Sisters of St. Francis of the Holy Cross in Green Bay, WI

Sister Virginia Churas

Religious life is good; 'Others shouldn't be afraid to try it'

Sister Virginia Churas

Florence Churas was born in the town of Belmont, near Amherst in central Wisconsin, to Dominic and Clementia Zechowska Churas, immigrants from Lithuania and Poland. She was the fifth of seven children. Interested in religious life as young girl, she waited two years after grade school to come to the convent so her brother would be old enough to take her place helping on the farm.

From 1945-63, Sister Virginia worked at the McCormick Home and the Home for Crippled Children, located on the grounds of the Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help in Champion. She cared for the children's' needs, worked in the kitchen and helped with other housework. She moved to the St. Francis Pre-Novitiate in 1963 and served there until 1967. Later she was a housekeeper at Holy Cross, Mishicot.

For many years she assisted her Sisters at St. Francis Convent in Green Bay by driving them to doctors’ appointments and into town when necessary; helping with housework and grounds keeping; playing the organ for Mass; distributing the daily mail; and adding her loving touch with artistic arrangements she created from greens and blossoms from the convent yard.

Sister Virginia cites prayer as the most important element in her life. "Being able to pray for the needs of the Church and the world, being aware of the presence of God wherever I am, knowing that God is here, where I am, and seeing his presence in others that I meet," are important to her. This is clear to her Sisters who know and admire her as one who lives by her values. As she celebrates the past 75 years, she says this about Religious life: "It's a good life. Others shouldn't be afraid to try it."

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