Saint Francis Welcomes Five Little Sisters of St. Francis

Saint Francis Healthcare System is pleased to announce five Religious Sisters have joined the Saint Francis Family. Starting on August 15, the Solemnity of the Assumption of Our Lady, and throughout the month of August, a new group of Five Little Sisters of St. Francis joined Saint Francis. The Little Sisters of St. Francis is an Institute of Diocesan Right founded in Uganda on May 1, 1923, by an Irish Sister, now Servant of God (SOG), Mother Mary Kevin Kearney.

The Little Sisters of St. Francis (LSOSF) will serve in various capacities across the Healthcare System. Sr. Kevin Karimi, PhD, serves as the Director of Mission Integration and is joined by Sr. Cecilia Akol, MA, a Spiritual Care Minister through Pastoral Care services. Sr. Evalyne Ekesa, PhD, and Sr. Margaret Sergon, PhD, will join the Neuropsychology department as Licensed Professional Counselors, and Sr. Julian A. Oyoo, MSA, will work in the Finance department as an Accountant.

“In 1875, God called three Franciscan Sisters to found Saint Francis Hospital,” notes Gerry Salter, MBA, PT, Vice President – Specialty Practices. “The last employed Sister, Sr. Jane Ann Kiefer, retired in 1993. Almost 30 years later, Franciscan Sisters are once again present among the colleagues at Saint Francis Healthcare System, walking in the footsteps of fellow Franciscan Sisters who have journeyed this path before us and those yet to serve in this Ministry. We are excited to welcome them to the Saint Francis Family and southeast Missouri community as they continue the Mission and Ministry begun nearly 150 years ago.”

Sr. Kevin joins Saint Francis from Mercy Hospital in Springfield, Mo. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Sociology with a minor in Philosophy and Religious Studies followed by her Master of Arts in Philosophy and Religious Studies from the University of Nairobi in Nairobi, Kenya, where she published her thesis, “Moral Objectivism vs. Moral Relativism: A Critical Examination – Ethics.” She then earned her Master of Social Work followed by her PhD in Strategic Leadership and Administrative Studies from Marywood University in Scranton, Pa.

Sr. Cecilia joins Saint Francis from Villanova University Center for Access, Success and Achievement in Villanova, Pa. She earned her Bachelor of Science in English with a minor in Education Studies from Siena College in Loundonville, NY, followed by her Master of Arts in Education from Villanova University.

Sr. Evalyne joins Saint Francis from Better Help, where she worked as a therapist and counselor. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Clinical Psychology, Social Science and Professional Communication from Alverno College in Milwaukee, Wis., followed by her Master of Arts in Family Counseling from Marquette University in Milwaukee. She earned her PhD in Education and Leadership for Advancement in Higher Institutes from Cardinal Stritch University in Milwaukee. Since 2019, Sister Evalyne has been professionally researching child sex slavery and trafficking.

Sr. Margaret Sergon, PhD, recently graduated from National Louis University in Chicago where she earned her PhD in Community Psychology and joins Saint Francis from Friends of the Valley in Maryland. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology with a major in Sociology and minor in Community Leadership followed by her Master of Arts in Community Psychology from Alverno College in Milwaukee.

Sr. Julian joins Saint Francis from Franciscan Brethren of St. Philip in Williamsburg, Va. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Accounting and Finance from Mercyhurst University in Erie, Pa., followed by her Master of Science in Accounting and Fraud and Digital Forensic Certificate from Siena College in Loudonville, NY.

Saint Francis Healthcare System is pleased to welcome the Little Sisters of St. Francis to continue the legacy of care and compassion the Franciscan Sisters of the Sacred Heart and Mary began in 1875, now characterized in the Charism of the LSOSF “to bring newness and fullness of Christ’s life (John 10:10) to the needy among us in the Spirit of St. Francis and Mother Kevin Kearney (SOG).”