aw 011Sisters and Associates volunteering for the St. Clare Convent Open House receive instructions about offering hospitality and guiding visitorsAs part of the continuing celebration of the Year of Consecrated Life, the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) encouraged religious congregations to sponsor
an open house to share on their life and call.

In the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, some congregations of vowed women and men extended an invitation to friends, neighbors, and the curious to visit and see the inside of their homes and their lives. We were delighted to be one of the congregations not only to open our doors but also our hearts to all.

St. Clare Convent was the logical selected site in the Midwest for the open house. Eight Sisters from St. Clare community and other Sisters from local communities offered visitors stories and portions of our history from the past moving into the present.

Starting at the large beatification banner of Mother Frances, visitors wove through the hallways and caught glimpses of our rich 170-year history of God at work among us.

Jennifer Gerth, Congregational Archivist, was on hand to guide persons through the Archives and respond to questions. Sr. Mary Jacinta Doyle spoke about the canonization process for Mother Frances Schervier, and Sr. Clarita Frericks and Sr. Mary Lawrence Vanderburg served as historical guides who pointed out significant artistic details of St. Clare Chapel. Sr. Mary Madonna Hoying was recruited to create a variety of wall posters highlighting the campus setting and special occasions of the past as well as sharing our international face across the globe.

Throughout the tour printed information was made available on prayer cards, resource materials on our ministries, and our history. Guests even had the chance for a few door prizes!

At the conclusion of the tour, visitors were invited to enjoy refreshments and to meet Sisters and Associates who had gathered in the Peace Center as hostesses.

As our time drew to a close at the open house, about thirty Sisters, Associates, and employees were a bit tired after interfacing with 80 to 90 guests. The volunteers’ tiredness proved worth the effort to make sure all were welcome! 

Due to inclement weather, the open house at St. Francis Community in Warwick was cancelled.

By Sr. Mary Arleen Bourquin and Sr. Marilyn Trowbridge


aw 010Sr. Mary Maloney (left) tells the history of a large mural of Mother Frances in St. Clare Convent. Sr. Karen Hartman (far right) listens  aw 012Sr. Karen Hartman (left) escorts guests through St. Clare Convent


 aw 08From left to right: Ruthy Trusler, Vocations Facilitator, Sr. Marilyn Trowbridge, and Jennifer Gerth, Archivist, take a break from volunteer duties during the Open House  aw 09Director of Associates Joan Mills greets visitors at the entrance to St. Clare Convent  


aw 07Sr. Karen Hartman (left) speaks about daily convent life while guiding visitors through St. Clare Convent dining room  


aw 06Sr Bonnie Steinlage (standing, in pink) and Sr M. Pascaline Colling (right) mingle with visitors in the Peace Center’s Chiara Room


aw 05Sr. Jacinta Doyle offers historical details about St. Clare Chapel  aw 04Sr. Jo-Ann Jackowski explains the discernment process and formation of Sisters using a Vocations display she created


  aw 02Archivist Jennifer Gerth shows artifacts to a young visitor  aw 03(Left to right) Estelle McNair, Director of Franciscan Haircuts from the Heart, Monica Smith, Administrator of Franciscan Ministries, Inc., and Sr. Bonnie Steinlage, Franciscan Haircuts from the Heart, staff a table with information about six sponsored ministries


aw 01Open House volunteers include (left to right) Director of Associates Joan Mills, Sr. Yvonne Fackler, and Associates Joan Hock, Julie Luken, Molly Johantgen, and Kay Diltz  aw 13Sr. June Casterton responds to questions from a visitor touring St. Clare Convent in Cincinnati during a Feb. 8 open house that was part of the Catholic Church’s Year of Consecrated Life celebration


  aw 14Sr. Mary Lawrence Vanderburg provides historical details about St. Clare Chapel to an open house visitor  


aw 15Sr. Clarita Frericks points out architectural details of St. Clare Chapel


Published: March, 20, 2015