Living the mission, feeding the soul.
More than 100 Years of Mission and Ministry
As joyful servants among all people, the Sisters of St. Francis of Sylvania live the Gospel through a variety of ministries. In addition to their primary work, our Sisters are also active in many ways that speaks to their generosity, care, compassion, courage, and creativity.
Sr. Carol Hoffman
These days you’ll find Sister Carol tending more than a century’s worth of the Sylvania Franciscan archives in the basement of Regina Hall. In her free time, she loves reading mysteries and enjoying the Motherhouse landscape.
A native Toledoan, Sister Carol Hoffman spent nearly 50 years in the ministry of education, 30 of those teaching first grade in New Orleans, LA, a city she remembers as being alive with music. She taught at St. David in New Orleans until Hurricane Katrina destroyed 80% of the city including their Parish. Soon after, she and other Sisters set up a relief effort working out of a FEMA trailer to help those displaced by the tragedy.
Sr. Brenda Hawley
Extending her love of the earth and its people, Sister Brenda uses her “green thumb” to assist in urban gardening through the Toledo Grows organization and maintains the Queen of Peace Chapel plants that are used to enhance the chapel decorations. She is a receptionist and scheduler for Sophia Center at the Canticle Center and is an on-call driver for her Sisters.
Sister Ruth Margaret is a Franciscan presence to the staff, teachers and children at Immaculate Conception School in Columbia Heights, Minnesota. She has a love of music and was an organist in several parishes. Also, you can find a line of her cards in All Good things Gift Shop.
After ministering for 15 years in the field of education, teaching junior high for 11 years and serving as an elementary school principal for 4 years, Sister Sharon obtained a law degree and was admitted to practice in Ohio, Maryland, and the District of Columbia. She now ministers by serving on the staff of a federal district court judge, which she has done for almost 30 years. Sister Sharon cares about all of God’s creation. She serves on the board of Forget-Me-Knot Pet Rescue, a non-profit organization in Ohio that rescues pets and arranges for their adoption to a “fur-ever” home.
Sr. Judy Ann Beaudry
Sister Judy volunteers as a lector and Eucharistic minister at St. Joseph Parish, Sylvania. She is chairperson of the school’s Catholic Mission Committee, which promotes Catholic identity. As a community, students celebrate special feast days, reflect together on the Scripture readings in preparation for school liturgies, and participate in service projects. Her outreach activities include monthly donations of her fabulous homemade desserts to the St. Louis Soup Kitchen.
Sister Mary spends four days a week being a peaceful presence to the patients, staff and visitors at Mercy Health St. Vincent Medical Center in Toledo. She is often asked to pray for someone or some special intention and assures the person asking that she will indeed pray for them and their intention. She meets monthly with a Muslim/ Christian group of women and men who share a meal and discuss some aspect of their respective religions as well as their personal faith journeys. It is a life-giving experience to meet with these folks as we share our common ground rather than our differences.
Sr. Nancy Linenkugel
Sister Nancy is a weekly broadcast reader for Radio Reading Services on behalf of the Cincinnati Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired (CABVI.) She was selected as a weekly blog column writer for “Global Sisters Report” in NCR. Her membership in the Cincinnati Metropolitan Orchestra, the Xavier University Chamber Orchestra and the Xavier University “Magis” string quartet and the National Medical Musical Group allows her to share her musical talents and delight audiences within and beyond the greater Cincinnati community.
Sr. Rita Jane Radecki
Sister Rita Jane volunteers at St. Joseph Parish, Bryan, Texas as a Eucharistic Minister and makes occasional presentations for RCIA candidates. She is also a member of the choir, welcoming the parish community to Sunday mass and lending her melodic voice to the liturgical celebration.
Sr. Kathleen Skog
Sister Kathleen utilizes her teaching skills each Tuesday at a local shool in a program called CARS (Children Are Real Special.) As a Board Member of Faith Mission, she is instrumental in providing housing, food, clothing, medication and the services of a free clinic to the poor of Washington County. She is also an Advisory Council member of St. Joseph Hospital, Navasota, Texas and serves as a Eucharistic Minister at her local parish.
Sr. Laureen Marie Painter
Sister Laureen volunteers with groups that enhance human dignity and provide easy access to services for everyone. She is Board Vice-Chair of both Hope Ministries, which serves and houses homeless families and individuals, and Healthlinc, which is the largest federally qualified health center system in the area. She is a member of Community Benefit Council, a coalition of 50 agencies which serves the Michiana areas, and of State-wide Advantage Health Mission Council, an insurance component for the uninsured.
Sr. Karen Zielinski
Sister Karen has a special mission to individuals and families with chronic health issues. She is a member of the auxiliary of the Ability Center of Greater Toledo and is involved in activities to keep people with disabilities independent. For 25 years she has participated in the local MS Society through talks, the annual Sisters Walk and writing. She is active in the National MS Society and its wellness initiative and created a blog focused on spirituality and mindfulness.
Sr. Rebecca La Point
Sister Rebecca enthusiastically supports Lourdes University students by maintaining a sustained interest in them and their activities, in their outreach efforts, athletic games, in researching and nominating students for awards, and serving as a campus tour guide. She is very involved with activities sponsored by Lourdes University and the LU education department. She is a monthly volunteer at St. Louis Soup Kitchen and actively participates in community vocation efforts throughout the year.
Sr. Ann Marie Emon
Sister Ann Marie loves Springtime! It means being outdoors, planting and maintaining the garden in front of Rosary Care Center. In favorable weather, you can meet her and Sr. Pat Taube traversing the campus enjoying its beauty and freshness. Indoors, she displays her artwork on RCC 4th Floor for others to enjoy, is a member of Queen of Peace choir, and serves as secretary for the resident council. She also participates in activities at the Thomas M. Wernert Center, such as women’s support group, art groups and daily exercise program.
Sr. Marie Andree Chorzempa
Sister Marie Andree has a heart for the Haitian people going back to 1998 when she volunteered in Aquin at the Haiti Project of the Franciscan Missionary Sisters of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Following the experience, she wrote a series of articles in the Poverello offering the Community an opportunity to experience mission in Haiti.
Sr. Ann Francis Klimkowski
Sister Ann Francis engages with two non-profit groups both related to Toledo Sister Cities International (TSCI). As president of the board, she promotes its mission and ours to foster world peace through education, cultural exchange and business. TSCI acts as a bridge to eight Sister City groups and sponsors the Youth Academy, a two week cultural immersion for high school students from these cities as well as the annual International Festival. She is also president of the Toledo Poznan Alliance board, which promotes the Polish culture.
Sr. Penny Dunn
Sister Penny has an opportunity to use her pastoral ministry experience by offering retreat and seasonal presentations at Catholic parishes in Bryan, College Station, Huntsville and Corsicana, Texas. Closer to home, she is both a lector and Eucharistic minister at the hospital chapels. She has inherited a Cavachon dog, Charlie. Charlie and Sister Penny are both being trained for pet therapy so he can round with her visiting patients and staff within the St. Joe’s healthcare system in Bryan.
Sr. Cletus Rymer
Sister Cletus has the eyes and the heart to recognize the needs of others. Because she believes that good food and clean clothes help make for a satisfying life, she happily provides laundry service to 15 of the RCC residents, doing seven to eight loads a day, 6 days a week. She looks out for others whenever the wherever she can – whether it is offering an encouraging word or lending a good book from her home library.
Sr. Rosalma Kmiec
Sister Rosalma is an active member of the Marian ministry. Her pastoral visits to residents, whether at RCC or during their hospital stays, are welcomed. The mementoes and pictures that appear at a Sister’s wake are the result of her loving and reverent selection and preparation. Her “green thumb” produces beautiful and fruitful flower and vegetable gardens at Abba House and her commitment to recycling efforts at RCC reflects her care and concern for Mother Earth.
Sr. Rebecca Rutkowski
Sister Rebecca has ministered in the Diocese of Biloxi since July of 1993. Initially hired as Diocesan Director of Catholic Charities, she was named Chancellor in 2002 and has served as Chancellor for three bishops. Her duties change with each bishop and now include immigration paperwork, safe environment, Archives, Records Management and other areas of responsibility. The Diocese of Biloxi, Mississippi serves the 17 southernmost counties of the state yet has only nine Sisters besides herself in full or part time ministry. In light of that, Sister Rebecca volunteers at a small rural parish in the northern part of the Diocese and visits there at least twice a month.
Sister Faith is a chaplain who provides spiritual and emotional support to patients, families and staff. She also leads a spiritual support group for patients with behavioral health concerns. She is a member of the Franciscan Spirituality Experiences Advisory Committee and assists by providing ideas and feedback on the experiences offered through the Center. She finds that her ministry and volunteerism is sustained through participation in a meditation group of neighboring Sisters in the Plymouth, MI area who meet monthly for contemplation and sharing.
Sr. Rosine Sobczak
Sister Rosine is acting President for the Science Alliance for Valuing the Environment (S.A.V.E.) and helps plan environmental activities and award deserving teachers, community members and persons of service on behalf of the environment. She is also a member of the Environmental Wellness Committee for the SFV and serves on the Green Fund committee. The Christ Child Society Spirituality Committee welcomes her assistance for reflection days, Masses and spring luncheons.
Sr. Magdala Davlin
Sister Magdala volunteers her time and talent through her relationships at the parish and workplace. She is a Eucharistic minister at Triumph of the Cross, the cathedral church of the diocese and is actively involved on hospital committees and with special events. Because of her mentors in the arts and the opportunities to experiment with different media, she eagerly shares her gifts of art and beauty. Fundamentally, she believes that everything we are and do is a prayer and a work of art.
Sr. Keith Marcinak
Sister Keith shares her own experience and learnings on medical and addiction issues with others. Other than her ministry as an out-patient therapist, she writes articles for Fibroblog, the Monroe County Mental Health Association newsletter and the AA Grapevine Magazine. Living with fibromyalgia for 32 years and celebrating 39 years of sobriety, she is a seasoned advocate for those whose diseases need greater public education, understanding and support.
Sister Rachel currently serves on the Leadership Council as the Treasurer and Councilor and is the Director of the Sophia Counseling Center. She also volunteers her services as a member of the Sylvania Franciscan Village Wellness Committee and as chair of the Emotional Wellness sub-committee. During campus lunch hour gatherings, the Sophia staff offers tips on dealing with loss and grief, and living mindfully and healthily. As a member of the Transitions team, she is a contributor to the “Happy, Healthy, Holy” newsletter. In addition, she lends her voice to the harmony of the Our Lady Queen of Peace choir at our liturgical celebrations.
Sr. Geraldine Nowak
A long-time volunteer for Franciscan Justice, Peace, and Integrity of Creation initiatives, Sister Geraldine is currently a member of the SOSF Refugee Committee and is the contact person with the Director of US Together, Toledo. She is also involved in on-line advocacy for the issues of Immigration/Refugees, the Death Penalty, Care for Creation, Human Trafficking, Peacemaking and Non-Violence, Gun Violence and other issues expressed through NETWORK, the Catholic Social Justice Lobby Group, and the Franciscan Action Network. Sister Geraldine can also be found participating in local rallies for the above issues and serves as a driver for Maria Hall residents who no longer drive.
Sr. Mary Frances Reichenberger
Sister Mary Frances generously volunteers her services as treasurer of her local community, as the North LCC Rep, and as a member of the Assembly Planning Committee. through the National Association of Social Workers and other social service organizations, she is an advocate for the underprivileged on issues that adversely affect them. While working for our community newsletters and blogs, she appreciates the time for reflection that helps deepen her Franciscan commitment and call to mission.
Sr. Nancy Surma
Sister Nancy is an active member of JPIC, regularly calls or writes Congress on pressing issues, particularly those affecting the poor and marginalized, care for the earth and peacemaking. Recently she wrote articles for the quarterly JPIC Focus Newsletter on energy conservation and updates on our corporate stance regarding the death penalty. She supports the activities of the Franciscan Action Network and extends our Sylvania Franciscan presence as a member of the National Board of the Franciscan Federation.
Sr. Nancy Ferguson
Sister Nancy is passionate in her advocacy for children dating back to her experiences at St. Anthony villa in Toledo and El Ranchito in New Mexico. As a liaison to the Big Brothers/Big Sisters Workplace Mentoring program at CHI St. Joseph in Bryan, Texas, she helps the employees become aware of the high risk children in the Brazos Valley. Whether it is matching employees with children or participating in the Brazos Valley Interfaith Immigration network, she believes that forming relationships is at the heart of it all.
Sr. Mary Jon Wagner
Sister Mary Jon creates a balance between her responsibilities as Congregational Minister and her volunteerism. She offers her presence and service at liturgical functions and in her pastoral attentiveness to our Sisters and their needs. Bethany House and Lourdes University are special beneficiaries of her social outreach efforts. She remains faithfully connected to former ministry colleagues and remains a supportive presence to them.
Sr. Austin Onisko
Sister Austin enjoys being with people and finding humor in life’s experiences. She is a welcome visitor to our Rosary Care Center residents and accompanies several for their appointments. If you have appreciated clean sheets and towels at the Hermitages and/or Regina Center, thanks belong to her for the behind-the-scenes Franciscan hospitality.
Sister Brigid loves singing in choruses and choirs, harmonizing with others in both music and life. Getting her hands into the soil of her garden patch of perennials and annuals is a special treat. She delights in seeing things and people grow, whether they be flowers or students who need her extra time and attention. When teaching theology at Lourdes University she especially enjoys working with young adult students. She always treasures opportunities to delve deeply into theological and genealogical research, always hoping to discover the “heart” of the matter.
Sr. Philothea Chirpich
Sister Philothea relishes the time spent in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament each day. “Let go and let God” is her motto. Her bedroom door is decorated with seasonal liturgical themes. The sign, “Come Holy Spirit” is presently a reminder for passers-by to call upon the Spirit of God to energize, guide and heal us and our world. She enjoys reading any works of Pope Francis and shares her subscribed copy of the National Catholic Register with others. Her homemade cards bring smiles and make any celebration a special one.
Sr. Lorena Dulas
Sister Lorena enjoys volunteering as a driver for Sisters’ appointments, airport runs and emergency availability. Inspired by the book, “God’s Bucket List” by Teresa Tomeo which gives a refreshing look into the richer life that God desires for us, she found a colorful bucket and started her own bucket list. Ex. “Do a kind deed and visit a friend”. She invites others to join her in filling and fulfilling her bucket list. Blessed with a lovely tea set in her room at OLG and a spirit of hospitality, others are welcome to come in for “a spot of tea”!
Sr. Jordan Schaefer
Sister Jordan finds creative ways to respond to the various needs of the Franciscan Care Center residents. Because they enjoy being outdoors, she helps keep the courtyard gardens attractive and well-maintained. As a member of the Little Flower Haiti Committee, she participated in a “pail brigade” for medical and school supplies and offered the youth group an experience of Haitian artifacts and food. She enjoys facilitating Senior Retreats and recently introduced one on the “Credo of Pope Francis.” A deep spirit of gratitude inspires her to “pay it forward.”
Sr. Irenaeus Samsel
Sister Irenaeus has a special love for our Sisters at RCC and wants to be for them as they are for her—models in Franciscan life and mission. Her greatest joy is listening to their stories. Her presence among our Sisters snowballed after she herself was a patient/resident. She finds it a privilege to be on call, to help with transportation, to visit residents daily, to update their health status with families and the Marians, to be their advocate. In addition, she enjoys cooking for her local community and participating in the Sisters’ choir.
Sr. Ritamary Pyzick
Sister Ritamary puts all her well-honed pastoral ministry skills to good use in her volunteer ministry at Sophia Center. Through her past experiences at the marriage tribunal, in sacramental preparation, visiting the homebound, comforting the grieving at the parish level, she has touched lives from the very young to the elderly. Her warm welcome as she answers the phone at Sophia and her front line comforting and reassuring presence to clients is a heartwarming gift to those she encounters. She also maintains relationships with St. Raphael parishioners, especially the homebound.
Sr. Sharon White
Sister Sharon discovers in her ministry at the Eastside Learning Center that opportunities for service find her. And, it happens through paying attention and being in relationship with staff, students and families. Many children to whom she ministers at the Center live in shelters. In conversation, she found that one of her tutors was homeless and she negotiated living space and furnishings for her. She participated in a classroom, “Extreme Makeover” for another. In seeking assistance, she is awed by people’s generosity and the ways that, together, they “pay it forward.”
Sr. Ann Marie Chmielewski
Sister Ann Marie loves volunteering at Franciscan Library, especially when she is able to introduce others to new books, guide them to topics of interest, feature book displays for upcoming retreats and events, and receive book recommendations. Above all, she delights in making the library environment a homey, welcoming space. In her local community she enjoys cooking, grocery shopping and taking housemates to appointments.
Sr. Barbara Stallman
Sister Barb is a member of a faculty/staff group that crochets prayer shawls for sick or grieving members of the Lourdes community. She finds it a satisfying and relaxing outreach project and her family, too, has been a grateful beneficiary. During the LU Week of Service, she eagerly joined students in the Labre Project for the homeless. She is a long-time Companion to two of our Associates. Her commitment to preserving a clean water supply led her to join the Toledo Waterways Initiative Program Advisory Committee which updates the conditions of local sewers and waste water.
Sr. Adrienne Urban
Sister Adrienne focuses her volunteerism around her responsibilities as a Chapel team member: preparing for daily Mass and holydays in particular. She especially treasures her time of prayer before the San Damiano Crucifix. Twice a week she helps RCC residents with Bingo activities. Once a month, she and Sr. Thomas More support the LU Labre Project with casseroles for the homeless. She also assists with the LU annual collection and wrapping of Christmas gifts for needy families through the Sylvania Area Family Services.
Sr. Janeen Sobcak
Sister Janeen celebrates life every day. As a Sylvania Franciscan for 75 years, she sees her life as a miracle of grace. As her pace has slowed, she recognizes herself as gentler, more compassionate, taking time to be with others whether in person or by letter. In her Third Age Prayer Ministry, she relishes the opportunity to daily hold the community, her family and the world before God. She is an avid reader and often recommends and shares books with friends and her OLG community. With a window that looks out on the freshness of nature, her room may be her hermitage but the world is her cloister.
Sr. Geraldine Paluszak
Sister Geraldine creates a healthy balance between her time for reflection and her volunteerism. She believes in fostering peace within her own heart and is guided in her service by Phil. 4:13: “I can do all things in God who strengthens me.” She participates in a worldwide movement called Walk Free, which addresses modern slavery. Locally, she supports Bethany House and Clare’s Pence. She is a dedicated Associate Companion to Mindy Jenson-Muska. Twice a week, she welcomes visitors to Umbria Square and assists All Good Things in stuffing prayer pillows and preparing cards for sale.
Sr. Francis Jerome Serewa
Sister Francis Jerome finds great satisfaction in all her volunteer activities whether it’s preparing for Mass at RCC, taking communion to residents, delivering daily newspapers to her Maria Hall community, assisting Sr. Helen Frances with hospitality or taking care of community cars. She picks up tasty donations from Brieschke’s Bakery daily and is a willing driver for short local commutes. The source of her positive energy and generous spirit, she believes, comes through her time in daily personal prayer, especially the Stations of the Cross, Holy Hour, and reflection on the Mysteries of the Rosary.
Sr. Kateri Theriault
Sister Kateri is a witness of our Franciscan core values to both residents and employees at St. Leonard. She is present at resident events and activities and is a voice on issues in Congress that affect our elders. She is a voice, as well, on issues regarding the death penalty, gun control and human trafficking. An employee emergency fund, which she oversees, assists employees in times of crisis or special need. Her connection with employees, residents and their families, and vendors who contribute to the fund helps to create a community of justice and compassion at St. Leonard.
Sr. Grace Ellen Urban
Sister Grace Ellen is grateful to her family for planting in her a love of gardens, an outreach to the poor and a strong social justice stance. She plants, cares for and winters over some seeds and flowers that beautify our campus. She cares for the Portiuncula and decorates our outdoor shrines for the Christmas season. During the summer months, she helps deliver garden fresh vegetables and fruits grown in our gardens to St. Louis Soup Kitchen. Dorothy Day and the Catholic Worker movement influence her interest in politics and response to current social justice issues.
Sr. Kathleen Casey
Sister Kathleen who lives in a senior apartment, brings her caring heart to other residents who are in hospitals, hospice, nursing homes or individual apartments. Every other Wednesday she invites residents to a coffee and cookies get-together in the community room. She also participates in 2-3 craft shows featuring items from All Good Things. She collects clothing and household goods from residents which she donates to Joseph’s Coat, a free of charge distribution center. She knows well that opportunities for volunteerism can be found in one’s own backyard!
Sr. Jeremias Stinson
Sister Jeremias, through her ministry and volunteerism, brings a contemplative spirit and dignity to manual labor. In creating and maintaining reflective spaces on our grounds, she welcomes others, regardless of age, religious persuasion or occupation to experience God-moments along the wooded trails, at the Portiuncula, hermitages, shrines, and gardens. Recognizing her own poverty, she identifies with the poor around her. Association with Helping Hands of St. Louis, growing a Garden for the Poor and building a polyhouse, which provides food year-round, gives flesh to our Franciscan values.
Sr. Jane Mary Sorosiak
Sister Jane Mary is grateful to Srs. Helen Chmura and Agneta Ganzel with whom she created the first mural on campus at the Franciscan Center. From then on, her work has found a home on campus and nationwide in churches, schools, libraries, hospitals and care centers. Alverno Studio is the heart of a community of volunteers who, with her, bring humor, reflection and faith to their work. When the murals are completed, it may be the end of the task for her but it is only the beginning for others who will appreciate, be inspired and uplifted and find a new medium for prayer.
Sr. Helen Frances Spears
Sister Helen Frances finds that her ministry and volunteerism are intertwined. She shares the gifts of presence, hospitality and communication with Sisters, guests, staff, and maintenance personnel as she coordinates Motherhouse space and transportation needs. The image of Jesus knocking on the door influences her response to the persons and requests that appear at her doorway, phone or e-mail. Whether she takes time with a guest, resolves a pressing issue or welcomes a grieving family, she becomes both giver and receiver of God’s kindness, patience and compassion.
Sr. Rose de Lima Kott
Sister Rose de Lima delights many a visitor with her “sweet” memories of fun times during her years as an elementary teacher. Laughter rises from her room as she tells her favorite stories of climbing a tree to retrieve an apple for a student, playing baseball in the school yard, or feeding hot dogs to the pastor’s dog. Mornings are her special time for prayer and many a rosary is offered for those she loves and meets each day. She is deeply touched by the classmates and students who have remembered her through the years for her care, engagement, humor and love.
Sr. Margaret Hall
Sister Margaret treasures the time she spent at the Texas Food Pantry in Houston, Missouri where she first learned to do quilting. Now, with the help of an Our Lady of Grace Hall staff member, she designs and sews quilt tops which they drop off at a local fabric store for Quilts of Compassion. Her spirituality influenced her work at Alverno Studio, where many recognize her signature (F.R.O.G.) “Forever Rely On God!” on campus murals and ceramics sold in All Good Things.
Sr. Sharon Havelak
Sister Sharon is guided by St. Bonaventure’s quote: “Justice is restoring to beauty what has been deformed.” Each Sunday she joins members of the NW Ohio Peace Coalition to witness to peacemaking on Toledo street corners. She is a member of the justice and peace subcommittee of the U.S. Bishops Association of Catholic Priests which has taken a stand on various social issues. Recently, she joined the Toledo Diocesan Task Force on “Laudato Si.” What she loves most of all is painting scarves and donating them to various fundraising groups.
Sr. La Donna Pinkelman
Sister La Donna has aspired to be a woman of prayer since childhood through her family’s example and encouragement. Through the years, her special devotion to the Sacred Heart, her personal prayer and poetry written within the joys and challenges of daily living and her faithfulness to journaling led to a desire to share her prayers and poems with others. Through the support of a friend, three reflection books called Franciscan Flowers are now in print. From her room’s writing table into the hands of her readers, she offers words of hope, wonder, compassion and gratitude.
Sr. Eve Marie Korzym
Sister Eve Marie is a catechist at heart! She is always seeking ways to make the Gospel relevant to others in their daily lives. Her lifelong motto is Luke 4:18-19. It might mean bringing a deeper and practical understanding and experience of the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy during Pope Francis’ Year of Mercy at Our Lady of the Pines in Fremont, OH. Or, it might be offering a guide for memoir writing. Through it all, she brings to awareness that the “kingdom is here!”
Sr. Nancy Ann Johnson
Sister Nancy takes her mother’s words to heart: “Always ease the burden of others the best you can.” As a pilgrim on life’s journey, this is her drumbeat! Through many opportunities and experiences from teaching, caring for the sick, physical therapy, diabetic wound care to now making Holy Aromas soaps and lotions, she has used well her gifts of organization, inventiveness, caring and teamwork. In her present struggle with cancer, she is learning to let God be God and to trust God’s direction in “easing the burdens of others the best that she can.”
Sr. Carolyn Giera
Sister Carolyn is the Transitions Coordinator for the Sisters of St. Francis. She is a member of the Lourdes University Board of Trustees and a member of the Advisory Council at Madonna Manor in Villa Hills, KY. Although she is involved in addressing a variety of social justice issues, her particular interests are working to eliminate the death penalty and address the immigration challenges.
Sr. Luke Wodarski
Sister Luke discovers that every moment, no matter where one resides or ministers, provides an opportunity to evangelize and promote vocations awareness. That has been her experience as she responds to questions about her faith and life as a Sister. She encourages others with her humor, bringing a smile to those she encounters through her good natured teasing. Life and mission find surprising homes.
Sr. Patricia Zielinski
Sister Pat is a “Jack and Jill of All Trades.” Along with a strong reliance on God, she brings her skills in nursing, organization and chaplaincy to those she serves at RCC. She especially enjoys being with and accompanying residents in emergency situations. Her prayerful and comforting presence creates an atmosphere of calm and peace. On each resident’s birthday she becomes the “Visiting Spirit” of joy and celebration. She is truly among the people, providing encouragement and support to residents, staff, families, Marians, and faithful friends.
Sr. M. Dominica Niedbala
Sister Dominica developed strong organizational skills throughout her years in the health care ministry. Today, they continue to be evident in her keen, orderly lifestyle and daily rituals. For the past several years, Sister Dominica has shared her love of sewing and quilting with her Sisters at the Motherhouse. She says that Community living is a “stitch” as she works on her quilts. Every stitch is a prayer for her Sisters and the families and friends in the various community ministries where she was privileged to serve.
Sister Dominica Professed her First Vows as a Sister of St. Francis in 1942, and in 2017 she celebrated her 75th year in Religious life.
A woman full of gratitude, she never ends a day without blessing and being blessed by Sr. Helen Frances, her Marian companion.
Sr. Vianney Rudzki
Sister Vianney is a great story teller! She becomes animated when she shares memories of her home life with her parents, Sr. Paulette and her two brothers. Her years of teaching primary grades left her with a collection of poems and rhymes which she easily recites and shares for any season and occasion! She participates in and enjoys many of the activities of Rosary Care Center, especially spirited entertainment. Her daily heartfelt thanks blesses all those who surround her.
Sr. Josetta Konopka
Sister Josetta has been an active resident at Rosary Care Center– perky, energetic and involved in many of its activities. Now, she has settled into a more peace-filled mode, balancing her once active life with one of contemplation. She meets others with a welcoming greeting accompanied by a big smile.
Sr. Claudia Bronsing
Sister Claudia is a member of the Vermilion, OH Ministerial Association and a Pastoral Associate at St. Mary’s in Vermilion. Sister Claudia’s ministry in Pastoral Care began in 1975, after more than a decade spent teaching grade school.
The fourth Thursday of every month finds her volunteering with Grace’s Kitchen, an ecumenical program that provides meals to the homeless and seniors. Her current interests include reading novels set in Amish country, growing plants, listening to the oldies and working crossword puzzles.
Sister Eileen shares her Inner Franciscan through blending her training as an educator and counselor by providing therapy through Sophia Counseling Center, volunteering at Alverno Studio and Cherry Street Ministries and by sharing time with the residents at Rosary Care Center. Sister Eileen cherishes times for solitude and prayer and deeply believes and celebrates “In Christ we live, and move and have our being.” (Acts 17:28) as the essence of her life. She relishes time in creation and can often be found wandering the woods, Canticle Gardens and sacred shrines on the Motherhouse Grounds. Sister Eileen understands prayer as “a way of life for us – all the time and everywhere” and embraces the shared call to be “so filled with God that adoration flows from the depth of our inner life… with joy and thanksgiving.” (TOR Commentary on Prayer)
Sr. Joy Barker
Sister Joy, through her volunteer prison ministry at the Milan Prison, provides Communion Services twice a month and is part of the once-a-year Cursillo retreat team for inmates. She also offers Bible study, Reflection and Spiritual direction for University of Toledo students and parishioners at Corpus Christi Parish and is a member of the Haiti Stateside Committee.
Sr. Barb Vano
Sister Barb brings life and spirit to our values as a Franciscan Pilgrimage Program leader and co-chair of our OSF Charism committee. In the civic community, she supports the needs of the developmentally challenged by serving on the Personnel Committee at Josina Lott Residential and Community Services and serves the long-term care residents of St. Leonard as an Advisory Council member.
Sr. Marguerite Polcyn
Sister Marguerite experiences both the tragedies and transformation of women inmates incarcerated at CCNO (Corrections Center of NW Ohio) and the men imprisoned at TOCI (Toledo Corrections Institution-Maximum level), where she is a Eucharistic Minister. Each Wednesday afternoon she is also responsible for catechesis and/or RCIA at TOCI. Since 2001, she has heard and wept over their stories, many of them victims of Human Trafficking. Additionally, she volunteers as a Eucharistic Minister at Franciscan Care Center, welcomes visitors to Rosary Care Center once a month at the reception desk, and accompanies and/or drives the Sisters in RCC and OLGH for doctor appointments. She says she is on the road a lot!
Sr. Ricarda Witt
Sister Ricarda enjoys the time she spends with the resident Sisters at Rosary Care Center, whether that means a personal visit or a dining room hello, a card sent for a special occasion, or assisting Sisters who are wheelchair bound. Sister Jane Mary greatly appreciates Sister Ricarda’s secretarial assistance with her ceramic mural commissions’ correspondence.
Sr. Brenda Rose Szegedy
Sister Brenda Rose is grateful for the daily opportunity to companion others through retreat ministry and spiritual direction. She also looks forward to writing letters of encouragement to the sick and hospitalized, visiting the homebound among the retreatants in the area, companioning two Sylvania Franciscan Associates through spiritual visits and frequent communication, and praying daily for the many intentions of those requesting to be remembered in prayer and those in need of prayerful support, strength and a listening heart.
Sr. Ursula Jay
Sister Ursula experiences joy, creativity, and surprise as she continues to experiment with color form and technique in watercolor and charcoal. Her efforts result in beautiful and meaningful framed pictures and cards that find a welcome home in All Good Things. Besides sharing her artistic gifts, she offers her service as an LCC Rep for Rosary Care Center and as a future Associate Companion.
Sr. Margretta Wojcik
Sister Margretta finds it a gift to visit at an area nursing home and be present to parishioners before and after the monthly Mass and at several of its special social events. She experiences the power of Christian service among the volunteers at St. Leo’s Soup Kitchen in Detroit where she volunteers. As a member of the Detroit Archdiocese Vocation association, she is involved in the planning of activities, particularly the celebration of The Year of Consecrated Life.
Sr. Ann Carmen Barone
Sister Ann Carmen extends our Franciscan presence and spirit through her volunteer service as a board member of Sylvania Area Family Services, an Advisory Council member at Franciscan Care Center, an honorary chair for Cardinal Stritch High School capital campaign and through a variety of presentations at area parishes. Her gift in liturgy and music is a blessing to many gatherings throughout the Toledo diocese and her Franciscan hospitality gives a warm welcome to many a campus guest.
Sr. Antoinette Dudek
Sister Toni previous ministry in education included years in the classroom as well as in the role of principal. She brought considerable energy and insights to various committees and boards, including the Hope Learning Academy and Bethany House. She currently volunteers for special projects at the Motherhouse and brings her characteristic humor to brighten the days for Sisters and residents at Rosary Care Center.
Sr. Dorothy Jayne Krupp
Sister Dorothy Jayne loves music and loves to sing. She helped in the formation of the Twin City Community Chorus in 2012. The group, which offers two concerts a year, has performed selections from “The Messiah” and “Mozart’s Creation,” and continues to expand their repertoire. Since 2001 she has served as an Associate Companion and in November 2014 welcomed Kendra Berni from Dennison, OH as an Associate.
Sr. Pauline Kijek
Sister Pauline is a Eucharistic Minister at Our Lady Queen of Peace Chapel and is a willing helper around the Motherhouse. She volunteers one day each week in Sister Gretchen’s Kitchen, and works regularly making Holy Aromas soap and body washes that are sold in All Good Things Art and Gifts. She gives caring support for a local friend who needs help around the house and assistance with daily errands.
Sr. Clarinda Coffel
(LCC North) Sister Clarinda volunteers in many areas of pastoral care at St. John the Baptist Parish in New Brighton. For her, offering “a listening ear” is at the heart of her volunteerism. Seeking and discovering what parishioners need and responding to the unmet needs of the parish community is her focus. It might be visiting homes of parishioners in hospice care, being present before and after hospital stays, helping with advance funeral planning, or simply stopping after Mass for a friendly chat.
Sister Valerie Grondin is an associate professor at Lourdes University, teaching future teachers in the education department. She serves on the Faculty Senate and the Assessment Committee at Lourdes. She is a lector and Communion distributor at St Patrick Historic Parish. Sister has recently been appointed to the Sisters of St. Francis Franciscan Ministries Board of Trustees. Ministry for the sisters also includes membership on the Assembly Committee and the representative from the Assembly Committee to the Election Committee.
Sr. Pam Nosbusch
Sister Pam receives renewed energy for her Hospice ministry through music and community. She plays the clarinet and sings in her church choir at St. Ann’s Parish in Nashville, TN. The choir members provide a local close-knit community of support. The geographic area of her ministry is so wide that the driving time provides space for prayers of thanks for the communities who give her fuel for the mission.
Sister Thomas More is the reliable “back-up” organist in Queen of Peace Chapel. She is part-time volunteer sorter of U.S. mail in Umbria Hall. With the help of her mother’s tried and true recipes, she loves to bake pies, cookies and cakes for her local community and neighbors. Apple pie is her specialty. The Lourdes University Labre Outreach Project is occasionally the happy recipient of her homemade casseroles for the poor.
Sister Serra serves as a Eucharistic minister at Queen of Peace Chapel and reads Friday intercessions in Rosary Care Chapel. She is responsible for scheduling the usage of the hermitages and is a welcoming presence for many of our campus guests. Sister is a member of the Formation Integration Team, the Election Committee, and offers her organizational skills as support service for the Administration Offices.
Sr. Julie Myers
Sister Julie continues to support congregational vocation efforts beyond her full-time ministry as Program Director for “A Nun’s Life Ministry.” With a background in health care, she is a valuable member of the Advisory Council for Providence Care Centers. She is a frequent blog writer for our Congregation’s website and enhances our liturgical celebrations through her volunteerism as sacristan and song leader.
Sr. Sandra Rutkowski
Sister Sandra is a great supporter of student activities at Lourdes University, whether it’s attending an athletic game, being present for fund-raising events, or writing encouraging notes to new students and Habitat volunteers. She is also Director of Library Services at Lourdes. She is a member of the congregation’s vocation team and the Queen of Peace choir, as well as a participant in events sponsored by the Diocese and Vicar for Religious Office. And, aren’t we grateful for the birthday cards we receive from her and Sr. Rebecca each year?
Sr. Jeanine Sokolowski
Sister Jeanine greets visitors to Umbria Square with “the sound of music.” She also brings her own melodic voice to the choirs at Christ the King Church and Queen of Peace Chapel. Her passion is using her artistic skills to create embroidered pillow cases or a table runner for the annual Franciscan Gala Auction.
Sr. Jeanette Zielinski
Sister Jeanette is involved in the Liturgical Music Ministry at both Queen of Peace Chapel and Rosary Care Center Chapel. She serves as an extraordinary minister of Holy Communion, member of the Sisters’ choir, lector, and minister of hospitality at Queen of Peace Chapel. She is also a Motherhouse volunteer assisting as opportunities arise.
Sr. Nathaniel Eisel
Sister Nathaniel is the Facilities Coordinator for St. Mary’s Church and all of its properties. However, she faithfully participates in the parish Blessed Sacrament Adoration hours. Now, and in fact for the past 20 years, she spends an hour each Friday afternoon and early Sunday morning in quiet prayer. She serves as Eucharistic minister and is an office substitute during religious education classes. Volunteering as a runner for parish festivals, though, is what really keeps her on her toes!
Sr. Gretchen Faerber
Sister Gretchen shares her culinary skills far beyond her holiday bake sales. Proceeds from her Halloween bake sale were donated to US Together. Her delicious breads and chocolates find a home at the silent auction tables during our yearly Gala celebration. Her organization of support letters and bags of treats from our Sisters welcome the new Fall LU students and accompany them on their habitat trips. She also regularly donates sweets from her Bake Sales for the LU Labre Project. Food for the body becomes food for the soul!
Sr. Maria Pacelli Spino
Sister Maria Pacelli gives life to our mission through a number of civic, religious and community activities. For the past 25 years she participated in the MS Walk and is a loyal fundraiser for Bethany House. She is a member of the Advisory Council of Franciscan Care Center and a participant in the Marian program. You can find her sorting mail in Umbria Hall, working in Alverno Studio, assisting in chapel liturgies, accompanying Rosary Care Sisters to doctors’ appointments, singing in the choir and welcoming and supporting LU students in their outreach efforts.
Sr. Lois Ann Palkert
Sister Lois Ann believes that whatever she does, whether in full-time or volunteer ministry, it is all about sharing the gift of presence. As she attends local community events, serves as lector, Eucharistic minister, or sacristy team member at St. Joseph Chapel, helps with Associate gatherings, she lives the mission of joyful service among the people. Preparing blogs for our website affords her the opportunity to discover the deeper connections between her life experiences and our Franciscan values.
Sr. Joan Jurski
Sister Joan serves as the Director of Franciscan Spirituality Experiences for the congregation. In all her volunteer activities she hopes to be a conduit of our Franciscan spirit and values. It becomes a reality as she serves on the Lourdes University Board, connects with new LU students through the First Year Experience and the LU Habitat groups. Her membership on the JPIC committee and other campus committees gives her an added opportunity to help others discover the gift of Franciscan peace, justice and community.
Sr. Julitta Campbell
Sister Julitta finds deep satisfaction in mentoring her Spiritual Care Assistant, passing on our legacy of service and empowering her to fulfill her dreams of ministry. She personally “recommitted herself” to membership on the Haiti Stateside Committee and presently serves as the LCC 2 Rep. As an Associate Companion, she joins Sara Lynn Brian in visiting women veterans at the Sandusky Veterans Home. She is a seven year core member of an interfaith meditation group, Converging Paths, which meets weekly, balancing well her active/contemplative life.
Sr. Shannon Schrein
Sister Shannon looks for opportunities to share one of her finest gifts – teaching and opening up new moments of discovery – for LU students, the Corpus Christi RCIA candidates, the Associates, those who attend her SFV presentations and our own Congregation. She simply loves to be among the people passing on her energy, enthusiasm and Franciscan joy through breaking open the Word and sharing the gift of music. In fact, she believes it’s the gift of her family’s musical DNA that naturally causes her to burst into song at any moment!
Sr. Theresa Darga
Sister Theresa is a member of the current Leadership Team, serving as the Assistant Congregational Minister. She enjoys working with the Advancement and Communications Departments well as the All Good Things Gift shop. She takes time to visit the sisters and residents of Rosary Care Center and Our Lady of Grace Hall, listening to their stories, encouraging them, and sharing in their wisdom. As a member of the Bethany Board, she supports our mission of bringing peace into the lives of women and children affected by domestic violence. She loves to cook and enjoys preparing casseroles for the poor and homeless through the LU Labre Project.
Sister Judy uses television ministry to spotlight social issues rooted in Gospel values, especially as practiced through the ministries of men and women religious: service to minorities, education, domestic abuse, criminal justice reform, healthcare, housing, and women’s needs. Her direct service has involved counseling women recently released from the state penal system; literacy efforts for adults; cooking and baking for the homeless at the local Catholic Worker House; and leading an interfaith discussion/sharing group on growth in mystical spirituality and contemplative prayer.
Sr. Ann Rita Young
Sister Ann Rita desires to be a partner with God, a healing presence in prayer and action. She prays, in particular, for peace in the Middle East and for protection for our church and country’s leaders. She looks in on friends who are challenged with Multiple Sclerosis. At St. Patrick of Heatherdowns Parish she is a member of their Social Justice Group which focuses on human trafficking; she participates in our community’s corporate stance efforts to end the death penalty. And, in times of ill health, she relies on God’s goodness, strength and grace.
Sr. Roselynn Humbert
Sister Roselynn is involved in her parish, St. Pius X as a Eucharistic Minister, lector, choir member and facilitator of Club 55 which offers older adults social gatherings several times a year. She provides the space and environment in Sylvania for an bi-annual Scrapbooking event with the proceeds benefitting the Sophia Center Charity Fund and Bethany House. Her creativity finds a home in her specialty card-making classes through All Good Things and Lourdes University Life-Long Learning. Building new relationships and developing a sense of community is at the heart of her volunteerism.
Sr. Josephine Dybza
Sister Jo returned to the Motherhouse after many memorable years spent in ministry in Haiti. There, she helped carry water, build fences, weave rugs and care for the villagers. On campus, she can often be found helping out in All Good Things Art and Gifts and spending time with the elderly Sisters in Rosary Care Center.
Sr. Fidelis Rubbo
Sister Fidelis, following her ministry in Haiti, continues to be a joyful servant among the people. Whether she is caring for family members, visiting our sick Sisters, participating in the LU Labre Project for the homeless, extending hospitality and sharing the fruits of her garden with others, she seeks to be present and attentive to each moment. She is engaged in studying Pope Francis’ encyclical, “Laudato Si”, joined the Citizens Climate lobby and the Haiti Stateside Committee and is presently renewing her Franciscan call through the Assisi Pilgrimage experience
Sr. Mary Peter Kaminski
Sister Mary Peter is passionate about saving the earth, preserving the environment and promoting a new cosmology. “Nature is the visible living garment of God,” is the motivation behind her involvement in the Intercommunity Collaborative Task Force and our JPIC Committee. In her care for plants and animals she experiences a mutual fostering and exchange of life. Through her jewelry making, crochet items, painted Easter eggs, she participates in God’s ongoing creative action. Customers in All Good Things appreciate her beautiful creations.
Sr. Samuel Lubeck
Sister Samuel brings an abundance of energy to any endeavor. She is a member of the “soap brigade” in All Good Things and keeps tapping more of her skills “hidden under a rock”. Learning to wrap soaps was one such skill and she has quickly become an expert, too, in preparing ingredients for new projects and delights in the team’s creativity. Her teaching experience is an asset when offering to review and judge essays for local competitions.
Sr. Dorothy Mrock
Sister Dorothy continues in her life and ministry to be a welcoming presence to those that are a part of her life. Whether that occurs face to face, by letter or by phone, others experience her personal touch. Connecting with others becomes a mutual encouragement and blessing. She continues to support her brother who also resides at Rosary Care Center.
Sr. Ann Lorette Piekarz
Sister Ann Lorette after receiving hospice volunteer training, spent five years as a respite volunteer to individuals and families. When she attended sessions through the Alzheimer’s Association, she was drawn more and more to serving the older adult with memory issues. Her experiences challenge her beyond her comfort zone and make her feel whole. She learns from those in memory care how to live in the present moment and to communicate through word and action that “I love and accept you as you are.” For her, it is an opportunity to enter a new world of presence and connection.
Sr. Patricia Gardner
Sister Pat enjoys singing in our Chapel choir and is a member of the Good Company chorus. Her home-baked items accompany her when she visits, welcomes and meets her neighbors. Once a month she supports cancer patients with her blood platelets’ donations. She continues to keep in touch with five of the older children from El Ranchito de Los Ninos, participates in STOP, and gives talks on our Haiti mission at several parishes and schools. She accepted the challenge to tithe her time to a national organization and so volunteers as secretary for the region and sub-region LCWR.
Sr. Catherine Laboure’ Busam
Sister Catherine Laboure’ found in Sr. Rose Therese, founder of Bethany House, an example of how to live life joyously and in service to others. She prays for our sisters, employees, families and the needs of our world. She looks forward to returning to her ministry of serving her elder Sisters at RCC. Her patron saint, Saint Catherine Laboure’ served the elderly in Paris, so she is a good example for Sister Catherine. Once, asked for her job title, she responded, “It is Sister.” Her guiding daily question, “What have I done to better things today?”
Sr. Barbara Ann Borkowski
Sister Barbara a Religion teacher and the only Franciscan at ND Marist Academy in Pontiac MI, involves her students in activities that serve the poor, care for the earth and promote peace. She and her students supported the MI Animal Rescue League, are preparing gallon bags of trial size items for St. Aloysius Church and boxes of Kleenex for Grace Centers of Hope for the homeless. She promotes a strong school and classroom recycling program and actively participates in an International Peace Day in September. Students eagerly integrate their experiences through reflection journals.
Sr. Eleanore Furman
Sister Eleanore fills her day with prayer. After a visit to the Blessed Sacrament, she ventures outside for her daily walk, praying for her deceased relatives with each step. She stops in the Chapel for personal Holy Hours and throughout the day prays several rosaries, each decade said for individual family members, the Pope, our Bishop, a former student who is a bishop, our Sisters in each Sylvania local community and other ministry areas, the staff and residents of RCC, and the parishioners of St. Joseph where she formerly taught.
Sister Mary Ann is a massage therapist with an office located in Rosary Care Center. She values each person she serves with dignity and honor. Her background in both the art and science of nursing is apparent as she takes time to pay attention to each person as well as their ailment. Sister brings a personal touch to her visits with RCC residents, and weekly on-call emergencies. Through these experiences, she continues to be inspired by the spiritual energy present within our elders. She is an Associate Companion to Helena Louviaux and Pat Stimson and enjoys sharing our Franciscan charism.
Sr. Janice Marie Peer
Sr. Janice Marie works in Pastoral Ministry at Franciscan Care Center, where she serves in whatever capacity Sr. Jordan requires–resident visits, communion distribution, completing spiritual assessments, and chapel activities, to name a few. She is also a team member for RCIA at Rossford All Saints and designs and leads catechetical formation programs for the Diocese. Once a week she volunteers at All Good Things, Rosary Care Center location, selling Franciscan merchandise. During the summer she assists Sr. Jeremias and Sr. Grace Ellen with outdoor projects. Living in Rossford, Ohio, she keeps the Franciscan presence alive in a city where so many Sylvania Franciscan Sisters ministered.
Sr. Patricia Taube
Sister Pat gives thanks to God for every experience in her life through which she can be of service to others. She recently offered a retreat day to residents at Franciscan Care Center on giving mercy and forgiveness and looks forward to a similar retreat at Clare Commons. She also gives retreats to Confirmation candidates on compassion for self and others. Her phone ministry includes support to prisoners, spiritual direction, and companioning two Associate family members and two friends who are candidates. She is present at our yearly SFV Wellness Fairs and is a support to our new LU students.
Sr. Cecile Glodek
Sister Cecile is a joyful presence among the people as she interacts with residents and employees and participates in many of the activities at RCC. She delights in nature and finds inspiration in pictures of sunsets, lakes, and oceans. Bright yellow, reflected in the sun and many bright flowers, is her favorite color. Her devotion to Mary is expressed daily through praying the four Mysteries of the Rosary. Sharing in the proclamation of the Word on Sundays and attending liturgy is the highlight of any day.
Sr. Paula Blevins
Sister Paula knows there is music in heaven because it is music that refreshes and feeds her soul. She plays clarinet in the local Michiana Concert band. They practice on Monday evenings in Mishawaka (Indiana) and perform concerts in the surrounding area communities. The Michiana Concert band’s motto is “Fun With Music.” Music has many ways and places to be expressed: in care for our earth, concern for the poor and peacemaking. For Sr. Paula, in all she is and does, music is the language of her heart.
Sr. Maria Goretti Sodd
Sister Maria Goretti loves to be with people, and is a resident of RCC where she uplifts and is uplifted by those around her. Her prayer and reflections center on gratitude, primarily, for her call to religious life. She is grateful for all the gifts given to her as a teacher and administrator and all the support received from co-ministers and friends. “It’s been a good journey, a good run and it ain’t over yet! Thanks be to God!”
Sr. Karen Daniewicz
Sister Karen serves as a LCC Co-Rep and is a member of the Transitions Team. As a Hennepin County social worker, she loves the challenge of assisting clients in their transitions through active listening, creative problem solving, and next step planning. She finds community presentations rewarding and recently volunteered as a speaker for an American Lung Association support group. As part of her work team, she chooses to be involved with co-workers in vulnerable, tender times offering a quiet presence that is supportive and healing.
Sr. Josina Antolak
Sister Josina is among the 40 million Americans who care for a friend or family member who is ill, frail or disabled and whose care-giving role is more long term and more intensive. Sr. Josina recognizes both the blessing and burden of this family responsibility in her life and relies on God’s everyday assistance in responding with patient understanding and compassion. She is a ready advocate for those who suffer from mental illness. She generously volunteers her help with the driving needs of our Sisters and is a prayerful presence to the dying.
Sr. Martha Herkness
Sister Martha has always enjoyed working with her hands and has found in wood a source of beauty, softness and oneness. She recycles, refurbishes, restores and recreates various types of wood and transforms them into beautiful walking aids that delight many buyers in All Good Things. She also creates a variety of bracelets, earrings, and jewelry boxes. Following the natural flow of wood and wire gives her a deep sense of her connectedness with God’s creation. She enjoys being present at All Good Things, to interact with shoppers, to offer a listening ear, or give a kind or consoling word. It is her way of revealing the Sylvania Franciscan charism. There is a season for everything whether it is being one with a piece of wood, creating a new piece of jewelry, or building relationships, which she says are all interconnected.
Sr. Marge Zacharias
Sister Marge, as she recovers from surgery, is “being volunteered to.” She experiences the generosity of friends, neighbors and Sisters who clean her car from snow, vacuum, help with laundry, bring chicken soup, and escort her to therapy. However, it is in the time shared following the task that is the greater gift. Her vulnerability from double surgeries opens the door for deeper stories heard and shared, strength and faith renewed. Everyone becomes the giver and receiver, everyone the blessing and the blessed.
Sr. Mary Ann Grzeskowiak
Sister Mary Ann shares God’s love by her very presence and interaction with others. It might be through getting to know students, faculty and workmen at the LU Ministry House, serving on the Elections Committee, or casual meetings on her daily walks. It is the smile, the hello, the listening ear, the compassionate heart that makes a difference in the lives of others. Her hospitality at LU ice cream socials and her warm welcome to friends and visitors for feastday and funeral liturgies “preaches the Gospel at all times, and, sometimes with words.”
Sr. Rosemarie Fredericks
Sister Rosemarie volunteers in a variety of ways that benefit both individuals and the local community. For over 40 years she has donated blood every three months to the American Red Cross. She participates in the parish annual Service Days where she helped with projects for the mentally challenged and at a garden dedicated to growing food for cancer patients. She is a member of the parish Welcoming Committee and is particularly attentive to visiting families in their time of loss and grief. She also serves on the Election Committee and shares her culinary skills cooking for the discernment retreat.
Sr. Janet Snyder
Sister Janet pursues beauty. As D.H. Lawrence writes: “The human soul needs beauty even more than it needs bread.” She has pursued a variety of art forms such as water color (her first love,) print-making, sculpture, calligraphy, oil painting, pencil drawing and ceramics, and knows it feeds her soul. Besides making her work available through All Good Things and other venues, she is a member of a committee responsible for the refurbishing and preservation of campus art pieces. It is her pursuit of beauty that continually sharpens her sensitivity to the world around her.
Sr. Margaret Metro
Sister Margaret has a joyful spirit. She acknowledges people around her and greets them with her happy, welcoming smile. She loves music and participates in the RCC sing-alongs and music entertainment. She feels the rhythm and beat and carries not only the tune but the lyrics as well. Her creativity is evident in the making of jewelry, drawing artistic pictures and responding gratefully to compliments about her appearance. She is happy and eager to engage in any small tasks around her.
Sr. Ellen Cmiel
Sister Ellen finds that her ministry in Minneapolis-St. Paul is a means of bringing hope and healing to persons seeking an annulment. She serves as a Canonical Advisor for those beginning the process and as an Advocate. She enjoys volunteering with the Ecuadorian parishioners of St. Cyril’s Church in Northeast Minneapolis whom she experiences as sincere, warm, friendly and faith-filled. It is refreshing for her to participate in many levels of faith formation classes with them. And, her listening ear and loving heart is readily available to former parishioners and co-workers.
Sr. Patricia Simpson
Sister Pat emanates an inner radiance that creates an environment of welcome and joy. Her gracious hospitality and gentleness draw others to her. She has a wonderful smile and responds with laughter within the ordinary experiences of each day. She loves to sing and the words of many songs and pop tunes just seem to flow from her and fill her spirit with joy. Sr. Joan, in particular, treasures her friendship and former ministry with this humble, gracious woman.
Sr. Kathleen Ottrock
Sister Kathleen has been an active resident at Rosary Care Center– perky, energetic and involved in many of its activities. Now, she has settled into a more peace-filled mode, balancing her once active life with one of contemplation. She meets others with a welcoming greeting accompanied by a big smile. The teacher in her is reflected in surprising ways. She celebrated her 60th Jubilee in 2017.
Sr. Gervase Lochotzki
Sister Gervase is a woman of many talents. She loves music and, as a former choir member at her parish for many years, she formed many lasting friendships. While ministering in Appalachia, she learned to make her own dulcimer which she proudly continues to strum. A creative and life-long learner, she wrote her autobiography. She has a great sense of humor easily detected by the twinkle in her eye. A serious card player, she knows “when to hold ‘em and when to fold ‘em!”