Franciscan Sisters Blessed at San Xavier Mission

Franciscan Sister of Christian Charity Sister Mary Ann Spanjers shares on a special Trinity Sunday blessing that our Sisters received at San Xavier Mission, Tucson, Arizona.

Franciscan friars and Sisters serve at San Xavier Mission Tucson Arizona

On Trinity Sunday at San Xavier Mission, Fr. Steve Barnufsky, OFM our pastor spoke about the meaning of community, he spoke of how Sister Delores has became such an important part of the San Xavier community throughout her 16 years of ministry as 2nd grade teacher, in religious education, school librarian and many parish ministries. The community celebration of the Eucharist included a special blessing of the Sisters with the Tohono O’odham people sending Sister Delores to her new mission assignment. Part of the blessing prayer included “Holy Spirit, gift of God’s mighty power and presence in our midst, shower your gifts upon our Sister Delores, like the gentle rains of the desert, to anoint her and all she needs to serve her Sisters in ways that is life-giving.”

San Xavier Mission is a Franciscan site for pilgrimage

Sister Delores expressed her deep gratitude for the many blessings she has received during her years here. She spoke of how the children reflect the goodness of their parents, grandparents and elders. She experienced an acceptance of the Native Americans who have always made her feel at home. Her gratitude of the Friars, Sisters, teachers, sunsets are all reflections of the Creator, an amazing artist in this world.

 

The celebration of gratitude continued after Mass in the courtyard with lots of hugs, pictures, food and blessings!

 

Franciscan Sisters Host Conventual Franciscans’ Postulants

Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity recently hosted the Conventual Franciscan Postulants and their director Brother Paschal Kolodziej. It was a time to get out our Community history and review our long time relationship with the friars.

On March 19, 1900 there was a movement to strengthen our ties with the Franciscan Order. Archbishop of Milwaukee, the Most Reverend Frederick Katzer, inaugurated the affiliation of our Congregation with the Franciscan Order of Minor Conventuals. This meant in addition to sharing in all the spiritual favors granted to the First and Second Orders, our Congregation would be under the Minister General of the Order of Friar Minor Conventuals and more directly under the jurisdiction of the Provincial of the Province of Syracuse, New York. The Provincial of the Friars had the right and duty to preside at the regular General Chapter and to conduct elections. Later this affiliation was changed so that we continued to participate in all the spiritual favors, but were not under the direct authority of the Friars. Needless to say, relationships in the Franciscan Family are ever cherished and not forgotten.

Sister Mariella Erdmann, our Postulant directress,  received this message from the Conventual Franciscan Postulants on their return to St. Bonaventure Friary, Chicago, Illinois:

Thank you for such a wonderful and grace-filled overnight stay at the Sisters’ convent last week. Br. Paschal and all of us postulants that were able to make it are very grateful for the warm welcome and hospitality you and the Sisters showed us, as well as the fun times with Hilda and your novices. Please know of our prayers for you and your Community.

Franciscan Sisters Honor Blessed Mother with May Crowning

The entire Franciscan Order is dedicated to Mary, the mother of God, under the title of her Immaculate Conception. Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity love and honor her as model for religious. We treasure her inspiration and seek her guidance.

It is a tradition in the month of May for us to crown a statue of Mary in St. Mary’s Chapel at our Motherhouse. We beseech Mary to obtain for us a share in the spirit of faith, love and obedience which she expressed in her words: “I am the Lord’s servant and I am willing to do whatever He wants. This year, Postulant Hilda and Sister Florita Schneider with the assistance of Sister Maria Casetta, celebrating her 75th jubilee this year, together crowned Mary. Sister Mariella Erdmann and Sister Mary Kaye Winkler led the prayer service.

We honor Mary, spouse of the Holy Spirit, and ask her to obtain for us the grace of an intimate union with her Son in order that the presence of His love in us will draw others to intimacy with Him. May our Blessed Mother intercede for those discerning a call to Franciscan religious life.y

 

Franciscan Sisters Participate in CMSWR Workshop

Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity who serve the congregation in guiding those in discernment and our new members traveled to Malvern Retreat House, Malvern, Pennsylvania for a Council of Major Superiors’ Formators’ Workshop.  Sister Theresa Feldkamp, Sister Mariadele Jacobs, Sister Mariella Erdmann and Sister Julie Ann Sheahan attended the gathering that provides a forum for vocation and formation directresses of CMSWR member communities to dialogue and learn from one another.

Presentations by speakers offered a chance to gain new insights and pose questions relevant to the formative process of religious life. Sister Mary Christa Nutt, RSM, addressed The Formation of Human Freedom in Religious Life while Sister Lynn Jarrell, OSU spoke about Mentoring a Person for Membership: Rights and Obligations within a Formation Program. Monsignor Peter Vaccari, rector of St. Joseph Seminary, Yonkers, New York, presented on Formators: Accompaniment in Freedom and Mutual Trust. On the final day, Father David Songy, OFM, a clinical psychologist, presented on Distortions and Obsessions: Limits to Freedom in Formation. 44 religious communities were represented in the audience.

Opportunities for Eucharist, praying the liturgy of the hours, and meals together are all part of the workshop experience. The 14 hour road trip included sunshine, rain, snow and wind, and we were blessed with glimpses of spring in Pennsylvania.

Franciscan Sisters and Cistercian Nuns Discernment Retreat

Together Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity and Cistercian Nuns of Valley of Our Lady Monastery, Prairie du Sac, Wisconsin offered a Discernment of Spirits Retreat on the feast of Saint Anselm. Saint Anselm’s writing was used as a focus to begin the day:

O insignificant man, escape from your everyday business for a short while, hide for a moment from your restless thoughts. Break off from your cares and troubles and be less concerned about your tasks and labors. Make a little time for God and rest a while in Him.

Enter into your mind’s inner chamber. Shut out everything but God and whatever helps you to seek Him; and when you have shut the door, look for Him… -Prayer of Saint Anselm

Cistercian Nuns offered hospitality in one of their visiting parlors and developed prayer booklets for The Divine Office hours. Franciscan Sister Jacqueline Spaniola facilitated the talks offering Saint Ignatius’ Rules for Discernment, as well as his guidance to discerning the will of God.

This is what touched the hearts of the retreatants regarding the day long retreat:

  • Taking a step back from everything helped me to let God back into my heart today. The knowledge and joy you have brought to this retreat is really inspiring to me.
  • Distinction between memorized prayers and silent prayer/meditation and need for silence
  • The need for Step 1 on Discerning God’s will, how God will help us through this all-and how important His peace is.
  • The Silence! Talking to the Sisters.
  • Having the freedom and tools to take my life to pray with God. Thank you for outlining why it matters to us and to God to take the time and attention needed for discernment.

If you are interested in a retreat, visit or conversation on consecrated life with Franciscan Sisters, we invite you to call or text Sister Julie Ann at 920-323-9632 or click here.

 

Franciscan Sisters at St. Peter Mission Rejoice with Easter Vigil Candidates

Franciscan Sister of Christian Charity Sister Martha Mary Carpenter, principal at St. Peter Mission School, Bapchule, Arizona, shares about the recent Easter Vigil celebration that welcomed 28 New Catholics.

Rejoice with us! On Holy Saturday we welcomed 28 new Catholics —twenty two are students in our school. This is the ‘breakdown’ of the newly baptized by grade: 2 2 year olds, 3 Pre-K students, 1 Kindergartener, 1 first grader, 2 second graders, 2 third graders, 3 fourth graders, 3 fifth graders, 2 sixth graders, and 5 junior high students, 4 parents (two of which are Sister Hilda Hersant’s former students!)


Interesting facts: The newly baptized are from 7 families.
One whole family, became Catholic on Holy Saturday—Mom, Dad, their 2 children, and their 5 nieces and nephews whom they are raising.
11 girls, 13 boys, 3 Moms, and 1 Dad
Of the 28 baptized, 19 were Confirmed and received their First Holy Communion. Nine were too young to receive all the Sacraments.

Sister Hannah Johnecheck started the Mission’s RCIA Program last year and we Sisters continued the classes, meeting every Wednesday night from 6:00-7:00 p.m.—some classes went much longer.

More families asked for Baptism, but we have a rule that the family must be part of the school for at least two years before being accepted into the RCIA classes. We want to make sure that they have ‘absorbed’ the Catholic culture, have positive Sunday Church attendance and a basic understanding of what it means to be a follower of Jesus—both in words and in good deeds.

Please PRAY with us:
We are beyond happy for our children and their families. We both cried and celebrated with the families on Holy Saturday during a Mass which seemed endless! Please join us in praying for our children and their families that their roots of faith in JESUS may grow deep and strong and produce great fruit and, hopefully VOCATIONS!

The Way of the Cross with Saint Francis by Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity

During this coming Holy Week, Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity invite you to pray The Way of the Cross with Saint Francis.

Grant that we may do for your sake alone what you want us to do, and always want what pleases you. – Saint Francis of Assisi

Sister Victoria Masil’s paintings show Saint Francis of Assisi’s great devotion to Jesus crucified and his desire that it be a special part of the life of every Franciscan. He identified with our Lord’s sufferings to such an extent that he was gifted with the marks of the Passion, the Stigmata. This love is portrayed by the placing of the saint as a figure in each of the stations. Sister Ruth Ann Myers and Sister Jerianne Stelmach contributed to the publication of the station books used by our Sisters.

Saint Francis, Lover of the Crucified, pray for us. Lord Jesus crucified, have mercy on us.

 

Franciscan Sisters Respond to Vocation Outreach Needs

Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity are blessed to receive invitations to share our life with others through vocation visits. Throughout the country this happened recently near Catholic School Week.  Sister Marlene Schwaller, Sister Mary Frances Maher, Sister Kay Klackner and Sister Elizabeth Benvie were generous in responding to  Diocese of Green Bay elementary schools regarding presentations on consecrated life.  Furthermore, in geographical areas around the Motherhouse, Sister Julie Ann Sheahan coordinated dates for visits of children with Franciscan Novices and Postulant Hilda whenever possible.

In January we were on the road to Appleton, Wisconsin, Xavier High School Junior Retreat day at Sacred Heart Parish. Novice Sister Cecilia Joy and Hilda shared about God’s call to them,  entertained questions and distributed a simple bookmark or Pax button bracelet made by the Sisters.

Sister Rosalyn Muraski, serving at St. Thomas More School, Green Bay, WI, invited us to join her for a vocation talk with students. We traveled to the school and met with the girls in their school chapel.

High school students from Columbus Catholic Central High School, Marshfield, WI were our guests for an overnight Motherhouse visit. Students toured our Motherhouse, prayed with us, and had recreation with those in the initial steps of becoming Sisters. Chaplain Father Daniel Sedlacek and teacher Tammy Riegl planned some chapel reflection time for them before they stopped at Silver Lake College of the Holy Family for a tour on the way home.

Franciscan Sisters Announce Camp Franciscan 2018

Discover God’s goodness! Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity invite young women active in their professional lives or in college as well as high school June 11-14, 2018 to Camp Franciscan: Do Not Be Afraid. You Have Found Favor With God. (Lk 1:30) Camp begins on June 11 at 10 a.m. and closes on June 14 at 1 p.m..

I learned that to bring yourself closer to God start with simple things and not being afraid to shine your light. – Allie, Wisconsin

What can you expect at camp?

  • Experience growth in your relationships: yourself, others, God and the world.
  • Discover skills for developing personal reflection and discernment of one’s vocation.
  • Encounter religious and develop an awareness of a call to be a Franciscan Sister.

I learned about dedication and how I really need to be more sociable and allow myself to be myself. – Isabel, Arizona

To register 2018CampFranciscanregistration  Download health record need: CampHealthForm Cost: $45
For more information, call or text Sister Julie Ann at 920-323-9632.

Franciscan Sisters Welcome Texas Postulant

Monday, January 15, 2018 Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity officially welcomed Hilda Concepcion Medina as a Postulant in an afternoon Insignia of St. Francis Ceremony prayer service. This is the first step in her becoming a Franciscan Sister. Hilda is from Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish, Midland, Texas of the Diocese of San Angelo. During her early years, she lived in nearby Clovis, New Mexico.

The Insignia of St. Francis was explained during the ceremony in a quote taken from Thomas Celano’s first book on St. Francis. It reads that “Francis made for himself a tunic showing the image of the Tau cross so as to remind himself of his call to imitate Christ”. Community Director Sister Natalie Binversie bestowed the insignia, a tau with the hand of Jesus covering that of St. Francis, to remind Hilda of her call to follow Christ with all of us Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity. Worn on a chain, it becomes the formal witness to all of being a Postulant.

John 1:35-39 was an important Gospel text for the ritual.

“The next day John was there again with two of his disciples, and as he watched Jesus walk by, he said, “Behold, the Lamb of God.” The two disciples heard what he said and followed Jesus.

Jesus turned and saw them following him and said to them, “What are you looking for?” They said to him, “Rabbi” (which translated means Teacher), “where are you staying?”

He said to them, “Come, and you will see.” So they went and saw where he was staying, and they stayed with him that day. It was about four in the afternoon.”

Does this Scripture text speak to you as you discern your own call from God? We invite you to our coming March 16-18, 2018 Franciscan Retreat Weekend or check out our other discernment options offered in the coming months. Click here.