Sister Frances Clare Vickerd CSJ
(Angela Madaline Vickerd)
At the Sisters of St. Joseph Community Centre, Nazareth, MI., on Friday, May 25, 2012, 13 days after reaching her 101st birthday, Sister Francis Clare (Angela Madaline) Vickerd in her 102nd year.
(Obituary from the Sisters of St. Joseph, Nazareth, MI):
Angela Vickerd was born in Woodslee, Ontario, Canada on May 12, 1911, the daughter of John and Pauline (Miller) Vickerd. Angela was a member of St. John the Evangelist Parish in Woodslee, Ontario, Canada at the time of her entrance into the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Nazareth on August 2, 1936. She received the name Sister Francis Clare at her reception on August 24, 1937. She pronounced first vows on August 26, 1939, and final vows on August 25, 1942.
Sister Francis Clare earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Nazareth College and a Master of Arts degree in Latin from St. Louis University. For fifty-two years Sister Francis Clare ministered as a teacher in several of the congregation's high schools including St. David Parish in Detroit, St. Gertrude Parish in St. Clair Shores and St. Francis Xavier Parish in Ecorse. Eleven of those years she served as a principal. She then served the congregation as Mistress of Junior Professed Sisters followed by fifteen years of ministry as secretary to the SSJ Regional Coordinators in the Detroit Area. In 1995 Sister Francis Clare retired to Nazareth where she assisted in a variety of ways. She distributed mail each day to the sisters at Nazareth Center and Fontbonne Manor and she enjoyed visiting with the elderly and infirm sisters. Throughout her many years of ministry Sister Francis Clare worked tirelessly to make life easier and more pleasant for those whose lives she touched.
Responding to the Lord in a quiet, loving manner, with gentleness, generosity, peace and joy was a way of life for Sister Francis Clare. Sacred Scripture was a source of strength and hope for her. Her desire to grow and her willingness to remain open and pliable in God's hands are reflected in her favorite Scripture passage from Jeremiah: "Can I not do to you what this potter does? As clay is in the potter's hand, so you are in mine." Sister Francis Clare was deeply grateful to her family, SSJ community and friends for their love and support throughout her life. May Sister Francis Clare now enjoy peace and rest in the eternal presence of her loving God.
Angela Madaline Vickerd was one of the six students (three girls and three boys) in the first graduating class of St. John the Evangelist High School in Woodslee, Ontario. Following graduation, she attended Brescia Hall and Teacher's College in London, Ontario. Before entering the Convent in Michigan, she taught school in Maidstone and Sarnia, Ontario. At her reception into the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Nazareth in 1937, she chose her religious name "Francis Clare" in honour of her cousin, Helen Vickerd, a Dominican Sister (Sister Francis Clare), who had tragically died at the age of 23 in 1927.
Sister Francis Clare is survived by her sisters Cecelia Hart of Leamington and Rita Glowa (Nick) of Woodslee, ON. She will be fondly remembered by her nieces and nephews: Clarence, Lawrence, Gerald and John Pieschke, Anna Pieschke Murray, Janet Pieschke Grant and Angela Pieschke DeBeyer; Joseph, Michael, Theresa and George O'Neil, Mary Ann O'Neil Taylor, Elizabeth O'Neil Patterson and Geraldine O'Neil Robertson; John Vickerd; Marie Meloche Poirier, Margaret Meloche Monforton, Veronica Meloche Bahun, Frances Meloche Giallonardo, Leona Meloche, Catherine Meloche, Loretta Meloche Noble, Eugene and John Meloche; Lawrence Hart, Patricia Hart DeBeyer, Geraldine Hart Reid, Thomas Hart, and Jaqueline Hart Quennville; Marie Watson Fisher and Margaret Watson. Predeceased by her parents Joachim "John" Vickerd (1939) and Paulina (Miller) Vickerd (1968) of Woodslee, ON, her brothers Clifford (1981), Joseph (1994), and James (1996), and her sisters Frances Pieschke (1984), Barbara Vickerd (1910), Irene O'Neil (1999), Ida Meloche (1999) and Beatrice Watson (1985).
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated in Holy Family Chapel, Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph, Nazareth Community Center,(3427 Gull Road, PO Box 34, Nazareth, Michigan 49074-003. Ph. 269-381-6290) on Thursday, May 31st at 10:30 a.m. with interment to follow in Gate of Heaven Cemetery, Nazareth. Vigil Service Wednesday at 7:00 p.m.