Associate News

2017 Associates and Sisters Picnic

Click the button in the lower right-hand corner of the screen below to view the slideshow in full-screen mode


New Associates - May 2017Community Welcomes Three New Associates

The School Sisters of St. Francis are delighted to welcome (from left, front) Jan Cosmos, Cherie Esposito, and Julia Williams into Associate Relationship with our community! We celebrated their acceptance at Saturday’s festive liturgy marking the 45th anniversary of Associate Relationship, at which Bishop Richard Sklba presided.






2016 Associates & Sister Pilgrimage to Germany - Part 3

2016 Associate Germany Trip - Part 3


2016 Associates & Sister Pilgrimage to Germany - Part 2

2016 Associate Germany Trip - Part 2


2016 Associates & Sisters Pilgrimage to Germany - Part 1

2016 Associate Germany Trip



Italian Memories for Traveling Associates

By Bev Oliveri, Co-Director of Associate Relationship

Travel group in AssisiOn September 24, an incredible 10 days in Germany tracing the steps of our foundress Mother Alexia, eight sisters and seven associates were off to Assisi where Franciscan spirituality was born.

Assisi became our home for the next several days. On our first morning we met our amazing guide, Annie Robichaud, who has called Assisi home for over 40 years and is passionately in love with all that is Franciscan. On our first morning, on the way to Bavagna, we stopped at one of the many roadside grottos outside of Canara. The beautiful picture was painted years ago by a young artist and shows the Madonna, Side altar in Assisiinfant Jesus, and a young John the Baptist.

Then on to Spello, where the feast of Corpus Christi is celebrated with beautiful street murals constructed from flowers and living plants to welcome Christ. The local bishop, carrying the Blessed Sacrament in a monstrance, walks on the murals through the town blessing the people. It was in this town that St. Francis preached to the birds in a tree. The tree is still there, and yes, the birds are still singing the praises of St. Francis.

Our walking tour of Assisi included the Basilica of St. Francis, which actually has two basilicas. The Upper Basilica contains the frescoes by Cimabue and Giotto, depicting the life of St. Francis. The Lower Basilica contains the crypt, which houses the saint’s remains. We then visited a small room containing the relics of St. Francis. A few were familiar, like the tunic and sandals the saint wore and the horn the sultan gave to Francis. But others were not as well known.

For example, there was a finely embroidered cloth, which was used to wipe the face of St. Francis by a Jacoba Settesoli. Francis affectionately called her “brother Jacoba,” and he invited her to St. Mary of the Angels for his death and funeral. She was later buried near the tomb of Francis. Jacoba is significant because she was a follower of Francis and a member of the Franciscan Order, as a lay person, while still remaining out in the world. Another interesting relic was a blessing Francis wrote to Brother Group dinner imageLeo. It was amazing to see the blessing written in Francis’ hand so many years ago!

Our third tour took us to Perugia, where Francis went to fight for Assisi. It was in Perugia that he was captured and imprisoned until his family could pay the ransom for his release. He returned to Assisi a broken man and began his search for God and a meaning for his life.

On our last evening in Assisi, we traveled to our guide Annie’s farm home. Gathering around the simple table, it was evident that we were about to partake in a very special meal, served family style, in the home of a very special woman who is now our friend.

2016 Associates Trip to Stone Lake

Thanks to the generous donations of sisters and associates, we were able to deliver a large number of school supplies to the students served by our sisters at St. Francis Solanus School in Stone Lake (Reserve) Wisconsin in early October. Sister Maryrose Theobald and Sister Felicia Zander, who have ministered at the school for half a century, were delighted with the generous donation for their school. Pictured from left: Sister Maryrose and Sister Rosemary Reier unload supplies; a St. Francis Solanus School classroom; Sister Rosemary (center) with Sisters Felicia (left) and Maryrose; Sister Maryrose (center) with Associates Kathleen Laetsch (left) and Pat Day.



2016 Associates and Sisters Boat Trip

Click the button in the lower right-hand corner of the screen below to view the slideshow in full-screen mode


2016 Associate Immersion Experience

Click the button in the lower right-hand corner of the screen below to view the slideshow in full-screen mode

Sisters Associates Picnic 2015Associates and Sisters Picnic is a Tasty Success
By Sister Rosemary Reier, Director of Associate Relationship

By 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, August 22, excitement was brewing in the convent garden. Sisters and associates were arriving with their favorite potluck dishes to share. The raffles were artfully displayed, and the games—duck pond, holy rollers, and beanbag toss—were waiting for players.

The delightful weather, cool breeze, and warm sun added to festivities as sisters and associates greeted one another. Around noon, we gathered to present the U.S. Provincial Team just over $14,000. Sister Deb informed the group that the money is going toward the newly renovated chapel at Sacred Heart. She invited everyone to stop by and visit the beautiful chapel.

Soon the smell of brats and sausages filled the air and we gathered to give thanks to God and to enjoy the delicious food. More than two dozen people took home raffle prizes, and door prizes were abundant.

We estimated that 130 sisters and associates attended the picnic. We want to thank each of you who came and supported our efforts, as together we build the kingdom of God.

Associates and Sisters Picnic 2015

Click the button in the lower right-hand corner of the screen below to view the slideshow in full-screen mode.


Busy August for Associates

By Sister Rosemary Reier, Director of Associate Relationship

Busy August for AssociatesOn August 1, 35 sisters and associates gathered at Maryville Academy in Des Plaines, Illinois, as Sister Fran Cunningham reflected with us on St. Francis’ call to rebuild the Church. In the 13th century, St. Francis and St. Clare found their way to rebuild the Church of their day within its existing structures. Today, Pope Francis speaks of a poor Church, a Church of the poor. Sister Fran urged us “to look together in the same direction,” reminding us of a quote from our General Assembly: “We are called, in the spirit of Mother Alexia, Mother Alfons and Sister Clara to focus on the common good, to move from the ‘I’ to the ‘we’.” This movement can help to build Church.

The following day, associate Jan Petrucci professed a life of commitment to the Gospel, living in the spirit of St. Francis as a member of the Secular Franciscan order. Along with six others in Flagstaff, Arizona, Jan joined Secular Franciscans all over the world in making a life commitment to bring Gospel values into our world. We extend congratulations to her!

All associates are invited to mark their calendars for our second annual associates and sisters picnic, which will be held Saturday, August 22, at St. Joseph Center. Bring a dish to pass and your own table service (plate and utensils). You may also wish to bring a lawn chair. Come and join in the fun!

2015 Associate Immersion Experience

Click the button in the lower right-hand corner of the screen below to view the slideshow in full-screen mode.