Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity gathered face to face for the first time in two years for an all Community Gathering at our Motherhouse in Manitowoc, WI. The program began with a welcome from Community Director Sister Natalie Binversie. The purpose of the meeting was to keep everyone involved and informed. The day covered various topics.
Vocations was the immediate morning focus. All heard the good news of God’s call among us and were encouraged to keep inviting young women however and wherever possible. Chapter Committee sharing was next. One committee’s work, a Reprinted Franciscan Office Book including the Proper Offices for St. Anthony, St. Bonaventure, St. Mary of the Angels Church of the Portiuncula, St. Clare, Stigmata of St. Francis, Our Holy Father, St. Francis, St. Elizabeth of Hungary and All Saints of the Seraphic Order was completed. It was later blessed and distributed to all after Evening Prayer through Local Directors. Permission for this book had been granted for the sole use of the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity and approved by the various copyright owners. It comes in a friendly layout with Canticle of Zechariah and Canticle of Mary on the inside cover and has larger print.
Next, Fr. Placid Stroik presided at a Eucharist of Remembrance of our Sisters who have died in the last years since we were together. Volunteers carried lit candles representing each of these deceased Sisters, while others served as cantors intoning a litany acknowledging each Sister’s name. This formed the entrance procession. After the Gospel was read, four of our Temporary Professed Sisters also renewed their vows. Sister Mary Teresa Bettag, Sister Colleen Demro, Sister Cecilia Joy Kugel and Sister Concepcion Medina were applauded. It was a Mass that inspired much hope for our future and the power of the intercession of our Sisters who are now in heaven.
Sister Myra Jean Sweigart, Community Treasurer, began the afternoon with a finance report. Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity Sponsored Ministry, Inc. CEO Scott McConnaha followed with an update on the system office. He was also on hand to facilitate a Property and Building Planning Committee process with the Sisters.
After the time of discussion, the General Administration took time for a conversation with the Local Directors of our convents throughout the United States. After Evening Prayer we continued enjoying each others’ company at a special buffet created by our Motherhouse Kitchen Staff. Sisters also took time throughout these days to frequent displays on our members who were called home to God since the last time we were together. These were prepared by others of our Sisters who were sensitive to include a unique personal touch for each Sister remembered.