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Celebrating Two Jubilarians and Two New Medical Mission Sisters

On June 10, 2012, Medical Mission Sisters in North America joyfully celebrate the fifty-year anniversaries of two of our Sisters, and the vows of two new Sisters.

A Mass and reception are being held at our North American Headquarters on June 10 in recognition of these Sisters’ lives of commitment:

Sister Carol Francis, who was raised in New Orleans and graduated from St. Louis University, worked in medical record keeping and administration at St. Vincent’s Hospital, Philadelphia, and at Holy Family Hospitals in Karachi and Rawalpindi, Pakistan. In the 1970s, she served as our Treasurer in North America, and in several other leadership roles. Sister Carol earned her B.F.A. in Fine Arts from the Tyler School of Art at Temple University in Philadelphia in 1979. She did graphic design work in Brooklyn for several years, then worked with tenants and shareholders in low-income cooperatives in the Bronx. She now lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where she continues her deep interest in art.

Sister-Doctor Patricia Lowery, a Chicago native, earned her M.D. at Georgetown University and did her residency and surgical internship at St. Vincent’s Hospital and Medical Center in New York. In 1978, she began 20 years of mission in Ghana, serving as a surgeon (and the only non-Ghanaian staff member) at Sunyani Regional Hospital. She also supervised Ob/Gyn, pediatrics, and female medicine at the 150-bed hospital. For the past 12 years, she has been has been in mission on the Navajo Nation Reservation in Arizona. She is Chief of Surgical Services at the Fort Defiance Indian Hospital, which serves almost 30,000 persons.

Former Mother of Carmel Sister Vilsy Thekkan (Abhaya) will profess her Final Vows as a Medical Mission Sister on June 10. A native of India, Sister Abhaya studied nursing at the Krupanidi School of Nursing in Bangalore. She was a nurse at a community health clinic in Bangalore, and at the diocesan hospital in Chandrapur, Maharashtra. After coming to the U.S. in late 2004, she served at St. Ann’s Home in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and at St. Joseph’s Home in Kenosha, Wisconsin. After taking an informal leave of absence from her Community, she joined the integration phase of life with the Medical Mission Sisters in June, 2009. She has recently ministered with our Sisters among poor people and immigrants in Arizona along the Mexican border, and in Boynton Beach, Florida.

Sister Christine Kancewick, also a Chicago native, will make her First Vows on June 10. A graduate of Marquette University in Milwaukee, WI, she received her B.S. in Physical Therapy in 1978. Her work included long-term rehabilitation, pediatric care with children in schools, and special therapy with cancer patients. She received her Master’s Degree in Pastoral Studies from Loyola University in 1983, and also studied Spiritual Direction at the Claret Center in Hyde Park, Chicago. Sister Christine was the Director of Adult Faith Formation at SS Peter and Paul Parish, in Naperville, IL. She is currently involved in RCIA (Right of Christian Initiative of Adults) and the Alternatives to Violence Project.

June 1, 2012