Born to Life
September 17, 1925
Hankinson, North Dakota
Sisters of St. Francis of the Immaculate Heart of Mary 1947
School Sisters of St. Francis 1982
Born to Eternal Life
June 18, 2022
Sister Anna was born in Hankinson, North Dakota, on September 17,1925, to Karl and Annella Wolfe. Anna was the second youngest of 11 children. By all accounts, Anna enjoyed her childhood as part of a large and happy family. After her school years, Anna chose to join the small Franciscan community in Hankinson, whose sisters had taught in her parish school. She was received into the community in 1947 and made her final profession of vows in 1951.
In the mid ’50s, Sister Anna was asked to attend Alverno College in Milwaukee to study for a BA majoring in violin. As perhaps Divine Providence would have it, Alverno was operated by the School Sisters of St. Francis, so Anna got to meet them as her teachers. She said one of her happiest memories was preparing for her graduation recital. Anna graduated from Alverno in 1958. Some years later she would go on to study for and receive a Masters in Music Education from the University of Minnesota in1972.
Meanwhile, Anna held onto the hope of joining the School Sisters. While attending a retreat in Terre Haute, Indiana, which she said “was in the turbulent 1960s,” she, in her words: “engaged in conversation” with one of our sisters who was on our leadership team about transferring to the School Sisters. After her approval for transfer from our community and from the pope, Sister Anna was received into the School Sisters of St. Francis in 1982.
Anna then went on to take classes in clinical pastoral education to prepare for her work in pastoral care. She ministered in Omaha at the former Creighton-St. Joseph Hospital near 30th and Cuming St. from about 1983 to 2003. To bring joy, hope, and comfort to those in pain or awaiting surgery was a gift Anna shared generously for many years. Anna also gave some of her free time in the ’80s and ’90s as a volunteer chaplain for the Omaha Police Department. That would seem to be a very daunting adventure to many of us, but not to Anna. From 2011 until the COVID-19 pandemic, both Anna and Marge were part of a team of volunteers who brought Communion to patients at the Creighton University Medical Center.
Anna continued to share her gift of music, especially playing the violin. In the 1980s she was invited to join the Intergenerational Orchestra here in Omaha. To belong, you had to be a musician 55 years of age or older or 25 years of age or younger. They performed for the public in the spring and at Christmas time. Anna recalled that her skill with the violin was very helpful when she was a chaplain for the monthly prayer services for families who had lost loved ones. As a community, we were blessed to have Anna play her violin for our local jubilee celebrations and other community gatherings.
Our Sister Anna was a strong woman with strong beliefs about what was important to her. But we also saw a very kind and caring person who could listen with her whole heart to the needs and concerns of other. A couple of weeks ago, Anna asked one of the sisters who was visiting her, “Why can’t I get my strength back?” The sister replied that Anna had lived a good and long life and that her body, at 97 years of age, was just getting tired. She had served God and the people of God faithfully, and had finished all that she needed to do. Anna seemed at peace with those words and was soon able to meet her God in her home, with Marge, her friend of many years, at her side. May she now enjoy eternal rest.
Join Us in Remembering
We encourage you to share your loving memories of Sister’s life and ministry using the online form on this page. Your submission will be reviewed by the community and posted to this page promptly.
Memories from Loved Ones, Friends & Colleagues
Sister Anna was a loving and supportive aunt to twenty-five nieces and nephews. She was present for care and comfort to her family throughout the ups and downs of living. She traveled often to Minnesota and Idaho and was an important addition to many family events. Once, she even went to Spain for a grandniece's wedding. Somehow she was able to keep track of her great great nieces and nephews remembering their names and giving their parents the opportunity to brag about milestones and accomplishments. We treasure the legacy of love and faith she has left for us.
~ Kathy Mceathron