Living the Founding Charism

Paul Keggington

November 07, 2009

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We,  Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity, officially commemorate our 140th anniversary as a community on November 9, 2009. This year the celebration begins on Sunday and concludes with Evening Prayer on Monday.

Traditionally, the celebration includes:

  • Eucharistic Liturgy (St. John Lateran Feast has the perfect ‘building’ scripture readings!)
  • Special Morning and Evening Liturgy of the Hours (this year’s novices helped plan the community prayer)
  • Founders’ Day Program (Sister Pamela Catherine Peasel, OSF, produced and directed this year’s  historical remembrance)
  • Cemetery Service honoring our deceased Sisters

Cemetery Service Honoring Deceased Sisters

With grateful hearts we pause today to honor those who have gone before us in this Community of Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity. The ground on which we are standing is Holy Ground. It was consecrated by the Church, set apart, to receive the bodies of our deceased Sisters, Sisters who were consecrated to God in Baptism and consecrated more fully in their Religious Profession. As they were laid to rest in this holy place, their very bodies added to the blessing of this ground…our eyes rest upon names of Sisters who have gone before us. We see dates long before our time, but faith tells us that today we live in the presence of each one of these women who have touched our lives and who look to us at this moment with love in their hearts.

From our past, Sister Pelagia had reminisced how candles used to be lit on the graves of our deceased Sisters during November. This seems to have been our custom in our Community in our very early years. Today, we will place a lighted candle on the graves of our Community leaders, representing all of our deceased Sisters.

Noteworthy References

foundresses.jpgThe Fidelity to a founding charism is evident in the history of religious communities. Read Sister Donna Marie Kessler’s, OSF (community archivist) noteworthy references revealing something of our own charism as lived in the beginning days. 

Here’s our first entry. A new reflection will be added under this posting’s comments each day until November 25, 2009.

The simple faith response of Theresa Gramlich (Mother Gabriel) when called, through Father Joseph Fessler to teach catechism to the children at Clarks Mills. This is in her own written words. “I replied: “If Father Oschwald wants me to go, I shall go.” (Father Oshchwald was her ‘pastor’ at St. Nazianz.)

Why is it important to remember the past?

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