The history of the Sisters of St. Francis dates back to 1867.
As pastor of St. Joseph Church, Fr. Joseph Bihn asked for volunteers to help in the work of starting a home in Tiffin for orphaned children and the aged. Four women answered the call, including widow Mrs. Elizabeth (Greiveldinger) Schaefer. This was the beginning of a new order, the Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis. Mrs. Schaefer then became Sr. Mary Francis, co-founder and first Mother Superior. The institution was incorporated in 1869.