Mary Francis Charsky
Region Elects First Woman Regional Minister
Mary Frances Charsky, SFO, of
is the first woman to head the Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha Region of the Secular Franciscan Order, covering most of upstate
. She was elected regional minister for a three-year term at a recent gathering of ministers and delegates representing 32 fraternities. It was held at Stella Maris Retreat Center in Skaneateles, NY, from April 27 to 29.
An elementary school principal (Donnelly Elementary School in Conklin), Charsky has been a member of St. Francis Fraternity in
for 25 years. She served as local minister, formation director, councilor, and was currently vice minister. She also had been central area councilor for the region. In her church she has been Eucharistic minister, member of the parish council, and member of the adult formation and social justice committees. For more than 20 years she has been Eucharistic minister at
. She also has been active in peace-and-justice issues.
OTHER NEWLY ELECTED officers are:
-- Vice Minister Kimberly Marks, SFO, of
. She was previously western area councilor for the region, and was a founding member of St. Elizabeth of Hungary Fraternity in
. She is a client services representative for Uniform Data System for Medical Rehabilitation, and is assistant production manager and tech assistant with Shea’s Performing Arts Center.
-- Secretary Marie Meyer, SFO, of
. She is minister of St. Patrick Fraternity,
, and is working with the AIDS community. Meyer recently retired from Kaleida Health (
). In her parish she is Eucharistic minister and lector. In the community, Meyer has been involved with South Buffalo Community Table and with the Kairos Prison Ministry.
, SFO, of Warren, PA. She is active in St. Bonaventure Fraternity in
. In her parish she is a Eucharistic minister, lector, Altar Rosary member, and coordinator for the “Why Catholic?” faith-sharing program. She recently retired from United Refining Co. in
where she was CPA-manager of corporate taxes.
-- Formation Director Patti DeWitt, SFO, of
. Executive assistant with Cephas Prison Ministry in
, and an artist, DeWitt is active in St. Francis Fraternity,
. In her church, she is lector and Eucharistic minister, and serves on the finance and strategic planning committees. She is co-facilitator for a weekly Cephas prison support group at Albion Correctional Facility for women, and she coordinates drivers for Hope Hospitality House.
-- Eastern Area Councilor Catherine (Katie) Koscinski, SFO, of
. She is minister of St. Joseph Fraternity in
. A retired mental health worker, she is involved in her parish as a commissioned catechist, Eucharistic minister, lector and RCIA facilitator. In the community, she serves on the RPEA Steering Committee, and is a Bill Payer Program volunteer for Family Services of the Mohawk Valley, Inc.
-- Central Area Councilor Robert Stronach, SFO, of
. He is vice minister for St. Joseph Fraternity,
. For the region, he and his wife, Mary, are Apostolic Commissions co-coordinators and co-editors of Franciscan Mirror. They operate a creative communications business. In his parish he is a Eucharistic minister. In the community, Stronach serves on the Utica Salvation Army Advisory Board, and is a trustee of the Oneida County Historical Society.
-- Western Area Councilor Frank Guglielmo, SFO, of
. He is minister of St. Thomas More Fraternity, Kenmore-Cheektowaga. In his parish, Guglielmo is coordinator of Eucharistic Adoration, is in charge of new parishioner registration/welcoming committee, and is involved in the Strategic Planning Committee/Parish Council. A retired assistant administrator at
, Frank has been active in
and its Kevin Guest House (for families of out-of-town cancer patients).
The Secular Franciscan Order is a Catholic order of single and married members who strive to follow the Gospel in the footsteps of St. Francis of