LEFT: Sister Mary Felissa Zander (right), the 1997 Lumen Christi Award recipient.
RIGHT: Sister Felissa, as she was known, was a hands-on principal at the St. Francis Solanus Mission School.
"She Taught, Mopped Floors and Drove the School Bus"
Sister Mary Felissa Zander, a gentle yet determined missionary, dedicated most of her life to the Ojibwe Native American community in northwestern Wisconsin. An educator and catechist, she taught the faith to children and adults on the Lac Courte Oreilles Reservation for almost four decades. Sister Felissa served as principal at St. Francis Solanus Mission School, the only Catholic school in rural Sawyer County. She taught generations of Ojibwe children the “Four Rs” and the Gospel, and she mopped floors and drove the school bus when necessary. “There would not be a Catholic community on the reservation today without the tireless effort of Sister Felissa in ministering to the Native Americans and teaching the Word of God,” said Most Reverend Raphael Fliss, Bishop of Superior, Wisconsin, when he nominated her for the Lumen Christi Award. “She continues to be an embodiment of charity, perseverance, holiness and sacrifice.”