Hospital Sisters of the Third Order Regular of St. Francis

Sister Marguerite Cook, OSF

I was born on August 4, 1950 in Indianapolis, Indiana and I grew up near Washington, DC (District of Columbia). Currently, I reside in Decatur, Illinois and I volunteer at HSHS St. Mary’s Hospital.

My interest in religious life began with the Sisters of St. Joseph who were teachers at St. Rita School in Alexandria, Virginia, where I attended grade school. While I was fascinated by the Sisters, I felt that I was destined for more exciting things than being in a classroom. I wanted to be a missionary and serve in the medical profession where I could be of service to those in need.

I came from a military and government-oriented family. My father worked in civil government, and two uncles served in the military. Eventually, my interest in government drew me into the armed forces as I joined the U.S. Navy in 1968. I worked at Bethesda Naval Hospital, Bethesda, Maryland, in labor and delivery and after completing my three years of service; I continued my education and found work as a bookkeeper.

In 1980, I decided to investigate my thoughts of religious life. I wrote to religious communities that advertised in the Catholic Digest, a national publication, and I received some responses including a letter from the Hospital Sisters of St. Francis who were looking for bookkeepers. The year that followed was a time of prayer and discernment so I could learn how God was calling me. I remembered the letter from the Hospital Sisters and so I decided to visit Springfield, Illinois and that visit was what I needed to confirm my decision as to what God had in mind for me. I entered the Hospital Sisters on August 27, 1983 and professed first vows on May 30, 1987.

I have a bachelor’s degree in occupational therapy and an associate of applied science degree in alcohol and other drug abuse. Throughout my ministry, I have been rewarded in the understanding of and caring for people with mental health issues and their journey to recovery. I have served my community as an occupational therapist, alcohol and drug counselor, bookkeeper and cashier, membership invitation minister, and on several of our hospital boards including presently at HSHS St. Anthony’s Memorial Hospital, Effingham, Illinois, and HSHS St. Elizabeth’s Hospital, O’Fallon, Illinois. I have been blessed with serving God’s people in Illinois, Wisconsin and Arizona.