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Follow Sylvania Franciscans as they blog about living their mission of joyful service to all people. Each week you can read a new entry from the personal journal of a Sister and how she applies Franciscan values to her ministry and the impact they have on the community where she lives. If you like what you read, comment back. We’re always looking for a good conversation.

In Communion

In Communion

My mother died in January of this year, and yet she is more fully present to me now than ever.

“In the communion of saints, a perennial link of charity exists between the faithful who have already reached their heavenly home, those who are expiating their sins in purgatory and those who are still pilgrims on earth.” Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1475.

“Therefore the union of the wayfarers with the brethren who have gone to sleep in the peace of Christ is not in the least weakened or interrupted, but on the contrary, according to the perpetual faith of the Church, is strengthened by a communication of spiritual goods … for after they have been received into their heavenly home and are present to the Lord, through Him and with Him and in Him they do not cease to intervene with the Father for us …” Indulgentiarum Doctrina, 5.

Once the physical bonds of time and space have been loosed by death and our loved ones are united with Christ, they can more surely provide spiritual support for us.

“Do not weep, for I shall be more useful to you after my death and I shall help you then more effectively than during my life.” St. Dominic, dying, to his brothers.

I was very blue one evening this week, struggling with a family challenge. I connected my ear buds to my iPhone with plans to listen to nothing in particular. When I keyed the ear buds, jaunty Irish music immediately filled my ears and my heart was buoyed. I turned to my right and five feet away saw the smiling face of my mother. It was one of my favorite photographs of “Irish” on her 95th birthday.

What a wonderful spiritual gift to know that they are always there for us, that we can pray with and for each other.

“We are one body, one body in Christ; and we do not stand alone” (We Are One Body, Dana Scallon, OCP) … ever.

By: By Pat Mills, Sylvania Franciscan Associate

 
  1. Re: Good News

    Sr. Nancy, you are not alone. I am constantly trying to center myself. I rely on prayer, the sacrame

    --Jim B

  2. Re: The Stigma of Mental Illness

    Dear Karen, Thank you for sharing your reflection on depression in your blog. Beautifully, insightfu

    --Eileen Ripsin

  3. Re: The Blank Check

    Great reflective piece and calming to read at the end of the day, as we gather the energy to be like

    --EMK

  4. Re: ‘Gladdening our Hearts’ Texas Style

    Thanks for this great reflection on the simple gift of God's abundance: Grapes!! Let's hear it for

    --Sr Julie

  5. Re: A Life of Sharing

    Thanks for your beautiful reflection. August 10 brought back many special memories for me too.

    --KJ

Meet the Sylvania Franciscan bloggers. We invite you to join us helping the Christian community commit themselves to works that reverence human dignity, embrace the poor and marginalized, and respect the gift of all creation.


Patrick Mills
Associate
Spiritual Enrichment

Pat is a husband and father living in Sylvania, Ohio. He has worked many years for Owens Corning in Toledo and elsewhere. He leads programs there for recruiting and developing talent early in their career, primarily for engineering and operations. As Pat and his family moved around the country, he has been blessed to fellowship in Cursillo, Christ Renews His Parish, bible studies and liturgical music ministry. He presently serves on the Sisters of St. Francis of Sylvania Associate Advisory Board, Chairs the Associate Spiritual Enrichment Committee and is a member of the Expansion Committee for Feed Lucas County Children. Pat is a pilgrim on the journey.

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Sister Lois Anne Palkert
Health and Human Services

Sister Lois Anne has had the opportunity to serve in a variety of ministries, initially as a teacher in Detroit and Toledo.  She transferred her teaching skills into formation ministry in Sylvania, then to Lourdes College where she was Director of the Lifelong Learning.  She then moved into parish ministry and served as a Director of Faith Formation and as a Pastoral Associate in two rural parishes in Minnesota.    From education she transferred to healthcare ministry and currently serves as the Director of Mission Services at St Joseph Regional Health Center in Bryan, Texas.

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Sister Julie Myers
Religious Vocations

Why did you come to religious life….why do you stay?  As Vocation Minister for the Sisters of St Francis, Sister Julie addresses these simple questions that hold deep meaning and more in her blogging and in her monthly “Letter from the Vocation Minister” found on the Vocation link of the Sister’s Website.  We are all called by God to be our best selves and to serve God in ways far beyond our imagining.  Sister Julie has lived her calling as a Franciscan through the ministries of Vocation Minister, Physical Therapist Assistant, and as Sacristan for the Motherhouse Chapel.

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Sister Nancy Surma
Health and Human Services

Sister Nancy is a native of Detroit and was taught in grade school by the Sylvania Franciscans. Her early years were spent teaching and administering at the junior high and high school level. Life took a turn, as it so often does, and she served as administrator in four different Catholic colleges and universities, earning a doctorate in higher education administration along the way. She currently works for Sylvania Franciscan Health, the Sisters’ sponsored health and human service ministry, in the world of mission integration. Sr. Nancy lives with three other Sisters in a house that is filled with laughter and love.

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Sister Karen Zielinski
Health and Spirituality 

Sister Karen J. Zielinski, OSF was director of communications for the Sisters of St. Francis of Sylvania, OH from 1991 to 2008.  She is now director of Canticle Studio, a creative office of products which focus on spirituality and health.  She lectures on chronic disease and coping strategies and has lived with multiple sclerosis (MS) since 1975.  She lectures on the spirituality of disability, women's prayer, and topics of wholeness. Most recently, Sister Karen authored Hope and Help for Living With Illness a book on dealing with sickness and disability. The book is available on Amazon.

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Sister Ann Carmen Barone
Education

As Vice President for Mission and Ministry, Sister Ann Carmen Barone is responsible for developing consciousness of the Franciscan mission and for ensuring its implementation and integration into the community of Lourdes. Sister Ann Carmen also supports the other Vice Presidents and the President in their mission-related activities.

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Sister Nancy Linenkugel
Franciscan in the Marketplace

Sister Nancy Linenkugel has served in healthcare administration, education and leadership for the Sylvania Franciscans.  She is an accomplished cello player and a member of the Washington D.C.-based Medical Music Group, made up of doctors, nurses and medical professionals from around the country.  Sister Nancy is currently the chair of the department of health service administration and director of the graduate program in health services administration at Xavier University in Cincinnati.  She has served on the Sylvania Franciscan Leadership Team, was president of Chatfield College in Cincinnati, president and CEO of the Providence Health System and Providence Hospital in Sandusky, Ohio, and vice president of St. John Medical Center in Steubenville, Ohio.  

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Sister Sharon Havelak
Justice and Peace

Sister Sharon is an artist, educator and long-time peace activist, who currently oversees All Good Things, a store/gallery/gift shop featuring art by the Sisters, handmade soaps and lotions, and Fair Trade products.* She also serves as the coordinator of the Sylvania Franciscan’s Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation efforts, and teaches art history at Lourdes University. She keeps her creative juices flowing by painting on silk scarves.
* All Good Things gallery is located in our Sylvania Franciscan Village and many of the items are sold on our website.

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Sister Pam Nosbusch
Hospice Chaplain

Sister Pam is native of Hopkinsville, Kentucky.  She is a Chaplain with Gentiva Hospice in Nashville, Tennessee and is a Board Certified Chaplain with the National Association of Catholic Chaplains.  Previous ministries include Theater Arts and Music Education and Pastoral Associate in Catholic parishes.

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