Sr. Marlene Ambrose Recently Honored

A classroom at the University of St. Francis’ St. Clare Campus in Guardian Angel Hall, was recently dedicated in honor of Sr. Marlene Ambrose, thanks to the generosity of Mr. & Mrs. Edward Dollinger.  The recently renovated classroom contains state-of-the-art equipment which is used by the students in the Leech College of Nursing.

Ed Dollinger, a member of the Board of Trustees at USF, was Sr. Marlene’s first grade student at St. Mary Immaculate in Plainfield, IL. “She was a great teacher,” said Ed.  He wrote about Sr. Marlene in a journal he had written while he was in 8th grade.

Pictured in front of the “Marlene Ambrose classroom” are Ed and Gloria Dollinger and Sister Marlene Ambrose.

5th Annual Afternoon Tea

The 5th Annual Afternoon Tea took place at the Jacob Henry Mansion on May 7, 2017.  Over 150 women participated and enjoyed the pageantry of being at the Mansion, the delicious food and lively entertainment.  We are very grateful to our Tea committee, our sponsors and of course all the women who brought donations of food while spending time and treasure at this fundraiser.

Mark your calendar for next year’s Afternoon Tea; it is an event you won’t want to miss!  The date is scheduled for Sunday, April 29th at the Jacob Henry Mansion.  If you would like to be placed on the invitation list, please call our office at (815) 725-8735.

To read more about the 5th Annual Afternoon Tea, please click on:  Afternoon Tea-2017

Happy 100th Birthday, Sister Marie Schramko, OSF

SisterMArie-webSister Marie Schramko is our third centenarian, who in a span of ten months, celebrated a birthday at Our Lady of Angels Retirement Home.  To read more about Sister Marie’s birthday, please click on Sister Marie Schramko.

May God continue to bless you, Sister Marie!

Sister Mariarthur Hamann Celebrated Her 100th Birthday!

On November 30, 2016, Sister Mariarthur celebrated her 100th birthday.  She is the second of three Joliet Franciscan Sisters who have (or will) celebrate their 100th birthday in a span of 10 months!  To read more about Sister Mariarthur’s special day, please click on Sister Mariarthur.

Sister Jeanne Bessette Honored

bessette-webSister Jeanne Bessette, OSF, Ed.D., president of De Paul Cristo Rey High School in Cincinnati, has been recognized as a member of “The Women of Influence Award Class of 2016.”

The Women of Influence Award honors leading women in the Greater Cincinnati region who have helped shape the success of their organizations. These women have demonstrated exceptional leadership, dedication to their organizations  and have committed themselves to cultivating a thriving and progressive community.

The nomination for Sister Jeanne noted, “Since leading the opening of DePaul Cristo Rey High School in 2011, Sister Jeanne has never allowed it to stray from its mission to serve those economically-challenged families who want a strong college-prep academic program for their students but can’t afford other private schools.  The young people DPCR serves are from challenging circumstances and would not have their now-promising futures without this school. The quest to prepare Greater Cincinnati’s next generation of scholars, professionals and leaders continues under Sister Jeanne’s direction.”

Note: We thank Margee Garbsch, Director of Communications and Marketing at DePaul Cristo Rey High School, for her assistance.

Our new The Joliet Franciscan magazine is now available.

“The Joliet Franciscan Magazine” is here!  Formerly called Confiança, the new The Joliet Franciscan is hot of the press. We hope you will like the new format.

In this new edition, you will find an article on Sr. Mary Franz’s 100th birthday.  You’ll also read about the installation of our new Central Administration; get to know a little more of our 2016 Jubilarians; read about our Associates and meet Fr. Jim Lennon in our Connections piece.

You can view The Joliet Franciscan by clicking on the News category at the top menu bar and in the drop-down box is The Joliet Franciscan Magazine link.

27th Annual Franciscan Autumn Feast

honorees-webThe Franciscan Autumn Feast took place on Sunday, October 23, 2016, at the historic Patrick C. Haley Mansion in Joliet. This year marked the 27th year that the Franciscan Autumn Feast has been held.

Over 300 guests were present to support the Sisters on a beautiful October afternoon. Forty-eight items were available on the Silent Auction, which included: “Hamilton” tickets, an autographed baseball from the Cubs, hotel accommodations in Galena, Illinois, Marco Island, Florida, Lake Geneva, Wisconsin and Austria; original art and photos created by Helen Lawson, Sister Sandi Salois, Sister Marianne Saieg and Amy Douglas.  A highly sought after painting of St. Francis, by the Congregation’s Artist Laureate Sister Kay Francis Berger was also up for auction. Twenty baskets completed the Basket Raffle which included a mystery basket worth over $1000 to several containing games, food items, candy and two Joliet favorites – a certificate for a Cemeno’s pizza every month for a year and a dozen donuts a month for a year from Milano’s Bakery.  Cash, gift card and 50/50 raffles were also held to raise funds for the Sisters’ ministries.

During the program portion of the event, Sister Dolores Zemont, the Congregation’s president, presented William and Joyce Ruhaak with the 2016 Joliet Franciscan Heritage Award.  In her remarks, Sister Dolores said, “Bill and Joyce are an amazing couple – committed to each other in a marriage of 47 ½ years and committed to social justice that has expressed itself in many ways… they have been active members of Sacred Heart, have been visiting federal prisoners each month for 18 years, conducted training sessions for forming parish social justice committees and have worked to end the death penalty in Illinois.”

The 2016 Mother Alfred Moes Award was presented to both Daybreak Center and Father Raymond Lescher.  Daybreak Center, a part of Catholic Charities, operates a 24-hour shelter for the homeless among other services. The center has a staff of 25 and over 100 volunteers. In her comments, Courtney Suchor, Daybreak Center’s Executive Director, shared with the Feast guests many of the success stories of former residents of the shelter.  Until recently, Fr. Ray Lescher was the pastor at Sacred Heart Parish in Joliet for more than 17 years. Fr. Lescher now ministers in Hopkins Park, one of the poorest areas in the state of Illinois.  In presenting Fr. Lescher the Mother Alfred Award, Sister Dolores stated, “He is champion for social justice…he preaches justice, he works for justice, he walks the talk and he lives Justice!”

food-collection-webGuests were asked to bring non-perishable food items to this event.  Over 500 boxes of cereal, oatmeal, rice, macaroni, etc.  were collected, boxed and distributed to area food pantries in Joliet.

Members of the Autumn Feast Committee are: Marcia Bianca, Lucy Brogla, Jeanette D’Arcy, Jeanne Jacobs, Lois Kiep, Claire Millweard, Julie Murphy, Marianne Murphy, Francis Naal, Ann O’Brien, Michele Phelps, Cheryl Shaw, Betty Stockover, Rita Travis, and Miriam Whitehead as well as Sisters Sharon Frederick and Albert Marie Papesh.

The Joliet Franciscan Sisters extend their gratitude to their sponsors and friends who help underwrite this event.  Corporate Sponsors included Great Lake Advisors, D’Arcy Buick – GMC, Lincolnshire Properties, First Midwest Bank, Fiduciary Management, Inc., Clarence Davids & Co., J. L. Adler Roofing, Fred C. Dames Funeral Home, Len Cox & Sons Excavating, Presence St. Joseph Medical Center and Thompson Siegel & Walmsley, LLC and Tracy, Johnson & Wilson, Attorneys-at-Law.

The date for the 28th Annual Franciscan Autumn Feast has already been scheduled for Sunday, October 22, 2017 at the Patrick C. Haley Mansion in Joliet, IL. The Joliet Franciscan Sisters invite you to “Come Feast with Us!” If you would like more information or would like to receive an invitation to next year’s Franciscan Autumn Feast please call 815-725-8735.



Sister Sue Bruno Receives Holy Cross Award

Sister Sue Bruno bruno_susan-webwill receive the Holy Cross Award for 2016 given by the Province of the Holy Cross Priests and Brothers. This award is given to lay collaborators who work to fulfill the vision and mission of Blessed Basil Moreau and who “make God known, loved, and served.”  For the past five years, Sister Sue has been working at the University of Portland as the Field Hall Director and has made significant impact on both students and colleagues alike.  Many have left congratulatory messages stating; “She is a phenomenal role model, a great educator and (she) exemplifies a life of service.”  Another wrote, “Your service to the Holy Cross Institutions has made an impact on all of us and I, for one, would not be the same without your influence.”  Sister Sue is the first Hall Rector to receive this award.

In a release from the University of Portland, Rev. John Donato, C.S.C., vice president for student affairs at the University stated, “Sister Sue has been a faith-filled and extraordinary collaborator with Holy Cross at the University of Portland and the University of Notre Dame.  For twenty years she has given herself entirely to the service and support of her resident students, truly knowing and understanding them and providing a great example of religious life.”  He went on to state that he was as honored to “call her my colleague and friend.”

Before Sister Sue’s arrival at the University of Portland, she served on the Congregation’s leadership team as the Councilor for the Membership (2008-2012) and prior to that spent 15 years at the University of Notre Dame, also a Holy Cross Institution, working in a variety of ministerial capacities.  The University of Portland community will formally honor Sister Sue at a Mass and dinner in January, 2017.

You can read more about Sister Sue’s ministry at the University of Portland by clicking on her recent article in Confianca:  Sister Sue Bruno, OSF




Sister Mary Lou Marchetti Featured in Christ is Our Hope

flash-mlmAn article on Sister Mary Lou Marchetti, OSF  and her ministry at Daybreak Shelter in Will County, was recently featured in Christ is our Hope Magazine published by the Diocese of Joliet.  You can read the article, Listening to the Homeless, by clicking here:  Christ is our Hope (scroll to page 7).

As Sister Mary Lou says, “It is a sacred privilege to listen to those who are homeless and to offer encouragement and prayer that brings them hope and the assurance that God is with them.”


Sisters Accept a New Corporate Stance

 “Racism is taught in our society. It is not automatic.”  Alex Haley

On Sunday, August 14, at 4:00 P.Anti-Racism-webM. in the chapel at Our Lady of Angels Retirement Home in Joliet, the Joliet Franciscan Sisters will hold a Ritual of Acceptance of a new Corporate Stance on Anti-Racism.  This event is open to everyone.

The Anti-Racism Committee (ARC) was created in 2012. The committee members are a racially diverse group consisting of Sisters and members of the Joliet community. ARC’s activities include multiple presentations to Sisters, Associates, sponsored institution administrations, faculties and boards, as well as the Social Justice Coalition of the Joliet Diocese. The committee has been a participant in the BlueStem Earth Festival held each May, presented a reflection at the Spring 2015 Prayer Breakfast hosted by the Mission Advancement office, and offered a prayer service at the Joliet Franciscan Center in commemoration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in 2015.

The new Corporate Stance states: 

We, Sisters of St. Francis of Mary Immaculate, commit to a stance of Anti-Racism.  As we take this position, we promise to make conscious intentional efforts to eradicate racism in all its forms – individual, cultural and institutional.

This is the fourth Corporate Stance the Sisters have accepted – the first three being:

  • We commit ourselves to prayer, study, dialogue and action for nuclear disarmament. (1996)
  • We commit to cultivating a reverent, interdependent relationship with earth and all its peoples. (2004)
  • We denounce the practice of human trafficking and commit ourselves to the work of bringing about the elimination of this evil practice. (2006)

For more information about the Ritual of Acceptance on August 14, please call Sister Juanita Ujcik at 815-725-8735 or by email at: