The Sisters of St. Francis of Dubuque elected a new Leadership Team for the next six years during the community’s Chapter of Elections, which met December 27-31, 2019 at Shalom Retreat Center in Dubuque.
Elected to leadership for the congregation are: Sister Kathy Knipper, president; and Sisters Patricia (Pat) Clemen, Maureen Leach, and Brenda Whetstone, vice presidents.
Sister Kathy Knipper has served as vice president for the Sisters of St. Francis Leadership Team since 2014. Her previous ministries include associate professor of education at Briar Cliff University, Director of Curriculum for the Diocese of Sioux City and teacher in elementary schools in Holy Cross, Iowa; Waterloo, Iowa; and Dubuque. Sister Kathy graduated from Clarke University, Dubuque, has a master’s degree from the University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, Minnesota, and a doctoral degree from the University of South Dakota, Vermillion.
Sister Pat Clemen currently serves as Catholic Charities’ coordinator for Parish Health Ministry in Jackson, Mississippi, and volunteers at Excel Learning Center in Morton, Mississippi, teaching CPR. She has lived in Mississippi since 1978 and previously served in Jackson as the Quality Improvement Director at Sta-Home Health and Hospice and DRE/RCIA Director at the Cathedral Parish. Her nursing experience includes coronary care supervisor, health facility surveyor, and school health consultant. 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.
Sister Maureen Leach is a Spanish/English interpreter with international experience. Additionally, she works as a licensed massage therapist specializing in hospice care in San Antonio, Texas. She has more than 35 years of ministry experience in Texas: as a social service worker with the National Farm Worker Ministry, a teacher trainer/adult education instructor, and an education coordinator at Visitation House Transitional Housing. Previously she served in church ministry in rural Guatemala and as activities director at Stonehill Franciscan Services in Dubuque. She edited a book of essays on healing from trauma and co-authored a book on the Psalms. Her bachelor’s degree in Spanish is from the University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls.
Sister Brenda Whetstone is a nurse at Lackey Convalescent Home in Forest, Mississippi, and volunteers at EXCEL, Inc. in Morton, Mississippi. She previously served in pastoral care in Gracias, Lempira, Honduras, and in Dubuque as a nurse at Stonehill Franciscan Services, and Holy Family Hall, at Mount St. Francis Center. Sister Brenda received a bachelor’s degree in theology from Briar Cliff University in Sioux City, Iowa. Following graduation, she served in the United States Army where she received her licensed practical nurse training from St. Philip’s College in San Antonio.
Installation of the new leadership team will take place on May 31 at Mount St. Francis Center in Dubuque.
Photo from left to right: Sisters Maureen Leach, Kathy Knipper, Brenda Whetstone and Pat Clemen.