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Virgie Azcueta


  51 years in religious life (1968-2022)

  37 years in SFCC (1985-2022)


Servants of St Joseph (SSJ) where she was assigned as high school coordinator and religion teacher. She also served as religion coordinator and director of religious education. Later, after leaving the former congregation, Virgie worked as an activity director in a nursing home, as well as parish youth minister. She earned an undergrad degree in pre-med and, later, a master’s in spirituality and parish ministry. Virgie put those degrees to use as director of youth and young adult ministries in the diocese of San Jose, California.


During a retreat in 1978, Virgie realized that her vocation was no longer connected to her present religious community and requested exclaustration. 2 Years later she returned to community. Her mother general permitted Virgie to go to the USA in 1982 to continue to search God’s will. She eventually decided to join the non-canonical Community of the Holy Spirit (CHS) in Illinois. From the CHS she found SFCC and was affirmed by the Southern California Region in 1985.

Virgie always felt God’s call to minister in Africa. She had initially joined the SSJs with the desire to be sent to their missions in Africa; but was put in local classrooms in the Philippines. After joining SFCC, Virgie volunteered her time to live with and help Teresana Fornasero, SFCC in her mission in northern Kenya. The ICCs at the time (Fran Campbell and Suzanne Dunn) encouraged Virgie to investigate an alternative way that would create a more permanent and sustainable opportunity. Virgie was accepted in the Maryknoll Sisters’ missionary associate training program.   She was assigned by Maryknoll to Tanzania where she remained from 2003- 2010.  From Africa, Virgie returned to the Philippines where she runs a prayer center and also mentors many in SFCC.  She says, I understand SFCC better every time I answer questions about the community. I have been inspired in my encounters ands friendships with the genuine women in SFCC.


Currently, Virgie serves SFCC as a member of the International Communication Coordinator Team (ICC).  Within that service role, she works most closely with SFCC in Africa.                                                                                                                        submitted by the archives

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Monica Sesko

  65 years in religious life 1957-2022

  40 years in SFCC 1982-2022

Monica’s first religious community was the School Sisters of Notre Dame (SSND).  She joined as an aspirant in 1957 and remained with them for 25 years. She was assigned as a classroom teacher and school principal at numerous schools in Michigan and Illinois.  Monica earned Masters Degree in Education from Northern Illinois University. 


In 1982, She left the SSNDs and joined Sisters for Christian Community. Since then, she served as Principal at St. Joseph in Summit, Director of Religious Education at St. Francis Assisi in Orland Park, Principal at St. Paul the Apostle in Joliet, and Assistant Principal at St. Mary Immaculate in Plainfield.


After she retired, I ministered at St. Francis Xavier as bulletin editor, director of Religious Education and to the present as Lector and Coordinator, Communion minister and however else she is able to serve.


Monica served SFCC with Nancy Gannon as our International Communication Coordinators (ICC) Team 1991-1994.    submitted by the SFCC archives


Monica is grateful to God, her family, her two religious communities, and the many friends , clergy and lay, who have helped her these past 60 years to be the person she is today.            submitted by the archives

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Anne McGinn


 70 years in religious life (1952-2022)

 37 years in SFCC   (1985-2022)


At age 22, Anne entered the Discalced Carmel Monastery in Detroit, Michigan and remained with them for the next 22 years.  During that time she served as music director, organist, novice mistress and sub-prioress. She left the cloister in 1971; and with two other former Carmelites, established a non-canonical affiliation with the Carmel Monastery of Reno, Nevada.  However, maintaining contact with the Reno group proved difficult. She heard about Lillanna Kopp’s new community that permitted women to leave their present congregation yet continue living their vows without the detailed supervision of daily life by appointed superiors. Anne made contact in 1984. She renewed her vows at the 1985 Assembly and was formally admitted into SFCC membership.


Together with Pat McCarthy, long time companion in community and ministry, and the other SFCCs in the Detroit Region, Anne hosted the Assembly in 1996.

Anne’s ministry centered around music. She earned a degree in music education and organ performance, specializing in organ performance and music education, especially teaching Gregorian chant.  Masters degree in parish ministry. Over the years, she ministered as parish musician, cantor and classroom teaching music, director of RCIA program (preparing adult candidates to become Roman Catholics), training liturgists, supervising liturgical preparations, facilitating bible study groups, and sacrament preparation with parents of young children.


Anne continues to be inspired by the great variety of ministries present within SFCC. It encourages her to strive, even in aging, to do the best she can for God and those with whom she lives and works.                                                               submitted by the SFCC archives

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Mary Ann Wachtel

51 years in SFCC  (1971-2022)


Mary Ann joined SFCC in 1971 as the 23rd member of the new community, making her one of our early pioneers.  She has been personally present for the growth and evolution of SFCC over the past 50 years.  This makes Mary Ann a woman of wisdom within SFCC – a true community treasure.


Mary Ann has always given her time and talent to education. She holds a university doctorate (PhD) in biology and lifetime certification with the Missouri State Public Schools. She has been in the classroom since the mid-1950s. Over the decades, Mary Ann held positions as teacher, principal, department head and university dean.  She always kept current with educational skills and academic disciplines though continued seminars, workshops and training programs. Most admirably, Mary Ann did not shy away from immersing herself into the world of computer hardware and software.


Eventually, Mary Ann moved into the area of adult education; and, from there, took training as a licensed bereavement and grief counselor.  This ministry became the focus of her later professional years and well into retirement.  She facilitated numerous retreats and seminars and was a featured speaker on bereavement. Mary Ann’s adult education ministry involved establishing an organization, Emmaus Way, to train lay spiritual directors, enlisting speakers from Aquinas Institute, St. Louis University and other local institutions.   

As a hospice chaplain, spiritual director, as well as trainer in the Ministry of Consolation in the St Louis, Missouri diocese, Mary Ann was both credentialed and experienced in the skill of compassionate listening and training others to do the same.  She served on the board of the National Catholic Ministry to the Bereaved (NCMB), an organization approved by the National Council of Catholic Bishops (NCCB).                                      submitted by the SFCC archives

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Roberta Winkels

60 years in religious life (1962-2022)

 25 years in SFCC (1997-2022)


 Roberta was a member of the School Sisters of Notre Dame (SSND) for 35 years. She served both as a primary and secondary grades teacher and principal 1964-1969.  Roberta earned a  BA in Education,  English and Spanish. She also holds the Master’s equivalency in Spirituality.

Roberta was very excited to volunteer when SSND was invited to open a mission in Guatemala in collaboration with the Spokane, Washington diocese (1969). Following a training course, Roberta went to Guatemala where she worked and lived with Herlinda Pop, a native Guatemalan) in pastoral family ministry. Their task was to stabilize family life where poverty, drug addiction, alcohol abuse and violence were rampant. Roberta has remained in Guatemala until the present day (1969-2022).


Roberta requested exclaustration from the SSNDs in 1991. She was affirmed into SFCC by the WEB Region in 1997. Herlinda Pop was also affirmed into SFCC at the same time. Herlinda died in 2018, leaving Roberta to move forward with the ministry they had shared for nearly 50 years!  

                                                                                     submitted by the SFCC archives

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