Hospital Sisters of the Third Order Regular of St. Francis

Sister JoAn Schullian, OSF

By the 7th grade, I knew that I wanted to be a Sister and help people who were sick, elderly and poor. Interestingly, while I was riding a horse on a farm in Missouri during high school, I felt the calling to Religious Life as I was surrounded by God’s presence and encouragement. I was at peace with the idea.

As a senior in high school, I spent a weekend at our Motherhouse with others who were considering religious life. Through my time in prayer, the Holy Spirit encouraged me in my decision to be with the Hospital Sisters of St. Francis as I was drawn by the Sisters’ prayerfulness, peace, kindness, and their hospitals and other ministries. My aunt, Sister John Baptist Schullian, was happy that I chose our Community and I entered on September 8, 1953.

My life-long prayer has been “Jesus, I trust in you” and this has guided me to do God’s work. After years of service in laboratory and hospital administration, I began Pastoral care ministry in our hospitals and in parishes.  Since 1993, I have served as a Pastoral Associate at Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Decatur, Illinois. In this ministry, I have had many opportunities to listen, encourage, teach, bring healing, and pray with people. My message is that by trusting in God you can be assured that He will lead you as to where, how, and what to do in whatever decision you are facing. My work brings me in contact with many people including the sick, bereaved, elderly, and those interested in learning about the Catholic faith. In this parish I am also very involved working on social justice issues including the abolition of the death penalty. In addition I am a sponsoring Sister of HSHS St. Mary’s Hospital, Decatur.

Born on July 7, 1935 in Quincy, Illinois, I made First Profession of Vows with our Community on June 13, 1956. I earned an associate’s degree from Springfield College in Illinois and certificates in Medical Technology and Blood Banking from St. John’s Hospital. I earned a bachelor’s degree in Medical Technology from DePaul University (Chicago, Illinois) and a master’s degree in hospital administration from Xavier University (Cincinnati, Ohio). In addition, I earned a Certificate in Pastoral Studies from Catholic Theological Union (Chicago) and a certificate in Clinical Pastoral Education. I am a member of the National Association of Catholic Chaplains.

In June 2016, I will celebrate my diamond jubilee as a Hospital Sister. I am grateful to God, my parents and family, the many teachers of God’s love, and especially our Sisters for all the opportunities I have experienced and for all the challenges for spiritual and emotional growth over the past 60 years.