Dominican Sister of Peace Frances (Dorothea Therese) Biernacki, OP (94), a native of Garden City, KS, died on March 28, 2022, at the Great Bend Motherhouse in Kansas.
Born to Frank J. and Rose Mary Wolf, Sister Frances entered the Congregation in 1943. She made Final Profession in 1946. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Homemaking from St. Mary College in Leavenworth, KS, and a Master of Science in Social Work from Catholic University in Washington, DC.
Sr. Frances spent the early years of her 75 years of consecrated life as an elementary school teacher in Kansas. In 1955, she heard God’s call to a new mission, and after a year of preparation, she departed for ministry in Nigeria. She served there for three years until a car accident caused severe injuries that caused her to move back to Kansas to recover.
As she regained her strength, she returned to her ministry in education, serving as a teacher and administrator in Kansas and Colorado, while earning her master’s degree in social work. She put that degree to work as a psychotherapist in Liberal, KS, and as a counselor in the Dodge City Diocesan Catholic Service Agency. She even served her Congregation as a General Councilor from 1968 to 1978.
In 1981, Sr. Frances was able to return to Africa, where she ministered in formation programs, lay leadership programs, and even as Prioress for the Sokoto Dominicans. Her ministry in Kenya and Nigeria lasted for more than 15 years, and she returned to Kansas to enter her final ministry of prayer and presence in 2000.
During her first ministry in Africa, Sr. Frances told a priest that she hoped to be a martyr. He replied, “We don’t want you dead; we need you alive.” Her long life of service reflects the value of the life that Sr. Frances devoted to God and God’s people.
Sr. Frances was preceded in death by her parents; five brothers (John Fred, Leroy, Edmond, Raymond Charlie, David); and two sisters (Rosella Billinger, Evelyn Biernacki). She is survived by a brother, Ivan Biernacki of Picayune, MS, several nieces and nephews, as well as the Dominican Sisters of Peace. A Vigil Service was held on March 30 and the Mass of Christian Burial was held on March 31, both at the Sisters’ Convent. Sr. Frances was buried in the Sisters’ Resurrection Cemetery.
To download a printable copy of this memorial, click here.
Memorial gifts in Sr. Frances’ memory may also be sent to the Dominican Sisters of Peace, Office of Mission Advancement, 2320 Airport Dr., Columbus, OH 43219.