A message to the St. Coletta of Wisconsin employees from Sr. Joanne Schatzlein and the Sisters of St. Francis of Assisi.

Presentation at St. Coletta of Wisconsin Staff Recognition Dinner Feb. 4, 2021

Theme: Prayer and Mission: Our history is the history of answered prayer.

On behalf of the Sisters of St. Francis of Assisi, those here today, those remembering you from afar, and those looking down with JOY from their eternal presence with God, I congratulate you on your 5th to 40th year anniversaries. Imagine that! During a pandemic, when so many challenges added longer hours, creating alternate and dynamic ways to meet the needs of our residents and clients served, their families, co-workers and leaders, you stayed present. You remained faithful to the Mission and Vision of St. Coletta of Wisconsin. For that the Sisters thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

The theme for this Mission Week is “Prayer and Mission: Our history is the history of answered prayer.” You may know that, at our last Annual Corporate Ministries Conference, which many of you were able to attend virtually, your Sponsors, The Administrative Team, invited a speaker to lead us in a discussion of the Franciscan Value of Prayer. We subsequently asked each ministry to find language that would be meaningful to express what Prayer might mean to all involved in the ministry. Those participating from St. Coletta described it as reflection, prayer and contemplation. Places to go and find time for this included the fountain, the grotto, the apple orchards, chapels, courtyards, gardens, before crosses in the homes, on walks and in the cemetery.

Think of these places; it is important because in all of these places there is indeed a history of answered prayer, beginning in 1904 and continuing on to this day. We Sisters often hear you ask us to remember you in our prayer, which we do. But being Franciscan Women, faithful to the vision of both St. Francis and St. Clare of Assisi, we recognize that we, the Sisters, don’t have a claim on God’s ear. The voices of prayer are lifted by every single person in this room – who in difficult times may have said something as simple as “God, help me!” Your history is filled with hundreds of thousands of voices who lifted their minds and hearts to God, asking for protection from inclement weather, for increased generosity from State funders and other donors to sustain this precious ministry, to remember those who are ill, or who have passed on into eternal life, and to give thanks for God’s abundant response over all these years, using YOU as an answer to those prayers. You do this with every act of kindness, care, compassion, support and respect. You are indeed God’s instruments and the answer to our prayer.

Congratulations, and may your coming years here at St. Coletta increase your ability to recognize answered prayers that take place every single day. God has blessed you and will continue to bless you! Amen.

Celebrating: Oluyomi Adeosun, Theresa George, Kathleen Stumpfoll, Jeanette Smith, Raphael Duruzor, Andrew Hancock, Jacqueline Clayton, Tom Ellingson, Carrie Fox, Tom Lewison, Sharon Maas, Stephanie Maass, Amy Myers, Kelly Quintero, Elizabeth Weese, Jeffrey Erwin, Brandy Musgrove, Kristine Toth, Lakeisha Booker, Robert Schmidt, Jim Kirchberg, Sister Grace Schauf, OSF

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