Franciscanized World Feature: Sister Jubilarians Called to Share Vocation Wisdom

by Sister Julie Ann on June 22, 2012

On June 24, 2012 Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity will be celebrating our Sisters’  jubilees. Please watch facebook for Sunday photos of our celebration with (75) Sister Marie Emmanuel Leannah, Sister Francella Yobst, Sister Evelyn Ann Schumacher, (60) Sister Colette Hoadley, Sister Gratia Hosfeld, Sister Mary Felice Wellman, Sister Estelle Vanden Heuvel, Sister Juana Lucero, Sister Arlene Virlee, Sister Bonita Morin, Sister Clarita Ryan, Sister Xavieria Wittman, Sister Shirley Spilker, Sister Renita Tadych (50) Sister Paulyn Vanden Hogen and Sister Georgellen Vissers.

In the days ahead, we will be featuring each of our Sister jubilarians on Franciscanized World. We invite you to get to know our Sister jubilarians better and learn what they feel has helped them to remain faithful in their call to be a Franciscan Sister. Sister Marie Emmanuel begins these special postings.

Sister Marie Emmanuel Leahnnah

Hometown: Kewaunee, WI

My Mother always prayed that her ten children would grow up well as adults. One answer to her prayers was that there were four religious vocations in our family.”

Sister Alfred Hebein was my first Franciscan Sister teacher. I was in second grade and I loved her and imitated her by playing Sister many times. I often helped her after school.

As my eighth grade graduation present I asked to enter the convent, but my dad did not give permission until after my sophomore year. I entered the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity, and when I was received I was given the name Sister Marie Emmanuel, my mom’s and dad’s names.

Three others followed me into religious life: my brother became a Salvatorian priest; one sister became a Sister of the Holy Spirit in Erie, Pennsylvania, and another, a Franciscan Sister of the Poor in Albany, New York. All are now deceased. I also have a niece who is a Salvatorian Sister in Milwaukee.

During my fifty years of teaching, I taught mostly primary grades in Wisconsin, Michigan, Nebraska, Arizona, Ohio and Hawaii. I found that having to work hard on school work myself  enabled me to help many students who had a difficult time with their studies. So my teaching became a special joy to me.

Besides classroom work, I also participated in many ecumenical and outreach activities. For the past several years I have lived in St. Rita’s Health Center at our Motherhouse .

I am grateful to the Community for the opportunity to grow spiritually because of the many and varied retreats which have helped me grow closer to God. I look back at my life and feel blessed and grateful to God and our Community for all the gifts and benefits I have received throughout the past 75 years. I thank God for calling me to be a gift to Him as a Franciscan Sister of Christian Charity.

3 thoughts on “Franciscanized World Feature: Sister Jubilarians Called to Share Vocation Wisdom”

  1. Wendy says:

    I have just read Sr Marie Emmanuel’s story and look forward to reading about the other Jubilarians. Love and prayers to all the Jubilarians, and congratulations on your staggering combined total. Especial love to dear Sister Xaveria, who I met in 1981 at Girl Scout camp, and despite the many miles between us, and the passage of years, has remained a source of inspiration to me. I took Xaveria as my confirmation name. in tribute to her – a very special person in a whole convent of special people.Enjoy your spacial time everyone, and thank you for all you do and all you represent.
    Wendy[aka Barney – to Sister Xaveria]

  2. I, too, look forward to reading about each Jubilarian. Though I know all of the sisters, I do not know all of their stories. I enjoy reading the inspiring tales of their call and response.

  3. Ssharon says:

    Congratulations Sr. Marie Emmanuel.  I enjoyed the pictures and your write-up.  I SO remember when I was Principal at St. Benedict’s in Cambridge, OH and you were teaching 2nd. Grade Reading.  I was amazed HOW you taught your students the ART of skimming to FIND the answer to the questions you asked in Reading.  Wonderful.  May the Lord continue to guide you in all things.

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