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rpas 01Franciscan Sisters of the Poor and Associates gathered in St. Clare Chapel on August 23 for the annual Associate Covenant Ceremony

A spirit of renewal and welcome infused the annual Associates Covenant Ceremony, held August 23 at St. Clare Chapel in St. Clare Convent in Cincinnati.

rpas 03Eileen Mallory e MiEileen Mallory and Mihaela Poplicher (middle) made first Covenants as Associates, witnessed by sponsors Sr. Joanne Schuster (far left) and Sr. Mary Lawrence Vanderburg (far right)The gathering of Associates and Sisters marked the renewal of Covenants for nine Associates and the initial Covenant for two new Associates.
The Franciscan Sisters of the Poor and Associates witnessed the first Covenants of Eileen Mallory and Mihaela Poplicher, who were sponsored by Sisters Joanne Schuster and Mary Lawrence Vanderburg in their initial formation.  
Eileen, who came to know the Sisters through the Franciscan Peddler Thrift Shop in Cincinnati, is now a volunteer there. She is married and has two grown children and two grandchildren. Eileen’s hobbies include reading, knitting, birdwatching, hiking, and spending time with her family and grandchildren.  
The first connection with the Franciscan Sisters of the Poor for Mihaela, a native of Romania, was an impromptu meeting with Sr. Madeline Marie Hill in a gazebo on the grounds of St. Clare Convent campus. Mihaela then found a flyer about The Franciscan Peddler and decided to volunteer. Through volunteering at the Peddler and later with the Prayer Shawl Ministry, she met Sisters and Associates. A professor of mathematics at the University of Cincinnati, Mihaela likes reading, traveling, knitting, crocheting, cross-stitch, and Sudoku.
During a Eucharistic Liturgy celebrated by Fr. Fred Link, OFM, nine current Associates renewed their Covenants: Diane Borchers, Brian and Sarah Hellmann, Bernice Hoying, Pam Johnson, Carol King, Mary Milburn, Monica Smith, and Gloriajean Wallace. Sr. Jo-Ann Jackowski served as cantor for the liturgy.
Three Associates celebrating jubilees this year were recognized by Sr. Marilyn Trowbridge, Congregational Councilor for the US Area, for their many years of faithful service as Associates: Karen Skillman (30 years), Mary Ann Brownlee (25 years), and Clara Bushelman (15 years).  
After the liturgy and Covenant ceremony, Sisters and Associates and guests gathered for a reception in the Centennial Barn. During this time of fellowship, Sr. Marilyn provided an update of the US Area and I provided an update on the Associates.  
It was a very special day, and I praise and thank God for the gift of Eileen, Mihaela, and all of our Associates who truly continue the mission of the Franciscan Sisters of the Poor.

rpas 02Associates renewing their Covenants include: (back row) Carol King, Monica Smith, Gloriajean Wallace, and Brian Hellmann; and (front row) Mary Milburn, Pam Johnson, Bernice Hoying, and Diane Borchers

Joan Mills, SFP-A
Photos courtesy of Associate Ruthy Trusler

Published: October,15, 2015