Sister Hoverman was first woman editor in Dubuque


By Dan Russo
Catholic News Service

DUBUQUE, Iowa (CNS) — Sister Carol Hoverman, a Sister of St. Francis, who was at the forefront of Catholic communications for over three decades, died Oct. 3. She was 80 and had been in religious life for 63 years.

Sr. Hoverman was the first director of communications in the history of the Archdiocese of Dubuque and the first woman to be editor of The Witness, the official archdiocesan publication. She also distinguished herself in the fields of video production and music.

Sr. Hoverman

Sr. Hoverman retired in late 2014 from her archdiocesan position.


In recent years, she continued her work in music ministry at the linked parishes of St. Patrick and the Cathedral of St. Raphael in Dubuque.

A funeral Mass was held Oct. 7.

A member of the Sisters of St. Francis of the Most Holy Family of Dubuque, Sr. Hoverman was born in Alta Vista, Iowa, in 1938. She heard the call of her vocation early in life, inspired by the example of the sisters who taught her in elementary school. She entered her congregation in 1956; was received with the name Sister Mary Angela Merici in 1957 and made her final vows in 1962.

An accomplished pianist, she turned her focus to communications after working as a music teacher for many years.

She first taught at Sacred Heart School in Melrose Park, Ill., until 1969 and then at St. Mary’s School in Dubuque from 1969 to 1982. During that time, she began nurturing an interest in photography and writing. She eventually enrolled in a class on video sponsored by a local cable company.

Archbishop James Byrne asked her to begin working part-time for the Dubuque Archdiocese in 1980. In 1982, she became the full-time director of communications.

From 1982 to 1985, she produced segments for “Real to Reel,” a faith based weekly TV series that was a collaborative effort of the archdiocese and the Iowa dioceses of Davenport, Des Moines and Sioux City and the Archdiocese of Omaha.

She also contributed to The Witness. In late 2001, Archbishop Jerome Hanus, offered Sr Hoverman the position of editor. She filled the roles of director of communications and editor from that time forward. She also continued to serve in music ministry.

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