Sr. Elizabeth “Liz” Cummins
Sister Elizabeth (Bernarda) “Liz” Cummins is a Chicago-area native. She grew up in Tinley Park, Illinois, and attended St. Christopher School in Midlothian where she met the Franciscan Sisters of Dubuque. Her family moved to Elmhurst, Illinois, where she graduated from Immaculate Conception High School. Following a year of discernment with her family after her father’s sudden death, she entered the Sisters of St. Francis. She began her ministry teaching in elementary and secondary schools in Iowa. She was a spiritual director and retreat director in Sioux City, Iowa. Later she moved to Phoenix, Arizona, and served as director of adult formation and initiation at Our lady of the Valley Parish and then developed and served as coordinator of Bereavement Services for Catholic Cemeteries of the Diocese of Phoenix. Since 2004 she has been engaged in private practice in spiritual direction in the Phoenix area.
Sr. Camilla Hemann
Sister Camilla Hemann was born on a farm in Stacyville, Iowa. Upon graduating from Visitation High School, she became a registered nurse and worked for a short time before entering the congregation. During the past years, she has functioned in a nursing role at St. Francis Home, Xavier Hospital, Holy Family Hall, and Mercy Hospital in Dubuque; St. Mary’s Hospital, Neuman Hospital and Area Vocational Tech School in Emporia, Kansas; and Hospice Ministries in Jackson, Mississippi. Her vocation in most of the places she served was also to provide music ministry at church, working not only with the English congregation, but also with the Vietnamese and Hispanic populations as well. She also served for eight years as vice-president for the Sisters of St. Francis. In 2015, she returned to Mount St. Francis Center where she continues to serve on the Liturgy Team.
Sr. Maxine Lavell
Sister Maxine (Kyrstin) Lavell was born in Waukon, Iowa, and raised in Ossian, Iowa, where she attended St. Francis de Sales Grade and High School. She worked as an operator in the telephone office for two years prior to her graduation. As an elementary teacher, her places of ministry were Sacred Heart and St. Mary’s Schools in Dubuque; St. John Brebeuf, Niles and Mater Christi, North Riverside, Illinois; and St. Paul’s School in Eugene, Oregon. After earning a master’s degree in parish ministry, she served as director of religious education and director of faith development at St. Cyril’s Parish in Wilsonville, Oregon. In 2004 she was hired work for the Diocese of Reno, Nevada, in archives and diocesan conference work. She moved to Mount St. Francis Center in 2015 and continues to work as an archivist for the community.
Sr. Janet Osterhoff
Sister Janet (Helena) Osterhoff was born in Dubuque, the oldest of three children. She attended St. Mary’s for her grade schooling and Immaculate Conception Academy for high school. After completing novitiate, she studied at Briar Cliff College for a year. She taught elementary grades at Holy Trinity, St. Mary’s, and Holy Ghost Schools in Dubuque and St. Francis Xavier in Dyersville, Iowa. She also taught at St. Anne’s in Hazelcrest, Illinois. Her teaching career was shortened because of ill health. She enjoys crafts, and is known for her handcrafted stationery. She resides at Clare House in Dubuque.
Sr. Colane Recker
Sister Colane (Martinella) Recker grew up on a farm near Alton, where she attended St. Mary’s Academy. She is the daughter of Ed and Gertrude (Hansen) Recker. She taught primary grades at Holy Trinity, Dubuque; St. Mary’s, Manchester; St. John’s, Arcadia; St. John’s, Bancroft; St. Catherine’s/St. Mary’s, Remsen; and St. Mary’s, Danbury. After receiving a master’s degree in library science from the University of Northern Iowa, she served as library media specialist at Gehlen High School in Le Mars, and has been in a similar position at Heelan High School in Sioux City since 2001. She is district representative for Library World, a library automation program. In addition to her media/computer skills, she is an accomplished photographer, and the published author of “All the Days of Lent,” a sourcebook for Lenten spiritual practice.
Sr. Marlene Schueller
Sister Marlene (Andreas) Schueller, a native of Dubuque, was raised in Waterloo, where she attended St. Mary’s School for all 12 grades. Before entering Mount St. Francis, she worked in the office of St. Francis Hospital, Waterloo, Iowa. She taught in Dubuque (Holy Ghost and Holy Trinity) and at St. Edward’s, Waterloo. Her later ministries included clerical services at Mount St. Francis, Catholic Charities in Chicago, and as funeral home support staff and Stonehill Franciscan Services in Dubuque. She was on staff at Alverno Apartments, where she served as administrative assistant and later as property manager. She retired in 2012. For 20 years she served on various committees for the Boy Scouts of America. She was the first woman in the U.S. to receive the St. George Award, the highest award given to lay scouters by the church.
Sr. Marjorie “Marge” Staudt
Sister Marjorie (Clemeta) Staudt, a native of Marble Rock, Iowa, grew up on a farm near there with three younger brothers. She attended St. Mary’s School at Roseville, Iowa, where she began piano lessons in fifth grade, and learned to play the organ in church. Hers was the final graduating class of Marble Rock High School. Following graduation, she entered Mount St. Francis. She taught elementary music at Holy Trinity, St. Mary’s, and St. Patrick’s, Dubuque; Sacred Heart, Templeton; St. John’s, Arcadia, Iowa; St. Joseph’s, Granville, Iowa; St. Anthony’s, Hospers, Iowa; and St. Mary’s, Alton, Iowa. She served for 10 years as director of sister support services at Mount St. Francis, while providing music ministry at St. Mary’s. For the next 10 years she was musician and parish minister Pocahontas, Iowa. Sister served on the congregational leadership team from 2008-2014. After living for a year at Briar Cliff University and volunteering in Sioux City, she returned to Mount St. Francis and serves on the liturgy committee.
Sr. Anthony Wagner
Sister Anthony Wagner, a native of Dubuque, attended St. Mary’s School and Immaculate Conception Academy. Her older sister, Sister Mary Ann, was already a member of the community when Sister Toni entered. Sister Toni served as a homemaker for the sisters in Webster City and Waterloo (St. Mary’s), Iowa, and Niles, Illinois. In Dubuque, she served in a variety of roles at Holy Family Hall, St. Francis Home, Alverno Apartments and Immaculate Conception Convent. For the past 27 years, she has been caring for children at St. Therese Chinese Mission in Chicago; Casa de Esperanza de Los Ninos in Houston, Texas; and Mercy’s Girls Home in Chicago. From 1993 to 2017 she provided a stable family setting for six siblings at SOS Children’s Village in Lockport, Illinois. In 2017 Sister retired to Mount St. Francis and now resides at Clare House.