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THE SISTERS OF ST. FRANCIS OF THE HOLY FAMILY

Mount St. Francis, Dubuque, Iowa

commend to your charity the soul of their beloved

SISTER JOYCE HORBACH

who was born March 23, 1916, and

who departed this life March 5, 2015,

in the 77th year of her religious life.

Visitation: 4-7 p.m., Sunday, March 8, with a wake service at 7 p.m.

Mass of Christian Burial: Monday, March 9, 2015, at 1 p.m.

May she rest in peace 

In life's journey, there may be moments when we sense that God is calling us into the unknown. Sr. Joyce would experience this often in her long life.

On March 23, 1916, John and Gertrude (Fuchs) Horbach gave birth to their seventh child, whom they named Colettta Margaret. At that time the family lived four miles south of Templeton, Iowa, but after the birth of their next child they moved to a nearby 120-acre farm.

Coletta spent a happy childhood surrounded by love from her parents, three older sisters, and four brothers. On the farm, the children developed a deep love of the land, along with an understanding of the importance of hard work.  

Coletta's parents were determined to provide a Catholic education for their children, even when this caused temporary disruptions in the family. During the winter months, Coletta’s Mother and the school-age children would move to town to ensure that snow and ice would not disrupt their attendance at Sacred Heart School. It was there that Coletta made the acquaintance of the Dubuque Franciscans.

After graduating in 1932, Coletta stayed home to help on the farm.   In 1936 she entered Mount St. Francis, but left two months later. Her spirit was not at peace, however. She said "The Hound of Heaven kept pursuing me." In January, 1938, she returned to the congregation. At reception on August 12 of the same year she took the name, Sr. Mary Joyce.

Following her novitiate, Sr. Joyce began a 38-year career as a teacher of kindergarten through fifth grade in the congregation's schools at Sacred Heart, Dubuque: Riverside, Sioux City; and Luxemburg, Iowa; Melrose Park and Niles in Illinois; and Portland, Oregon.   Upon retiring from teaching she moved back to Dubuque and began domestic work at Holy Family Hall.

But the Hound of Heaven was not finished with Joyce. She became sensitized to the devastating threat of nuclear war, and the many attendant social injustices. She began by writing letters, and then felt herself called to take action. In 1981 she accepted the invitation of her nephew, Father Darrell, to open a Nuclear Freeze Office in Omaha. While there, she participated in peace actions at SAC. Her protests resulted in court action and she was given a 35 day jail sentence. She retired to Mount St. Francis in 1988, but Fr. Darrell was again the voice of the Spirit drawing her out. The next year she accepted his invitation to move to Chicago, committing herself to a month's trial basis. The month turned into seven years, during which she lived in a peaceful community, taught English to recent immigrants, and gave service at a 250-bed homeless shelter.

After many demonstrations and six arrests, Joyce's return to Mount St. Francis in 1995 was final. As long as her health permitted she continued her involvement in peace and justice issues, attending the annual gathering of peace activists at the School of the Americas in Fort Benning, GA. She constantly read and educated herself and her companions, and wrote many letters to newspapers both religious and secular.   She moved to Holy Family Hall in 2008.  

Sister is survived by nieces, nephews and her Franciscan sisters with whom she shared over 76 years of her life.

Sister was preceded in death by her parents and her brothers and their wives, Jack (Lou Retta), Nick (Lou), Joe, (Mildred) and Bill (Leona); her sisters and their husbands, Mayme and Ambrose Bierl, Margaret and Frank Muhlbauer and Rita (Norbert) Rupiper.

 

 

THE SISTERS OF ST. FRANCIS OF THE HOLY FAMILY

Mount St. Francis, Dubuque, Iowa

commend to your charity the soul of their beloved

SISTER LAVONNE HERRIG

who was born May 8, 1917, and

who departed this life March 5, 2015,

in the 79th year of her religious life.

Visitation: 4-7 p.m., Monday, March 9, with a wake service at 7 p.m.

Mass of Christian Burial: Tuesday, March 10, 2015, at 1 p.m.

May she rest in peace 

Charles and Elizabeth (Kayser) Herrig lived on a farm in southern Minnesota where they had eleven children, the youngest of which was Leona Mary. She was baptized by a visiting priest at St. Columba Church in Iona. In this parish she received all twelve years of her education from the Rochester Franciscans.

Her childhood days on the farm were happy, with time to play as well as chores to do. Leona wrote about gathering eggs, feeding the chickens, weeding the garden, helping with the laundry, and bringing in cobs for the stove. Later she learned to cook, bake, and milk cows.

Charles and Elizabeth instilled religious values in their children, teaching them prayer and devotion to the Blessed Mother. They drove the children to the Catholic school early so that they could attend daily Mass.

The family loved music and often sang while doing the dishes. Leona joined her brothers in taking instrumental lessons on the baritone and played in the town band. They give concerts in the summer on Wednesday nights, which were generally considered shopping night for many farmers.

After completing high school, Leona wanted to follow her three sisters, Joanne, Yvonne, and Luan to Mount St. Francis. While she was thinking about this, her brother, Lawrence, told her he would buy her a new instrument if he thought she would use it. Joe was setting up his dentistry office and asked if she would be interested in being his receptionist. She concluded they were both fishing to find out if she was planning to enter the convent, but she wasn’t quite ready to tell them. However, on September 15, 1935, she entered Mount St. Francis and was received a year later with the name Sister Mary LaVonne. She made first profession Aug. 10, 1938

Sister LaVonne attended Columbia College, now Loras College, and did her student teaching at Holy Trinity with her sister, Sister Yvonne, as her supervising teacher. She taught primary grades in Templeton, Pocahontas, St. Edward's in Waterloo, Sacred Heart in Dubuque, Crescent City, Calif., Portland, and Melrose Park, Ill. Her teaching days were ended by a heart attack in January of 1989. After recuperating at Holy Family Hall, she retired to Mount St. Francis where she supervised telephone operators and receptionists for ten years. She was grateful for the opportunities her retirement years provided to participate in liturgical functions as Eucharistic minister, Office reader, and schola member. She enjoyed having the time to pray, read, listen to music, and use the computer. Sister moved to Holy Family Hall in 2007.

Sister was preceded in death by her parents and her brothers and their wives, Lawrence (Ann), Leo (Freda), Joseph, Alfred (Clara) her sister Mary who died in infancy, her sisters and their husbands Loretta (Fred) Goesser, Gertrude (Ray) Tennessen, and her Franciscan Sisters Sister Joan Herrig, Sister Yvonne Herrig and Sister Luan Herrig

Sister is survived by nieces, nephews and her Franciscan sisters with whom she shared 78 years of her life

 

   
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