Sister Joselda Kuhle

Sister Joselda KuhleSister Joselda was attracted to the School Sisters of St. Francis through her two aunts, Sisters Clarissa and Peter Klass, and enjoyed the happiness of the sisters who taught her during her grade school time.

This was especially true of Sister Audry, who taught second grade and who later in life was also Sister Joselda’s supervisor when she did her student teaching. Upon completion of student teaching, Sister Audry told the students that Sister Joselda had a reward for them. As Sister Joselda remembers, “She handed me a large container and when I opened it, a compressed snake popped out. Her humor was obvious.”

Sister Joselda was educated to be a teacher, which she did for 42 years, the first 14 as a classroom teacher and the next 28 as a principal. All those years were marked with diversity, success and gratitude.

Her six years at St. Francis Seminary opened doors to knowledge which would continue for the remainder of her life. She faced the future with zest and joy in each new day. In Beloit, she preached for eight years until Bishop Morlino caught up with her and she had to quit this ministry.

Her goals as a School Sister of St. Francis and as a person of growing faith included – and still are – being open to the changes taking place in the Church and in our society today. She wants to continue learning, to respond to the needs of gospel living, and to become the person that God created her to be.

An experience of growth proved the accuracy of her brother’s statement: “Join the convent and see the world.” It happened between 2003 and 2010 when SIster Joselda helped Father Pat Umburger lead Pilgrim Tours all over Europe. Each trip was with about 35 to 40 pilgrims. “I was never denied doing this by the community, and was never asked to question my goals,” Sister Joselda said. “These experiences enriched each of our lives.”

She had a different experience of personal growth while she was principal at Sacred Heart of Jesus School. An eighth grader entered her office, sent by his teacher for wearing an earring contrary to school policy. He obediently and politely took it off and put it in an envelope, so Sister Joselda thought the incident was over. Not so. The next day his dad came to her office and “raised Cain.” He yelled, took the boy from school, and slammed the door.

Several days later, Sister Joselda was working in her office and had an inspiration. She called the boy’s mother and asked to meet her at Hardee’s for a cup of coffee. The mother asked if she had supper yet. When the answer was “no,” she suggested Sister come to her home for a meal. Sister said, “I went trembling, but not only was I welcomed but she asked if her child could be readmitted to Sacred Heart. I said, ‘Of course’ and they even took a picture of the child and me.” Growth? Yes!

Now that she is retired at Maria Linden, both loving and appreciating it, Sister Joselda’s mind turns toward the future. How can more women join the journey she took? “It sounds simple but true,” she said. “Truth in God. Say the prayer that my mother and I always said: Lord, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”

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