Mary Silver receives name of St. Francis, Pope Francis

Sister FrancescaMERIDEN, CT (04-07-2013) - Mary Silver of Kingsport, Tennessee, who has been a postulant for the past year, was received into novitiate on Divine Mercy Sunday. To her surprise and delight, Mary was given the name Sister Francesca in honor of St. Francis and Pope Francis. Mother Shaun explained that Sister's name reflects this historic time in the Church. Two weeks prior, Christine Elliott received the name, Sister Marie Benedict. Sister Francesca appropriately had chosen "The Canticle of the Sun" by St. Francis as the opening hymn of the reception ceremony which took place before the Community Mass. Like St. Francis, Sister Francesa has a deep and exuberant love of all of God's creatures.

She received a Bachelor of Science degree in Outdoor Education with an emphasis on Natural History and minors in Biology and Writing from Northland College, Ashland, Wisconsin. After college, she worked as a Teacher/Naturalist in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park at the Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont, Townsend, Tennessee. She led groups of students, 4th graders through college age, for 3-5 days residential outdoor experiences and citizen science activities and backpacking trips. While living in Townsend, she was a member of St. Francis of Assisi Parish where she taught CCD and was on the parish council. During her time of pre-postulancy and postulancy, Mary worked as a toddler teacher at ESPN KIDSCenter in Bristol, Connecticut.

Sister Francesca's parents, Chris and Marty Silver are members of St. Dominic Parish in Kingsport. As a youth, Sister Francesca attended Dobyns-Bennett High School where she was President of the Service Club and excelled in academic and extra-curricular activities.

During the coming year, Sister Francesca will join four other novices in learning about the vows of chastity, poverty and obedience as lived in community. The novitiate also provides multiple opportunities for the novices to serve the Community on a daily basis, a critical part of their formation as they strive to give themselves entirely to Christ and His Church.

Sister Francesca

Mary Silver presents her request for novitiate to Mother Shaun Vergauwen.

Sister Francesca

Mary returns to the chapel clothed in the habit and veil amidst the joyful response of the Community.


Sister Francesca

Mary responds with "Wow!" as Mother Shaun announces her new name, Sister Francesca.

Sister Francesca

Mother Rosemae Pender, Mother Foundress, gives Sister Francesca her blessing.

Sister Francesca

Sister Catherine Mary Clarke, Postulant Director (left), and Sister Mary Elizabeth Endee, Pre-postulant Director,
congratulate Sister Francesca.

Sister Francesca

Sister Francesca joins her Sisters in prayer before the Community Mass,

Novices

Fellow novices welcome Sister Francesca. From left, Sister Faith Marie Woolsey, Sister Francesca,
Sister Mary Kolbe Heffern, Sister Mary Peter Ryan and Sister Marie Benedict Elliott.