Sisters of St. Francis 150 Years Celebration
The Sisters of St. Francis celebrated their 150th anniversary Friday morning with a 10 a.m. mass at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Tiffin.
Bishop Daniel Thomas of the Catholic Diocese of Toledo led the celebratory mass and lauded the Sisters’ legacy in his homily and throughout the mass.
“What a gift, that we celebrate the heart of God, of Jesus, and the heart of the Tiffin Franciscan community today,” he said.
“Some of the sisters have been around before there was even a Toledo Diocese,” he said. “The Sisters have served the St. Joseph’s community but also so many other apostolates in God’s name.”
According to a release from the St. Francis Community, the Sisters of St. Francis were started in Tiffin in 1869 by Father Joseph Bihn, a priest at St. Joseph Catholic Church, and Elizabeth Schaefer, a local St. Joseph parishioner. The Sisters coalesced for the purpose of caring for orphans and the elderly in need in the years just after the end of the Civil War, according to the release.
There are 81 Sisters currently serving, along with 81 associates, according to the release.
The Sisters of St. Francis presence in Tiffin includes the St. Francis Senior Ministries, the St. Francis Spirituality Center, which hosts retreats and provides a space for prayer and support for those living with cancer and for those suffering from post-traumatic stress, and the Franciscan Earth Literacy Center, which provides education about nature and sustainable living for the community, according to the release.
“Thank you for 150 years of your presence here in Tiffin,” Thomas said. “And to 150 more.”