Hospital Sisters of the Third Order Regular of St. Francis
"May the Lord reward what you have done! May you receive a full reward from the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come for refuge!"(Ruth 2:12)
When the Motherhouse community was gathered in St. Clare of Assisi Chapel for Mass and Morning Prayer, Sister Leola Brown gave her life back to her Creator God on Tuesday, February 15, 2022; at 7:40 a.m., Sister Marilyn McCormick and staff were with her when she died.
Sister Leola, the former Ruth Monica Brown, was born in Harvel, Illinois, on April 28, 1921, the daughter of John and Hannah Coen Brown. She entered the Congregation on September 8, 1937, and professed her religious vows on June 13, 1940.
Sister Leola attended St. Francis High School in Springfield, IL. She completed a Program of Continuing Education in Pastoral Care with the Catholic Hospital Association in 1972. Sister Leola ministered at HSHS hospitals in Illinois and Wisconsin in various capacities: Central Services, nurse aide, sacristan, and Hospital Chaplain. Sister Leola returned to the Motherhouse in 1997 from HSHS St. Francis Hospital, Litchfield, IL, after serving 29 years. Sister then volunteered at HSHS St. John's Hospital in Springfield, IL. Sister also spent many hours in St. Clare of Assisi Adoration Chapel praying for various needs.
Sister Leola spent a good part of her retired life decorating St. Francis Convent's Dining Room for all occasions. When a Sister turned 90, Sister Leola arranged a special bouquet with a photo of the Sister and placed it in the dining room!
Sister was a fan of the St. Louis Cardinals and watched or listened to their games. Being mindful of others who could not watch or listen to the games, Sister Leola posted the scores on her door in Loretto Home. Often, others rushed to her door to know the scores.
Sister's ministry of supporting the Pregnancy Care Center was made evident through her crocheted baby afghans and caps. In 2008, Sister Leola informed Sister Jomary Trstensky that in the year 2007, she contributed 27 baby afghans and 187 baby caps to the Pregnancy Care Centers in Springfield and Belleville. Sister was a staunch supporter of Pro-Life and took her handiwork ministry very seriously often stating, "every stitch is to stop abortions." Sister had crocheted for Pro-Life for over 22 years.
Sister Leola was nominated for Outstanding Employee of 1988, and the Acting Administrator of HSHS St. Francis Hospital, Litchfield, IL, wrote: "Sister Leola is a dedicated 20-year employee of the Pastoral Care Department. She is a vital link to the continuity of care offered at the hospital; she depicts the caring, helping, respect and attitude that Catholic healthcare is all about. Sister cares for and ministers to the whole person; she consoles the sick and grieving; and, she prays with and for the patient. It has been noted that most of the thank you's in the newspapers include a special 'thank you' to Sister Leola. The patient/person is always foremost to her heart." All those who knew and experienced Sister Leola would agree with this comment.
In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by three brothers: Elmer, Ray, John E. Brown, and five sisters: Hazel Beierman, Lauretta Weitekamp, Bernice Reed, Lela Reed, and Lucille Lentz. She is survived by several nephews and nieces, including our Sister Ritamary Brown, O.S.F., many great nephews and great nieces, and great-great nephews and great-great nieces. We offer Sister Leola's family and friends our sincere condolences and the prayerful support of the Christian community.
Visitation will be held at St. Francis Convent from 4:00-7:00 p.m. with a Wake Service at 6:00 p.m. on Thursday, February 17, 2022. The Eucharistic Celebration and Rite of Christian Burial will be celebrated by Father Dennis Koopman, O.F.M. on Friday, February 18, 2022, at 10:00 a.m. in St. Clare of Assisi Adoration Chapel at St. Francis Convent. Burial will be in Crucifixion Hill Cemetery.
May Sister Leola enjoy her full reward from the Lord and intercede for us from Heaven!