Love and Presence
Winter/Spring 2023
A newsletter for and by Associates of the School Sisters of St. Francis

By Associate Kathleen Kovatovic

Happy New Year to all!

I was recently perusing the daily prayers put out by the website. One in particular stood out to me. It was a discussion of James 2: 14-24, 26. The gist of the passage is, “Faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead.”

St. Ignatius of Loyola, in the same vein, wrote, “In your good works and holy exercises, avoid all sloth and lukewarmness as your worst enemy.”

It seems I have been saying, “I’ll pray for you” and “Sending prayers” a lot lately. Most often the message is sent via text. I have to say that often, I feel this is inadequate. What impact is this having? Does the person know I am sincere?                                                                            

Is this an example of lukewarmness? Do I feel awkward and just uncertain what to say or do, so I take the easy way out and send a text? I have to admit, there are times I am guilty of this. The Jesuit prayer suggests that when you feel this way, answer one simple question: What does love require?

My only resolution this year is to make a concerted effort to make sure that good works become a bigger part of my faith.


Jan Cosmos

Love and Presence is a great way to continue getting to know one another and strengthen our bonds. Not even COVID can stop us! Thanks to Catherine, Rosaura, and Sister Therese for launching the newsletter, and gratitude to volunteer editor, Kathy Kovatovic who so graciously invited me to join in on this edition’s “getting to know you.” So here we go!

Jan Cosmos' workshop flyer

Tina Rawlins

My life has been enriched in so many ways by the School Sisters of St. Francis. The charism, the peace-loving, and the commitment to a better world have molded me into the person I am today. 


Remembering Gene Suding

Gene loved the outdoors and enjoyed being on his farm and walking in the woods. He was a kind and generous soul that was happiest being with his family and friends.

(In the picture: Gene and Dee Suding)

In Memoriam

We remember and pray for our Lay Associates who went to home to God:
Eugene (Gene) Suding
Became an Associate 1974
Went Home November 17, 2022

See article above.

How the Word Is Passed: A Reckoning with the History Across America
Author: Clint Smith
A deeply researched and transporting exploration of the legacy of slavery and its imprint on centuries of American History, How the Word Is Passed illustrates how some of our country’s most essential stories are hidden in plain view. They might be in places we drive by on our way to work, in holidays such as Juneteenth, or in entire neighborhoods like downtown Manhattan, where the brutal history of the trade in enslaved men, women, and children has been deeply imprinted.

The God Who Riots: Taking Back the Radical Jesus
Author: Damon Garcia
In this book, the public theologian Damon Garcia uses his frank, tell-it-like-it-is style to connect us with Jesus, who flipped tables in the temple and led an empire-destabilizing movement for liberation. Garcia suggests that this God is embodied in today’s protests, riots, and strikes. As we join this struggle for liberation, we are joining the God who riots alongside us, within us, and through us.

The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World
Author: His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu
In 2015, His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu came together for His Holiness’ birthday. During their visit, they looked back on their long lives to answer a single burning question: How do we find joy in the face of life’s inevitable suffering?


Exploring Intersections. Catholic Sisters on Racism, Migration and Climate
Each month, this collaborative project of LCWR Region 10 focus on a social issue and explore how it intersects with racism, migration and climate in a thought-provoking and engaging conversation. Each panelist offers unique perspectives, notable achievements and invaluable insight on their particular topic.


Leadership Collaborative. The Leadership Collaborative was birthed to harness the energy of the amazing leadership capacity of women religious and associates.


Loving God,
Inspire me so I proceed with passion
Allow in me no room for lukewarmness and
Help me to pray with purpose and with my actions.
May my life be alive with Your love!

- Brendan O’Kane
I would like to thank all of those individuals who contributed to this newsletter. This is a platform for Associates and I welcome any ideas for upcoming editions. Please forward all ideas and comments to me at

I am still looking for Associates from the West Coast, East Coast, and the Mississippi areas that would consider joining me in a Zoom meeting prior to each newsletter. The meeting would serve as a vehicle to find out what our Associates are doing across the country. I am hoping this would make the newsletter more inclusive of Associates outside the Milwaukee area. If interested, I can be reached at the email listed above.

With much gratitude,
Kathleen Kovatovic