Tomorrow is “U-N Day” worldwide, and the town of Clinton recognizes the 58th anniversary of the United Nations with a proclamation and flag-raising. Another local group saluting the work of the U-N is the Clinton Franciscans, nuns who’ve been doing the same kind of work for over a century. Sister Marilyn Huegerich heads the Clinton congregation and says the U-N, like the nuns, has been working to teach children to read. They came to Iowa in 1890 and served small schools in many small towns in Iowa, and in Illinois. Huegerich says like the U-N, the Catholic teachers worked in small country towns where it had not been traditional to educate women or children. In Clinton, home of the nuns’ “Mother House,” a school that grew into a 2-year college educated the nuns in teaching and local women also came to ask to be allowed to train as teachers. Huegerich says teaching is a higher calling, and that’s why the sisters applaud the worldwide work of the U.N. She says they reach women and children around the world is to educate them to get out of poverty, violence, and other ills of those who are vulnerable. The Franciscan sisters operate Mount St. Clare College, which is in the process of changing its name to The Franciscan College.
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