We congratulate and honor five Holy Cross sisters who are celebrating their 75th jubilee anniversaries of consecrated life in 2023.
With a combined 375 years of ministry among them, these sisters have inspired and touched people far and wide. All were educated in their youth by Sisters of the Holy Cross and, after entering the Congregation, went on to minister in schools, hospitals, convents, parishes, and in communities plagued by poverty. They gladly journeyed to wherever they were needed, giving their whole hearts to their ministries and the people they encountered.Learn more about the jubilarians and their lifelong ministry of service to others.
Diamond Jubilarians — 75 years
Sister M. Michaeleen (Frieders), CSC
As Lorraine Frieders, Sister Michaeleen was born in Aurora, Illinois, as the sixth of eight children. She first met the Sisters of the Holy Cross when she attended St. Angela Academy in Morris, Illinois. After high school, she responded to the call in her heart and entered the Congregation in Notre Dame, Indiana.
Sister Michaeleen graduated from Saint Mary’s College, Notre Dame. She briefly taught in an elementary school before being missioned to Saint Joseph Hospital in South Bend, Indiana, as supervisor of the business department. When her former schoolchildren heard she “went to a hospital,” she received get well cards from them for weeks.
With zeal and a head full of ideas, Sister Michaeleen moved into the role of CEO at Saint Joseph. Thus began six decades of faithful leadership at the helm of hospitals and health systems across the country.
A take-charge leader, Sister Michaeleen supervised the expansion of new services at her hospitals. She was especially adept at unifying hospitals and long-term care facilities under a single corporation. She did this both for the Congregation’s Holy Cross Health System and the Cincinnati-based Sisters of Mercy hospitals and long-term care facilities. Later, at the request of the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C., she briefly directed Catholic Charities.
But after 40 years in administration, Sister Michaeleen heeded another call. She strongly felt the desire to walk more closely with people who lived in poverty. With Sister Gladys Marie (Martin), CSC, she traded her corporate suits for blue jeans and her low pumps for sneakers. Then they drove the back roads of southern Maryland, seeking the needs of the people.
Over the next 13 years, they created a welcoming soup kitchen, support services and a values program for pre-teen girls. They also rallied doctors, nurses, pharmacists and other clinicians to establish a free health clinic in Waldorf. Sister Michaeleen’s vigorous leadership sustained the clinic until she and Sister Gladys Marie returned to Notre Dame a decade later. Now with three locations, the Health Partners clinic joyfully marked its 30th anniversary in 2022.We rejoice with Sister Michaeleen in honoring her 75 years as a Sister of the Holy Cross in 2023. May the people she touched long remember her kindness, leadership and wisdom.
Sister Anita Andreatta, CSC
Born to Italian immigrants, Sister Anita was raised with two siblings in the small railroad town of Dunsmuir, California. Her father owned the local grocery store. Because of her parents’ connection to their homeland, Sister Anita has always carried a love of everything Italian. One of her most favorite memories is a trip she took to Italy to visit family with her parents.
Growing up in northern California, Anita moved in her junior year to the boarding school, Holy Rosary Academy in Woodland. Staffed by Holy Cross sisters, the academy was Anita’s introduction to the Congregation. The sisters’ examples of kindness and commitment to service had an impact on Anita. Discerning her own call to the consecrated life, she entered the Congregation at 17.
Over the course of the next 27 years, Sister Anita achieved both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education. Across four western states—California, Idaho, Nevada and Washington—she served in eight elementary schools. Children came to love her as a teacher, principal and religious supervisor. Sister Anita also served as the superior for the Congregation’s West Elementary School I Region.
Taking her skills in leadership to a different level, Sister Anita spent a year in graduate school studying religious formation. The new understandings she gained helped her in her nine-year ministry with women contemplating the religious life.
Then her ministry direction shifted again. She became a beloved presence as a sacristan, parish minister and hospital volunteer for the next three decades. At hospitals, she was a patient advocate in the ER, visited those who were homebound, and was a eucharistic minister. She also spent five years as superior at the Congregation’s Saint Catherine by the Sea convent in Ventura, California.
Sister Anita’s love of others has never wavered. She cherishes relationships and has always been an observant and vivacious friend, mentor and counselor. She feels that actions carry more weight than words, and always tries to show others her sincere gratitude and kindness.2023 marks Sister Anita’s diamond jubilee—75 years as a Sister of the Holy Cross. We commend her ministries and the many lives she has touched since 1948.
Sister M. Kenneth (Regan), CSC
Education has been a consistent, underlying rhythm in Sister Kenneth’s life. The connection began even before she was born when her parents met in college. He was a student at the University of Notre Dame. She attended Saint Mary’s College across the street (and adjacent to the Sisters of the Holy Cross motherhouse). Little did the young couple know their firstborn would traipse the same Saint Mary’s campus, but in a different role.
Sister Kenneth’s own elementary and secondary schooling took place in Austin, Texas, and South Bend, Indiana. Both schools were called Saint Mary’s Academy and were operated by Holy Cross sisters. Spending 12 years with the sisters gave her an “indescribable love” for them. After graduation, she briefly was a postal clerk in Austin before returning to South Bend to join the Congregation.
A beloved teacher and principal, Sister Kenneth devoted 67 years to her ministry of education. With a focus on kindergarten through eighth grades, she guided young minds through religious studies, math, reading and spelling. She had a passion for Catholic education and firmly believed she belonged in the classroom. She also felt teachers had an obligation to accommodate diversity and break down prejudice. She often found herself stepping up to help students who needed encouragement and support.
Sister Kenneth continued her own education during these years. She achieved a bachelor’s degree in education and a master’s degree in education and history. She later earned a master’s degree in theology.
While serving at St. Mary’s School in Waco, Texas, Sister Kenneth’s ministry extended to different audiences. She worked with parents on sacramental preparation and assisted with the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults. She also helped parents and sponsors with baptismal preparation and trained altar boys for Masses. And, she was an enthusiastic song leader, lector and eucharistic minister.
Sister Kenneth is now in the ministry of prayer at the motherhouse in Notre Dame, Indiana. But she hasn’t left the field of education entirely behind. She fondly says that the only TV she likes to watch are “the educational programs – football, baseball and basketball!”Sister Kenneth celebrates her diamond jubilee this year—75 years as a Sister of the Holy Cross. We praise the day she answered the call to consecrated life.
Sister M. Luella (Van Dorn), CSC
Born in Los Angeles, California, Anna Lyda Van Dorn knew heartache at an early age. The second youngest of six girls and one boy, she was just 7 years old when her father died. Over the succeeding years, she watched as her mother raised all seven children on her own. With love, Sister Luella credits her beautiful posture to her mother, recalling that the children were never allowed to slouch.
Through 70 years of educational and pastoral ministry, Sister Luella was a vibrant, dependable figure to children and adults. She thrived as a teacher, spending 38 years in elementary schools in four western states: Arizona, California, Idaho and Utah. As a teacher, she was insistent that her students learn not just facts and figures from her. She also taught them how to please God and how to show their love for others.
It was a philosophy no doubt carried forward from her own early years at St. Agnes School in Los Angeles. It was there that she met the Sisters of the Holy Cross. She found them kind, encouraging and inspirational. She says God guided her into consecrated life “by planting the seed of vocation with the help of the sisters.” She remembers, too, that the eve of her eighth-grade graduation was the day “the good Lord stole my heart away.” Following her graduation from Catholic Girls’ High School in Los Angeles, she eagerly entered the Congregation in Notre Dame, Indiana.
After nearly four decades of teaching, Sister Luella shifted into pastoral ministry at St. Paul’s Church in Seattle, Washington. As a pastoral associate, she visited patients in hospitals and nursing homes. She was a eucharistic minister to people who were homebound. She oversaw the church’s 50+ club and widows’ support group. She also ministered to families during the dying and deaths of their loved ones and coordinated funerals in the parish. Throughout her 30 years at St. Paul’s Church, she touched many lives. Her gregarious personality and sense of humor allowed her to easily connect with anyone.
Sister Luella celebrated a milestone 100th birthday in November 2022, receiving an outpouring of love and support so richly deserved.A diamond jubilarian, Sister Luella marks 75 years as a Sister of the Holy Cross in 2023. Her generous, loving spirit has reached into the hearts of all whom she encounters.
Sister M. Francine (Klein), CSC
As Caroline Marie Klein, Sister Francine grew up in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. She was the youngest of six children. Her family adored her bright personality.
From an early age, she had a desire to devote herself to God. When she was 10 years old, her sister Marguerite, 12 years her senior, entered the Sisters of the Holy Cross. Caroline also later met Holy Cross sisters who taught her at Lancaster Catholic High School. Not long after graduating, Caroline answered her own call from God and followed the path into consecrated life.
Sister Francine’s years of ministry were varied but always in service to others. With a degree in elementary education from Dunbarton College of the Holy Cross, Washington, D.C., she became a passionate educator. For 12 years, she taught elementary grades in Indiana, New York, Texas and Washington, D.C. Sister Francine also connected with many people through six years at Holy Cross Hospital, Silver Spring, Maryland. There, she provided pastoral care, visited and assisted patients, and served as a eucharistic minister and receptionist.
In all, Sister Francine spent 22 years in ministry in the United States and 35 in Brazil. To serve abroad had been a dream of hers, and she joyfully said yes when the opportunity to teach overseas was offered.
In Brazil, Sister Francine ministered as a teacher and principal before becoming involved in pastoral service. In various parishes, she coordinated a pastoral visiting team, directed catechetical programs, and assisted with religious education and self-help programs.
She loved the people of Brazil. She admired them for their faith in God and their gratitude for what little they had. She advocated on their behalf, joining picket lines to protest squalid living conditions.
Sister Francine also held a strong devotion to St. André Bessette, CSC. She shared this devotion with people in Brazil who were sick or elderly. When praying with them, she invoked Brother André’s intercession and anointed them with oil from his shrine.
Sister Francine’s greatest desire has always been to help the people who needed it the most. This passion, she says, is a gift from God, and it has led her to a blessed life.We are honored to celebrate with Sister Francine her 75th year as a Sister of the Holy Cross. She has influenced so many lives, and the world is better for it.