Sister Maria Sena, FSE
“Irreversible change” describes Sister Maria Sena’s mission. She lives this mission as a potter, as a marriage and family therapist and as a formation director. Her work with clay serves as an analogy to her work with counseling clients and Sisters in formation. She helps persons become centered internally as clay on the potter’s wheel, and be formed into the beautiful person God intends them to become. Sister Maria understands the process of “high fire” through which the shaped clay is irreversibly changed. Through her counseling, clients experience positive changes in their lives which, hopefully, will endure irreversibly. Her guidance of Sisters in formation also effects change in the Sisters as they experience transition into religious life as novices and temporary professed.
As the foundress of Franciscan Pottery, Sister Maria creates stoneware and porcelain pottery. Her signature glazing techniques make every item a unique piece of art. Sister Maria’s offerings include large outdoor bird baths, vases, dinnerware, bowls, pitchers, mugs, piggy banks, and even earrings. She has designed bowls for baptismal fonts, and tiles for kitchen counters.
Sister Maria was raised in Helper, Utah, in the Rocky Mountains. Her parents, Eli and Lucy Sena, who were of Native American and Spanish descent, instilled in her a love of nature. Her artistic and therapeutic work with clay is as natural to her as the sight of trout splashing in a cold mountain stream.
Sister Maria holds a M.S. degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from the University of Bridgeport and a B.A. in Art from Viterbo College, and is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist on the staff of the Franciscan Life Center, Meriden.