Year of Consecrated Life

The glorious past of religious orders and the great things they have yet to accomplish.

QueenOfPeaceChapel

Modeling God’s Love

Together let us thank the Father, who called us to follow Jesus by fully embracing the Gospel and serving the Church, and poured into our hearts the Holy Spirit, the source of our joy and our witness to God’s love and mercy before the world.”  – Pope Francis

Pope Francis has declared 2015 as the Year of Consecrated Life in honor of the 50th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council. The sixth chapter of Lumen Gentium (Light of the Nations), one of the main documents produced during the 1963-65 council, addressed those called to religious life.  Throughout this special year, the Pope wants to emphasize the glorious past of religious orders as well as the great things they have yet to accomplish.

The goals for the Year of Consecrated Life are threefold:

  1. Shine a bright light on the rich history of those who “follow Christ closely and respond creatively to the needs of the Church”.
  2. Live in the present with passion and “listen attentively to what the Holy Spirit is saying to the Church today”.
  3. Embrace the future with hope amid so many uncertainties because vowed religious are “called to practice the virtue of hope, the fruit of our faith in the Lord who tell us to “Be not afraid…for I am with you” (Jer 1:8).
Year of Consecrated Life

Thoughts from Our Sisters

Thoughts on the Sylvania Franciscan Mission of “Joyful Servanthood Among All People”
Thoughts from Sister Patricia Hejna

Thoughts from Sister Patricia Hejna

“Reflecting on this “Year of Consecrated Life” renews in me thankfulness for the gift of a Spirit-Filled Franciscan Heritage; for the precious gift of being, “called” to minister to those suffering with Alzheimer’s Disease; and for the Gift of Hope in a Loving God who continues to “call” me to follow Him by my vowed life as a Franciscan.”

Sister Patricia entered the Sisters of St. Francis in 1960 from St. Anthony Parish in Toledo. Sister is currently the activity supervisor at the St. Leonard Franciscan Living Community, Centerville, Ohio, where she has ministered since 2005 .

Thoughts from Sister Laureen Marie Painter

Thoughts from Sister Laureen Marie Painter

“As a Sylvania Franciscan, celebrating the Year of the Consecrated Life calls me to once again answer the ongoing question ‘Why I remain in Religious Life’ more than ‘why I entered Religious Life.’ As I age and reflect on what I have done and still do in terms of ministry, I seem to move quickly to reflecting on how I am being rather than what I am doing. Instilling hope in myself and in those with whom I minister in health care is what I find exciting and of utmost importance. Hope is at the heart of life.”

Sister Laureen entered the Sisters of St. Francis in 1965 from SS. Peter and Paul Parish in Sandusky, Ohio. Sister is currently the Vice President of Mission Integration and Ministry Formation at St. Joseph Regional Medical Center in Granger, Indiana. She is the Board Vice Chair of Hope Ministries, which serves homeless families and individuals and volunteers with groups that enhance human dignity and provide easy access to services.

Thoughts from Sister Kathleen Skog

Thoughts from Sister Kathleen Skog

“Pope Francis has called upon the consecrated women and men to “wake up the world “and to read the “signs of the times”. It seems Pope Francis is like “a spiritual explosion or an earth quake “ to the church and it is the Holy Spirit who is speaking through him. Just like God has called me to my religious vocation, so through the Pope, the Spirit of God is speaking to me personally saying, “wake up Sister Kathleen. Look at the world and see what you can do with my help to bring God into the lives of others through a better prayer life, a deeper spiritual life, a love of people, a commitment to serve the poor, and a continual reminder that you are on this earth for a purpose, mainly to be of service to others.”

Times are changing, but I believe that religious life will still be a form of life where people will dedicate themselves to prayer and service and works of the church. My hope is there will be more women and men who will dedicate themselves totally to the Lord. That is what consecrated life is—total dedication to the Lord and the church.”

Sister Kathleen entered the Sisters of St. Francis in 1954 from Immaculate Conception Parish in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Since 1983, she has ministered in various capacities in Brenham, Texas. From 1983 to 1989, she was at St. Jude Hospital and from 1989 to 2000 at Trinity Health Care. In 2001, she went to St. Mary’s Catholic Church, where she is currently the Director of Religious Education. St. Mary’s, established in 1870, is one of the oldest churches in the Dioceses of Austin. Located 75 miles northwest of Houston, it serves 1,000 families.

Thoughts from Sister Rebecca Ann Rutkowski

Thoughts from Sister Rebecca Ann Rutkowski

“Pope Francis writes about the ‘rich history’ of women religious. This is so true with regards to our Sylvania Franciscans. I often think of Mother Adelaide and our pioneer Sisters who journeyed from all they were familiar with to settle in Sylvania, Ohio with an uncertain future. And look where we are today! I’m sure our pioneer Sisters are smiling down upon us and are thinking to themselves, “Well done, good and faithful servants”.”

Sister Rebecca entered the Sylvania Franciscans in 1975 from St. Pius Parish in Southgate, Michigan. Since 1993, Sister has ministered as the Chancellor and Executive Director for the Diocese of Biloxi, serving 70,000 Catholics living along the gulf coast of Mississippi.

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