Three women profess vows, one received into the novitiate with the Sisters of St. Francis

Sister Anne Marie Saphara, OSF, professed temporary vows (three years), Sister Kimberly Clouse, OSF renewed her temporary vows and Sister Barbara Jean Donovan, OSF, transfered her perpetual profession of vows on Saturday, Aug. 7 during a Mass celebrated at St. Anthony Convent Chapel, in Syracuse. In addition, Cheryl Wint was received into the novitiate during evening prayer on Friday, Aug. 6 at 6 p.m. at St. Anthony Convent Chapel. What follows is a look at their journeys toward their vocations and the what effect this calling has had on their lives.

Sister Anne Marie Saphara, OSF, daughter of Helen Yantch and the late David A. Yantch, grew up in Auburn, N.Y. and earned a bachelor’s degree in art and education from SUNY Oswego as well as graduate hours in art from Oswego. Prior to entering the congregation in 2007, Sister Anne Marie worked for the U.S. Air Force at the Pentagon as a graphic artist. She went on to serve as a graphic artist with defense contractor, Northrop Grumman Corporation working on the Gulf War Illness Investigation project and for Force Health Protection and Readiness.
Visiting the Blessed Marianne Cope Shrine in Syracuse was a turning point for Sister Anne Marie. “The minute I entered the chapel, I didn’t want to leave,” she said. Sister Anne Marie is a “late vocation” having been married, she has one son, William David. “I am excited to be part of this new Franciscan community which accepted me as a late vocation,” she said. “I believe God has a plan for all of us to live the vocation that will bring us closer to Him. When we are in the vocation that He desires for us, I believe that God gives us the graces to live that life to its fullest.”
Sister Anne Marie worked in various ministries in the congregation during her year as candidate and second year novice. This fall, she will begin working as a graphic artist in the congregation’s communication office. 

A native of Pittsburgh, Pa. and daughter of the late J. Donald and Eleanor Donovan, Sister Barbara Jean Donovan, OSF, serves as administrator of St. Francis Social Adult Day Care in Syracuse. She earned a bachelor of science degree and master of education degree in library science from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh and a master of science degree in healthcare administration from the George Washington University in Washington, D.C. She is a licensed nursing home administrator in the state of Pennsylvania. She has served as administrator of Holy Family Manor in Pittsburgh; vice-president of post acute services and administrator at St. Francis Health System in Pittsburgh; administrator of Divine Providence Hospital of Pittsburgh, and later Mercy Providence Hospital; administrator at Man Appalachian Regional Hospital in Man, W.V. and president of St. Joseph’s Hospital in Alton, Ill., to name a few. Sister Barbara Jean joined the Sisters of St. Francis of the Providence of God in Pittsburgh, Pa in 1960 and in 2008 transferred to the Sisters of St. Francis of the Neumann Communities. Donovan says, “It was the spirit and simplicity of Francis and his love for the poor and needy that motivated me to join the community.” She made a transfer of her perpetual profession of vows to the Neumann community.

Butler, Pa. is the hometown of Sister Kimberly Clouse, OSF, daughter of Sandra and Edward Clouse, who will be renewing her vows for three years. Clouse was working with teens in her home parish of St. Joseph in Chicora, Pa. and was encouraged by one of the sisters to go on a retreat at Mount Alvernia in Pittsburgh, Pa. She then continued to participate in other events with the sisters in the Western Pennsylvania Region until she entered the community in 2004.
“Being called to be a Franciscan is something that is at the core of my being,” she said. “To be with this community is a blessing beyond words.”  When she moved from Pennsylvania to the Western New York Region of the congregation, Sister Kimberly ministered at Vive La Casa, a refugee organization in Buffalo, N.Y. where she was the intake coordinator. “The experience of working at Vive is something that I hold very close to my heart,” she said. Sister Kimberly continues her studies at Canisius College in Buffalo where she is a full-time student. In May 2011, she will receive her bachelor’s degree in philosophy and religious studies. 

It was a bulletin notice in a Catholic church in Silver Spring, Md. that led Cheryl Wint, daughter of Lola Neill and the late Windsor Wint, to discover the Sisters of St. Francis of the Neumann Communities. A resident of Silver Spring, Wint is a graduate of the Education for Parish Service Program of the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C. and has pursued undergraduate studies at Trinity University in Washington, D.C. For the past 15 years, she has served in various church-related ministries including religious education; coordinator of altar servers; co-chair of a faith sharing group; Meals on Wheels; and as a member of Sisters in Spirit, a women’s group sponsoring teens and young adults in church ministry in the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C.
While living in the formation house in Syracuse, Wint ministered at St. Joseph Hospital and assisted the sisters at Jolenta Convent. She was a choir member at St. Margaret’s Parish in Mattydale and participated in a Bible study group at Christ the King Retreat Center. Commenting on being received into the novitiate, Wint said, “There is a richness of spirituality and diversity of people in the congregation. The order provides openness and acceptance of older women who have had a career and lived in the world.”

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