(Highland, IL) – HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital Highland recently celebrated 140 years since the healing ministry of the Hospital Sisters of St. Francis began in Highland. The first two Hospital Sisters of St. Francis arrived in Highland in January 1878.
At the invitation of Reverend Joseph Meckel, pastor of St. Paul’s Church in Highland, Mother Angelica Ratte sent two Hospital Sisters of St. Francis to Highland. Sisters Svera Hagemeier and Sylvana Bosse arrived on January 26, 1878. Upon their arrival, they made their home with the School Sisters of Notre Dame. They were soon joined by Sisters Jovita Janning and Potamianna Hense.
HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital honored this 140th anniversary with a Mass of Celebration on January 26, led by The Most Reverend Thomas John Paprocki, Bishop of the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois. The Bishop celebrated the Mass in the Chapel at St. Joseph’s Hospital, along with concelebrants Father Pat Jakel and Monsignor David Peters, both of St. Paul Parish in Highland.
A number of guests attended the 140th celebration, including members of St. Joseph’s Board of Directors, Hospital Sisters of St. Francis, Hospital Sisters Health System (HSHS) leaders, and St. Joseph’s Hospital colleagues. The mass was followed by a small reception with drinks and light hors d'oeuvres.
“We are very blessed to be able to continue to carry out the mission of the Hospital Sisters of St. Francis at St. Joseph’s in Highland”, said John Ludwig, CEO and President of HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital Highland. “The Hospital Sisters laid the foundation and lived the Core Values that we still follow today: Respect, Care, Competence and Joy.”
The Most Reverend Thomas John Paprocki (center), Bishop of the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois, celebrated Mass on January 26 in HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital’s Chapel in honor of the 140th Anniversary of the Hospital Sisters of St. Francis’ arrival in Highland. Mass was concelebrated by Father Pat Jakel (left) and Monsignor David Peters (right), with Patrick Hutt, Episcopal Master of Ceremonies for the Bishop (kneeling).