In Sr. Mary Stella Gampfer’s oral history she discusses how she became interested in becoming a sister at a young age after a Sister of Saint Francis assisted her family through a difficult time. She recalls how she had Sisters of Saint Francis as teachers in each of her classes throughout elementary school and the impact sisters such as Sr. Cecilia Houlihan had on her decision to enter the convent. She also reflects on how her parents and grandmother influenced her prayer life and her decision to become a Sister of Saint Francis. Sr. Gampfer taught English at Rex Mundi High School in Evansville, Indiana and at Marian University, where for twenty-six years she took students, teachers, and alumni to Stratford, Ontario for Shakespeare festivals. The second half of Sr. Gampfer’s oral history is about her dear friend and housemate, Sr. Joel. Sr. Gampfer reminisces on how the two sisters could hear Marian football games from their house on Winfield Avenue and the way their dog, Abby, would bark with delight whenever the team scored a touchdown. Sr. Gampfer’s life experiences exemplify her two favorite sayings: “All things work together for good” and “God writes straight with crooked lines.”
Sr. Mary Stella Gampfer
Mary Ellen Lennon Ph.D
Sisters of Saint Francis, Oldenburg, Cecelia Houlihan, Rex Mundi High School, Father Leopold Keffler, Sister Joel Franks
Catholic Studies | Oral History | United States History | Women's History
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Lennon, Mary Ellen Ph.D., "Sr. Mary Stella Gampfer" (2015). Women Religious: Oral Histories of the Sisters of St. Francis, Oldenburg. 27.