LCWR issues statement regarding DACA June 19, 2020 12:56 PM
The Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR), including the Hospital Sisters of St. Francis, is grateful that the Supreme Court struck down President Trump’s attempt to end Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). The Court’s ruling safeguards the right of 700,000 DACA recipients to live and work in the country that is their home. This is an enormous victory for the immigrant youth who have led the challenge to the Trump administration’s attempt to end the program that has protected our colleagues, students, neighbors, and friends from the threat of deportation.
DACA recipients have long contributed to our communities and our economy. They are teachers and engineers, specialist and essential workers of every kind. Nearly 30,000 DACA recipients are among the healthcare workers combating the outbreak of COVID-19 working to prevent the spread of the virus and to save the lives of those infected.
While we welcome the Court’s ruling, we recognize that this is not a permanent solution. We call on members of Congress to move expeditiously to pass legislation that will provide lasting stability for DACA recipients, those with Temporary Protected Status (TPS), and Dreamers, their families and our communities. It is long past time to enact a Dream Act that provides a path to citizenship without including funding for detention, deportation, or border militarization, or provisions that would limit opportunities for family reunification. The House of Representatives has already passed the bipartisan American Dream and Promise Act of 2019 (HR 6). It is time for the Senate to do the same.
Catholic sisters will continue to advocate for bipartisan legislation that addresses the injustices in our current immigration system. We will continue to stand in solidarity with our black and brown neighbors who seek the justice and dignity that is their right.
We note that this decision comes as Black people and their allies have courageously organized to demand an end to police brutality, systemic racism, and white supremacy. Our commitment to the gospel mandate to uphold the dignity of all people requires that we recommit ourselves to the work of dismantling all those systems that oppress people of color and to advocate for Black lives and the protection of immigrants.
LCWR is an association of leaders of congregations of Catholic women religious in the United States. The conference has approximately 1350 members, who represent about 80 percent of the women religious in the United States. Founded in 1956, LCWR assists its members to collaboratively carry out their service of leadership to further the mission of the Gospel in today’s world.
Statement of the National Black Sisters Conference June 8, 2020 10:23 AM
We draw your attention to the powerful statement issued by the National Black Sisters Conference condemning "the viral disease of systemic racism that America has legitimized and practiced for over 400 years." Our black Catholic sisters wrote, "As Christians, as Catholics, as people of faith, we must do more than just pray; we must model Jesus' message to love one's neighbor. Our neighbor cannot breathe! Our neighbor is being lynched! Our neighbor is dying!" We encourage you to read the full statement and what our sisters are asking all of us to advocate for.
Jubilee 2020 June 2, 2020 12:57 PM
Annually, we observe Jubilee, the anniversary when a Sister professes First Vows in a religious community, and this year we are honored to observe the Jubilee of seven of our Sisters.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the June 20 celebration has been canceled. A private celebration will be scheduled for a later date this year.
Congratulations Sister Leola June 2, 2020 12:53 PM
Sister Leola Brown, OSF
80 years professed - Ruby Jubilee
The Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) strongly condemns the police-killing of another black man on the streets of our nation. Our hearts are breaking as we mourn with the family and friends of George Floyd and with all who have lost loved ones to law enforcement violence, all who live in fear, all whose dignity is threatened. The continued killing of black men and women; the constant harassment of people of color; and the denial of the rights and dignity of our African American neighbors must end now.
Racism is America’s original sin. It is a virus every bit as deadly as COVID-19 that has infected our nation since its inception and unless and until we address it, people of color will continue to die and our nation will never heal. Racism, whether the institutional racism which privileges some at the expense others or the daily acts of hate and discrimination diminishes us all. It denies that most profound truth, that all of us are created in God’s image and each of us is entitled to dignity and respect.
As women religious we acknowledge our own complicity in institutional racism; we ask forgiveness of our sisters and brothers of color; and we pray for our nation’s healing, and we know that is not enough. It is time for bold, decisive action. We pledge to raise our voices and to act now to end this scourge which has cost us so dearly. It is long past time to dismantle white privilege and rededicate ourselves to building God’s beloved community.
We urge Hennepin County Attorney, Mike Freeman, to pledge a just and timely adjudication of this tragedy. We call on the people of the United States to work with greater urgency to eliminate the systemic racism that infects the very soul of our nation. We ask God’s blessing on the struggle that lies ahead.
LCWR is an association of leaders of congregations of Catholic women religious in the United States. The conference has more than 1300 members, who represent approximately 80 percent of the more than 40,000 women religious in the United States. Founded in 1956, LCWR assists its members to collaboratively carry out their service of leadership to further the mission of the Gospel in today’s world.
In memoriam: Sister Rose Duchesne Noelke, OSF May 31, 2020 11:34 AM
Sister Rose Duchesne Noelke, OSF, died on Saturday, May 30, 2020 at 10:10 a.m. at St. Francis Convent.
Sister Rose Duchesne, the former Leona Mary Noelke, was born in Washington, MO, on April 22, 1920, the daughter of the late Henry and Rose Barbara (Gerritson) Noelke. She entered the Congregation on September 23, 1949, and professed her religious vows on June 13, 1952.
Sister Rose Duchesne was a 1958 graduate of St. John’s Hospital School of Nursing. She served the community as a nurse at St. Mary’s Hospital Medical Center, Green Bay, WI, and later as the Nursing Service Director at St. Mary’s Hospital, Decatur, IL, from 1961-1972. From 1972-1976, she was a Core Member of the House of Prayer, Henry, IL. She served as a Pastoral Care Associate at St. Mary’s Hospital Medical Center, Green Bay, WI, from 1976-1982 and at St. Mary’s Hospital, Decatur, IL from 1986-1989. She retired to the Motherhouse, Springfield, IL, in 2002 where she continued to serve in several volunteer roles.
In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by six brothers, Theodore, Harry, Anthony, Leonard, Maurice, and Cyril Noelke and one sister, Rosemary Sowinski.
She is survived by one brother, Alfred (Doris) Noelke, of Washington, MO, a sister-in-law, Teresa Noelke, of Hermann, MO, several nieces and nephews, several great nieces and great nephews as well as her Franciscan Sisters with whom she shared her life for over 70 years.
Private services will be held on Wednesday, June 3, 2020. A memorial Mass will be celebrated at a later date. Butler Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
In memoriam: Sister Mary Frances Lutty, OSF May 30, 2020 10:57 AM
Sister Mary Frances Lutty, OSF, died on Saturday, May 30, 2020 at 4:56 a.m. at St. Francis Convent.
Sister Mary Frances, the former Anna May Lutty, was born in Pittsburgh, PA on July 26, 1921, the daughter of Frank F. and Josephine M. (Fichter) Lutty. She entered the Congregation on February 2, 1950, and professed her religious vows on October 4, 1952.
Sister Mary Frances spent many years working in the Accounting Office at St. John’s Hospital, Springfield, IL, St. Joseph’s Hospital, Chippewa Falls, WI and at our Motherhouse. Besides dealing with the numbers, she ministered to our Sisters as the Religious Leader for the Motherhouse Sisters. In 1982, Sister Mary Frances was elected as General Councilor and lived in Muenster, Germany for six years. Upon her return, Sister Mary Frances assumed the duty as Secretary/Receptionist for Franciscan Apostolic Center, Springfield, until she opted to be a volunteer in 1993 at St. John’s Hospital. Since 2010, Sister Mary Frances spent many hours in St. Clare of Assisi Adoration Chapel praying for the many needs of the people and our hospitals.
In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by two brothers, Thomas J. Lutty and Anthony J. Lutty; two sisters, Dorothy M. Lutty and Catherine M. Wagner and a foster sister, Betty Reith. She is survived by one sister-in-law, Pauline Lutty, Baton Rouge, LA, many nephews, nieces, great nieces, great nephews and great-great nephews and great-great nieces as well as her Franciscan Sisters with whom she shared her life for over 67 years.
Private services will be held on Tuesday, June 2, 2020. A memorial Mass will be celebrated at a later date. Butler Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
Ringing Springfield - April 12 April 13, 2020 7:58 AM
Last night, we participated in Ringing Springfield - a nightly sign of unity during this pandemic that gives thanks to healthcare workers and first responders. This is an initiative of James O. Langfelder, mayor of Springfield, IL, who appealed to the churches and other places of worship in Springfield to ring bells or show other audio levels of support at 7 p.m. every evening for one minute beginning Sunday, April 12.
In this one minute video you will hear the bell in the south tower of our St. Francis of Assisi Church. If you listen closely, you will also hear the ringing of small bells - coming from the Sisters in their residence.
Ringing Springfield April 12, 2020 9:33 AM
In a show of unity during this pandemic, along with giving thanks to healthcare workers and first responders, James O. Langfelder, mayor of Springfield, Illinois, is appealing to the churches and other places of worship in Springfield to ring bells or show other audio levels of support at 7 p.m. every evening for one minute beginning Sunday, April 12. The Hospital Sisters of St. Francis will participate by ringing the bell in the south tower of St. Francis of Assisi Church. Mayor Landfelder is also asking residents to ring bells from their homes as a sign of collective support and encouragement.
"During this unprecedented time, we have a group of professionals who go to work every day to provide help and assistance to others," Mayor Langfelder stated. "Our healthcare workers and first responders are our first point of contact for our residents and others in need. They do this day-in and day-out, despite the possibility of coming into contact with the coronavirus. This week especially is a time of new beginnings. It is a moment to reflect, renew, and celebrate our lives. Even though, as a community, we are socially distancing ourselves, we can become closer in other ways including volunteerism, community-inspiration and faith," he added.
In memoriam: Sister Augusta Sperl, OSF April 3, 2020 10:55 AM
Sister Augusta Sperl, OSF died on Thursday, April 2, 2020 at 4:22 p.m. at St. Francis Convent, Springfield, IL.
Sister Augusta, the former Bernadine Elizabeth Sperl, was born in Springfield, IL, on March 8, 1923, the daughter of August and Elizabeth (Beckman) Sperl. She entered the Congregation on September 8, 1939 and professed her religious vows on October 4, 1942.
Sister Augusta graduated from St. John’s Hospital School of Nursing in Springfield, IL in 1945. In her professional life, Sister served as a nurse, medical records librarian, administrator, pastoral care director and volunteer at HSHS hospitals in Illinois and Wisconsin. Specifically, she served as Administrator and Superior of St. Nicholas Hospital (Sheboygan, WI) from 1969-1976 and as Director of Pastoral Care, and later as a volunteer, at Sacred Heart Hospital (Eau Claire, WI) from 1977-2005. Sister Augusta retired from active duty in 2005 and returned to the Motherhouse in Springfield, IL.
In addition to her parents and step mother, Marcella Sperl, she was preceded in death by a brother, Father August Sperl, and a sister, Lucille Kuchar. She is also preceded in death by two half-brothers: James and Robert Sperl and a half-sister, Patricia Ratterree.
She is survived by many nieces, nephews, great nieces, great nephews and cousins as well as her Franciscan Sisters with whom she shared her life for over 80 years.
Private services will be held on Monday, April 6, 2020. A memorial Mass will be celebrated at a later date.
Out of an abundance of caution concerning the Corona virus (COVID-19), the Chiara Center, St. Francis of Assisi Church, and St. Clare of Assisi Adoration Chapel will be closed to visitors beginning March 16.