SSM Health Honors the Felician Sisters for 80 Years of Service

SSM Health honored the Felician Sisters for 80 years of service in Southern Illinois.

On Thursday, December 19, 2019, SSM Health honored the Felician Sisters for their 80 years of service to SSM Health Southern Illinois. Five of our Sisters, Sr. Mary Clarette Stryzewski, Sr. Mary Ramona Dombrowski, Sr. Mary Andrea Chudzik, Sr. Mary Michael Gurgone and Sr. Mary Monica Szczepkowski, represented the 140 Felician Sisters who have served at St. Mary’s Hospital in Centralia since they took over management of the facility in 1939.

The original hospital, which was dedicated in 1909, had a capacity of 22 beds. By 1982, it had expanded to a capacity of 246. In 1997, a Joint Operating Agreement (JOA) between SSM Health and the Felician Sisters was established and continues today.

Throughout the decades of change and growth, the Felician Sisters and staff diligently worked to keep up with the rapidly changing technology, provide for the community’s needs and maintain the compassionate service that began the healing ministry of Jesus Christ.

In gratitude for their service, the Felician Sisters were presented with the restored Madonna rendering that once adorned the exterior of the hospital building. Renovations necessitated its removal, but it will have a new home in the green space south of the SSM Health Cancer Center. The Sisters were also given a Madonna statue as a reminder of their service and generosity to the community.

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Serving where needed since 1874

Founded in Poland in 1855, the Felician Sisters are a congregation of women religious inspired by the spiritual ideals of their foundress, Blessed Mary Angela Truszkowska, and Saints Francis of Assisi, Clare of Assisi and Felix of Cantalice. Arriving in North America in 1874 following Blessed Mary Angela’s directive “to serve where needed,” they helped to weave the social service system. Today, the Felician Sisters founded, sponsor or support through the presence of our sisters, more than 40 ministries – all continuing to evolve to meet the needs of the people they serve.

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Provincial Information

  • Felician Sisters of North America is a 501(c)3 tax-exempt organization.
  • EIN 27-1282473
Felician Sisters of North America