AUGUST, 2017
In This Issue

Franciscan Tidbits
TidbitBy Sr. Joan Jurski
The Portiuncula (St.Mary of the Angels)
In the 13th century, St. Francis worked at restoring many of the chapels in the Umbrian Valley. They had fallen into ruin through neglect. One of the chapels was St. Mary of the Angels. Today we refer to the chapel as the Portiuncula. This chapel remained dear to friars and remains so today. In 1936, under the direction of Mother Mary Adelaide, we built our own Portiuncula here on campus. She commissioned it in gratitude for surviving a financial crisis in the early years of our foundation. Our Portiuncula is open from 7:00 am to 5:00 pm daily. You are invited to spend some time in quiet and prayer. We celebrate Portiuncula Day August 2. The celebration is open to all.

Check out upcoming  lectures, classes, special events, volunteer opportunities and more.
Sylvania Franciscan Village Member Organizations:
Sisters of St. Francis of Sylvania

Lourdes University 
Sylvania Franciscan Ministries



Welcome to the Sylvania Franciscan Village Newsletter
The Sylvania Franciscan Village (SFV) was created in 2009 as a purposeful expression of the Sylvania Franciscans and their sponsored ministries, which include Lourdes University, Rosary Care Center, Our Lady of Grace Hall, Convent Park Apartments, Bethany House and Sophia Center. 

Formed to nurture the legacy and growth of the Sylvania Franciscan mission for the greater good and transformation of the world, the Sylvania Franciscan Village harnesses these distinct energies.

This SFV Bimonthly Newsletter aims to spotlight a few of the remarkable Franciscan expressions of God's love that we can see happening throughout the Sylvania Franciscan Village. By creating uncommon connections and multigenerational experiences; modeling an environment of peace, compassion, justice and reverence for all life;and bringing our resources to address needs wherever we serve, SFV is making a difference in our lives and the lives of others.

Sophia Lloyd, Director
Sylvania Franciscan Village 
A Deeper Understanding between Christians and Muslims 

New friends enjoy summer potluck together.
The Sultan and the Saint - An Approach to Christian-Muslim Dialogue begins a new session on October 9, 2017. The goal of the program is to nurture relationships across religious boundaries and cultivate mutual understanding and appreciation of what these faith traditions hold in common, as well as the ways in which they differ.
The first dialogue group held this past spring was established as a follow-up to the documentary The Sultan and the Saint narrated by Jeremy Irons and premiered in Toledo thanks to the partnership between the Sylvania Franciscan Village (SFV), United Muslim Association of Toledo (UMAT) and the Franciscan Action Network (FAN). The film, which details the story of the unique encounter between St. Francis of Assisi and the Sultan of Egypt Al Malik al Kamil during the 5th Crusade, brought people together across religious and cultural lines and helped find those interested in a dialogue that would lead to a deeper relationship. Committed to uncommon connections, SFV then reached out to the Islamic Center of Greater Toledo as its first partner in implementing the eight-week program of The Sultan and the Saint - An Approach to Christian Muslim Dialogue. The curriculum, designed by JustFaith Ministries, fosters personal transformation through small group experiences.
Sr. Carolyn Giera, a Sylvania Franciscan who participated in the spring dialogue group said, "I learned two very important things. I now better understand that when we are called to oneness, it is not that we are called to sameness. Our call is to be reverent and accepting of the other whoever the other is. Secondly, the commonalities between us became much clearer to me." She added "Central to both religions is love of God and love of neighbor."
"I enjoyed the opportunity to learn some of the misconceptions Christians had about Muslims" says Amal Awad, a Muslim participant in the initial dialogue, "I know that when people come face to face, they are able to talk to each other and understand each other better, and I feel that we definitely accomplished that. The fact that people were free to say what they wanted without fear made that possible."
With a $2,000 grant from the Toledo Community Foundation, SFV will continue to offer the program, this time partnering with Masjid Saad Foundation. "We are continuing the Franciscan tradition of building deeper connections within the Muslim community," says SFV Director Sophia Lloyd, "carrying the message of peace, just as Francis did with the Sultan of Egypt."
If you are interested in nurturing relationships across religious boundaries, join the upcoming  The Sultan and the Saint - An Approach to Christian Muslim Dialogue. For more information or to register contact Sophia Lloyd at or 419-824-3533.

Giving Just Feels Good

Two ministries of the Sisters of St. Francis came together last month to form one of those magical "Uncommon Connections" that produce an abundance of good.
The residents of Bethany House, a long-term shelter for battered women and children, have volunteered their time to help with the Toledo Labre Project, which is a Campus Ministry initiative that brings casseroles and sandwiches to poorer communities and distributes them weekly.

Youth Program Coordinator Stephanie Potter-Flint was already planning to start some cooking classes at Bethany House as many of the residents are young mothers who haven't had a chance to learn how to cook. Sophia Lloyd, director of the SFV, told her about the Labre Project and she eagerly brought the idea to the women in the shelter.  She was delighted at how enthusiastic they were to contribute.

Bethany House Executive Director Deidre Lashley explains, "Even though they are in crisis, they are still able to give and they really want to.  Research shows that it is just good for us and that we feel better when we give."

A donor stepped forward to sponsor the ingredients and the monthly project took off. Their volunteer time has become a community building experience as the women enjoy the casual friendly kitchen environment, a chance to learn new skills and the golden opportunity to help others.  

Alverno Studios, Lourdes University Art Students, Toledo Grows and Artist Annette Fink Create a 'Villaging' Trifecta
Artist Annette Fink At the July 20 Artwalk a stunning 16-ft wide Sunburst Mural was installed at the Toledo GROWS   Mano's Community Garden on 14th St. downtown Toledo.
The mural was designed by the amazing artist Annette Fink who agreed to donate the work to Toledo GROWS, but she then turned to her mentor, muralist Sister Jane Mary Sorosiak and the Alverno Studio artists for help.  
"When we found out what Annette was doing for Toledo GROWS, we knew it was a worthy project and we wanted to be a part of it," says Sr. Jane Mary.
Her timing couldn't have been better. Sr. Jane Mary's last work, the Fr. Gabriel Richard mural, had just been packed up and sent for installation at Cobo hall, leaving a brief but invaluable vacancy. 
They finished the mural in early June and permanent installation in Toledo GROW's Mano's Garden was accomplished with the volunteer efforts of Lourdes Art students earning public service hours.  
Hats off to two of our Sylvania Franciscan Village entities working together with Annette Fink and Toledo GROWS to share our Franciscan values with our community. 
Sisters Volunteer to Spend Time with Students 
Fall Semester is ripe for multigenerational experiences, thanks to the Sister Mentor Program, which is a collaboration between Sylvania Franciscan Village and Lourdes University First Year Experience (FYE) Program. 
The idea is simple: By pairing a Sister of St. Francis with a Lourdes First Year Experience (FYE) classroom, students  get to know Sisters they may not otherwise come in contact with, while also creating another way in which to share our Franciscan values. The Sister volunteers to share her personal story and skills with the classroom and works with the Instructor to find ways to become part of the first-year experience.  In the past, this contact has caused relationships to blossom and allows the Sister to become a source of encouragement and support for the students.
Introductions happen the first week of classes through the FYE event titled "Book and a Dinner." Both the Sister and the students, along with faculty and staff read a common book, then gather to discuss the book over dinner. This year's common read is In the Sanctuary of Outcasts. The book works as a great platform for conversation and easy segue into the story St. Francis and the Lepers.
"As first-year students, it's the perfect time to interact with the Sisters and learn what they are all about," explains Alisa Smith, Director of Retention and Student Success. 
Last year her classroom was paired with volunteer Sr. Geraldine Nowak. "The students were fascinated  to learn that she had been a regular high school student just like they were," Alisa says.

Alisa also took her her class to see the San Damiano cross in Our Lady Queen of Peace Chapel and arranged for them to meet the artist, Sr. Ruth Marie Kachelek .  Another time, when the Alverno artists were working on the  Father Gabriel Richard Mural for Cobo Hall, she brought them to meet Sr. Jane Mary Sorosiak and she took the time to explain the entire process to the students.
"This program lets the students see the Sisters and their work through a different perspective," Alisa says. "It's something that they might completely miss out on otherwise."
This year's Sister Mentors are Srs. Joan Jurski,  Rebecca LaPoint, Julie Myers, Ann Lorette Piekarz, Sandra Rutkowski, Irenaeus Samsel, Jordan Schaefer, and Jeanette Zielinski. 

Franciscan Sisters interested in becoming a part of the Sister Mentor program can contact Sophia Lloyd at 419-824-3533 or  
Sylvania Franciscan Village|  |
6832 Convent Boulevard
Sylvania, OH 43560