Sister Rose Marie Peters

Sister Rose Marie PetersAs she celebrates her 75th Jubilee, many of us think of Sister Rose Marie’s Franciscan joy and humor, especially her very entertaining way of recounting incidents that happened in her classroom during her many years of teaching.

Sister Rose Marie was born in Chicago and was taught by the School Sisters at St. Francis at St. Philomena Parish. She was 19 when she entered the community, and she was happy that she had worked for one year after high school before she came. This gave her life experience and confidence as an “older” postulant.

When she was received in 1948, she was given the name Sister Davinus honoring both her father and her brother. She graduated from Alverno College with a major in education and a minor in English. She furthered her education at Clark College, earning a master’s degree in education. This prepared her for teaching in small schools in Nebraska, Upper Michigan, and Wisconsin. Often in these small schools, Sister Rosie needed to teach several grades and to perform extra duties. Her vibrant personality and her sense of responsibility contributed much to the lives of the sisters who shared life and ministry with her.

A change of pace happened when she was assigned to St. Mary’s School in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, for a period of three years. She later chose to return to Menomonee Falls for a period of 14 years.

Sister Rose Marie enthusiastically entered a new phase in her life when she returned to Chicago to teach adults at Wright College for 19 years. Some of them were immigrants learning English. Her happy and respectful attitude was suited for this type of teaching. When she later returned to Milwaukee, she again used her teaching skills and her love for people from other countries by volunteering for the Milwaukee Achiever Program.

Sister Rose Marie moved from Chicago to Campbellsport to Milwaukee and spent the next part of her life as a driver and seamstress. Sisters recall that she would begin each trip with a little prayer: “Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, guide the wheels we’re riding on!” Every task was accompanied by song, humor, and endless jokes. She was a member of the Chapel Singers, did the Irish jig on St. Patrick’s Day, and enjoyed doing jigsaw puzzles.

Her nephew Gregg and his family gave Sister a 1,000-piece puzzle that was created from a photo of Gregg and his family surrounding Sister Rose Marie. Sister Marjorie Ann Eisenmenger was inspired to write a poem about this which is quoted here:

“Virtual visits warm sunroom and home. The 1000 piece puzzle greeted Aunt Rosie Christmas morn. The photo on the box cover beckons her. She yearns to visit nephew Gregg and family. The scattered pieces scramble for focus. She interlocks colors and shapes. Precise matching breathes new life! Gregg, Jordan, Auntie Rose, Lynn and Max are together again! Picture perfect!”

Sister Rose Marie enjoys her days at Our Lady of the Angels where she lives now. Her days are filled with prayers of gratitude and a jigsaw puzzle can always be found in her room, ready to be assembled piece by piece.

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