Transfer of Leadership takes place June 10, 2018.
Sisters Bea Eichten, Rose Margaret Schneider, Susan Knutson and Grace Skwira will transfer Leadership of the congregation to a new team: Sisters Carol Schmit, Grace Skwira (elected to a second term), Charlene Grossman and Carolyn Law. This new team of Franciscan Sisters will serve the congregation from June 2018 through June 2023.
On March 2, the Franciscan Sisters elected Sister Carol Schmit as the Community Minister and President. Serving as the 21st community minister, Sister Carol, along with three assistant ministers, will be responsible for the spiritual and ministerial life and mission of the congregation.
Originally from Wayzata, Minn., Sister Carol received a bachelor’s degree in social studies and speech from the College of St. Catherine, St. Paul, Minn. and a master’s degree in sociology from Fordham University, New York, N.Y. She also studied at Purdue University, Purdue, Ind., University of Minnesota, St. Paul, Minn., and St. Louis University, St. Louis, Mo.
Sister Carol is a former secondary teacher, vocation director, missionary in Venezuela, administrative board member of the Franciscan Sisters and co-founder and director of Clare’s Well. At the time of the elections, she was serving as a missionary in Ocampo, Coahuila, Mexico.
Elected as assistant ministers were Sisters Grace Skwira, Charlene Grossman and Carolyn Law.
Sister Grace Skwira was raised on the farm near Opole, Minn. She earned degrees in nursing and theology and ministered in nursing, midwifery, health care education, Hispanic ministry and as a missionary for many years. She served in Yunguyo, Peru; Chonburi Refugee Camp, Thailand; Carmen Pampa, Bolivia; Oneonta, Ala.; and Monterrey, Mexico. In Minnesota she served in health facilities in Breckenridge, Onamia and Little Falls. She also served her Franciscan Community as vocation minister and community secretary. A member of the current Leadership team, she has been elected to a second term.
Sister Charlene Grossman, a native of Chokio, Minn., earned a licensed practical nurse certificate from North Dakota State School of Science, Wahpeton, N. Dak., and became a chaplain at Abbot Northwestern Hospital, Minneapolis. She ministered as a licensed practical nurse, chaplain and director of pastoral care and served in Little Falls, Onamia, Breckenridge, Moorhead, Fergus Falls, Minn., and Fargo and Wahpeton, N. Dak. Her most recent ministry was as pastoral assistant at St. Elizabeth Catholic Church, Elizabeth, Minn.
Sister Carolyn Law, originally from Yankton, S. Dak., received a bachelor of arts degree in humanities, theology and secondary education from the College of St. Benedict, St. Joseph, Minn., and a master of arts degree in counseling psychology from Loyola University, Chicago, Ill. She served in education and parish ministry and as a missionary in Venezuela and Nicaragua. She is a licensed professional counselor and a trained brain integration technique practitioner.
These four Franciscan Sisters bring energy, wisdom and experience as they prepare for their new leadership roles. “We renew our commitment to live into the future guided by the life-changing teachings of Francis and Clare and Assisi, in these times which are both troubled and longing for a new level of consciousness,” Sister Carol Schmit said. They all agree that is a privilege and honor to serve their sisters in Community in this important way.
The Franciscan Sisters of Little Falls, Minnesota, are a congregation of women religious committed to the gospel and Franciscan way of life. They advocate for the poor and marginalized, work for social justice and seek to create communities of peace wherever they are called to serve.
Sharing Franciscan life and values, the sisters are accompanied by some 300 Franciscan Associates from North, South and Central America who proclaim their call to live the spirit, charism and mission of the Franciscan Community. They are women, men and families who commit to a formally recognized mutual relationship and live this commitment within their own lifestyle.