Project Description

Sister Mary Ann Schmitz, FSE

Sister Mary Ann Schmitz, FSE

“A faithful friend is a sturdy shelter; he who finds one finds a treasure. A faithful friend is beyond price, no sum can balance his worth” (Sirach 6:14-15).

Intimately familiar with “treasures”, “prices”, “sums”, “balances”, and “worth”, Sister Mary Ann Schmitz, known in the Community as Mother Mary Ann, is indeed a treasure and has been a faithful friend to her Sisters new and old since the beginnings of the Community. Her faithful service to the Community is beyond price. As the Treasurer for over 40 years, she has guided the Congregation’s financial stability since the beginning. Her fidelity to fostering the growth of the Community, and respecting the needs and uniqueness of each Sister, while maintaining the perspective of the good of the whole is a recognized treasure. She has the ability to balance the risks of new community enterprises, sound judgment and openness to the Spirit’s direction.

smas-02Since asking to resign as Treasurer in 2011, Mother continues to serve the Community with a team of other Sisters known as the “Finance Triad.” Sister Mary Ann served on the FSE General Council from the foundation of the Community until 2011. Due to her experience, and in likeness to Mary, who “treasured all these things in her heart,” Sister is still called upon for advice, wisdom and insight. She also treasures the Community’s heritage from the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration, La Crosse, Wisconsin, and has a storehouse of memories to pass on to the next generations of Sisters. She is the Chair of the History Committee which is undertaking to document the development of the Franciscan Sisters of the Eucharist since its founding in 1973.

With Mother Rita Brunner and other pioneer Sisters, Sister Mary Ann worked to establish a solid foundation for the Franciscan Life Process Center in Lowell, Michigan, where the Community received a gift of 172 acres of land in its beginning years. Sister Mary Ann finds joy in the Center’s fields, orchard, farm animals and all of God’s creatures, especially birds. She has been an Audubon Society member and participates in annual bird counts. She maintains flower gardens and creates stunning arrangements to beautify the Magnificat House where she lives with other Sisters. She oversees the management and planning of the center’s land as a faithful steward. And, added to her administrative gifts, her personal kindness and dry wit are priceless.

Cross sculpture at the entrance of the Lowell Center

smas03

Sister Mary Ann with classmate Sister Catherine Biehl, FSE

magnificathouse

The Magnificat House, Lowell, Michigan