Our IBVM history has many beautiful, wonderful experiences. As I look at the clock in my office I remember wonderful times of liturgies, meetings, and happy memories. This clock, however, has another memory.
On Tuesday, August 28, 1990 at 3:27 p.m. a tornado blew through Plainfield, Crest Hill, Joliet, Illinois and other nearby towns at 250-350 m.p.h. St. Mary Immaculate Church and School were devastated as well as the town of Plainfield and many others.
Sister Mary Keenan IBVM, the principal of the school and Gloria Sanchez, a young woman who taught music, were killed inside the school.
The clock had survived the tornado and has been moved to several of our houses during the last 30+ years. Originally it was purchased for our convent in Oak Lawn. When we left Oak Lawn the clock traveled with us to Plainfield. After the tornado as we cleaned out what was remaining at the demolished convent the clock was brought to the Joliet Convent. Leaving our Joliet home the clock was carried to Loretto Wheaton where it stayed in the Provincial’s Secretary’s office. On April 28, 2017 the clock continued its travels and now graces the Provincial’s Secretary Office wall at our new location at the Wheaton Franciscan 4th floor.
At her Silver Jubilee Mass, shortly before her death, Mary Keenan had chosen the Gospel Story of Jesus calming the storm. This clock is a constant reminder that we must trust in God’s love and protection no matter what lies ahead.
Submitted by Claire Vanborg IBVM