St. John Church creates tribute to Sisters of Sorrowful Mother founder
For the Hub City Times
MARSHFIELD – St. John the Baptist Catholic Church recently completed the construction of the Mother Frances Streitel Center and John Paul II Adoration Chapel. Located in the undercroft, or lower level of the church, the project is the culmination of months of planning and labor.
Mother Frances Streitel was the founder of the Sisters of the Sorrowful Mother, who came from Germany to Marshfield in 1890 at the request of the bishop of La Crosse to establish a hospital. The population of the area was primarily lumberjacks and their families at that time.
The sisters faced many difficulties initially and sold $5 insurance coupons in the lumber camps for a year of free medical care. As time went on, St. Joseph’s Hospital became one of the premier hospitals in Wisconsin, and affiliated with Marshfield Clinic. St. Joseph’s was sold to Marshfield Clinic in 2017.
The Mother Streitel Center was completed in memory and celebration of the many women religious of the Sisters of the Sorrowful Mother who staffed the hospital, cared for area families, and taught many young women who followed in their footsteps as graduates of the School of Nursing. The center incorporates stained glass windows and statuary which graced the chapel and halls of the hospital. The center will remain as a tribute to these intrepid women, the Sisters of the Sorrowful Mother, and all of those residents of this city and the surrounding areas who came to St. Joseph’s for their health care, as well as those who worked there.
Pope John Paul II was admired by people of all faiths and persuasions. He was known in Catholic circles to have great love for the Blessed Sacrament. Perpetual adoration of the Blessed Sacrament began in 2007, has been ongoing in Marshfield since 2012, and is credited by many as the answer to prayer. Although housed in the past by several different area Catholic churches, a permanent home was found at St. John the Baptist Catholic Parish.
The efforts of many St. John parishioners and Marshfield residents were instrumental in facilitating the project.