Sister Clairann Peplinski

Sister served many roles at Shrine of Our Lady in Champion

PeplinskiClairannSr2012-100pxBeatrice Peplinski was born on Nov. 21, 1928 in Milwaukee, the third of seven children in the family of Wanda (Glodowski) Peplinski and Alex Peplinski. The family soon moved to Amherst, Wisconsin, where her parents' families had roots and where she and her siblings were raised.

Sister Clairann came to know the Bay Settlement Sisters when they taught catechism two weeks each summer at her parish, St. James Mission in Amherst. "My mother was always generous with the Sisters and my oldest sister (Sister Jeanette) had joined the convent as an Aspirant in 1938. I was always attracted by the Franciscan spirit of joy and simplicity of the Sisters, especially when we visited Sister Jeanette. I had thought of becoming a sister since grade school."

While the thought of religious life stayed with her, Sister Clairann graduated from high school, attended Central State Teacher College in Stevens Point and taught for two years in Merrill, Wisconsin. Then, with the encouragement of her pastor, Sister Clairann entered St. Francis Convent in September 1953.

That year the Community had opened a high school for aspirants at Our Lady of Good Help Chapel at Robinsonville (now known as the Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help in Champion). Sister Clairann was assigned there as a teacher until the Aspirancy closed in 1968. She served as coordinator of the Motherhouse community for four years and then returned to the Chapel in 1972 as a core member of the House of Prayer the Sisters had established. Sister Clairann spent much of her religious life at the Chapel.

In the 1980s and '90s, she coordinated religious education at parishes in Champion, Walhain, Tonet, Thiry Daems, Dyckesville, Champion and Bay Settlement. In 1999 she left parish ministry for community service at the Motherhouse.

"I have been extremely blessed in my religious life which has been challenging and fulfilling," Sister Clairann said. "I am grateful to my family, my Sisters in Community and the persons with whom and for whom I ministered these past years for their encouragement, loving support, care and concern which has enabled me to celebrate this Jubilee."

Her friends and Sisters describe Sister Clairann as a woman who is concerned about and sensitive to others and their needs and is always willing to lend a helping hand. She is a good listener who has a wonderful sense of humor. She is someone who knows when to laugh with others and she knows when to laugh at herself.