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2022 Jubilarians

In 2022, we are grateful to celebrate and rejoice with our 5 Sister jubilarians! We celebrate their lives and commitment to living Gospel values.


70 Years

Sr. Anthony Baechle

What attracted you to the Wheaton Franciscans?

After I thought I had a vocation, the Parish priest recommended the Wheaton Franciscans. After my postulancy and novitiate and temporary vows, there was no doubt in my mind that I wanted to become a Wheaton Franciscan.

Favorite Ministry?

I liked all the places I was stationed.

How would you like to be remembered?

As a poor Franciscan. I especially appreciate the privilege of visiting my family each year and having them come visit me. My Sunday card playing group is especially enjoyable. I also enjoy my crocheting, cross stitching, and work on afghans. I enjoyed my work with patients in the hospital and meeting people. Sunday fried chicken was one of my special treats. 

I worked with Sister Maryellen Archuleta in the nursery before I came to the convent. She had a very positive influence on my vocation. Devotion to the Blessed Mother is most important to me.

65 Years

Sister Georgene L. Wilson

What attracted you to the Franciscan way of life?

I was seeking “womankin” who value human nature as an incarnation of the Holy. This was as I was experiencing separation from my congregation of origin. The leadership of the Wheaton Franciscans invited me to membership in 1974. Not only did I respond with acceptance because of the hospitality, but/and I also felt drawn by Clara Pfaender’s vision of contemplation and action and the province mission of HCD.

In 1975, I publicly covenanted with Wheaton Franciscans to continue living my perpetual vows as a Franciscan Sister, Daughter of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary.

Favorite Ministry?

I am deepening in the call to BE in solitude at Wisdom Webbing Anchorhold where I offer companionship to folks desiring to grow in Wisdom and Grace.

How would you like to be remembered?

I am a happy woman. I delight in the abundant graciousness of the Holy and the goodness of all creatures.

Sister Margaret Zulaski

What attracted you to the Wheaton Franciscans?

I grew up in a Polish immigrant neighborhood of Chicago called Hegewisch. My traditional Polish family honored Catholic religious values that emphasized care for others and recognizing God in everyday life. I grew up in an atmosphere of family warmth and religious customs. One of the family mottos was “If you have your faith, you have everything.” So attraction to religious life in Community was a natural movement from this family grounded in faith.

I originally joined the Franciscan Sisters of Chicago who were my teachers in elementary school. The Second Vatican Council in the 1960s stimulated a period of transformation for institutional religious life. These new experiences in the 1960s led to searching for a Franciscan Community more compatible with who I was becoming.

Meeting the Wheaton Franciscans in 1973 was an extraordinary experience of Divine Love. I found in this community: care of one another, open communication, regard for diversity, a bold valuing of the person. In the midst of the warmth and generosity of the Sisters, I found myself at home again.

Favorite Ministry?

The work that I love is psychotherapy where I have the privilege of being involved with the healing of psyche and soul. Since 1970, as a psychotherapist I have worked in various settings: Community Mental Health Center, Veteran’s Hospital, Marionjoy Rehabilitation Hospital, Claret Center, and most recently Director of Psychological Services at the AIDS Alternative Health Project in Chicago and private practice. 

My relationship with the Wheaton Franciscan Community is an anchor for my life. Our Community provides a rich network of personal relationships in which I feel well loved, deeply trusted, and highly valued. What a treasure!

60 Years

Sister Sylvia Wehlisch

What attracted you to the Wheaton Franciscans?

My early life was lived in the shadow of St. Augustine, a Franciscan Parish and Poor Clare Monastery. The Franciscan Spirit of Joy and Peacemaking was and is an important aspect of my spiritual life. In 1962, I entered the Poor Clare Monastery and the Franciscan Spirit grew and deepened in my life daily. The simple yet contemplative and dynamic lives of St. Francis and St. Clare led me to pursue a similar spirit where I was discerning a life change, to leave Poor Clare’s in 1978.

The Wheaton Franciscan Community held in their charism what would be for me a more universal journey to and with God, I formally transferred to the Wheaton Franciscan Community on July 19, 1981. Today I continue my commitment to the Gospel as a Franciscan woman of the 21st century. My passion is to live fully within a world community, struggling to know a world of peace through justice and a life of joy and beauty in Franciscan life, each new day.

Favorite Ministry?

Marian Park, Inc.

How would you like to be remembered?

She sought to live as passionately and fully as Christ did, always seeking to act justly, love tenderly, and walk humbly with her God.

50 Years

Sister Lynn Schafer

What attracted you to the Wheaton Franciscans?

When I met the Wheaton Franciscans the summer of 1984, I was attracted by their openness, their free spirits, the sense of vision they had, their warmth and love. In August of that same summer I began the transfer process and left my parent community (Missionary Sisters of St. Charles Borromeo – Scalabrinians).

The reason why I decided to become a Wheaton Franciscan is I knew I would always continue to grow in my spiritual life and be free to follow where the Spirit would lead me. I would have all the loving support what the Spirit was calling me to. I also realized more fully I would continue to grow as a woman and as a religious in our world and church.

How would you like to be remembered?

As someone who enjoyed life, people, new opportunities, adventure, a good challenge. As someone who was gentle, caring and understanding and genuine.