Seneca County

St. Francis Senior Ministries celebrates 150 years of in Seneca County


St. Francis Senior Ministries is pleased to announce the celebration of their history of providing care to those in the Seneca County area and surrounding communities. The Sisters of St. Francis were founded in 1869 in Tiffin, Ohio, by Fr. Joseph Bihn, a parish priest at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, and Elizabeth Schaefer, a local parishioner and widow, to respond to the needs of orphans and elderly who had no one to care for them after the Civil War.

Over these past 150 years, their charism, Franciscan values of concern for the poor, care of creation, contemplation- action and peacemaking have kept them responding to the needs of the times, shaping their lives and shaping their ministries.  Since 1869, 544 women joined as Sisters of St. Francis; however, not all have remained. There are currently 81 sisters and 81 Tiffin Franciscan lay associates.

St. Francis Home opened in 1869 and today is a part of St. Francis Senior Ministries who provides housing and healthcare choices for seniors. The campus offers 65 independent living villa units over two locations, 31 efficiency apartments at Elizabeth Schaefer Apartments, 36 Assisted Living residences at two locations, and a 132-bed skilled nursing facility, including long-term and short-term rehab care, both as in-patient and out-patient. In moving forward, the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph through its senior care ministry, CSJ Initiatives, has taken over the care and ownership of St. Francis Senior Ministries effective March 1, 2019, so that these ministries can continue far into the future.