The Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis Mark Founders' Day
The Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis marked their 140th anniversary with a wreath laying at the gravesite of Foundress Mother M. Frances Krasse, located in St. Joseph Cemetery, in Peoria on Friday, July 14. OSF HealthCare Leaders and Mission Partners joined together to celebrate the history of the The Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis, and celebrate a bright future of serving with the greatest care and love.
The Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis were founded in Peoria, Illinois on July 16, 1877, by Mother M. Frances Krasse, O.S.F., the first Major Superior of the religious community, and Bishop John Lancaster Spalding, the first Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Peoria.
Property was obtained in 1877 for St. Francis Hospital, which is the present day site of OSF HealthCare Saint Francis Medical Center, on the bluff overlooking the Illinois river.
What started from very humble beginnings and a single, two-story house converted into a primitive hospital on the southside of Peoria has grown into OSF HealthCare, an integrated health system with nearly 19,000 Mission Partners in 115 locations, including 11 hospitals - 7 acute care, 4 critical access – and two colleges of nursing throughout Illinois and Michigan. Its physician network employs nearly 1,200 primary care, specialist physicians, and advanced practice providers.
The flag ship hospital remains, now the 629-bed OSF HealthCare Saint Francis Medical Center in Peoria, a Level I trauma center and affiliate of the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Peoria.
From the beginning, and to this day, the Sisters' Mission continues to be to care for the sick and the poor.
Today's Sisters remember the humble and challenging beginnings of their Pioneer Sisters, who were religious and political exiles from their homeland in Germany where they cared for orphans. They trusted in God’s love and providential care for them, and begged for food and supplies to care for the sick, never turning any one away sent to them for care.
Sister Judith Ann Duvall, O.S.F. says if those Pioneer Sisters could see what has become of what they started they would be amazed, but probably not surprised.
Our Pioneer Sisters, I’m sure, would be amazed and delighted at what we have become, but not surprised! God accomplished unbelievable things through them 140 years ago, and why would He not continue to do so for us, up to this very day?