Highland News Leader

What started as a mission for two nuns 140 years ago is a state-of-the-art hospital today

The Most Reverend Thomas John Paprocki (center), bishop of the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois, celebrated Mass on Jan. 26 in HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital’s Chapel in honor of the 140th anniversary of the Hospital Sisters of St. Francis’ arrival in Highland.  Mass was concelebrated by Father Pat Jakel (left) and Monsignor David Peters (right), with Patrick Hutt, episcopal master of ceremonies for the bishop​ (kneeling).
The Most Reverend Thomas John Paprocki (center), bishop of the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois, celebrated Mass on Jan. 26 in HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital’s Chapel in honor of the 140th anniversary of the Hospital Sisters of St. Francis’ arrival in Highland. Mass was concelebrated by Father Pat Jakel (left) and Monsignor David Peters (right), with Patrick Hutt, episcopal master of ceremonies for the bishop​ (kneeling).

At the invitation of the Rev. Joseph Meckel, pastor of St. Paul’s Church in Highland, Mother Angelica Ratte sent two Hospital Sisters of St. Francis to Highland. Sisters Svera Hagemeier and Sylvana Bosse arrived on Jan. 26, 1878. Upon their arrival, they made their home with the School Sisters of Notre Dame. They were soon joined by Sisters Jovita Janning and Potamianna Hense.

Today, HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital continues the healing ministry those sisters began 140 years ago.

The hospital honored this special anniversary with a Mass of Celebration on Jan. 26, led by The Most Reverend Thomas John Paprocki, bishop of the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois. The bishop celebrated the Mass in the chapel at St. Joseph’s Hospital, along with concelebrants Father Pat Jakel and Monsignor David Peters, both of St. Paul Parish in Highland.

A number of guests attended, including members of St. Joseph’s Board of Directors, Hospital Sisters of St. Francis, Hospital Sisters Health System leaders, and St. Joseph’s Hospital colleagues. The Mass was followed by a small reception with drinks and light hors d'oeuvres.

“We are very blessed to be able to continue to carry out the mission of the Hospital Sisters of St. Francis at St. Joseph’s in Highland”, said John Ludwig, CEO and president of HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital Highland. “The Hospital Sisters laid the foundation and lived the core values that we still follow today: respect, care, competence and joy.”

HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital Highland is part of the Southern Illinois Division of Hospital Sisters Health System, which also includes HSHS St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in O’Fallon, HSHS St. Anthony’s Memorial Hospital in Effingham, HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital in Breese, and HSHS Holy Family Hospital in Greenville.

The new $63 million St. Joseph’s Hospital campus opened to the public on Aug. 22, 2013. ​The new, state-of-the-art health care campus encompasses the hospital and adjacent three-story Medical Office Building (MOB) totaling 125,000 square feet.

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