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Hidden in the Eucharistic Heart of Christ

1378: Beginnings in Switzerland — The Sisters of St. Francis of the Holy Eucharist have a long and rich history in the Church. Their humble beginnings were in the Black Forest of Bavaria where three women impelled by the love of Christ united together to live a life of prayer and penance. This little band was recognized by the Church and accepted the Rule of the Third Order Regular of St. Francis in 1378, just 152 years after the death of St. Francis. St. Ottilia, their founding Convent in Switzerland, has been a place of uninterrupted Perpetual Adoration for nearly 600 years.

Mother John Hau, FoundressThe Sisters often faced the threat of political suppression. At one point their poverty so resembled that of St. Francis that those wishing to overtake them found “nothing worth taking” and so the little band of Sisters was left in peace. Truly they were a living example of possessing “only the riches of Jesus Christ”.

1892: Arrival in United States — Fearing further political oppression, five Sisters led by Mother John Hau were sent to the United States in 1892 to establish a place of refuge for the congregation. Facing a new country and language, and grappling with the need to provide for the Sisters, the house in the United States was established not as a cloister but as an active community.

Apostolate begins — Though not contemplatives, the Sisters continued their tradition of daily holy hours before the Blessed Sacrament. Already considering involvement in elementary education, the Sisters recognized the prompting of the Holy Spirit when a railroader whose wife had just died appeared at the door of the convent with his three small children. Speaking to Mother John he said, “Now you must be their mama”. Thus began St. Francis Orphanage and the tradition of total dependence on the providence of God to lead and provide.

Our Lady of the Angels Chapel1982: Move to Independence, MO — The Sisters continued to listen to the Spirit's promptings in their lives. In the 1970’s they opened missions in Mexico and in Brazil in response to the appeal of Pope Paul VI to religious communities to send 10% of their members to the missions. In 1982 they moved to their current motherhouse in Independence, Missouri, continued their commitment to education, opened the Franciscan Prayer Center, withdrew from the missions and established the Franciscan Mission Warehouse to provide for the needs of the poor throughout the world. Through it all, the Sisters’ love for Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament has remained constant.

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Sr. Mary Clare, O.S.F.
2100 N. Noland Road
Independence , MO 64050
Tel: (816) 252-1673
E-mail: stfraneucharist@aol.com