Households plan to celebrate anniversaries with reunions

Photo provided by MOS

Margaret Peppiatt
Staff Writer

Many households at Franciscan University of Steubenville are celebrating various significant anniversaries this fall and spring. This year, over half a dozen households are holding special events, such as reunions, to commemorate decades of being a presence on campus.

Whether it is 10, 20 or 30 years, many households have had significant impacts on the student life of the university since their beginning on campus in the 1970s.

Servants of the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus, a women’s household, are commemorating 30 years since their founding. Senior Maylee Brown, coordinator of Servants, said the household originated when a praise and worship group decided through a process of prayer that they wanted to do more.

Household sisters in Servants seek to live out the virtues of Marian obedience, joyful service and Eucharistic humility, Brown said.

“The way we live it out is just like Mary received Jesus in her womb and then went out to serve Elizabeth,” Brown said. “We receive Jesus in the Eucharist and then we go out to joyfully serve him. We have to have that Marian obedience and surrender to the will of God so we can joyfully serve.”

The Servants are having a reunion from Oct. 22-24. Current and former sisters will have Mass, a holy hour and Lord’s Day to celebrate their anniversary. One of the founding sisters will be coming to campus to share insights about the household’s beginning.

This year also marks 30 years since the founding of Totus Tuus Maria women’s household. A small group of women motivated by Pope Saint John Paul II and Marian consecration started the household in 1991.

Senior Pilar Slonkosky, coordinator of TTM, said, “Technically our household was founded off campus in a little blue house where these Hispanic women met for communal prayer and ultimately just (sought) to grow closer to Christ through sisterhood, and they loved Saint JPII.”

Sisters in TTM are united around “a common goal that we all want to seek, and that is to become more like Mary,” said Slonkosky. In addition to unity, the household focuses on humility, service and prayer.

“Prayer is a big one,” said Slonkosky. “Without prayer, any action is fruitless. So we prioritize personal prayer, we put that in the covenant, but also communal prayer. Every day there’s a group of women who are dedicated to fast, offer up a holy hour, and conclude the day with night prayer for our household (sisters) of the past, present, and future.”

TTM planned to have a reunion last spring, but COVID-19 regulations prevented a big celebration from occurring. The household has rescheduled the reunion for spring 2022, giving past members the chance to return to campus for a retreat weekend and to socialize with current sisters in the household.

Madonna of the Streets is another women’s household celebrating a big anniversary: 20 years. Their story began in Gaming, Austria, when a future saint inspired three young women in 2001.

“We had three founders, and they heard Pope Saint John Paul (II) talking about the new evangelization and how young people have to go out into the streets and really spread the good news of evangelization,” said junior Lauren Savia, coordinator of MOS. “So from that, (MOS) was founded.”

The household emphasizes prayer, service and active participation in the pro-life movement.

“We have a strong focus on personal prayer and setting that foundation of personal prayer to then go out and serve others,” Savia said.

Household sisters attend Mass and pray the rosary daily, coming together as a group for several weekly commitments such as praying outside an abortion clinic every Saturday.

MOS had a reunion Sept. 24-26 to commemorate the two decades since their founding. The event included talks, sister testimonies, shared meals and Mass.

Guardians of the Divine Will, a men’s household, are celebrating 10 years in March.

“We’re a young household but it’s a big step for us and we’re having a big reunion,” said senior Chase Dorsett, coordinator of Guardians. “We have most of our past brothers coming. It sounds like we could have upwards of 80 brothers and their families coming.”

Planning for the Guardians started in the summer and they have a number of things planned for it so far, Dorsett said.

Other households celebrating anniversaries in the 2021-22 year include Theotokos, 25 years; Conquer Through Love, 30 years; and Servants of the Savior, who will be celebrating 20 years with a reunion in spring 2022.

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