Sister Mary Travels Across United States for Visitation
Sister Mary Coffelt, Provincial Superior, recently spent time visiting the Sisters in the Mid-West ministries:
- Franziska Residence and Leonora Hall in Akron, Ohio. Here the Sisters’ ministry serves elderly men and women and provides a safe home for women with special needs.
- Briarbank in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. Here the Sisters oversee an assisted living facility for women.
- Corpus Cristi Parish in South Bend, Indiana where the Sisters assist in the elementary school and serve the parish community throughout the weekends.
According to the Constitution of the Congregation, the Provincial Superior is mandated to visit every convent each year. During this visitation as the trip is called, Sister Mary speaks to each Sister individually. This provides the Sisters an opportunity to express directly to the Provincial how she feels about where she is living, the services she is providing to God’s people, her hopes for the future and anything else she wishes to share. Simultaneously, Sister Mary can explain her vision for her Sisters individually and how each Sister contributes to the mission.
While first and foremost, Sister Mary’s responsibility is for the welfare of her Sisters in all the convents, visitation provides the Provincial time to assess the mission itself. Time is taken to evaluate the infrastructure of the building, the administration of the ministry, services provided to the community, financial feasibility of the mission and convent, and so on.
With an aged population of Sisters, one of the most important aspects of the Provincial’s visitation is to assess the needs of the mission. This allows her to create a strategic plan for the future of the Province, convents, ministries and so on.
The Sisters and all their supporters look forward to the next steps Sister Mary and the Council will determine to be necessary in the coming months.
Rest in Peace, Sister Edward
Sister M. Edward Toth, F.D.C. a faithful Daughter of Divine Charity for 63 years, entered peacefully into the loving embrace of her Savior on January 18, 2019. The daughter of Stephen and Margaret Toth (Gall) was born in East Chicago, Indiana on March 15, 1936 and baptized Mary Magdalene Toth on March 22, 1936 at Holy Trinity Parish.
Sister Edward entered the Congregation of the Daughters of Divine Charity on September 5, 1951 and pronounced her Final Vows on August 15, 1960.
Sister Edward served her community as a dedicated teacher, principal and superior in California, Illinois, Indiana, New Jersey and Michigan. During the past ten years she lovingly served the residents of St. Elizabeth Briarbank, and during the last three years as superior of the religious community there.
Sister Edward is preceded in death by her parents, three brothers, Edward, Stephen, George, and three sisters, Helen Kish, Margaret Dick and Dolores Marvel. She is survived by her Religious Community the Daughters of Divine Charity of Holy Family Province, loving nieces, nephews and their extended families. Sister Edward will be missed by all those whose lives she has touched.
May she rest in peace.
Our Foundress, Our Legacy
Our Foundress, Mother Franzicka Lechner, was…
a PRAYING woman who fulfilled her mission through daily
communion with God;
a COURAGEOUS woman who was ready to face the social problems of her time;
a WISE woman who found ways to solve those problems;
an ACTIVE woman who overcame difficult and risky situations;
a TRUSTING woman who relied on the Providence of our Heavenly Father and
a JOYFUL woman who sought to bring the love of God to others.
Divine Providence guided Mother Franziska, our Foundress, to become familiar with the writings of the Rule of Saint Augustine. In the conviction of this Doctor of the Church, a community of persons called by God is an essential pre-requisite for uniting the contemplative and apostolic ways of life in the service of the Lord, and it is here that Mother Franziska saw a way to fulfill her mission.
According to the renewal efforts of the Second Vatican Council, the Congregation adapted Mother Franziska’s spirituality and constitutions to the changed situation in the Church and world.
The Rule of Saint Augustine remains the foundation of the Sisters’ religious life. The Sisters today obviously cannot follow the letter of a rule that is over a thousand years old; however, the letter is also the carrier of the spirit. Shaping her life in this spirit may help the Daughter of Divine Charity to fulfill her vocation to the Evangelical Counsels.
St. Mary’s Residence, A Tradition of Supporting Women
St. Mary’s Residence was the first American ministry of the Sisters who arrived from Europe in 1913.
In 1966, the present building, capable of accommodating 152 residents, was completed. It provides a safe haven for women arriving in New York City who seek affordable housing.
Women continuing their education or beginning their professional careers are accepted. In an effort to provide services to as many young women as possible, the length of stay at St. Mary’s Residence is limited to four years.
Are you, or do you know someone that may be, interested in applying for an opening at St. Mary’s?
For more information:
225 E. 72 St.
New York, NY 10021
(212) 249-6850 or [email protected]
Message of Thanks to the Sisters
This letter of appreciation comes with much love and gratitude. St. Mary’s helped my family when we couldn’t find anywhere else for a family friend from Germany to stay.
St. Mary’s opened their doors to our dear Celina and we were able to spend several months with her in New York City while she applied for university and helped my boys after school, speaking German to them.
This would never have been
possible without the gracious spirit and open loving arms of St. Mary’s. It is times like these where I feel God more present than ever. We were so honored and blessed to have been so welcomed by you.
With eternal gratitude and love,
Liz Santini and Family