AUBURN — Starting in the 2021-22 academic year, two Franciscan Sisters of the Eucharist will join the staff at St. Dominic Academy as teachers while also overseeing and enhancing campus ministry on both the Auburn and Lewiston campuses.
Sister Christianna Hamman, FSE, and Sister Francesca Silver, FSE, will each bring extensive experience along with enthusiasm and excitement to work with Maine youth when they arrive in the summer to prepare for their new roles at the academy.
“The diocese is grateful for the upcoming arrival of Sisters Christianna and Francesca to provide spiritual care and a full-time presence at both campuses. They will serve as shining examples to our young people that we all have a vocation, a call from God to live out our lives in a particular way,” said Bishop Robert Deeley. “Through the example of their lives, the sisters will assist the faculty and staff at St. Dom’s in helping our children understand their call in life, the beauty and importance of the Eucharist, and the fulfillment that comes with serving others.”
“They will be a presence on campus in a way that I could not be and will be able to build upon, strengthen, and further develop our retreat program and student ministry in new ways,” said Fr. Seamus Griesbach, who is leaving his role as school chaplain to become rector of the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Portland and pastor of the Portland Peninsula & Island Parishes. “There are only 2,000 religious sisters working at Catholic schools in the United States today. We will be able to have two of them, and two of the best. I can think of no better team to take on the care of our students.”
“Both sisters are naturally gifted, experienced, and have done quite well as teachers,” said Mother Miriam Seiferman, FSE, Mother General. “They have a comprehensive sense of mission and a capacity for creativity that have enabled them to be successful.”
Sister Christianna is currently a mathematics teacher and campus minister at Central Catholic High School in Portland, Oregon. She has also served as a Spanish teacher and campus minister at Rice Memorial High School in Burlington, Vermont; a religion and Spanish teacher at East Catholic High School in Manchester, Connecticut; and an eighth-grade classroom teacher at St. Peter/St. Francis School in Torrington, Connecticut. Sister Christianna is proficient on the piano and organ and has a strong background in music, including as a music ministry leader at St. Thomas More Catholic Student Parish in Kalamazoo, Michigan. She has also been a coordinator for summer enrichment programs at the Franciscan Life Center in Meriden, Connecticut. Sister Christianna holds a master’s degree in theology from Holy Apostles College and Seminary in Cromwell, Connecticut, and a bachelor’s degree in education with dual majors of mathematics and Spanish from Western Michigan University.
Sister Francesca is currently a middle school Spanish and religion teacher at St. Bridget School in Cheshire, Connecticut. In addition to her classroom experience, for the last decade, Sister Francesca has been a program facilitator for Franciscan Land-Based Experiences, which facilitates and conducts day camps for children (ages 6 through 12) that introduce them to outdoor exploration, gardening, caring for animals, and team building. She also spent five years as a teacher/naturalist at Great Smoky Mountains Institute in Townsend, Tennessee, where she provided environmental education experiences for children, teens, and college students at Great Smoky Mountains National Park. During her time in Tennessee, Sister Francesca created and directed a grant-funded Girls in Science Camp to encourage young girls’ interest in science. Sister Francesca holds a bachelor’s degree in outdoor education from Northland College in Ashland, Wisconsin, where she was named a National Merit Scholar.
Based in Meriden, Connecticut, the Franciscan Sisters of the Eucharist are vowed religious women who embody the spirit of St. Francis of Assisi in seeking the sense of the sacred found deep within each person. They value and cultivate a spirit of simplicity, a love for the elegance of beauty in natural forms, and a way of life that creates community.