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The Franciscan Sisters of Chicago Elect Leadership for 2018-2023 Term
Thanksgiving Prayer Service and Installation Mass


The Franciscan Sisters of Chicago recently held their 21st General Chapter this past June. The General Chapter is a week long period of reflection and prayer for the Sisters as they plan the congregation’s next five years and also elect leadership for the 2018-2023 term. During this Chapter week, the Sisters re-elected Sister M. Bernadette Bajuscik as General Minister, Sister Jeanne Marie Toriskie as General Vicar, and Sister M. Helene Galuszka as General Councilor for the 2018-2013 term. In keeping with tradition, the Sisters held a Thanksgiving Prayer Service for the previous leadership team and followed it the next day with an Installation Mass for the newly re-elected team.

Thanksgiving Prayer Service

On Wednesday, August 1st, the Sisters held a Thanksgiving prayer service for the leadership team who served during the 2013-2018 term. The ceremony was held at the Sacred Heart Chapel at Our Lady of Victory Convent in Lemont. The Sisters honored Sister M. Bernadette Bajuscik, General Minister, Sister Jeanne Marie Toriskie, General Vicar, Sister Emilie Marie Lesniak, General Councilor, Sister M. Helene Galuszka, General Councilor and Sister M. Francis Clare Radke, General Treasurer.

The ceremony began with the song ‘We are Called’ by David Hass. Both Sister M. Francis Clare Radke and Sister Diane Marie Collins (both former General Ministers) took turns addressing the Sisters and giving thanks to the General Minister and the General Council for their years of service in leadership.

One Sister was selected to pay tribute to each member of the leadership team. Each Sister came forward and spoke praise of each member of the leadership team and then gave them a beautiful flower bouquet. Sister M. Colette Kwieczka honored Sister M. Bernadette; Sister M. Joella Bielinski honored Sister Jeanne Marie Toriskie; Sister M. Monica Sendlosky honored Sister Emilie Marie; Sister Lois Marie Rossi honored Sister M. Helene Galuszka; and Sister Jean Therese Jarosz honored Sister M. Francis Clare. After this touching moment, the leadership team and the Sisters all embraced and gave each other thanks. They closed the ceremony with the hymn ‘Prayer of St. Francis’ and then moved to Marian Hall to enjoy an ice cream social together.

Eucharistic Celebration on the Occasion of the Installation
of the General Minister and the General Council


On Thursday, August 2nd, the Sisters held a Mass to celebrate the Installation of the General Minister and General Council. The Mass was attended by the congregation as well as FSC Associates and leadership from Franciscan Ministries. Father Robert Lucas was the main celebrant, Father Paul Sims was the concelebrant and homilist and Brain Nosbusch was the deacon. The Procession walked in to the hymn Laudato Si, Mi Signore! (Praise Be To You, My God).

After the Homily, the Call to the Service of Leadership ceremony began.The Sisters stood and called out to each member in leadership: "Sisters Bernadette, Jeanne Marie and Helene, we, your sisters, call you to accept the responsibilities of leadership in our congregation for the next five years."

Sister Diane Marie Collins approached the podium and then addressed the General Minister and the General Council: "Sisters, you have been chosen through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit at the 21st General Chapter to lead your sisters for the next five years. We now ask you to publicly declare your willingness to serve us and the Church." Each elected Sister then walked to the front of the chapel at the podium and proclaimed their 'Promise of Service'.



Sister M. Bernadette, General Minister: "With the help of God and the prayers and support of all of you, my sisters, I, Sister Mary Bernadette, promise to faithfully carry out my duties as General Minister of the Franciscan Sisters of Chicago, to foster unity and to provide for the spiritual and physical well-being of each sister. I will strive to model my life and actions on the Gospel in the spirit of Mother Mary Theresa. I commit myself to move forward in hope and trust in imitation of our Mother Mary and to joyfully bear Christ to the world."

Sister Jeanne Marie, General Vicar
: "With the help of God, I, Sister Jeanne Marie promise to faithfully carry out my duties as General Vicar. I will strive to model my life and actions on the Gospel in the spirit of Mother Mary Theresa. I commit myself to move forward in hope and trust in imitation of our Mother Mary and to joyfully bear Christ to the world.

Sister M. Helene, General Councilor: "With the help of God, I, Sister Mary Helene, promise to faithfully carry out my duties as General Councilor. I will strive to model my life and actions on the Gospel in the spirit of Mother Mary Theresa. I commit myself to move forward in hope and trust in imitation of our Mother Mary and to joyfully bear Christ to the world."

All of the Sisters then recited their official "Commitment to the Future" statement. This statement was crafted during the General Chapter week and each Sister received a card with the statement printed on it to keep as a memento.

"Sisters, in faith we accept you as our leaders of the Franciscan Sisters of Chicago. We promise you our love, support and commitment as you lead and guide us in living out Our Commitment to the Future:



The Mass continued and after Communion, the Sisters stood and sang the 'Magnificat' in a very touching and inspirational moment. The recessional hymn was 'Lead Me, Lord'After the Installation Mass, the Sisters celebrated with lunch in Marian Hall with friends, family, and leadership from Franciscan Ministries. The Sisters thank everyone who attended and for their prayers and support during this important time.