Mother Adelaide’s Kindness

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Mother M. Adelaide Sandusky’s appreciation of beauty included not only the fine arts, but also the fine art of kindness.

Her community of Sylvania Franciscan Sisters abound with stories of how her sensitivity to others affected their lives.

“When I was a young Sister, Mother Adelaide came to Columbia Heights, MN for a canonical visit. During her visit, she paused to ask me if I saw Sister Aloise (my natural sister) often enough, since she was teaching in another parish school across town. I said yes, which Mother was very pleased to hear. I was touched by her thoughtful concern,” Sister Geraldine Paluszak reports.

Sister Jeanine Sokolowski also remembers Mother Adelaide and her understanding manner. “My father had moved to Florida because of his health. I made an appointment to see Mother to ask if I could go visit him in Florida. Mother said yes to my request,” Sister Jeanine recalls fondly, noting that other religious communities at the time often didn’t allow such visits.

Sister Rosalma Kmiec remembers an encounter with Mother Adelaide in the winter of 1951. “When I was a postulant, first year of college, the high school girls put on a play in the auditorium. Because the rest of us girls weren’t part of it, we sat in the first row.  Behind us was Mother Adelaide.

“When the performance was over everyone was getting ready to leave.  As I turned to greet Mother Adelaide, I saw her boots near her and asked if I could help her put them on. One of the Sisters next to her told me, ‘not to bother, someone else will do that.’ Well, Mother Adelaide was troubled by that remark, and told me that she appreciated my request to help her, and I did!”

“I was so proud and felt so privileged for this ‘act of kindness’ that Mother Adelaide allowed me!”

“She truly was a gentle woman with a sparkle in her eyes. In her presence I always felt welcome,” Sister Geraldine added.

Memorable Mother Adelaide

Mother M Adelaide

Mother Adelaide Sandusky, Foundress of the Sylvania Franciscans came to Ohio with her small band of pioneer Sisters who established our Sylvania congregation on December 8, 1916.

She came at the invitation of Bishop Schrembs of the Diocese of Toledo, who requested that the Franciscan Sisters in Rochester, MN send members to the Toledo area to work with the children of the Polish immigrants. For 48 years, Mother Adelaide led the congregation as Mother General and spiritual leader of the Sylvania Franciscan community.

An outstanding educator, architect and artist, Mother Adelaide modeled her life after St. Francis of Assisi. She admired him for his strength, faith and crusading spirit.

We imagine Mother Adelaide as fully immersed in today’s world – maybe even writing her own blog!

Sylvania Franciscan Sisters who remember her, share her spirit in this blog, Memorable Mother Adelaide.

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