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Our Founders: The Sisters of St. Francis Oldenburg, Indiana

Mission Statement

  • We, the Sisters of the Third Order Regular of St. Francis, Oldenburg, are women of prayer, committed to the Gospel values as lived by St. Francis and Mother Theresa Hackelmeier. From our life in community we are sent to extend the mission of Jesus through our presence and service. Enlivened by a spirit of justice, reconciliation and peace, we collaborate with others in responding to the needs of the world.
  • We fulfill these words by being women of prayer in the ministries we do and the places where we are present. Since Vatican II opened the doors to the many needs of the world, we minister in education, parish ministry, social service, healthcare and social justice.

Directional Statement, Sisters of St. Francis, 2012-18

  • Through contemplation we embrace anew the prophetic message of Jesus, impelling us to hope-filled, compassionate presence and collaborative, transformative action impacting our universe.

Our Franciscan Values and Heritage, Informed by Prayer 

St. Francis and St. Clare's journey to understanding and knowing God was a search and discovery process filled with personal interactions with other individuals. The ministry of St. Francis was also a very personal, human one. Rather than retreat solely to a life of contemplation and prayer like many of his peers, St. Francis combined a life of intense prayer and ministry, traveling on the roads and preaching the gospel to ordinary people, especially the poor. He shared his love of Jesus with them. He also founded a new religious order that is today one of the most popular in the world.

The Sisters of St. Francis, Oldenburg, Indiana are the modern legacies of this 800-year-old tradition of this evangelical (Gospel centered) spirituality. They are part of a worldwide community of over one million vowed and secular Franciscan men and women who live and pray with us and around us. In 1851, they began an educational endeavor—the foundational seed of Marian University—as a way to fulfill the mission and requirement to provide education to the community.

Four of the universal values given to them by their Franciscan heritage are the values that the Marian University community strives to live by each day. These values are grounded in prayer:

We view education as a journey of a lifetime and, in the same way that St. Francis did, we believe it is a personal journey full of human interactions and relationships. We are called to make a difference in our world and to follow Jesus' call to "Rebuild My Church."

For more information about our Franciscan heritage, see the Franciscan Heritage Booklet.


  • Sr. Annette Grisley, 1974
  • Sr. Barbara Leonhard, 1976
  • Sr. Christa Franzer, 1970
  • Sr. Delouise Menges, 1975

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© 2021 Marian University
Notice of Nondiscrimination
Marian University does not discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, color, sex, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, creed, national origin, age or disabilities in the selection of administrative personnel, faculty and staff, and students.
*Placement rates are gathered from data collected from graduates within six months of graduation.

Students may make a complaint to the Indiana Commission of Higher Education.

Marian University is sponsored by the Sisters of St. Francis, Oldenburg, Indiana.

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