Monday, September 25, 2023

Loving God and neighbor without distinction: A pontifical institute of women religious of the Roman Catholic Church

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Sister Mary Fran Simons – on her 60th Jubilee

Sister Mary Fran Simons
Sister Mary Fran Simons
PARENTS: John Paul and Margaret Simons
HOMETOWN: Santa Rita, N.M.
RELIGIOUS NAME: Sister John Paul
EDUCATION: Marymount College, Salina (bachelor’s degree); St. Louis (Mo.) University (master’s degree); Jesuit School of Theology, Berkeley, Calif. (theological certificate); also attended New Mexico Western College, Silver City, Manhattanville College, Purchase, N.Y., and Aquinas Institute of Theology, Independence, Iowa.

  • 1958-1963 Sacred Heart Junior High School, Salina; teaching
  • 1963-1968 Nazareth Apostolic High School, Concordia; teaching
  • 1965-1968 Concordia High School; teaching Latin
  • 1968-1970 Sisters of St. Joseph, Concordia; novice director
  • 1970-1971 Sacred Heart High School; teaching English and religion
  • 1971-1972 Pastoral worker in Hoxie, Seguin, Grainfield and Grinnell, Kan.
  • 1972-1973 Pastoral worker in Hoxie and Seguin, Kan.
  • 1973-1976 Central Catholic High School, Grand Island, Neb.; teaching theology
  • 1977-1986 Manna House of Prayer; novice director and a spiritual director
  • 1986-present Valley Hope Center, Chandler, Ariz.; chaplain


In this 80th decade of life and my 60th year as a Sister of St. Joseph, I sit before this blank sheet of paper overwhelmed by the many strands that have formed my life.

How can one express the many moments in which God has been revealed and it all makes sense? Then there have been those times of doubt and confusion when nothing seemed to make any sense.

When I am asked about my life as a Catholic sister, I most often answer, “It has been the right choice for me. I have loved my life and if I had a chance to live my life over, I would make the same choice.”

As I think about this, I suspect that most persons would say something similar. I have come to think that the path makes very little difference. It is how we enter into our path that makes the difference.

As I remember, I chose to become a Sister of St. Joseph for two reasons. The first was to find God and the second was to help save this world. Today the wording might be a little different but my desire is the same.

I am deeply grateful for each person whom in the meeting God has been revealed to me and for all those whom I have attempted to serve — sometimes in awkward and inadequate ways.

Thank you to all my Sisters of St. Joseph of whom I am very proud.

One thought on “Sister Mary Fran Simons – on her 60th Jubilee

  • Laura Rose Olsen

    My vocation to be a Sister of St. Joseph lasted about six years. It was a blessed & sacred time. I give thanks to God for my opportunity to serve Him through the Community. Thank God for such beautifully blessed women like Mary Fran and Mary Jo Thummel. Peace & blessings to all CSJs who continue to serve amongst the people, as Jesus did.

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