For family and friends unable to attend in-person funeral celebrations, FSPA offers live streaming. For anyone unable to join the live stream, we post a link to the sisters' funeral within the obituary within a few days of the celebration.
Sister Mary Simeon Werner, FSPA
Watch Sister Mary Simeon's celebration here.
Sister Mary Simeon Werner, Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration, 92, died on Saturday, May 20, 2023
at St. Rose Convent, La Crosse, Wis. She was in the sixty-ninth year of religious profession.
Victoria Marveline was born to Benedict and Catherine (Schmidt) Werner on July 9, 1930 in Logan County,
North Dakota. She spent her first nine years on the family farm. After World War II her father took a job as
a road worker in Spokane, Wash. and moved the family there. Marveline, as she was called, was small and fragile.
She said she fit into her father’s shoe box when she was born. As a little girl in a family that included three
brothers and one sister, she prided herself in keeping up with all the fun and activities. While attending
Marycliff High School in Spokane, she met the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration who helped plant the seed of her religious vocation.
Upon graduating from Marycliff High School, Marveline entered St. Rose Convent. Entering the novitiate in 1951, she was given the name Sister Mary Simeon. In 1953, she made her first profession of vows as a Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration.
Sister Mary Simeon ministered in elementary schools for 40 years. She taught in La Crosse, Prescott, Wausau and Colby, Wis., Salem, Ore., as well as in Spokane. She completed her Bachelor of Science in Education degree from Viterbo College (University), La Crosse and a Master of Science in Education degree from Gonzaga University, Spokane. Sister Mary Simeon attended Aquinas Institute and then became Director of Novices at St. Rose Convent from 1971 through 1975. From 1975 to 1997, she served as teacher and principal of Queen of Peace School and St. Paul School, both located in Oregon. For the next three years, she stayed in Oregon and ministered as chaplain in a correctional institution and as a parish visitor. In 2000, she retired to Spokane where she continued volunteer work with Catholic Charities. She moved to Villa St. Joseph, the FSPA skilled-care home in La Crosse, in 2012 when her health began to fail.
Community members, family and friends remember Sister Mary Simeon as having a quick wit and a comeback for almost everything. She never tired of telling stories of her teaching adventures and times with the novices—especially their “educational travel experiences.” She had an eye for beauty, artistically arranging common weeds into beautiful bouquets. As an avid reader, her interests ranged from science to sports. Although small in stature, her enthusiasm for giving was truly larger than life.
Sister Donna Storms, FSPA
Watch Sister Donna's celebration here.
Sister Donna Storms, Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration, 91, died on Wednesday, May 10, 2023, at St. Rose Convent in La Crosse, Wisconsin. She was in the seventy-second year of her religious profession. Donna Helen was born on May 26, 1931, in Spokane, Washington, to Fred and Anne (Roberg) Storms. Fifth of seven children, Sister Donna grew up in a loving German family with her three brothers and three sisters. Her elementary years were spent at St. Anthony School, taught by the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration. It was there that she and her sister, Rita, decided to join the convent (“not because the sisters were fascinating, but because my newly acquired reason told me that the religious life was the best choice a person could make.”) However, both she and Rita postponed that choice feeling it would be best to first attend Marycliff High School, also administered and taught by the FSPA, in Spokane. After two years in high school, Sister Donna decided it wasn’t fair to keep God waiting any longer. She entered St. Rose Convent and completed her high school in La Crosse.
Sister Donna was received into the novitiate on August 12, 1949 and was given the name Sister Antonina. Later she returned to her baptismal name. She made her first profession of vows on August 12, 1951. Sister Donna earned a BA degree in English with a minor in French from Viterbo College (University), an MA in English from Seattle University and later an MA in Pastoral Ministry from Seattle University. She ministered as a middle-grade teacher at schools in Wisconsin (Durand 1951-54, Marathon 1954-56 and La Crosse 1957-59). Sister Donna served as principal at St. Anthony School in Spokane from 1966 to 1969. In 1969, Sister Donna was called to Provo, Utah where she continued teaching until the school closed. She then moved into parish work until 1973.
For the next year, she taught adult religious education in Salem, Oregon. From 1974 to 1989, Sister Donna served the Spokane Diocese as a consultant and Diocesan Director of Religious Education. During that time, Sister Donna served in leadership in the Western Province and as a General Board member for the FSPA community. In 1989, Sister Donna was invited by the pastor to La Puente, California, where she ministered at St. Louis of France Parish as the Director of Adult Religious Education until she retired in 2001. Subsequently, she continued at the parish in a volunteer role. She retired to St. Rose Convent in 2016 and moved to Villa St. Joseph in 2019. In 2022, Sister Donna moved back to St. Rose Convent.
Community members, family and friends will remember Sister Donna as a caring, creative person. She loved little children and teaching parents how to educate their children in the faith. She was well-loved by all the parents, especially the Filipino community with which she ministered in California. Family was always important to Sister Donna. While serving as Director of Religious Education, Sister Donna traveled to various parishes, making recommendations that were greatly appreciated and implemented by the pastors. Ever a learner, she attended numerous workshops throughout her career. One summer Sister Donna received a grant to study mathematics and ended up teaching an advanced calculus class to other participants.
Sister Clarone Brill, FSPA
Watch Sister Clarone's celebration here.
Sister Clarone Brill, Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration, 93, died Thursday, May 4, 2023, at St. Rose Convent in La Crosse, Wisconsin. She was in the seventy-fourth year of her religious profession. Elsie Rose was the fifth of eight children born to Theodore and Magdalena (Hoffmann) Brill on December 4, 1929 in Colby, Wisconsin. Elsie and her two brothers and four sisters grew up on the family dairy farm. She attended Lone Pine School, a one-room country school until the last two years of grade school when she attended St. Mary Catholic Grade School in Colby. After grade school, she felt the Spirit “nudging” her to become a sister. Following her oldest sister Clara, she entered St. Rose Convent, the headquarters of the FSPA, and received her high school education at St. Rose Convent.
In 1947, she was received into the novitiate of the FSPA and given the name Sister Clarone. She professed her first vows on August 12, 1949. For the first 32 years of her religious profession, Sister Clarone ministered in the field of education. She received a BS in Elementary Education from Viterbo College (University) in La Crosse and an MS in Elementary Education from Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio. She began her ministry in education as a primary school teacher in Edgar, Fountain City, Menomonie, Plum City and Pewaukee, Wisconsin and in West Point, Milford and Lansing, Iowa. In Pewaukee, she served as principal of St. Anthony School, a position she held from 1985 to 1992.
During most of her years in Catholic elementary schools, she also ministered as a CCD teacher, preparing children for the sacraments of Reconciliation and Eucharist. This also involved 20 years of parent education. Upon retiring from the field of education, Sister Clarone moved into the clinical pastoral ministry and served as chaplain at St. Luke’s Hospital in Milwaukee until she was called to pastoral care at Villa St. Joseph, La Crosse from 1995 to 2006. In 2007 she took a sabbatical before moving to St. Rose Convent, where she resided until her death, witnessing through prayer and hospitality.
Her community, family and friends remember Sister Clarone as a dedicated, creative teacher and compassionate pastoral care minister. Her connections with her former students and their families were kept alive through the years by their visits and her extensive letter-writing. She could entertain a group with one story after another. She was always interested in what was happening in the community and actively participated in everything that was offered. Prayer was always an important part of Sister Clarone’s life. She cherished her time in the Adoration Chapel before the Blessed Sacrament. She prepared many prayer partners prior to their commitment to an adoration hour. Sister Clarone loved to travel and accepted any opportunity that presented itself, in the central and western United States, as well as abroad both in Europe and Latin America. She became one of the congregation’s resources during the time of reconnecting with its roots in Bavaria, often called upon to translate German documents.
Sister Dorothy Ann Kundinger, FSPA
Sister Dorothy Ann, Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration, 81, died on Wednesday, February 8, 2023, at Hospice Ministries in Ridgeland, Mississippi, where she had been chaplain for many years. She was in the sixty-second year of her religious profession. Sister Dorothy Agnes was born on October 8, 1941 in Auburndale, Wisconsin to Joseph and Martha (Bayerl) Kundinger. She grew up on the family farm with her two brothers and three sisters, getting into – to use her words – “all the mischief we could imagine.”
During the seventh grade at St. Mary’s School in Auburndale, Sister Dorothy began hearing a faint call to religious life. She ignored it despite the persistent nature of the call. Upon her graduation from the eighth grade, she announced to her parents that she would like to go to the convent. By August, 1955, Sister Dorothy was beginning her high school at St. Rose Convent in La Crosse, Wisconsin. Sister Dorothy was received into the novitiate on August 12, 1959 and was given the name Sister Dorothy Ann. She made her first profession of vows on August 12, 1961.
She earned a Bachelor of Arts in History with a minor in English from Viterbo College (University) and an MS in Education from Xavier University in Cincinnati. The first 26 years of her ministry were spent as a middle-grade and junior-high teacher. She taught in Wisconsin at Platteville (1962-65), Blessed Sacrament School in La Crosse (1966-70 and 1977-79) and Dodgeville (1973-77) also serving as principal. In 1979, Sister Dorothy Ann moved to Holy Child Jesus School in Canton, Mississippi where she taught junior high for 10 years. During her time in Canton, Sister Dorothy Ann became a companion to Sister Thea Bowman, an FSPA who gained prominence as a teacher, musician and civil rights activist in the African American community. She traveled across the country with Sister Thea, until Sister Thea eventually succumbed to cancer in 1990. After Sister Thea’s death, Sister Dorothy Ann remained in Canton as a volunteer hospice worker, ministering to people with HIV/AIDS. In 1993, she moved to Jackson, Mississippi where she served as chaplain and hospice worker, providing care for people with HIV/AIDS at Grace House in Ridgeland.
Community members, family and friends remember Sister Dorothy Ann for her delightful smile, sense of humor and positive attitude toward life along with the great care she provided to Sister Thea during her life and the assistance she gave Sister Thea’s legacy after her death. Perhaps the most memorable is Sister Dorothy Ann’s loving care for those suffering with HIV/AIDS. Oftentimes, she would spend days in the home of someone dying of HIV/AIDS or care for them in her home if they couldn’t afford another place or another place was not available. She was very appreciative of FSPA for enabling her to minister to those often forgotten or ignored by society. She lived simply, joyfully and with great love and care for everyone.
Sister Lydia Wendl, FSPA
Sister Lydia Wendl, Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration, 101, died on Friday, January 27, 2023, at St. Rose Convent in La Crosse, Wisconsin. She was in the eighty-first year of her religious profession. Sister Lydia was born to John and Mary (Danzer) Wendl on January 11, 1922, in Willey, Iowa. At her baptism, she was named after her paternal aunt, Lydia Wendl. Whenever anyone suggested that she would end up at the convent, she objected. She wanted to do things differently! At age six, Sister Lydia went to school with her two older sisters. When the weather was favorable, they walked three miles home, but always rode to school with their father or one of their neighbors. Since their grandparents lived near the school, the girls ate lunch with them. Sister Lydia preferred physical outdoor work, like herding cattle and pumping water, over housework.
After completing eighth grade, Sister Lydia wanted to attend high school. None of her other siblings had done so, but her parents allowed her to attend St. Angela’s Academy in Carroll, Iowa. She boarded with the sisters Monday through Friday and it was customary to make a retreat between the two semesters. During this time, the call to religious life was reawakened in her. Louise, her sister, spoke often about going to the convent and finally decided on the Benedictines in Missouri. How surprised, and disappointed, was Sister Lydia when Louise (Sister Joan Marie) entered FSPA in La Crosse. Eventually, Sister Lydia outgrew her “do things differently” attitude and two years later she, too, joined FSPA. Sister Lydia was received into the Novitiate on August 12, 1940, and was given her own name, Sister Lydia. She professed vows on August 12, 1942 and made final profession on August 9, 1948.
Sister Lydia earned a bachelor’s degree from Viterbo College (University) in education with double minors in philosophy and history. She taught primary and intermediate grades in parochial schools in Iowa (Milford, Coon Rapids, Richmond, Festina, West Point, Bellevue, Guttenberg, Willey, Dedham, Calmar, Mt. Carmel and West Bend) Washington (Spokane) and Wisconsin (Eau Galle and Halder) for 42 years. From 1984 to 1989 she ministered to the elderly in Las Vegas and was instrumental in developing Pastoral Care Outreach at Sunrise Hospital. Sister Lydia then served as Pastoral Care Minister at St. Anne’s Parish, also in Las Vegas, until she retired to St. Rose Convent in 2001. For six years she was the chapel tour guide coordinator at the convent. In 2013, she moved to Villa St. Joseph in La Crosse and in 2022 back to St. Rose Convent.
Community members, family and friends will remember the long and rich life of Sister Lydia, for her deep love of God and her faith, her loyal dedication to her work with little children and the elderly and her positive approach to life. Throughout her multiple ministries, she had a “can do” attitude. One of her favorite quotes was, “God does not ask us to be successful, but to be faithful.” And faithful, she was as she visited and brought communion to the sick and elderly—even organizing a potluck luncheon for seniors at her Las Vegas parish each month for 17 years.
Sister Patricia Tekippe, FSPA
Sister Patricia Tekippe, Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration, died on December 25, 2022 at 11:20 am. She was in the fifty-seventh year of her religious profession. Sister Patricia was born in Decorah, Iowa on March 22, 1944 to Paul and Seraphina (Timp) Tekippe. She was the eldest of six children. Growing up on the family farm, she enjoyed helping her mother with her five younger brothers. From her mother, she learned the importance of family as well as the artistry and necessities of cooking, cleaning, sewing and gardening. Her father taught her the importance of community involvement and environmental stewardship. Sister Patricia loved school; she excelled in her studies and was active in 4-H. After graduating from the eighth grade, Sister Patricia felt a deep call to become a sister and contacted the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration, who were the closest religious congregation to her home. Upon entering the FSPA community, she shared a religious vocation with an aunt and uncle who were both Benedictines. She completed high school at St. Mary’s Academy in Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin.
Sister Patricia was received into the novitiate in 1963 and given the name, Sister Mary Owen. She later went back to her baptismal name. She professed her first vows as an FSPA on August 12, 1965. Sister Patricia began her ministry in the congregation as an elementary school teacher in Spokane, Washington (St. Ann, St. Augustine and St. Xavier Schools). She also taught in Blackfoot, Idaho and St. Paul, Iowa. She received a Bachelor of Science degree in education with a minor in biology from Viterbo College (University). During her time in Spokane, Sister Patricia was part of the Provisional Province, an experimental group within the congregation, for a few years.
After 13 years as a classroom teacher, Sister Patricia took courses at the Center for Pastoral Ministry in Kansas City and then moved into parish ministry in Davenport, Iowa, Tulsa, Oklahoma and Kansas City, Missouri. After earning a graduate degree in communications and journalism from the University of Iowa, Iowa City, Sister Patricia served as Central Region secretary for six years in Hiawatha, Iowa. Her long-held desire to work with the disadvantaged then led to a position as a reading specialist in Maplewood, Minnesota and resource manager in Minneapolis. She served as a program assistant at Cabrini House in Minneapolis for 14 years. In 2003, Sister Patricia joined the FSPA membership team where she provided a listening ear to women discerning their future vocation. After suffering a mild stroke in 2014, she moved to St. Rose Convent.
Community members, family and friends remember Sister Patricia as someone with a heart for the disadvantaged. Always interested in finding out what she could do to make life better for others, she was quick to recognize the goodness in others and reinforce it. Her work in Minneapolis was evidence of her compassionate and helpful nature. Diverse ministries serving the marginalized involved teaching English, providing transportation, helping with housing and offering support to those experiencing mental illness. At her golden jubilee in 2015, Sister Patricia noted that she had walked with more than 200 young women in her membership ministry. Because of her keen eye, one could also count on Sister Patricia to know the latest on political issues—and to encourage prayer and political action.
Sister Rita Jansen, FSPA
Sister Rita Jansen, Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration, 94, died on Thursday, November 17, 2022 at Villa St. Joseph in La Crosse, Wisconsin. She was in the sixty-eighth year of her religious profession. Sister Rita was born on August 12, 1928 in Early, Iowa to Elizabeth (Faber) and Leo Jansen. When she was five, her family moved to another farm between Early and Schaller, Iowa. There she and her two brothers and three sisters grew up, helping with chores when they were not attending school at Sac County School. Sister Rita attended her freshman year at Sacred Heart School, then transferred to Early Consolidated School for the rest of her high school years.
After high school, she helped on the farm, as two of her brothers were in the service. Her family moved to a farm near Storm Lake, Iowa in 1947. Sister Rita then worked at Henry Field Store in Storm Lake as a salesperson and typist until 1952. The day after her 21st birthday she was in a serious car accident. This led her to think about what she would do with the rest of her life. She had been taught by sisters for two years, but in her earlier years was not attracted to their communities. She then visited St. Rose Convent, the motherhouse of the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration (FSPA), in June of 1952—and immediately filled out the application. Sister Rita entered the FSPA community in September 1952. When she became a novice on August 12, 1953, she was given the name Sister Leocadia. She later went back to her baptismal name. Her first profession of vows was made on August 12, 1955.
With a bachelor’s degree in education from Viterbo College (University) and a master’s degree from Clark College in reading, Sister Rita was well-prepared for 39 years in the field of education. She taught primary grades in Wisconsin (Auburndale, Big River, Halder), Idaho (Blackfoot) and Iowa (Muscatine, Harper, Halbur, St. Lucas, Spencer, Bellevue, Mt. Carmel). While at Mt. Carmel, Sister Rita began thinking about ministering in a different environment. In 1986 she began teaching primary grades in Monroe, Louisiana. Two years later she moved to Camden, Mississippi, where she taught for six years. In 1994, she moved to Mobile, Alabama and ministered as a teacher’s aide and resource teacher for eight years before retiring to St. Rose Convent in 2002. She then moved to Villa St. Joseph in 2012.
Community members, family and friends remember Sister Rita as always having a smile on her face and a kind word for everyone. Her personality radiated compassion. Every place she taught she loved her “little children,” especially teaching them to read. As a loyal companion to many, her interests focused on what was happening in other people’s lives, both family and community members. She loved spending time in the Adoration Chapel while at St. Rose Convent and often filled her retirement days making craft items for the gift shops at St. Rose and Villa St. Joseph.
Sister Michon Desmond, FSPA
Sister Michon Desmond, Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration, 89, died on Thursday, November 3, 2022 at St. Rose Convent in La Crosse, Wisconsin. She was in the sixty-eighth year of her religious profession. Sister Michon was born to John W. and Vera (Duffy) Desmond on August 28, 1933, in Winona, Minnesota, the eldest of six children. Her father’s work, assistant sales manager for Auto-lite, led the family to move to La Crosse shortly after her birth. There she attended St. James School and Aquinas High School, both staffed by FSPA. After high school graduation, she felt a call to join the FSPA. Barbara Jane entered St. Rose Convent in the fall of 1951. On August 12, 1954, she made her first profession of vows as a Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration.
For almost 30 years she ministered in junior and senior high schools as a teacher and principal in Wisconsin, Washington, Guam and Montana. She earned a bachelor’s degree in history with minors in English and sociology from Viterbo College (University) in La Crosse and a master’s degree from St. Louis University in American history and Asian studies. In 1977, she received a Fulbright scholarship to India, an adventure, she said, that “enhanced my Asian Studies classes.” After a year’s internship in the Student Development Department at the University of Iowa in Iowa City, Sister Michon was appointed Dean of Students at Viterbo College. She was instrumental in expanding student life programming since, at the time, the college was rapidly growing its enrollment of lay students.
In 1989, she was elected Regional Assistant for the FSPA Eastern Region (now Marywood Spirituality Center) in Arbor Vitae, Wisconsin; four years later, she was elected Regional Leader. After a year’s sabbatical in 1998 at the Tau Center in Winona, Sister Michon moved to St. Rose Convent where she served as assistant administrator for the sisters. In 2007, she moved to Villa St. Joseph, La Crosse, ministering as a volunteer to the community until 2019. At that time she retired to St. Rose Convent where her ministry was that of prayer and hospitality.
Community members, family and friends remember Sister Michon for her loving presence. She was always ready to share something with whomever she met, including candy from the bag constantly over her arm. She was also a great entertainer, knowing how to make her audience laugh. She often talked about her wonderful five years in Guam, where she would say she learned more from her high school students than she probably taught them. In 1972, Sister Michon and her younger sister, Sister Rosemary, FSPA, spent a couple of weeks in England, Ireland and Scotland with their parents — reinforcing her Irish heritage. “It’s great to be Irish,” she would proudly proclaim.
Sister Rita Marie Bechel, FSPA
Sister Rita Marie Bechel, Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration, 97, died Wednesday, November 2, 2022, at Villa St. Joseph in La Crosse, Wisconsin. She was in the seventy-seventh year of her religious profession. Sister Rita Marie was born the eighth of 14 children to Mathias and Emma (Dettling) Bechel on March 6, 1925, on a farm near Plum City, Wisconsin. At her baptism, she was given the name Marie Magdalen. As a toddler, Marie would follow her mother around the kitchen and in the garden, picking berries, plums, grapes and whatever else was in season. She attended the newly erected St. John’s School. She and her older sisters walked to school and enjoyed the flowers and nature along the way.
Marie never knew two of her brothers: Raymond died of jaundice shortly after birth and Vernon was kicked by a horse when he was seven. Early in life, she had the desire to become a Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration like her older sister, Sister Leone. On August 15, 1939, after graduating from eighth grade, she fulfilled that desire. Marie was received into the novitiate on August 12, 1943, and given the name Sister Rita Marie. She made her first profession of vows on August 12, 1945, and her final profession on August 5, 1951.
She was an elementary school teacher for the majority of her active religious life, teaching grades one through four. She completed her bachelor’s degree at Viterbo College (University) with a major in education and a minor in music. She also attended the Theological Institute at St. Norbert’s College over the course of several summers. She taught in Calmar, Mallard, St. Lucas and Balltown, Iowa and La Crosse from 1945 to 1962. Next, Sister Rita Marie taught at Holy Family School in Ashland, Wisconsin (1962-1966), then St. Henry School in Eau Galle, Wisconsin (1966-1969). Her teaching ministry continued at St. Paul School in Mosinee, Wisconsin (1969-1977) and St. John the Baptist School in Plum City, Wisconsin (1977-1982). After a one-year stint in the St. Rose Convent cafeteria, Sister Rita Marie moved to Villa St. Joseph where she assisted in many community service roles, such as receptionist, sacristan and organist. She continued there as a sacristan until 2015 when her health declined. Her final days of retirement were at Villa St. Joseph.
Community members, family and friends remember Sister Rita Marie as a naturally curious person who asked a lot of questions and read many books on a variety of topics. She had a hunger for knowledge. Sister Rita Marie developed her creative talents by crocheting, embroidering, cross stitching, creweling and recycling greeting cards. She enjoyed the Bright Star theatre and La Crosse Symphony performances at Viterbo University. Until 2010, Sister Rita Marie had neither taken a pill, no been hospitalized. She attributed her good health to the daily walks/runs to the hermitages located on the Villa property. Playing cards and putting jigsaw puzzles together also gave her great pleasure. Her family was very important to her. She could name everyone in her family down to the third and fourth generations.
Sister Margaret Schmolke, FSPA
Sister Margaret Schmolke, Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration, 96, died on Wednesday, October 19, 2022, at Villa St. Joseph in La Crosse, Wisconsin. She was in the seventy-fourth year of her religious profession. Born on November 26, 1925, in Buckman, Minnesota, Sister Margaret was the seventh of 12 children of John and Pauline (Beka) Schmolke. She was eager to go to school with her sisters. At St. Michael’s School in Buckman, Minnesota, they had Benedictines of St. Joseph, Minnesota, as their teachers. After eighth grade, Sister Margaret remained home helping her mother who was ill at the time. Sister Margaret and her sister, Helen, then began at St. Francis High School in Little Falls, Minnesota where the Franciscan Sisters of Little Falls staffed the school.
As boarders, Sister Margaret and Helen got home one weekend a month. Sister Margaret worked at the hospital in Little Falls on weekends and during the summer. She liked the work and desired to become a nurse. By her junior year, she had decided to enter religious life. Her older brother, Father Joel, OFM, and her sibling, Sister Thomasine, OSF, were great influences in her choice. However, Sister Margaret did not enter the Benedictines nor the Little Falls Franciscans. To the surprise of her family, she chose the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration in La Crosse, being drawn to the ministry of Perpetual Adoration. Sister Margaret was received into the novitiate on August 12, 1946, and was given the name Sister Mary Joel. Later she returned to her baptismal name. She made her first profession of vows on August 12, 1948.
Entering the field of education, Sister Margaret served as a primary teacher for 27 years in schools in Iowa (Carroll [St. Joseph] and Roselle) and Wisconsin (Greenwood, Marathon, Dodgeville, Halder, La Crosse [Holy Cross and Blessed Sacrament], Odanah, Big River and Menomonie). After leaving the classroom in 1976, she was on staff at Northern Province House in Arbor Vitae, Wisconsin with responsibility for food service and maintenance. For the next 21 years, from 1981 to 2002, Sister Margaret again used her teaching skills as a religious education teacher, tutor and parish visitor at St. Mary’s in Hurley, Wisconsin. Before retiring to St. Rose Convent in 2006, Sister Margaret also volunteered at Immaculate Conception School in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. In 2018, with her health failing, she moved to Villa St. Joseph.
Community members, family and friends will remember Sister Margaret as a fun-loving person, with exceptional graciousness. She was always ready to enter into conversation and had great stories to share. She kept up on the news of the world and the Church. She was very fond of Pope Francis and talked often about his vision and teaching. She was especially taken by his focus on care for creation; just last year she noted that she had reread and meditated on Francis’s encyclical Laudato Si’, several times. She loved her family and especially enjoyed visiting them and receiving visits from them.
Sister Evelyn Schlosser, FSPA
Sister Evelyn Schlosser, Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration, 88, died on October 7, 2022 at Villa St. Joseph in La Crosse, Wisconsin. She was in the sixty-first year of her religious profession. Sister Evelyn was born on January 12, 1934, the seventh of eight children to Harold and Eva (Hamses) Schlosser in Yakima, Washington. She described her family as rich “when it comes to happiness and love.” She began school at St. Joseph’s Academy in Yakima, and completed her elementary education at St. Aloysius School after her family moved to Spokane, Washington. Her high school days were spent at Marycliff High School where she took clerical courses, “so that she could get an office job right after graduation.”
And that she did; she worked for five years for a local newspaper (The Spokesman Review), advancing to an assistant bookkeeper. She then moved to Boise, Idaho where she did bookkeeping for a construction company. During that time, her roommate responded to a call to religious life. This gave Sister Evelyn time to think if God might be calling her. She was living a good life, enjoying friends, family, nice clothes and her job, but was feeling an attraction to something else. On June 9, 1958, God did give her a call. After she initially applied to the Maryknoll Sisters, she subsequently met Mother Joan Cramer, FSPA, on a visit to St. Rose Convent to see her sister, Sister Jean (Carmelita), FSPA. Mother Joan invited her to join the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration. Sister Evelyn entered St. Rose Convent in the fall of 1958. She was received into the novitiate in 1959 and given the name, Sister Mary Leo (later going back to her baptismal name). On August 12, 1961, she made her first profession of vows.
Possessing excellent office skills, she was tapped for clerical work at Viterbo College (University) from 1962 to 1966. During that time, she took additional bookkeeping courses at Indiana University. In 1966, Sister Evelyn became a bookkeeper at St. Mary Hospital in Sparta, Wisconsin until 1973, when she became a bookkeeper at St. Anthony Hospital in Carroll, Iowa. Viterbo College called her back in 1974, again as a bookkeeper. From there, Sister Evelyn ministered in the office at Marycliff High School from 1977 to 1979 before being appointed regional treasurer for the Western Region of the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration until 1989. Sister Evelyn also served as a part-time tax accountant for a local Spokane firm. In 1989, with the close of FSPA regions, Sister Evelyn was called to serve as assistant treasurer for the FSPA congregation in La Crosse. In 2000, another transition occurred in her life when she moved to volunteer in the finance office and kitchen at St. Rose Convent. In 2016, Sister Evelyn officially retired to a ministry of prayer and hospitality in La Crosse. In 2022, with her health failing, she moved to Villa St. Joseph.
Community members, family and friends remember Sister Evelyn as a lively, generous person. She had a quick wit and always had a “come back” for everything. She thrived on helping people and especially loved her adoration hours. Her nieces and nephews were a delight to her. Her passion for animals was evident to everyone, with her constantly feeding the birds, rabbits and squirrels around the motherhouse. She specifically enjoyed “cat sitting” while family and friends would go on vacation.
Sister Geralyn Misura, FSPA
Sister Geralyn Misura, 88, died Sunday, Aug. 21, 2022, at Villa St. Joseph, La Crosse, Wisconsin. She served for 67 years as a Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration. Mary Jane was born to Raymond and Stella (Bien) Misura on Dec. 16, 1933, in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. Her father was a cook by trade but later worked as a dock loader. Her mother worked as a stenographer. Mary Jane, her sister, Monica, and two brothers, Myllin and Mark, grew up in Eau Claire. She attended Sacred Heart Grade School there, taught by the FSPA. She then attended St. Patrick’s High School, run by the Benedictine sisters. By the time she graduated, it had become Regis High School. In her early years, Mary Jane began knitting and crocheting, a hobby she carried into her adult life.
In 1953 she was received into the FSPA novitiate and given the name Sister Geralyn. She professed first vows on Aug. 12, 1955. Sister Geralyn earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Viterbo College with a minor in music. She served as a primary school teacher for eight years in Iowa (Mallard and Dedham) and Wisconsin (St. Joseph Ridge, Eau Galle, Ashland and Edgar). In 1977 her ministry took her to St. Joseph School in Prescott, Wisconsin, as a first-grade teacher, choir director and organist. In 1981 Sister Geralyn became principal of the and later returned to teaching first grade. In 2001 Sister Geralyn retired from teaching but remained in the parish as sacristan and organist, roles she continued until she retired to Villa St. Joseph in La Crosse, Wisconsin, in 2017. From 2010 to 2017, she also served as a volunteer organist at Regina Hospital in Hastings, Minnesota.
Community members, family and friends remember Sister Geralyn as a kind, quiet person who always loved children, music and the parishioners at St. Joseph. She was a “people person,” warm and giving of her time and helpful to anyone in need. As one parishioner said, “We have been blessed to have Sister Geralyn in our parish.” Sister Geralyn had a great devotion to Capuchin Father Solanus Casey from Prescott, whose cause is in consideration for canonization. She helped found a Father Solanus Prayer Circle and had organized several pilgrimages to Detroit, Michigan, where Father Solanus spent most of his religious life. She was privileged to attend Father Solanus’ beautification ceremony in Detroit.