When the Sisters of St. Francis of Assisi gather for a funeral Mass to remember a beloved Sister who has died, loved ones join in rejoicing in her memory, reflecting on special moments, and allowing prayers and the Word of God to comfort them.


“St. Francis and St. Clare taught us how to embrace Sister Death and Ruthie would be happy about this because they did it with joy,” said Sister Rose Sevenich, OSF, ’68, pastoral minster at the Motherhouse representing the Sisters and their administrative team at the May funeral of Sister Ruth May. “When they sensed they were approaching their passover to God in death, they gathered their friends, listened prayerfully to God’s Word, and reflected on the significance of their lives.”


In the spirit of the same Franciscan tradition, the University community joins the Sisters in remembering three precious souls and the beauty of their meaningful and lasting contributions, especially their work and ministry at Cardinal Stritch University.


More than 300 Sisters of St. Francis of Assisi worked at Stritch during its 79-year history – with several still in active ministry there – and their contributions live on long after they have retired from their offices and classrooms. These three Sisters devoted a combined 90 years to Stritch and each brought her own special gifts and light to enhance the lives of the students, faculty and staff who learned from them and worked alongside them.


Click on their names below to read more about the legacy they left behind at Stritch and with those who knew them:


Sister Gabrielle Kowalski, OSF, Ph.D., ’64, ’69, died on Jan. 26, 2016, at age 78.


* Professor emerita, special education


* Taught at Stritch for 43 years


* Sister of St. Francis of Assisi for 58 years







Sister Adele Thibaudeau, OSF, ’67, died on March 30, 2016, at age 71.


* Teacher, director of Campus Ministry, and director of the Center for Justice, Peace, and Integrity of Creation


* Served at Cardinal Stritch University for 27 years


* Sister of St. Francis of Assisi for 53 years





Sister Ruth May, OSF, ’53’60, died on May 21, 2016, at age 89.


* Instructor, clerical assistant and receptionist/secretary in the Stritch Reading Clinic for a total of 20 years during two separate time periods beginning in 1951 and ending in 1984


* Sister of St. Francis of Assisi for 69 years




For a limited time, the funeral Masses for the Sisters are viewable on the website for the Sisters of St. Francis of Assisi.