Franciscan Community Welcomes Two Postulants

On September 8, 2018, Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity welcomed two postulants, Lindsay and Yazmin. Watch for more coverage in the next months as they share more about themselves and their call to be a Franciscan Sister.

Community Director Sister Natalie Binversie asked Lindsay and Yazmin this question: Do you accept our invitation to live with us as Postulants in our Community?

Lindsay and Yazmin: With Mary I pray let it be done to me. May my yes teach me how to give birth to Jesus in a world so in need of love and forgiveness.

Later, Sister Natalie asked one more question.

Sister Natalie: Lindsay and Yazmin, do you wish to accept this tau cross as a symbol of your formal witness to all of being a Postulant in our Community of Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity?

Postulants: Yes, I do.

The tau, the insignia, is the hand of Jesus covering that of Francis, a very Franciscan reminder of the call to follow Christ. The prayer service also included Scripture readings, songs and passages from Franciscan sources. Our Sisters and Franciscan chaplains congratulated the Postulants after the ceremony.

Franciscan Sister’s Family History Centers Around a Table

Franciscan Sister of Christian Charity Sister Natalie Binversie reflections on the life and ministry of Sister Mary Jane Mertens. Read her entire reflection here: Franciscan Sister Mary Jane Mertens Reflection.

The family farm where Mary Jane grew up was located two miles west of Kiel. When Mary Jane was nine years old her Grandpa and Grandma Mertens came to live with Mary Jane’s family. In a Jubilee reflection Mary Jane wrote, “The family table in our kitchen was the center of much family history. It was there that we shared, not only food, but our stories and lives. Lots of laughs could be heard. Arguments were settled by looking it up in the encyclopedia that her mother had saved from her teaching days. Many rosaries were prayed kneeling at the kitchen chairs around the table during Lent and during times of special need. After supper Dad and the older boys did the milking and the rest of us cleaned up and had play time. Then the table became a school room for us to do our lessons.”

Mary Jane and her siblings walked the two miles to Church and to School. This is most likely where Mary Jane developed a great love for walking. If they hurried, however, they sometimes got a ride from Sister Lucy and Sister Marie Bernadette Dorn’s Dad who was going their way.

Mary Jane met the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity when she went to Saints Peter and Paul School. In all of her growing up years, she always wanted to be a Sister. When she was in the eighth grade her mother said to her, “If you want to be a Sister, we had better go to see what it is like.” After getting a tour of the Motherhouse and meeting with Mother Generose, Mary Jane came home with application papers.

Are you in need of seeing what it is like to be a Franciscan Sister? Call or text Sister Julie Ann at 920-323-9632 or click here for possible discernment options: FSCC_Fall Retreat Banner_2018_8.5x11_ENG

Franciscan Sister Presents St. Bonaventure’s Cross Poem

Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity provide many possibilities of continuing formation on the topics of Franciscan and Community history and heritage for our members. This summer one opportunity was an Introduction to St. Bonaventure. Sister Louise Hembrecht facilitated two sessions. She not only provided facts on Bonaventure to show he was a Theologian, Philosopher and Saint, but encouraged listeners that this thirteenth century Franciscan could be user-friendly in the twenty-first century. The Mystical writings of Bonaventure were presented as a map for growth in holiness.

In particular, St. Bonaventure’s poem on ‘the cross’ was used to begin the sessions in prayer.  Only a small portion of this inspiring piece of literature is shared here.

Follower of life’s perfection,
May your heart be ever joyful
As you see the Cross divine;
Let the Holy Cross be present
In your soul and meditation
to its rule your life resign.

Keep it close, with Christ for Leader,
Till you live in light so brilliant
That all doubt is cast away;
Weary not and slacken never,
That your heart be set afire
With a flame as bright as day.

Love the Cross, creation’s beacon;
Then will Christ become your Leader
Reign as your eternal King:
Wrap the Cross around your body:
With it, bind all; with it sign all:
Place its mark on everything.

Heart and Cross in one another!
This will keep the heart unblemished
By pervading it with peace.
Let your speech be Cross-inspired,
Praise the Cross and tell its glory,
And your song shall never cease.

Love with warm and close affection,
Sing with special praise and honor,
This salvation-bringing Tree;
With the fervor of your being,
With the sum of all your powers,
Cherish it most joyfully.

Live within the Cross so noble
And with utter exultation
Lock yourself in its embrace.
On the Cross with Christ be fastened;
Share it with Him, that in heaven
You may see Him face to face.

If you feel at home with the words above and are pondering life as a Franciscan Sister, we invite you to consider our discernment options or we’ll help you design one specifically for your needs. Click here or call or text Sister Julie Ann at 920-323-9632. We’d be happy to meet you at a coffee house near you or take time for your questions.

Healthy Community Living Important to Franciscan Sisters

Desiring to live a healthy Community life together, Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity hold an annual health day addressing issues important to the Sisters. This summer Sister Anne Marie Lom facilitated a summary and application of cognitive behaviors that would improve communication and assist with normal conflict resolution. Information was given to assist an individual in personal transformation.

Cognitive Distortions and their implications for community living and for ministry were discussed. David D. Burns, M.D.’s concepts were commented on.

  • All or nothing thinking (if I’m not perfect, I’m not at all effective)
  • Overgeneralization (use of “always” and “never”)
  • Mental filter (pick out a single negative detail and dwell on it)
  • Discounting the positive (positives don’t count as much as negatives)
  • Jumping to conclusions (interpreting things negatively when there are few or no facts to support that conclusion)
  • Magnification/Minimization (exaggerating importance or shortcomings, make less of desirable qualities)
  • Emotional reasoning (assume that your negative emotions reflect the way “things really are”)
  • Should statements (addiction to an ideal, things “should” be a certain way)
  • Labeling or Stereotyping (I am a loser, my child is dumb, my family is a mess)
  • Personalization and blame (holding myself personally responsible for an event that isn’t entirely under my control…where did I/we go wrong?)

Sister Anne Marie, a trained Franciscan Spiritual Director and member of our Congregation’s General Administration, accepted questions and insights from the Sisters.

Novice Received into Franciscan Community

On the Franciscan feast of St. Bonaventure, July 15, 2018, Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity witnessed the Rite of Initiation into Religious Life for Sister Concepcion (Hilda Concepcion) Medina . The ceremony occured at 2 p.m. in St. Mary Chapel.

At the beginning of the ceremony, Sister Natalie Binversie, Community Director, questioned the new Novice about her desires for her life. She responded: “Drawn by God’s mercy, I have come here to learn your way of life. I ask you to teach me to follow Christ crucified and to live in chastity, poverty and obedience. Teach me to persevere in prayer and penance, in the service of the Church and mankind. Teach me to be one with you in heart and mind. Help me to live out the Gospel every day of my life. Teach me your Rule and help me to learn to love our Sisters as Christ commanded us. ”

After being questioned again whether it was her wish to learn the way of life of a Franciscan Sister of Christian Charity Hilda replied “Yes, it is”. Next she received her habit and veil, signs of the consecrated life, as well as her Sister name, Sister Concepcion .

Sister Mariadele Jacobs, OSF, was entrusted with the responsibility to carry out the purpose of the Novitiate which is to ensure that the Novice learns the primary essentials of Religious Life and to live out the evangelical counsels. Here are Community Director Sister Natalie’s remarks: Comments for Novice Sister Concepcion on Entering the Novitiate

Do you desire to give your life to God as St. Francis did with all his heart? Call or text Sister Julie Ann at 920323-9632.

God Called Young Woman from Milwaukee

Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity Community Director Sister Natalie Binversie reflects on the life of Sister Francine Goodman called by God from Milwaukee, Wisconsin to Manitowoc, Wisconsin.

Mary Lois, who was often referred to as Lois, had a younger sister, Barbara, and a younger brother, John. She was taught by the Notre Dame Sisters in grade school as well as in High School. Some of the Sisters recognized that God was possibly calling her to be a Sister and asked her if she thought of being a Sister. She replied, “That’s a lovely compliment, but I don’t think so.” The truth was that Lois was thinking about being a Sister. She came from a family where religion and faith were important and central in the life of the family. There were a number of religious in her family, so this was an accepted vocational calling to follow. Lois was an inquisitive child and frequently asked her Mother questions about the spiritual life.

Mary Lois met the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity while she was attending Messmer High School in Milwaukee. Sister Jane Francis Doolan was one of the Sisters teaching there for a year. Sister Jane Francis heard from Lois’ friends that she was interested in being a Sister. Sister Jane Francis invited Lois to go with her to visit Holy Family Convent. This visit gave Lois the affirmation she needed that this was where God was calling her to be a Sister. When she saw the Convent building she felt like she belonged here.

To read the entire reflection, click here: Franciscan Sister Francine Goodman’s Reflection

Is God calling you to become a Franciscan Sister? We invite you to a Discernment of Spirits Retreat June 29-July 1. Call or text Sister Julie Ann at 920-323-9632 of your interest.

Here’s Camp Franciscan Feedback

On this Father’s Day, Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity share feedback on the recent Camp Franciscan from the campers themselves. The 34 campers traveled from 5 states to be with us June 11-14.

What touched your heart during Camp Franciscan?

  • Sitting in Saint Francis Chapel and singing Praise and Worship Music
  • All the Sisters hanging out with the campers
  • All the Sisters that I got to meet and their stories
  • The special breakfast for the campers
  • All the Sisters and Fathers
  • How the Sisters were so happy we sang for them
  • Adoration- I felt the closest I ever have before to Jesus and Mary

What part of the camp did you find the most helpful?

  • Talking to the Sisters in the cafeteria was pretty great!
  • Melissa and Katie’s talks
  • The name tag size schedules
  • Alpha Youth videos were amazing; there were some deep conversations.
  • Living rosary
  • Visitingwith the Novices and Hilda
  • Scrapbooks
  • The groups helped me make friends easier
  • I really love being able to have Mass daily
  • Sisters’ dedication and love

The Lord bless you and all of our families! Are you interested in a summer discernment option with us? Call or text Sister Julie Ann at 920-323-9632.

Camp Franciscan 2018: Do Not Be Afraid…

Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity are welcoming Camp Franciscan Campers for an exciting June 11-14, 2018 week. Thirty-four high school and college age young women are arriving from Arizona, Colorado, Nebraska, Ohio and Wisconsin.

They represent 19 parishes and 7 (arch)dioceses. The days can only be memorable.

Add to this mix of campers, many enthusiastic Sisters, friars of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary and Sacred Heart Provinces, and two young teachers witnessing their strong faith.

Are you curious, as to what is planned? Our theme is: Be not afraid. You have found favor with God.

Watch for photos on facebook and Instagram of community building and spiritual growth.

Our Blessed Mother will be a focus, but more importantly, building a deeper relationship with Jesus. Our hope is that campers will have a first hand experience of community life with each other and with our Sisters.

Honoring 60 Years of Franciscan Consecrated Life

Franciscan Sister of Christian Charity Community Director Sister Natalie Binversie shares her congratulations to the Sisters celebrating their 60th jubilees of Religious Profession.

Good morning on this Feast of Corpus Christi, The Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ! This is the group feast day of the “Sentinels of the Eucharistic King,” our Sisters, who are celebrating their 60th Anniversary of Jubilee today. Congratulations to Sister Adrianna Schouten, Sister Andrene Flasch, Sister Jolynn Kohlbeck, Sister Judanne Stratman, Sister Margaret Ann Wallander, Sister Mary Beth Prinz, Sister Ritarose Stahl, Sister Thereselle Arruda and Sister Verone Leeman. Joining you today in spirit are your classmates who have joined the Communion of Saints, Sister David Marie Long, Sister Judith Simons, Sister Emma Darrow, Sister Marie Voborny and Sister Sara Hale.

Today we celebrate the transubstantiation, the real presence of the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, in the Eucharist. The Scripture readings that will be proclaimed at Mass this afternoon will connect our Salvation History through the Covenant that God made with Moses and the People, to the sacred events of Holy Thursday and the Paschal Mystery. This is a reminder that Jesus is alive, celebrating His hospitality, compassion and love, as we hear in the Alleluia Verse, “I am the living bread come down from heaven, whoever eats this bread will live forever.”

At the end of Mass on the Feast of Corpus Christi, there is often a procession of the Blessed Sacrament displayed in a monstrance. Today, as every day when we celebrate Mass and receive Holy Communion, we become the monstrance. Jesus is seen in and through us. A Sentinel is a guard whose job is to keep watch. For 60 years of Consecrated Life, the Sentinels of the Eucharistic King have lived their title by keeping watch. They have been faithful to their covenant promise of living the Vows of Poverty, Chastity and Obedience as Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity which they made at their First Profession, August 15, 1958.

Through your group title and the witness of your life, may we be reminded to be watchful and know that Jesus is with us. May this day be filled with much joy and many blessings as you celebrate with your Sisters in Community, with your family and with your friends. God bless you!

Is God calling you? We invite you to consider one of our discernment invitations. Click here: FSCC_Summer Retreat Banner_2018_8.5x11_01_02

Help us distribute our flyers!

Young Adults Explore Franciscan Consecrated Life

Early this year  Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity received an invitation from Jessica Bauer, a junior at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota in Winona, MN. She was planning (in collaboration with the campus ministry office) a vocation exploration to help discerning students understand and get a first had experience of a variety of men’s and women’s religious communities. On May 13-14 students arrived at our Motherhouse in Manitowoc, Wisconsin.

The students received a grant from the Forum of Theological Exploration that supported the desire to expose students to religious life.  Our guests had dinner with Postulant Hilda and our Novices. Women continued the conversation during recreation with those in Initial formation.

Franciscan Friars Minor of the Assumption BVM Province who serve our Sisters  and Holy Family Memorial were also generous in hosting a conversation on religious life at the friary. Opportunities for prayer and tour were also part of the road trip stop.