Franciscan Sisters of the Eucharist

On March 4, 2024, Mother Miriam Seiferman, FSE, Mother General, Franciscan Sisters of the Eucharist; Mother Shaun Vergauwen, FSE, Co-Foundress of the religious order and Foundress of the Franciscan Life Center; Sister Barbara Johnson, FSE, Vicar General, and Director, gather to kick off the 50th anniversary of the Center’s founding.

The founding of the Franciscan Life Center was the vision of Mother Shaun who, in living and working with the people, saw a desire in individuals and families for deeper meaning in their lives. She received supervision and became the 53rd licensed marriage and family therapist in the State of Connecticut.

Humble beginnings in a two-room rental with four clients in Meriden was the first site. As clientele grew, so did the need for more space. Several locations were home to the counseling center before the 1747 Walter farmhouse on Finch Avenue became available to the Sisters. The restoration of the dilapidated house, on the stagecoach route between Hartford and New Haven, came back to life in its original beauty.

From 1987 to 1995, the Franciscan Life Center staff was sharing the house with Franciscan Home Care and Hospice Care. Again, as both programs grew, so the need for more space.  Mother Shaun’s vision, talented architects, and hundreds of volunteers, led to the building of the existing Franciscan Life Center, which opened in September 1995. Today, the unique architecture, the beautiful campus grounds, and the healing programs and services affirm Mother Shaun’s vision for meeting the needs of individuals and families.

The Franciscan Life Center is a faith-based, licensed, counseling and education center offering individual, marriage, and group counseling to individuals and families.  The staff also offers educational and spiritual enrichment programs including Anxiety Workshops, Land-based Summer Experiences, Youth Leadership, and a Franciscan Community Service-based Land Program.