By Kate Marlowe
For The Catholic Messenger
CLINTON — Five Sisters of St. Francis celebrated milestone anniversaries of their entrance into religious life: Sister Pauline Logsdon, Sister Beatrice Griffin, Sister Marilyn Barry, Sister Marilyn Shea and Sister Martinelle Bonnell. Cindy Barnhart and Sandra Jacobs celebrated 25 years as associates of the Sisters of St. Francis. Associates partner with the sisters to support and live out their Gospel values. A Mass was celebrated July 16 at Prince of Peace Catholic Church. Msgr. Frank Henricksen presided.
Sister Pauline Logsdon was born in St. Patrick, Mo., the daughter of Gabriel and Nora Anna (Uhlmeyer) Logsdon. She was taught in the public school by Clinton Franciscans who had emigrated from Ireland and were working in St. Patrick. Sr. Logsdon entered the congregation of the Sisters of St. Francis at Mount St. Clare on Sept. 6, 1941.
After graduating from Mount St. Clare College in Clinton, she received a B.A. in general science from St. Ambrose College in Davenport, an M.A. in theology from Notre Dame University, an M.A. in catechetics from Catholic University of Chile in Santiago, Chile, and an Ed.D in education of gifted children at California Coast University in Santa Ana, Calif. She did further studies at other universities.
Sr. Logsdon’s teaching ministry spanned 57 years. She taught fourth grade through high school and college. In Clinton she taught at St. Patrick School and Mount St. Clare College and Academy. She also taught at St. Francis de Paula School, Chicago; St. Justin School in St. Louis, Mo.; and Mary Star of the Sea School in Freeport, Grand Bahama, Bahama Islands.
Looking back over the 75 years, Sr. Logsdon remarked, “These years have been a great privilege. Working with so many good people making our world more Christian. I wish to thank you all.”
Sister Beatrice Griffin was born in Bird Island, Minn., the daughter of Gerald and Magdalene Frances (Schwiderski) Griffin. Sr. Griffin entered the Sisters of St. Francis on Sept. 8, 1946.
She grew up in Pocahontas, Iowa, and moved to Chicago for high school, graduating from Alvernia High School. She earned a B.A. in education from San Diego College for Women and an M.S. in education from Peabody College of Education and Human Development at Vanderbilt University in Nashville and an M.A. in religious studies from Seattle University in Washington. She did further study elsewhere.
Sr. Griffin’s active ministry included teaching and administration. She began her teaching career at St. Gerald School in Oak Lawn, Ill. She spent the next 25 years in California where she taught at El Cajon and Oildale before assuming administrative duties in Oildale and for an additional 11 years at St. Catherine’s in Riverside, Calif. She returned to St. Gerald’s as principal in 1979. After her six-year assignment there, she returned to California and served as principal in schools in Hemet, San Jacinto and San Bernardino.
In 2004, Sr. Griffin returned to Clinton as assistant administrator of the Canticle. In 2007, she retired from this position but continues to serve as coordinator of assisted living.
“After having spent 70 years as a Sister of St. Francis, I say ‘thank you’ to God for calling me to this life and pray that in some way I have touched the lives of the many people I have encountered as much as they have touched my life,” Sr. Griffin said. “Although it has not always been roses and sunshine, I wouldn’t trade it for any other life. I am most appreciative to God and my community.”
•Sister Marilyn Barry was born in Danbury, Iowa, to Vincent and Blanche (Ameden) Barry. She attended Danbury Catholic Elementary and High School. She entered the Sisters of St. Francis on Sept. 8, 1956.
She received a B. A. degree in psychology at the University of San Diego and completed graduate work for an M.A. in pastoral ministry at Seattle University in Washington. She held an Iowa Professional Teaching Certificate and was also a certified spiritual director.
Sr. Barry served in the ministry of teaching at St. Paul in Macomb and St. Gerald in Oak Lawn, both in Illinois, and at St. Margaret Mary in Chino, Calif., and St. Patrick in Clinton. She then ministered for 25 years in pastoral ministry and religious education in parishes in Iowa, California, Missouri, South Carolina and Oregon. After retiring from full-time ministry, she continued to volunteer at Our Lady of the Lake Parish in Lake Oswego, Ore., for many years. She ministered as a Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults sponsor, funeral lunch coordinator and helped people striving to overcome addictions.
“I have been blessed all of these years to witness the face of God in the ordinary through people, nature, music,” Sr. Barry said. “Growing up and living in Iowa for many years grounded me in seeing beauty. Even though as my body grows older and my physical strength lessens I continue to feel energized by the beauty, goodness, and mercy I see around me. It’s been a joy. Thank you for the journey.”
• Sister Marilyn Shea was born near Maquoketa, Iowa, the daughter of Lionel and Florence Shea. She graduated from Elwood High School and Mo
unt St. Clare College and entered the Sisters of St. Francis on Sept. 8, 1956. She completed a bachelor’s degree in elementary education at Cardinal Stritch College in Milwaukee and later earned an M.Ed. in educational administration and supervision from Marquette University in Milwaukee.
Sr. Shea began her ministry as a teacher at St. Boniface School in Clinton and St. Gerald School in Oak Lawn, Ill., before serving as principal at parochial schools in Riverside, Calif.; Chicago Heights, Ill.; St. Louis, Mo.; and Trinity Catholic School in Clinton. She also worked three years at the Adult Education Center in Hayti, Mo., directing the childcare center and providing parenting education and literacy training. In 1995, she returned to Clinton and ministered as an education instructor and coordinator of practicum and field experience at Mount St. Clare College/ The Franciscan University/Ashford University from 1995–2014. She presently serves as the general secretary of the Sisters of St. Francis.
In reflecting on her jubilee, Sr. Shea expressed gratitude for all of the ways the Spirit has worked in her life and for the sisters, family members, friends and co-workers who have journeyed with her through the years. “Each day provides new challenges and opportunities to live our mission of active nonviolence and peacemaking,” she said.
•Sister Martinelle Bonnell was born in Sublette, Ill., the daughter of Vernon and Nellie (Clopine) Bonnell. She attended St. Mary Grade School in Sublette and graduated from Mount St. Clare Academy in Clinton where she was a boarding student. After graduating, she entered the
congregation on Dec. 8, 1956.
Sr. Bonnell received a B.A. in English from St. Louis University, an M.S. in counseling from Northern Illinois University, an M.S.A. from University of Notre Dame, and a Ph.D in education from St. Louis University.
She taught junior high school for 10 years before becoming an administrator in elementary schools in California, Illinois and Iowa. She was the associate principal and academic dean at Regina Dominican High School in Wilmette, Ill. She was dean of students and academic dean at Mount St. Clare College for 13 years, acting president for one year and an academic coach for eight years at Ashford University. She retired in May 2015 and resides at the motherhouse in Clinton where she does volunteer work.
“I feel very blessed in my vocation and am grateful to my congregation for a marvelous education and the ability to minister in education for 60 years,” remarked Sr. Bonnell. “I am also grateful for the support of a wonderful family and friends in Sublette.”