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Sister Anne Marie Knawa - 70 years of religious life!

Sister Anne Marie Knawa was born on June 22, 1929, in Chicago. She entered religious life on January 27, 1952, and professed her first vows on August 12, 1954. Sister started in the ministry of education in 1952, when she began her first teaching assignment, teaching fourth grade at SS. Philip and James School in Cleveland, Ohio. Sister then taught sixth grade at St. Stanislaus Bishop and Martyr in Chicago (1954-55), sixth grade at St. Leo the Great in Cleveland (1955-56), and then sixth grade at SS. Philip and James School in Cleveland (1956-57). Sister Anne Marie returned to the Chicago area and taught eighth grade at St. Louise de Marillac in La Grange Park, Illinois, from 1957 to 1964. She then taught English at Madonna High School in Chicago, from 1964 to 1988.

Sister Anne Marie has a gift for writing and was involved in many projects focusing on the history of the congregation. She served as the community historian and researched and wrote the history of the Franciscan Sisters of Chicago entitled, As God Shall Ordain, which was published in 1988. Assisted by Sister M. Jude Kruszewski, Sister Anne Marie spent countless hours researching the congregation's history. This required traveling to all the cities and states that the Sisters had ministries in and conducting interviews with many Sisters from the congregation, workers, administrators, and other religious who were involved in these ministries. This was an enormous undertaking as she made innumerable trips to libraries, archives, museums, chancery offices, and convents for her research efforts. Sister Anne Marie studied all of the congregation's chronicles, newsletters, correspondence, proceedings of general chapter meetings, and journals to illustrate an accurate historic picture of all the work the congregation did over the years.

Sister Anne Marie was responsible for the planning and development of Heritage Hall, a museum inside Our Lady of Victory Convent that chronicles the history of the Franciscan Sisters of Chicago and their ministries. Heritage Hall was first opened in 1992 and displayed many artifacts, photographs, and other historical material collected over the years by the Sisters. In 2002, the Sisters built a new convent and Sister Anne Marie was tasked with not only supervising the transfer of many of the historical artifacts to the new convent, but also the expansion and updating of various sections in the museum. This new and improved Heritage Hall opened in 2003. Sister presented tours of Heritage Hall and gave lectures on the history of the congregation to visitors and newly-hired associates. She often wrote historical brochures and articles for the congregation, and contributed to multiple publications over the years.

Sister graduated cum laude from Loyola University in Chicago with a Bachelor of Science in Humanities. She also received a Master's Degree in English from Loyola and did postgraduate work at Fordham University, the University of Notre Dame, and Rosary College. She also completed a program of study in English at Brasenose College of the University of Oxford in England.

Congratulations and God's blessings to Sister Anne Marie Knawa on 70 years of religious life!