Five Sisters of St. Francis celebrate anniversaries


Five members of the Sisters of St. Francis, Clinton, celebrated the anniversaries of their entrance into religious life this summer. The jubilarians were honored July 28 during a eucharistic celebration at Prince of Peace Catholic Church in Clinton. Bishop Martin Amos presided.

60 Years

Sr. Holland

• Sister Joan Holland entered the congregation of the Sisters of St. Francis at Mount St. Clare Convent in Clinton in 1952. She professed first vows in 1955 and final vows in 1958.
She later attended Mount St. Clare College and received a B.Ed. in education from St. Ambrose College, Davenport. She taught at schools in Illinois, Missouri, California and Hawarden, Iowa. Her dedication to teaching has been recognized at the parish level with Teacher of the Year Awards and at the diocesan level in the Annual Recognition Awards.
Her ministry in California branched out to peace building in a school and parish that were coping with gang activity. She also spent time ministering in a home for battered women. She was honored by Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore for her “contribution to the development of intellectual growth in her community and her country.”
Sr. Holland retired to the Canticle in 2011.

• Sister Phyllis Morris graduated from Mount St. Clare Academy in Clinton in 1952 and entered Mount St. Clare Convent that same year. She professed first vows in 1955 and made her final profession in 1958.
She attended Mount St. Clare College and received a B.S. in physical science from the University of Notre Dame in 1962. She received an M.A. in physical science from George Peabody College for Teachers in Nashville, Tenn., in 1965. She did further study at the Franciscan School of Theology in Berkeley, Calif., as well as language studies in Lima, Peru.
In 1965, Sr. Morris was one of four Sisters of St. Francis who went to Peru to begin mission ministry there. Over the years, she has spent most of her ministry in Chulucanas, Peru — first as principal of Santa Cruz school and later as parish pastoral assistant, director of catechetics for the local diocese, pastoral coordinator and finance coordinator.
She has also taught in several schools in the U.S., including in Illinois; California; Danbury, Iowa; and Mount St. Clare Academy. She also spent time on working sabbaticals in Portland, Ore., as an administrative assistant at the Franciscan Renewal Center. Currently, she divides her time between Peru and developing peace-themed ceramics at The Canticle in Clinton.

Sisters Theresa Judge, Anne Martin Phelan, Phyllis Morris and Marjorie Wisor, OSF, pose with Bishop Martin Amos July 28 at Prince of Peace Church in Clinton. Not pictured is Sister Joan Holland, OSF.

• Sister Marjorie Wisor graduated from Mount St. Clare Academy in Clinton in 1952 and entered the Sisters of St. Francis in Clinton that year.  She professed first vows in 1955 and made her final profession in 1958.
She attended Mount St. Clare College; received a B.A. in French from San Diego College for Women in 1964 and an M.A. in French from the Sorbonne in Paris in 1968. She did further study at Case Western Reserve Uni­versity in Cleveland, Ohio, and St. Louis University in Missouri.  She held teaching certificates in Iowa and California.
Sr. Wisor served in ministry at St. John’s School in Victor, Our Lady of Good Council School in Fonda, and at Sacred Heart School in Clinton. She taught French at Mount St. Clare College, in New Hamp­shire and at St. Louis University. She has served in pastoral ministry in Wisconsin and Kentucky.
In the late 1960s she met Jean Vanier, the founder of L’Arche, an international federation of homes for people with intellectual disabilities and those who assist them. After volunteering with the L’Arche community in Trosly, France, Sr. Wisor worked to establish the L’Arche community in Clinton — called The Arch — in 1974. She served as director until 1986.
She then served as director of formation for the Sisters of St. Francis in 1988.
She is currently the project director of the Carondelet Family Lit­eracy Program in St. Louis and serves as a caregiver for the elderly at Sisters of St. Joseph Care.

50 Years
• Sister Theresa Judge entered the novitiate in 1962 after earning an A.A. degree from Mount St. Clare College. She earned her bachelor’s degree in education at Marycrest College in Davenport, and then a master’s degree in English literature at Western Illinois University in Macomb, Ill.  She professed first vows in 1965 and final vows in 1968.
She taught at Sacred Heart School in Clinton from 1962-65 and in Illinois from 1965-76.
She returned in 1976 to the Mount St. Clare campus, where she has served as a resident director, tennis coach, athletic director and dean of students.
In 1993 Sr. Judge began teaching English at Mount St. Clare College. In 1997 she was named to the Mount St. Clare Athletic Hall of Fame. She continues to teach at Ashford University in Clinton where she is the department chair. In addition to her teaching and administrative duties, she is a group leader on an annual London tour the university offers.
In 2010 she received the YWCA Religious Woman of Achievement Award.
Sr. Judge is a member of the Clinton Human Rights Commission, Clinton Area Showboat Theatre Board, The Arch board, and the Martin Luther King, Jr. Cele­bration Committee.

• Sister Anne Martin Phelan entered the novitiate in 1962 after one year at Mount St. Clare College, where she earned her A.A. degree in education.  She professed first vows in 1965 and final vows in 1968.
Upon first profession she was assigned to St. Francis De Paula School in Chicago where she taught for 16 years. She also taught in Varina, Iowa, for one year.
While at St. Francis De Paula, Sr. Phelan taught sixth, seventh and eighth grades, sang in the gospel choir and was a cantor. She organized a summer volunteer program through the Job Corps in which Sisters and Mount St. Clare College students worked with students at St. Francis De Paula. During this time, she also continued studies at Marycrest College and earned her B.S. in education in 1970.
In the early ‘80s Sr. Phelan was assigned to Grand Bahamas, where she taught sixth grade and served as assistant principal. She spent her summers completing a master’s degree in education from DePaul University. In 1985 she became principal of St. Gerald’s School in Oak Lawn, Ill., where she worked until 1996. While there, she began a gifted student program as well as an Extended Day Program for students. These programs remain at St. Gerald’s today.
She served as councilor for the Sisters of St. Francis of Clinton from 1988-92 and as vice president from 1992-96 and 2008-12. In 1998, she started the development office for the Sisters of St. Francis. She was elected president in July 2012.
During her years in Clinton she has worked with the Clinton Peace Coalition, the Clinton Franciscan Associate Pro­gram, served on The Arch Board in Clinton and the Mount St. Clare College Board as well as the Sisters Consortium for the Diocese of Davenport.  She currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Iowa Catholic Con­ference.

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