Sylvania Franciscans restore Heritage Room

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Sunday, 11 October 2009 00:00
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SYLVANIA—The Sisters of St. Francis of Sylvania recently reopened the congregation’s Heritage Room, which was severely damaged when a steam pipe burst in November 2005.

The Heritage Room contains artifacts of the 93-year history of the Sylvania Franciscans. Founded in 1916 by Mother Mary Adelaide Sandusky to staff three Diocese of Toledo schools, the Sisters of St. Francis have expanded their ministry to include education, social work, health and human services, religious, parish and spiritual direction. They serve in 12 states and the island of Haiti.

Coyle Funeral Home
The Heritage Room includes a corner where Mother Adelaide’s desk, chair and other personal belongings, including the habit she wore when she met with Pope Pius XII in 1956, are on display. The room has a series of display cases featuring artwork of St. Francis of Assisi, cards, a candelabra from St. Anthony, the original chapel, badges from the ladies Guild, photos of various sisters in their ministry, and other historical artifacts.

To take advantage of the latest technology, the Heritage Room has three flat screen televisions mounted on different walls. One shows a collection of old film footage of buildings and sisters from the 1950s and ’60s. Another has a series of photos of the Motherhouse grounds from the early years to the present that shows the transformation the 89-acres in Sylvania has undertaken from its beginning. The third screen has the four “Living Mothers” who served as leaders of the community from 1976 to 2004 as well as the current congregational minister talking about their work following in the footsteps of Mother Adelaide.

“The spirit of the past has brought us to where we are today,” said Sylvania Francisan Sister Diana Lynn Eckel, congregational minister, “and it is what will carry us into the future. The world today is very different from the one this community served in 1916. More than 50 years ago Mother Adelaide told us to ‘watch what is happening now and adapt to it.’ Spending time reflecting in this room renews our sense of purpose, who we are and where we must be. We hold history in one hand and the present and future in the other.”   

The Heritage Room is located in Madonna Hall next to Our Lady Queen of Peace Chapel, in the northeast section of the motherhouse grounds. For more information, call 419-824-3627.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 20 January 2010 13:57
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