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On August 18th, the Franciscan Sisters of Chicago held a special Mass and celebration for the three Sisters who celebrated their Jubilee anniversaries this year: Sister M. Joella Bielinski (70 years), Sister Lois Marie Rossi (60 years) and Sister Diane Marie Collins (50 years). The Sisters were joined by their fellow Sisters, friends, family and FSC Associates during the mass and a celebratory dinner in Marian Hall. Congratulations and God’s blessings to our 2018 Jubilarians.

Sister M. Joella Bielinski - 70 years of religious life!

Sister M. Joella Bielinski was born on October 15, 1929, in Chicago, Illinois, and entered religious life on July 2, 1948. As a postulant, Sister M. Joella began her career in education where she was assigned to teach third grade at St. Hedwig in Gary, Indiana in 1948. Sister was then assigned, as a novice, to teach fourth grade at Five Holy Martyrs in Chicago, Illinois in 1950. She went on to teach third grade at St. Stanislaus Bishop & Martyr in Chicago (1951-1952), third grade at St. Florian in Chicago (1952-1953), and second and third grade at St. Adalbert in East St. Louis, Illinois (1953-1956). From 1956 to 1963, Sister M. Joella taught first and second grades at SS. Philip and James in Cleveland, Ohio and then second and third grade at St. Leo the Great in Cleveland, Ohio (1963-1970). During this time, Sister Joella received her Bachelor of Science in Education from St. John College in Cleveland, Ohio in 1965. After teaching first grade at St. Louise de Marillac at LaGrange Park, Illinois from 1970 to 1971, Sister returned to St. Leo the Great, where she taught various grades and was the assistant principal until 1976.

Sister M. Joella began a new chapter in her vocation in 1976 when she began working at St. Anthony Home in Crown Point, Indiana as a chaplain in Pastoral Care until 1977, an Assistant Administrator until 1984, and a Vice President from 1976 to 1983. Sister also served as a board member at St. Anthony Medical Center in Crown Point and was the local assistant superior during this time. From 1986 until 1999, Sister worked in various positions at St. Anthony Medical Center and also served as a board member at both Mount Alverna Home in Parma, Ohio, and St. Anthony Home. In 1999, Sister began work at St. Anthony Convent in Crown Point and served in various positions there as a Local Minister. She also served in Pastoral Care and as a Hospital Volunteer at St. Anthony Medical Center until 2013. Sister M. Joella retired in 2013 and now resides at Our Lady of Victory Convent. Congratulations to Sister M. Joella Bielinski on 70 years of religious life!

Sister Lois Marie Rossi - 60 years of religious life!

Sister Lois Marie Rossi was born on June 13, 1940 in Campbell, Ohio and entered religious life on August 15, 1958. Sister's first assignment was teaching second grade at St. Pancratius in Chicago, Illinois, in 1958. Sister then entered Mother Cabrini Hospital to start her education in nursing in 1961. From 1962 to 1964, Sister Lois taught fifth and sixth grade at St. Adalbert in East St. Louis, Illinois. Sister then worked as a licensed practical nurse in multiple places starting at Mother Theresa Home in Lemont, Illinois (1964 to 1966), at St. Anthony Home in Crown Point, Indiana, (1966 to 1970), and at St. Joseph Home in Chicago (1970 to 1971).

Sister Lois continued her nursing education at St. John Hospital in Huron, South Dakota, attending their School of Nursing and then graduating as a registered nurse in 1974. She returned to work as a staff nurse at Mother Theresa Home in Lemont, Illinois in 1975, and then as a night nurse at Palos Community Hospital in Palos Heights, Illinois until 1977. In 1977, Sister Lois became the RN Supervisor at St. Joseph Home and next, in 1979, worked as the Assistant Director of Nursing at Alverna Rest Home, in Parma, Ohio, where she served until 1986. Sister Lois returned to St. Joseph Home in Chicago and became the Director of Nursing and RN Evening/Day Supervisor until 1995. Sister also was a Clinical Instructor and taught Basic Nurse Aides at Wilbur Wright College in Chicago from 1992 to 2013. Sister was also a certified CPR instructor and certified in AD. From 1995 until 1998, Sister Lois worked as a nurse at McNeal Hospital in Berwyn, Illinois and then was a staff nurse at Our Lady of Angels Convent in Chicago from 1998 to 2001. Sister Lois worked at St. Joseph Home in Pastoral Care and as a Eucharistic Minister and sacristan. She also worked as a Vocation Minister for the Franciscan Sisters of Chicago until 2014. In 2015, Sister Lois retired and now resides at Our Lady of Victory Convent in Lemont. Congratulations to Sister Lois Marie Rossi on 60 years of religious life!

Sister Diane Marie Collins - 50 years of religious life!

Sister Diane Marie Collins was born on April 30, 1950, in Chicago, Illinois and entered religious life on August 25, 1968. Sister attended Marillac College in St. Louis, Missouri, where she received her Bachelor's Degree in English in 1973. She was then assigned to teach at Madonna High School in Chicago in 1973, where she served as an English teacher until 1986. While at Madonna High School, Sister was very active with student clubs such as the Mother's Club, Guitar Club, and Debate Team. She was also the Speed Coach and Student Council Moderator. Sister received her master's degree in English from DePaul University in Chicago in 1983 and her master's degree in Social Work from Loyola University in Chicago in 1986.

In 1991, Sister Diane Marie returned to the Motherhouse in Lemont to become the Vocation/Formation Director, a position she held until 1999. During this time Sister held many Board positions, including the Chairman of Franciscan Village/Mother Theresa Home Board of Directors from 1993 to 1998, member of the Board of Directors for St. Anthony Medical Center from 1993 to 1999, and Chairman of Madonna High School Board of Directors from 1994-2001. She also served as the Chairman of St. Jude House Board of Directors, a position she held from 1995 to 2014.

Sister also served in various leadership positions with the Franciscan Sisters of Chicago, including the General Vicar from 1993-1998, General Councilor and General Secretary from 1998-2003. In 2003, Sister Diane Marie was elected the General Minister of the Franciscan Sisters of Chicago, serving two consecutive terms until 2013.

Sister Diane Marie also served as the principal of Bishop Noll in Hammond, Indiana from 1999 - 2002, Vice President of the Franciscan Federation (2007-2008), and President of the Franciscan Federation (2008-2009). Sister Diane Marie now works as a campus minister at St. John Paul II Newman Center at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Congratulations to Sister Diane Marie Collins for 50 years of religious life!