Our Anniversary YearOctober 4, 2021 through October 4, 2022 As I reflect on our community’s past 150 years in the United States and 75 years in Wheaton, my dominant feeling is one of gratitude for God’s gracious and loving presence with us.  Beginning in 1872 when our pioneer courageous Sisters came from Germany to establish the beginning of our province in the USA to the relinquishment of our flourishing and successful health care and housing ministries in 2016, the wisdom and guidance of God’s Holy Spirit has been with us.Not all the years rolled by smoothly.  On two occasions throughout [...]


September Anniversary Post

Our Wheaton Franciscan CampusA Place of Peace, Hope, and Healing Peace Be With You is the sign that greets visitors as they enter the Wheaton Franciscan campus. This simple message is core to decisions the Sisters have made in creating a place of peace, hope, and healing for all who enter. In 1947, the Sisters purchased 90 acres of land in unincorporated DuPage County, Illinois.  As the needs of the times have changed, so has the face of the campus. To meet the needs of the times, the Sisters used a portion of the property to [...]

September Anniversary Post2022-10-12T16:33:28+00:00

August Anniversary Post

Education Ministry – Early Years Click to Enlarge In her history of the Wheaton Franciscans, Hearts Inflamed, Prudence Moylan writes, “Right from the start the Sisters had to choose, among many opportunities, what work they would do and where they would do it.” There were always more needs than the Sisters were able to meet. They focused their work on the guidance of Mother Clara “to educate children, especially orphans, to care for the sick, poor,” and “any manner of loving service for which the Lord gives them opportunity.” (Founding constitution)  In 1875, Father Theodore [...]

August Anniversary Post2022-09-07T19:56:08+00:00

July Anniversary Post

Justice, Peace, and Integrity of Creation – Franciscan Values in Action Social justice and peace issues have always been part of the Wheaton Franciscan spirit. This commitment to peace, justice, and care of creation has been demonstrated through the ministries of housing, health care, and social services. It has also been demonstrated through decisions and actions that impact systemic sources of injustice. The Contributions of Sister Marion Cronk In 1980, a Social Concerns Team was created to coordinate education and action. Sr. Marion Cronk, OSF, served as the chair of the team for more than [...]

July Anniversary Post2022-08-09T01:55:25+00:00

June Anniversary Post

New Partnerships in Faith Communication Centers For the Wheaton Franciscans, the period of 1968 through 1983 was characterized by new partnerships in faith, life, and ministry. In 1968, the Sisters opened Bridge Communication Center in Wheaton and John XXIII Center in Denver. The Centers were gathering places for prayer and exploration on how to bring the Gospel to the world in more effective ways. This Sisters understood this as a call to meet a new need in this new time.    The Centers were intended to reach out to people of all ages and faiths, especially the young, [...]

June Anniversary Post2022-07-07T15:46:59+00:00

May Anniversary Post

Vatican Call to Work in Latin America Missions In 1959, the Papal representative spoke to leaders of American Religious Congregations. He asked them to send 10% of their members to work in the missions, especially in Latin America. The Franciscan Friars of the Sacred Heart Province, which included the Chicago area, were working in the area of Santarém, Brazil. After consultation, the Wheaton Franciscans decided to explore the possibility of joining the work in this area.    Mother Fidelis Gossens and Sister Virgilia Beikler visited Santarém in December 1960. The need of the people for basic [...]

May Anniversary Post2022-06-08T20:07:47+00:00

April Anniversary Post

EMBRACING CHANGE Vatican II’s mandate to “determine what needed to be changed in accordance with the spirit of their founders, the needs of modern life, and the situations where they lived and worked” was welcomed by the Wheaton Franciscans. Changes in the practice of prayer that began in the 1950s planted seeds of spiritual renewal and fertile ground for new insights into the psychology of spiritual development and personal prayer. Spiritual renewal opportunities in the early 1960s were a combination of the new recognition of individuality and traditional communal theology. CHAPTER ELECTION [...]

April Anniversary Post2022-05-11T23:50:40+00:00

March Anniversary Post

VATICAN II Second Vatican Council, also called Vatican II, was announced by Pope John XXIII on January 25, 1959, as a means of spiritual renewal of the Church and in relation to the world it serves. Vatican II was the 21st general council of the Roman Catholic Church.  Preparation for the Council took three years, from the summer of 1959 to the autumn of 1962 The Council officially opened on October 11, 1962 convened by Pope John XXIII. The first session was held from October 11 – December 8, 1962. Pope Saint John XXIII died [...]

March Anniversary Post2022-04-06T20:08:16+00:00

Feb 2022 Anniversary Post

Putting Down Roots In Wheaton On July 1, 1947, the Wheaton Franciscan Sisters purchased and began occupying what was then unincorporated property in DuPage County. The 90 acres of land were purchased from the Hurly Family and originally held two grand family homes, woods, fruit orchards, a pool and creek. The two homes served as the aspirancy (Kara Hall) and the motherhouse (Maura Hall) for a time then became other facilities like offices, a daycare, and even a coffeehouse. Eventually, Kara Hall was demolished in 2009 and Maura Hall in 2013 after their condition had deteriorated. In [...]

Feb 2022 Anniversary Post2022-03-10T20:16:54+00:00

Jan 2022 Anniversary Post

The Franciscan Expansion Beginning at the end of the 1800s, the Franciscan expansion grew immensely. Sisters were requested in Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, and Colorado to develop various ministries for those communities. As a result, in 1884 the United States became the first Province of the Congregation with Mother Bernarda Passmann elected Provincial Mother Superior.    The Needs of the Times While sisters initially began both teaching in parish schools and providing nursing services for [...]

Jan 2022 Anniversary Post2022-02-10T16:42:26+00:00
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