This year Clara Bushelman has celebrated 15 years of her First Covenant as an Associate of the Franciscan Sisters of the Poor.
For many years, says Clara, she was associated with the Franciscan Sisters of the Poor through her life membership of the Franciscan Terrace Guild.
a usa 05Associate Jubilarians Clara Bushelman and Karen Skillman process into St. Clare Chapel for celebration of the Jubilee Mass during 2015 Assembly“Through the Guild, I volunteered in Mercy Franciscan Terrace, taking residents to doctor appointments, going shopping with and for them, and assisting residents on various outings and in whatever way I was needed. I visited Terrace residents and became close friends of many Sisters and residents.  When a resident was dying, I served as a Blue Angel and kept vigil at the bedside. I treasured all these friendships through the years,” Clara says.  
It was the example of the Sisters who “worked in the Terrace” that Clara saw what was needed and how she could help.  When the late Sr. Josetta Marie Lonnemann asked Clara if she wanted to be an Associate and explained that Clara’s actions were already “carrying the charism of Mother Frances to the residents in the Terrace,” Clara was eager to continue, and she said “Yes” to become an Associate.
Being an Associate, Clara explains, means that “I live the charism of Blessed Frances wherever I am and whatever I do. Now that I am retired and live in an assisted living environment, there are many opportunities to help others and to cheer them up.”

bushelman mEach time Clara meets the Sisters and engages with them in activities, she says she is reminded of the SFP charism. Staying in contact with Sisters and Associates means a lot to Clara, and she enjoys the times when they visit her and play cards.

In her home at Bridgeway Pointe in Cincinnati, Clara aims to make a difference in other residents’ lives—by greeting people with a smile and a helping hand.
“I try to be pleasant, under all circumstances, because I do not know what other burdens people are carrying. Being active and cheerful brightens every rainy day,” says Clara, who stays informed about world events so that she can pray for others around the world.  

0 s l The hymn that closed the Jubilee Mass of the US Area’s 2015 Assembly reminded Sisters and Associates to be the light of the world to others and to “Go Make a Difference.”

We are the salt in the earth,

called to let the people see
The love of God in you and me

We are the light of the world, not to be hidden, but be seen
Go make a diff'rence in the world

Making a difference comes naturally to the three US Area Associates who celebrate Jubilees this year:

Karen Skillman, 30 years;

Mary Ann Brownlee, 25 years;

and Clara Bushelman, 15 years.

By Lisa Biedenbach

Published: October, 01, 2015