Sister Jane Mary Sorosiak, OSF

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By Sister Mary Thill, OSF

Sister Jane Mary Sorosiak died peacefully at Rosary Care Center in Sylvania, Ohio on March 17, 2024. The daughter of Anthony and Mary Sorosiak joined the Sisters of St. Francis in Sylvania, Ohio from St. Hedwig parish in Toledo, Ohio. The Sylvania Franciscans were her teachers in grade school and they kept in touch with her throughout her high school and college years. Impressed with the joyful spirit of the Sisters, she decided to join them in 1955.  She made her First Profession of Vows in August of 1958 and her Final Vows in August of 1961.

Where do we begin to tell the life story of this wonderful, talented, loving, compassionate, religious woman who was a teacher, artist, mentor and friend to so many?

Sister Jane Mary received a B.A. degree from Mary Manse College in Toledo, Ohio and taught elementary school for a few years before she entered the convent in Sylvania. During her almost 66 years as a religious Sister, she taught elementary school, high school and college students. While teaching, she also pursued a M.A. degree in English from Xavier University in Cincinnati and a M.A. in Art from Bowling Green State University. After fourteen years at Cardinal Stritch High School in Oregon, Ohio, which she considered one of her most memorable and enjoyable ministries, Sister Jane Mary went to what was then Lourdes Junior College. There she was responsible for setting up the Associate Degree in Art program, which became a B.A. degree under her direction.  She taught a variety of art courses at Lourdes College for 32 years and saw it grow from a junior college to a four-year baccalaureate college to eventually achieving university status.

Most religious Sisters do not retire because they take vows which enable them to continue to serve God’s people in whatever way they are able.  Sister Jane Mary was no exception to this ‘rule.’  After teaching full time at Lourdes and serving a few years as adjunct Associate Professor, Sister became the Director of what is now Alverno Studio, an art studio located on the campus of the Sylvania Franciscans which is used by students and faculty from Lourdes University. It is from this studio that over 350 ceramic murals and many other pieces of art have been created by Sister Jane Mary and her team of Sisters and other volunteers. The location of the murals and other pieces of art extend from the Motherhouse grounds/campus in Sylvania to 14 other cities in Ohio and into eight other states in the U.S.

In interviews, Sister Jane Mary often graciously explained that she never set out to accomplish anything in particular, she simply responded to whatever the Holy Spirit sent her way.  She felt that if she accomplished anything it was through Divine help and with the support of her religious community. Her belief in the power of art is expressed in her own words, “Art is a peaceful process through which I can channel my love of God.  I believe that art appeals to the spiritual in each of us and should be uplifting. My vocation to religious life has afforded me the opportunity to use my talents in this direction.” Rest in peace, dear Sister!

Sister Jane Mary will be greatly missed by the Sisters in her community; her family, nephew Philip Langendonk (Judy), nieces Jane Kimball (Robert) and Mary Jo Mokwa; many former students and friends; as well as her caregivers at RCC and the volunteers from Alverno Studio.  A Welcoming Service will be held at 6:00 p.m. on Palm Sunday, March 24, 2024 in Our Lady Queen of Peace Chapel in Sylvania.  The funeral Mass will be at 10:30 a.m. on Monday, March 25, 2024 in the Chapel. (Live streaming of the Mass can be found at https://video.ibm.com/channel/RvdadQRjbGk).

Memorial contributions may be made to the Sisters of St. Francis, Sylvania, Ohio.  Arrangements made by Thomas I. Wisniewski Funeral Home, Toledo, Ohio.

 

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Jane Langendonk Kimball
2 months ago

Thank you, Sister Thill, for the beautiful obituary for Suster Jane Mary! You captured her legacy perfectly and we are truly grateful. Thank you and God Bless🙏Jane(Sisters niece)

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