Leadership, wisdom, and experience.
Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisors they succeed.
The Foundation’s all-volunteer Board of Directors consists of a consortium of the Leader of the Religious Orders of Women located in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee. Together, the board asserts decades of religious vocational experience to make prudent decisions and carefully steward the Foundation’s resources.
Sr. Diana De Bruin was elected director of the Sisters of St. Francis of Assisi, St. Francis, Wisconsin, in 2015. A native of Kaukauna, Wisconsin, she earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Silver Lake College, Manitowoc, Wis., and a master’s in religious education from St. Thomas, Houston, Texas. While a member of the Manitowoc Franciscans, Sister Diana taught primary grades in Wisconsin and Michigan, and she was a pastoral minister in parishes in Wisconsin and Ohio. She joined the Sisters of St. Francis of Assisi in 1994 and completed the transfer process in 1997.
Sister Laura Jean Spaeth, SSND
Sister Laura Jean professed her first vows as a School Sisters of Notre Dame in 1963. She has ministered as a formal educator in rural, inner city, and faraway places; as the SSND staff person at the Milwaukee Justice & Peace Center; as facilitator of spiritual development through directing renewal programs, retreats, and prayer days; as campus minister in Rolla, Missouri; and 16 years of congregational leadership which found her experiencing SSND in at least 25 different countries. Currently, she is serving as a provincial councilor for the Central Pacific Province of SSND (reconfiguration of the former provinces of Dallas, Mankato, Milwaukee and St. Louis). Sister Laura Jean earned a bachelor’s in sociology and English from Mount Mary College in Milwaukee; a master’s in theology from St. John’s University, Collegeville, Minnesota; and a second master’s in spirituality from Regis College in Toronto.
Racine native Sister Maryann McMahon is the president of the Racine Dominicans. She holds degrees in healthcare and theology, and she served as a nurse practitioner in Wisconsin and Mississippi. She was vice president of her community prior to serving as co-director and then executive director of the HOPES Center of Racine, a Dominican sponsored ministry that recognizes the dignity and worth of each person by offering counseling, intensive case management and healing arts to the homeless, mentally ill and poor of Racine county at no cost. She also served as the Racine Dominican Director of New Membership for nine years.
Sister Carol Rigali has served as Provincial Coordinator of the United States Province of the School Sisters of St. Francis since 2011. Prior to this service, she was principal of St. Mary’s School, Rockville, Md., for seven years. Received into the School Sisters of St. Francis in 1971, she has also served as principal of schools in Maryland and New York; as a teacher in Illinois; and in management at a Washington, D.C., law firm.
Sister Ellen serves as Vicaress for the North American Province of the Sisters of the Divine Savior. She earned undergraduate and law degrees from the State University of New York at Buffalo, and a master’s in theology from Sacred Heart School of Theology in Hales Corners. Her 15 years of ministry as a vowed Salvatorian Sister have included using her legal skills on behalf of those in need and serving with the Diocese of Phoenix and Archdiocese of Milwaukee tribunals.
Sister Jean Steffes was elected as General Superior of the Congregation of the Sisters of St Agnes and took office in August, 2013. She holds a master’s in theology from the University of San Francisco, two master’s degrees from DePaul University in English and in Human Services and Counseling, and a Bachelor’s degree in English from Marina College of Fond du Lac. Sister Jean spent the past 20 years in the Diocese of Phoenix as Chancellor, director of the Office of Religious, and director of the Society of the Propagation of the Faith. Previously Sister Jean served CSA in a variety of roles: as general superior, regional coordinator and novice director. She also taught high school English at St. Mary Springs, and at Immaculate Conception High School in Elmhurst, IL. Sr. Jean has learned much and been richly blessed by all those with whom she has served over the years.