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Like several sisters of her generation, Sr. Norbert first came to know the CSFNs when her father, a coal miner in Scranton, PA, asked the sisters to care for young Frances and her sister Alice, the two youngest of the 10 Prawdzik children. Frances formed strong relationships with the sisters, especially the lay sisters whom she admired for their sacrifices and hard work making a home for the others in community. While Alice eventually returned home, Frances expressed a desire to stay with the sisters. In 1926, she joined the congregation in Torresdale, PA.
Sr. Norbert’s first ministry was teaching at St. Michael School in Derby, CT, and St. Stanislaus in Brooklyn, NY. Eventually, she returned to Philadelphia, ministering as a domestic worker at the Home for the Aged in Conshohocken, PA. In 1939, she transferred to Nazareth Hospital in Philadelphia, shere she helped care for the young interns and worked in the dietary department. In addition to making sure the interns’ white coats were clean and pressed, Sr. Norbert was know to slip a piece of fruit or candy into their pockets. She became known to many in the hospital community for her many small acts of kindness; in response, the builders of an addition to the hospital traced her name into the cement steps leading to the second floor. During her 50 years of ministry at the hospital, she would bring prayer to all those who asked, and included the hospital community, travelers and priests in her daily prayer intentions.
Sr. Norbert spent 12 years in retirement at Mount Nazareth; before being bedridden, she enjoyed sharing her love of music by playing harmonica or accordion for community celebrations. When she turned 100 on Sept. 23, 2011, she was celebrated by her family, friends and fellow sisters.