2017 Jubilarians – God’s Masterpieces, designed to do good.
Sister Kathleen Hook – 60th Jubilee
Sister Kathleen has music in her DNA, and God’s artistic dream for her gave rhythm to the hearts she has lifted through her musical abilities. She has found that one song, unlike any other and often requested, has a powerful impact on people, and that is “Surely the Presence of the Lord Is In This Place.” While ministering in the field of education for 30 years, Sister worked in collaboration with many dedicated people to provide a strong academic program and faith-based education, and she was thrilled to be among those who inspired a strong community spirit that not only made parents, students and teachers proud, but which also drew graduates back to the school as teachers. When serving in congregational leadership for 15 years, she helped to breathe life into the congregation’s vision through her creative, gentle way. But most of all, Sister has a heart that is very much in love with God and her Franciscan calling. She appreciates walking with her Sisters in community—friends who inspire and help her to make a worthy footprint. Through the years she has tried to faithfully steward God’s endless goodness to her. God’s design for Sister continues to unfold, moving her forward into blest opportunities and possibilities, always with a song in her heart.
Sister Mary Ann Hartz – 60th Jubilee (Sister went home to her eternal Jubilee on April 12, 2017.)
Ever hopeful and with a smile in her heart is how one finds Sister Mary Ann at Presence Villa Franciscan in Joliet. She proudly displays the cross won at BINGO. “It’s a masterpiece,” she said. “I think it’s beautiful, and I wish I could stitch this pattern because the suffering is also beautiful.” With that she is the 2017 Jubilee theme, “We are God’s masterpiece.” Sister worked in domestic services all her religious life. In her mind, these were small and seemingly unimportant tasks. But she faithfully completed the assignments she was given. Because work was just what you did according to someone else’s standards, Sister created masterpieces of her own design. Everyday cards, stationery, get well and birthday cards were crafted, all the while saying a prayer for the person who would get the card as well as for the one who would give the greeting. Other masterpieces would be Sister’s needlework. She would make dish towels and pillowcases and tablecloths with napkins to match. Next she taught herself cross-stitching because she simply thought it was pretty. Whether there was a pattern or one she had to iron on, she created many masterpieces until her fingers became too arthritic. But like St. Francis, she longs to start again to make beautiful things.
Sister M. Diane Martin – 60th Jubilee
Sister Diane had a teaching career that spanned 27 years. In her interaction with students and parents, she was gentle and patient, always with a beautiful smile that has become her trademark. In 1987, Sister was assigned to Queen of Angels Medical Center in Los Angeles where she worked as a receptionist and then as part of the Pastoral Care Team. She found much joy in visiting the patients, listening to their stories, giving them encouraging words of hope, holding their hands when that was what was needed, and praying with and for them. In 2002, she became a Religious Services Coordinator for the Catholic Cemeteries in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles where she supported people in their grief and loss at the time of a loved one’s death. Sister also responded generously to other needs. She walked in protest against human trafficking and spent many Tuesday evenings with an organization called Brothers Helpers, packing and distributing hot dinners to the people on Skid Row in Los Angeles. Over the years, Sister has learned that God is an artist who is using different tools (experiences) and brushes (people) in an effort to create and transform her into a one-of-a-kind masterpiece. God is not finished with her yet; but when He is, she will be a collector’s piece.
Sister Theresa Diane Lopez – 60th Jubilee
During these past 60 years, Sister Theresa Diane has always felt that God was with her, asking her for daily signs of her love for Him. It has not always been easy to say “Yes,” but by the grace of God, Sister has continued to be open to what the Lord asks of her, even on a daily basis and even after 60 years of humble, dedicated obedience. One of Sister’s great joys has been her ministry as a hospital chaplain. Sister met wonderful people throughout her life, but especially in those serious situations in which a hospital chaplain finds herself. She feels blessed to have been present with families as they watched and waited with a parent, spouse or child to live their final hours on this side of eternity. On numerous occasions, Sister was able to assist a family to recognize the time, need and also the grace of letting go. Other special moments occurred when Sister was able to reconcile children and parents, especially regarding the faith formation of the child or grandchild. For example, there was joy for the grandparents when a daughter’s Mormon husband permitted a Christmas crib to be set up in their home. God has always been with Sister, and she continues to answer “Yes” to all that is asked of her. The fidelity of this masterpiece is exquisite!
Sister Kathleen Moseley – 50th Jubilee
During her first assignments in Food Service Departments, Sister Kathleen began taking nutrition classes and courses in Food Service Management. Her cooking, baking, planning and management gifts were soon recognized, and she was eventually transferred to St. Joseph Hospital Food Service Department in Joliet. Among other responsibilities, she became the hospital’s first Catering Coordinator and became famous among the employees for her dessert specialties. Imagine the creativity it took to create monthly for six years a different, fancy dessert for the Employee Recognition Luncheons. Besides her culinary skills, Sister always enjoyed history and was subsequently appointed the congregation’s Archivist to organize the wealth of the congregation’s history. Her talent for creating and organizing displays, “nunthing” crafts and photography were used in the numerous celebrations and anniversary events of the congregation. She also used her creative talents as seamstress, Associate Program Director, party planner, garage sale/flea market/antique junkie and maker of crafts, receiving accolades and ribbons from local, county and state craft fairs. Certainly the Master Artist must say, “I have made another masterpiece. She is good and one of a kind.”
Sister Ruth Agee – 50th Jubilee
Sister Ruth is one of God’s special masterpieces. Her ability to in turn build a masterpiece comes from living out the words of her favorite scripture passage put upon her life’s canvas from God’s “Corporal Works of Mercy” palette. She feeds the hungry by helping in soup kitchens and collecting food for the hungry. She welcomes the stranger by responding daily to people who need a listening ear or a safe place to stay for the night. Clothing the naked is second nature to Sister as she collects needed clothing for the street people in Los Angeles. Visiting the Sick was painted on her canvas so often by her visits to hospital patients and the homebound. Corresponding with a woman on death row and visiting her personally allowed Sister to use brush strokes of mercy and compassion to paint a picture of hope for this woman. In each of these gospel encounters, Sister Ruth’s heart of compassion is the art work, the central masterpiece of God’s creation. It is where the Creator gives breath to her life and allows her to participate in the life of those around her. She has received the “Peacemaker Award” and several other awards for her witness to these gospel values. We celebrate Sister Ruth and the painting that portrays her open heart and a life lived in fidelity for 50 years.
Sister Christina Fuller – 50th Jubilee
Sister Christina ministers at St. Nicholas Parish in Evanston, IL, as Director of Religious Education. This title is misleading as Sister is so much more. Words used to describe how she is “God’s Masterpiece” are: catalyst, guiding light, inspiring example, keeper of the Gospel vision, amazing woman and yes, even Chicago marathon runner. Some of those who know and love Sister use the following powerful descriptions to share how she is God’s Masterpiece. “Sister truly is a Masterpiece. Christ is the artist; she is Christ’s best work entitled “Joyful.” “God created Christina in the image and likeness of the Divine; and God took great delight and sighed, “My masterpiece - the 'little Christ'.” “Christina shares her love and skill with unparalleled generosity and commitment.” “Her outstanding leadership, enthusiasm and can-do attitude are gifts she generously shares.” “She learns everyone’s story, and by asking us to lend a hand, calls forth gifts in us that we never knew we had.” Truly, Sister Christina is Cheerleader for the Body of Christ. Above all she is JOY! It is joy that shines out from the “shook foil” that is Christina. It is a joy that bubbles up from a life of Franciscan poverty, humility and holiness. Glory be to God for God's Masterpiece, Sister Christina!
Sister Mary Shinnick – 50th Jubilee
Sister Mary is a special masterpiece and the “gold” that reflects back the love of God which has been shining very brightly for the past 50 years of her religious life. None of us can think of Sister Mary without acknowledging her extraordinary vigilance as Treasurer of our congregation, a position she has held for 40 years. The detail and the functions she provides in this position are too numerous to count, and we can certainly say she is “mint perfect” in doing them. Sister has also served on more Boards and Committees than she can count and has created many more masterpieces within our hospitals and nursing homes. Through her diligent study of the facts and her intuitive ability to see where any project may need closer examination to ensure its success, she has been not only a Treasurer, but a treasure to any group with whom she has worked. Behind the calculator and computer, the budgets and the numerous accounts, God’s masterpiece flows out in many directions. Sister is a woman of prayer, and the fruit of her prayer is seen in her kindness toward others. Sister is indeed God’s golden masterpiece, and we are blessed that God has lifted her out of his treasury and shared her with us. Sister is a beautiful masterpiece—more priceless than gold!
Sister Joyce Shanabarger – 50th Jubilee
Sister Joyce envisions her vocation as a Franciscan Sister of the Sacred Heart as a precious, multi-faceted jewel. Some facets are her ministry, community, prayer, family and all the people and opportunities which have blessed her. Her ministries include teacher, principal, pastoral associate, working with homeless and addicted women, and leadership. She recalls how each ministry was right for her at the time, and each one helped prepare her for the one that followed. Her idea of community living has grown along with her. She says that she had the right kind of community living at the right time. The changes that have come into religious life over these 50 years have not always been easy. But she says, “God never left me alone; I always had that sense of support.” In 2014, she was elected as our General Community Leader. She says that it is the ministry she attempts to stay open to each day. It has much to teach her, and she is humbled to be able to serve in this role. She prays each day for the grace to do only God’s will. She says that this is God’s community, and she is only here to serve. Her great joy is the goodness of the Sisters, and she is privileged to experience that every day. This year, she hopes to make an “intentional” retreat to reflect on these 50 years.
Sister Ella Binz – 40th Jubilee
After Profession of Vows, Sister Ella ministered as a teacher, always interspersing some humor in her teaching because she felt the children did not laugh enough. Following this, she served in the Development Office with the addition of working at the front desk at the Motherhouse. For many years, Sister Ella has also worked with our Associates and is now the Assistant Director. Teaching others about God is something Sister Ella loves to do, and she shares this gift currently as a member of the RCIA Team at St. Anthony Parish, Frankfort, IL. Sister Ella is very grateful for her 40 years as a Franciscan Sister of the Sacred Heart. She has valued her annual retreats, her Spiritual Companioning Course, the Roots Pilgrimage, and her pilgrimages to Assisi, Brazil and the Holy Land. She loves people and is thankful for her family, friends, fellow teachers, students, and the many wonderful Sisters whom she has valued and learned much from as they showed God’s love and patience. The simple beauty of God’s Masterpiece, Sister Ella, has been and is appreciated by so many people. Her gentleness, generosity, kindness, faithful prayer life and love for God allow the goodness and love of the Master Artist to be wonderfully expressed through her.
Sister Mary Barbara Hassler – 40th Jubilee
Love and commitment to prayer and appreciation of God’s creation have woven many beautiful threads into this cross-stitch masterpiece—Sister Mary Barbara. Her varied ministries have also added beauty to this masterpiece. Sister has ministered in the hospital, in our Temporal Affairs Office, as a teacher, as a Religious Education Coordinator, as Novice Minister for our congregation and presently as the Director of Ministry of Care and Bereavement Ministry at St. Mary of Vernon Parish, Indian Creek, IL. She feels her present ministry is very important because God uses her to touch people’s lives at times when they are most vulnerable—when they are sick, elderly or grieving the loss of loved ones. Sister experiences God when hiking, listening to music, seeing beautiful artwork, serving God’s people and enjoying friendships. She relaxes by taking long walks, doing cross-stitch, book puzzles and jigsaw puzzles. Throughout these 40 years, Sister Mary Barbara continues to deepen her relationship with Christ, and together this cross-stich masterpiece is full of many brilliant colors of love with yellow being the most prominent, representing enthusiasm, cheerfulness and optimism, gifts that Sister Mary Barbara has been given by God.
Sister Cipriana Maria Lima – 25th Jubilee
Sister Cipriana Maria was born in St. John of the Point, a small town in the rural area of Para, Brazil. At 13 years of age, she felt a strong call to do something different, and she desired to be a Sister without really knowing who a Sister was and what a Sister did. One day she took up a book about St. Francis of Assisi and was enchanted with him. She spoke with her pastor about wanting to participate in vocation meetings to understand what her heart was saying. The priest put her in touch with our Sisters in Brazil who she began to visit on a regular basis. This relationship grew and eventually drew Cipriana to enter our congregation. After her years of initial formation, Sister assumed various ministries in the base communities. She was then asked to take a Formation Training Course after which she assumed responsibility for the Aspirants and Novices in Brazil, along with continuing in the various aspects of the base communities. Sister says that she is truly the Lord’s masterpiece, and her heart is overflowing with joy to be able to celebrate 25 years as a Franciscan Sister of the Sacred Heart. She has chosen a personal theme for her reflections during this year: “Lord, we are the clay and you are the potter. I am the work of your hands to go and encounter those who need you.”