Being Green is a Franciscan Thing! If you are a member of the Sylvania Franciscan Village, you may be familiar with this phrase, which is usually accompanied by the image of a little green frog. At our Zero-Waste Lunch earlier this month, volunteers sported the message on their T-shirts. It’s a catchy slogan, but what exactly does it mean for us as members of this Franciscan family? Why is being green a Franciscan thing, anyway?

St. Francis of Assisi is well known for his love of nature and animals, which is why we often see statues of him by birdbaths and why many churches host “pet blessing” services around his feast day of Oct. 4. Francis, patron saint of ecology, found the goodness of God in the beauty of creation. In his “Canticle of the Sun,” depicted so beautifully in a mural on the exterior wall of Madonna Hall here on the motherhouse grounds, Francis sings the praises of God through the natural elements of “Brother Sun,” “Sister Moon and the Stars,” “Brothers Wind and Air,” “Sister Water,” “Brother Fire,” and “Mother Earth.”

Francis saw the connection between serving God and caring for God’s creation. As followers of St. Francis, how can we act as responsible stewards of “Mother Earth?” In this month’s newsletter, you will read about the Sylvania Franciscan Village’s Zero-Waste Lunch. This annual event in honor of the Feast Day of St. Francis brings hundreds of people together to celebrate our collective commitment to sustainably, but we hope that our guests carry the message of this event beyond that one day. What kind of lifestyle changes can we make as individuals to show greater care for our common home? How can we lead by example in our institutions to effect greater change?

In the spirit of St. Francis, may God touch our hearts through the beauty of the natural world and call us all to a greater respect for the gift of creation.
Sophia Lloyd
SFV Director
Laurie Bertke
Coordinator of SFV Communications
It takes a Village to celebrate sustainability
Zero Waste 2018
The Sylvania Franciscan Village demonstrated its commitment to caring for creation by welcoming a crowd of nearly 400 to the eighth annual Zero-Waste Lunch in honor of St. Francis’ feast day on October 3. Representatives from all of the Village’s member organizations, fourth-grade students and teachers from Sylvania St. Joseph School, community leaders and others from the Sylvania area enjoyed a delicious lunch, raffle prizes and games themed around making sustainable choices at the grocery store.

While the number of attendees grew from 2017, the total amount of trash generated by the event was reduced from last year’s .998 pounds, to .375 pounds of waste sent to the landfill.

This was accomplished in part through the use of green-certified plates, utensils and cups that were made from sugar cane fiber rather than plastic. Hirzel Farms hauled away these items along with leftover food scraps to be composted. Other items used were recycled, and the leftover food was delivered to St. Pauls’ Community Center in Toledo.

The zero-waste lunch was catered by Fowl and Fodder, a local restaurant that has been recognized by the Lucas County Sustainability Commission for taking steps to reduce its negative impact on the environment as well as being a socially responsible business.

Unsuspecting guests were invited to “Come on down!” to play The Choice is Right! Hosted by Aaron Baker, coordinator of Lourdes University’s TRiO program, the game quizzed shoppers on their ability to make sustainable choices when choosing products at the grocery store.

The zero-waste lunch was organized by Sylvania Franciscan Village staff with help and guidance from a planning committee. The success of the day was topped off with support from volunteers across the ministries of the Village, including Sisters, employees of the Sisters of St. Francis of Sylvania, Rosary Care Center staff, and Lourdes University students, staff and faculty.

“This year we were especially pleased by the broad representation of ministries in our volunteers who came forward to help put on the Zero-Waste Lunch. It truly was a Village celebration,” says Sophia Lloyd, SFV director. “We hope that our attendees enjoyed themselves, but also came away having learned something new that will be helpful in living out our Franciscan value of care for the earth.”

Mrs. Lloyd also notes that for those who were inspired to host zero-waste events in their departments, there are several members of the SFV’s Zero-Waste Planning Committee and the Environmental Wellness Committee who are available to offer assistance.
Villager Spotlight: Sr. Rosine Sobczak
Sr. Rosine
Building community partnerships comes naturally to Sr. Rosine Sobczak, an environmental activist who has worked for years at the local, national and global level to foster a greater appreciation for the natural world.

As co-founder of the nonprofit Science Alliance for Valuing the Environment (SAVE), Sr. Rosine is a key partner in the Sylvania Franciscan Village’s efforts to promote sustainability and care for creation. If it relates to environmental issues, you can bet Sr. Rosine is involved: she serves on the SFV’s Environmental Wellness and Green Fund committees and assists with putting on the annual zero-waste lunch. SAVE also partners with the SFV to host breakfast gatherings that bring community leaders and organizations together to learn about environmental issues and brainstorm solutions.

“Sr. Rosine is a wonderful partner for the Sylvania Franciscan Village in our efforts to model reverence for all creation,” says Sophia Lloyd, SFV director.

Sr. Rosine says SAVE was founded to be a catalyst for individual and community action for sustainability, something that she believes should be a priority for the institutions of the SFV as well. “Somebody’s got to take this on,” says Sr. Rosine. “We need to really rethink things – look at how we build, how we live, how we transport, how we appreciate what we have."

She strives to plant seeds for the future in younger generations, including her students at Lourdes University. Sr. Rosine’s Catholic faith and her Franciscan spirituality underpin her environmental activism, and she weaves these elements into her teaching as an associate professor of microbiology. She likes to take her students on a “cosmic walk” to show them how everything is connected. “They begin to appreciate from the universe all the way down to them, their life here. I think that’s my mission: to help them see the bigger picture, that what we have as a planet is so special.”
November Events

Sylvania Franciscan Village
Night with the Gray Wolves

Tuesday, Nov. 6 at 5 p.m.
Russell J. Ebeid Recreation Center

Sisters, associates, students, partners in mission and their families are invited to share their Franciscan spirit and cheer on the Lourdes Women's Basketball Team as they take on Wright State-Lake. FREE for SFV members and their families.

New students welcomed to Sylvania Franciscan Village
Go Green Pledge
First-year students were asked to fill out pledge cards to commit to certain actions they can take to reduce their carbon footprint.
fye class
SFV director Sophia Lloyd gives a presentation to first-year students at Lourdes University.
New students welcomed to Sylvania Franciscan Village
Lourdes University students in First Year Experience (FYE) program got an orientation to the Sylvania Franciscan Village through classroom presentations and a scavenger hunt across campus in August.

SFV director Sophia Lloyd and members of the SFV advisory committee welcomed new students to the larger Franciscan family by giving presentations to 12 FYE classes, providing an overview of the SFV and information about how students can get involved with some of its activities during their time on campus. Since some students have not had previous experiences with women religious, the SFV office produced a short video for the presentation that included interviews with several sisters discussing what it means to be a Catholic sister. SFV representatives also shared about the values of the Sylvania Franciscans and the ministries they sponsor in addition to Lourdes.

Members of the SFV Environmental Wellness Committee spoke with the FYE classes directly about the core Franciscan value of creation. Students were invited to share in this value by making simple changes to habits in everyday life to support sustainability on campus. A handout with “Tips on How to Go Green” was distributed with a pledge card asking students to commit to certain actions they can take to reduce their carbon footprint.

The SFV also partnered with Lourdes Campus Ministry to create a digital scavenger hunt for first-year students. The object was to orient the students to campus and help them to learn about the sisters, their ministries and their presence on campus.

Twelve teams used the Actionbound app to navigate to 12 stops around campus, where they were greeted by sisters, employees and students who shared information about each stop. Locations included the Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes, Queen of Peace Chapel, the Sisters’ Heritage Room, All Good Things, St. Joseph Hall 110, Rosary Care Center/Our Lady of Grace, Alverno Studio, San Damiano Campus Ministry House, Sophia Center, Duns Scotus Library, Sr. Gretchen’s Kitchen and the JPIC Office. As the students collected goodies and information along the way, they documented their stops with photos and videos. It was a fun adventure for all involved!
Franciscan Tidbits
Education is a Franciscan Tradition
Lourdes University
From the beginning of the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Francis, Mother Adelaide, foundress of the Sisters of St. Francis insisted that young women entering the order were well educated. The Sisters established a small high school, located off Convent Boulevard in 1917. By 1931, the number of students had increased. A new facility, St. Clare Hall, was completed and classes began for the young women under the title of St. Clare Academy. Seeing the need for continued education the Congregation established Lourdes Junior College in 1958. Lourdes College became independently incorporated in 1973 and the board approved a move to a four-year college in 1981. Since that time, Lourdes University has grown into a well-established place of learning. It is rooted in Catholic and Franciscan traditions and provides a values-centered education. We ask blessings on the students, faculty, administration, staff, Board of Trustees and all who contribute to the well-being of Lourdes.
-Sr. Joan Jurski
Sylvania Franciscan Village Member Organizations