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Loretto Home is blessed
March 19, 2018 10:32 AM

This morning, the new Loretto Home - our 32 room nursing care facility - was blessed by Father Dennis Koopman.

The buildling was constructed in 2004 and originally named Telgte - in honor of the city in Germany where the Hospital Sisters of St. Francis was founded in on July 2, 1844 - and previously was one of the residences of Sisters at St. Francis Convent.

Our Loretto Home is named in honor of The Holy House of Loreto (Loreto, Italy) - a Basilica known for enshrining the house where the Blessed Virgin Mary is believed to have lived in Nazareth, Israel. This is where the Archangel Gabriel announced that by the power of the Holy Spirit that Mary would conceive and bear a Son who would be named Jesus. Prior to 1295, the Holy House of Loreto was located in Dalmatia, Croatia and Recanti, Italy. Since 1295, the Holy House has been located in Loreto, Italy.

Here at St. Francis Convent in 1934, the Sisters prepared a place where their Sisters in need of healthcare services would reside. Originally named Our Lady of the Angels, this area “is the home of our pioneer Sisters. The humble home where our Blessed Mother’s last years were spent was called Loretto, you know, so we all think this name is very fitting for the home of our dear old Sisters. Here they can, like our Blessed Lady, live their days in close union with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament." (Our Community Bulletin: 1938) On April 14, 1971, the sick and convalescent Sisters who were being cared for at the Motherhouse moved to the second floor, west wing of the new complex, called Our Lady of Angels Infirmary. The following day, April 15, 1971, the aged and retired members of the community moved to the first floor, west wing of the new institution entitled Loretto Home. That 1970s building will be now be deconstructed in the upcoming months.

Sister Marie Clare is recognized for marching in 1965 for civil rights
March 10, 2018 8:12 PM

Earlier today, The Springfield and Central Illinois African American History Museum commemorated the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and recognized his contributions for civil rights. They also observed National Women’s History Month with recognizing women who made sacrifices during the Civil Rights Movement or who have been an activist to end segregation and discrimination. Sister Marie Clare Scheible, OSF (pictured left) received the award posthumously along with six other women.

Sister Marie Clare participated in the Freedom March in Montgomery, Alabama on March 25, 1965 and was present when Dr. King said “And so I plead with you this afternoon as we go ahead: remain committed to nonviolence. Our aim must never be to defeat or humiliate the white man, but to win his friendship and understanding. We must come to see that the end we seek is a society at peace with itself, a society that can live with its conscience. And that will be a day not of the white man, not of the black man. That will be the day of man as man.” 

Following the speech, Sister Marie Clare (pictured right in a circa 1960 photo) experienced discrimination. Dressed in a black religious habit, she and another Sister approached a gas station with a Coca Cola machine and a tall, white southern man put his arms across the machine and said, “We only sell to whites and aren’t you ashamed of yourself for participating here?” Following the March in 1965, Sister Marie Clare wrote, “I looked at my hands to see if they were black and this made me realize that I am a human being with a soul and color is not the important thing. As individuals we must try to get rid of our own deep seated prejudiced feelings - empty them from our hearts so that there can be room for love to enter.”

In accepting the award today on Sister Marie Clare’s behalf, Sister Maureen O’Connor, OSF, Provincial Superior, stated “While Sister Marie Clare’s professional life encompassed several healthcare professions, her Christian and Franciscan spirituality was her source of strength; she believed that God created all things and always saw the face of Jesus in her brothers and sisters. While our nation found ways to support Dr. King, Sister Marie Clare was also inspired by the teachings of St. Francis of Assisi who was an instrument of peace. This Franciscan spirituality motivated her to step forward with others and march for freedom. Her risk was not done alone for she knew in her heart that God walked with her. If Sister Marie Clare was with us today, she would encourage us to be mindful that we stand on the shoulders of those who came before us. She would remind us to be peacemakers in these challenging times. Mostly I believe she would be somewhat embarrassed at having been singled out for her participation in the Freedom March in Montgomery and tell us that our work is not complete. She would encourage us to continue our work for peace, justice and equality for all persons.”

Sister Marie Clare (June 27, 1924-June 12, 2016) was born and raised in Rochester, NY, the daughter of Anthony and Florence (Servatius) Scheible. She Professed First Vows with the Hospital Sisters of St. Francis on June 13, 1950 and was a graduate of St. John’s Hospital School of Nursing. She earned a bachelor’s degree in nursing from St. Louis University, an MBA with an emphasis in hospital administration from Xavier University, and a certificate from the Chicago School of Massage Therapy. Sister Marie Clare served as a registered nurse, clinical nursing instructor, chaplain, and massage therapist. She served as administrator of St. Joseph’s Hospital (Highland, IL) from 1968-77 and as assistant administrator of St. Mary’s Hospital Medical Center (Green Bay, WI) from 1977-1986. 

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Posted: March 19, 2018 10:32 AM Loretto Home is blessed
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Hospital Sisters of St. Francis 4 849 LaVerna Road, Springfield, IL 62707 (217)522-3386
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