Teacher Stuff: Creative Thanksgiving Recipes by Children

Tis the season for Franciscan Sister of Christian Charity Sister Kathleen Murphy’s annual recipe book project. Since she has both PreK and K children at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic School in Greenwood, Mississippi, Sister ventured into pumpkin pie recipes and turkey recipes this Thanksgiving. Hope they bring you a smile. Feel free to share with someone else who needs a chuckle.

Read all the recipes here: turkeys and pumpkin pie recipes 2018

Sample spoiler:

1. Get some pie mix from Big Star. It will cost $5. It will come in a bottle.
2. Bring it home and pour it all out and mix it with a cupful of sugar.
3. Get some white milk and dump in the whole bottleful.
4. Roll it out and put it in a pan and leave it there.
5. Go to the pumpkin patch and get a pumpkin that has been growing. Get one that is as big as a cantaloupe and it will cost $100.
6. Cut out a little piece and put it right in the pie.
7. Bake it and put the oven on 1. Keep it in there for 3 minutes.
8. You will know for sure that it is done, so you should come and get it out right away.


1. Buy a turkey at Walmart. Ask someone where the turkeys are and then go there.
2. Look for one that is tan.
3. Buy it and it will cost $5.
4. Take it back to the school.
5. You should wash it with a lot of hot water.
6. Put 1 spoonful of white powder inside and put 2 cups of white milk on top. The milk should be cold.
7. Put it in the oven and put the oven on 5. You should leave it there for 1 minute. You should check on it 6 times.
8. Open up the oven and see if it is hot. If it is hot then cut it in 9 pieces. That’s all.

May the Lord bless you and all who share your life today and every day! 

What Franciscan Sisters Do in Nebraska’s Grant Deanery

Franciscan Sister Monica Mary DeQuardo continues to share news from the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity’s newest mission in the Grant Deanery of the Diocese of Lincoln, Nebraska.

Sister Rochelle’s focus is that of Youth Ministry in all the Parishes. In the Grant Deanery – this includes the students on the junior and senior high school level: CYO (Catholic Youth Organization). Besides Catechetical Instruction, Youth Retreats (Quest and TEC), Diocesan Camps for youth leadership, and participation in the Annual National Right to Life Walk broaden her scope of Evangelization. In collaboration with Father Matthew Eickhoff, Father Thomas Bush, and Father Chris Miller – Sister Rochelle coordinates these Youth Activities, keeping the young people involved, acquainted with one another, and aware of the importance of their Catholic Faith and the value of ‘Church’ in their lives.

Travel is extensive, as one can imagine – averaging between 20-40-60 miles – one-way between Parishes. This is especially challenging in the late evening and early morning hours when ‘sharing the highway’ with the deer and other critters is a ‘normal’ expectation. Curt Tomasevicz, a young man from Shelby, NE, who was a member of the USA National Bobsledding Team at the 2010 and 2014 Olympics – and, on October 9th, was a speaker at the Youth Gathering in Imperial. Curt, presently, is a Catechist at North American Martyrs Religious Education Program in Lincoln.

Sister Monica Mary is the ‘Parish Minister’ for the people of St. Patrick Church – serving as ‘Assistant’ to Father Gilde, as needed and requested; visiting the home-bound and nursing home residents; taking part in the weekly Parish Bible-Study; preparing and typing the weekly Parish Bulletin; and teaching Religious Education at all lower-grade and high school levels according to the schedule outlined by the Religious Education Coordinator. Once, during each semester, Sister Monica Mary will attend a weekend Mass at the various ‘out-lying’ Parishes – providing ‘Sister Presence’ when Sister Rochelle is in another part of the Deanery.

Franciscan Gospel Reflection: Thirty-third Sunday of Ordinary Time

The Thirty-third Sunday of Ordinary Time is near. To help you pray, we share a Franciscan Gospel reflection and questions written by Fr. Paul Gallagher, OFM. They are edited by Franciscan Sister of Christian Charity Sister Anne Marie Lom and Joe Thiel. The excerpts from the Sunday readings are prepared by Joe Thiel. To read or download the complete pdf with excerpts for your prayer, please click here: Franciscan Gospel Reflection November 18 2018. Excerpts from the Lectionary for Mass for Use in the Dioceses of the United States of America, second typical edition © 2001, 1998, 1997, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC. Used with permission. All rights reserved. No portion of this text may be reproduced by any means without permission in writing from the copyright owner. Please include this information when printing.

Photos:  Founders’ Cemetery at Holy Family Convent, Manitowoc, WI, St. Peter the Fisherman, Two Rivers, WI

Mark 13: 24-32

[Jesus said to his disciples:] “In those days after that tribulation the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will be falling from the sky, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken. And then they will see ‘the Son of Man coming in the clouds’ with great power and glory, and then he will send out the angels and gather (his) elect from the four winds, from the end of the earth to the end of the sky.

“Learn a lesson from the fig tree. When its branch becomes tender and sprouts leaves, you know that summer is near. In the same way, when you see these things happening, know that he is near, at the gates. Amen, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things have taken place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away. “But of that day or hour, no one knows, neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.


The text for last Sunday was from the end of the twelfth chapter of Mark’s gospel. In that text Jesus warned the crowd regarding false leaders who seek respect and honor. He then called attention to one of the lowliest in their society, a widow, who gave two coins, and he told them that she was worthy of the honor that others were striving after.

The Sunday lectionary skips over the first 23 verses of the thirteenth chapter in providing this Sunday’s text. However, it is helpful to at least be aware of how Mark is unfolding his narrative before reflecting on the text for this week. The thirteenth chapter begins with Jesus predicting the destruction of the temple. (Mark 13:1-2) In private, he then instructs a few of his disciples that there will be a time when some will see war and destruction and conclude that the final time is at hand. (Mark 13:3-8) Jesus forewarns them that they will be persecuted, and he speaks of “… times of tribulation such as has not been since the beginning of creation until now…” (Mark 13:19) This leads into the part of Jesus’ instruction to the disciples that is the gospel text for this Sunday.

Jesus’ admonition here is within an apocalyptical tradition of the Jews. This type of literature developed during periods of persecution and crisis. Symbols and timetables are used to describe the ultimate victory of those being persecuted. This type of literature was meant to offer hope to those who understand the symbolism. Those who do not understand the symbols perceive the text to be strange and meaningless. In verses 24 and 25, Jesus tells his disciples that the events that will precede the final days will be marked by cosmic events that will be on the scale of creation itself – they will be unmistakable. In verse 26 he draws on the image of the Son of Man that goes back to the book of Daniel:
“As the visions during the night continued, I saw One like a son of man coming, on the clouds of heaven; When he reached the Ancient One and was presented before him, He received dominion, glory, and kingship; nations and peoples of every language serve him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that shall not be taken away; his kingship shall not be destroyed. (Daniel 7:13-14)

In this text from Daniel, the image of the son of man is a celebrated sign of the new age of glory. It is not seen as an image of destruction and woe. Jesus then turns from cosmic images to the ordinary fig tree. Fig trees are abundant and figs are a staple fruit of the region. Everyone was familiar with the cycle of the fig tree, from blossoms to ripening of the fruit. Jesus is saying that the signs of the age to come will be just as obvious as the cycles of the fig tree. Mark describes Jesus making use of familiar images of God, who has power over cosmic forces, and the totally familiar fig, to reassure the disciples and give them hope as he moves toward his passion in the gospel. For us, we are being prepared to celebrate next Sunday, the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe, the last Sunday of the Church year.

Reflection Questions

1. How does the approaching of winter affect your lifestyle, your demeanor, and your prayer?
2. When you think of times of anxious waiting in your life you…
3. When you think of times of hope and expectation in your life you…
4. What feeds your sense of hope and trust? What feeds your fear and doubt? Which source do you turn to more frequently?
5. Why do you think Jesus took up this subject with his followers?
6. Why does the Church have us read these verses of Mark’s gospel at a Sunday Liturgy?
7. As I read this gospel text, I think God is inviting me to…
8. Can you take some time to talk with God about your relationship with God, and about your hopes and fears of what awaits you, or those you love, or all of creation?

Ohio Franciscan Sisters Recall and Celebrate Community History

Franciscan Sister Sharon Paul recalls this year’s Founders’ Day happenings in Ohio.

St. Benedict Convent, Cambridge, Ohio, Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity invited their Sisters from Good Samaritan Convent, Zanesville, Ohio for an afternoon of dining, fellowship and prayer. The Sisters were treated to dinner at Theo’s, followed by sitting in the living room remembering stories and times of our Sisters over the years. We then had a delicious fudge sundae dessert.

The day was continued with a beautiful Vespers Service in the Chapel with pictures of our deceased members of our families, and pictures of our Mother Generals of our Religious Congregation on display. As part of the Vespers we remembered a few quotes:

  • “God requires gratitude of us only that He may confer on us new graces.” (Mother Alexia)
  • “Our work means nothing unless Christ, the life of our souls, is the motive, the inspiration, and the end.” (Mother Inez)
  • “Let us not lose courage, but continue to beseech the Lord to use us as His instruments.” (Mother Agna)

We incorporated into the service two of the songs our Sisters have composed for our 150th. Anniversary as Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity: “In Praise of God’s Care,” and “Remember, Rejoice, Respond.” We reflected on the women religious who have led our Community over the years and the virtues which characterized their lives & have become part of our patrimony.

We ended with deep appreciation in our hearts for these many gifts and ask God to continue to bless each one of us past, present and future as a Community of Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity, Manitowoc, Wisconsin.

Franciscan Calendar: Blessed John Duns Scotus

Beatified by Pope John Paul II in 1993, Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity highlight Duns Scotus on the November Franciscan Calendar. Scotus’s philosophical mind had considerable influence on these two points of Catholic thought.

Immaculate Conception

Scotus, the Doctor Subtilis (Subtle Doctor), devised the following argument: Mary was in need of redemption like all of us, but through the merits of Jesus’ death on the cross, given in advance, she was conceived without the stain of original sin. God could have brought it about in different ways. However he did it, it would be accredited to Mary.
Scotus’s defense appears in Pope Pius IX’s 1854 declaration of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception. It read: “at the first moment of Her conception, Mary was preserved free from the stain of original sin, in view of the merits of Jesus Christ.” The Subtle Doctor’s position was welcomed as “a correct expression of the faith of the Apostles.”

Feast of Christ the King

Nearing the feast of Christ the King at the end of the month, Scotus’ doctrine on the universal primacy of Christ became the primary reasoning for the feast of Christ the King. This feast was begun in 1925. Father Gemelli writes: “Duns Scotus conceived the universe in the form of a gigantic pyramid, built up of every kind of genera and species, rising upward by degrees, the lower stages united in their most noble part to the higher. . .’ Jesus Christ is the culminating logical point of creation.'” Thus, the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity would have assumed a human nature even if Adam had not sinned. Because Adam sinned Christ came as Redeemer of the human race, but He is at the same time King of creation.

Franciscan Gospel Reflection: Thirty-second Sunday of Ordinary Time

On this Thirty-second Sunday of Ordinary Time, we share a Franciscan Gospel reflection and questions written by Fr. Paul Gallagher, OFM. They are edited by Franciscan Sister of Christian Charity Sister Anne Marie Lom and Joe Thiel. The excerpts from the Sunday readings are prepared by Joe Thiel. To read or download the complete pdf with excerpts for your prayer, please click here: Franciscan Gospel Reflection November 11 2018. Excerpts from the Lectionary for Mass for Use in the Dioceses of the United States of America, second typical edition © 2001, 1998, 1997, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC. Used with permission. All rights reserved. No portion of this text may be reproduced by any means without permission in writing from the copyright owner. Please include this information when printing.

Photos: St. Peter Cathedral, Marquette, MI and San Xavier Mission Cemetery, Tucson, AZ

Mark 12:38-44

In the course of his [Jesus’] teaching he said, “Beware of the scribes, who like to go around in long robes and accept greetings in the marketplaces, seats of honor in synagogues, and places of honor at banquets. They devour the houses of widows and, as a pretext, recite lengthy prayers. They will receive a very severe condemnation.”

He sat down opposite the treasury and observed how the crowd put money into the treasury. Many rich people put in large sums. A poor widow also came and put in two small coins worth a few cents. Calling his disciples to himself, he said to them, “Amen, I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all the other contributors to the treasury. For they have all contributed from their surplus wealth, but she, from her poverty, has contributed all she had, her whole livelihood.”


It will be helpful to remember the gospel text from three weeks back, when James and John came to Jesus and asked that they be granted the seats on Jesus’ right and left when he comes into glory. (Mark 10:35-45) Jesus’ instruction to his disciples was “… whoever wishes to be great among you will be your servant; whoever wishes to be first will be slave of all.” (Mark 10:43) Mark’s description of the scribes here is the total opposite of Jesus’ instruction and his own way of living among them. The scribes do not identify with the poor servant class or even the common people of the day. They seek positions among the elite. Jesus makes no attempt to hide his criticism, and it is likely that the scribes themselves would have overheard his remarks.

Widows were among the lowest members of society. The word itself in Hebrew carries a meaning of one who is silent, unable to speak. That is because all women were expected to remain within the interior of the house while men of the day occupied the public arena. The concerns of a woman were expressed by her father or husband. If a woman became a widow and had no married son who could take her into his home, she would return to the house of her father or brother. If none of those were possible, she was forced to beg. Widows had no status of their own. Due to these circumstances, the care of widows became one of the basic values of Hebrew society.

The second part of the gospel text for today is linked to the first by the word widow. By putting the two texts next to each other, Mark emphasized the self-indulgent behavior of the scribes. To support the temple treasury, thirteen trumpet-shaped chests were placed in the courtyard. When coins were placed into these, the sounds of the coins could be heard by others. Donations of large coins made significant noise as they fell to the bottom. The coin that the widow used was the smallest in use at the time, its value was about 1/64 of the daily wage of a laborer. By including the detail that she placed two coins into the treasury, Mark makes sure his audience is aware that her intention was to hold nothing back, not even one of her small coins.

Jesus’ comments about her gift are not words of praise, but rather they carry a tone of lament. The widow, like the other people of the day, has been taught by the scribes the value of sacrificial giving. The temple offerings are designated to be used for the care of the needy. But there is a hidden presumption that these scribes have been using some of the funds to enhance their own appearance.

Truly the widow has given all that she had to live on, demonstrating her total trust in God to take care of her. Her gift will not enhance her status or reputation, like the large gifts of the others will do for them. The widow’s gift is a gift of herself, her very life in service to God. In reality it will not affect anyone else but her. While the widow may have great trust in God, the larger situation of the religious leadership of the day is troubling Jesus.

Reflection Questions

1. What are some of the reasons people choose to give to charities, churches, and individuals? What are some of the reasons you choose to make donations?
2. Who are the people without a voice in your community?
3. When you consider the daily life of the poor in your community, you think of…
4. Who are the faces of compassion in your community?
5. Mark’s description of the scribes as men who wear long robes, accept greetings, and seek out places of honor brings to mind…
6. Place yourself with Jesus and his disciples at the temple in Jerusalem as people are gathering. There are trumpet shaped treasuries into which people are placing their offerings as they pass. As you imagine yourself there, what do imagine the scene to be like? What do you notice in your mind?
7. Can you take some time to talk with God about your awareness of yourself as you reflected on this gospel text? What would you like to say to God? How does God want to respond to you?

Franciscan Sisters Volunteer at Marquette Diocese Catholic Youth Rally

On Saturday, November 3, 2018 Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity Sister Jacqueline Spaniola, Sister Mary Frances Maher, Sister Julie Ann Sheahan, Novice Sister Concepcion and Postulants Lindsay and Yazmin volunteered to help at the Diocese of Marquette See the See Youth Rally. While Sister Jacqueline traveled from Chassell, MI,  all others of us departed from Manitowoc watching the sun come up as we arrived near the shore of Lake Superior.  Greg Gostomski, diocesan youth, young adult and family director, assigned us to greet the young people in the gathering space in the basement of St. Peter Cathedral. We distributed a bag of items for the day’s activities to each registered participant and  chaperone. The theme of the day was from Daniel 3:52 “Above All 4Ever”.

Francis Cabildo, a singer-songwriter and speaker from Southern California, was the guest keynote speaker. Diocese of Marquette Bishop John F. Doerfler followed with some of his own electric guitar music and time for the youth to  ask questions. Many questions were of a personal nature about his favorite things. During lunch, we mingled among the parish groups at their tables. The local Knights of Columbus were faithful servers and cooks.

A stop at St. Peter Cathedral is not complete without some prayer time at the tomb of Bishop Frederick Baraga. We asked intercession for all of our special intentions as well as prayed for more vocations to our own Congregation of Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity from this diocese. We also took a moment to pray in the Cathedral crypt at the burial spot of Bishop Mark Schmitt, whose home diocese was Green Bay.

Before leaving town, we visited Sister Ludmilla Gramann. With the Christmas Season nearing, she is busy finding sponsors for families in need in this area and collecting gift items. This is Franciscan ministry at its core.

South Dakota Young Woman Called to be a Postulant

Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity Postulant Lindsay shares on her call to be a Franciscan Sister.

I came to Holy Family Convent from Watertown, South Dakota. I grew up in northern Arizona and I was born in Flagstaff, but I moved to South Dakota about 12 years ago. I’m 35 years old and I am very happy to be here. My mother and grandmother still live in Prescott, Arizona. I don’t have any other family, but I have some great friends in South Dakota that are like an extended family to me. Before coming here, I was attending Mount Marty College in Watertown majoring in psychology and also took care of a family of five kids nearly full time. I came to know them through the Watertown school district where I worked with their middle son who has autism and type 1 diabetes. I worked with him as a paraprofessional for four years. Then I went back to school and was able to do afterschool care and summer care for the whole family until I came here.

I visited Holy Family Convent for the third time this March and was accepted into the postulancy on July 25. It was a whirlwind after that trying to sell my house and find a good home for my dog, Oliver. Eventually Oliver found a home with one of his cousins, and he is in heaven living with a buddy that has a huge backyard. I am still working on selling my house, but hopefully that will be wrapped up soon. My days so far have been filled with learning about religious life as lived as a postulant, school work from Silver Lake College, and getting to know everyone. I am slowly getting to know the layout of this building. I still get lost once in a while though. I would like to thank everyone for being so welcoming and kind to me during my time so far here. I am looking forward to getting to know all of you more and growing in many different ways on this journey! Coming here has been a fulfillment of a lot of hope and prayers over many years for me.

Franciscan Sisters Podcast: Franciscan Ways to Discern

Franciscan Sister Anne Marie Lom OSF offers discernment insight from her Franciscan perspective. Click here to listen to this podcast.


For more, visit our Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity youtube channel. Click here for discernment opportunities.


Teacher Stuff: Franciscan Motherhouse Heritage Tours

Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity’s long standing call to be teachers has always encouraged hands on education. Fieldtrips to our Motherhouse by various ages has ever been an opportunity for us to explain our way of life and for others to see first hand where we all began our consecrated lives.

Archivist Sister Caritas Strodthoff and Director of Human Resources Sister Elaine Turba recently provided a Heritage Day Tour for the Junior Chamber of Commerce of Manitowoc County. We are one of four places that include Pine Crest Village and Maritime Museum that are visited each year.  The group included 23 young men and women. The students were delightful. Given Sister Caritas’ love for our history, it is difficult to stump her. However, if there is a question that she doesn’t know the answer, she is very willing to delve into finding the information.