The journey began in 2010 when Kathy Rowen and Jeanne Gatz of Omaha, Nebraska came together to bring a common inspiration to fruition. Together, they wished to erect a bronze statue of Saint Jeanne Jugan on the Creighton University campus in honor of the late Rev. Richard D. McGloin, S.J., a longtime residence hall advisor and professor at Creighton University who was instrumental in the canonization of Saint Jeanne.

It was Father McGloin who had suggested that Dr. Gatz’s wife, Jeanne, also a Creighton graduate, join him in seeking the intercession of Jeanne Jugan for a cure for her husband, Edward, who had been diagnosed with terminal esophageal cancer. Father McGloin had been a chaplain at our home in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and had retained a strong devotion to our foundress when he moved on to other assignments. He shared a tattered prayer card of Jeanne Jugan with Jeanne Gatz, insisting that she pray the novena prayer every day without fail. Dr Edward Gatz’s cure from cancer would become the crucial miracle attributed to Jeanne Jugan which paved the way for her canonization on October 11, 2009 (for more information on Saint Jeanne’s canonization or Dr Gatz’s cure, click here).

Among those in attendance at Creighton on August 30 were Little Sisters, Residents, Association Jeanne Jugan members, volunteers, and staff from our Jeanne Jugan Center in Kansas City. Archbishop-Emeritus Elden Curtiss was also present along with several priests, Dr. and Mrs. Edward Gatz, Kathy Rowen, families, friends, and students.

In front of the Saint Jeanne Jugan statue stands a plaque with an eloquent inscription, “On October 11, 2009, Saint Jeanne Jugan, 19th century foundress of the Little Sisters of the Poor was canonized by Pope Benedict XVl. The miraculous cure of Creighton alumnus, Dr. Edward Gatz of Omaha led to the Jeanne Jugan being declared a saint of the Roman Catholic Church. It was Creighton’s Fr. Richard McGloin who had suggested that Dr. Gatz’s wife, Jeanne Gatz, also a Creighton graduate join him in seeking the intercession of Jeanne Jugan for the miracle.”

We are grateful for the dedication of Kathy, Jeanne and many others in honoring the late Fr. McGloin and making it possible for the statue of Saint Jeanne Jugan to have a perpetual presence on the campus of Creighton University.

 

 

Photo 1: Mother Provincial Maria Christine, Kathy Rowen, Archbishop-Emeritus Elden Curtiss (photo by Ramon Fausto).

Photo 2:  Dr. and Mrs. Edward Gatz with Mother Margaruite (photo by Michelle Biondo).

Photo 3: Pictured with the Little Sisters of the Poor are Creighton University President Timothy R. Lannon, S.J., Dr. and Mrs. Edward Gatz, and Kathy Rowen (photo by Fausto Ramon).