S. Mary Frances Boyle

S. Mary Frances Boyle

“I am satisfied
to sow in tears
if I may reap
in joy.”

St. Elizabeth Seton

 

S. Mary Frances Boyle

Sister Mary Frances Boyle died Nov. 5, 2021, at the age of 87 in Mother Margaret Hall nursing facility, Mount St. Joseph, Ohio. Sister Mary Frances was born on March 14, 1934 to John and Adwilda (Hebert) in Denver, Colorado. She was a Sister of Charity for 70 years.

Sister Mary Frances and her sister, Roseanne, attended St. Catherine of Siena Grade School and were taught by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondolet, “tremendously inspiring women” she called them. At the age of 9, Sister Mary Frances said God called her and she responded. Following graduation from Cathedral High School in 1951, she entered the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati and made her religious profession in 1959.

Reflecting on her life as a Sister of Charity in 2011, Sister Mary Frances said, “God has blessed me abundantly, providing me with a better-than-average education, and the example of many inspiring women with whom I was privileged to work.”

Sister Mary Frances earned her bachelor’s degree in education from the College of Mount St. Joseph in Cincinnati in 1961. Later, she received her master’s degree in religious education from the University of St. Thomas in Houston, Texas, in 1976.

For nearly 60 years, Sister Mary Frances ministered in education, retreat work, foreign missions, pastoral ministry and music. She began her 24 years in education teaching junior high students at St. Mary Hyde Park in Cincinnati (1954-’55). She returned to the West and continued teaching at St. Vincent Academy, Albuquerque, New Mexico (1955-’56); Holy Trinity, Trinidad, Colorado (1956-’57); and St. Therese, Pueblo, Colorado (1957-’58). She moved to Bay City, Michigan, to teach at St. James (1958-’61) and then Shrine of the Little Flower, Royal Oak, Michigan (1961-’63) before returning to New Mexico to serve at San Felipe de Neri, Albuquerque (1963-’66). In Dayton, Ohio, Sister Mary Frances taught English and Spanish to high school students at St. Joseph Commercial High School (1966-’67) and then Holy Trinity, Trinidad, Colorado (1967-’70) and Cathedral, Denver (1970-’71).

Sister transitioned into retreat and pastoral work in 1971, serving the Trinidad, Denver and Pueblo areas in Colorado in the following roles and parishes: director of religious education, St. Joseph, Fort Collins (1971-’72); pastoral minister, St. Joseph, Denver (1972-’77); and pastoral associate, Blessed Sacrament, Denver. In addition she was a teacher for the diaconate program at St. Thomas Seminary in Denver from 1974 to 1977 and program director at El Pomar retreat center in Colorado Springs from 1977 until 1980.

From 1983 until 1989, Sister Mary Frances served as a pastoral agent in parishes lacking priests in Manzano, Peru, and Ichuna, Peru. She called her time in Peru “the apogee of my life.” She and Sister Ann Dorenbusch assisted with baptisms, burials, communion services and training ‘animators of the faith,’ people who went into the villages to train others. “Our bishop wanted all to know that ‘the people are the Church,’” she wrote.

Returning to the United States in 1990, Sister Mary Frances served the Hispanic population in Colorado’s Roaring Fork Valley. Known as ‘Madres Maria Francisca,’ she worked tirelessly to help families find shelter, employment and education opportunities. In addition she worked through the Archdiocese of Denver to provide opportunities for all cultures to worship and celebrate their faith. She taught priests to offer Mass in Spanish and instructed many in the sacraments. “One of the most important things is to honor cultures and not force all of them into an Anglo culture,” she once said. “With Vatican II, the Pope’s encyclical of the early 1960s, came the recognition of all different cultures in the world.”

Sister Mary Frances continued to be active in her retirement volunteering with many charitable groups in the Colorado area, such as Reading for the Blind and Dyslexic, Pikes Peak Library District, and the Flutopians, a flute quintet that has a widespread music ministry. She had a passion for music and was able to play the piano, violin and flute. While still living in Colorado Springs she joined the New Horizons Concert Band and shared poetry with the Cheyenne Mountain Poetry Group. When she moved to the Motherhouse in Cincinnati in 2012 she joined the New Horizons Concert Band in the Cincinnati area. Music continued to enrich her days.

Friend Sister Victoria Marie Forde recalls, “Mary Fran’s strong poems about her work with migrants and her mission work in Peru were inspiring. In a different vein she gathered some of us in the Motherhouse to play a variety of challenging card games every week – always fun and stimulating! She was a multi-talented person.”

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S. Jeannette Cochran

S. Jeannette Cochran

“I am satisfied
to sow in tears
if I may reap
in joy.”

St. Elizabeth Seton

 

S. Jeannette Cochran

Sister Jeannette Cochran died Nov. 8, 2021, at the age of 83 in Good Samaritan Hospital, Cincinnati, Ohio.  Sister Jeannette was born on March 11, 1938 to Paul and Rosella (Moran) Cochran in Marion, Ohio. She was the oldest of six children, three girls and three boys. She was a Sister of Charity for 65 years.

Sister Jeannette grew up in Marion, Ohio, as a member of an Irish Catholic family. She attended St. Mary grade school and graduated from Marion Catholic High School in 1956 where she was taught by the Sisters of Charity. After high school she entered the Sisters of Charity the following Sept. 8, 1956. It was the diversity and outreach of the Community as well as the intrigue of religious life that drew her to say ‘yes’ to becoming a Sister, a decision that matured in her with time and experience.

Sister Jeannette earned a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing from the College of Mount St. Joseph in 1962 and a Master of Science degree in medical surgery from the University of Indiana, Indianapolis, Indiana, in 1972. She earned a PH.D. in health education in 1985 from the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico. 

Sister Jeannette’s ministries spanned more than 45 years in health care as nurse, nurse supervisor, director of nursing, nurse-educator and family practitioner. While still in high school she worked in a hospital setting which gave her a way of offering compassionate care at a young age. It never waned! Sister Jeannette began her SC nursing ministry in 1962 at St. Joseph Hospital, Mt. Clemens, Michigan, first as a nurse, then as nurse-supervisor (1963-’65) and in 1965 as the director of nursing. In 1968 she was asked to serve in the same capacity at St. Joseph Hospital, Albuquerque, New Mexico. This began a lifelong relationship with the culture and spirituality of the Southwest and a natural tie to the ancestry of the Native Americans she came to value.

Seeking to experience more ‘hands-on care,’ Sister Jeannette looked to nurse education and supervision of nursing students. This happened for her in Albuquerque and led her to the University of New Mexico where the dean offered her the opportunity to teach in the graduate nursing program; here she was able to educate and direct a diverse body of students for 21 years (1977-’98). Bioethics became a special interest and offered her opportunities to challenge nurses toward developing an ethical decision-making process. In 1997 Sister Jeannette’s hands-on dream came true when she helped start a family practice clinic. She ministered in the Rio Grande Family Medicine Center in Albuquerque as a certified family nurse practitioner until 2007 when she retired. She came east to live with her Sisters in the Cincinnati Motherhouse in 2010.

Sister Jeannette would say of her life, “In addition to enabling a solid and fulfilling personal and professional life, being a Sister of Charity enhances a spiritual foundation, grounded in openness and adaptation to our world as I have discovered through the eyes of faith, hope and love. It has been a very rewarding life.” She will be remembered for her wonderful photographs of sunrises and her love of nature, particularly the birds.

Throughout her time in Albuquerque Sister Jeannette served on the Pastoral Care Team at St. Joseph Hospital. She was a volunteer at Nativity parish, Almeda, New Mexico, a team member of the Western Network leadership team and served on the regional SET Board. She felt privileged to work with and for the Native American people; she was inspired by their spirituality, love and deep respect for nature.

Sister friends Grace Catherine Aufderbeck and Annette Frey knew Sister Jeannette as a most faithful friend. “She was always ready to help when called upon; she was most generous with her time and talents,” Sister Annette shared. Sister Grace Catherine added, “Jeannette shared her wisdom with doctors, nurses and clinics all over New Mexico. I was blessed with her friendship and hospitality; she embodied the slogan ‘Hazard yet Forward.’”

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Timeless Treasures

Timeless Treasures

Timeless Treasures – St. Aloysius Academy, Fayetteville, Ohio

By S. Judith Metz

S. Ann Xavier Magevney’s painting of St. Aloysius Academy reminds us of the Sisters of Charity’s years of service at the boarding school.

Nestled in the Sisters of Charity Archives collection is a charming painting by S. Ann Xavier Magevney of two Sisters strolling along a shaded driveway at St. Aloysius Academy in Fayetteville, Ohio. It evokes a time past when young boys romped on the bucolic grounds of this 13-acre campus that boasted flower beds and vegetable gardens.

The academy had its origins near St. Patrick’s Church in Fayetteville when the pastor asked the Sisters of Charity to open a boarding school in 1859. Since the boundaries of the parish encompassed a large area, he felt a boarding school that the children of the village could also attend would serve the needs of the parish. The school was initially named St. Patrick’s Academy. Parishioners were generous in their assistance in supporting the school, and according to S. Rosanna Barker, donations of food from the farmers was common practice. “Often a Sister went out in a spring wagon to collect any and all, even to a pig as the story was told on one occasion.”

The need for more space and larger buildings prompted the parish to donate 10 acres on the south side of the village to the Sisters in 1883. The Sisters then erected a four-story brick building and moved the old buildings from their original site. By 1890 the school was again crowded for space so the younger boarders, ages 3 to 10 years old, came to reside and be educated at Mount St. Joseph, the Sisters’ Motherhouse, until larger facilities could be constructed. By 1906 a new building was completed and all the students were reunited at St. Aloysius Academy in Fayetteville. 

There was a time in the school’s early days when fruit trees thrived, chickens supplied the house with eggs, and even a few turkeys were kept. One Sister even tried her hand at raising pigeons, and the school usually had a pony or two. One of the chaplains helped the boys build a fish pond, and at S. Leona Murphy’s request, a concrete walk flanked by maple trees was built around it. As the years progressed, tennis courts, a ball diamond, and outside grills were added.

Twice during St. Aloysius Academy’s history the school was designated a military academy.

Twice during St. Aloysius’ history the school was designated a military academy. For a brief time in the teen years of the 1900s, the students wore military-style uniforms, received instruction on marching using wooden guns, and put on exhibitions in the village. Again, beginning in the 1930s a lieutenant from Xavier University taught drills and provided instruction. The students again wore military uniforms, and were on display with drills and marches in the village and neighboring areas as well as at the annual Holy Name Parade sponsored by the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. Taps and Reveille were part of their daily routine as was the raising and lowering of the American flag on the school grounds.         

Through the years proof of the graduates’ esteem for the school was borne out by the many who returned to visit, renew old memories, and note any changes that had occurred. With the announcement that the school would close in 1952, there were many surprised and saddened alumni, Sisters who had served there, and people from the area who were grieved to see the passing of what had been a fine school for more than 90 years.       

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