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Perspectives and Presence
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New affiliate committments celebrated during 2011 affiliation live-in

At St. Rose Convent during the affiliation live-in, June 16 was the day that seven new affiliates—six covenant and one prayer—celebrated their commitment as lay partners in Franciscan ministry with FSPA. They give this opportunity to introduce themselves and their devotions to the community.

Rose BlankRose Blank
Spiritual leadership and the supervision of 93 churches and 67 clergy is new covenant affiliate Rose Blank’s full-time vocation: She serves as Southeast District Superintendent for the Iowa Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church.

Rose was first a teacher with a B.A. in elementary education from the University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls, and later a pastoral care specialist with a Master of Divinity from Iowa’s University of Dubuque Theological Seminary and certification from the Des Moines Pastoral Counseling Center. Her initial connection to FSPA was with Sister Lucille Winnike in the early 1990s. “She was my spiritual director at Clare’s Well in Annandale, Minn.

As the relationship continued and she also became acquainted with the Franciscan Sisters at Prairiewoods Franciscan Spirituality Center in Hiawatha, Iowa, “I experienced their hospitality, their concern for the care of God’s wondrous creation and their passion of being in ministry for a more just society,” says Rose. “I want to be involved with a group who takes seriously their walk of faith as it relates to how they live in the world around them.”

Wife to Jeffrey and mother to three adult children, Jonathan, Sarah and Jeremy, Rose resides in Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, works with her contact Sister Joann Gehling and seeks to fulfill a commitment to a group “that helps me to focus and grow in the spiritual practices of my life of discipleship and ministry in the name and spirit of Christ and in the footsteps of Francis.”

Barbara GayleBarbara Gayle
“I believe my conversations with God are now richer and more gracious and I’m a better person for maintaining a balance in my life that speaks to my soul and my intellect,” shares Barbara Gayle about her new FSPA covenant affiliation. “My respect for the Franciscan spirituality that encompasses conscious and continuous prayer, faithfully championing those in need, serving the underserved and maintaining a deep reverence for the Earth,” she says, “resonates in my soul.”

Barbara’s life spent in education, both as a student and a professional, helped to create her core Franciscan values. Her scholarly achievements span from earning an A.A.S. in communication from Lewis & Clark College, Portland, Ore., in 1980 to graduating with a Ph.D. in communication theory, business management, from the University of Oregon in Eugene in 1989.

Her career in Catholic higher education has gone from working as a faculty member and administrator at Oregon’s University of Portland, where she met several Franciscan Sisters who were visiting there, to her current position as academic vice president and professor of business at Viterbo University in La Crosse, Wis. After organizing a painting party at Viterbo’s Murphy Center and meeting several FSPA there she learned a faith-filled lesson—“that doing God’s work would indeed be successful. It filled me with awe.”

Guided in affiliation by Sister Karen Flottmeier, Barbara is married to Ray, with whom she has two grown children. She volunteers on the La Crosse Boys and Girls Club board of directors, and enjoys sewing and doing academic research.

Deane HattebergDeane Hatteberg
With a bachelor’s degree in nursing from the University of Minnesota-Minneapolis and a master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Deane Hatteberg has served the ministry of health care throughout her entire career. In that vocation, Deane has cared for patients in Minnesota at University of Minnesota Medical Center, Fairview, Rochester Methodist Hospital and also St. Mary’s Hospital in Madison, Wis.

Today Deane continues to serve in the mission of medicine as an assistant professor of nursing at Viterbo University in La Crosse, Wis.—the place where she came to know FSPA. Through her participation in FSPA-
sponsored events she has found “peace, comfort and support. A community of support,” she says, “is important in developing a deeper and more meaningful spiritual life.” Nurturing her Franciscan devotion through affiliation, hopes Deane, “will provide the opportunity and the encouragement to grow spiritually.”

A resident of La Crosse, Deane was born in Ft. Dodge, Iowa, and grew up in Waltham, Minn. She enjoys activities like reading, knitting, crocheting and singing in a choir in her free time. Sister Marie Kyle serves as Deane’s contact.

Shelly Lamb-VosenMichelle (Shelly) Lamb-Vosen
“I feel as though I’ve been an unofficial affiliate for decades,” says Shelly Lamb-Vosen. Shelly’s father and his family are native to La Crosse, and both she and her husband Dennis are graduates of La Crosse’s Viterbo University (she with a bachelor’s in liberal studies). There she met FSPA, many of whom she still counts as friends today. Later in life she engaged her three children in the Franciscan faith community as well.

Now partnered with FSPA as a covenant affiliate (and her contact Sister Carlene Unser), Shelly looks to strengthen those relationships by “finding God in every moment through faith, nature, environment, relationships and how I see myself through this continued journey.”

Along the way to affiliation she helped to establish Viterbo’s Alumni Association Emeritus Board (on which she and her husband still sit), acted as alumni vice president and achieved the university’s award for outstanding service. Shelly has worked for Chileda Institute Inc. (for 27 years), Franciscan Skemp Healthcare (now known as Mayo Clinic Health System-Franciscan Healthcare La Crosse) and Myrick Hixon EcoPark. She also co-chaired the AIDS Quilt Project, ministered to people in Haiti and served on the FSPA planning committee for the March 2000 celebration held to honor Sister Thea Bowman.

Shelly currently volunteers as a substitute teacher for the La Crosse and Onalaska school districts and also at the Franciscan Spirituality Center, Myrick Hixon EcoPark, Children’s Museum, The Salvation Army and in hospice care.

Dee PaqueDee Paque
Dee Paque grew up in La Crosse, Wis. She had Sister Bernadette Prochaska as her third grade teacher, was taught by other FSPA at Aquinas High School and has been mentored by Sister Rita Feeney. Having recently joined the affiliation program she reflects on those influences: “I feel a great comfort at St. Rose,” she says, “and affiliation was obvious.”

The impact of those early relationships most likely supported her throughout her career. Having a bachelor’s degree in social work from Illinois State University in Normal, Ill., as well as training in critical incident stress management, Dee worked in adolescent psychology at St. Mary’s Hospital in Decatur, Ill., and then at the Trauma and Emergency Center at Gundersen Lutheran in La Crosse.

In her job at Gundersen Lutheran, Dee felt “the spirituality that surrounds people, regardless of their paths. It awakened a desire in me to help others and I believe it to be the Franciscan way.” Dee has asserted herself in the Franciscan way in many capacities: she’s participated in church committees concerned with social justice and environmental issues, served on the leadership board for AMOS, volunteered at the YWCA and traveled to the Caribbean island of St. Lucia for flood relief.

Now retired and supported in affiliation by her contract, affiliate Sheila Garrity, Dee sees participation in the program as a means to maintain connections to those “who are trying to walk the same path that I yearned to follow.” She also has more time to enjoy with her children Kristine and David and her two grandchildren, and also to read, golf and work with stained glass and mosaic tile.

Mary Louise ThompsonMary Louise Thompson
“One sunny day,” begins FSPA prayer partner and new covenant affiliate Mary Louise Thompson, “I had a chance encounter with Sister Eileen McKenzie. I asked Sister Eileen how to become an affiliate and she grinned, grabbed my hand and literally ran me down to Affiliation Co-Minister Marci Madary’s office. My journey,” she recalls, “then began.”

Mary Louise’s professional and spiritual life has led her to support art, food, parish ministry, social justice and animals. She earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in drawing and painting at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and a master’s in education from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. An artist residing in La Crosse, Mary Louise gives private art lessons and runs a picture framing business—Froggy Bottoms Framing—out of her home. At the People’s Food Co-op she teaches cooking classes for kids.

As an active member of Roncalli Newman Parish, Mary Louise serves as a eucharistic minister and also as a member of the Peace and Social Justice committee. Creating art, writing poetry, praying and sharing stories weekly at the Unity House for Women “has become a form of ministry.” She also gives her time to the Coulee Region Humane Society Pet Therapy program and annually participates in a conservation trip to Latin America that “helps protect hundreds of acres of habitat for our birds that migrate to the tropics during the winter.”

Craig Thompson is her husband, Sister Blanche Klein is her contact and FSPA affiliation “inspires me to, in the words of Ilia Delio, ‘answer the call to be a spiritual mother and sister, together caring for the sacredness of the earth.’”

Linda WissingLinda Wissing
New prayer affiliate Linda Wissing “met the wonderful Franciscan Sisters through a friend who worked in the kitchen at St. Rose Convent in La Crosse 10 years ago. My friendship with Sisters Evelyn Schlosser and Marcella Marie Dreikosen grew and soon I was drawn into the beauty of Franciscan living,” she recalls, describing the “serenity” she feels when visiting St. Rose as “amazing.”

Linda heard the calling to become a member of FSPA’s affiliation program through those relationships and that splendor and peace. “I recognized it through my kinship with the sisters’ lifestyle and philosophy, and my desire to enhance and deepen my prayer life. Every time I visit the convent and chapel I feel a strong spiritual connection and calmness that I can utilize in my daily experiences.”

A resident of La Crosse who grew up in Milwaukee, Wis., and graduated in 1994 with a bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, Linda has had a 35-year career as a licensed alcohol and drug abuse counselor. She has counseled people through her job at Franciscan Skemp Healthcare (now known as Mayo Clinic Health System-Franciscan Healthcare La Crosse), in her own private practice and for Coulee Council on Addictions, Inc. Currently Linda works with those recovering at Unity House for Women.

Music, photography and her dog Jai J round out Linda’s life.