Diane was born in Green Bay, the third and only living child of five infants given to Tony and Vi Bangert. Inspired by the faith, love and sacrifice of her parents, she felt drawn to be a Sister for as long as she can remember.
She was educated at St. Francis School in De Pere and St. Joseph Academy in Green Bay. As a high school sophomore, Diane, together with other classmates, participated in a day retreat offered by the Bay Settlement Sisters. When she departed from that experience, she knew she would return one day. That day was Sept. 5, 1955. Reception and a new name were celebrated on Aug. 12, 1956.
Sister Francis served as an elementary teacher at St. Kilian, New Franken; St. Matthew, Green Bay; St. Louis, Dyckesville; St. Joseph, Marinette; Holy Angels, Darboy; St. Boniface, De Pere; and St. John the Baptist, Howard. During the summers she attended St. Norbert College earning a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and a master’s degree in religious studies from the University of Detroit. Then teaching and learning began at a new level. The Community asked her to companion women as they entered religious life. This was followed by ministry as a pastoral associate at St. Willebrord in Green Bay and then as Vocation Director and Associate Director for the Community.
She served as director of the Community’s sponsored ministry at Wellspring: A Place of Peace for Women, and was involved in prison ministry, both in Green Bay. Now retired, Sister Francis is engaged in volunteer activities.
This journey of 60 years has been varied and rich. Quiet time and Eucharist center her in God’s Word and food for the day. She finds sharing life with vibrant and faith-filled women, walking with men and women in ministry, and learning a way of life for those who live at or below the poverty level have been invaluable teachers. She is grateful for “the gifts without measure that flow from God’s goodness.”
3110 Nicolet Drive
Green Bay, Wisconsin 54311-7212