STATEMENT OF THE DIOCESE OF TOLEDO REGARDING THE CENTER DEVOTED TO “OUR LADY OF AMERICA” IN FOSTORIA (SENECA CO.), OHIO
In response to a number of inquiries which have been received, the Diocese of Toledo wishes to provide the following clarifications:
- References have been made in promotional materials to The Our Lady of America center in Fostoria (Seneca Co.), Ohio. However, it should be noted that the Diocese of Toledo has never been asked to give, nor has it given, any approbation or recognition to the center or its activities.
- References have also been made in promotional materials to “The Contemplative Sisters” of Our Lady of the Nativity Convent in Fostoria. It should be pointed out that there is no canonically recognized religious community connected with the center. There is one individual, Patricia Ann Fuller, who identifies herself as Sister Joseph Therese. She is not a member of a canonical institute of consecrated life, having been dismissed from the Society of the Precious Blood community in 1982 after she and two other sisters, now deceased, left the order to live their own contemplative way of life.
- Patricia Ann Fuller maintains that she has continued to live as a Religious, and that it is her intention eventually to found a new community of women devoted to the promotion of “Our Lady of America.” At this point, no canonical steps have been requested or taken in this regard. Patricia Ann Fuller has met with Bishop Blair of Toledo and has assured him of her desire to act in full harmony with the Church.
- In a letter to the Bishops of the United States dated May 31, 2007, Archbishop Raymond Burke offered his positive assessment of the history and content of devotion to Our Lady of America. The following words of Archbishop Burke have the full endorsement of Bishop Blair of Toledo: “Some have raised with me the canonical question regarding the status of Our Lady of the Nativity Convent in Seneca County, Ohio, which has been the residence of any remaining member of the suppressed contemplative branch of the Congregation of Sisters of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus. In response, I observe that the canonical question has no bearing on the devotion or its approbation.”
September 10, 2008