Sister Elise Cholewinski traces her religious vocation to two childhood events: being Mary in the first grade Christmas pageant and receiving her First Holy Communion.
The daughter of William and Stella Cholewinski, she along with her twin sister Susan and brother Dan grew up in St. Josaphat Parish in Oshkosh. After receiving her college degree she taught at Cormier School in Ashwaubenon for two years before entering the convent.
Having received the name "Stella" at birth, she was given the name "Elise" at her reception into the Community in 1965, a name that means, "Called by God." Sister Elise made her perpetual vows on Aug. 9, 1970. As a teacher she served at St. Matthew, Allouez; St. Jude, Green Bay; Holy Cross, Mishicot; Sts. Peter & Paul, Institute; and St. Mary, Bear Creek. She then became a director of religious education and has served at St. John the Baptist, Seymour; Holy Angels, Darboy; and her current parish, Holy Spirit, Darboy/Kimberly.
Her passion for teaching the Sacred Story has led her to conducting adult formation programs throughout the Green Bay Diocese and directing retreats at the Jesuit Retreat House, Oshkosh.
Tucked away in Sister's bedroom is a little white purse containing her First Communion prayer book and rosary, and for the past 37 years Sister Elise has conducted a children's Christmas pageant on Christmas Eve. Both are perpetual reminders of God's call to religious life. She can only say "Thank You" to God, Who has woven such beautiful threads through the pattern of her life.