Hospital Sisters of the Third Order Regular of St. Francis

Sister Anna Marie Schwieder, O.S.F.

✝ Thursday, August 15th 2019

"My soul doth glory in your love, O Lord. 
My soul doth glory in your love, O Lord. 
For you gazed on your servant with compassion,
and you reached out and took me by the hand.”
(Verse 1, “Mary’s Song” by Millie Rieth)

Sister Anna Marie Schwieder, O.S.F. (96) (formerly known as Sister Gerard) died at 5:19 a.m. on Thursday, August 15, 2019, at St. Francis Convent, Springfield, IL.

Sister Anna Marie was born in St. Louis, MO, on September 22, 1922, the daughter of Edward and Mary (Mahoney) Schwieder. She entered the Congregation on February 1, 1948, and professed her religious vows on October 4, 1950.

Sister Anna Marie graduated from St. Louis University, St. Louis, MO, with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Medical Records Library Science. In 1971, she earned a Master’s Degree in Counseling/Psychology from Loyola University, Chicago, IL. She also completed one quarter of the Clinical Pastoral Education program at Lutheran General Hospital, Park Ridge, Illinois.

She began her career in Medical Records at St. John’s Hospital in Springfield, IL, in 1951 and was promoted to Director of Medical Records in 1956. In 1967, she moved to Streator, IL, and served as Medical Records Librarian at St. Mary’s Hospital until 1968. She returned to Springfield, IL, in 1971, serving as Director of Patient Relations and Pastoral Care at St. John’s Hospital until 1980, when she became the Directress of Volunteers. In 1983, she moved back to Streator, IL, to serve as Special Projects Coordinator at St. Mary’s Hospital until 1985. In 1986, she served as Co-Director of Pastoral Care at St. Mary’s Hospital in Decatur, IL. Later the same year, she went to St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Belleville, IL, serving in the Pastoral Care Department until 1999, when she retired from active duty. She then served in various volunteer ministries at Our Lady of the Snows Shrine until 2010 when she returned to the Motherhouse in Springfield, IL.

Sister Anna Marie loved life!  She had a way of bringing joy to everyone she met along the way, and she truly cared about them.  Her deep care and concern for others was demonstrated when she applied to the Clinical Pastoral Education program at Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge, IL.  As it turned out, she was the first woman to participate in the program.  After she completed that program, she returned to St. John’s Hospital and started the Pastoral Care Department and developed a 10-week training program for sisters to obtain basic skills in pastoral ministry.  Sister Anna Marie was also involved in planning and starting the Hospice Program at St. John’s, and as part of that planning, she participated in a three-week course in Sheffield, England.

In Rediscover the Saints, Matthew Kelly writes: “Life has a tendency to slip through our hands like water, unless we live each day, each hour, each moment with great consciousness.”  Sister Anna Marie showed us how to do this.  May we follow her example and live life to its fullest.  May she rest in peace.