While there is never a lack of religious sisters on Franciscan University of Steubenville’s campus, there is always room for more. Sister M. Consolata Crews, FSGM, is a kind, soft-spoken woman and a new but welcome face to many different areas of campus.
As one of the dorm chaplains in Marian Hall, Crews serves students and works alongside them through her involvement in ministries and household life. Besides ministry, she said, “I love to be outside, take a walk, do cross-stitch here and there and just be crafty. I love being with people!” She also grew up dancing ballet, and she still loves dance.
But before coming to Steubenville, Crews’ ministry had taken her all over the country.
Crews grew up in Ventura, California, in a family of five girls and is now an aunt to 10 nieces and nephews. She went to a state school in California where she got a degree in graphic communications. Right after graduation, Crews joined NET and stayed with that ministry for three years, until a teammate helped her discern into the Sisters of Saint Francis and the Martyr Saint George, a Franciscan community that follows the third–order rule.
After entering the convent, Crews was sent back to school at Benedictine College for two years to get a degree in youth ministry and religious studies. She then served with the youth office in the archdiocese of St. Louis as a vocations director and worked at the Mater Redemptoris House of Formation in La Crosse, Wisconsin.
A pastoral associate on Franciscan’s campus as of the beginning of this semester, Crews is already very involved in campus life. She serves with the Unity Kitchen, one of the university’s Works of Mercy ministries.
“Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, from 11 (a.m.) to 1 (p.m.), we go and serve lunch to the poor at Urban Mission, which is here in Steubenville,” Crews explained. “And I love it! It’s been a joy getting to know the people there and serving the people in Steubenville every day.”
Crews also serves as a chaplain in Marian Hall four days a week and as an advisor for Mary, Spouse of the Spirit household. She assists with woman’s discernment on campus and is available if any students need help or support.
Though she’s been here a short time, Crews said she loves being on campus.
“It has been a great joy and blessing just to see how God has put me in the path of students at different times and getting to know them,” said Crews. “Just having the joy of campus life. So, it’s been great!”
Crews wants the students to know that she is here for them.
“I’m their spiritual mom, and I’m praying for them,” said Crews.
During the presidential inauguration of the Rev. Dave Pivonka, TOR, Crews heard Pivonka referred to as the spiritual father of all the students on campus, and she took that to heart.
“When I look at the campus, I don’t just see a segment of students, where I’m just here for the Works of Mercy, or I’m just here for Marian Hall, or as an advisor,” said Crews. “Yes, those are the areas that God has put me in, but at the same time, I view the whole campus, or each person really, as someone who God has called me to be available to. To intercede for, to care for, to really just be a part of your life in the way God wants me to be, it’s a joy!”
“However that may look,” she said, “whether that’s coming in for spiritual direction, going to serve the poor together or getting a cup of coffee — that’s what I’m here for.”