Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity recently gathered together at our Motherhouse Holy Family Convent, Manitowoc, Wisconsin, to reconnect with one another before another missioning year begins. Community Director Sister Natalie Binversie spoke words of encouragement and hope. She commented that “we are living in unsettling times; however, we are not living without hope! We heard that message of hope over and over last evening from our Sisters who have gone before us.” Sister Natalie was referring to a presentation prepared by Novice Directress Sister Kathleen Murphy entitled Animated Archives. Novice Sister Catherine Peter Logan, Sister Adrianna Schouten, Sister Ann Carla Baumann, Sister Carol Seidl, Sister Winifred Crevier and Sister Kathleen shared stories of some of our Sisters now in heaven that witnessed lives of faith, hope and love throughout our history since 1869.
Sister Natalie also referenced: “In the most recent TAU Series …TOR #17, Brother Bill Short, OFM had an article titled, “Give an Account of the Hope That Is Within You.” He quotes from 1 Peter 3:15. “Always be ready to give an account of the hope that is within you with gentleness and respect.” To give an account of the hope that is within us is our challenge. He goes on to write, “We have a hopeful word that will speak to today’s Church and society. People are seeking an alternate language, an alternate way of looking at the human person, the meaning of the Church, who God is, what Christ represents and the meaning of salvation and creation. Franciscans have a word of hope to speak to these questions. We hold a family treasure that needs to be rediscovered and shared with those who seek. We must ‘get the word out.’ But to do so requires intelligent analysis of the signs of the times as well as effort and dedication in living out its implications. (Originally published in The CORD, 53.5, Sept./Oct. 2003, 252-259)
She reminded us that our “Church has begun three initiatives to help create communities of hope: the opportunity to participate in the Synod 2021-2023 For a Synodal Church: Communion, Participation, Mission; the United States Council of Catholic Bishops announcement of a Three Year National Eucharistic Revival on Corpus Christi, the Feast of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, June 19, 2022 and Pope Francis’ announcement of a Jubilee Year in 2025. The motto for the Holy Year of grace and pilgrimage will be ‘Pilgrims of Hope.’ We do not have to wait until 2025 to listen with Hope and enter the Pilgrimage of Hope.”
Our Temporary Professed Sisters, Sister Mary Teresa Bettag, Sister Concepcion Medina and Sister Maria Guadalupe Martinez Lopez, renewed their vows of poverty, chastity and obedience at the Mid-morning all Community Mass. The rest of the day included reports from the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity Sponsored Ministry System Office, Property and Building Planning Committee, Vocations Update, Chapter Committee Report, Upkeep of Buildings and Treasurer. The General Administration met with Local Directors of our convents throughout the United States following Evening Prayer. With a spirit of communal joy and holiday focus, Sisters chose among a variety of recreational activities to close the day together.