Franciscan Sister Frances Kempenich, 97, died July 22 at St. Francis Convent, Little Falls. Receiving of the body of Sister Frances will be Thursday, July 28, at 9 a.m. followed by visitation until the time of her funeral at 11 a.m. at St. Francis Convent. Masks are required. (The Mass will be livestreamed on YouTube here.)
Sister Frances Genevieve Kempenich was born May 18, 1925, to Joseph and Frances (Simones) Kempenich in Randall, the sixth of 10 children. She was accepted as a Franciscan Sister Aug. 12, 1942, and received the name Sister Mary Matthew. Later she reverted to her baptismal name. She made first profession of vows Aug. 12, 1944, and final vows on Aug. 12, 1947. She was a Franciscan Sister for 79 years.
Sister Frances attended grade school in Randall and graduated from St. Francis High School. She studied Spanish at the Intercultural Formation Center, Cuernavaca, Mexico, and learned drawing and pottery at the University of Minnesota in Morris. Sister Frances served as missionary, housekeeper, cook, cottage mother, parish visitor, counselor and personal care attendant. She ministered in St. Cloud, Elk River, Little Falls, Princeton, Breckenridge, Pierz, St. Paul and Baudette, Minnesota, and Peru, South America.
She was preceded in death by her parents and siblings: Marguerite Larson, LeRoy, George, Franciscan Sister Veronica, Joe, Gertrude Thesing, Jerry, Jim and Raymond. She is survived by sisters-in-law, Marie Drew of Randall and Pat Kempenich of Pine City, 48 nieces and nephews, and many grand- and great-grand nieces and nephews and her Franciscan Community.
Donations to Franciscan Sisters ministries preferred.