Franciscan Sisters Care for God’s Creation

Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity supported Saturday’s April 22, Earth Day by caring for “God’s creation” around our Motherhouse. St. Francis, in his beautiful Canticle of the Creatures, praises God, Brother Sun, Sister Moon, Brother Wind and Sister Water. All created things are brother and sister to us. We need to care for them as God has called us to do.

Earth Day energies were spent on beautifying the Motherhouse properties.  Sister Katherine Warning and Silver Lake Student Megan worked on the ravine on Alverno Road. Sister Elaine Turba and Sister Caritas Strodthoff also helped descend to the depths collecting fallen debris.

Sister Theresa Feldkamp canvased St. Joseph Woods. Sister Mariadele Jacobs walked the cemeteries. Responsible for pulling out  garbage from around the Stations on the eastern side of the Motherhouse woods, Sister Charles Ann took time to rake this area.

Everyone collected two large and two small bags of garbage including: a large piece of cardboard, numerous plastic bags, candy wrappers, pop cans, plastic milk bottles, plastic water bottles, a long 3” piece of tin, an old hose half buried in mud and debris, pieces of Styrofoam, and much more. Road ravine and wooded areas all look 100% improved. Sister Caritas said “It felt good to make the woods a place of beauty once again and safety for creatures that live there.” The fruit trees showed their gratitude by showing signs of blooming. 

Franciscan Postulant Reflects on Prodigal Son and God’s Mercy

On this Divine Mercy Sunday, Franciscan Sister of Christian Charity Postulant Megan shares a 3 part video reflection (approximately 15 minutes total) on God’s Mercy as portrayed in the Prodigal Son for a Theology class.

Listen to the other podcasts on our youtube channel by clicking here.

Franciscan Sisters Share Mound Bayou News

Franciscan Sister Emy Beth Furrer shares news from St. Gabriel Mercy Center, Mound Mayou, Mississippi, including Virginia Tech students’ visit, Diocese of Biloxi Youth Rally, Hammond, Louisiana outing and gathering of new board of directors.

Virginia Tech Students’ Visit

In early March twelve students from Virginia Tech came to provide volunteer services at St. Gabriel Mercy Center as well as to the civic community. Through a gift of one of our benefactors, Sister Monica Mary DeQuardo arranged for tickets and entrance into the Grammy Museum in Cleveland, Mississippi for the students and the Sisters where Taylor Swift, pop-rock singer, is being featured. (The only other Grammy Museum is in Los Angeles.)

Diocese of Biloxi Youth Rally

At the invitation of Ray Lacy, Director of Youth Ministry for the Diocese of Biloxi and companion, Mr. Mark McMillan, Sister Monica Mary and Sister Emy Beth Furrer attended the 40th Diocesan Youth Rally in Biloxi to speak about the services offered at St. Gabriel Mercy Center. While on the Gulf Coast, the Sisters met up with friends of St. Gabriel Mercy Center, our St. Vincent de Paul benefactors from Pascagoula, Mississippi.

Louisiana Day Trip

A one-day outing to Hammond, Louisiana, to visit with Sister Juden Lang and her sister, Dorothy was a delight! Sister Juden was on her home-visit celebrating a family wedding. Niece Debbie, and husband, Mike, hosted us at their home with an authentic Southern luncheon: shrimp, catfish, crawfish, and all the trimmings.

New Board of Directors

Tuesday, March 21st brought the members of the new Board of Directors of St. Gabriel Mercy Center together for their first active session. Unfortunately, Mr. Vic Byas needed to be absent on this particular evening. Indeed, we are moving forward the mission, vision, philosophy, and values!


Convent Tour for Kiel Catholic School Students

Franciscan Sisters recently welcomed Grades 3-7 from Divine Savior Catholic School, Kiel, WI. Our convent visit was one of the blended learning opportunities that the school’s curriculum encourages.

Faculty member Linda Tibo reached out with this visit request. Sister Veronica Schad, who is familiar to the students because of monthly visits to area schools, was happy to organize the pilgrimage.

Desiring that the young people meet other Sisters, Sister Caritas Strodthoff, Sister Karen Suhr, and Sister Elaine Turba assisted with the tour groups around the Motherhouse.  Sister Maureen Bomaster and Sister Georgellen Vissers made the effort to catch up with Linda after once being faculty members together. The visit included Mass with the Sisters in St. Mary Chapel and lunch in the gym.

The students sent a thank you card to Sister Veronica on arriving back in Kiel. Someone certainly took the time to create an appropriate card. We were touched by the thoughtfulness!

Franciscan Sacred Easter Music by Ken Whisler

Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity feature Ken Whisler’s sacred music for solo guitar for the Easter Season. May the spirit of the music inspire you “to respond to God’s fiery passion, how to engage it, and, most important, how to be changed by it…find yourself gradually transformed into your truest identity: a little Christ-which is what the word Christian literally means-sent to respond lovingly to the unmet need or required duty of the present moment.” (Catching Fire Becoming Flame, a Guide for Spiritual Transformation, Albert Haase, OFM)

To accompany this music, The Stations Of the Light found in the Catholic Community of St. Luke the Evangelist, Houston, TX are a great visual depiction of living in the light of Christ’s Resurrection . Read more.

Sacred melodies freely arranged for solo classical guitar. I’ve had this idea brewing in my head for decades. The ideas started flowing to manuscript and to my fingers about 2 years ago. Last September, my son, Joey, and I took a pair of Neumann KM184’s, an RME Fireface UC, and a laptop running Reaper into St. James Catholic Church, a century old midtown parish in Kansas City, MO. After Joey METICULOUSLY positioned the microphones for optimum room and guitar sound, we recorded through the night over the course of 2 days. This album is the result of those 2 nights. There is no reverb or echo of any kind added to the recording. The reverberation that is heard on the recording comes entirely from the room itself and where Joe chose to place the microphones.

-Ken Whisler

About Ken Whisler

Lifelong native of Kansas City, Missouri. Student of the guitar since the age of 8. Began studies with respected jazz guitarist Jack Randall. Studied classical guitar privately with Mark Bentley. Attended UMKC Conservatory of Music, where he studied with Douglas Niedt. Participated in masterclasses conducted by Christopher Parkening, Pepe Romero, Eduardo Fernandez, Frederic Hand, David Russell, an Ben Verdery. Winner of UMKC’s Concerto/Aria Competition.


Franciscan Postulants’ Vocation Podcast

Franciscan Postulants Megan, Colleen and Tricia share the latest news in their lives as Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity Postulants.


Is God calling you to be a Franciscan Sister? We invite you to consider our retreat and event offerings. Click here to learn more about the many options that are available to experience our Franciscan way of life. For more information call or text Sister Julie Ann at 920-323-9632.

With Pope Francis, we invite all of us to pray:
Behind and before every vocation to the priesthood or to the consecrated life there is always the strong and intense prayer of someone: a grandmother, a grandfather, a mother, a father, a community…. This is why Jesus said: “Pray therefore the Lord of the harvest,” that is, God the Father, “to send out laborers into his harvest” (Mt 9:38). Vocations are born in prayer and from prayer; and only through prayer can they persevere and bear fruit.

Franciscan Reflection: Way of the Cross with Harmonica

This Holy Week Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity share a meditation on the suffering, death and rising of Jesus Christ with a harmonica rendition of “Were You There?” Audio and images are recorded at the Church of Saint Mark, Saint Paul, Minnesota. St. Francis of Assisi’s devotion of pondering these moments in Jesus’ life is ours to continue today. May this Way of the Cross speak to you.These oil-on-canvas Stations of the Cross were restored at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. Funding provided by Saint Mark’s Council of Catholic Women. Intro text and harmonica by Chris Engelmann. Photography, sound and video production by Schletty Design, © 2017, Chris Engelmann and Richard Schletty.

Franciscan Sister Receives Lifetime Service Award

Franciscan Sister Bernadette Selinsky received this year’s Zanesville, OH lifetime service award. Eight women were recognized in 8 different categories: healthcare, business, etc.

The award Sister Bernadette received is not given out every year. It is the most prestigious of all the awards. It is not in a specific category, but an overall caring, compassionate involvement in the community of Zanesville. It is truly someone who goes above and beyond the call of duty.

Sister Bernadette had this to say about this special honor.

It is very humbling for me to accept this award because I don’t feel I deserve it, and so many other people deserve it but will never get an award. People tell me: “But you have touched SO MANY people’s lives in such a positive way. That’s worth celebrating.” I will accept it with gratitude to God, my family, my religious community and my friends, all of whom have helped me grow to be the woman religious that I am.

Sister Bernadette grew up in Green Bay, WI. She celebrates her 50th anniversary of profession as a Franciscan Sister this year. She began her professional life as a music teacher in 4 states, in 8 different Catholic parishes and has served for 21 years as a chaplain in Zanesville.

Click here to watch local coverage of the event. Sister Bernadette is interviewed at Genesis Healthcare System.

Franciscan Sisters Prepare for Camp Franciscan 2017

Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity continue preparations for Camp Franciscan 2017: Run so as to win! (1 Cor. 9:24). Presently, there are 32 young women ages 8th grade graduates to college age coming from AZ, OH and WI.  Needless to say, we are excited to have our guests with us June 12-15, 2017.

Franciscan Sisters at San Xavier Mission Convent in Tucson, AZ report on their recent local action:

“We had a sunny day for our Camp Franciscan fundraiser to support the 10 young women from Tucson who will be participating; eight are from San Miguel high school and two are University students! Everyone contributed bakery and lots of time!  One of the girls from a San Xavier Mission family won the raffle for a stuffed dog–pure joy!”

Our Sisters serving in AZ are certainly encouraging young women to be with us. We are already prepared to take care of transportation needs on the ground, as well as in the air. A bus will be waiting at the Milwaukee airport to transport campers from Casa Grande, Maricopa, Tucson, Phoenix and Sierra Vista on Sunday evening, June 11. Some of our Sisters, as well as a religious education director from a Maricopa parish, will also be riding the bus with the campers. Ohio guests are also expected that evening at Holy Family Convent. Others coming from shorter distances will arrive by 10 a.m. on Monday morning.

Do  you know someone who is considering a religious vocation? We invite you to pass on our invitation. We have room for just a few more campers. We are planning what we anticipate will be meaningful community experiences. Small group interactions hope to encourage friendships among campers considering a call to be a Franciscan Sister.

To download a registration and health form, click here.

One Postulant’s Catch of Fish

Postulant Tricia recently caught a Northern Pike in Silver Lake at Holy Family Convent, Manitowoc, WI. The excitement was shared with the whole Franciscan Community, but the actual fish was gifted to the international Sister students attending Silver Lake College of the Holy Family. Tricia knew they enjoyed eating fish and preparing it as well.  Sister Maddy, one of the Sisters from Uganda, tells about the catch of fish.

I congratulate Tricia for catching the Northern Pike.

I was so surprised when she showed me her catch and said it was for us international Sisters who are happy to live with the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity while attending Silver Lake College of the Holy Family, Manitowoc, WI.

Sr. Mariella Erdmann and I did the cleaning. However, Sister Mariella did most of the cleaning, because the fish was so cold to for me to hold! The Northern was also not easy to fillet due to the substantial (epipleural) “Y-bones”.

Early afternoon, I fried it in kitchen.

Only three of us ate, because others feared the many bones and the spices that I had added!

It was my first time to eat a northern, because the commonest fish in Uganda are Nile perch locally known as Empuuta, Singidia tilapia locally known as Engege and Nile tilapia, Catfish locally known as Semutundu, and Silver fish locally known as Mukene. The northern was very delicious to me. It tasted just like Singidia tilapia.

Tricia had this to say about her catch of fish: “I was just excited to be able to fish by casting out again. I didn’t really expect to catch anything!”