Celebrating 290 years of service

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There are 5 members of the Sisters of St. Francis of Sylvania, Ohio celebrating anniversaries of professed religious life in 2024. The service of these Sisters represents a total of 290 years of “Living the Gospel in joyful servanthood among all people.”

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Diamond 60 Year Jubilarians (First Vows, 1964)

Sister Mary Peter Kaminski, OSF

60th Jubilee

Sister Mary Peter Kaminski came to Sylvania, OH from SS. Peter and Paul Parish in Detroit, MI, where she was profoundly influenced by the example of the Sylvania Franciscans who taught her. Her 60 years of ministry were spent mostly in health care, working in hospitals in Ohio, Michigan, Texas, and Virginia for 38 years. She found this work fulfilling and also became involved in the parishes she attended wherever she lived and worked. Currently, Sister serves as the Franciscan Library Assistant.

In addition to her love and talent for making beautiful things, Sister Mary Peter likes to read, sew, do needlework, grow plants and advocate for ecological sustainability. She continues to influence people she meets with her Sylvania Franciscan spirit, easy smile and pleasure in exchanging ideas.

Sister Nora Klewicki, OSF

60th Jubilee

Sister Nora (formerly Sister M. Dunstan) came to Sylvania, Ohio from Hamtramck, Michigan, where she had been educated by the Sylvania Franciscans at St. Ladislaus School and wanted to be like the kind and caring women they were. She served in the ministry of education as teacher and librarian for 25 years, including ten at Cardinal Stritch High School and three at Lourdes College.

Sister served as Archivist for the Toledo Diocese and the Sylvania Franciscans and wrote a history of the Sisters entitled, “Ventures for the Lord,” describing the Order’s growth and development from 1916 to the early 1970s. (She is currently writing the history of the Sisters from the 1970s to 2000.) She also served in Pastoral Care at the parish level and as Director of Mission Integration at Providence Care Center in Sandusky, Ohio and at Rosary Care Center in Sylvania. Sister currently serves as Director of the Regina Spirituality Center in Sylvania. On a personal note, Sister Nora says that her favorite activities are cooking, and reading; she loves to bake especially bread. Her “intellectual” hobby is the reading, study and sharing of Scripture.

Sister M. Catherine Labouré Busam, OSF

60th Jubilee

Sister M. Catherine Laboure wanted to be a Sister ever since she was a little girl. She loved her teachers at St. Mary’s School in Sandusky, OH and she knew the Sisters at Providence Hospital, where her mother was a nurse.

Sister Catherine spent 30 of her 60 years of religious life teaching at all levels. She helped establish St. Francis Education Center in Sylvania in 1973 where she taught and was the principal. She started and taught in the Early Childhood Development program at Lourdes College in 1974.

In 1991, Sister joined a House of Prayer in Gate City, Virginia where she became a spiritual director. Her journey in ministry then led her to work in a Head Start program in Appalachia where Catholics were in the minority and where she felt accepted and loved by the people. Sister Catherine continues to influence others as a Sylvania Franciscan when she shows the compassion, joy and love that has been shown to her by the people she has met.

Sister M. Margretta Wojcik, OSF

60th Jubilee

Sister M. Margretta attended St. Cunegunda School in Detroit, MI where she was taught by Sylvania Franciscan Sisters who nurtured her vocation to religious life. Sister Margretta taught in elementary schools in Ohio and Minnesota for 30 years. She specialized in using the Montessori Method at St. Francis Education Center in Sylvania and St. Aloysius in Bowling Green, OH. Presently, Sister serves as a pastoral associate for Our Lady of Loretto Parish in Redford, MI.

Sister Margretta describes herself as a people person and has always been energized by working among them. She enjoys nature and considers sunrises, sunsets, falling snow, rainstorms and tending plants among her favorite nature experiences. She likes to take walks, bike ride, dance the polka, exercise, and listen to music.

Golden 50 Year Jubilarian (First Vows, 1974)

Sister Karen Jean Zielinski, OSF

50th Jubilee

A daughter of Sts. Peter and Paul Parish in Detroit, MI, Sister Karen grew up watching the 22 Sisters at the Convent. Although all her teachers were different in personality, each was dedicated to helping everyone around them, which inspired Sister Karen to follow their example and want to “do good, too.”

Sister served in the ministry of education as a junior high teacher at Little Flower in Toledo, St. Peter in Huron, St. Aloysious in Bowling Green and as a graduate assistant at BGSU. Sister Karen used her love of music as a high school choral director and piano instructor at Padua Franciscan High School in Parma, OH and Central Catholic High School in Toledo She later taught music history at Lourdes College.

Sister Karen later served as head of the Communications Office for the Sisters of St. Francis of Sylvania, Ohio, and co-director of their Associates. She is Director of Canticle Studio, where she is a free-lance writer and health speaker. Sister is a long-time contributor to Toledo’s Healthy Living News (local) and hosts a regular column, “Nobody’s Perfect”, in the national publication Real Living with Multiple Sclerosis. Sister Karen is a past Chair of the Board of Trustees for the Northwestern Ohio Chapter of the MS Society, and is currently on the Emeritus Board; she served on the Chairman’s Advisory Council, national committee of the National MS Society. This is her 49th year of living with MS. Sister Karen reflects, “I find so many graced encounters surrounding me. MS? Yes, I embrace it. It’s a reality, but I do not let it define me. There is still so much to do.”

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