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 sv 03Sr. Jo-Ann Jackowski, SFP, tells the history of the Franciscan Sisters of the Poor

What should a young person consider when choosing a vocation to the single life, married life, or consecrated religious life?


That question and others about vocations were the focus of this year’s celebration in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati of Catholic Schools Week at Bishop Fenwick High School in Middletown, Ohio, on Jan. 29. sv 01Sr. Jo-Ann Jackowski, SFP, Mission Integration Co-Director, Franciscan Sisters of the Poor; Christine Minix, religion teacher, Bishop Fenwick High School; Sr. Donna Bryant, SC, on staff at Bishop Fenwick High SchoolTo help students better understand consecrated religious life, Bishop Fenwick invited the Franciscan Sisters of the Poor in Cincinnati to speak to students and respond to their questions about religious life.


More than 500 students attended one of four 90-minute presentations offered on the single life, married life, and religious life. Representing consecrated religious life, Sr. Jo-Ann Jackowski, SFP, Mission Integration Co-Director for the Franciscan Sisters of the Poor, shared with the young audience the story of St. Francis of Assisi and how his witness to the gospel influenced a young woman from Aachen, Germany—Frances Schervier—to found a now-international community of women called the Franciscan Sisters of the Poor.


Sr. Jo-Ann spoke of her own personal calling at age 14 to a consecrated life, and she described a typical day living in a convent with other sisters, all of whom are involved in a wide variety of ministries—individual and those sponsored by the congregation—and how sisters minister alongside laypeople.
Ruthy Trusler, vocation facilitator for the Franciscan Sisters of the Poor, followed Sr. Jo-Ann’s presentation with insights on how laypeople can become Associates of the Franciscan Sisters of the Poor and live a life of prayer and service alongside the Sisters. sv 02Meg Eckart, director of campus ministry, Bishop Fenwick High School; Christine Minix, religion teacher, Bishop Fenwick High SchoolTrusler invited students along with their family and friends to explore how they, too, can be a part of the Franciscan Sisters of the Poor community.


Trusler recounted for students how the Franciscan Sisters of the Poor are committed as an international congregation to stop human trafficking and minister to those people affected by trafficking. She identified for the audience how human trafficking begins with force, fraud, and coercion, and that it even happens close to their homes. She provided “How I Can Help” literature and information about the Blue Heart Campaign against human trafficking and encouraged students to learn more about human trafficking. Christine Minix, a Bishop Fenwick religion teacher, said students will try to organize something about human trafficking, a subject of great interest to them.

“Bishop Fenwick aims not only to educate students but also to empower them with an understanding of what gifts they possess and how God is calling each of them to utilize those gifts in their wider communities,” said Meg Eckart, Director of Campus Ministry, Bishop Fenwick High School.

“We welcomed and appreciated the presentation of the Franciscan Sisters of the Poor on the vocation of the consecrated life on Jan. 29 of Catholic Schools Week. Sr. Jo-Ann and Ruthy did a good job of informing and inspiring Fenwick students.”—Sr. Donna Bryant, SC, of Bishop Fenwick High School.
 

Blue Heart Campaign:

http://www.unodc.org/blueheart/en/about-us.html

 Ruthy Trusler and Lisa Biedenbach

Photo Ruthy Trustler

Published: May, 8, 2015