Ever Wonder if You Can Have Guests in the Convent

Paul Keggington

May 29, 2013

Franciscan Sister of Christian Charity, Sister Elizabeth Ann Miller shares about hilltop St. Francis Convent , Manitowoc, WI guests and  recent  congratulations and farewell celebrations.

Franciscan-Sisters-guest-Jane-SchallerThe Sisters at St. Francis Convent have had many opportunities to host a variety of guest these past months. The ages ranged from 7 and 8 year olds to those in their 80’s. The topics and reasons for the arrival of our guests ranged just as widely as the ages. Besides guests we also honored some of our own, celebrating 50 and 60 years of commitment to our Lord and Community, and wishing well those Sisters who will be leaving us to make community in other Community houses.

  • We were privileged to have a guest speak, Mrs. Jane Schaller, who shared with us the history of St. Nazianz and the extension to our Franciscan Community. After her presentation many of the Sisters looked through the book listing various families that helped to form the community of St. Nazianz. Some of the Sisters found their relatives listed in the book.
  • As part of the Touchstones outreach program some of the Sisters communicate with the Friars that moved from their St. Louis province to make a new home at Felician Village. We invited the Friars to join us for dinner and visit with their “sister” Franciscans. It was a nice chance to welcome them to Manitowoc and become acquainted with our FSCC Community.
  • Our Sisters that have been graced with wisdom and age participated in a workshop given by Mary Hague on the topic of “Ageless in the Lord.” Even though these Sisters have seen and experienced much more than many of us they never stop learning and growing in the Lord.

Not all the guests that came were offering wisdom and knowledge.Holy-Angels-Catholic-School-penpals-West-Bend-WI

  • The “Silver Memories” group from the Manitowoc Senior Citizen Center came to entertain and share their gift of song with the Sisters. Many songs, not too well known by the younger audience, brought back memories to the rest of the audience and set the toes a tapping.  Afterwards our fellow senior citizens shared a little snack and stores with the Sisters.
  • We at St. Francis convent also extended our gratitude to Father Michael Morrison for his services and shepherding our little flock for this past year. Hopefully he is back in Milwaukee sitting on the porch and sharing stories with his fellow Jesuits.
  • We hosted a Jubilee Tea Party for all the Sisters in the area celebrating their 50, 60, and 75 years as a Franciscan Sister of Christian Charity. The atmosphere in the dining room was filled with joyful sharing and much tea toting. The Blessing of St. Francis was extended to all those celebrating.
  • Many of our Sisters are pen pals to a class of second graders at Holy Angels School in West Bend, WI. Last week the Franciscan-Sisters-celebrationsstudents took a trip up to Manitowoc to meet us in person.  Their excitement and enthusiasm brought back many memories of our years in the classroom. The day included a tour of the Motherhouse, meeting their Motherhouse pen pal, lunch on the back lawn of St. Francis Convent, an ice cream treat and visiting with our Sisters. It was a whirlwind visit and they were back on the bus heading home while we all headed to our rooms to rest and recoup our energy!  Oh, to be young again!!

Our final event was one of mixed emotions. The special dinner was a threefold one; our end of the year house celebration, honoring the in-house jubilarians, and our sad farewell to those leaving our little Franciscan home on the hill.  The theme of the meal was that each of us are gifts to one another. The special celebrants were recognized by another Sister for the gift she is and shares with our Community. It has been a good year and pray they we will continue to be open to God’s gifts and to be gift to one another and all those who enter our Franciscan home on the hill. Bless you Sisters!!

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