JANUARY 2002: SISTER DOMINICA McGUIRE (entered eternal life on August 2, 2005)
A friend’s fall on a shopping trip led to emergency room and that led Sister Dominica to a lifetime commitment as a Hospital Sister of St. Francis.
Florence McGuire was raised on a farm in Michigan. She was one of 10 children, and her parents expected the children to plan their own lives as they grew up. Following graduation from 8th grade, Florence moved from the farm to a city about 50 miles away to enroll in high school. During her four years in high school, she worked in a private home for her room and board. After earning her high school diploma, she worked as a secretary for three years and then ventured to Green Bay Wisconsin for what she calls "a change of scenery."
During her adolescence and early adult years, Florence thought of becoming a "Sister." Since she had never even met a sister, she did not have any concrete ideas about religious life. She kept the idea of a religious vocation to herself and made no efforts to obtain any information about sisters. She tried to bury thoughts of religious life by keeping very busy as she feared she would have to "give up" too many things if she entered a convent.
Giving In, Not Giving Up
While she was living in Green Bay, she finally confided these thoughts about entering the convent to her roommate. One day when Florence and her friend were shopping, the friend slipped off a curb and sprained her ankle. She was taken to the emergency room at St. Vincent’s Hospital. While a sister was caring for her, she mentioned Florence’s interest in entering a convent. From then on, Florence states that she had "no peace from the nuns as they kept calling and inviting me to visit them."
Finally she gave in and visited the sisters. They were having a Christmas party for six young women who were going to enter the community in Springfield the next February. Florence made a quick decision and joined the group. She felt if she hesitated she would never make the move.
Educator and Nurse
Florence entered the Hospital Sisters of St. Francis on February 1, 1936. She became a novice on October 4th of that year and was given the name Sister Dominica. Following her novitiate and first profession of vows in 1938, she enrolled in DePaul University in Chicago where she earned a degree in education. Then Sister Dominica attended St. John’s School of Nursing and earned a diploma in nursing. With preparation in both education and nursing, she began her ministry in roles that included nursing educator, psychiatric nurse, and nursing service director.
After many years of active hospital work, Sister Dominica became the Archivist for the American Province. She served in that role for over 15 years. Now that she is less mobile than she used to be, Sister spends her time praying for the needs of the religious community, the Church and the world. She enjoys listening to classical music, working crossword puzzles, and making greeting cards for the sisters. (Hallmark will never know what talent escaped them!)
Recently, Sister Dominica stated that after 65 years as a member of the Hospital Sisters of St. Francis, she "is a happy camper and has never regretted my hasty decision. The Holy Spirit won!"