St. Francis Senior Ministries announces new ownership

St. Francis Senior Ministries announced Thursday it is to have a new sponsor and owner, the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph, through its senior care ministry, CSJ Initiatives.

Sister Sara Aldridge, president of St. Francis Senior Ministries corporate board, said 10 years ago, St. Francis started looking at partnership opportunities with other faith-based organizations and they were “very happy” to announce Congregation of Saint Joseph and the Sisters of St. Francis are in the process of obtaining necessary third-party approvals and expect the closing to be Jan. 1.

Aldridge, who also is the community minister of the Sisters of St. Francis, said senior ministries was the founding ministry for Sisters of St. Francis of Tiffin and has been available for about 150 years.

“This transfer sponsorship allows us to leverage resources and ensure that the sacred mission of the sisters will continue smoothly by partnering with another faith-based Catholic organization,” she said. “We see this as an opportunity for the gift we received 150 years ago to continue on for at least another 150 years.”

Executive Director of St. Francis Senior Ministries Sean Riley said there is a greater need for the services the organization provides, and the ability to offer those services is becoming more complicated.

He said St. Francis Senior Ministries is very good at what it does and working with Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph as a partner will only help them be better in those areas to develop more expertise.

“It’s in the best interests of organizations to take a look at their history, where they’ve been and where they’re headed and make sure they’re aligned for the benefit of the organization to continue, (which) is a growing concern,” Riley said.

Sister Marguerite O’Brien, CEO of CSJ Initiatives, said there is a need for religious communities to look ahead and see what the future holds for their ministries and CSJ Initiatives is trying to help others in that decision. The organization’s involvement is as a senior care manager and owns other facilities, she said.

O’Brien said bringing the professional skills and understanding the new regulations and the depth of senior care is important because it is “pretty overwhelming if you were trying to do this by yourself.”

“We’re trying to bring the best of that to the best of what religious congregations can bring and that is relationships. We are bridging that gap and filling the need for several religious communities,” she said.

Riley said the sponsorship is good for the community.

“It positions a mission-driven organization to continue fulfilling that mission for the benefits of the stakeholders of St. Francis Community; Tiffin, Ohio; Seneca County; and the region surrounding those areas,” he said. “We remain a top 10 employer in the county. We have a full continuum of services for older adults. With this transfer of sponsorship, it allows St. Francis to continue doing those things and working alongside the community to provide needed services.”

Aldridge said people in the area won’t see an obvious change and it still will be St. Francis.

“Campus is staying the same campus, employees are staying the same employees, so it is a continuation of what is going on,” she said. “It is a way that we can make sure our mission is preserved with Catholic-based, long-term care and housing.”


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