Religious Vocations

Diocese of Cleveland

Sisters of St. Francis of the Congregation of Our Lady of Lourdes

SSF_Logo_Tag_2col_spotWeb Site –

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 eighty-nine 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.

Founder – Mother Mary Adelaide Sandusky

Motto – “We are authentic Franciscan women grounded in our spirituality which evokes a passionate commitment to intentionally reverence all persons and creation. Therefore, in a spirit of mutual accountability, we call each other to be ardent messengers of peace and advocates for justice, and to proclaim the gift of all creation in the midst of a wounded world.”     Directional Statement, 2012 Chapter of Affairs

Ministries – 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.

Locations – The Sisters of St. Francis, Sylvania, Ohio are Third Order Regular Franciscans, living in community as vowed religious according to the spirit and example of Francis of Assisi. As women of peace and seekers of justice, we are committed to serving God’s people through diverse ministries in the fields of education, social work, health and human services, pastoral work, and spiritual direction. A community of nearly 200 Sisters, we minister in 12 states – Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia – and Haiti. We are supported in our efforts by more than 80 Associates and 6,000 employees in our sponsored ministries in Ohio, Kentucky and Texas.

Unique Aspects of the Community –  Members take the vows of poverty, chastity and obedience.

With the broader Franciscan family we acknowledge that God is to be found in our relationships with one another and our witness to the Gospel is expressed in these relationships. Regardless of our specific ministry, our lives share a common thread – the desire to live the Gospel.

The Franciscan way of life is founded upon four fundamental values:

  • to live life in the context of conversion, a life-long journey of turning to God;
  • to acknowledge that all is gift and to embrace a life of simplicity guided by a spirit of poverty;
  • to approach life from a reflective stance that flows from prayer and contemplation; and
  • to recognize that we are called to be of service to one another which means that our relationships with others are characterized by a spirit of minority.

These are the values that guide our pilgrimage. These are the values that speak to our heart. These are the values that make known to us the presence of Christ who accompanies us on the journey.


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