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20 Sisters of St. Francis of Assisi Will Celebrate Jubilees

July 14, 2011

Twenty Sisters of St. Francis of Assisi will celebrate their anniversaries of religious profession at a 2 p.m. Jubilarian Mass on Sunday, July 31, at St. Rita Parish in West Allis, Wis. The congregation, whose Motherhouse is located at South Lake Drive in St. Francis, has 240 professed members in the United States and Taiwan.


The senior jubilarian, Sister Romana Hertel, who will commemorate 75 years of vowed religious life, is a native of Jericho, Wisconsin. During her years of ministry, she earned bachelor, master and doctorate degrees in music, and served in the music department at Cardinal Stritch University for 34 years.


The 70-year jubilarians are Sisters Margaret Gardner, Aimee Haider and Eleanore Harkins. All three spent their years of ministry in education, serving primarily in elementary schools in Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Virginia and California.


Celebrating 60 years are Sisters Rose Marie Abler, de Lellis Albert, Jean Margaret Belland, Mary Louise Herrmann, Mary Ann Polasek, Kenan Rebholz, Cecilia Reilly and Leona Steilen. Sisters de Lellis and Jean Margaret have both retired from careers in nursing and now serve as volunteers for the congregation. Other retired sisters are Rose Marie, who was a cook, clerical worker and supervisor of the altar bread department at the Motherhouse; Leona, who served as a caretaker at St. Coletta of Wisconsin; and Mary Ann, an elementary teacher and then a biology professor, who most recently serviced as chair of the biology and chemistry departments (1992-2002) and the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences (2002-2011) at Cardinal Stritch University.


Three of the 60-year jubilarians are still in active ministry. Sister Kenan is co-director of the San Damiano House of Prayer, Lowell, Mass.; Sister Cecilia ministers in spiritual direction and retreats at the Aisling Retreat Center in Manchester, Md.; and Sister Mary Louise works in the finance offices for St. Elizabeth Convent and for the Sisters of Notre Dame da Namur in Baltimore, Md.


The 50-year jubilarians are Sisters Ruth Mary Costello, Angelyn Dries, Kathleen Jansen, Lois Justen, Helen Anne Kenney, Margaret Klotz and Jeanette Mariani. All have spent the majority of their ministry years in education, with the exception of Sister Jeanette, who is a pastoral minister.


Sister Sue Felice, a teacher who is currently the coordinator of the education and outreach program at the Dominican Center for Women in Milwaukee, is celebrating 25 years.


Following the celebration on July 31, more jubilee information and photos will be available on the congregation website,




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