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Sister Ann Frances Thompson, FSE
Sister Ann Frances Thompson is among a small number of Franciscan Sisters of the Eucharist who claim Texas as their home state. As the daughter of a NASA engineer, Sister was well acquainted with the space program. Through her life in the Franciscan Community, she has entered unexplored areas of mission to discover a challenging world of need. A uniquely talented Franciscan Sister of the Eucharist, Sister Ann Frances has developed her professional skills over the years to serve children and adults with many kinds of disabilities. For years, she has worked in the fields of music and therapy, and more recently, extended her orbit of accomplishments to include equine therapy.
Sister Ann Frances earned Masters degrees in both music history and musicology from the University of Michigan and a Bachelor degree in music from Siena Heights University, Adrian, Michigan. She is a certified classroom music and band teacher, K-12, in Minnesota and in Michigan. In addition, she is a board certified music therapist with the American Music Therapy Association. She has earned two certifications with the Professional Association for Therapeutic Horsemanship International: as a PATH International Therapeutic Horseback Riding Instructor and as a PATH International Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning. Currently, she is working on therapeutic driving (carriage) certification. In November she presented a paper on "Using Music to Enhance Therapeutic Riding" at the PATH International Conference in Lexington, Kentucky.
For the past 15 years, Sister Ann Frances has worked in the Grand Rapids Diocesan Catholic elementary and middle schools as a classroom music teacher and band director. Her primary instrument is the French horn for which she is fondly known in the Franciscan Community. She also is on the staff of the Franciscan Life Process Center, Lowell, Michigan, as a music therapist with a specialty in mental health, as she focuses on children and adolescents who have issues of abuse.
As a therapeutic riding instructor at Equest Center in Rockford, Michigan, she serves children and adults in need of treatment for autism, brain injury, or physical and developmental disabilities.