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Franciscan Sisters of St. Joseph honor jubilarians

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Celebrating jubilee anniversaries are (seated, from left) Sister Helen Dirig (60), Sister Stephen Hadrych (65), Sister Marie Stachowiak (60) and Sister Richard Outcault (65), and (standing, from left) Sister Ann Lyons (60), Sister Marcia Ann Fiutko (general minister), Sister Mary Beth Bejma (60).

HAMBURG — The Franciscan Sisters of St. Joseph celebrated the 60th and 65th anniversaries of sisters living in their Hamburg convent. These sisters have embraced the community’s Franciscan Spirituality by reaching out to all those who are marginalized and looked upon as not belonging. St. Francis proclaimed the Gospel of compassion and care for creation while living in solidarity with the poor. As followers of Jesus and Francis, the sisters love creation and desire to work toward caring for creation because earth is, as Pope Francis says, “Our Common Home.” 

Celebrating jubilee anniversaries are Sister Helen Dirig, Sister Stephen Hadrych, Sister Marie Stachowiak, Sister Richard Outcault, Sister Ann Lyons and Sister Mary Beth Bejma.

The Franciscan Sisters of St. Joseph were founded by Agnes Victoria Hilbert, a Sister of Charity of St. Charles Borromeo. In 1889, Sister Colette and four sisters of St. Charles Borromeo were sent to educate the children of St. Stanislaus Parish in Pittsburgh. Eight years later, Sister Colette was transferred to Trenton, New Jersey and was asked to end her affiliation with her congregation in Europe and establish a new congregation of sisters in the United States. With the assistance of the Order of Friars Minor Conventual, Pope Leo XIII had granted Sister Colette permission to establish a new congregation of sisters with the mission of service to God’s people through education and charitable works.

In 1928, Sister Colette became the first general minister of the newly-established Congregation of the Franciscan Sisters of St. Joseph. Because of the Congregation’s growth in the number of women applying to this new way of life, the sisters moved from Buffalo to the convent in Hamburg.

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