Sisters Celebrate 150th Anniversary with Special Mass at Cathedral

deb-webIt was truly a beautiful August day. With clergy, family members, friends and Associates, the Joliet Franciscan Sisters celebrated a day that was 150 years in the making. Gathering at the Cathedral of St. Raymond in Joliet, 120 Sisters processed down the aisle to the hymn “All Creatures of Our God and King” and took their places. This marked the beginning of their 150th anniversary celebration.

The celebrant of the Eucharistic Liturgy, Bishop R. Daniel Conlon who said to all gathered, “These are women who get up every day and recognize that their life is for Christ, that they live for the Kingdom of God. They faithfully responded to God’s calling.” Bishop Conlon then invited all to stand and applaud the Sisters. It was a heartfelt moment with many smiles, along with a few happy tears.

To read more about the 150th celebration, please click here.

Click here to read the article printed in the Joliet Herald Newspaper

August 1, 2015, Memorial Service

viv-webThe afternoon of Saturday, August 1, found Sisters, Associates, former
members and friends gathered at Our Lady of Angels Chapel to remember
and celebrate the lives of the 900+ deceased Sisters and Associates. This
event was part of the 150th anniversary celebration.

During the service, candles were lit by several Sisters and Associates. After
every ten names of the deceased were read aloud, a chime was sounded
throughout the Prayer Service to remember and reflect on their lives.


Click here to read more about the memorial service held at OLA.

Sisters to be Inducted into Project Pride Hall of Fame

JWPP_LOGO2-287x119On November 10, 2015, at the annual Joliet/Will County Project Pride dinner, the Joliet Franciscan Sisters will be inducted into the Hall of Pride. The Sisters, celebrating the 150th anniversary of their founding in 1865, are being honored for their years serving in education and community service.

This is the 30th anniversary of Joliet/Will County Project Pride. The organization has honored 135 individuals over the course of its history.

The dinner is being held at the Clarion Hotel & Conference Center at 411 S. Larkin Avenue in Joliet.   For more information, visit Joliet/Will County Project Pride’s website at

Sister Deborah Gaughan Renews her Vows

Deb-webOn July 20, 2015, Sister Deborah Gaughan renewed her temporary vows at Our Lady of Angels Chapel in the presence of her Sisters, family and friends. Sister Deborah promised to live her life in poverty, chastity and obedience in accordance to the Constitutions of the Sisters of St. Francis of Mary Immaculate.

The only difference between temporary and perpetual vows is that simple vows can be renewed until the Sister makes perpetual vows. Sister Deborah renewed her temporary vows for three years. During this time she will remain living with her community while continuing her Graduate studies at Aurora University where she is working toward a Master Degree in Social Work.


Franciscan Federation honors Sister Marianne Saieg

Sr_Marianne_Saieg-webThe Franciscan Federation honored Sister Marianne Saieg at the Annual Federation Conference on June 19-22 in Indianapolis.

In nominating Sister Marianne, the Congregation stated the following:

“Sister Marianne Saieg reflects the beauty and goodness of God through her artistic expression. She sees and expresses Earth’s mystery and beauty in every medium in which she works: photography, writing, power point reflections, poetry, space design, or prayer/photo cards. Through her eyes God’s wonder is seen in all life and her pieces reflect the Franciscan spiritual life, integrating daily life and the Gospel. Assisi and the lives of Francis and Clare are highlights of her work. She uses light and color, shadow and space in ways that awaken the wonder in us.

“Sister Marianne’s artistic gifts are shared with retreatants, directees, congregations, deacons and lay ministers, and parishes. She has work published in the Spiritual Journal, Alive Now; Presence: An International Journal of Spiritual Direction; and in a Meditation book called, Seeding Your Soul: Six Considerations for Spiritual Growth.

2-Assisi-web “The second criteria of bringing power to the poor and powerless through artistic expression comes alive in Sister Marianne as well. She has used photography to raise awareness of the poor and powerless in PowerPoint meditations, a brochure for the Care Fair with photos from the Jail ministry, and photo presentations, so that people with low vision can view photographs on their reading machines.

 “Sister Marianne’s artistic expressions make the simple extraordinary.”


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.

Confiança – Winter 2015

Confiança – 150th Celebrations Continue (Winter 2015)

Looking to read more? You can find this Confiança and others located on our “Confiança” page listed under “News” on our website.

Sisters Announce 2014 Jubilarians

Sr. Andrea & Sr. Maurice
Each year a group of dedicated Sisters from the Congregation celebrate their jubilees (anniversaries). Below is the list of celebrants for the 2014 calendar year. Combined, these women have served both the Joliet area and beyond for over 700 years!
Celebrating their 75th, 60th and 50th Jubilees are the following Sisters:
75th Jubilarians: Sister Andrea Prindes and Sister Maurice White (see photos above).
60th Jubilarians: Sister Patricia Mitchell, Sister Laura Filipas, Sister Helen Vahling, Sister Carlene Howell, Sister Verene Girmscheid and Sister Margaret Alice Martinek.
50th Jubilarians: Sister Jaye Nelson, Sister Kathleen Salewski, Sister Karen Berry, Sister Carol Mecko and Sister Mary Jo Young.
The official celebration will take place on June 21, 2014 at the Cathedral of St. Raymond in Joliet.
More information about these Jubilarians can be found at:

Joliet Franciscan Sister, Sister Leomarie Luecke honored for 43 years of service at the Spanish Community Center

Sister-Leomarie-LueckeSister Leomarie Luecke was recently honored by the Spanish Community Center of Joliet, Illinois, for her 40 plus years of service to the center
and the community at large. She has been involved with the Spanish Center since 1971. To this day, many people still come to their door looking for “the nun who speaks Spanish that teaches English!”

At their Award Celebration and Fiesta held on March 13, 2014, The Spanish Community Center bestowed their Community Service Award to Sister Leomarie. While presenting Sister Leomarie her award, Elizabeth Guzman, a Board Member of the Spanish Center, said this, “Do you know how it’s often said that if you want to change the world, teach? Well since 1971, Sister Leomarie has been a catalyst for positive change in the lives of hundreds – maybe thousands of people who, thanks to Sister Leo, have learned to speak the English language!” It is indeed a great tribute to Sister Leomarie, who through her special dedication, patience and love of teaching, has been able “to empowered so many who have contributed to a better community for everyone.” Her award reads: “Walk the Talk – take the initiative and lead the way, you can make the difference. Sister Leo Marie Luecke, In sincere appreciation of your contributions. 2014 Spanish Community Center.

Sister Leomarie and the other honorees received a letter from Illinois State Senator, Pat McGuire in which he says the following about Sister Leomarie, “…your skills, smile, musical talents continue to enrich our community. Felicidades and continued good wishes to each of you and to the Spanish Community Center.”

There is no stopping Sister Leomarie anytime soon. Sister Leomarie who just celebrated her 76th birthday and has said there are no plans for retiring. As she put it, “As long as I can continue, I will!”


Sister Leomarie Luecke (seated) was accompanied to the award
ceremony by the following Sisters (standing from the left):
Rose Marie Surwilo, Teresinha Del’Acqua, Rosemary Huzl,
Odelia Kloc, Lourdes Boyer, Pauline Ann Furiel, Mary Agnes
Cross, Clarita Schumacher, Dolores Zemont, Albert Marie
Papesh and Martha Kienzler.