Sister Claudia is:
-A member of the Order of Servant Franciscans. We are a small community working in many ministried and circumstances. At one time this would have been unheard of in religious community. Today, Sisters, Brothers, Clergy of many faith traditions and communities work alone or in small groups throughout the the USA and the World.
Immediately out of high school, I entered the novitiate of the Franciscan Sisters of the Holy Family in Dubuque, IA. This was 1967 and the Second Vatical Council was winding down, having enacted the possibility of major changes in religious life.
As a young sister, I began nursing school at St. Anthony Hospital School of Nursing in Rock Island, IL. The school was operated by the Rock Island Franciscan community and the nursing eduction was excellent. Upon graduation and licensure, I began work in the Emergency Department.
The following year, I was invited to complete my undergraduate degree at Saint Ambrose University (college then) in Davenport, IA. I continued working in the emergency room at Mercy Hospital, Davenport and I lived with two Sisters who were instrumental in bring about many of the present changes in religious life (Sister Annette Walters, CSJ and Sister Rita Mary Bradley.
At this same time, the news was reporting the possibility of women's ordination to the priesthood in the Episcopal Church. Yes, I became a sister......I had felt called to become a priest since I was a child. following much contemplation and prayer, I became an Episcopalian and several years later began seminary and was ordained a priest on December 19, 1982.
Following a wonderful doctoral program through a consortium of seminaries, I earned my Doctor of Ministry degree from Luther Seminary in 1993. Today, I am honored to teach Native American Theologies at United Seminary (where I attended most of my DMin classes).
Completing my circle of eduction is my work at the University of Minnesota School of Mortuary Science. As a priest, it was not unusual to receive requests for information regarding a "good" funeral home to use. Most of these callers really meant an affordable funeral home since they were often poor and only had the $2,100 the county would pay toward a funeral. In order to provide reasonable post-death care and pastoral care for families, I opened the Oyate Tawicohan Funeral Services (The Way of the People, in the Lakota language). I continue that work today.
In February, 2012, I began work toward a certificate in Franciscan Studies through Franciscan University in Loretto, PA. This is a on-line, distance learning course and I am enjoying the reading and written work. We can never understand St. Francis or St. Clare too well.