Entries from our Sisters’ personal journals.

St. Francis and the Wolf of Gubbio reminds us of Francis as a peacemaker.

Follow Sylvania Franciscans as they blog about living their mission of joyful service to all people. Every other week you can read a new entry from the personal journal of a Sister and how she applies Franciscan values to her ministry and the impact they have on the community where she lives. If you like what you read, comment back. We’re always looking for a good conversation.

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For a Happier New Year

By Sister Rosine Sobczak, OSF  Dear Friends, This Is my Reflection as we begin 2022. Our poor country, our world  and our Earth are in disarray. Racial tension, women’s rights, climate change catastrophes, inflation, migrants searching [...]

An Epiphany

God continues to love and guide us even when we struggle . . .

Christmas Stories

What are your Christmas stories that come to mind this time of year?

No more Springsteen at the Dentist…

Change can make us feel uneasy. . .

Blossom Like the Rose

Where do we fit in God’s unfolding plan?

AA can be a Roadmap to God and Spirituality

Trusting in a Higher Power

Black and Blue Serenity

Outdoor beauty with a dash of noise pollution.

Francis Showed us a Way of Life

Conversion can be gradual . . .

A Surprise to Cherish

Sister Rosalma shares her fond memories of her years teaching with former students.

Let go and find joy

Let’s try to be there for one another in these trying times.


“We are all we have.”

The Feast of Sts. Ann and Joachim Now has New Significance

Celebrate Sts. Ann and Joachim on World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly on July 26.

Sylvania Pines

If you can do only one thing for the planet, plant a tree.

“Graced Encounters:” A Tale of Two House Plants

What’s good for one, isn’t necessarily good for another!

What’s your legacy?

May is Older Americans Month.

The Merry (Mary) month of May!

Let’s be merry and call on Mary to intercede for us . . .

Behold the Humility of God

The beauty of creation calls us to pause . . .

Are You “Woke” Yet?

Can we afford to be socially unaware?

Remembering What Lent is all About

Needing some inspiration during Lent? Read Sister Rosalma’s poem, “An Unusual Pair.”

Lessons Learned When Relocating

Hooray for my move to Our Lady of Grace!

“Rend Your Hearts …”

Hold the hurt of our world in our hearts and prayers this Lent.

Mary Appears in Apparitions Holding a Rosary.  Does She Pray to Herself?

A tribute to our humble, loving Mary, Mother of God, and patroness of our congregation.

2021 Reflections

What do you want to change?

Why the COVID-19 Vaccine is Different

What is the difference between the COVID-19 vaccine and other vaccines?

Advent Unsettled

Unexpected blessings in a turbulent year . . .


You can always be kind.

Finding the Positive

What will be your memory of 2020?

“Pillow Talk” for a Pandemic

Try something new.

Words of Comfort and Joy!

We have a lot to be thankful for. . .

Best Practice/Focusing

Keep calm and focus!

Trees Teach

What are you being encouraged to learn for yourself from the trees’ transformation of living beautifully, to dying gracefully, to letting go?

Life Will Go On and Hope Will Be There

. . . a future full of hope.

Sign of the Times

Equal justice for all. . .

Be Brother and Sister to one another

Let’s focus on supporting one another.

Shinrin-Yoku (Forest-bathing)

Renew yourself by “forest-bathing” in nature and feel cuddled by God.

A Jewish “Hallelujah” During Quarantine

Love will win.

Mother Adelaide’s Kindness

Showing others the fine art of kindness.


“He must increase, while I must decrease.” (Jn. 3:30)

Our Memorable Mother Adelaide

Mother Adelaide’s vision is very clear as Sisters and neighbors walk on the Sylvania Franciscan campus today.


Can Laminin, the substance that holds the human body together, be a molecular example of us being united with Christ’s cross?

The Wolf of Gubbio – Today

Do we consider being merciful when an individual exhibits a hostile persona?

Black Lives Matter

What can we do to create change, to impact our little corner of the world?  Slow our lives down to really care… look into different eyes…begin a different conversation.

Reflections through My Window

Let’s care for each other and for creation.

Centering Prayer

Quiet your restless heart and calm your mind with centering prayer.

Happy Birthday!

Why do we celebrate birthdays?


More Francis-approved funnies. . .

From Where I Stand

Our Sister prayer warriors are joined by many!


More Francis-approved funnies. . .

Potato Soup for the Soul

Strength comes from our favorite soups!


The most remarkable act of global solidarity we may ever witness . . .

The Strength of Humanity

Sheltering in place has given us the gift of time.


A realization that many places in our world are named for St. Francis. . .

Whose Feet Will We Wash?

What is ours to do?

Risking Happiness

Are you ready to be happy?

Resting and Reflecting

Reflect and seek new insights during the winter months. . .


From Y2K to 2020

Celebrating the Christmas Season

The 12 Days of Christmas – reflecting on the wonders of God’s presence.

Muslim Pizza for Christmas

A gift given in kindness. . .


Gratitude – how do we respond?

What are you grateful for this month?

Positive Changes

Changes can be about growth.

For the Love of Mulch

Summer experiences may set a future path . . .

The Franciscan Way: A Lego Universe!

For Francis, creation had no inside/ outside—but everything lived in the process of connecting, evolving, living, dying, growing, rising– all poured out in a glorious bounty from the heart of God.

St. Francis loved animals AND people too

Francis valued all relationships

A Summer’s Blessings

Summer experiences may set a future path . . .

Vacation connections

A vacation can widen our world.

New Growth for an Environmental Stewardship Plan

Environmental stewardship is bringing all of the sciences together in an integrated functional program.

Amazing Grace on an Envelope

Reflecting on our journey and all the mysteries surrounding us. . .

Alzheimer’s and the TAU

The Tau is the mark on persons to be saved. (Ex. 9: 4)

Community, Connections and Common-blessings!

Focusing our minds, hearts and spirits. . .

Creativity and Beauty in our Lives

Challenge your creativity. . .

The Power of a Purple Plum Tree

Let’s open our eyes, and hearts to the beauty of our Earth this spring.

 A Closet, a Shoe and Memories

Spring cleaning. . . are we still attached to somethings?

Would St. Francis have Celebrated Cinco de Mayo? Well, sort of.

Cinco De Mayo is May 5. Would St. Francis have participated in local cultural festivities during his time?

Symbols and Traditions

Memories of Easter traditions.

Standing at the Y-Split of Life

“Yes.” It’s only three letters and phonetically easy to pronounce. It starts with the letter “Y” and summons the question “why.” Yet, in its simplicity, it packs power, potential, and possibility! Most people do not say “Yes” without first asking a few “why” questions, right?

Our Circles of Influence

As I age, I sometimes think my ministry diminishes. But, while it’s true that I may not lead a classroom, I still extend the mission and ministry of the Sylvania Franciscans in so many ways.

Inspiration from Cheese Puffs

The Providence Care Center in Sandusky was a ministry Sister Nancy felt driven to adopt for the community, from the first moment she saw the cheese puff coated fingers and smiles of the residents.

Being Green

Being green is a good thing.

Judging a Book by Its Cover: “What the Death of a Friend Revealed”

How often outward appearances lock us in judgement.

An Ordinary Day

Try a resolution in 2019 that will help others.

Better (Franciscan) Living Through Chemistry

We have chemistry all around us in our world and in ourselves.

God IS in our midst!

How do we give less attention to the chaos and more attention to the God who quietly calls for our presence and friendship?

Here Comes Everybody: Meeting Christ in Ministry

Ministry sends all of us all kinds of people. . .

Becoming a hermit is a tempting idea!

Considering reaching out, to bring healing and harmony to our troubled world.

Embracing the Poor and Marginalized

Who are the poor and marginalized in your life?

Groundhog Day in Wonderland

“. . .cross social boundaries; practice compassion and forgiveness; engage with strangers; share meals; and live in a nonviolent and more authentically human fashion.”

Take Care of Sister Earth

“Our Common Home” has had a rough summer.

It’s Only Money

You never know when you’ll need a penny.

The Other Side of Anger

Our faith is in God! Not in buildings, or structures of power, or fine gold or rich materials or human beings. The Church belongs to the faithful!

Our Lady of the Sign

Mary is also known as the Platytera, “She who is more spacious than the heavens” since she held within her womb the Incarnate God.

It is August!

Where is your favorite place to pray?

R, W, and R

Grounded in our Franciscan roots.

Back Porch Lessons

Preparing a space in your inner room for God’s love. . .

“Only the Essentials”

Essentials are the relationships in our lives . . .

Support from others is a Jewel

Building self-esteem through support

From 1968 on, change never stopped

A reflection on 50 years of religious life, beginning in 1968. . .

The Earth Means the World to Me

This spring has been an absolute delight for the senses. . .


The gift of prayer. . .

Life After Lent

Preparing a space in your inner room for God’s love. . .

Springtime is a beginning of sorts. . .

God’s love for us is enduring, despite our imperfections. 

A Crack in the Wall

A conversion of heart moment. . .

A New Way of Observing Lent

Weekly Lenten themes give us positive ways of making a difference.

Seduced by Oreos

It’s easy to be attracted to and tempted by whatever is “shiny and bright.”

Living Simply, Living Fully

“. . .see the world as God’s loving gift and respond generously.”

A New Year and Time on Our Minds

. . . some of our resolutions may or may not have the strength of fervor originally felt on December 31.

“In the Breaking of the Bread”

Witness the meaning of the breaking of the bread…

What a Christmas!

. . . to be blessed by the presence of the Christ Child!

Home for Christmas?

Let’s keep the forgotten ones tucked in our hearts this Advent.

Awaiting God’s Love to be born

Preparing a space in your inner room for God’s love. . .

Hope on a gloomy day

Some time the unexpected occurs all day long, so we need to be hopeful!

How does your garden grow?

A garden with unique flowers offers variety to us, much like the unique people we encounter each day. . .

Autumn Morning Glories 

Wake up and keep going. . .

The Gift of Humor

Being thankful for the gift of humor. . .

Cooler Minds, Warmer Hearts

Our task is to live the compassion to which Jesus calls us.

Just Ask Archives

Just ask Archives – they’ve got 101 years of history downstairs.

I Believe in You!

Are you prepared enough? What if you don’t do well?

Taking the Gospel message to the online world 

Women religious continue to go where the people are and in today’s world that is out into the world of social media.

May we be open to learning and living what is ours to do

Adopt the “can do spirit!”

A patient’s “Retreat” experience at Rosary Care Center

Meditative surroundings can help a spirit during rehabilitation.

Loving Families

Improving the quality of life for persons living with mental illness at Toledo’s Wernert Center . . .

Hope, our Friend in Need   

“Where there is despair, let me sow hope.”

A Franciscan version of “Beauty and the Beast”

So how is this fairy tale Franciscan?

Summer vacation beauty

Summer is almost over—vacations are treasured memories to be shared over a cup of coffee or a glass of iced tea.

From the Corner

Our work, while we live on this planet, is to care for each other and to care for our Earth, knowing that our health and happiness and, if you will, our salvation is bound together.

The Sunken Garden

This past June, transformation again came to the “Sunken Garden.”

A Walk to Remember

May the steps we take along life’s journey become for each of us “a walk to remember” as we place ourselves in solidarity with the suffering body of Christ on earth.

Hope, our Friend in Need   

“Where there is despair, let me sow hope.”

The Dynamic Tensions of Life

The events of life seem to occur at varying speeds.

Our Mission, Our Legacy

Our healthcare ministry and mission are shared with so many in ways we often do not realize.

Alive with Songs of Praise in Our Hearts

Gratitude is at the very heart of our Franciscan charism. Like Francis, gratitude is not just a virtue for us but a climate that enfolds and penetrates all of our waking moments.

Gates of Heaven

This is a wonderful place where all of us hope to be someday. It beats anything we have on earth.”

Revolution of Tenderness – Counter-cultural

In April, the Pope spoke at a TED conference on “The Future You.” Read more. . .

Celebrating Life Renewed

Celebrating the Easter Vigil this year in a long-term care facility was a new experience, but no less touching and filled with emotion.

The gift of friendship

Friendship is a priceless gift that needs nurturing, time, attention and love.

Gradual clouding

Like many fellow Baby Boomers, I had cataract surgery recently. I’ve had terrible eye sight since I was a child and have work glasses since the 5th grade. I couldn’t see things clearly that were only three feet in front of me.

Lent is a time of giving your best to God

Lent had a broader focus this year for Sr. Ann Carmen Barone . . . a slow unfolding of the Paschal Mystery

Working ourselves into a job

Sr. Nancy reminds us, “The three “p’s” of sustainability are: people, profit, and planet.”

The Power of Peacemaking

By Sister Sharon Havelak, OSF --  After a recent meeting, a friend and I chatted about the current political climate. I noted that I couldn’t imagine Toledo without its Middle Eastern population. Mike responded, “You [...]

Never A Waste Of Time

By Sister Pamela Nosbusch (Names are changed for privacy) Recently I visited a patient, Sally, who lives with her daughter, Carol. Sally  was asleep and did not want to wake up for my visit.  Carol [...]

Texas Bluebonnets

By Sister Lois Anne Palkert, OSF According to the late singing governor of Texas, W. Lee O'Daniel, bluebonnets are one of the prime factors that make the state the most beautiful land that we know.  [...]

Why we do what we do as a people of Faith

If you’re anything like me, you haven’t yet given an honest day’s wage of thought as to how you are going to spend these next 40 days of Lent.  What is the true purpose of [...]

Preserving our heritage

By Sister Nancy Surma, OSF I just finished a project that spoke of the lives of hundreds of dedicated women in seven states with work that spanned nearly 100 years.  My role—serving as content editor [...]

Servant leadership

By Sister Nancy Linenkugel, OSF I look at the graduate students in front of me and think, with my graying hair and the increasing interval since I ended my hospital CEO days about 15 years [...]

Love changes everything

There’s nothing like an anniversary to take pause and be thankful for all the memories. In this case it is a double anniversary—Sister Ann Carmen’s 50th as a Sylvania Franciscan and her community’s 100th as joyful servants among all people. Read Sister’s Blog and share all her blessings of Franciscan presence.

So Much Goodness

Sister Madeleva, who’s funeral was yesterday, never lost her zeal for the little gifts from God, especially those of nature—clouds, the sky, birds and trees. Read Sister Sharon’s Blog to learn how the entire material universe—soil, water and mountains—is a caress from God that we should be in touch with through all of the seasons of our lives.

Sometimes It Only Takes A Smile Or A Kind Word

Sometimes ministering to those in need can be a two-way street. Just ask Sister Pam, who is a hospice chaplain and, for the most part, is there to help patients navigate the last phase of their lives. But every once in a while they have turned the table and have done things to help her out. Read Sister Pam’s Blog to learn about two instances that did just that.

Martin Luther King – Prayer was his secret

Anybody who goes on the Franciscan pilgrimage to Assisi, Italy to walk in the footsteps of St. Francis comes back a changed person. Sister Lois Ann, who is the director of mission services for CHI St. Joseph Health System in Bryan, Texas and a past pilgrim, knows this revelation all too well. Read her Blog as she shares the life-changing experience of one of the CHI St. Joseph doctors who went to Assisi this past October.

Change of seasons….change of heart!

Look back at what you are thankful for and forward for what you want to improve. Read Sister Julie’s Blog and learn about the power of change the Christmas season brings.

Preserving our heritage

Happiness and joy sound like words that mean the same thing, but they are not. Read Sister Nancy Surma’s Blog to learn the distinction. Happiness depends on external circumstances. Joy comes from a heart that is focused on love and compassion.

My Little Drummer Boys

Gifts from the heart beat store-bought ones any day. Read Sister Karen’s Blog and learn how two of her neighbors are true Franciscans doing the little things to make her life easier and more enjoyable. We’re not talking big-box store stuff, either.

Reaching up with Joy and Praise—Past, Present and Future

There’s nothing like an anniversary to take pause and be thankful for all the memories. In this case it is a double anniversary—Sister Ann Carmen’s 50th as a Sylvania Franciscan and her community’s 100th as joyful servants among all people. Read Sister’s Blog and share all her blessings of Franciscan presence.

First Steps into Our Next 100 Years

For the Sisters of St. Francis of Sylvania, Ohio to reach 100 years as a congregation didn’t happen by chance or luck. It happened because all of the Sisters, past and present, felt the call of God and put their destiny in His hands. Read Sister Nancy Linenkugel’s Blog and hear how Sylvania Franciscan faithfulness has carried them this far and will continue to do so in their next century of joyful servanthood.

The Many Faces of Love

Sometimes ministering to those in need can be a two-way street. Just ask Sister Pam, who is a hospice chaplain and, for the most part, is there to help patients navigate the last phase of their lives. But every once in a while they have turned the table and have done things to help her out. Read Sister Pam’s Blog to learn about two instances that did just that.

Our Legacy Lives On: Pilgrimages for Franciscan Leadership

Anybody who goes on the Franciscan pilgrimage to Assisi, Italy to walk in the footsteps of St. Francis comes back a changed person. Sister Lois Ann, who is the director of mission services for CHI St. Joseph Health System in Bryan, Texas and a past pilgrim, knows this revelation all too well. Read her Blog as she shares the life-changing experience of one of the CHI St. Joseph doctors who went to Assisi this past October.

Those Who Lead…

Now that the election for president is over, the real work of clearing the toxic air and heal the brokenness we live in begins. But maybe the first step needs to be taken by us, the citizens of this great country, and not our newly-elected leaders? Read Sister Julie’s Blog about how we can be the light that drives out the darkness and brings us together as one nation under God.

The Benefits of Looking Back

Sometimes you are so close to something when it is happening that you don’t realize what you experienced until you look back at it later—maybe years later—to discover what really took place. Sister Nancy Surma has journaled most of her adult life and recently took time to read entries from her younger years as a Sylvania Franciscan. Read her Blog to find out the insight she uncovered about her life and how it has impacted her.

Sacred Tears

Crying over watching a sad movie and crying because you just peeled onions produce tears of very different kinds. Tears shed from watching The Notebook contain toxic substances that build up during emotional stress that, once relieved, make a person feel better. Sister Karen, who is known to shed a few tears at different events, explores the science of crying in her latest blog and how tears help you tap into our deeper, spiritual selves.

Franciscan Presence…”Snipits” of Gratitude from my Calendar

Franciscan Presence can be seen and felt in so many ways. Whether it is from one person or a team of people, the power of presence is powerful. Read Sister Ann Carmen’s Blog and find out about some of the presence she has felt in just the last 30 days.

How Many of Me

As she will quickly tell you, Sister Nancy Linenkugel has never met a Nancy she didn’t like. Read her Blog and hear her experience with a fellow Nancy at a recent conference and how she feels about having such a solid, memorable and noteworthy name that she shares with more than one million other Nancies.

Season of Creation

Sister Madeleva, who’s funeral was yesterday, never lost her zeal for the little gifts from God, especially those of nature—clouds, the sky, birds and trees. Read Sister Sharon’s Blog to learn how the entire material universe—soil, water and mountains—is a caress from God that we should be in touch with through all of the seasons of our lives.

Sometimes My Patients Inspire Me

Sometimes ministering to those in need can be a two-way street. Just ask Sister Pam, who is a hospice chaplain and, for the most part, is there to help patients navigate the last phase of their lives. But every once in a while they have turned the table and have done things to help her out. Read Sister Pam’s Blog to learn about two instances that did just that.

Acknowledging Our Strength and Diversity 15 Years After 9.11

Understanding our differences and celebrating our unique gifts is how Sister Lois Anne feels 15 years after the devastation that struck New York City on September 11. Read her Blog and see if you can become enthused with hope that, as Pope Francis said on his visit to the 9.11 Memorial Museum, “we must build unity on the basis of our diversity and say no to every attempt to impose uniformity

Life’s Magic Lives Inside Each of Us!

We can’t make life changes alone! We need support from family and friends and even the Facebook world. Read Sister Julie’s blog about using social media to find words of encouragement and and positive messages to help you stay strong.

Caring for Our Common Home

What is 3 ½” long, weighs anywhere from seven one hundredth to a whopping one tenth of an ounce and can fly 525 miles nonstop beating its wings 80 times a second? Read Sister Nancy Surma’s Blog and learn about one of God’s many miracles and how she spent her summer following Pope Francis’ message to “care for our common home”, in this case, providing food and shelter for a couple hummingbirds.

(Almost) All Are Welcome

For many people with disabilities, the thing that helps them cope—their faith—is out of reach. The American Disabilities Act helps people with employment, transportation and access to public places like restaurants and libraries, but not churches. The end result is people like the woman in Sister Karen’s Blog couldn’t get up 10 concrete steps to go to Mass. God loves everyone. There should be no barriers to His house.

Remarkable Persons

The Franciscan spirit shows itself in many and different ways. Read Sister Nancy Linenkugel’s Blog and learn about an elderly candy lady and her scruffy sidekick, to the daughter of Dean Martin and a Shakespearean actor, who all exhibit a flair for the Franciscan.

Beauty Will Save the World

When things become overwhelming and out of our control, it is important to reach for something that will sooth your anxiety. For Sister Sharon, it is the childhood activity of coloring, but with a twist of spirituality. Read her blog and learn how coloring is a form of prayer for her that brings a quiet sense of joy in a world filled with the unexpected.

Sometimes It Only Takes a Simple Gesture

Often times, it is the little things in life that have the biggest impact. Read Sister Pam’s Blog about how a simple “hi”, nod or the wave of a hand can often make a big difference in someone’s life.

Keep Memory Alive

In a world full of violence and evil and hatred, it is sometimes easier to turn the other way, to be indifferent, rather than make a difference. Read Sister Lois Ann’s blog about Elie Wiesel, a Holocaust survivor, who chose to make a difference and fought to keep memory alive.

To Build Relationships or Create Division

You don’t get to choose your family and often it is a challenge to decide to love them or leave them. Sister Julie writes about a family she has gotten to know and they are definitely the love ‘em type. Read her Bog to hear the lessons she has learned from being around the many generations of this family and the love that binds them together.

The Gift of Freedom

If you were born in America, sometimes you take the rights and freedoms that go with being a citizen for granted. Sister Nancy Surma went to a naturalization ceremony on the 4th of July and got a feel for how grateful immigrants are to join the American ‘family’ and experience the opportunities many of us have known since birth. Read her Blog about 96 people from 52 countries who now can call America home.

Being There

Presence is the gift of attention, and the opening of the mind to be receptive to another person. It is the gift of time and commitment to be with someone. Not always easy to do, it is the ultimate gift of God’s presence with us. Read Sister Karen’s Blog and learn why ‘you’ve gotta be there.’

The Jubilee Tree

Just like a tree, jubilees are a time to recognize growing up and reaching out. Read Sister Ann Carmen’s Blog about the recent celebration of her Golden Jubilee as a Sylvania Franciscan.

Taking Leave

Leaving something, like walking out of a store, is one thing. You’re gone and don’t really think twice about being there. Taking leave, as in moving away from somewhere you have grown to know well, is an entirely different thing. Read Sister Nancy Linenkugel’s Blog and learn how because of memories, it has been easier for her to “take leave of” the motherhouse grounds and move to Cincinnati. Actually, it makes the return trips all that more satisfying.

Those Who Forgive

In this Year of Mercy, and especially after the tragedy in Orlando this past weekend, it is particularly hard to focus on God’s forgiveness. Yet that is exactly what we are called to do if we want to enter the worldview of Christ, in which cheeks are turned and enemies are loved. Read Sister Sharon’s Blog about this difficult, but necessary course needed in these times of darkness, if we are going to become the light and hope for the world.

It’s About Presence

In times of tragedy, often the best thing a person can say is nothing. Sister Pam, who ministers as a chaplain at a hospice facility in Nashville, has learned over the years that many times just being with a grieving family is more important than any words of sympathy she might try to say. Read her Blog about just one of those occasions.

Tidbits From Haiti

Hosting medical teams, helping a mother with a malnourished baby, grieving with a family who unexpectedly lost a young father, and directing the installation of cisterns to collect water are just a few of the things Sylvania Franciscan Sister Josephine Dybza and Aston Franciscan Sister Vicky Della Valle do in their ministry of embracing the poor and marginalized in the mountains above Pestel, 90 miles west of Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Read “Tidbits From Haiti” to learn more.

A World of Teachers

Sister Julie spent 25 years in hospital ministry teaching patients how to walk and regain their function and mobility from joint replacement, burns, amputations and strokes. She thought she had become pretty good at trusting God on how to share her knowledge with others, but a recent request to teach life skills to a young couple who wanted to improve their economic situation has proved to be a challenge she didn’t anticipate.

Beliefs Rooted in the Past

Deciding what is critical, and needs to be kept to retain your heritage, and what is peripheral, and can be let go, as a group moves into the future entails a similar decision-making process, whether you are a tribe of Indians or a community of vowed women religious. Read Sister Nancy Surma’s Blog and hear how she found a kinship between her community of Sylvania Franciscans and the Acoma Pueblo Indians she recently visited near Albuquerque, New Mexico.

We Shall Be Alright Someday

Sometimes less is more when it comes to finding God’s love. While Sister Karen is a writer and uses words to convey her ideas, when it comes to praying through music, she likes simple lyrics and few words. Read her Blog about how this simplicity creates a powerful presence of God in her heart and soul.

Fond Memories of My Father

Sister Ann Carmens’ dad would have been 100 on May 6. Read her Blog about the love only a father could have for his daughter and the fond memories he has left her. She’s sure he is celebrating and still watching over her and her brothers.

…Was Blind But Now I See

How often do you look at somebody, but not really see them because you are preoccupied with something else? Read Sister Nancy Linenkugel’s Blog about a blind woman she knows who exhibits the ability to see who she is talking to even though she physically can’t and how that makes her feel.

Answering the Challenge

Embracing the poor and marginalized is a core component of the Sisters of St. Francis of Sylvania’s Mission Statement. At their recent meeting to set strategic goals for the next four years, they discussed taking up Pope Francis’ challenge to sponsor a refugee family. Read Sister Sharon’s Blog to hear what they said and how they might respond.

What a Mother Robin Taught Me

Feeling safe and secure is an emotion everyone can relate to, even our feathered friends. Read Sister Pam’s Blog about one of her Spring rituals that teaches her how God provides us with a safe place to allow new life to spring forth from each of us.

Trusting God

Trusting that God will provide all he needs is how one long-term care patient tells Sister Lois Anne he deals with having Lou Gehrig’s disease. Read Sister’s Blog to hear what she has learned from a man who shares his struggles and gratefully accepts the help of so many as he carries his cross, because embracing his illness has helped him come to know God in a deeper way.

Live as Resurrected People

Let Easter be a great reminder that our beloved Jesus did not remain on the cross or in the grave. Christ has risen and calls each of us to live anew, alive with his power and love. Read Sister Julie’s Blog to not fall back into old routines and bad habits. Rather, make a difference in what we do every day because we are resurrected people.


The reason behind choosing a name can often have a long history. Sister Nancy chose a name when she entered the convent that was tied to her mother and her grandmother. Even though she no longer goes by that name, it still has a lot of meaning for her, especially on Good Friday.

Weaving Lent into Everyday Life

Lent is a time to turn away from the things that have distracted us and turn back toward God. Read Sister Karen’s blog about this season of conversion as we try to turn our minds to where they rightfully belong.

The Power of One

By Sister Ann Carmen Barone, OSF Did you know that March is National Woman’s History Month?  And this is the week to Thank a Sister. It quickly became a time to reflect on the Power [...]

Mother Adelaide Would Have Had an iPhone

The world today for the Sylvania Franciscans is much like it was when our pioneer Sisters first came to Toledo 100 years ago. Local, national and world events may differ, but people are still in need of education, healthcare, social services, religious formation and prayer. Read Sister Nancy’s blog and learn what’s new and different and what is still the same.

Good Samaritans All Around

By Sister Pam Nosbusch, OSF January 22, 2016 is not a day many people in the country will forget soon. In Nashville, we received 8 inches of snow that day. We were one tenth of [...]

Illness Can Be an Opportunity to Test or Live Your Faith

By Sister Lois Anne Palkert, OSF One year after he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, Pope John Paul II decided to create a World Day of the Sick to be celebrated on February 11, the [...]

Celebrate Your Vocation!

By Sister Julie Myers, OSF In 2013, Pope Francis declared that a Year of Consecrated Life (YCL) be celebrated throughout the world.  This special year began on the first Sunday of Advent, November 30, 2014, [...]

Appreciating the Ordinary Things

By Sister Nancy Surma, OSF It’s ordinary time again. The richness of the season of Advent and the festivity of Christmas have come and gone. Last week I took down the few Christmas decorations I [...]

The Middle (of anything) Matters

By Sister Karen Zielinski, OSF Therefore, my beloved brothers, be firm, steadfast, always fully devoted to the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.                 1 Corinthians 15:58 [...]

Welcome 2016!

By Sister Ann Carmen Barone, OSF I remember when New Years was tied up with a dropping ball, the sounds of Guy Lombardo and the Royal Canadians and the crush of people in Times Square [...]

I Can’t Put It Away

By Sister Nancy Linenkugel, OSF Anyone who knows me isn’t surprised that I don’t have tchotchke things around.  I’ve never been a collector of anything.  Yes, I own a ton of music but not much [...]

Jesus the Refugee

By Sister Sharon Havelak, OSF I began writing this as a quiet reflection on the season of Advent. But life is never that tidy! I’ve been working on updating an image to use for my [...]

Celebrities: Watch What You Say About Disability

By Sister Karen Zielinski, OSF Famous people can affect our attitudes and awareness of all kinds of disability. The Donald was The Bully. It all started when U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump spoke to [...]

Living Our Charism

By Sister Lois Anne Palkert, OSF In a recent article in Health Progress, Ron Hamel and Michael Panicola acknowledge that “Health care in the United States is in a state of major transformation, the likes [...]

Prayer – The Grace and Gift of Our Lives

By Sister Julie Myers, OSF Are you a regular follower of the Sylvania Franciscan Blog? If so, you may remember reading my post from September that focused on my preparations for the trip of a [...]

Savory, Sacred Soup

By Sister Karen Zielinski, OSF The weather was getting cooler, and the colorful fall leaves were not going to last much longer. It was a sign for me to make some soup. I decided on [...]

The Mystery of Choice and Chance in Life

By Sister Nancy Surma, OSF I went to my 50th high school reunion this past September.  It hardly seemed possible it was that long since I left the halls of St. Andrew High School, which [...]

What Makes Me Smile?

By Sister Ann Carmen Barone, OSF It’s a song from my childhood but it always makes me SMILE. O let the sunshine in. Face it with a grin. Smilers never lose and frowners never win. [...]

Don’t Try to Explain It

By Sister Nancy Linenkugel, OSF You wouldn’t believe it. In fact, no one would believe it. The story isn’t plausible, but far-fetched instead. Do you need more medication, Nancy? No. I don’t need anything. In [...]

Of Tomatoes and Sunsets and Laudato Si’

By Sister Sharon Havelak, OSF Earth has been on my mind a lot lately. It would be easy to blame Pope Francis and his encyclical, Laudato Si’. But things have been brewing for a while [...]

I Never Know

By Sister Pam Nosbusch As I travel around the metropolitan Nashville area visiting my patients, I never know when someone will stop me to ask for prayer or talk to me about a loved one [...]

Jimmy Carter: A Man of Faith

By Sister Lois Anne Palkert, OSF In a recent news conference former President Jimmy Carter revealed that the cancer has “spread through my body”. The news was shocking to hear, but at the same time, [...]

Franciscan Pilgrimage

By Sister Julie Myers, OSF I consider myself a “home-potato”! I am pretty content to stay home and live life doing my best for others. Oh, I travel some, but usually drivable distances not all [...]

Fond Memories

By Sister Nancy Surma, OSF I received two envelopes in the mail on the same day this week. The first one I opened was from Sr. Nora Klewicki, and it contained a newspaper clipping from [...]

This Might Be the Start of Something Big!

By Sister Karen Zielinski “I have decided to set up the ‘World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation’ which will be celebrated on the 1st of September.” Pope Francis On the first day [...]

Where There is Patience There is Peace

By Sister Ann Carmen Barone, OSF Have you ever felt like you were caught in slow motion while everything around you was speeding along? Take another real look and you’ll notice that’s not true. We [...]

Keepers of the Faith

By Sister Nancy Linenkugel, OSF It was one of those hidden blessings that I never expected in a million years. After several power outages in the neighborhood where I live due to weather, I was [...]

The Pope and the Earth

By Sister Sharon Havelak, OSF The effects of global climate change have hit home pretty hard this summer. The West Coast is plagued by drought and consumed with wildfires. Other areas of our country have [...]

Where Does The Time Go?

By Sister Pam Nosbusch, OSF This past Wednesday, August 5, I celebrated two anniversaries. One anniversary is on August 5, 1991, I moved to Toledo to begin Initial Formation as a Candidate for the Sisters [...]

Seek After Safety?

By Patrick Mills, Associate A few weeks ago I was in fellowship with a group of Christian brothers when a turn in our conversation made me very uncomfortable. We began to discuss the recent tragic [...]


By Sister Lois Anne Palkert, OSF Expressions of regret and horror, prayer services and moments of silence across the country followed in the aftermath of the shooting June 17 at Emmanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church [...]

Rain is a blessing from God

By Sister Julie Myers, OSF Yesterday’s rains cause me to reflect on two things. First, the reminder in scripture that rain is a blessing from God: Secondly, the powerful Jubilee celebration for 13 of my [...]

What I’ve Learned From My Move

By Sister Nancy Surma, OSF I’ve moved a lot in my life, living in seven different states in the course of various ministry positions. The first move was coming to the convent and moving from [...]

What I’ve Learned From My Move

By Sister Nancy Surma, OSF I’ve moved a lot in my life, living in seven different states in the course of various ministry positions. The first move was coming to the convent and moving from [...]

A Beautiful Legacy

By Sister Karen Zielinski, OSF Beauty is more than what meets the eye. Last week, the Sylvania Franciscan Motherhouse was brimming with Sisters. They came from Minnesota, Michigan, Louisiana, Mississippi, Indiana and Haiti, to attend [...]

Our Tree of Life

By Sister Ann Carmen Barone, OSF You say assembly and I think blue spruce. Odd connection? Not at all. The beautiful blue spruce near the entrance to Queen of Peace Chapel was planted there at [...]

Sister Felicia Would Have Loved It

By Sister Nancy Linenkugel, OSF Xavier University has the only college-sponsored Montessori Lab School in the country. In fact, Xavier has long been the powerhouse in Montessori education as it remains one of only two [...]

Laudato Si: Blessed Are You!

By Sister Sharon Havelak, OSF Pope Francis’ encyclical on environmental issues comes out next Thursday. There’s been so much speculation about it, the actual text may seem irrelevant! Everyone seems to have an opinion about [...]

The Other Side of the Chart

By Sister Pam Nosbusch, OSF As a healthcare Chaplain I am used to being on the caregiving side of a patient’s chart. Being on the other side of the chart, whether as the patient or [...]

Go to the Desert

By Pat Mills Sylvania Franciscan Associate For the first time, I’ve struggled for a theme for this message. Where I usually find an idea there is only empty space. So, I’ll write about the empty [...]

Healthcare Legacy Continues to Grow

By Sister Lois Anne Palkert There are few events held in the Bryan/College Station area of Texas where the name of Sister Gretchen Kunz does not come up. Her legacy and that of the Sisters [...]

Words, Words, Words… they all have meaning!

By Sister Julie Myers, OSF I recently changed ministries, yet find a direct correlation between the two. I have gone from serving as Vocation Minister for my congregation, The Sisters of St. Francis, to joining [...]

Nursing is in the DNA of the Sylvania Franciscans

By Sister Nancy Surma, OSF “We were gentle among you, like a nurse tenderly caring for her own children. So deeply do we care for you that we are determined to share with you not [...]

What Can I Do?

By Sister Karen Zielinski, OSF “If you shift your focus from yourself to others, extend your concern to others, and cultivate the thought of caring for the well-being of others, then this will have the [...]

Words to Live By

By Sr. Ann Carmen Barone, O.S.F. I received a rare gift today – a letter, a beautifully handwritten letter from a Lourdes alumna. She had written to fill in the gaps since our last meeting. [...]

Reaching Out

By Sister Nancy Linenkugel, OSF Maryland’s Light Rail service brings together an eclectic mix of individuals. Boarding a light rail train to downtown Baltimore recently was an adventure. The car I boarded was jam-packed, so [...]

The Gift of Peace

By Sister Sharon Havelak, OSF The woman was very insistent. Jesus had to come back. There was no peace in the world, she said, so Jesus had to come again to bring us peace. The [...]

Stuck Inside

By Sister Pam Nosbusch, OSF This past winter I found myself stuck inside twice. The first time was after we had an ice storm. The second time was a few weeks later when we had [...]

Change as Blessing

By Pat Mills, Sylvania Franciscan Associate An often heard lament is “I need a change” or “something needs to change.” But change can be a source of stress and fear in our lives. Psychologists say [...]

National Catholic Sisters Week

By Sister Lois Anne Palkert To shine a spotlight on the profound impact of Catholic Sisters, in conjunction with National Women’s History Month, the second annual National Catholic Sisters Week (NCSW) was held March 8-14, [...]

An Unexpected Benefit From Surgery

By Sister Nancy Surma, OSF My Lent started early this year—on January 27 to be exact. That day I had surgery on my right foot which ended up being more extensive than my surgeon expected. [...]

Together we’re the Best!

Every story takes a village… By Sister Karen Zielinski, OSF My sister, Sister Judy, just had two total knee replacements. She had her left knee replaced on Tuesday and then her right one a few [...]

My Lenten Signature

By Sister Ann Carmen Barone, OSF Lent was never my favorite liturgical season. It was long, even though Sundays aren’t counted as part of the forty days of Lent. The music was somber and the [...]

The Changeless Stars

By Sister Nancy Linenkugel, OSF Cincinnati’s Observatory is the oldest professional observatory in the United States. Originally a key facility for astronomical research dating back to 1843, today the Cincinnati Observatory remains part of the [...]

Saving Grace

By: Sister Sharon Havelak, OSF Sometimes it’s easy to get overwhelmed. ISIS is making gruesome headlines once again. Indicators of growing climate changes are more and more evident. Ebola has slipped from the headlines, but [...]

Fun, Joy, and Other Such Things

By Sister Pam Nosbusch, OSF In my ministry as a Hospice Chaplain and dealing with the dying on a daily basis, I know I have to balance this out with having fun and spreading joy. [...]

Ordinary Times Really Aren’t So Ordinary

By Sister Lois Anne Palkert, OSF With the celebration of the Baptism of the Lord this past weekend we bid farewell to the Christmas Season and welcome Ordinary Time, the weeks that reflect the normal [...]

Team Effort

By Sister Julie Myers, OSF This is the time of year when we get inundated with football and the wild card schedule that eventually surfaces the two best playing teams to face off in the [...]

Making the Christmas Story Personal

By Sister Nancy Surma, OSF For years I have had the practice during this time of year of selecting one of the figures in the Christmas story that represents what the past year has been [...]

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February 19, 2021
Sponsor Spotlight FI

Sponsor Spotlight

The Sisters of St. Francis of Sylvania are grateful for the help of these generous companies for graciously sponsoring the 2020 Virtual Gala and the ministries of the Sylvania Franciscans. With thanks to our St. […]
December 29, 2020

Sister Margaret Metro, OSF, 1937-2020

Sister Margaret taught in grades 2-8 and especially enjoyed teaching music to the students.  She had a lovely voice and played the guitar and used her musical talents, along with those of her two sisters, in teaching and at liturgies.  The trio was quite a treat when they did get together to perform songs and hymns at community meetings and celebrations. 
July 31, 2019

New Growth for an Environmental Stewardship Plan that has Long Roots

July 2019 The Sylvania Franciscan Environmental Stewardship Team welcomed I.S.A. certified Arborist Scott Kirby this past March. Scott’s level of expertise adds another dimension to the Plant Health Care Program    Sister M. Jeremias Stinson, Superintendent […]
September 5, 2017

May we be open to learning and living what is ours to do

Adopt the "can do spirit!"