Our founding Sisters provided nursing care to those in need and established themselves as pioneers in the health care field. Please click here to see a list of our missions from 1875 to the present.
Missionary Sisters were sent to China in 1925 in celebration of the 50-year anniversary of the American Province. In 1948, most of the Chinese Sisters fled China to come to Springfield – three Sisters stayed in China while two migrated to Japan to begin serving the post-bomb victims.
From 1968-2002, we served in Kaoshiung, Taiwan. Sisters also served in Arizona and New Mexico spanning 1940-1990.
San Damiano Mission (Kemondo, Tanzania) was our sponsored ministry from July 28, 1999-May 16, 2017.
In the summer of 1998, Reverend Father Thomas Tibainuguka from Bukoba Diocese, Tanzania, visited Springfield, Illinois, and met several of our Sisters. The Sisters discussed their vision of missionary work in Africa and Father Thomas secured a meeting with Reverend Bishop Nestor Timanywa of the Bukoba Diocese. In March 1999, the first delegation of Sisters toured the Bukoba Diocese.
When they reached Kemondo, they found a worn San Damiano Cross hanging over the altar of the simple church. It touched them to realize that other Franciscans had served the people of Kemondo. That spring, Sister Anne Carlino and Stefanie Koester, a lay associate from Germany, were commissioned as missionaries to Tanzania. They arrived on July 28, 1999.
Building of a convent and mission house began in January 2000. On May 13, 2000, a village feast was held, and Bishop Nestor and the people welcomed the missionaries to Kemondo. Since that time, Sister Anne and other Hospital Sisters from our international community have continued to serve the people of Kemondo.
Please click here for more information about this Mission.
Throughout our history, we have been blessed with visionary members of our Community who accepted the responsibility to serve as leaders. These women recognized their role as servant leaders with their Franciscan Sisters as they cared for the needs of our Community, provided direction to our health care ministry, and founds ways for us to respond to the needs of the time. Please click on this link for a listing of our Superiors since 1875.