Franciscan Sisters Pilgrimage to Our Lady of Guadalupe Shrine

Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity are preparing to make a pilgrimage with many others to Our Lady of Guadalupe Shrine, Des Plaines, Illinois. As we anticipate this moment of grace, we pray the words of St. John Paul II in 2002 on the canonization of St. Juan Diego in our prayer today. We share them with you.  If you see us on December 12, say hello – “Día bendito y viajes seguros.” (Photo of Our Lady of Guadalupe Shrine, Midland, Texas)

Blessed Juan Diego, a good, Christian Indian, whom simple people have always considered a saint! We ask you to accompany the Church on her pilgrimage in Mexico, so that she may be more evangelizing and more missionary each day. Encourage the Bishops, support the priests, inspire new and holy vocations, help all those who give their lives to the cause of Christ and the spread of his Kingdom.

Happy Juan Diego, true and faithful man! We entrust to you our lay brothers and sisters so that, feeling the call to holiness, they may imbue every area of social life with the spirit of the Gospel. Bless families, strengthen spouses in their marriage, sustain the efforts of parents to give their children a Christian upbringing. Look with favour upon the pain of those who are suffering in body or in spirit, on those afflicted by poverty, loneliness, marginalization or ignorance. May all people, civic leaders and ordinary citizens, always act in accordance with the demands of justice and with respect for the dignity of each person, so that in this way peace may be reinforced. Click here to read more.

 

Franciscan Sisters Host Visitors at St. Louis Convent

Franciscan Sister Sue Ann Hall shares news from Our Lady of Guadalupe Convent, St. Louis, Missouri.

Sister Sue Ann Hall and Sister Delores Vogt housed four delightful, spiritual, happy, and outgoing young women from an organization called Created Equal who met and talked with students at Washington University and St. Louis University about abortion. They displayed rather graphic posters by Planned Parenthood the two mornings before going to the Universities. Three young men with their group stayed elsewhere.


On October 13, while Sister Anne Marie Lom and Sister Julie Ann Sheahan were in Belleville, Illinois, Sister Delores and Sister Sue Ann went with the Cathedral Women’s Group to the Shrine of St. Rose Philippine Duchesne in St. Charles, Missouri. St. Rose is one of three patron saints of the Archdiocese. The other two are St. Louis of France and St. Vincent De Paul. St. Rose’s remains are in a sarcophagus in the Chapel dedicated to her honor. Like many who came to help in America they were poor and found their way into the hearts of the people they served.
Philippine’s last name, Duchesne, means “of oak”, and a fitting name who remained faithful through her trials and struggles. There are schools all over our country which she established. Unfortunately we did not meet any of the Sisters from the order.

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.

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 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.

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.

Ohio Franciscan Sisters Celebrate St. Francis Month

Franciscan Sister Mary Ann Nugent continues St. Francis Month coverage from Zanesville, Ohio with special celebrations and blessings.

The Sisters located in Zanesville (Bernadette, Laura, Mary Ann, and Maureen Anne) celebrated the Eve and Feast of St. Francis with parish members, hospital administrators and the Bishop of Columbus.

On October 3rd they joined members of St. Mary’s Mattingly Settlement Parish at Mass and in a beautiful Transitus Service prepared by Father Don Franks.

 

At noon on Saint Francis Day they shared a luncheon held at Genesis Hospital with Bishop Fredrick Campell, Father Don Franks, Deacon David Lozowski and members of the Genesis administrative team.

Later in the afternoon they journeyed back to Mattingly Settlement to take part in the Bishop’s formal blessing and dedication of the new St. Francis Chapel, parish center and surrounding grounds. Windows and sacred furnishings from the former Good Samaritan Hospital were donated for use in the new Mattingly Settlement Chapel and Parish Center.

 

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 Sisters Continue St. Louis Pro Life Ministry

August 28, 2018 was a special date for Sister Delores Vogt and Sister Sue Ann Hall as it was the first anniversary of Sisters Patricia Sevcik and Sue Ann’s arrival in St. Louis to take on the mission of prayer and hospitality across the street from Planned Parenthood where abortions are performed.

To help us celebrate we invited the Religious Sister of Mercy of Alma, Michigan for an Evening Praise of Thanksgiving and for dinner. These Sisters work in the Archdiocese and Sister Marysia Weber was instrumental in inviting Sister Natalie and the Council to consider this mission here in St. Louis. We shared many stories of our beginning days and their getting the house cleaned up and livable. We literally walked in on them and other volunteers who were doing the last minute touch ups.


Many times we walk over to Planned Parenthood to talk with the counselors from Coalition for Life and get a taste of what is happening that day. Some of the Escorts from Planned Parenthood are very aggressive so your prayers are greatly appreciated