Dolores Suding

Dolores SudingDee Suding and her husband Gene became associates in 1974. Before that, Dee was a beloved member of the School Sisters of St. Francis.

“As a School Sister of St. Francis, my ministry was in teaching, mostly in the Chicago and Rockford areas,” Dee said. “After being a vowed religious for 14 years, my ministry became first and foremost that of a wife and mother. However, I also was director of religious education, RCIA facilitator, liturgist, Eucharistic Minister, and lector for our parish.”

Dee gives the School Sisters of St. Francis all the credit for her being able to fulfill these ministries and finding her gifts. “They were always my mentors and support,” she said.  

For Dee, her greatest joy after leaving the community was raising her family and being able to become an associate of the community that she still loved.

“One of the things that I am most proud of is that during the time I was head of the liturgy committee at our parish, I was in full charge of arranging the liturgy for the dedication of our new church,” Dee remembered. “It was such an honor and such a joy. I also think that among my accomplishments was how much Gene and I both grew as spiritual people by being facilitators for our parish RCIA program.”

Dee said that she and Gene loved attending the annual Spirituality Conferences at Alverno College. “We always came away from those days with a new energy and a new focus on our own spiritual lives,” she said.

She shared that some of their favorite memories were the gatherings with the Chiara area community in Rockford. “It was always a time of prayer, sharing, and support,” she said. “We shared our stories mixed with laughter, tears, and lots of love.”

Dee and Gene also relished the fun times when some of the sisters visited them, especially on their farm in Indiana.

“Gene was a great nature lover who honored the environment, which made him a great Franciscan,” Dee said. “He developed that love in our four children, which was also one of – or should I say four of – our greatest accomplishments.”