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Sister Mary Francella Vyverman, OP

Looking after the needs of children and elders has been the hallmark of Sister Mary Francella’s religious life. For nearly 40 years she taught primary grades throughout Illinois. In Chicago, at St. Christina (1959-1962) St. John Bosco (1968-1977), and St. Edward (1978-1989). In central Illinois, at St. Patrick, Springfield (1962-1968); Our Lady of Lourdes, Decatur (1977-1978); and Little Flower, Springfield (1989-1992).

Her pastoral ministry began with an assignment to St. Rita Parish, Kincaid (1996-1997) and from 2002 to the present she has been a pastoral minister at Cathedral, Springfield. She spent several years caring for family at her home in Taylorville, Ill., as well. In addition to her work at Cathedral Parish she finds her life enriched by the men and women who frequent the Washington Street Mission, where she’s build a reputation as “The Donut Sister.”

“When I entered our community, I had no idea what my ministry would be. I loved young people and I loved helping the elderly,” she reminisced.  “I taught children in the primary grades for many years and then, after caring for my father when he became blind, with great joy and trust, I began a new ministry in pastoral care, working with those confined to their homes, nursing homes, and those in hospitals. With gratitude to many people, I have remained in this ministry, working at the Cathedral Parish in Springfield for more than 17 years.”

10 thoughts on “Sister Mary Francella Vyverman, OP”

  1. Kim McCulley Ausmus

    Congratulations to Sr. Mary Francella, my first grade teacher. I have fond memories of that year at St. Patrick’s, especially of our class collecting enough to purchase a statue of the Virgin Mary. May God continue to bless you. You have been a blessing to those around you.

  2. Teresa Kettelkamp

    I know I have known Sister Francella for years and absolutely love her. I love her kind heart and her generous spirit. She is a blessing to so many people !!

  3. Virginia "Ginger" Lucasey Rentschler

    Was a classmate of Sister in the 1959 class from SHA. Congratulations on your 60th anniversary. Didn’t realize you were at my grade school alma mater, St. Pat’s. You’ve done our SHA class proud.

  4. Nicki Marie Carter

    I was a student of hers and I remembered her smile and kindness …Nicki Marie Carter. I was there, I believe for 1st and 2nd grade. Congrats to you Sister Francella!

  5. My mother named my sister Francella after a Sister Francella OSU at Ursuline college Louisville or Sacred Heart Academy Louisville. Mom was born in 1924 if this helps . Looking for this nun.

  6. Sister Francella was my kindergarten teacher at Saint Edward (1978-79). I have such fond memories of her and of that time. Thank you for the gift of your kindness, and for the work you have done for many faith communities.

  7. You are my favorite teacher of all time. I was a new immigrant from Italy, and everything was so new and different. You had an Easter egg hunt for us at the convent outside, which I thought was spectacular. I still have my first Rosary which I got from you. Thank you for all your kindness and patience.

    1. Sister Beth Murphy

      Thanks so much for your kind words. I’ve made sure that Sister Francella has seen them. God bless.

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