Associate Commissioning


We praise God for the commitment and re-commitment you are about to make and we welcome you warmly into our lives, for on this Magnificat day for each of you, we too are inspired to re-dedicate ourselves to the mission we hold dear as daughters of Theresa Maxis.
-Sr. Mary Persico, IHM

Sister Jean Louise Bachetti's reflection

New IHM Associates Commissioned

Five new IHM Associates were commissioned in a ceremony held in St. Elizabeth Ann Seton parish in Bear, Delaware on Sunday, November 13, 2022. After a welcome and opening prayer offered by Sister Katie Clauss, the ceremony commenced with introductory readings, reflections and prayers offered by Sister Jean Louise Bachetti, Sister Grace Surdovel, Sister Redempta Sweeney and Sister Sandy Grieco. After the readings and prayers, the five new associates (Joan Burlew, Catherine Davey, Kathie Sarnecky, Mary Calderone and Olga Ward) signed their covenants affirming their commitment to the IHM Associate relationship. Sister Katie then offered a blessing with the stole of both the new associates as well as current associates in attendance. Prior to the commissioning service, Sister Jean Louise facilitated a retreat day for the candidates for associate relationship at the parish center. Immediately following the ceremony, the new associates and their guests were invited to a luncheon held in the parish hall.

Bear Delaware Associate Commissioning 11 13 22
Pictured L-R seated: Joan Burlew, Joyce Marchesi, Diane Braendly. L-R standing: Harold and Janet Chalfont, Sister Sandy Grieco, Catherine Davey, Sister Redempta Sweeney, Jo-Ann Baca (circle leader), Sister Katie Clauss, Kathie Sarnecky, Sister Jean Louise Bachetti, Mary Calderone, Sister Grace Surdovel, Olga Ward, and Ann Herman

Associate Re-Commitment in Maryland

On Saturday, November 5, 2022 the Circles of Grace from North Beach and LaPlata gathered at Archbishop Neale School for their annual Founder's Day Re-Commitment to the IHM Associates. They were joined by Sisters Kathryn Clauss, Ann Monica Bubser, Anne Mary Smith and Theresa Frere and Sister Ann Parker, their Facilitator for monthly gatherings. The day began with brunch and social time together. Father Scott Woods, pastor at Sacred Heart Church was happy to welcome everyone. They then participated in sharing thoughts on questions related to: Image of Theresa at Home (statue at the entrance to the IHM chapel) - The 2018-2022 Direction Statement (phrases and related Scripture passages which these groups discussed for many months) - IHM & Discipleship (current topics for monthly discussion) - The 2022-2026 Direction Statement (which we hope to break open) and Exploring the Future of IHM Associates (hopes for our future). This fruitful discussion concluded with the Re-Commitment Ceremony in the school chapel. Our time together concluded with the Associates and Sisters participating in the Walk-a-thon in front of the school for the cause of Mother Mary Lange.

IMG_3877 (1)
Pictured are Nancy Sisson, Ray Wheeler, Maureen McCarthy, Maggie Schlereth, Patty Hanko, Maureen Hudson, Sister Kathryn Clauss, Donna Hebb, Sister Ann Parker, Sister Ann Monica Bubser, Sr. Anne Mary Smith, Sister Theresa Frere, Peggy Howard, Barbara Costa, Judy LeSage, Teresa Griffin, Debbie Wheeler. Missing from the picture is Ann Gillespie.

On the evening of November 10, 2021, our IHM Founders Day, in our first bi-lingual ceremony, we commissioned eight new IHM Associates. They are Rufino Cano, Lilliana Cano, Martha Isabel Benjumea, Teofila Mendoza, Lisa Lori, Rebecca DePrato, Mary Jane Prislupsky, and Mary Catherine Baker. These associates were prepared for this commitment in three different circles of grace with Sisters Robert Mary Murphy, Jean Louise Bachetti, Donna Korba, Mary Elaine Anderson, Giovana Fuentes Bendivez and Alejandra Marroquin. The ceremony was one that had a wonderful spirit of hope for the ongoing life of the Gospel message contained in our IHM Charism. We were indeed blessed on this 176th anniversary of our founding with these
eight individuals committing themselves to live our IHM Charism and core values within the context of their lives. Our founders Theresa Maxis and Louis Gillet were surely rejoicing with us and for us. We warmly welcome each of them into this IHM Associate relationship.

L-R: Sister Mary Elaine Anderson, Sister Giovana Fuentes Bendivez, Alejandra Marroquin, Liliana Cano, Martha Isabel Benjumea, Teofelia Mendoza, Rufino Cano, and Sister Donna Korba

L-R: Sister Robert Mary Murphy, Mary Catherine Baker, Mary Jane Prislupsky and 
Rebecca De Prato

L-R: Sister Jean Louise Bachetti and Lisa Lori

On the evening of September 30, 2020, three women were welcomed as new IHM associates during their commissioning ceremony via Zoom technology. These three women are seeking something more. They have caught the field of energy, the charism, that unique gift of the Holy Spirit. We are blessed by the grace of their presence.

Stephanie Oliver


Stephanie was born in Thompson, PA and is now living in Troy, PA. Before COVID she faithfully traveled to Scranton to gather with her Circle of Grace; Zoom has become the new form of “gathering.” Stephanie tells us her formal education began in a one-room school house. This experience sparked her call to become an educator and she taught for thirty-five years. She and her husband, Andrew, have been married for forty-six years. As a seeker of the Divine, Stephanie studied at the Himalayan Institute where she learned meditation, yoga, and breathing. Stephanie is now a licensed massage therapist.

Susan C. Turrel


Susan’s Jewish roots readily prepared her to respond to the call of IHM Associate Relationship. Like Abraham and Sara, like Moses and like Ruth, she has traveled to foreign lands, including the unknown territory of IHM sisters. Susan grew up in Houston, Texas, lived there for over forty years and then moved on. She accepted the position of provost of Marywood University where she became familiar with IHM sisters and caught the energy of their charism. Now having taken a leave from her work, Susan and her wife, Sandy, find the time to enjoy the beauty of Northeastern Pennsylvania.

Joanne G. Weiss


You may know Joanne from the many retreats she has given in Cresco, the IHM Center, and the Passionist Monastery. She is also the sister of our deceased Sister Ann Grayeski. Joanne has crossed many thresholds in her life as an ordained minister, campus minister, retreat director, and counselor. She also engages in spiritual work with small groups of women. Her love of nature and her contemplative spirit led her to co-publish a book of reflections and prints, Whispers of the Soul, with her husband Tom. Both Tom and Joanne enjoy whispers of the soul in the beauty surrounding their home in the secluded woods of Lake Ariel.

We warmly welcome you among us, Stephanie, Susan, and Joanne. As friends on the journey we pledge to you our prayerful support and encouragement as we grow deeper in our relationship with you.

20200112_122852 (3)
L-R: Jane O'Neill, Lissette Ballesteros-Furstenau, Gladys Garber and Robert Zito, newly commissioned associates; Sister Mary Ellen Higgins and Sister Ellen Maroney

On Sunday, January 12, 2020 we celebrated the commissioning of three new IHM Associates, Lissette Ballesteros-Furstenau, Gladys Garber, and Robert Zito. The ceremony was held in the chapel of Most Holy Trinity Parish in Cresco, PA, the site of the former retreat center administered and staffed by IHM Sisters from 1990 to 2013 and a sisters' residence for more than 50 years. It was a joyous occasion and a certain energy filled the chapel during the ceremony. Afterward, sisters, associates, families, and friends enjoyed a luncheon reception prepared by the associates. This commissioning ceremony marks the culmination of two years of preparation facilitated by IHM Associates Daniela Rivera, Beverly Hartje, Arlene Calemmo, and Marguerite Morrow. It is the first time in IHM history that a Circle of Grace was led by associates who embody the IHM presence where the sisters no longer serve. During her opening remarks, Ellen Maroney, IHM President, suggested that our founders, Theresa Maxis Duchemin and Louis Florent Gillet, would be very pleased to learn that IHM Associates are a strong, viable presence of IHM in our world today.

20200112_123148 (3)

First row: Mary Ellen Higgins, IHM; Joanne Musa; Gladys Garber; Lynn John; and Ellen Maroney, IHM
Second row: Marguerite Morrow, Ellen Bader, Lissette Ballesteros-Furstenau, Beverly Hartje, and Arlene Calemmo
Third row: Daniela Rivera; Jean Louise Bachetti, IHM; Jane O'Neill; Robert Zito; and Paulette Gallo

“This is our voice, our prayer for the future where dreams of the past are given life. We hold the treasures of those who’ve gone before us; prophets of vision and pilgrims of the dream.” With One Voice–Sister Joan McCusker, IHM

Sally Conaboy sm

Sisters, associates, and friends observed Founders Day at the IHM Center on Wednesday, November 13, 2019. The celebration began with a turkey dinner for the Scranton area sisters, associates, and invited friends. Following dinner the celebration continued with evening prayer in the IHM Center Our Lady of Lourdes Chapel. The prayer was joyful as all witnessed the commissioning of Sally Conaboy as an IHM Associate, and the renewal of the covenant promises by thirty Scranton area IHM Associates. In remembrance of Founders Day, November 10, 1845, Sister Ellen Maroney placed a stole on the shoulder of each associate and extended an individual blessing to each. On Founders Day, 174 years ago in Monroe, Michigan, Father Louis Florent Gillet placed a stole on the shoulder of each of the three founding members of the new congregation, Sister Theresa Maxis, Sister Ann Constance Schaff, and Sister Theresa Renault. Today we hold this practice as one of the treasures of those who’ve gone before us. In solidarity with all IHM sisters, we begin this year of celebrating our 175 anniversary of shared history and grace.    Pictured above: IHM Associate Sally Conaboy

New IHM Associates Commissioned in St. Petersburg, Florida

Associates Re-Commissioning St Petersburg FL 10.26.19 - 23

It was a day of rejoicing and celebration on October 26, 2019 in the chapel of Bon Secours Maria Manor in St. Petersburg, FL, when Rose Coryn,
Mary Lynn Delfino, Amy Kinnard, Sheri Scheutzow, and Jane Shafer were commissioned as IHM Associates. Also, Beverly Capanna and Joan Morey
renewed the commitment they first made on January 29, 2012. All IHM Associates witness to the IHM core values and charism in their daily lives.
Sister Flo Marino facilitated Beverly’s and Joan’s Circle of Grace. Sisters Lisa Perkowski and Flo have been guiding Rose, Mary Lynn, Amy, Sheri
and Jane for the past two years as they prepared to be commissioned. The IHM Congregation surrounds these women with prayer and friendship as
together all move forward to witness to the IHM core values and charism in their daily lives.
Pictured L-R front: Lisa Perkowski, IHM, Joan Morey, Beverly Capanna, and Flo Marino, IHM. L-R back: Rose Coryn, Amy Kinnard, Sheri Scheutzow, Jane O'Neill, Mary Lynn Delfino, Jane Shafer, and Ellen Maroney, IHM


On Saturday, March 30, 2019,  Teresa Griffin and Maureen McCarthy were commissioned at Maureen’s home in Deale, MD. The commissioning ceremony took place within the celebration of the Eucharistic Liturgy. Maureen and Teresa are a part of our Circle of Grace in North Beach, MD. Sister Ann Parker, IHM is the facilitator of the Circle. Our North Beach Associates are active in various ministries there, including the operation and staffing of the parish food pantry. We welcome Maureen and Teresa as IHM Associates and pledge our support and prayer. Pictured above Front L-R: Maureen McCarthy, Sister Ann Parker, IHM, Teresa Griffin, Sister Carol Loughney, IHM. Middle L-R: Jane O’Neill and Lynn Turner. Back L-R: Maureen Hudson, Patty Hanko, and Bob Turner

Vestal Commissioning - April 11 2018.

Six women were commissioned in the chapel of Our Lady of Sorrows Parish Center in Vestal, NY on April 11, 2018. The members of the Circle of Grace, facilitated by Sister Robert Mary Murphy, IHM, began their journey a little more than two years ago. During their introductory period, the Circle visited the IHM Center on several occasions and in December 2017 they made their retreat in preparation for the writing of their covenants. Following the commissioning ceremony, the associates, families and friends enjoyed refreshments in the parish center café. We welcome our new associates and we promise our prayer, support, and friendship as we continue together on the journey. Pictured above L-R: Sister Robert Mary Murphy, IHM, Jane O’Neill, Director of IHM Associates, Janet Higham, Andrea Hatzinger, Deborah Fitzgerald, Sheri Congdon, Peg Logalbo, Karen Pomeroy, and Sister Ellen Maroney, IHM

Commissioning-Jan 10 2018

On the evening of January 10, 2018 four women were commissioned as IHM Associates in Gainesville, Florida. Pictured L-R: Jane O’Neill, Director of IHM Associates, Beatrice Caulson, IHM, Kristina Tomlinson, Joan Van Vorst, Ellen Maroney, IHM, Shanell Weems, Marian Dailey and Nancy Elder, IHM

Renee Matillano- Commissioning Nov 2017
During the annual Founders' Day dinner and prayer on November 15, 2017 at the IHM Center, Renee Matillano was commissioned an IHM Associate.   Pictured Above L-R: Sister Ellen Maroney, Renee Matillano, Jane O'Neill, and Sister Jane Snyder.

Pittsburgh - commissioning Oct 2017

Our newest associate from St. Mary of the Mount in Pittsburgh was commissioned on October 24, 2017. Honora (Bonnie) McCarthy has been in her Circle of Grace for four years. Pictured above are the members of Bonnie's Circle of Grace at her commissioning ceremony. Pictured above L-R front: Bonnie McCarthy. L-R middle: Debbie Pirring, Grace Harding, Peggy Testa. L-R back: Joan Kuzel, Jane O'Neill, Director of IHM Associates, Maureen Kitner, and Madonna Smith


The IHM Congregation and IHM Associates welcomed four new associates on August 2, 2016. They were commissioned in the chapel at the IHM Center. Sisters Susan Hadzima and Kathy Kurdziel facilitated their Circle of Grace. Pictured above are Jane O'Neill, Sister Susan Hadzima, Carolyn Flannery, Maggie Germano, Megan Knight, Diane Featherall, Sister Kathy Kurdziel and Sister Ellen Maroney.


On Sunday, July 17, three employees from Marywood University's Houekeeping Department were commissioned in the chapel at OLP. Sister St. Kenneth Polley, a resident of OLP, and Sister Mary Denise Thomas facilitated the Circle of Grace over the course of 18 months. Pictured above  L-R are: Sister Ellen Maroney, Jane O'Neill, Pamela Chairge, Karen Rossmell, Sister Mary Denise Thomas, Sister St. Kenneth Polley and Cheryl Kosydar.


Sister Betty Bullen, Sister Kieran Williams, and Jane O'Neill travelled to Williamston and New Bern, NC on the weekend of February 5 -7, 2016 for the commissioning of two associates in Williamston, Maggie Simpiney-Mensah and Rose Linsangan. Both Sisters Betty and Kieran served as parish administrators for many years and facilitated Circles of Grace in Williamston. The people of Holy Trinity Parish celebrated with the sisters and the newly commissioned associates.

After the commissioning ceremony and parish reception, Sisters Betty and Kieran, Jane and the Williamston associates went to New Bern, NC for prayer and a reception with Sister Monique Dissen, IHM, Pastoral Associate at St. Paul Catholic Church in New Bern, and the New Bern associates. Sister Monique and the New Bern associates welcomed the Williamston contingent. Pictured above  L-R are: Sister Kieran Williams, IHM; Rose Linsangan, newly commissioned associate; Sister Betty Bullen, IHM; Jane O'Neill, Director of IHM Sister-Associate Relationship; Joy Marie Harsen; Maggie Simpiney-Mensah, newly commissioned associate; Sister Monique Dissen, IHM; Dot Dove; and Debbie Hardison.

Scranton Nov 11 Commissioning

The IHMs welcomed four new associates during their commissioning ceremony at the annual Founders' Day celebration at the IHM Center on November 11, 2015. Sister Jackie Donohue facilitated the orientation process for these new associates. Pictured in the IHM Center Chapel after the ceremony are left to right: Ellen Eiden, Jane O’Neill, Chris Fryer, Rose Opshinsky, Frank Opshinsky, Sister Mary Helen Slavinskas and Sister Ellen Maroney.

Ptsburg Nov 8 2015 Commissioning
Six new associates were commissioned at St. Mary of the Mount Parish in Pittsburgh on Sunday, November 8, 2015. Pictured above around the statue of Our Lady in the church garden are from left to right are: Joan Kuzel, Sister Delia Marie McNeirney, facilitator of the Circle of Grace, Madonna Smith, Sister Ellen Maroney, IHM President, Paul Wilt, head of the alumni association who presented the plaque, Jane O'Neill, Director of Associates, Peggy Testa, Maureen Kitner and Sister Joanne Madden. Absent from the photo is Debbie Pirring who was also commissioned.

OLP Commissioning-May 31 2015
Three women who faithfully volunteer at Our Lady of Peace Residence were commissioned as IHM Associates on Sunday, May 31, 2015. Pictured are Ann Marie Sutkowsky, Patricia Sheehan and Gale Jaeger. Our new associates serve as Eucharistic ministers and companions to individual Sisters. Ann Marie, Pat and Gale were delighted to make their commitment to the IHM charism and core values in the presence their beloved Sisters at OLP.

StJohnEvangelist Commissiong May 17 2015
A commissioning of new IHM Associates took place in the chapel of St. John the Evangelist Convent in Silver Spring, MD, on May 17, 2015. Pictured L-R: Jane O’Neill, Beth Johnson, Sister Kay Lannak, Carla Haywood, Peg Daly, Annemarie Bruckwick and Sister Ellen Maroney.

Associate Commissioned March 1 2015

Four new IHM Associates were commissioned at a ceremony held at the Our Lady of Peace Chapel on Sunday, March 1, 2015. Pictured L-R are: Jane O’Neill, Director of IHM Associates, Joe McCarthy, Barbara McCarthy, Mary Kay Jordan, and Andrea Cortese, newly commissioned associates, Sister Jean Louise Bachetti, Councilor for Spiritual Development, and, Sister Linda Anne Greenberg, who facilitated the associates’ Circle of Grace.

IHM Associate Mary Monahan w/ Husband Bill

Mary was commissioned as an IHM Associate in Gainesville, Florida, on November 20, 2014. Above, Mary Monahan with her husband, Bill.

IHM Associates, Cresco, PA November 2014

Above, six IHM Associates were commissioned in Cresco, on November 23, 2014. Pictured L-R front: Eileen O’Donnell, Kate Woehrle, Lynn John, Paulette Gallo, Judy Nye. L-R back: Jane O’Neill, Ellen Bader, Sister Ellen Maroney, and Sister Gloria Frank.

Gainesville, Florida, Associates Nov 2014

Three women were commissioned in Gainesville, Florida, on November 19, 2014. Pictured L-R: Sister Nancy Elder, Stephanie Bokowy, Regina Mallini, Sister Beatrice Caulson, Sister Ellen Maroney, Jane O’Neill, and Jennifer Jones.

September 8 2012 commissioning

On Saturday, September 8, 2012, four were commissioned as IHM Associates in Our Lady of Sorrows Church, Vestal, NY. Pictured back L-R: Sisters Therese O’Rourke, president of the IHM Congregation and Robert Mary Murphy, IHM, director of Catechumenate and Evangelization in Our Lady of Sorrows Parish. Front L-R: Jacqueline Adams, Marcia Eckerson, Ann Kane (standing in for her mother, Barbara Kane) and Yvonne Kay.

June 10 2012 Commissioning

Eight Associates were commissioned on June 10, 2012, at Our Lady of Peace Residence. Pictured above Front L-R: Sister St. Monica Costello, Tina Freda, Sandra Childress, Carolyn Brazill, Judy Battle, Sister Jean Louise Bachetti. Back L-R: Sister Therese O’Rourke, Ann Williams, Lisa Kirby, Chuck Wallinger, Janice Richardson, and Sister Jane Snyder.


In the newly renovated Holy Family Church, St. Petersburg, Florida, four associates committed to IHM Associate Relationship on January 29, 2012. Pictured L-R front are: Jeannine Storer, New Associates: Beverly Capanna, Grace Harding, Joan Morey, Linda Speare-Gonitski. Middle: Sisters Florence Ann Marino, Terry O’Rourke, and Jean Louise Bachetti. Back: Father Paul Mangiafico, Deacon Mike Columbus, and Father John Tapp, pastor.

Gainesville Fl

IHM Associates commissioned in Gainesville, FL on January 30, 2011. Pictured L to R: Vickey Jasinski, Sr. Nancy Elder, Sondra Moorhead, Elizabeth Cole Patton, Mary Welch, Marilyn Orzech, Sr. Beatrice Caulson, Faye Coorpender, Sr. Jean Louise Bachetti, Sr. Therese O'Rourke, Alisa Hanson and Sr. Franziska Laudascher.

Sept 20 2009 commissioning

Members of two Circles of Grace from Williamsport, PA and Vestal, NY gathered at the IHM Center on September 20, 2009. Pictured above L-R: Sr. Jean Louise Bachetti, Sr. Robert Mary Murphy, Patricia O’Connor- Allen, Else-Marie Griffin, Lilly Pedroza, Jude Byrne, Elizabeth Becker, Diane Rigotti, Sr. Agnes Shaw and Sr. Mary Persico.

Sept 20 2009 commissioning

Pictured above L-R: Sr. Rita Ann Naughton, Jane Roche, Phyllis Zarzyczny and Ann Williams.

August 2009 commissioning

On a warm Sunday, August 9, 2009, eight IHM Associates were commissioned in the historic church of St. Ignatius, Chapel Point, Maryland. Pictured above L-R: Sister Ann Parker, Sheila Nelson, Teresa Comstock, Barbara Costa, Nancy Sisson, Donna Hebb, Maggie Schlereth, Judy LeSage, and Margaret Howard.

Associates May 13 2009

Five IHM Associates were commissioned on May 13, 2009 at the IHM Center Chapel. Pictured above are (L-R) Maryann Siddons, Mary Hanley, Helen Findlay, Amy Fotta and Arlene Calemmo.

Associates Commissioned Feb 19 2009
On Thursday, February 19, 2009, IHM Sisters and Associates came together in Gainesville, Florida to witness the commissioning of six IHM Associates. Gathered in Queen of Peace Chapel under the Immaculate Heart of Mary stained glass window, Christin Harwick, Claudette O’Toole, Mary D. Delzell, Patricia Rohs and April Funston of Gainesville and Jeannine Storer of St. Petersburg, in the presence of Sr. Mary Persico, made their commitment to live and witness to the IHM Core Values. Father Kazimierz Ligeza, parochial vicar offered Mass following the commissioning. Also present were family members and friends along with coworkers from Queen of Peace School. Srs. Beatrice Caulson, Nancy Elder, Franziska Laudascher, and Florence Ann Marino will continue to share in a Circle of Grace with the associates.

Feb 8 2009 Associates
On February 8, 2009, in the chapel of the Pascucci Family Our Lady of Peace Residence, Sister Mary Persico commissioned three IHM Associates. Pictured L-R: Sr. Jean Louise Bachetti, IHM, Francis X. Walsh, Sr. Mary Persico, IHM, Mary Louise Searing, Joanne Ligorio and Sr. Linda Anne Greenberg, IHM.