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Joliet Franciscan Sister Makes Final Vows

sister beatriz1On January 24, 2015, Sister Beatriz de Sousa, OSF professed her perpetual vows in the Congregation and become the newest member of the Sisters of St. Francis of Mary Immaculate.

Sister Beatriz was born and raised in Brazil. In 2006, she joined the Irmãs Franciscanas (Franciscan Sisters) where she began to live with and minister among the Joliet Franciscan Sisters. The Congregation had established its Brazilian Mission in 1963. In 2010, Sister Beatriz professed her simple vows and offi cially became a member of the Congregation. She was then referred to as “Sister” Beatriz.

As a teenager she began to participate actively in her local parish. “It was because of my participation at church that fi rst sparked a desire in me to experience religious life,” said Sister Beatriz. Years later, she remembers meeting the Joliet Franciscans and the impact they made in her life. “I began to appreciate the work of the Sisters, and the desire to share in their way of life grew in me,” she said.

sister beatriz2

Sisters Beatriz, Dolores Zemont, President, and Margaret Noser, Regional Coordinator, during the Profession Ceremony in Brazil.

Sister Dolores Zemont, President of the Congregation, travelled to Brazil with Sr. Dorothy Kinsella, who is serving as historian of the Congregation, to participate in the final vow ceremony. During this ceremony, Sister Beatriz will profess vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience and be bound by the Constitutions of the Congregation which were amended and approved on October 4, 1985, the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi. Sister Beatriz will continue to minister as a teacher in Goiania, Brazil.

Remembering Sister Sharon Kerscher, OSF

Sharon_Kerscher_9-24-14More than 150 years ago, many families of German immigrants settled in an area of Columbus, Ohio, which is now called German Village. It was in this community of strong German roots and equally strong Catholic values that Rosemary Cecilia Kerscher was born on September 19, 1926, to her parents, Valentine and Martha (Schmidt) Kerscher. She was welcomed into her family by four older brothers (Charles, Erwin, Bernard, and Edward) and three older sisters (Rita, Dolores, and Virginia). Her birth evened out the number of boys and girls in the family – until three years later when her younger brother, Paul, arrived on the scene and made the boys the majority.

Rosemary was educated by the Joliet Franciscan Sisters at St. Mary Grade School and High School in Columbus. However, even before she entered the first grade she was familiar with the Sisters of St. Francis of Mary Immaculate, for our deceased Sister Siena Schmidt was her aunt, her mother’s sister.

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Remembering Sister Anne Flaska, OSF

Anne-Flaska-9-14-14On Sunday, September 14, 2014, the feast of the Exultation of the Cross, as the words of John’s Gospel echoed in churches throughout the world, our sister, Anne Flaska, passed peacefully into eternal life at the age of 94. Drawn by the God who “so loved the world that he gave his only Son,” Anne clung faithfully to the conviction that “everyone who believes in God will not perish but will have eternal life (Jn 3:16).”

Born on December 6, 1922, the feast of St. Nicholas, Anne was lovingly welcomed into the world by her parents Mary (Turkan) and John Flaska. Raised on the near north side of Chicago, Anne was one of six children and a most energetic member of her hard-working and faith-filled family. Ever mindful of her immigrant roots, Anne embraced her Slovak cultural heritage with great enthusiasm, pride and joy. Educated at Sacred Heart School (Oakley & Huron Streets), she took advantage of every opportunity made available to her. It was at Sacred Heart that Anne’s lifelong passion for teaching was inspired, nurtured and encouraged.

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Remembering Sister Mary Olivieri, OSF

Mary_Olivieri-8-17-14Sister Mary Olivieri began life on April 17, 1928, in Mansfield, Ohio, the first born of four children: Nick and Lucy, now deceased, and Rose, now Sister Rose, RSM, who resides in Fremont, Ohio, at St. Bernadine Retirement Home. Sister Mary’s parents, Joseph and Dominica, were both born in Italy and spoke only Italian in the family home. Mary’s early family life was enriched by Italian customs and culture as well as a deep faith shared by her parents. Mary and Rose fondly recalled their yearly trips to Carey, Ohio, for the Feast of the Assumption of Mary where they spent two days at the Shrine of Our Lady of Consolation. Maybe this parental devotion was the motive in naming their first born Mary.

Mary’s love for cooking was passed on by her mother who also taught her daughter the art of gardening. Her cooking skills have been appreciated by many of the Sisters with whom she lived. The faith life fostered in her family and her years at St. Peter’s School in Mansfield may have been the seeds of her call to become a Sister of St. Francis of Mary Immaculate. Arriving in Joliet in 1947 as a postulant, Mary’s dream was short-lived. Her mother’s illness made it necessary for her to return home to help with her younger siblings. After her mother’s death in August, 1948, she began working and even bought herself a car. Those who knew her well also knew about her love for driving! They would also know about her determination and decisiveness to do what she knew had to be done!

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Remembering Sister Marianne Cardosi, OSF

Marianne_Cardosi-5-14-14On May 14, the Feast of St. Matthias, an Apostle chosen by God through other Apostles, Sister Marianne Cardosi was chosen to return to the Source of her being. Marianne’s life began in Kankakee, Illinois, on March 21, 1930, the oldest of five children born to Judge Victor and Pauline (Mussa) Cardosi. She is preceded in death by her parents and her sister Joan Cardosi and survived by her two sisters, Paula and Jacquelyn and her brother Robert.

Her family attended St. Rose Parish in Kankakee. Marianne received her early education at St. Joseph Seminary Grade School and St. Joseph Seminary High School. Attending the College of St. Francis (University of St. Francis) in Joliet, Marianne, influenced by her father’s love of history, received her Bachelor of Arts degree in History and Education in 1951. Further studies took her to DePaul University in Chicago for a Master of Arts degree in History and to Olivet Nazarene University in Kankakee for a Master of Arts degree in English Education. Sister Marianne won a grant in 1969 for a summer program in American Studies at Northern Ohio University. She also attended the Franciscan Institute in Theology and Scripture at the College of St. Francis and Adult Education Courses at the University of Illinois.

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Remembering Sister Kathleen Kirk, OSF

Kathleen-Kirk-4-14-14“I’ll Take You Home Again, Kathleen!”
Sister Kathleen Kirk was an Irish Lassie and a musician throughand through, and how fitting that the sheet music of this song was in her file. Did she have a premonition that the Lord wouldbe singing this melody to her in the wee hours of April 14, 2014?

Sister Kathleen was born the second daughter of five children to William and Marguerite (Clancy) Kirk on September 29, 1916. Kathleen was baptized one month later on October 29 at her Parish Church, St. Pascal’s in Chicago, Illinois, and attended St. Pascal Grade School and Alvernia High School in Chicago. Her connections to St. Pascal Parish remained strong over the years. She became part of the parish staff in 1955 when she was assigned there to teach music and play the organ.

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Remembering Sister June (Donald Marie) Marshall, OSF

Marshall_JuneOn Tuesday, November 26, 2013, early in the afternoon, our sister, June Marshall, made the final stitch on the embroidery of her life, an intricate piece of needlework which took 79 years to complete. Trusting in God’s will and steadfast in her desire to make of her life a reflection of God’s handiwork, she endeavored to follow a unique and sometimes complicated pattern of divine design. Mindful of the underside of all needlework, especially the embroidery of life, June was no stranger to the shadows that accentuate the knots and twists, and the seemingly mismatched threads of being human. Yet, she also was familiar with those experiences of grace and inner peace that come when the light of Christ shines bright as the morning sun, revealing the preciousness and significance of each embroidery of life, topside up.

Born in Toledo, Ohio, on August 21, 1934, June Rose Marshall was the eldest of five children born to Eleanore (Schroeder) and Joseph Marshall. Attentive to her parents and to her siblings, Donald, Gary, Michael and Barbara, June was a devoted daughter and older sister. She began her elementary education at Sacred Heart School in Toledo. In second grade, she transferred to Immaculate Conception School in Darby and after graduation from eighth grade, she attended Central Catholic High School for two years. Inspired by the Sisters whom she knew as teachers, June experienced a call to religious life, and in September of 1949 she became an aspirant with the Sisters of St. Francis of Mary Immaculate and completed her secondary school education at St. Francis Academy in Joliet, Illinois.

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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 Patricia (M. Francis de Sales) David, OSF

Pat_David_webOn the morning of October 21, 2013, our Sister Patricia David passed quietly from this life into eternal life. Dying as she had lived, her peaceful movement into the arms of God constituted the final steps of the grace-filled dance that was her life.

Born in Toledo, Ohio, on May 2, 1937, Patricia was one of two children born to Anna (Liszak) and Frank David. She was a devoted daughter and a loving sister to her younger brother Frank. From childhood on, she was a joyful and gentle presence in the lives of everyone who knew her – relatives, neighbors and friends. Educated by the Joliet Franciscan Sisters at St. Francis de Sales Grade School in Toledo, young Patricia’s Hungarian heritage and ethnic identity were nurtured at St. Stephen Church, where later in life she would return to minister.

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Remembering Sister Mary Ann (M. Lawrence) Glascott, OSF

Glascott-webOn the morning of August 2nd, the beloved Franciscan feast of the Portiuncula, as rain drops ceased and rays of sun broke through the passing clouds, our sister Mary Ann Glascott released her final breath and let go of the assuring hands that comforted her until her pilgrimage was completed, hands of sisters, family and friends from the United States and Brazil. Dying as she had prayed and lived, she entrusted herself at the hour of death to the intercession of Mary, the Mother of God, who in the company of the Angels, led her into paradise, where the hand of God now awaited her and the voice of God spoke the words she longed to hear: “Rise, clasp my hand, and come!” (Francis Thompson, The Hound of Heaven)

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