Meet the Franciscan Sisters at Yuma Arizona

November 9 was a special day at Immaculate Conception Convent in Yuma. It was  our Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity Founders’ Day. Sister Ann Mary Hart looks over pictures of our beginnings in Wisconsin as Sister Mary Beth Kornely lights the candles for our evening prayer.

On this day we especially recalled that Immaculate Conception Convent was our first Arizona mission home.  Today Sister Ann Mary, Sister Janet Rose and Sister Lorita Gaffney are still serving at Immaculate Conception Catholic School as support staff to the principal, staff and students.

Sister Mary Teresa Bettag is shown selecting the song for the special office we used for our evening prayer. Sister Mary Teresa is a Theology and math teacher at Yuma Catholic High School. Sister Alexandra Bettinardi also serves in needed secretarial services in the school. Both enjoy the students and faculty taking part in other activities as well.

Sister Mary Beth and Sister Hannah Johnecheck feel blessed to minister at St. Francis School in Yuma. Sister Mary Beth assists with staff needs and Sister Hannah is the second grade teacher. Our Community returned to serving at St. Francis a year ago. It is good to see the vitality of the school and the goodness of the families.

We like to count our blesssings and actually have a blessing bowl. Besides the recent Founders’ Day, we also recalled the goodness of being able to witness the wedding of one of the teachers at Immaculate Conception School. We actually received corsages! May the Lord bless all the good people of Yuma.


Franciscan Sisters’ Journey to St. Andrew Convent

Franciscan Sister of Christian Charity Sister Joellen Kohlmann shares on the move to St. Andrew Convent, Sierra Vista, Arizona.

It has been quite the month getting ready to move into the new fixed up Convent here in Sierra Vista. The parish purchased a four-bedroom house across the street and began fixing it up while we were away this summer. When we returned the crew was just beginning on the new roof.

About a week later the HVAC system was attached – oh my, what a load! You even get a view of our monsoon clouds.

Packing up is always a challenge…this is just the beginning. No picture of the final look in this room as it may have been embarrassing to see how much stuff one accumulates and there aren’t many extras.

The parish offered two times for parishioners to see the progress. The first time it was truly under construction and we were busy choosing colors and listening to new ideas. The people really liked the tours and were amazed at all the space in what looks like a small house from the front.

One day we were surprised to see the house all painted. There was still plenty of work to do but now things are really looking good. We have all new windows and they slide so easily. These two men are the contractor and parish representative in charge of renovations.

Here is a view of our back patio and Arizona room which faces west to the mountains and sunset.

Monday, Sep. 17th was moving day and we were so busy no one thought of taking pictures…sorry. The local Knights of Columbus moving crew arrived just before 8:00 am and by 10:30 am all of our things and boxes were in the new Convent! Wonderful but what chaos! And then un-packing began.

After six hours Sr. Doris and Sr. Joellen took a few minutes to have lunch amid the boxes etc. And we were still smiling. The tech from Cox was busy connecting us and by 4 pm we had phone, internet and TV…yeah…but really no time to watch.

Monday evening the Secular Franciscans brought dinner – spaghetti, breadsticks, lettuce salad, waldorf salad, watermelon, cookies and pie! What a feast. Of course we did manage to put stuff away so we had a table to sit around, And oops…forgot pictures again…but then we could barely function! Bed was welcomed and greatly enjoyed.

Tuesday morning we enjoyed a short walk across the street to Mass and when we returned we enjoyed coffee, news, and conversation on our patio.

You can tell that much progress has been made by Tuesday night we can see our kitchen and even part of the new dining set. Thankfully the washer and dryer were hooked up and we did many loads from the move.

And now…our first home cooked meal of chili on our new gas range! It is wonderful to have a gas range just like when I was growing up!


As of today, Wednesday, we are amazed at our progress but there are still many boxes to unpack and much settling in still looming.

On Sunday, October 7th, after the 10:00 am Mass, Fr. Greg will process from Church to our new chapel to bring Jesus home for us and bless our new St. Andrew Convent. We are looking forward to welcoming some of our Arizona Sisters along with the Carmelite Sisters from Douglas and the building and grounds committee members to a luncheon with us. More later…

Franciscan Sisters Share Arizona Blog

Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity serving in Arizona will be sharing their homes and their lives on this Franciscan Sands Blog. Sister Carol Seidl, who offered posts from St. Anthony Parish, Casa Grande, Arizona, will be joined by  more of our  Sisters in convents in these locations: St. Peter Mission, Bapchule;, St. Andrew, Sierra Vista; San Xavier Mission, Tucson, Immaculate Conception, Yuma. Expect interesting desert tidbits.

We begin the postings highlighting a photo taken at Camp Franciscan 2018 in Manitowoc, Wisconsin. Here are young women who were invited through the Franciscan Sisters in Arizona to come for a June vocation camp. The campers added much spirit!