Christ at St. Teresa’s Academy, she was drawn to religious life, yet uncertain as to where her envisioned vocational path would lead.

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Remembering Sister Mary Ann (Daniel Marie) Schnelker, OSF

Schnelker_webEarly in the morning of Sunday, January 9, 2011, our sister MaryAnn took her final breath, quietly taking her leave from those who had surrounded her with love in her final hours and, indeed, throughout her life. How fitting that the completion of her commitment to the Lord at Baptism through the living out of her vows of profession, should reach its summation on the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord. Surely, she was greeted by the Lord, who tenderly took her by the hand, saying: “Welcome, my chosen one, in whom I have delighted.” (Isaiah 42:1)

Born in Crestline, Ohio, on February 3, 1937, Mary Ann was the eldest of six children lovingly brought into the world by her parents Joseph and Mary (Johnston) Schnelker. Baptized and confirmed at St. Joseph’s Church in Galion, Ohio, she was educated at St. Joseph’s School and St. Patrick’s School, also in Galion, Ohio. As an aspirant with the Sisters of St. Francis, Mary Ann attended at St. Francis Academy in Joliet, Illinois. She entered the Congregation as a postulant on September 6, 1954. The following year, on August 13, 1955, she was received into the novitiate and given the name Sr. Daniel Marie. Two years later, she made her first profession and enthusiastically embarked upon a thirty‐year ministry of teaching and elementary school administration, a career for which she was prepared at the College of St. Francis and Northern Illinois University. Making her final profession in August of 1960, she definitively embraced the Franciscan way of life.

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Remembering Sister M. Karen Kauderer, OSF

Karen_KaudererSister Karen Kauderer slipped quietly into eternity in the evening on Sunday, March 7, 2010, at Provena St. Joseph Medical Center after being hospitalized earlier in the week.

Born on May 11, 1915, she was baptized Eileen Ida at St. Peter’s Church in Columbus, Ohio. She was the eldest of nine children born to August and Elizabeth (Schneider) Kauderer.

Eileen attended St. Leo’s elementary school in Columbus. She graduated from Sacred Heart, a two year commercial school in June, 1931. After completing her education, Eileen worked as a dressmaker and housekeeper. In September of 1943 she applied to enter the Congregation. On January 29, 1944, she became a postulant.

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Remembering Sister Florence Niemet , OSF

Sr_Florence_NiemetSister Florence Niemet died peacefully at Our Lady of Angels Retirement Home on Saturday, February 20, 2010. Her illness was not a prolonged one, and even a few weeks before her death she could be seen in the Chapel balcony participating in daily Mass.

Florence was born to Michael and Josephine (Mikolajczyk) Niemet on October 1, 1916, in Chicago. She was baptized on October 15, 1916, at St. Hyacinth Church in Chicago. Florence was the middle child in a family of five. Her brothers, George and Edward are deceased as is her sister Emily. Her sister Bernice is still living.

Florence’s early education took place at Portage Park School, grades 1 through 4, and continued at St. Pascal’s, grades 5 through 8. She attended Carl Schurz High School and completed her secondary education at St. Francis Academy as an aspirant.

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Remembering Sister Pamela Matlosz, OSF

MatlozPamela_webIn early morning hours of August 22, 2009, our sister, Pamela Ann Matlosz, was drawn into the fullness of God’s everlasting love, buoyed up by the words that had filled her heart with hope in the midst of suffering, she entered into the waters of that great Divine mystery where “Deep calls unto deep…” (Psalm 42:7), singing her song of love to the God of her life” Psalm 42:7‐8.

Born to Joseph and Alice Matlosz on June 14, 1944, Pam grew up on the southeast side of Chicago. Baptized at Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary parish, she was educated at the parish elementary schools of St. Michael and St. Mary Magdalene. She graduated from Sts. Peter and Paul High School in June of 1962. During the summer of that same year, inspired by the enthusiasm and commitment of the Joliet Franciscan sisters who were her teachers, she decided to follow the call of her heart. Pam shared with her parents and brother, Dennis, her decision to enter the Congregation as a postulant in September. In the company of her classmates, Pam began her studies at the College of St. Francis.

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Remembering Sister Mary Gen Wolffran, OSF

Sr_MaryGen_WolfframEarly Wednesday morning, February 18, 2009, Sister Mary Gen Wolffram, after a night of restlessness and struggling, fell into a peaceful sleep and awakened to a life we cannot even imagine! Her many years of limitations and suffering had finally come to an end. The Lord came to take Mary Gen home sometime around 2:00 AM at her cottage in Our Lady of Angels Village. It is certain that her journey with him was truly a dance of joy into her eternal reward!

Mary Genevieve Elizabeth Wolffram was born into this earthly life on December 13, 1933, in Fayetteville, Ohio. Her parents, Mary Genevieve Kelly Wolffram and Charles Harrison Wolffram were undoubtedly thrilled at the birth of their first and only daughter. Mary Gen, the youngest in the family, was brought home to five loving big brothers who were just waiting to spoil her! Now she has joined her parents and brothers—Harry, John, Joseph, Robert and Samuel.

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