October 2011: SISTER OWEN MARIE MCARDLE (entered eternal life on April 8, 2021)
Over the past 55 years, she served our religious community in several locations as nurse, chaplain, catechist, housekeeper, and cook. She has worn many hats but the hat of a Franciscan is the one she is fond of most. “To be Franciscan means to show love, peace, and joy in whatever you do,” Sister Owen Marie McArdle explained.
Barbara Maureen McArdle was born on Thursday, April 19, 1934 in Cleveland, Ohio to Francis and Barbara (Reulbach) McArdle. The family life was rooted in the Catholic faith, strong family values, a good work ethic, and love.
Mrs. McArdle encouraged her high-school age daughter to follow in her footsteps by joining the Secular Franciscan Order – a community of Catholic men and women who seek to pattern their lives after Christ in the spirit of St. Francis of Assisi. The Order is open to any Catholic and members are not bound by religious vows. Mrs. McArdle hoped her daughter would meet some eligible men. “Several of those eligible men became priests and I decided to become a Sister,” Sister Owen Marie said. In all seriousness, what happened was that Sister Owen Marie responded to God’s call. The answer was found deep within, an instinct of sorts, that she followed – realizing that there were people along this path who made a positive impact on her decision.
Service to those in need
At the age of 19, she entered religious life with the Hospital Sisters of St. Francis and professed First Vows in 1956. She earned a bachelor’s degree in nursing from St. Louis University and completed pastoral education at St. John’s Hospital, Loyola Medical Center, and St. Francis Medical Center. Her religious life has provided the opportunity of being present to others and with each encounter she has been the bearer of Christ’s healing presence.
“Strive to find happiness in life and always follow your instinct. Most importantly, listen to God’s tiny voice within your heart. God will gently lead you,” she concluded.