Remembering Sister Marie (Euphemia) Grunloh, OSF

Sr_Marie_Grunloh_webWhen it came to living the Gospel way of life, Sister Marie Grunloh was a Sister of St. Francis through and through. How appropriate that her soul would make its journey home to God on the Feast of St. Luke the Evangelist, where the words of the dayʹs Gospel concluded: ʺThe Kingdom of God is at hand for you.ʺ (Lk10:9) With a resolute and grateful heart, Sister Marie surely welcomed the arrival of Sister Death with great joy.

Born to John and Elizabeth (Schumacher) Grunloh, Marie was the fourth of six children. As a young girl in Green Creek, Illinois, Marie was intelligent and curious about the world around her. She received the faith passed on from her parents and extended family with eagerness and enthusiasm. Growing up at a time when two World Wars and the Great Depression shaped the lives and consciences of an entire generation, Marie was particularly attuned to Godʹs holy manner of working in and through her life. Inspired and influenced by the Franciscan Friars of the Sacred Heart Province as well as the Joliet Franciscan Sisters, Marie (as well as her dear brothers, Rev. Donatus, OFM and Rev. Melvin, OFM), was nurtured in her desire to embrace the Franciscan way of life.

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Remembering Sister M. Eugene Belmonte, OSF

BelmonteOn Thursday, March 3, 2011, our Sister Eugene Belmonte peacefully entrusted herself to the companionship of Sister Death. Earlier that day, as witnessed by those who kept watch at her bedside, the good news proclaimed from St. Mark’s Gospel took on special meaning: “Take courage; get up, Jesus is calling you.” (Mark 10:50) Attentive to the sacredness of her final hours among us, one could almost hear the voice of Jesus saying: “Benvenuta, cara mia, quanto sei bella per me.” (Welcome, my beloved one, how beautiful you are to me.)

Born on the near Westside of Chicago, Illinois, to her parents Maria (Broccolo) and Eugene Belmonte on June 17, 1918, Assunta Veronica Belmonte was one of seven children. Sadly for the family, two of the children, the only boys, died as infants. As a young girl, Susie, as shewas affectionately known, took her place in the middle of her four sisters, Carmela, Theresa, Anna and Angelina. As a child, she attended St. Callistus Parish. In 1932, she graduated from St. Mary’s High School and began working in an office. At the age of 26, she became a postulant with the Sisters of St. Francis of Mary Immaculate on January 27, 1945. She entered the novitiate on August 12 of the same year and received the religious name Sister Mary Eugene. She professed her first vows two years later in 1947. Diligent in her studies at the College of St. Francis, Sister Eugene was most eager to teach young children. Prior to making her final profession on August 12, 1950, she wrote in her letter of request to Mother Immaculate the following words: “I hope that with the grace of God I may be able to do His work for many, many years. I realize I can never be thankful enough for this great privilege of teaching His little ones how to love Him and to bring them closer to Christ.” Over the years, she devoted herself to lifelong learning in the service of those to whom she ministered as teacher and as religious educator. Looking back on her 43 years in the ministries of parish‐based elementary education and catechesis, mostly in the Archdiocese of Chicago, it is evident that Sister Eugene’s hopes were more than fulfilled.

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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 Miriam Patrice Tierney, OSF

Tierney_Miriam_PatriceOn January 3, 2011, as our sister, Miriam Patrice Tierney, prepared to make her journey home to God, these words from the Prophet Isaiah and the Gospel of Matthew echoed in churches and chapels throughout the world: “The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the shadow of death, a light has shone” (Is 9:1) and “Turn to God with all your heart, the Kingdom of heaven is close at hand (Matt 4:17).” For one who faithfully lived the gospel way of life, what better words could lead her home to the Lord of Light and Love?

Born on August 13, 1922, to Frank and Irene (Le Gere) Tierney, Florence Mary Tierney was baptized and confirmed at St. Brendan Church in Chicago, Illinois. The eldest of three sisters, she learned to care for others spontaneously and generously from any early age. Attending Assumption Parish School from 1928‐1933, she completed junior high school at Altgeld School in 1936 and graduated from Parker High School in 1940. She worked as a factory clerk for several months and on September 8, 1941, she became a postulant with the Sisters of St. Francis of Mary Immaculate. She entered the novitiate the following year and on August 12, 1942, she received her religious name, Sr. Miriam Patrice. Making her first profession on August 12, 1944, she soon embarked on a 35‐year long career as beloved primary grade teacher.

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Remembering Sister M. Teresine Haban, OSF

Sr_Teresine_HabanOn Friday, April 9, 2010, toward the end of Easter Week, our Sister Teresine Haban slipped quietly into eternity to meet her risen Lord. Her passing from this earthly life into everlasting life was surely an “Alleluia” moment – the culmination of a life of loving commitment and service to God and others.

Sister Teresine was born as the seventh of twelve children on January 15, 1914, in Columbus, Ohio, to Stephen and Anna (Kollar) Haban. At her Baptism, she received the name of Eva Rosella.

Musically gifted, Sister Teresine began playing the piano at the age of eight. She probably inherited this gift of music from her father who used some of his earnings to buy various musical instruments for his children. When he purchased a piano at an auction, he learned that his little daughter, Eva, could play it! From that time her parents gave her piano lessons as a birthday gift each year until she graduated from high school.

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Remembering Sister Mary Ann Creely, OSF

Sr_MaryAnn_Creely“We cannot see the future or what it has in store for us, but we are open to what God has planned for us … a continuation of the mystery of life. Truly, life is a mystery to be lived!” Under the banner of these words, our Sister Mary Ann Creely endeavored throughout her life to help the People of God whom she served as a teacher, principal, counselor, pastoral minister, friend and sister, to remain confident in the providence of God and to find meaning in the challenges that life put before them. Though these words from 1997 may not have been intended originally as a parting gift to those she whom she would leave behind as she made her way home to God at the break of dawn on the Feast of St. Patrick in 2010, they take on new meaning in the light of her unexpected death and the legacy of her life.

Born on the northwest side of Chicago on January 6, 1933, the Feast of the Epiphany, Mary Ann Creely was the fifth of eight daughters born to Thomas and Rose (Franc) Creely. Baptized at St. Pascal Church, she attended the parish school where she came under the influence and inspiration of the Sisters of St. Francis of Mary Immaculate. At the age of thirteen, Mary Ann became an aspirant with the Joliet Franciscans and studied at St. Francis Academy. On September 6, 1948, she entered the postulancy and on August 12, 1949, she became a novice, receiving the name Sister Mary Ronald. She made her First Profession on August 12, 1951, and three years later, on August 13, 1954, she made her Perpetual Profession. Cultivating long and lasting friendships among her Joliet Franciscan sisters as well as the Rochester Franciscan sisters and the Franciscan Sisters of Penance and Christian Charity (Stella Niagra) with whom she also lived, Sister Mary Ann invested herself in creating the conditions for living the evangelical life in the context of life‐giving communities of faith, hope and love.

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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 Verna Furiel, OSF

Furiel_Verna Jubilee 2007_webIn the early hours of December 26, 2009, Sister
Verna Furiel received the precious gift which her
heart had long desired. Holding fast to the hope
that she would “be celebrating Christmas in
heaven,” her Advent waiting came to an end and
her expectation was fulfilled with the vision of the
Eternal Christmas. Enduring the pain and suffering
of her final days with a sense of blessed assurance,
Sister Verna was an exemplar of confidence in the
presence of Emmanuel, God‐with‐Us. A Franciscan
through and through, her parting gift of love to all
those whom she treasured in life will be forever
wrapped in the peace and joy of Christmas.

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Remembering Sister M. Carol Ann Novak, OSF

NovakCarol Ann_webBorn on February 3, 1924, in Cleveland, Ohio, Adeline Beatrice Novak was the youngest of three children born to Charles and Anna Novak. Recognized early on in life as a quiet, responsible and cheerful person, Adeline was a natural born teacher and someone who inspired others by her kindness and gentle manner. From the time of her entrance into the postulancy on September 8, 1942, she embraced her Franciscan vocation wholeheartedly and grounded her commitment to community and service in a life of prayer and spiritual growth.

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