Adapting our ministries in response to God’s call to serve the ever-changing needs of the human family.
The Sylvania Franciscans were founded on December 8, 1916 as a province of the Sisters of St. Francis of Rochester, Minnesota.
Responding to a request from Bishop Joseph Schrembs of Toledo, the Rochester Franciscans sent 23 Sisters, under the direction of Mother Mary Adelaide Sandusky, to establish a Franciscan presence in Northwest Ohio. Initially coming to serve as teachers for the Polish immigrants in the Diocese of Toledo, the Sisters were first stationed at St. Hedwig School in Toledo. In 1917, the Rochester community purchased 89 acres of land in Sylvania, Ohio and formally established this spot as the new home for the province known as the Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate Conception.
The Sylvania Franciscans grew to number 522 women religious who ministered in a total of 125 schools in 13 states and in 20 hospitals across seven states. Throughout the years, Sylvania Franciscans have adapted their ministries in response to God’s call to serve the ever-changing needs of the human family in education, health care, pastoral work, social work, and numerous other ministries. Committed to reverencing the dignity of each person and respecting the gift of all creation, the Sisters are active in issues of peace and justice and care for the environment.
Today, the remaining Sylvania Franciscans continue to ‘do the work that is theirs to do’ in a variety of ministries, all focused on “living the Gospel in joyful servanthood among all people” (Sisters of St. Francis Mission Statement).