Sister Paulette Hupfauf was born May 3, 1931, to Henry and Olive (Probst) Hupfauf in Darboy, the fourth of seven children. As she grew up, Holy Angels Church and School were the center of activity in the small farming community. Her elementary teachers were the Sisters of St. Francis of Bay Settlement. Living within a block from school, Mary Lou (as she was known then) enjoyed staying after school to help and talk to the Sisters. Sister Alfreda Oryall, her fourth, fifth and sixth grade teacher, was her favorite.
After graduating from Kimberly High School in 1948, she worked at Sears Roebuck in Appleton; her parents' grocery store and dance hall; and Kimberly Clark. Through the years, Mary Lou found talking to the Sisters quite enjoyable. Finally, on August 15, 1950, she visited the Chapel at Robinsonville (now referred to as the Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help in Champion) and prayed that either she would drop the idea of being a Sister or do something about it. On her way home that day, she picked up an application form. She resigned from Kimberly Clark and entered St. Francis Convent on September 1, 1950.
Sister Paulette earned bachelor's degrees in elementary education and mathematics from St. Norbert College in De Pere. She also earned a master's degree from Brown University and completed five units of Clinical Pastoral Education. At age 68, she earned a master's in Pastoral Studies from Loyola University in Chicago.
Her 26 years of teaching began in a two-room school and included grades 1 to 12, but mostly elementary grades. Her other ministries included serving as Principal, Pastoral Associate, Director of Pastoral Care, Community Leadership and Hospital Chaplain. She worked part-time as a Chaplain at St. Vincent Hospital in Green Bay for 13 years. Sister remains active in her Community, serves on the Health and Wellness Impact Council for United Way of Brown County and continues as an usher at the Weidner Center, Green Bay.
Through these 60 years she says God has blessed her with a wonderful family, a religious Community of loving Sisters and the love and support of many friends.
What talents or gifts do you bring to your ministry?
In my role as a part of God's great creation, I use my gifts of compassion, kindness and acceptance. These gifts help me to be a better woman religious in today's world, in my listening as a hospital chaplain and in doing my part to live and spread the Gospel.
What kind of music do you enjoy?
God speaks to me through classical music. It is like an oasis of peace and great joy. I am grateful that so many have used their talents to make the world a better place by composing and performing music for the enjoyment of others.
What is something happening in our world that makes you sad?
The overwhelming anger and fear in our world today saddens me. I am so blessed with the love and peace I enjoy because of the family, teachers and friends who have loved me. I wonder if the next generation will know and experience this peace and love.