Hospital Sisters of the Third Order Regular of St. Francis

Sister Jonette Devlin, OSF

I was born on June 17, 1927 in Ashland, Illinois and I am the oldest of three. Our Irish Catholic family lived on a farm and I still recall the first tractor my dad purchased and, of course, I drove it.

From an early age, I wanted to be a nurse and so upon completing high school I enrolled in St. John’s Hospital School of Nursing, Springfield, Illinois. One Sunday, a group of us first year students were invited to the Motherhouse and it made an impression on me. It appeared that the painting of Christ behind the altar in Church with his arms outstretched was saying ‘come to me’ and after several weeks of praying, I entered the Community on September 8, 1946 and made First Profession on June 13, 1949.
I am a graduate of St. John’s Hospital School of Nursing (1951) and earned a bachelors’ degree in nursing (1954) from St. Louis University.

From 1954-69, I served at St. John’s Hospital and St. John’s Hospital School of Nursing, both of Springfield, as a clinical instructor. After finishing my master’s degree at St. Louis University, St. Louis, Missouri, in 1971, I was given the assignment to St. Vincent Hospital, Green Bay, Wisconsin, and arrived on February 23, 1971. Knowing that it is very common that Sisters get reassigned throughout our years of service, I expected to be there only a few years. Well, a few years turned into 42 years and 10 months during which time I became a loyal supporter of the Green Bay Packers’ football team. From 1971-2013, I served as a Clinical Nurse Specialist of the hospital’s three Critical Care Units. I also taught the nurses in the adult Critical Care Units and throughout the hospital along with local nursing programs. During my years at St. Vincent Hospital, the renal dialysis program and the organ donation program began – both of which continue today.

Upon returning to Springfield in 2013, I have volunteered at St. John’s Hospital and St. John’s Breadline, these opportunities have been a blessing of bringing Christ’s healing presence to those I meet. I continue to volunteer once a week at the Breadline.

I pray that we remember that it is a privilege to care for others – since all are created in God’s image. Holding a hand, listening to a need, and offering a smile of encouragement will have a lasting effect. The needs of those we serve are the priority – we are serving Jesus Himself.