Eleven Sisters of the Sorrowful Mother Celebrate Jubilees in 2015

2015 SSM JUBILARIANS: Eleven of the Sisters from the Congregation of the Sisters of the Sorrowful Mother (SSM), Third Order Regular of St. Francis of Assisi, are celebrating their jubilees in 2015.

Sister Mary Joan Koskie, Sister M. Johnette Marek, Sister Mary Joseph Palma, Sister Patricia Marie Dunn, Sister Alberta Frances McBride, Sister M. Barbara Hollweck and Sister M. Piniana Klein are celebrating 60 years with the community; and Sister Mary Fortunata Abraham, Sister Mary Bernard, Sister Sharon Rollings and Sister Joan Angela Edwards are celebrating 50 years.

Sister Mary Joan Koskie entered the community in Milwaukee. She taught at grade schools in the Milwaukee area and served as organist and choir directress. She then served as a nurse, nursing supervisor, social worker and in leadership positions in Milwaukee, Tulsa, Okla., and Wichita, Kan.  She is now retired and continues to engage in outreach ministries to the needy from her home in Oshkosh, Wis.

Sister M. Johnette Marek entered the community in Milwaukee in 1952. She has ministered over the years in many roles in healthcare, including a supervisory position at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Marshfield, Wis., Director of Pastoral Care at St. Anthony’s Hospital in Milwaukee, and Director of Spiritual Services and Chaplain at Mercy Medical Center in Oshkosh, Wis. She is now relief-on-call Chaplain for Mercy Medical Center.

Sister Mary Joseph Palma entered the community in Milwaukee. Her primary ministry over the years was serving as a teacher at schools in the Milwaukee area. She also served in administration of the Congregation. She presently resides in Oshkosh, Wis.

Sister Patricia Marie Dunn entered the community in Milwaukee in 1951. She taught primarily in elementary schools for 40 years in Iowa, New Jersey and Wisconsin; nine of these years were teaching in the inner city in Milwaukee. She was later missioned to the Dominican Republic, where she began a day care center and ministered to those in need. She then she taught religious education and ministered in the CARE program at St. Raphael’s parish in Oshkosh, Wis., and taught religious education at St. Joseph’s Parish in Wautoma, Wis. She now lives in Oshkosh, Wis., where she volunteers helping the other Sisters.

Sister Alberta Frances McBride entered the community in 1952. She has served in many ministries over the years, primarily in Milwaukee. Her ministries included SSM Postulant Directress, working at the Justice and Peace Center on women’s issues, administrator of the Children’s Home, principal of two grade schools, and counselor at the Task Force for Battered Women. She continues in leadership roles for vocations and the SSM Associates, as well as lectors, distributes communion, and sings in her Parish choir.

Sister M. Barbara Hollweck entered the community in Abenberg, Germany. Her ministry was in nursing. She worked as a nurse and nurse supervisor in Wichita, Kan., and Estherville, Iowa; a clinical instructor at St. Joseph’s School of Nursing in Marshfield, Wis.; and at Hospice Home Care in Marshfield, Wis. She is now retired and volunteers at St. Joseph Hospital in Marshfield in intensive care and hospice home care.

Sister M. Piniana Klein entered the community in 1952 in Abenberg, Germany. She came to the U.S. in 1955 and spent the majority of her time ministering in hospitals, working in diet services, sewing and as a Sacristan. She is now retired and living in Oshkosh, Wis., where she spends her time praying and reading.

Sister Mary Fortunata Abraham entered the community in Barbados, West Indies. She has served as a nurse and other roles in healthcare ministries in Milwaukee and Marshfield, Wis., Grenada, St. Lucia and Austria. She currently ministers to the elderly in Trinidad, West Indies.

Sister Mary Bernard also entered the community in Barbados, West Indies. She was missioned as a teacher in Speightstown, Barbados, and then pursued a nursing career. Throughout her religious life she has cared for the sick and suffering in healthcare facilities in Wisconsin, New Jersey, and Tulsa, Okla. She presently volunteers with Catholic Charities and Holy Family Cathedral in the Diocese of Tulsa.

Sister Sharon Rollings entered the community in Milwaukee. She has served in ministries over the years in education and healthcare across Wisconsin. She most recently served as Patient Advocate at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Marshfield, Wis. for 25 years, before retiring in 2014. She currently lives in Oshkosh, Wis., where she volunteers helping the other Sisters.

Sister Joan Angela Edwards entered the community in Barbados in 1962. She taught junior and secondary high school students; serving as a teacher and principal for many years. She currently ministers in Maryland, working with Caribbean Immigrants living in North America, who worship in the American Catholic Church.

A liturgy to celebrate these Sisters’ jubilees will be held on Sunday, August 9, 2015, at St. Raphael the Archangel Church, 830 South Westhaven Dr., Oshkosh, WI. Relatives and friends of the Sisters have been invited to attend. Please note there will not be live streaming available of the service. A video tribute to the SSM jubilarians can be found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Go5z1Fv41EA.

The Sisters of the Sorrowful Mother, Third Order Regular of St. Francis of Assisi, are a religious community of women who, through ministry and prayer, bring fuller life to others. The Congregation has been helping the poor, sick and those in need across the world since 1883. The Sisters currently live and minister in communities across the United States including Oshkosh, Milwaukee, Marshfield, Weston, and Wautoma, Wis.; Denville, N. J.; and Tulsa, Okla. In addition, the Sisters have ministry locations internationally in the Caribbean islands of Grenada, St. Lucia, Trinidad and the Dominican Republic; and Brazil, Germany, Italy, Austria and Tanzania. The Provincial Office for the U.S./Caribbean Province is located at 815 South Westhaven Drive, Suite 100, Oshkosh, Wis., 54904. For more information, please contact Emily Anderson, Communications Director, at 920-230-2040 or eanderson@ssm-uscaribbean.org.