Franciscan Associates of the Sisters of St. Francis come from all walks of life — single and married, women and men, employed and retired. Now the congregation has been doubly blessed by having a diocesan priest as an associate. Rev. John Leising presently serves as chaplain for our sisters at St. Mary of the Angels, the western New York regional house, and has a long history with our sisters. He fondly remembers as a child visiting his two aunts, Sisters Regina and Lucille Marie Leising. When he was a seminarian he also visited Sister Beatrice Leising, his sister. Through the years he has ministered in parishes where our sisters ministered as teachers.
Father John felt called to explore the possibility of becoming an associate after talking with some good friends from Kentucky who had become associates of the Clinton Franciscans. Their wonderful experiences led him to ask his sister about the associate program of the Sisters of St. Francis. Always fond of St. Francis’ message of peace and care for the earth, Father John read through the associate brochure and soon applied as a candidate. He and two other applicants faithfully attended monthly classes, fulfilled the requirements and made their commitment to live their lives with a Franciscan spirit. As an associate, Father John feels that he has deepened his spirituality and knowledge of Francis and the Franciscan order. He beams with joy now that he can say to the sisters “We Franciscans” praise God for the beauty of creation.
The Franciscan Associate program is an engaging way for women and men to pray, grow, serve and share in the mission and spirit of the Sisters of St. Francis while maintain their individual lifestyles.