Hospital Sisters of the Third Order Regular of St. Francis
When I was about 10 years old, the Holy Spirit planted the idea in my mind of becoming a sister, and then in 1954, I learned about the Hospital Sisters of St. Francis with a friend while we looked through a book of 100 religious communities of American Sisters. We noticed the Hospital Sisters because it was a nursing community that worked in the Mission – something that appealed to us.
I was born in Chicago, IL, on April 1, 1934, and professed First Vows with the Hospital Sisters of St. Francis on October 4, 1956. I am a graduate of St. John’s Hospital School of Nursing, Springfield, IL, and I earned a bachelor’s degree in nursing from St. Louis University. I have served as a nurse in our Illinois hospitals in Belleville, Decatur, Effingham, and Highland, and in our Wisconsin hospital in Eau Claire. In addition, I served as a nurse in Page, Arizona.
Although I did not speak Japanese, I volunteered to serve with our sisters in Japan. In 1974, while preparing for the move to Japan, one of our employees taught me some Japanese phrases and also invited me to go ice skating. I did not want to say no to the skating, even though I was not very good, and unfortunately, I fell and broke my arm. I arrived in Japan a few days later with my arm in a sling, some basic understanding of the language, and began my service as a nurse at our St. Mary’s Hospital, Himeji, Japan. Following a brief time back in America, I returned to Himeji in 1987, and now a bit more comfortable with the language, I assisted with opening an ICU in Himeji, taught electrocardiography and First Aid, and assisted with opening an ICU at St. Francis Hospital, Nagasaki.
When I returned to Springfield in April 1990, I volunteered to serve with our sisters at the Haitian Health Foundation’s mission in Jeremie, Haiti. Arriving in June 1990 and not familiar with the Creole language, I learned the language over time, and during my service in Haiti, I worked as the mission’s Clinic Director and oversaw the lab, x-ray, eye clinic, and the cervical cancer screening program. I also provided education to new diabetics, assisted patients with surgery preparation, and helped patients receive the Sacrament of the Sick.
I returned to Springfield in 2006, the year of my 50th Jubilee. Now serving as the Satellite Community Life Leader, I am in contact with Sisters who live outside of St. Francis Convent. I also accompany our sisters to medical appointments, volunteer at the Catholic Charities Dental Clinics, St. John’s Hospital’s Surgery Waiting Room, the Prairie Heart Institute Cath Lab Waiting Room, and Hospital Sisters Mission Outreach.