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The Franciscan Sisters of Chicago will celebrate their 125th Anniversary on December 8th. In preparation for this wondeful milestone, Sister Jeanne Marie Toriskie is writing monthly articles on the history of the Sisters. This page serves as a directory for all of these 125th Anniversary articles.

Franciscan Sisters of Chicago - 125 Years of Loving, Joyful Ministry
December 8, 1894 - December 8, 2019


Part One - The First Two Decades

It was Saturday, December 8, 1894, the feast of the Immaculate Conception, in Chicago. The hearts of the four novices beat a little faster as they anticipated taking their vows as religious sisters. Rev. Vincent Barzynski, pastor of St. Stanislaus Kostka Parish, would be receiving their vows on behalf of the Archdiocese of Chicago. In just a few minutes these four Sisters would become the Franciscan Sisters of Blessed Kunegunda, (later called the Franciscan Sisters of Chicago), the first religious congregation to be founded in the city.
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Part Two - The Second Two Decades, 1915 to 1934

The second two decades covered the years of 1915 to 1934. At this time in the United States, there was an increased consciousness of the condition of poor people.
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Part Three - The Third Two Decades, 1935 to 1954

The third two decades of the history of the Franciscan Sisters of Chicago covers the years of 1935 to 1954. At the beginning of this time period in the United States, the Social Security Act was passed which created a basic right to a pension in old age, and insurance against unemployment. Finally there was a measure of public help for the poor.
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Part Four - The Fourth Period, 1955 to 1964

The fourth period of the history of the Franciscan Sisters of Chicago covers the years of 1955 to 1964. At the beginning of this period in the United States, Walt Disney opened Disneyland in California, while the first McDonald's hamburger restaurant opened in Des Plaines, Illinois. During this, to the great relief of millions of fearful parents, Dr. Jonas Salk developed the polio vaccine. Click Here to Read More


Part Five - The Fifth Period, 1965 to 1974

The fifth period of the history of the Franciscan Sisters of Chicago covers the years of 1965 to 1974. At the be-ginning of this period President Johnson instituted nu-merous programs to eliminate poverty and racial injus-tice, calling his program "The Great Society." (Below: In the 1970's, the Franciscan Sisters of Chicago music group 'Daybreak' played music and sang for many audiences and recorded two albums. Click Here to Read More




Part 6 - Special Issue, The Cause of Mary Theresa Dudzik, 1962-Present

by Sister Jeanne Marie Toriskie

This special issue provides an overview of the Cause of Mother Mary Theresa Dudzik, the first member and the foundress of the Franciscan Sisters of Chicago. Josephine Dudzik was born on August 30, 1860, in Plocicz, Poland.

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Part Seven - The Seventh Period
1975 to 1984
by Sister Jeanne Marie Toriskie

The seventh period of the history of the Franciscan Sisters of Chicago covers the years of 1975 to 1984. At the beginning of this period President Ford pardoned former President Nixon for any crimes he may have committed. (Left) The Franciscan Sisters of Chicago staffed Five Holy Martyrs School when Pope John Paul II visited the parish in October, as commemorated on this parish bulletin cover.

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Part Eight - The Eighth Period, 1985 to 1994

The eighth period of the history of the Franciscan Sisters of Chicago covers the years of 1985 to 1994. For the Franciscan Sisters of Chicago this period began just after the celebration of the 90th anniversary of the founding of the congregation.
(The Franciscan Sisters of Chicago created a Home Office to link their varied sponsored ministries WHICH later became the Franciscan Sisters of Chicago Service Corporation, a registered entity in the State of Illinois. The corporate logo features the Tau sign of St. Francis.
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