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January 2009

January 2009: SISTER ANNA CLARA RICK (entered eternal life on October 11, 2019)

Born 80 years ago on January 28 in Valmeyer, IL, Sister Anna Clara Rick was the last of nine children born to Vincent and Clara (Marquardt) Rick. “My mother died when I was a toddler. It was then that we moved to Belleville. I was very close to my dad. I took the Blessed Virgin Mary as my biological mother,” Sister Anna Clara explained.
Nursing as a profession
While in Grade School, Sister Anna Clara thought of being a nurse. “I remember a day when I was walking past St. Elizabeth’s Hospital (Belleville) when a nurse asked me if I could walk with a male resident back to St. Vincent’s Retirement Home. Although the Retirement Home was next to the hospital, I was so happy that the nurse entrusted me with this job,” she said.
In 1943, she enrolled in St. Francis Convent High School, and after two years, she returned to her home in Belleville and began working at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital with responsibilities in the dressing room. She considered the idea of religious life and contacted the Hospital Sisters of St. Francis, was accepted, and entered on February 2, 1946. She graduated from St. John’s School of Nursing and completed a post graduate course in Surgery from St. John’s Hospital. She also earned a bachelor’s degree in Psycho-Social aspects of nursing from Aurora College, and diplomas from Eastern Illinois University and St. Francis College (Joliet).
The majority of her years in ministry as a Hospital Sister have been as a surgical nurse. “I loved surgery and found guidance through my prayer to Holy Spirit in asking for help with each patient,” she said. In addition, she also was on the faculty at Copley Memorial Hospital School of Nursing (Aurora) as an instructor for freshmen and juniors.
“After I retired from surgery, I worked as a Medical Records Coder at St. John’s Hospital, and my experience as a surgical nurse helped me with my work,” she said.
Service in Breese
While at Caring First Nursing Home (Breese, IL), she served in the Psycho-Social department. When she retired, in her last two years, she provided Pastoral Care. “I held the hands of many residents in my work. I also developed a monthly Memorial Service that was an opportunity for loved ones to attend. They appreciated it very much,” she added. During the 10 years and 10 months that she was in Breese, she lived with the Holy Cross Sisters. “They were so kind,” she said.
“If I can pass on some words of wisdom to others, it would be to trust in the Holy Spirit for guidance. This has been such an important part of my life,” she said. Throughout her life, prayer has been very important. “My love of the Blessed Mother led me to a love for her Son, Jesus,” she said. “When I pray, I just sit in silence in God’s presence. God speaks to us, and we just need to be quiet and give him a chance. In our busy lives, it is so important to pause and find that moment of peace,” she concluded. In that moment, we will realize that God is holding our hand.
Prayer to the Holy Spirit (Veni Creator Spiritus)
Come, O Creator Spirit
Visit this soul of Thine,
This heart of Thy creating,
Fill Thou with grace divine.
Thou Who Paraclete art called
The gift of God above
Pure unction, Holy fire,
And fount of life and love.
Finger of God’s right hand,
The Father’s promise true.
Who seven-fold gifts bestowest,
Who dost the tongue endow.
Pour love into our heart,
Our senses touch with light,
Make strong our human frailty,
With Thy supernal light.
Drive far from us the deadly foe,
Thy peace in us fulfill;
So, Thee before us leading,
May we escape each ill.
The Father and the Son,
Through Thee we may receive,
In Thee from both proceeding,
Through endless time believe.
To God the Father and the Son,
All praise and glory be,
With the Spirit Paraclete,
Now and through all eternity. Amen.

Hospital Sisters of St. Francis 4 849 LaVerna Road, Springfield, IL 62707 (217)522-3386
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