Dubuque Franciscans celebrate golden jubilees

DUBUQUE – The Dubuque Franciscan Sisters will honor their golden jubilarians (50 years) at a celebration on June 24 at Mount St. Francis Center. Four sisters will celebrate golden jubilees at a Eucharistic liturgy on Saturday, June 24, at 11:30 a.m., at Mount St. Francis Chapel. Golden jubilarians are: Sisters Carol Besch, Patricia Clemen, Kathy Lentsch, and Nancy Meyerhofer.

Carol Besch

Sister Carol Besch is the second of five children born to Aurellia and George (Alig) Besch. She attended St. Michael’s School in Whittemore, Iowa and Garrigan High School in Algona, Iowa. She entered religious life in 1966 and received a bachelor’s degree at Clarke University. Her first minis­try was teaching at Resurrection, Dubuque; St. Joseph’s, Farley, Iowa; and St. Edwards, Waterloo, Iowa. She professed her final vows in August 1975. She completed a master’s degree in theology at St. John’s University, Collegeville, Minnesota, and directed religious education in Monticello, Iowa, and Pueblo, Colorado. For 10 years Sister Carol served with four other sisters in Suchitoto, El Salvador. Since returning from El Salvador she has ministered among Hispanics in North Central Iowa and in Dubuque. Sensing a need for counseling among the Latino population, she completed a master’s degree in counseling from Loyola University, Chicago. From 2008 to 2014 she served as a member of the leadership team for the Franciscan Sisters. At this time of celebrating Jubilee, Sister Carol sees that “all is gift.”

Patricia Clemen

Sister Patricia “Pat” Clemen is one of nine siblings born to Gregor and Marie Clemen in Dyersville, Iowa. In 1966 she joined the Sisters of Saint Francis and professed her vows on Nov. 9, 1974. She received her bachelor of science in nursing at Marycrest College, Davenport, Iowa, and master’s degree in theological studies at Springhill College, Mobile, Alabama. Her nursing ministry began at Xavier Hospital, Dubuque. In 1978 she moved to Mississippi and currently resides in Morton, Mississippi. Pat’s nursing experiences include coronary care supervisor, health facility surveyor, and school health consultant. From 1988-2008 she volunteered as DRE/RCIA director at the Cathedral Parish, Jackson, Mississippi. Presently, Sister Pat is quality improvement director at Sta-Home Health and Hospice in Jackson and volunteers at Excel Learning Center in Morton, Mississippi, teaching CPR. “Jubilee is a time to pause, reflect, forgive and celebrate life/relationships!” said Sister Pat.

 Kathy Lentsch

Sister Kathy Lentsch, daughter of Grace and Maynard Lentsch, grew up on a farm near Clare, Iowa. After graduation in 1966 from St. Edmond’s High School in Fort Dodge, Iowa, she entered the convent. Her final profession of vows was in 1975 at St. Matthew’s Church in Clare, where she had been baptized and confirmed. In 1971 Sister Kathy received a bachelor’s degree from Clarke University in Dubuque and in her early ministries taught primary grades at Niles, Illinois, and Iowa schools of Mason City, Bankston, and Sheldon. Later she received her MA in Christian Spirituality in 1981 from Creighton University, Omaha, Nebraska. Using her gifts, her ministries included working in retreat centers such as Colette Renewal Center in Dubuque and Marywood Spirituality Center in northern Wisconsin. Sister Kathy also served in campus ministry at the University of Iowa and Grand Junction, Colorado. From 2000-2008 she was part of the congregation’s Leadership Team. Presently, Sister Kathy works in pastoral care for the congregation. “I have loved my religious life in whatever manner I served. It is my community of sisters and those I have served that that have given me blessings, grace and inspiration,” said Sister Kathy.

Nancy Meyerhofer

Sister Nancy Meyerhofer was born to Clem and Rose Meyerhofer in February of 1948 and lived her first 14 years on their family farm in the Meyer, Iowa, parish. In the fall of 1962 she began to attend the congregation’s aspirancy for three years and finished her high school in Riceville, Iowa. She entered the congregation in the fall of 1966 and graduated from Loras College in spring of 1971. Her career as a high school teacher included five years at Garrigan in Algona, Iowa, and two years in Holy Cross, Iowa. During these years she studied at Boston College in the summertime and acquired a master’s degree in religious education. After a year of pastoral ministry in San Antonio, Texas, she began her missionary career first in Arica, Chile, for 10 years, then in Suchitoto, El Salvador for 12 years, followed by three years at the University of San Diego, obtaining a master’s in pastoral counseling and a certificate degree in spiritual direction. During this period, she also worked half-time in a factory in Tijuana, Mexico. She is currently completing her 12th year in Honduras. “I have been privileged to happily serve the Gospel in all my ministries, especially among poor people in Latin America,” said Sister Nancy of her Jubilee.