Why Childhood Clothing is a Special Keepsake for Catholic College Student

by Sister Lorita on September 12, 2010

One Catholic college student’s childhood dresses are a special keepsake in memory of Franciscan Sister of Christian Charity Sister Stanislaus Kosmicki.

Dress is College Students's keepsake from Franciscan Sister Stanislaus

Catholic college student, Melissa Chambers holds childhood dress made by Franciscan Sister Stanislaus Kosmicki.

Melissa Chambers, a transfer student to Silver Lake College of the Holy Family, Manitowoc, WI,  this fall, was a child in the George Lodel Family (father was an engineer at our Motherhouse for a significant amount of time) who was helped by Sister Stanislaus Kosmicki many years ago when she was a little girl. 

In the pictures, Melissa is showing off two dresses that Sister Stanislaus made for her when she was a child.  She not only has kept them all these years, but plans to have her own daughter wear them when she is of age. 

In asking Melissa what she remembers most about Sister Stanislaus, she said that she and her nine brothers and sisters called her “Sister Santa Claus” (as they could not pronounce Stanislaus).  Melissa also remembers that Sister always had candy in her pockets to give her – even when she arrived unexpectedly.

Melissa is a junior in college, and transferred from the UW-Manitowoc this fall.  She plans to be a secondary teacher with a major in Biology and minors in Integrated Science and Mathematics.  She lives in Two Rivers, WI, with her three children.

A few more tidbits about Sister Stanislaus…

  • born on June 13, 1880 in Posen, Poland and died February 7, 1981.
  • boarded with our Sisters at our convent in Ashton, NE before her First Holy Communion so she could attend school
  • spent a year teaching Polish to students in Manitowoc, WI
  • worked in the Motherhouse laundry for many years and was the official morning ‘bell ringer’ for the Sisters
  • had a special 100th birthday party with the George Lodl family including cake, flowers and family pictures.

12 thoughts on “Why Childhood Clothing is a Special Keepsake for Catholic College Student”

  1. Sister Stanislaus was baptised Antonia, thus her strong devotion to St. Anthony. Her patron was also the patron of her parish church and St. Anthony's feast day was the anniversary of her First Communion. It seemed fitting that June 13, 1899 was her reception date into the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity. While the Lodl children would run one half mile to our convent laundry to see her and remember her, we are blessed to have memories of Sister Stanislaus passed down through the ages as well. She is not a lost soul in our collective memory, but found at the heart of real relationships.

  2. Sisabelle says:

    This is really a great article! This just goes to show how much the FSCC do for others and the lives we have touched!

  3. Sr. Veronica says:

    I have heard of many great stories of Sr. Stanislaus and this story helps me to appreciate her more, even though I did not know her personally, how others present makes me know like I did know her and what an example to follow.

  4. srsharon says:

    Sister Lorita & Melissa, I certainly enjoyed your story about your memories of Sr. Stanislaus and I learned a few more tidbits about her life and her generous spirit using her sewing talents to help others. YES, I do remember some of her years of RINGING the bells and HOW early she arose to work in the laundry! What dedication. Melissa, God's blessings on your studies of becoming a teacher. Sr. Sharon Paul

  5. Srosangela says:

    Melissa, How well I remember Sister Stanislaus and also the Lodl children. Sister Stanislaus loved all of you. She truly showed that love in many ways including the sewing of clothes. I remember we helped dress one of the girls for her First Holy Communion. Perhaps Sister made the dress and veil, but I don't remember. How wonderful that you still have the dresses and remember Sister.

  6. Sister Kay says:

    What a precious story about a dear and faithful Sister! Thanks, Melissa and Sister Lorita for sharing your story and great memory with us!

  7. Sr. Delores says:

    This is great… I remember Sr. Stanislaus. It is wonderful to see a connection now and give thanks to God and how He uses us beyond our imagining.

  8. Shelena says:

    Thank you for sharing this story with us. It is amazing that Melissa still has two of the dresses Sister Stanislaus made for her.

  9. S. Chiara- Temporary Professed says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this. It is a reminder that the little ways in which we help people, may have more of an impact than we think.

    Melissa, I think it is wonderful that you are going to have your daughter wear those beautiful dresses. It will be a wonderful time for you to share with your daughter. God bless you!

  10. Sjune says:

    Melissa, what a wonderful tribute to Sister Stanislaus! Sharing the your story – makes the world a better place. It also shows us that our Religious life is not only prayer but works of charity.

  11. Smaryfrances says:

    Thank you for keeping Sister Stanislaus' memory alive, Melissa! What a tribute to her and your love for her in saving the dresses for your daughter. I remember Sister when she was in the infirmary when I first came. Thank you for bringing her memory back.

  12. sisterannemarielom says:

    When I came to the community, as a freshmen in high school, in 1967, Sr. Stanislaus was in charge of the laundry. “You kids” was her usual saying to us as she instructed 30+ of us at 1/2 hour shifts to sort, fold, run the presses, and pass the laundry. There was no school on Tuesday mornings (we had Saturday morning classes instead) so we could go the laundry. There were so many of us, it often got crowded. Those of us who were not good at serving a volleyball were sent to practice 1/2 hour of serving to alleviate the crowding. Great memories of laundry learning!
    I do remember Sister Stanislaus talking fondly of the Lodl children but I did not meet any of the family until this presentation. Thank you for a heartwarming story.

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