Our Sister Therese M. Tusek was born on a farm in Lockport, Illinois, on September 23, 1928, the youngest daughter of Anthony and Julia (Kufner) Tusek. She followed sisters Julia, Verna, Helen and Ann, and brothers Anthony, Stephen, Joseph and Raymond. Because her mother was in ill health, Therese learned to cook and keep house at a very early age. She identified herself as her mother’s “legs” and was grateful to her brothers and sisters for parenting her when her mother could not. Therese attended Fairmont Grade School, Lockport Central High School and St. Francis Academy.
She entered the Sisters of St. Francis of Mary Immaculate in 1947 and made her first profession in 1949. She would have been celebrating her 75th jubilee since acceptance into the novitiate this year. Sr. M. Stephen received a B.A. in philosophy from the College of St. Francis and an M.A. in nutrition from the University of Illinois. She went on to further studies at a variety of colleges and institutes, especially in areas of spirituality and adult religious formation.
Few people have embraced as varied a professional life as Therese. In over 70 years of ministry, she worked as a high school and college teacher, dietician, pre-novitiate director, RCIA leader and parish retreat director. She ministered in many schools and parishes in Illinois, Ohio and Iowa, even applying to join our mission in Brazil in the early 1960s.
If you would like to make a donation in honor of Sister Tusek or another Joliet Franciscan Sister, please click here: Remembering our Deceased Sisters.