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Sister Francine McGriffin

McGriffin_FrancineI was born Regina Catherine McGriffin in Linton, Indiana, to Doris (Walker) McGriffin and Edward McGriffin on Nov. 11, 1924, said Sister Francine McGriffin in her own commentary for herself. Sister Francine died on Saturday, Dec. 20. She was 90 years old and had been a Sister of Providence for 71 years. (Note: Sister Joni Luna read the commentary written by Sister Francine).

Interestingly, Linton is about 40 miles from Saint Mary-of-the-Woods.

My siblings were Joseph, who died in 1959, Marianne who was also a Sister of Providence and died in 2010, Philip, Paul who died at about 6 months, and Marjorie.

From approximately 1933, I lived in Linton with my grandfather Walker and my aunt Rosemary, who was about 7 years older than I. My grandmother died in 1933. The Sisters of Providence came to St. Peter’s Parish in Linton around 1924, so they were there when I started first grade. There were four grades in a room.

After eighth-grade graduation from St. Peter Catholic School, I attended the Linton public high school my freshman year. Then, I was accepted as a working boarder at Providence High School, Chicago, with about seven other girls. We lived on the sixth floor of the school. This turn of events may have had something to do with my great-aunt, Sister Callista Walker, being a Sister of Providence. She was my grandfather’s sister. My grandfather would drive me over to the open air platform train station in Sullivan to get the train to Chicago. My last train trips to Chicago in 1942-43, the trains were filled with servicemen.

My sister Mary Ann joined me at Providence High School during her freshman year. After graduation in 1942, I worked in an insurance office in downtown Chicago. Two other girls from my class also worked at this insurance company, Evelyn Parenty and Alice Potts, later our Sister Alice Louise Potts.

During the years at Providence High, I had many great, wonderful teachers. One, Sister Mary Charlotte Miller, took a special interest in me and was a great help to me in facing the challenges of my life there. She helped me prepare for the entrance into the novitiate of the Sisters of Providence.

On Feb. 2, 1943, I entered the Sisters of Providence, bringing with me my “ration book,” which was issued to every American during World War II.

McGriffin_Francine2My brother Joe had entered the United States Army Air Corp. Previous to my entry, a number of other Linton girls had entered: Sisters Mary Alma and Mary Blanche Murphy, Catherine Elizabeth and Irene Celeste Currans; Rosemary Powers; Rose Celine Secine; Francis Celine Vitosky; and a girl from Jasonville, which was a mission parish for St. Peter’s Linton, Sister Gertrude Eileen Getry.

My first profession of vows was on Aug. 15, and my final profession on that same date in 1950.

I earned my bachelor’s degree in social studies from Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College and a master’s degree in English from the University of Dayton.

Between 1945 and 1994, I ministered in the following schools: St. Sylvester, Chicago; St. Thomas Aquinas, Indianapolis; Holy Family, Jasper; St. Elisabeth, Van Nuys, Calif.; the Aspirancy, Saint Mary-of-the-Woods; Schulte High School, Terre Haute; Ladywood and Ladywood-St. Agnes, Indianapolis.

After obtaining my LPN license in 1973, I ministered at Methodist Hospital, Indiana University Med Center, and Americana Nursing Home, all in Indianapolis.

I also served at the Adult Basic Education Center, St. Patrick Indianapolis, and finally, as librarian at St. Francis Borgia Grade School in Chicago for 12 years.

In 1997, I came home to Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, living in Owens and ministering in residential services and shopping for the personal needs of the sisters residing in health care. I entered Lourdes Health Care in 2004.

Funeral services for Sister Francine were Friday, Dec. 26, and Saturday, Dec. 27, at the Church of the Immaculate Conception.

A wake took place from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m., on Friday, Dec. 26, followed by Vespers at 4:30 p.m.

Mass of Christian burial was at 11 a.m., on Saturday, Dec. 27.

We welcome you to share your memories of Sister Francine in the comments section below.

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  1. Avatar jody jeffries on December 30, 2014 at 2:59 pm

    I will miss Sister Francine very much. Not only was she and Sister Diane Ris angels in my life when I needed one. She was a great listener, teacher and a best friend. She would listen to me for hours and give me good advice about life. I will miss her hugs and smile. I know in my heart that all of the sisters that have passed are looking down over St. Marys. May God and the sisters help us make it a happy home when they were there. I told sister Francine the morning of the day she passed, I told her it is okay to go to Gods home and be happy. I can just see her smile already. May we keep them in our hearts always. Miss my sisters.

  2. Avatar Sue Render on April 2, 2021 at 3:54 pm

    I was with Sister Francine in Nov., 1963 at the Aspirancy. I was a sophomore. We we putting classwork on desks and talking about the assassination of President Kennedy. We both shed a few tears and Sister Francine talked to me. Her words were so comforting. She was such a calming presence. R.I.P. Sister Francine.

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