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J’burg native’s 70 years as nun to be celebrated

McHENRY – A Mass and reception celebrating Sister Eleanor King’s 70 years as a nun is planned for Saturday.

A Johnsburg native, King joined the School Sisters of St. Francis in June 1943, working as a homemaker and companion in six dioceses in four states, including Illinois, Nebraska, Mississippi and Wisconsin.

She spent 23 years at St. Mary Catholic Church in McHenry as sacristan, making preparations for Mass as well as ministering to the sick and homebound in the parish.

King also worked at several other area parishes, including the Bishop Lane Retreat Center in Rockford, St. Joseph Catholic Church in Richmond and St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Johnsburg.

She retired in 2006, when the St. Mary Convent was closed. She was one of three nuns remaining at the convent, which opened in McHenry 111 years before.

“I am happy and grateful to God for His great love all these years and grateful to those I was able to help and serve,” she said in a news release.

King now lives at Villa St. Francis, an assisted-living facility in Milwaukee.

The celebration, which falls on King’s 90th birthday, begins with Mass at 4 p.m. Saturday at St. Mary. A dinner reception will follow.

Registration is not required, but information on how to RSVP is available in this weekend’s church bulletin. There is no charge for the reception, but attendees are welcome to bring side dishes.

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