Remembering Sister Rita (Mary Alexander) Greene, OSF

Greene_Rita_web“My aim in religious life has never been to acquire a great name for myself as an artist but to be of service to others.” Our Sister Rita Greene wrote those words thirty-four years ago. They are words that marked her entire Franciscan life, a life of service to others.

Sister Rita Greene was the fourth of nine children born to the late Helen (Scheiblich) and Michael Greene on July 6, 1919, in Columbus, Ohio. Her older siblings, now deceased, were Michael, James and Helene and younger siblings, now deceased, were Jerome, Lydia, Luella, and Joseph. Her remaining sister, Patricia Sorenson, still lives in Columbus.

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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) Alcuin Kelly, OSF

alcuin_webAs Pope Francis, along with Franciscans throughout the world, celebrated with great joy the feast of Godʹs Troubadour, our Sister Alcuin peacefully completed her transitus from this life to eternal life, a passage accompanied at its end by the soft notes of sparrows whose autumn medley gave expression to the heartfelt religious sentiment that served to orient the life of our beloved violoncellist: ʺsoli Deo gloria ‐ glory to God alone.ʺ (JS Bach)

Born in Sidney, Nebraska, on July 23, 1917, Agnes Kelly was the third of twelve children born to Francis and Anna (Reinke) Kelly. As a young child, she moved with her family from Nebraskaʹs panhandle to Falls City in the southeastern part of the state. Raised in Saints Peter and Paul Parish, she attended Lake Side Public School and Sacred Heart Academy where she was taught by the Ursuline sisters. As a young adolescent, following the example of her two older sisters, Bernardine and Marie Terese, Agnes made her way to Joliet, Illinois, to become an aspirant with the Sisters of St. Francis of Mary Immaculate. She attended St. Francis Academy and as her 16th birthday approached, with a supportive recommendation from her aspirant mistress, Sister Apollonia, she prepared to enter the Postulancy in the Fall of 1933. In August of 1934, she was received as novice by Mother Thomasine and given her religious name, Sr. Mary Alcuin. Two years later, she professed her first vows and proceeded on her journey into an unfolding future of 80 years of consecrated life as a Joliet Franciscan.

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Remembering Sister Anne Marie (Grace Cecile) Furiel, OSF

Furiel_webOn the evening of August 25, our Sister Anne Marie Furiel was called by the Lord she loved and served so well to enter into eternal peace and joy — where heavenly choirs no doubt welcomed her!

Born January 31, 1925, to Olga (Hermann) Furiel and Thomas Furiel, Anne Marie was baptized Anna Mae but later was called Anne Marie. She was raised in Joliet and attended St. Francis Academy (now Joliet Catholic Academy) and the College of St. Francis (now the University of St. Francis) where she earned both Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Music degrees.

Anne Marie entered the postulancy of the Joliet Franciscans on February 1, 1942 – just one day after her seventeenth birthday. When she became a novice she was given the name “Sister Grace Cecile.” Years later she returned to the name by which we know her – Sister Anne Marie.

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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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Remember Sister Agnes (Alcantara) Goode, OSF

Agnes_GoodeHospitality and generosity permeated the life of Sister Agnes who, in her words, “took delight in the service of hospitality to all guests.” Born into a family of 11 children, Agnes wrote, “teaches a person to share, apologize and work together.” She enjoyed happy memories of each of her ten brothers and sisters and credited each with “giving me a gift of themselves.”

She was born to William and Ruth (Maechtel) Goode on October 25, 1928. The generosity of spirit of her parents fostered the same in her and her 10 brothers and sisters. They taught them about God and the Church.

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Remembering Sister Rosemary (M. Robert Therese) Small, OSF

Rosemary_Small_webLate in the evening of February 22, 2013, drawn by the powers of Heaven, with God’s wisdom to guide her, God’s hand to guard her, and the way to God lying before her, our sister, Rosemary, took leave of those whom she loved in this life and readied herself to proclaim the ancient words that would herald her entrance into eternal life: Thagann chun cinn agam inniu – “I arise today.”

From the day of her birth, on June 30, 1935, Rosemary took great delight in surprising others. Joined by her beloved twin brother, Robert, she truly amazed her unsuspecting parents, Michael and Mary Agnes (Mulligan) Small) as only twins can do. As the treasured daughter of first generation Irish immigrants, Rosemary was baptized at St. Leo’s Parish, dedicated to the Trinity, and entrusted to the care of Mary, Queen of Ireland. Full of wonder and curiosity, she possessed a keen intellect, a gentle sense of humor, a kind heart and a determined spirit. Welcoming the birth of her dear sister Nancy, she enthusiastically assumed the role of lifelong “big sister” and readily embraced the values of her faith-filled, devoted and hard-working family. Growing up in the Englewood neighborhood of Chicago’s south side in the aftermath of the Great Depression, Rosemary’s childhood was lived amidst the uncertainties and insecurities of a world at war. Ever mindful of her own Irish heritage and immigrant roots, she learned from an early age to be attentive to issues of justice and human dignity. Making the most of every opportunity made available to her at Sacred Heart Parish, Rosemary attached herself with great affection to the Joliet Franciscan Sisters who fostered in her a growing sense of her own vocation to religious life.

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Remembering Sister Marian (Louis Marie) Voelker, OSF

Marian_Voelker_webOn Saturday, February 9, 2013, our sister, Marian Voelker peacefully made her journey home to God. Sharing with her beloved Mother Alfred a lifelong devotion to Our Lady of Lourdes, after whom she was named and whose feast day was close at hand, Marian rested confidently in the knowledge that at the hour of her death she would not be alone. Graciously living out her faith-filled “Fiat,” she quietly reached the end of her days and entrusted to the God of History the final chapter in the story of her life.

Born on October 18, 1935, Marian Bernadette Voelker was the sixth of ten children to be lovingly welcomed into the world by Robert and Marian (Schilling) Voelker. As a young child, Marian and her family lived in close proximity to her Voelker grand-parents from whom she acquired an inter-generational appreciation for “living histories.” Growing up in East St. Louis, Illinois, Marian’s inquisitive mind and historical imagination were stirred at an early age as she began to make meaning of the joys and sorrows of life as seen from the banks of the Mississippi River, the railway crossroads of the Midwest and a city that was an urban crucible of rapid social and economic change. Nurtured in the faith at St. Elizabeth’s Parish and educated by the Adorers of the Blood of Christ at St. Teresa’s Academy, she was drawn to religious life, yet uncertain as to where her envisioned vocational path would lead.

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