Mother Rosemae Pender, FSE, Mother Foundress (left) and Mother Shaun Vergauwen, FSE, Co-foundress

Our Founding Story

We were founded as the Franciscan Sisters of the Eucharist in 1973 by a decree of the Vatican’s Sacred Congregation for Religious.

Our founding was in response to the call of Vatican II for religious communities to renew religious life. The fifty five original founding Sisters were members of the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration in La Crosse, Wisconsin, USA and had participated in a program of renewal within that congregation. It was discerned by the Sacred Congregation for Religious that the new expression of religious life emerging from this program of renewal would grow more fully if it were established as a separate congregation in its own right. As a result, on December 2, 1973, the First Sunday of Advent, the Franciscan Sisters of the Eucharist came into being as a Pontifical Community. The founding years drew upon the energy, drive and commitment of the young Community to form centers of community life that expressed the vision which impelled the Sisters to move into this new venture, and to initiate various forms of apostolate to meet the needs of people.

The vision and Spirit-directed leadership of our foundresses, Mother Rosemae Pender and Mother Shaun Vergauwen, continued to inspire the community as they served as Mother General and Vicar General, respectively, from the beginning until 2005, at which time, Mother Shaun Vergauwen was elected Mother General and Mother Miriam Seiferman was elected Vicar General.

A new era of founding was inaugurated in December 2002 with the establishment by the Archdiocese of Hartford of the Franciscan Brothers of the Eucharist as a Public Association of the Faithful with the intention of being aggregated to the Franciscan Sisters of the Eucharist as the men’s branch of the order.


Remember the Rock
from Which We Were Hewn

Mother Rosemae Pender, FSE

September 11, 1921 – June 26, 2016

We remember with profound love and lively joy, Mother Rosemae Pender, FSE, our Mother Foundress, who is our constant inspiration in our efforts “to rebuild the Church by being a Eucharistic Body filled with the dimensions of the Church” as she frequently urged us.

“I bless you all that I can and more than I can, and what I cannot do, I ask God to do in you.”