Diamond – 60 Years

Sister Margaret Burkle

Sister Margaret Burkle

Sister Marge Burkle was born in Dyersville, Iowa, the second daughter of Charles and Luetta (Tauke) Burkle.   She has eight sisters and one brother.  Her education began at Xavier Grade School and High School.  Sister received a bachelor’s degree from Briar Cliff University, Sioux City, Iowa, and a master’s degree from the University of St. Thomas, Houston, Texas.  She ministered at Holy Trinity, Dubuque, and Marquette High School in Bellevue.  She also served as Director of Special Services for the Archdiocese of Dubuque and for 26 years as the congregation’s Retirement Director.  “I feel very blessed,” said Sister Marge of her Jubilee.

Sister Lois Erpelding

Sister Lois Erpelding

Sister Lois Erpelding, daughter of Paul and Rosalia Erpelding, originates from St. Joseph, Bode, Iowa. After graduating from Algona Garrigan, she completed her bachelor’s degree at Briar Cliff, Sioux City, Iowa and a master’s degree from St. John University, Collegeville, Minnesota.  She taught elementary students in Dyersville, Cascade, Petersburg, Sioux City, also in Minnesota and Illinois.  Sister Lois served as Director of Religious Education/ Pastoral Associate in Sioux City, Marion, Waterloo, New Hampton, Lawler, and Mason City in Iowa. Recently she ministered in Waseca, Minnesota as Pastoral Associate, volunteer in Federal Women’s prison, Waseca Area Secular Franciscan Spiritual Assistant, and Associate Mayo Hospital Chaplain.  Sister Lois now resides in Clare Retirement Home in Dubuque. I am grateful in co-partnering with family, Franciscan Community, co-workers, parishioners throughout these years. With St. Francis of Assisi I proclaim: “May God bring to completion with joy what we have begun with God’s grace.” (Sc Ex 66)

Sister Dorothy Heiderscheit

Sister Dorothy Heiderscheit

Sister Dorothy Heiderscheit was born in Holy Cross, Iowa, to Mathew and Frances Pfeiler Heiderscheit.  Sister Dorothy received a bachelor’s degree from Briar Cliff University, Sioux City, Iowa, and Marycrest College in Davenport, Iowa; and a master’s degree from Tulane University, New Orleans.  Sister taught in Cascade, Iowa.  She also served at Vera French Community Mental Health Center, Davenport; Region V Community Mental Health Center, Greenville, Mississippi; Catholic Charities, Jackson, Mississippi, was President of the congregation, and CEO of The Southdown Institute, Holland Landing, Ontario, Canada. Sister currently resides at Mount St. Francis Center in Dubuque and serves as a facilitator and consultant for religious congregations.   “Community and ministry have been a blessing in my life. The gift of experiencing God in everyone I encounter and share life with is truly the Gospel coming alive. The joy of this Jubilee is deeply embedded in my gratitude for family, community and the People of God around the world who have touched my life.”

Sister Janet Hrubes

Sister Janet Hrubes

Sister Jan Hrubes was born to Alice (Rokos) and Frank Hrubes in Garner, Iowa.  She had one older brother, Donald (now deceased).  She enjoyed growing up on the farm, riding her horse, and many family experiences. After graduating from Garner High School, she worked for a year in the Hancock County Courthouse, and then entered the Sisters of St. Francis Community in September of 1963. She received her bachelor’s degree from Briar Cliff College, Sioux City, Iowa. Sister Jan taught at schools in Chicago, River Forest, Cook County Jail, in Illinois and Greenwood, MS.. She holds master’s degrees in Human Services and Counseling from DePaul University, Chicago.  Sr. Jan was a high school guidance counselor in Chicago, Burbank, and River Forest in Illinois.  Presently Sr. Jan volunteers with the Franciscan Resource Center, Melrose Park, Illinois, providing resources for those in need. “I am so thankful for all the blessings of these past 60 years and thank you to everyone who has touched my life!”

Sister Eileen Miller

Sister Eileen Miller

A native of St. Peter, Minnesota, Sister Eileen Miller was born to Howard and Alice Miller.  Sister received her bachelor’s degree at Briar Cliff University, Sioux City, Iowa, and her master’s degree from DePaul University, Chicago.  Sister taught at Beckman High School, Dyersville, Iowa; Leo High School, Holy Cross, Iowa; Marquette High School, Bellevue, Iowa; and Gehlen Catholic High School, LeMars, Iowa.  She also served as the Director of Support Services for retired sisters residing at Mount St. Francis Center and the Programming Coordinator for Shalom Spirituality Center in Dubuque.  “The 60 years have gone very quickly, and I have been very happy in them.  I cannot imagine my life having been anything other than that of a member of my congregation,” said Sister Eileen.

Sister Darcy Peletich

Sister Darcy Peletich

Sister Darcy Peletich was born in Worthington, Iowa, only child of Frank and Marie Peletich.  She ministered in elementary grades in Iowa, and Illinois.  She served at Briar Cliff University in Sioux City, Iowa, 10 years for the Archdiocese of Baltimore, and pastoral administrator at St. Joseph’s parish in Bristow, Oklahoma. Sister worked with the tribal colleges for 10 years in Nebraska, having the honor of assisting in establishing the new Little Priest Tribal College.  Sister also ministered at Kino Library in the Diocese of Phoenix, Arizona, and is now retired and builds community among the people who live in the Meadows 55+ retirement mobile/manufactured home neighborhood.  “As I celebrate Jubilee, I give thanks to God for the many persons, blessings, challenges and varied experiences given to me as a member of our Franciscan community,” said Sister Darcy.

Sister Donna Schmitt

Sister Donna Schmitt

Sister Donna Schmitt was born in Rickardsville, Iowa, to Anna Marie and Raymond Schmitt.  She attended St. Joseph School, Rickardsville, and Leo High School, Holy Cross, Iowa.  Sister Donna received her bachelor’s degree from Briar Cliff University, Sioux City, Iowa, and her master’s degree in education from Boston University.  She taught at St. John Brebeuf, Niles, Illinois; and St. Mary’s, Cascade, Iowa.  Sister ministered as Director of Education (DRE) in Illinois at St. Marcelline, Schaumburg; St. Joseph, Downers Grove and St. John Brebeuf, Niles; and in Louisa, Kentucky at St. Jude. She has served for 24 years as the DRE at St. Gilbert Parish in Grayslake, Illinois, where she designs programs for students ages preschool through 9th grade; works with adults in a biweekly program that discusses the Sunday Gospel; organizes the SPRED program (students with special needs); and assist families in the grieving process through planning wakes and funerals.  “With the support of the Sisters of St. Francis, I have begun new ministries, fulfilled dreams, and followed the mission of Jesus to bring about the kingdom,” she said of her Jubilee.