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 [...]


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

Dec 2021 Anniversary Post

Coming to America With the restrictions of the Kulturkampf in place, a letter from the pastor of St. Boniface Parish in St. Louis, Missouri couldn’t have come at a better time. The pastor requested sisters from Germany to come to St. Louis to help establish a hospital for the many German immigrants who settled in the area. Finally, a door was opening for the sisters who longed to serve God but were denied that opportunity in Germany. Three sisters volunteered and arrived in December of 1872. Thus began the arrival of Mother Clara’s Franciscan Sisters [...]

Dec 2021 Anniversary Post2022-01-12T23:34:24+00:00

Nov 2021 Anniversary Post

The Founding of Our Congregation Mother Clara worked in tandem with Bishop Conrad Martin to form a new order of women religious dedicated to prayer and caring for orphans while following the teachings of St. Francis of Assisi. On October 30, 1860, Bishop Martin approved Mother Clara’s Founding Constitution and thus begins the first big step on our journey toward the founding of the Wheaton Franciscans.    The Kulturkampf and Branching Out In addition to childcare, Mother Clara and [...]

Nov 2021 Anniversary Post2022-01-12T23:34:02+00:00
Go to Top