History of the Sylvania Franciscans

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.

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 Sylvania Franciscans have just under 200 Sisters working in a variety of ministries in 12 states and Haiti, all focused on “living the Gospel in joyful servanthood among all people” (Sisters of St. Francis Mission Statement). 


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