Sr. Roselyn Heil, a Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration, recently joined the Ashland area Catholic churches to fill the role vacated by the 2021 departure of Sr. Phyllis Wilhelm, OSF.

In a personal message in the cluster’s Jan. 16 bulletin, Sr. Roselyn shared she is “in awe of the beautiful open welcome,” saying she was glad to be back in the community where she completed her student teaching in 1975.

She grew up on a farm south of Marathon City, “setting my roots deep into the land, alongside my dad, feeding cows and gather from earth her gifts of food and medicine.” She learned the gift of herbs and flowers from her mother and “a diversity of ways of doing things” from eight sisters and three brothers, as well as “the peace and energy which comes through compromise. And yes, that included what Jesus taught us in the power of forgiveness to ourselves and others.”
The Franciscan sister was taught by women of the order she and her twin sister, Carolyn, joined in 1970. She later earned a master’s degree in culture and creation-centered spirituality.

“It was the opportunity to discover the language of an ever-expanding experience of God with us, through us and all around us. The learning experience gave me the framework and space to delve into my indigenous roots, including the gift of storytelling.

“It also opened me to the opportunities to discover the journey into God’s cathedrals, working as a national park ranger naturalist in the parks and around the country.”

Sr. Roselyn credited naturalist John Muir (1838-1914) with “the acceptable language in a public forum to share how everything is connected to everything in one Body (of Christ).”

She then returned to her Wisconsin roots, serving in roles with Marywood Franciscan Spirituality Center, the Lac du Flambeau reservation and Bell Tower Assisted Living.

“All of these diverse opportunities continually prepare me for the next step of my journey of life, which brings me back to Ashland and Odanah. I am excited about the new possibilities and discoveries with you.”

Sr. Roselyn Heil