Sister Marianna Kosior, OSF, age 99, passed away on December 11, 2021 at St. Francis Convent, Springfield. Sister Marianna was the founder of Hospital Sisters Health System (HSHS).
In the early 1970s, “Sister Marianna found herself responsible for 12 Catholic hospitals at a time of considerable flux in sponsorship and organizational arrangements within Catholic health care,” stated Sister Jomary Trstensky, OSF, chair, Hospital Sisters Ministries, and HSHS President from 1989 to 2006. “She led the way with her creative vision and unwavering belief that the future of Catholic health care would be built on strong Systems and lay leaders. With no blueprint she established Hospital Sisters Health System and entrusted others to give life to her vision.”
“The Catholic Church has a long history of care for the sick, which is a work of mercy,” Sister Marianna explained in a 1981 interview with the Catholic Health Association. “The religious congregations have been given this apostolate almost as a trust and if congregations can’t continue in the same way, then what can we do to preserve that work as a mission of the Church? If we develop strong systems and begin to pass our torch to laypersons who see health care as a mission, possibly it could survive through lay leadership,” she added. “It is the age of the laity, and even if they are not in the traditional religious congregations, they have an obligation to do the works of mercy. They find a different working environment in Catholic hospitals with value other than profit and the bottom line.”
On December 26, 1978, HSHS was incorporated and Sister Marianna was named president in August 1979, a position she held until her retirement in October 1989. While serving as president, she earned a master’s degree in Administrative Sciences from Notre Dame University in 1981.
“My Cinderella story of my life as a Hospital Sister took me from the kitchen to the board room, and throughout my life, I was open to the Spirit and waited to see where the Lord was calling me. All people are called to holiness, and so it is my hope that we should always strive to develop a greater love with our neighbor, and in doing so, we will share our love with the Lord,” she stated.
The Hospital Sisters of St. Francis is an international congregation of Franciscan Sisters founded in Germany in 1844, and their Provinces include Germany, Poland, USA, Japan, and India. The American Province, based in Springfield, IL, was founded in 1875 when Sisters from Germany arrived and began a healthcare ministry. The Province is the Founding Institute of Hospital Sisters Ministries which is the public juridic sponsor of Hospital Sisters Health System (HSHS) – a multi-institutional health care system in 14 communities in Illinois and Wisconsin with 15 hospitals, health centers and clinics, physician partners, and colleagues. For more information, visit www.hospitalsisters.org.