North Carolina Young Woman Called to be a Postulant

Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity Postulant Yazmin shares on God’s call to be a postulant. Yazmin is from St. Michael the Archangel Parish, Cary, North Carolina in the Diocese of Raleigh.

Hello Everyone! It is a joy to be here at Holy Family Convent. My name is Yazmin Martinez Lopez. I am originally from Mexico. My family and I came to live in the United States in 2008. We have been living in Cary, North Carolina for the past ten years. I have been discerning religious life for a long time but most seriously around two years ago. I contacted different Communities and I even went on a retreat in Mexico. But there was a time when I forgot about the idea of becoming a Sister. Then suddenly a friend from my home parish encouraged me to keep looking.

One day at daily Mass at St. Michael the Archangel Parish, the gospel was about the rich man and Lazarus (Luke 16:19-31). The priest, Monsignor Wall, talked about how this gospel had moved a man to work in Africa for the poor because he thought Africa was more like Lazarus. That just hit me at that moment. After I received the Eucharist I prayed to Jesus to show me a convent where I would be welcomed soon. Specifically, I asked Jesus to help me find it during that month, which was the month of March. I wanted it to be Franciscan because I knew that Franciscans are close to the poor. That day I looked at the website, Institute for Religious life, and I found out that the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity had a retreat coming up in March. I signed up and Sister Julie Ann contacted me. I came to the retreat and I loved it. Everyone was so welcoming.

After a week I wrote to Sister Julie Ann to ask for the application. So I applied, and it took me a month to get all the paperwork ready. I was so happy to hear that I was accepted. All my family and friends were so happy for me. My friends at church and priests supported me along the way.

My family brought me to the Motherhouse the 18th of August. It was hard to see them leave the day after. However, I am really thankful to be here. I have a sense of peace and joy. During the time I have been here I have seen that God has provided me with everything I needed. I am looking forward to serving God, the Community, and the Church.

 

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.

 

Franciscan Sisters and Poor Clare Nuns Share Discernment Day

Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity and Poor Clare Nuns from the Monastery of Our Lady of Mercy, Belleville, Illinois offered a Franciscan Discernment Day on October 13, 2018. Sister Anne Marie Lom facilitated the day. Young women tried to answer these two questions: How do I know God’s will (call/invitation) for me? How did St. Francis come to know God’s will (call/invitation) for him?

Here is feedback from the discernment day participants themselves on what this experience meant for them.

  • What touched your heart during this discernment day?
    The willingness for the Sisters to follow God.
    All of their stories they shared with us and how welcoming and warm they seem.
    The joys of the Sisters; you guys are just so happy, and so are they.
    Learning more about Franciscan Spirituality has been very significant for me, learning about Clare specifically has touched me today.

  • What part of the day did you find the most helpful?
    Office of the Passion
    Explaining what they do every day
    The prayer time spent with the nuns as well as the presentations.
    Spending time reflecting on the prayers of St. Francis in adoration.

If you are looking for more Franciscan discernment opportunities, we invite you to call or text Sister Julie Ann or contact us on-line here.

Franciscan Sisters Welcome 15 Women for Discernment

Come and see our home, our lives. Fifteen young women ages 17-31 were recently welcomed to the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity Motherhouse for the weekend. All arrived by car for a Friday night social of nacho chips and taco dip. Night prayer followed in our Gothic style St. Francis Chapel at Holy Family Convent, Manitowoc, Wisconsin. Saturday and Sunday continued the adventure of reflection on the vocation to Franciscan consecrated life.

Here are words from the young women themselves about the weekend convent visit.

What touched your heart during the weekend?

  • Reflecting on the bridegroom in adoration and hearing the novices and postulants sharing stories about their life and discernment, also praying at the Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help Shrine
  • I saw the kindness of the sisters and how they are a family. I think that this helped put me at ease giving me no anxiety and no reason to be anxious.
  • The Sisters opening the doors of their house for visitors like us to ‘come and see’.
  • The dedication the sisters showed to their service inspired me to guide my life to live by similar values. I admire the virtues that the sisters live by.

  • I think just learning to sit and talk to Jesus again. I wasn’t really making time for him at home, or if I did, it was structured and not really talking to Him. So just talking to Him again, and actually hearing what He had to say to me.

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

  • The time we spent with the novices and postulants talking about their discernments and realizing how everything works out in God’s timing. The scavenger hunt and exploring the Motherhouse also helped.
  • Adoration. I love the journal and the readings from the Bible to help with meditation and growing closer to Jesus.
  • being able to see the sisters in their everyday lives at the convent, that they live happy lives in community

  • I found the personal stories and advice that each sister gave was helpful. This added a sense of realness that people go through.
  • The most helpful was all the times for silent prayer in the morning or in the evenings. It was a good way to start our day and get back to holy hours. I have been neglecting.
  • The Holy Hours and meals with the sisters. The scavenger hunt was very fun and all the opportunities for us to see all that the Sisters do.

Called to discern Franciscan life? We invite you.

 

Franciscan Community’s Podcast Welcomes New Postulants

Franciscan Sister of Christian Charity Novice Sister Cecilia Joy produces a community podcast welcoming our new Postulants.

Postulants Yazmin and Lindsay introduce themselves after they receive the Franciscan Insignia and are welcomed into our community. As Lindsay says, “We are a family.””

Watch our other podcasts. Click here.

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.