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Livonia Welcomes Three New Felician Associates

Three women smile together in church.

Felician Sisters at the Livonia, MI convent were joyful as three new members—Marilyn Pachota, Mary Ann Ralko, and Ellen Stroyan—were received into the Felician Associate program on Sunday, August 14, 2022.

Felician Associates are lay women and men who support and promote the mission of the Felician Sisters. Associates are united in their desire to embrace the Felician charism and mission, whether they are single or married, widowed or divorced, mothers or fathers, college students, young professionals or retirees. Associates are people who want a spiritual life and a deeper relationship with God.

The celebrant of the Mass to welcome the new associates was Rev. Joseph Romano, resident at the Felician-sponsored Senior Clergy Village. During the homily, Father Romano emphasized the four aspects of the Felician Charism: to be Eucharistic, Ecclesial, Evangelical (Franciscan), and Marian.

After the Mass, the new members and their guests joined the sisters in De Sales Hall for brunch. Everyone was welcomed by the local minister, Sister Rose Marie Kujawa. A short program followed the meal, and SM De Sales Herman, co-coordinator of the Felician Associate program, invited each of the new members to give a short account of how they became interested in becoming a Felician Associate.

Marilyn indicated that she was taught by the Felician Sisters in elementary, high school, and at Madonna University. She served as school secretary at St. Sabina School, where Sister Joyce Marie Van de Vyver was the principal and a strong advocate for Marilyn to become a Felician Associate.

Mary Ann became acquainted with the Felician Sisters when she volunteered to work at Angela Hospice. She met with Sister Mary Giovanni Monge, who was the founder and director of Angela Hospice. Later, she met with Sister Mary Margaret Kijek, who was principal at St. Edith's where Mary’s children attended school. Dinah Cabanas, a nurses’ aide at the convent and a Felician associate, finalized the invitation.

Ellen attends Mass regularly at St. Mary Mercy Hospital chapel. That is where she met Sisters Darlene Marie Schoenherr, Jane Mary McNamara, Agnes Marie Molitoris and Serafina Marie Dixon. Today, Ellen serves as one of the main sacristans at the hospital chapel.

Do you have the desire to incorporate Felician spirituality into your own way of life? We welcome you to join us! The path to becoming a Felician Associate is a journey. You will have time to learn, reflect and to get to know the sisters, and the sisters will get to know you. To learn more, visit our website: https://www.feliciansistersna.org/join-us/become-a-felician-associate/.