Remembering Sister Margaret Ann Lanagan, OSF

Margaret Ann Lanagan was born in Amarillo, Texas, on December 26, 1939, to the late Oleta (Camp) ad Maurice C. Lanagan. The oldest of eight children, Ann’s brothers and sisters are Thomas (Donna);Marjorie; the late Mary Louise; Martha (Frank) Violante; Mark (Peggy); the late Frances; and James (Julie).

After moving with her family to Joliet, Ann attended St. Paul the Apostle School, St. Francis Academy and the College of St. Francis. She continued her education at Mundelein College in Chicago and earned an M.A. in Religious Studies.

Upon entering the Sisters of St. Francis of Mary Immaculate in 1957, Ann received the name Sister M. Kateri and made first profession in 1960. Her early ministry was as a grade school teacher in several of the parish schools staffed by our sisters, among them: Sacred Heart, Englewood; St. Pius in Lombard and St. Matthew in Champaign, where Ann ministered as teacher and religious education coordinator for 25 years. She continued in the ministry of Director of Religious Education for 10 more years, serving hundreds of students and their families each year, and leading large teams of catechists in each parish. Her leadership in that field was clear as she also served chairperson for the Kankakee Grundy DRE Cluster during her time at Maternity BVM Parish in Bourbonnais, Illinois.

Read More About Sister Margaret Ann Lanagan’s Life

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

Remembering Sister Elaine R. Schneider, OSF

Elaine Rose Schneider was born in Columbus, Ohio, to Marie (Reidelbach) and Charles Schneider on December 23, 1926. She was raised in a large blended family with one blood sister, Adrienne, and two stepsisters, Mary Beata and Roseanne, as well as two blood brothers, James and Richard, and six stepbrothers, Joseph, John, David, Charles, Paul and Francis.

After completing her education at St. Mary’s and St. Dominic’s grade schools and St. Mary’s High School in Columbus, Elaine joined the Sisters of St. Francis of Mary Immaculate in 1945 and made First Profession in 1948. Throughout her early career, she was known by her religious name, Sister M. Martha Ann. She later earned both a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and a master’s degree in theology from the College of St. Francis.

Elaine R. was a born teacher, excelling early in her teaching ministry, especially in the areas of math and science. She taught middle grade and junior high school students at numerous schools across the Congregation’s geographic reach: Chicago; Joliet; Columbus; Fairfield, Alabama; Toledo; Champaign; and Phoenix, Arizona. Elaine expanded her educational scope as she worked with adults in Joliet Junior College’s GED program for seven years in the 1970’s.

Read More About Sister Elaine Schneider’s Life

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

Statement on AA/PI Hate Crimes

In 2016, the Joliet Franciscan Sisters committed to a Corporate Stance of anti-racism. Within this statement, we committed to make a conscious intentional effort to eradicate racist nature in all its forms.

In 2020, as women of faith and participants in the global community, we stood in outrage at the senseless killing of George Floyd, a black man who became a symbol of the abhorrent treatment of people of color for decades.

While this was happening, we were unaware that largely due to the root of the pandemic, hate crimes were growing by leaps and bounds in this country against the Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) community. We are now aware of the depth and breadth of the verbal, physical and cultural abuse being inflicted upon the AAPI community.

As we stated last year, let us reach out in understanding of each other as we seek to move forward in a country that remains built on the belief that all are created equal. Most importantly, we must join in praying for healing in a nation that is still hurting.

Archbishop Wilton Gregory elevated to Cardinal

The Leadership Conference of Women Religious rejoices over the news of the appointment of Archbishop Wilton Gregory as a cardinal in the Catholic Church. Over the years we have been grateful to Archbishop Gregory’s leadership within the church where he has not only been a strong pastoral presence, but also a fearless outspoken critic of injustice. His public stances on many critical matters such as the repair of the US immigration system, race relations, climate change, sexual abuse within the church, LGBTQ matters, and much more reveal his deep integrity and courage.

In making this historic appointment of the first African-American cardinal, Pope Francis is clearly giving a message about the importance of assuring racial diversity at all levels of society and within the church. We are pleased that the African-American voice will be represented in this important decision-making body.

As an organization headquartered in the Washington archdiocese, we are especially pleased to have the opportunity to work closely with Archbishop Gregory. We look forward to this continuing relationship and congratulate him on this important recognition of his gifts and abilities as an outstanding leader.


Pray For Our Nation

We are a nation living in the depths of incalculable pain.  More than 103,000 of our brothers and sisters have lost their lives to the pandemic.  Forty million people are now among the ranks of the unemployed.  Our economy is in a free-fall most days. And now, because of the tragic killing of George Floyd a week ago, the racial injustice that has been near the boiling point for decades has exploded into rightful peaceful protests, along with the destruction of communities through the senseless acts of vandalism.

As a people, let us take a stand in seeking equal justice for People of Color.  Let us reach out in understanding of each other as we seek to move forward in a country that is built on the belief that all are created equal.  Most importantly, let us pray for healing in a nation that is hurting.

January is Human Trafficking Awareness Month

January is Human Trafficking Awareness Month. Human trafficking is a $32 billion dollar industry present in all 50 states. The International Labor Organization estimates that there are 40.3 million victims of human trafficking worldwide. Here are signs to watch for: Human Trafficking Signs

Please take a few minutes to view this video produced by the IWRAHT (Illinois Women Religious Against Human Trafficking). You can view their video on Youtube and searching for: IWRAHT 10th Anniversary.

Two Sisters Welcomed Home to Joliet

During the month of August, Sister Irene Yosick (left) and Sister Kay Uchman were welcomed back to Joliet and to Our Lady of Angels Retirement Home. Sister Irene Yosick was living in Shelby, Ohio, ministering in Elder Care, while Sister Kay Uchman had been living in Scottsdale, Arizona.

We are happy both Sisters Irene and Kay are home in Joliet and are part of the OLA community.  They will now be able to spend more time with both Sisters and Associates in the Joliet area.


Sister Deborah Gaughan Makes Profession

On April 28, 2018, the Sisters of St. Francis of Mary Immaculate celebrated the perpetual vows of Sister Deborah Gaughan.  She becomes the 1,256 perpetual professed member of the Congregation. Sister Deborah willingly professed her vows of living in poverty, in chastity and in obedience according to the Rule and Life of the Third Order Regular of St. Francis and the Constitutions of the Congregation of Sisters of St. Francis of Mary Immaculate. She then accepted a ring, as a sign of Jesus’ love and faithfulness and as a reminder of her commitment to Him and to His people. God’s plan for her had come to fruition. What was planted in her as a first grader has become a reality.

To read more about Sister Deborah’s profession, as highlighted in the Herald News, please click here:  Sister Deborah

Happy Feast Day – Feast of the Profession of St. Francis

In 1209, Pope Innocent III accepted the first Rule and the Franciscan Order received its canonical status. It is our tradition that we, as followers of Francis, renew our commitments this day. You are invited to renew your vows to commemorate this Feast.

Happy Feast Day!

Our Earth: A Franciscan Mediation

Our Earth:  A Franciscan Meditation

All creatures on earth need other creatures to survive including ourselves. All creatures are needed for the harmony of the earth. The one creature not needed by other creatures is the human being. Water does not need us. Air does not need us. Plants and animals do not need us. At least in times past they did not need us. But they need us now because of what we have done to water, air, earth and its creatures.

We humans have forgotten how to live in harmony with nature and consequently with each other! Because we have forgotten our rightful role as stewards, care-takers of creation, we have become the enemy, the annihilators of creation by our abuse, misuse and our appropriation for self what was meant for everyone. So we have created a needy earth, an earth that needs us to turn our minds and hearts to remembering that all creation is for our caring and thoughtful sharing.

Can we respond to our planet that is crying out in so many ways, asking for our help, our love, our care and respect? Maybe if we could remember, recognize our rightful place here on earth as stewards and care-takers of Mother Earth we would also awaken to our role as sister and brother to all creatures as our Father Francis did. Then the harmony would return and we could sing together: “The heavens are telling the glory of God and all creation is shouting for joy!”

By:  Sr. Rose Marie Surwilo, OSF