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Our History

Bishop Pates and Mother Kathleen
Bishop Pates recognizes the Community as a Private Association of the Faithfull

The Franciscan Sisters of the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus had its beginning in the early 1990’s.  At that time several women in the Catholic Diocese of Des Moines, moved by the Holy Spirit, were drawn together as a group to live a deeper life of prayer and service to the Church.  These women also felt called to discern whether or not they were being called to form a new community of women religious for the Diocese of Des Moines.  In time, one of these women, Kathleen O’Leary of Des Moines, did, in fact, discern a call to religious life in the Franciscan tradition and centered in the Holy Eucharist. 

In 1994, on the Solemnity of St. Francis of Assisi, Sr. Mary Ellen Clare Clark, a professed Sister from the Diocese of Peoria, IL, joined Ms O’Leary in Des Moines.  On November 20th of that year, on the Solemnity of Christ the King, with the permission of the Most Reverend Joseph Charron, CPPS, these two women donned the religious garb of this new community and professed private vows of Evangelical Poverty, Celibate Chastity, and Holy Obedience.  They also took a fourth vow of Fidelity to the Holy Father and to the Magisterium of the Church.  They professed their vows at a Mass celebrated at St. Augustin Catholic Church in Des Moines, IA during the pastorate of Msgr. Frank Bognanno.  It was at this that our foundress became known in religious life as Sister Kathleen Francis of Christ the Good Shepherd, while Sister Clare added to her name the religious title of Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament.

The Most Reverend Richard Pates, Bishop of Des Moines recognized us as a Private Association of the Faithful on June 16, 2009. Bishop Pates then celebrated a Mass of Thanksgiving for us at the Basilica of St. John on August 13, 2009.


 “If you wish to be perfect, go sell all your possessions and give to the poor.  You will have treasure in heaven.  Then come and follow Me.”

(Mt. 19:21, Lk. 18: 22).


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