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Associates deepen bond with Sisters

Summer brings about renewal of life, and for our SSJ-TOSF associates, a renewal to a deeper way of life with the congregation.

Eighteen associates renewed their commitment to share life and growth with the sisters during an August ceremony at St. Francis Chapel in Clare Hall at Marymount Congregational Home in Garfield Heights, Ohio.

Three Associates – Margaret Stetzy and Marge and Henry Drusz – renewed their lifetime commitments of ongoing relationship with the Sisters. Fifteen Associates renewed their commitments for one year, including: Mary Bednar, Jane Bischoff, Phyllis Cashin, Marjorie Church, Elizabeth Hundley, Clara Jojczyk, Angelique Kobak, Pat Matusik, Nancy Recko, Sally Smith, Frances Werstak, Mary Ann Wiencek, Cynthia Zalek, Rose Marie Bommer and Suzanne Horvath.

Associate Jane Bischoff was recently admitted to candidacy in the Society of Helpers, a women's religious community, and will begin her novitiate in 2014.

Associate Marjorie Church recently was featured in a Slovenian women's magazine, mentioning her relationship with the SSJ-TOSF. "I have been a member of the Associates since 2004 and have spent time in contemplation with the sisters in prayerful gatherings and convent events, sharing momentous celebrations and private times with them," said Marjorie, a Marymount High School alumna.

The SSJ-TOSF are a Franciscan community of 267 vowed religious women and 89 Associate members who are dedicated to Gospel living. Associates further the charism of the sisters in their own families and work environments, and also may participate with sisters in their chosen ministries. Associates share the life and mission of the SSJ-TOSF in various capacities, responding to the distinct gifts with which each is endowed.

In a spirit of interdependence, associates embrace those values, goals and modes of action that reflect the congregation's mission statement, which is:

"As Franciscans centered on the revelation of the emerging Cosmic Christ, contemplating and celebrating this Divine action in our lives, our deepest desires are to: build life-giving, trusting communities that cherish each one's personal gifts; empower one another to live the truth of Gospel values; bond with others in ever-widening circles of compassion and peace; and speak to the Church and to the world from our common understanding that there be no outcasts in our experience of life on this earth."

For a detailed list of the SSJ-TOSF Congregational Commitments adopted during the 26th General Chapter in 2013, click here.

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View photos from the ceremony
Reflection by Sr. Mary Alice Jarosz
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