sister patricia larkin and pat albrecht

Be engaged as a Franciscan Associate

The Franciscan Associate program is an engaging way for women and men to pray, grow, serve and share in the mission and charism of the Sisters of St. Francis while maintaining their individual lifestyles.

Becoming an associate

Candidates for the associate program enter a year-long formation process as pre-associates. The pre-associate has a sister companion who will journey through the process with him/her. Candidates attend monthly classes on the lives of St. Francis and St. Clare, their spirituality and the history and mission of the Sisters of St. Francis. After this initial year, the new associate makes a commitment for three years at a time.

Relationship between sisters and associates

Sisters provide opportunities for associates to deepen their spirituality and grow in the love of Francis and Clare as well as their appreciation of the values of contemplation, poverty, minority and conversion. Associates are also invited to join in the celebrations and activities of the sisters.

Associates continue their commitment to ministry and respond to opportunities for growth in Franciscan spirituality. They strive to live the mission and charism of the sisters within their own individual lifestyles.

Welcoming Our Newest Associate

New AssociateMichelle Murray was welcomed as a Franciscan Associate during a prayer service Sunday, Oct. 23, at the Mount Alvernia chapel in Millvale. Sister Helen Hofmann, congregational associate program director; LaVerne Winkowski, western Pennsylvania region associate director; Sister Marie Grace Blum, western Pennsylvania associate mentor and Sister Mary Leah Krauth, western Pennsylvania region pre-associate director accepted Michelle’s commitment.

A group of current associates renewed their commitment for three years during the same service. Sisters, associates, family and friends of the associates attended the service and reception afterwards.

A certified registered nurse practitioner, Michelle and her husband, Dr. Stephen Bowles, have two children. They are parishioners at Sts. John and Paul Parish in Sewickley.

Michelle joins more than 200 women and men who serve as Franciscan Associates with the Sisters of St. Francis of the Neumann Communities. Together in the spirit of Sts. Francis and Clare. we continue God’s work in the world today.

From left: Sister Mary Leah Krauth, Western Pennsylvania Region Pre-Associate Director, Sister Helen Hofmann, Congregational Associate Program Director and new Associate Michelle Murray.

Become an Associate


become an associate crop

For more information about a Franciscan Associate program in your region, contact:

Central New York Region
Sister Helen Hofmann

Western New York Region
Sister Alice Gilabert

Western Pennsylvania Region
Associate LaVerne Winkowski

East Coast Region
Associate Frances Acosta

Associate Jenny Echevarria

In Virginia, contact:
Associate Irmgard A. M. Autrey

Associate Joan Berger

Hawaii/Southwest Region
Sister Patricia Schofield