An Associate Relationship – 30 Plus Years Strong!

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Sylvania Franciscan Associates Pin

As I reflect on my Associate Relationship, fleeting memories of 1985 resurface quickly to that invitational phone call from my dear friend, Sister Kateri Theriault. “Vincenz, have you ever thought of becoming one with us as an Associate?” I remember at that moment, I had to admit not knowing anything about such an affiliate movement within religious communities. However, it certainly began to fan the embers of the Franciscan spirit within me. My YES threw me into a strong desire and into active involvement in spiritual enrichment activities that linked partnership with the Sisters’ Mission and Ministry: celebrations of Liturgy and shared prayer and participation in community social events. This spiritual renewal process led to co-administrative responsibilities from 1997-2012 with three of the finest women chosen to lead our Sylvania Franciscan Associate movement: namely, Sisters Brenda Rose Szegedy, Maria Goretti Sodd and Roselynn Humbert, whose friendships I
dearly treasure.

My response to “Come! Be-One-With-Us” became a clearer invitation for me to share my God-given gifts and abilities with many of these Sylvania Franciscan women who had nurtured, supported, developed and enriched me throughout my 22 years as Sister Vincenz Marie Fresch. How clear it became ‘A Pay-it-Forward’ priority in my life!

This Associate relationship began to reawaken within the true meaning of my Baptismal Call that of witnessing Christ’s love wherever life’s path was leading…as wife, step-mother, daughter and sibling within the Meyer and Fresch Families; as an Active parishioner in Downtown St. Francis de Sales and St. Catherine of Siena parishes in Toledo; as a School Administrator at St. Francis Achievement and in the Toledo Public Schools, and as a supportive leader among teachers, students,
and parents.

Currently, the years of retirement allow for a more relaxed, in-charge of your own life-style in doing the Lord’s work. As a Sylvania Franciscan Associate residing in my hometown of Sandusky, I’ve had many opportunities to live the Gospel of Jesus Christ: In the local community –as a Library ESL (English as a Second Language) and GED Volunteer Instructor; In my Parish– as a Lector, hospital Eucharistic Minister, secretary on various committees and youth Catechetical instructor; In my residence, the Commons of Providence– as Communion and Prayer Minister with the Memory Impaired and Communion Service Minister in the Chapel, as an organizer and executer of some social activities, and a sharer of my culinary skills with residents; and, with my family and friends– just being there to Celebrate their Life and Accomplishments: holidays, class reunions, birthdays, graduations, weddings, grandchildren, aging, sorrows and deaths. It’s been
a Blessing!

Nearing 80 years of age, makes me quietly pause and humbly marvel at all that life still offers me in sharing my gifts for the good of others. So, wherever I am, whatever I do, and whomever I’m with on life’s journey, know that I am walking in spirit with you, my Sylvania Franciscan Sisters
and Associates.

Would you like to learn more about becoming an Associate?  Contact co-directors Sister Roselynn Humbert, rhumbert@sistersosf.org, 419-824-3610, or Dee Resnick at deeresnick@gmail.com, 419-708-2190.

Associate Vincenz Meyer

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