Thirteen Dubuque Franciscans observe diamond jubilees

DUBUQUE — The Dubuque Franciscan Sisters recently honored their diamond and double diamond jubilarians at a celebration at Mount St. Francis Center.

Thirteen sisters celebrated diamond jubilees (60 years) and six sisters celebrated double diamond jubilees (70 years) at a Eucharistic liturgy on Sunday, June 25.

Diamond jubilarians honored were Sisters Margaret Coleman, Julitta Deppe, Ann Marie Dunn, Margaret Hansen, Janet Haverkamp, Mary Ann Helle, Carol Hoverman, Madonna Lang, Phyllis Manternach, Monica McMahon, Doris Recker, Rosemary Vaske, and Myra Weitl.

Double diamond jubilarians honored were: Sisters Thecla Cain, Edna Ginder, Mary Assumpta Glaser, Jeanine McDermott, Alice Schaefer, and Consilia Schoenherr.


Sr. Margaret Coleman

Frank and Ann Riedel Coleman welcomed a daughter, Margaret, on Sept. 16, 1938, in New Hampton, Iowa. She and her only brother attended school at St. Mary’s, North Washington, Iowa. After entering the Dubuque Franciscans she graduated from Briar Cliff University, Sioux City, Iowa, and spent 21 years as an elementary and secondary teacher. Most of those years were spent in Chicago with brief intervals teaching in Iowa and serving as communications director and editor of the congregation’s newsletter. Sister did her graduate work at the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana. She returned to a variety of administrative ministries in Chicago for the next 29 years, primarily working in the Office for Religious for the Archdiocese of Chicago as Coordinator of the Retirement Fund for Religious. She recently retired to Mount St. Francis in Dubuque and gives thanks each day for the joy, richness, and inspiration she received from so many people in her 60 years as a Franciscan.


Sr. Julitta Deppe

Sister Julitta (Agnes Ann) Deppe is the seventh and youngest child of Clem and Frances (Weber) Deppe. She attended SS. Peter and Paul School in Petersburg, Iowa, and St. Francis Xavier Grade and High School in Dyersville, Iowa. She entered Mount St. Francis Convent on Aug. 25, 1956, was received on Aug. 12, 1957, and professed final vows on Aug. 12, 1962. She received her bachelor’s degree from Briar Cliff University in Sioux City, Iowa, and her master’s degree from the University of Illinois in Champaign-­Urbana. She taught middle school students for 45 years at St. Paul’s School, Worthington, Iowa; St. John Brebeuf School, Niles, Illinois; and at Sacred Heart, St. Mary/St. Patrick, and St. Joseph the Worker in Dubuque. For seven years she worked for Home Instead Senior Care in Dubuque. Currently she resides at Francis House, Mount St. Francis Center. “I am grateful to God for bountiful blessings!” said Sister Julitta of her Jubilee.


Sr. Ann Marie Dunn

Sister Ann Marie (Margaret) Dunn, was born in Roseville, Iowa. She was the oldest of five children. Her parents, Franklin and Rose Dunn, moved to Alta Vista, Iowa when she was in the eighth grade. She attended St. William’s High School in Alta Vista and entered Mount St. Francis in 1956. Her years of ministry include 14 years of teaching in elementary schools in Webster City, Fillmore, Otter Creek, LaMotte, all in Iowa, and Chicago and Hazel Crest in Illinois. She is a graduate of Briar Cliff University in Sioux City, Iowa, and St. Mary’s in Winona, Minnesota. Since 1974 she has served as director of religious education and/or pastoral minister in Jefferson, Cherokee, Estherville, Forest City/Lake Mills, Fairfield, and Mt. Pleasant, all in Iowa and Palisade, Colorado. She is now retired at Mount St. Francis and enjoys volunteering.

Sr. Margaret Hansen

Sister Margaret Hansen is the 13th of 14 children born to Emil and Margaret (Gaul) Hansen. She grew up in LeMars, Iowa, and attended St. Joseph Grade School and Gehlen High School, completing her high school at Immaculate Conception Academy in Dubuque. During her high school years in LeMars, she worked in various positions at Sacred Heart Hospital with Franciscan Sisters. She served as a teacher and/or principal at schools in Dubuque, Alton, Sioux City, and Maquoketa, all in Iowa. After retiring from education, she entered the ministry of massage therapy in Michigan where she is now retired. Sister serves in volunteer ministries including leading services in nursing homes and visiting shut-ins, as well as tutoring a young single mother. “My heart is filled with gratitude as I reflect on the blessings of these 60 years,” said Sister Margaret.

Sr. Janet Haverkamp

Sister Janet Haverkamp was born Feb. 12, 1938, to Leo and Mary (Freking) Haverkamp. Sister lived with her five siblings on a farm near Remsen, Iowa, where she attended grade and high school taught by the Franciscan Sisters of Dubuque. Sister Janet was an elementary teacher for 36 years in schools in Iowa, Minnesota, Oregon, and California. After teaching, Sister was the meal site coordinator and office assistant at Alverno Apartments for 10 years. Sister also spent seven years serving as the coordinator of medical companions for the retired Sisters at Mount St. Francis. Presently, Sister Janet enjoys using her skills of photography and Photoshop to create greeting cards for the sisters. Jubilee reminds Sister Janet of the tremendous generosity of the Holy One and her Franciscan Community of 60 years.


Sr. Mary Ann Helle

Sister Mary Ann Helle (Vincent De Paul) was born on Nov. 3, 1937, in Dyersville, Iowa. Her parents were George Helle and Sedella Kramer. Sister graduated in 1955 and entered the Sisters of St. Francis in 1956. She received her bachelor’s degree from Briar Cliff University, Sioux City, Iowa, and her master’s degree from University of South Dakota, Vermillon. Sister served as principal at St. Mary’s, Remsen, Iowa, and Sacred Heart River­side, Sioux City. Other missions that Sister served were St. Joseph, Granville, Iowa; St. Mary’s, Humboldt, Iowa; St. Anne’s, Hazel Crest, Illinois, and Melrose Park, Illinois. Sister retired to Mount St. Francis in 2005 and was coordinator of the sewing room. She moved to Clare House in 2015. Sister Mary Ann loves to read books, put together jigsaw puzzles and play cards.


Sr. Carol Hoverman

Sister Carol Hoverman (Angela Merici) was born Nov. 22, 1938, to Gary and Amanda (Pins) Hoverman. She was taught by Dubuque Franciscans at St. William’s School in Alta Vista, Iowa, and entered Mount St. Francis on Aug. 25, 1956. She graduated from Briar Cliff University and was a classroom and private music teacher at Sacred Heart School, Melrose Park, Illinois from 1959-1969. She continued this ministry at St. Mary’s School in Dubuque that fall. In 1980, she became Director of Communications for the Archdiocese of Dubuque. In 2002, she was appointed to be the first woman editor of The Witness and retired in December 2014. She is now parish musician at St. Patrick Parish, Dubuque. “I am grateful to God and our community for the amazing journey of these 60 years,” said Sister Carol.


Sr. Madonna Lang

Sister Madonna Lang entered Mount St. Francis from Manson, Iowa, in 1956. Her parents are the late Edward and Frances (Rapp) Lang. She attended a country school and Manson Community High School until her senior year, when she entered Mount St. Francis. She completed her high school education at Immaculate Conception Academy, and then she attended Briar Cliff University in Sioux City, Iowa. Her first teaching ministry was at St. Francis Xavier, Dyersville, Iowa, followed by teaching in other Iowa schools: St. Lawrence, Otter Creek; Holy Trinity, Luxemburg; Holy Ghost, Dubuque; SS. Peter and Paul, Petersburg; St. Thomas Aquinas, Webster City; St. Mary’s, Manchester; Sacred Heart, Sioux City; and St. Mary, and Queen of Peace, Waterloo. She, also taught in Portland, Oregon, and in Okolona and Calhoun City, Mississippi. She is retired at Mount St. Francis in Dubuque. She serves as a medical companion to sisters attending doctor’s appointments. “It is with great joy and gratitude that God called me to this Franciscan Community,” she said of her Jubilee.


Sr. Phyllis Manternach

Sister Phyllis Manternach (Anthony Mary) is the fourth of seven children born to Norbert and Katherine Muller Manternach of Monticello, Iowa. She attended Sacred Heart School from kindergarten through 12th grade. Sister entered Mount St. Francis on Aug. 25, 1956, was received on Aug. 12, 1957, and professed final vows on August 12, 1962. She received her bachelor’s degree from Briar Cliff University in Sioux City and her master’s degree from the University of South Dakota in Vermillion. From childhood on, Sister had wanted to be a teacher and spent over 40 years ministering to elementary and junior high students as a teacher and/or principal in the parish schools in Ossian, Waterloo, Pocahontas, Jesup and Templeton/Halbur/Roselle in Iowa; Melrose Park in Illinois; and Crescent City in California. Currently residing at Francis House, Sister serves as librarian and enjoys nature photography.


Sr. Monica McMahon

Sister Monica Mary (Chabanel) is the youngest of four children born to Albert and Marie Sullivan McMahon on February 28, 1938. She graduated from Holy Rosary High School in LaMotte, Iowa. She attended Briar Cliff University and also respiratory therapy school in Wichita, Kansas. Her ministries included: housekeeper at Sacred Heart, Dubuque; laundry service at hospitals in LeMars, Iowa, and respiratory therapist in Cuba City, Wisconsin, Rochester, Minnesota, and Racine, Wisconsin. She is now retired and lives at Clare House. She enjoys playing Euchre, polishing rocks for jewelry, watching movies, and decorating her room as an “FBI” – Full Blooded Irishwoman. “Jubilee is a time to celebrate and remember many friends and relatives who blessed my life,” said Sister Monica.


Sr. Doris Recker

Sister Doris Recker was born in Dyersville, Iowa, to Clarence and Agnes (Helle) Recker. She was baptized in St. Francis Xavier Basilica, Dyersville, and later graduated from Xavier High School, Dyersville, and Briar Cliff University, Sioux City, Iowa. Doris entered the Dubuque Franciscans in 1956 and at her reception in 1957 she was given the name Sister Roderic. She was blessed to pursue two of her passions–teaching and chaplain ministry. She taught in Iowa schools in Pocahontas, Holy Cross, and Luxemburg; and Illinois schools in North Riverside and Midlothian. She began chaplain work at Loyola Hospital, Chicago; St. Elizabeth Hospital, Chicago; and later served for 23 years at Palos Community Hospital, Palos Heights, Illinois. Presently, Sister Doris volunteers at St. Christopher’s School, the food pantry, and ministers to the homebound. “Celebrating Jubilee as a Dubuque Franciscan is a special time of gratitude for the call and the many supportive individuals encountered on this beautiful faith journey.”


Sr. Rosemary Vaske

Sister Rosemary Vaske was born, raised and attended school in Remsen, Iowa. After graduating from St. Mary’s, she entered the congregation in 1956. She taught primary grades and prepared the students for the Eucharist for 36 years in Iowa schools. Later, she took a clinical pastoral education course in La Crosse, Wisconsin, and then ministered as a chaplain at the Veterans Home in Marshalltown, Iowa, for 11 years. Many summers found her in various places throughout the world among people who were poor by volunteering with the Franciscan Common Venture program. Currently she lives at Mount St. Francis and ministers at Stonehill Franciscan Services. “Jubilee is a time to be truly thankful for all the ways God has been leading me, taking me places and among people that I hadn’t planned. I truly believe that all of this has helped me to be the person I am today,” said Sister Rosemary.


Sr. Myra Weitl

Sister Myra Weitl is the daughter of Charles W. Weitl and Anna (Liewer) Weitl, and the fifth of seven children. She was born on a farm near Templeton, Iowa. Sister attended Sacred Heart School in Templeton from kindergarten through 12th grade, graduating from Briar Cliff University, Sioux City. She entered the Dubuque Franciscan Sisters in 1956 because of the example she admired in the sisters who taught her. She taught elementary grades for 55 years at St. Timothy’s in Minnesota; at schools in St. Donatus, Holy Cross, Alton, Remsen, Arcadia, all in Iowa; and in Calhoun City, Mississippi. She is now retired at Mount Saint Francis.

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