Remembering Sister Carlene Howell, OSF

Sister Mary Carlene Howell was born in Chicago, Illinois, on June 12, 1934, to Frances (Fisher) and Gilbert Howell. She was Baptized, Gwendolyn and given the name Mary Carlene upon her entrance to the novitiate of the Sisters of St. Francis of Mary Immaculate in Joliet, Illinois. Carlene has one brother, Durk and a sister, June. As children, Carlene was given the nickname “Gwenie” by her brother.

Carlene loved learning as much as she did teaching. After receiving her bachelor’s degree at the College of St. Francis in Joliet, Illinois, she earned a Master’s degree in English at Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio, and a Master’s degree in Religious Studies at St. Louis University in St. Louis, Missouri. She continued post-graduate studies at the University of Minnesota, University of Detroit, University of Southern California, DePaul University and St. Louis University.

She served as Chair of the English Department at the University of St. Francis for several of her 13 years as an Assistant Professor of English. She once said, “The literature courses I taught provided a means for students to study human nature in a context that was fictional but at the same time very real! I loved seeing students blossom into thoughtful and questioning individuals.”

Read More About Sister Carelene’s Life

If you would like to make a donation in honor of Sister Carlene or another Joliet Franciscan Sister, please click here:  Remembering our Deceased Sisters.

Sister Carlene Howell, OSF Mass

To view Sister Carlene’s service, download and extract the video from the zip file.

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If you have any problems accessing or viewing the file, contact Karen Garifo at or 815-725-8735 x116.