Sr. Marilyn Freking
Sister Marilyn (Veronica) Freking was born June 29, 1939, to John and Mary (Waldschmitt) Freking. Her mother married Elmer (E.V) Willenborg of Dyersville, Iowa, in 1978. She entered Mount St. Francis on September 3, 1957. She graduated from Briar Cliff University in Sioux City, Iowa, and taught at St. Christopher’s in Midlothian, Illinois, and Corpus Christi in Chicago. In 1973 Sister Marilyn became a pastoral minister at Corpus Christi coordinating a volunteer group for the community, United Community Golden Agers, soup kitchen, social services to people of the neighborhood, and served on Greater Grand/Mid South Mental Health Advisory Board. “I thank God for the gift of my family, my Franciscan family, and my Corpus Christi family,” said Sister Marilyn.
Sr. Nancy Frommelt
Sister Nancy Frommelt, daughter of Art and Dorothy, is a Dubuque Northender. Sister Nancy nurtured herself and her students with the questions: “What are you becoming?” “Why?” This challenge echoed in the school halls of Niles, Illinois; Remsen and Bancroft, Iowa; Briar Cliff University, Sioux City; Dubuque County Jail; and Pine Ridge Reservation. Having received an MA from University of Iowa in history and an MS from University of Clear Lake, Texas, in future studies, Sister Nancy continued her question by giving national workshops for Global Education Associates (GEA) on “Imaging a New World Order” and the Bishops pastorals on peace and economic justice. The New Jersey Governor School on Public Issues allowed her to address hunger, housing, and community with young scholars. Alternatives to Violence in prisons and managing a food pantry in Chester, Pennsylvania, expanded her understanding of the questions as did the years spent in teaching and reflection at Pendle Hill, a Quaker Center of Study and Contemplation in Pennsylvania. Now Sister Nancy resides at Mount St. Francis-–home again in the North End and still questioning.
Sr. Elaine Gehling
Sister Elaine Gehling was born to Joseph and Emma (Hageman) Gehling in Ossian, Iowa, and attended St. Francis De Sales School. She graduated from Briar Cliff College with a degree in history. She taught at Holy Cross, Iowa, and Melrose Park, Illinois. In 1966, she did intensive Spanish language studies at the International Cultural Center in Cuernavaca, Mexico, to prepare for missionary work in Chillan, Chile. Afterwords, she did advocacy work in Waterloo, Iowa, social security disability cases at Legal Services and Principal Financial Group in Des Moines, and Spanish interpretation for the Napa Schools in Napa, California. In 2017 she retired to Mount St. Francis and is thankful for prayer time, reading, and the opportunities to be present at community and family events.
Sr. Carol Ann Hauber
Sister Carol Ann Hauber (Dolorosa) is one of six children, born and raised on a farm in Iowa. She entered the religious community of the Sisters of St. Francis of the Holy Family in Dubuque in 1957. She received her BA in history and elementary education from Briar Cliff University in Sioux City, Iowa, and earned her MA in reading from Clarke College in Dubuque. As a Franciscan Sister, she taught first, second, and third grades at St. Mary’s in Waterloo, Iowa, from 1960 to 1965, followed by Sacred Heart in Dubuque until 1972. She then taught 4th grade at St. John Brebeuf in Niles, Illinois, until 2012. For the next four years, she worked in the school library, did substitute teaching, and support reading for grades 4 through 8, until her retirement in 2016. Sister Carol Ann has always found the profession of teaching to be a stimulating, challenging and rewarding experience. Her free time is spent sewing for herself and others, reading, and socializing with friends.
Sr. Liz Hilvers
Sister Liz Hilvers (Francis Xavier), the youngest of three daughters of Hank and Laura (Cullen) Hilvers, was born in Cuba City, Wisconsin, on June 7, 1939. The Sinsinawa Dominicans were her teachers at St. Rose School in Cuba City, and the Franciscans at Immaculate Conception Academy in Dubuque. She was received into the Sisters of St. Francis in August of 1958, after which she earned her bachelor of music degree from Briar Cliff University. Her years of ministry included teaching classroom and private music lessons at Mary of the Woods in Edgebrook, Illinois, and Holy Trinity in Dubuque. She received a master’s degree in theology/liturgy at the University of Notre Dame, and then served as liturgist/choir director at Mount St. Francis for 35 years. Currently retired in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, Sister Liz is grateful to belong to a group of gracious Franciscan women who strive to enhance the lives of others.
Sr. Mary Colleen Hoversten
Sister Mary Colleen Hoversten was born to Joseph and Gertrude (Carroll) Hoversten on a farm in Anthon, Iowa, the fourth of six children. Crop failure caused the family to move to Sioux City, Iowa, where Sister Mary Colleen graduated from Saint Boniface, Heelan High, and after two years at Briar Cliff University, entered the Sisters of St. Francis in Dubuque, finishing college with a bachelor’s degree. She served as a primary teacher in Iowa schools at St. Mary’s, Dubuque, Granville, Saint Catherine’s, Dubuque, Templeton, and Luxemburg, and Midlothian and Niles in Illinois. After 26 years in the classroom, she was invited to take the newly created position of maintenance/household assistant at Mount St. Francis, remaining in this position for 33 years and still serving as such. “I praise the Lord for grace filled opportunities, challenges and experiences down through 60 years as a Franciscan.”
Sr. Mildred Leuenberger
Sister Mildred Leuenberger (Willamene) was born to William and Clara (Loesch) Leuenberger in their home in Ossian, Iowa. She was educated by the Dubuque Franciscans at St. Francis DeSales Catholic School in Ossian. On September 3, 1957 she entered Mount St. Francis in Dubuque. Sister graduated from Briar Cliff University with a degree in elementary education. She taught in Garnavillo, Monticello, Holy Trinity Dubuque, St. Mary’s Waterloo, Templeton, Halbur, Pochontas, all in Iowa, and Sauk Rapids, Minnesota. As a pastoral associate, Sister ministered in Maquoketa, Elma, Alta Vista, Lourdes, Ionia, North Washington, Nashua, Osage, and Stacyville. In 1995 Sister was appointed by Archbishop Kucera as Pastoral Administer for the Balltown and Sherrill Churches. For nine summers, Sister participated in the Theological Institute at St. Norbert’s College in DePere, Wisconsin. She attended classes and was on the staff. In her retirement Sister lives in Stacyville, Iowa, with a ministry of prayer and presence. “I am so blessed and grateful for God’s presence in my life.”
Sr. Dorothy Schwendinger
Sister Dorothy (Louisa) Schwendinger grew up on a farm near Monticello, Iowa. She attended 12 years of schooling at Sacred Heart in Monticello. Her elementary and high school teaching ministry was at Melrose Park, Illinois; Beckman High School in Dyersville; and Regis High School in Cedar Rapids. Later she ministered as a counselor in St. John Brebeuf Parish in Niles, Illinois. She has served on the congregation’s formation and leadership teams and has served as chancellor in the Diocese of New Ulm, Minnesota. She lives at Mount St. Francis and is a pastoral minister and offers spiritual direction. “Jubilee is an occasion to both remember the joys and blessings of the past and to resolve to live fully into a future full of hope. God’s call which led me to the Dubuque Franciscans is a blessing both my family and community have faithfully supported and confirmed. Truly it has been gift,” said Sister Dorothy.
Sr. Janet Taphorn
Sister Janet (Lyle) Taphorn was born on October 21, 1937, to John and Helen (Neu) Taphorn in Carroll, Iowa. She along with her other siblings grew up on a farm near Odebolt, Iowa, and was taught by the Dubuque Franciscans during her elementary years. She entered Mount Saint Francis on September 3, 1958. She graduated from Briar Cliff University in Sioux City, Iowa, and from Clarke College in Dubuque, and was a elementary teacher and principal in various schools in the Sioux City and Dubuque dioceses. After her teaching career she worked with AIDS children/parents in Chicago, adult challenged individuals in Reading, Pennsylvania, and with homeless women and children in San Antonio, Texas. In the fall of 2011 she joined the staff at Clare House in Dubuque. She retired in 2014 and is still active in various community ministries. “As I reflect on my journey these past 60 years I am aware that all has been gift and that God’s love enfolds me,” said Sister Janet.