On November 9, the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity of Manitowoc, Wisconsin, celebrated the 150th anniversary of their founding. Sister Marita Beumer and Archivist Sarah Aisenbrey represented the Sisters of the Precious Blood and attended the festivities at the Franciscan Sisters’ motherhouse, which included a Founders’ Day Mass and a program on the Congregation’s history. Also, Sister Marita presented Sister Natalie Binversie, community director of the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity, with a card and donation for the Sisters’ ministry at San Xavier Mission School in Tucson, Arizona, in the name of the Congregation, as well as a card from the Sisters at Salem Heights.
In 1866, Father Joseph Albrecht, 15 Sisters of the Precious Blood, eight Brothers and several lay families left Mercer County, Ohio, for Rush Lake, Minnesota, to begin their own congregation. All of the Sisters, women and children remained near St. Nazianz, Wisconsin, during that winter while Father Albrecht and the men went on to Minnesota. The next year, Father Albrecht came back for the Sisters, women and children. Three Sisters decided to stay in Wisconsin, forming the beginnings of the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity. Under the leadership of Father Joseph Fessler, the small community moved to Manitowoc where a building containing a convent and school was erected. The Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity were officially founded on November 9, 1869.
— Story and photos by Sarah Aisenbrey