What is a Franciscan Social Justice and Advocacy Day

Paul Keggington

July 18, 2010
Franciscan Sisters All Community Gathering

Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity gathered for a 3 day Community Gathering on July 16-18, 2010.

Integrating community prayer, speakers, meals and recreation, Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity focused on social justice awareness and advocacy on July 17, 2010  as part of an all community 3 day weekend  at our Motherhouse in Manitowoc, WI.  Sister Carmen Marie Diaz, OSF, Sister Marcolette Madden, OSF, Sister Camilla Wolfgram, OSF, Sister Carol Seidl, OSF, Sister Elena Gonzales, OSF, and Sister Kathyrn Klackner, OSF were Saturday’s event planners.

Note: Watch for more coverage of this weekend in the coming days regarding Friday’s 75th Celebration of Silver Lake College of the Holy Family and Sunday’s choral reading ‘Dialogue of Francis and Lady Poverty’.

Here’s a Saturday snap shot.

Community Prayer

While Sister Louise Hembrecht, Community Director, welcomed all Franciscan Sisters before Friday’s Evening Prayer, Father Dan Felton, pastor of St. Francis of Assisi Parish, Manitowoc, WI, presided at a Saturday Morning Eucharist inspiriting the Gospel call to justice and peace . Father Finian Zaucha, OFM, Father Samuel Jadin O Praem, and Father Jeremiah Cullinane concelebrated. Sister Carol Ann Gambsky, OSF coordinated the liturgy planning for Mass while committee members also beautifully crafted the day’s theme in Evening Prayer.


John CarrKeynoter: John Carr, Executive Director, Department of Justice, Peace and Human Development for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, set the tone outlining the mission and message of Catholic social teaching and some of its implications for religious life  while lifting up the challenges at the heart of Pope Benedict’s two major social encyclicals: God is Love and Charity in Truth. Click here to review the power point slides.

Building a Franciscan House on Principle Stones: Sister Camilla Wolfgram, OSF, Sister Jan Villemure, OSF and Sister Elizabeth Benvie, OSF,  highlighted Where Are You at the Table, an intergenerational Franciscan program based on the seven major themes of Catholic Social Teaching. For more information contact us here.

Franciscan Sisters’ Role in Health Care: Sister Joy Rose, OSF, Sister Anne Turba, OSF and Scott McConnaha, Director of Corporate Relations for FSCC Health Care Ministry, Inc., gave a brief overview of current USA health care looking more closely at  Catholic Church teaching and views on health care. Real life examples made the material meaningful.

Francis and Ecological Science in Dialogue: Dr. Erik Hoyer, professor at Silver Lake College of the Holy Family, a Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity-sponsored institution, and Sister Anne Marie Lom, collaborated to address Franciscan care for the earth from an integrated ecological and spiritual view.

Diverse Experiences: In 1869 Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity began diverse experiences while illuminating the Gospel life with children of diverse backgrounds. Sister Elena Gonzales, OSF and Sister Carol Seidl, OSF presented our meaning of diversity through the words of Jesus and St. Francis. During the interactive session, previously selected Sisters shared beliefs and values related to diversity.

The Biology of Race: What is race and does it even exist? To what extent are racial categories developed as social constructs to group people so that advantages can be given to some and not to others? Sister Lorita Gaffney, OSF and Dr. Steve Vanden Avond, UW Green Bay, looked at examples of how the concept of race developed, how it is used differently in the world and some implications of using racial categories.

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Action Planning

Sister Kathyrn Klackner, OSF facilitated the distribution of community discussion materials for 2010-2011. Franciscanized World will feature these topics in the coming months and invite you to join us in adding your voice to the conversation.

Ethnic Foods and Entertainment

The theme of the day was celebrated with an evening social that sampled simple ethnic foods and invited light-hearted feet to enjoy cultural dances.

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