In This Issue
Allegany Franciscans Website
FSA Jamaica Website
Like us on Facebook
 
UPCOMING MEETINGS
 
CL Meetings
May 1-2 , May 22-23
 
Assemblies
Tampa - April 28, 29
Jamaica - May 5, 6
FABS (Franciscans with American and Brazilian Sisters) meeting 
April 23-24, Reading, PA 
 
Mass of Farewell
St. Anthony Church, NYC
May 12th at 5:00 pm
 
Assembly Planning Committee APC Zoom meeting
May 15th at 9:30 am
 
General Commission
May 30, June 1-2
Allegany  
Issue 6.08
April 23, 2018  
Generalate Peace Prayer Circle
We are called to be peacemakers, instruments of peace! As a Congregation, Associates, and Partners in Ministry we have committed ourselves to be attentive to the ways that we can share and spread this message, so needed in our lives and in our world today.

Each morning at 9:15, members of the Generalate staff and Congregational Leadership join together in a few moments of prayer to start the day. In addition to sharing intentions, both personal and world concerns, the group ends by praying together the Peace Prayer of St. Francis.

Our Peace Prayer cards are available free of charge to any who desire them. Donations are accepted to help defray costs. To order cards, or to make a donation, please send an order form (and a check payable to the Franciscan Sisters of Allegany, if desired) to:
Denise Bunk-Hatch, Communications Director
PO Box W, St. Bonaventure, NY 14778
 
Please note that it is a donation for the Peace Prayer Initiative.
https://www.alleganyfranciscans.org/peace-prayer 

Experience of Mission in Brazil (Part 2)  
By: Margaret Magee OSF, Associate Minister
This is the second in a series of articles reflecting on Sr. Margaret's recent experiences of life and Mission with our Sisters in Brazil. 

     On Monday, March 26, we left Araguacema for a three hour drive to Cristalândia which
is a city also located in the Brazilian state of Tocantins. Sr. Teresinha (Té) is principal of the Escola São Francisco de Assis (St. Francis of Assisi School). Sr. Eurípedes is a nurse at the town's small hospital, Our Lady of Perpetual Help. Sr. Mariana Barbosa provides pastoral ministry visiting the elderly in the area while also caring for her own mother who lives at home and is in her 90's. We had the opportunity to visit Mariana's mother and she is alert, talkative, and delightful. What a blessing for Mariana and her family.
    We visited all the classrooms in the school and were delighted when many of the students greeted us in English. We could see the students' happiness is being able to tell us their names and in welcoming us. Some classes had prepared songs which they sang, and others presented us with cards and flowers. It was a blessing to be engaged with the students, asking them to tell us their favorite subject and to explain to them how we had traveled from the United States to be with them. We also had the opportunity to gather for refreshments with the teachers and staff. At this gathering, Té spoke of the dedication of the faculty and staff in continuing our Franciscan values and the spirit of our Allegany Franciscan Sisters throughout the years. Escola São Francisco de Assis was opened in 1959 by Sisters Veronica Louis and Ângela Terezinha. They came with the firm conviction of educating the young children and helping to better the lives of the people. It was clear to see that our Sisters have a deep and effective presence in this community and are deeply loved.
   We also went with Eurípedes for a tour of the hospital and to hear of the services that are provided by a small yet competent staff. There seemed to be many of these small local rural hospitals in the places that we visited. They are under the government services but can only provide a certain level of care. If a patient requires more extensive tests, procedures, or possible surgery, they must travel, sometimes as much as two hours, to a larger hospital.   
We truly enjoyed the hospitality of our sisters. Everywhere we visited we are treated to the local flavors of juices, fruits, and baked goods like pão de queijo (small cheese biscuits) and great meals.         
   Wednesday morning we prepared to journey once again and to return for a more in-depth visit with our Sisters in Palmas. Palmas was founded in 1990 and is a very modern city. It is the capital city of the state of Tocantins, in central Brazil. In 2004, our Sisters built the school,
Colégio São Franciso de Assis, for infant and elementary education. The school provides state-of-the-art classrooms, science laboratory, library, chapel, auditorium, sports center, green space, playground, and a canteen for the students. It is so apparent in meeting the students and staff that they are very welcoming and well-grounded in our Franciscan values and in the spirituality of Sts. Francis and Clare of Assisi.
   The afternoon of Holy Thursday the students, faculty, and parents gathered in the auditorium for an assembly. As we waited for the classes to arrive some students came and sat with us, introducing themselves in English and chatting. I enjoyed engaging them in some conversation in Portuguese. It made for a playful exchange.
The focus of the assembly was the "Fraternity and Overcoming Violence," which is the campaign of all the dioceses of Brazil. Each year, the National Conference of Bishops in Brazil (CNBB) have a "Fraternity Campaign", an initiative that started after the Second Vatican Council to unite Catholics and the rest of civil society around a common theme. The older school students acted out brief skits portraying spousal abuse, verbal abuse, elder abuse, and workplace abuse. At the end of each skit the students remained posed and still on stage. A student dressed as Jesus came on stage and approached each of the student groups, touched them, raised them up, and embraced them as an invitation to turn away from violence. Each one was then invited to come sit on chairs in the center of the stage. The Jesus figure then came into the audience and invited a young mother holding her baby, Sr. Marinez, and me to the stage to join the students sitting there. The Jesus figure then began to recite and reenact the washing of the feet. It truly was a meaningful and moving experience. The assembly closed with some of the faculty and our sisters joined in song. It was wonderful to see our Sisters Maria Helena, Suzanne, Nara, and Dayanne on stage. 
   That evening we joined the Sisters and walked to the local parish, Paróquia Nossa Senhora do Monte do Carmo, a few blocks away from the convent for the Holy Thursday celebration. My thoughts were still filled with the students' presentation of the washing of the feet and healing the violence in our own hearts and in our world. As I entered into the evening celebration I was aware of the people gathered and their faith and engagement in being Eucharist and instruments of peace in their own country of Brazil and also for the world. I could not help but be drawn into this celebration and the commemoration of the Lord's Supper with the enlivened participation of the people, with their music and singing. Following communion we moved into the solemnity of Reposition of the Blessed Sacrament. As we walked back to the convent my heart was full with a deep gratitude for the visible presence of Eucharist embodied in the people of this parish in Palmas and the places we have visited, knowing the challenges and struggles they and the people of Brazil face with a government that is unstable and flawed with corruption, the concerns of violence, poverty, and other issues. Perhaps this is a consciousness we are called to hold more deeply. How can we reverence and hold the suffering and pain of people in our world as Christ held the pain of all humanity in the Agony of the Garden? For us today, our worlds of North America, the Caribbean, South America, and beyond may seem so vastly different and separated by thousands of miles yet in truth we are one human family living on one common home facing the same difficulties and struggles. It is our faith, our attentiveness, and centeredness in Christ and with one another that must be the visible redemptive love of God made available for the world.  
 
   Reflections still to come - Good Friday, Ceres, Easter Sunday, visits and activities in Anápolis

St. Anthony's Cancer Center installs bell dedicated to survivors 
By: Divya Kumar, Tampa Bay Times
Reprinted with Permission. All formatting/style choices are those of the original publisher.

   Sister Mary McNally, vice president of mission at St. Anthony's Hospital, stood in front of a room of cancer survivors to unveil a silver bell surrounded by butterfly stickers mounted to the wall of the Cancer Center lobby.
   "So often people complete their treatment and they go out the door," she said. "Now we have that symbolism. 'Yeah, I'm free now. This is my new life.'" Then, on the one-year anniversary of her own completion of radiation therapy, McNally rang the bell.
   "It's an important part of the healing process," she told the room full of survivors, who lined up Friday to ring the bell for each year of their survival, ranging from 33 years of being cancer free to Gina Forgetta, who completed her radiation therapy earlier that day.
   "It's been a long road and this is the end," said Forgetta, who had been coming to St. Anthony's for the past six weeks for radiation on her jaw.
   The cancer center at St. Anthony's was built in 1991. Since then, the mortality rate for cancer as a whole has fallen by about 23 percent, according to the American Cancer Society.
Tom McMahon, director of oncology at St. Anthony's, said while that number isn't applicable to each type of cancer, on the whole, cancer survival rates have "improved dramatically."
   Some of that has come as a result of early detection and identifying prevention factors, some from improved technology in treatment.
   "Some cancer rates haven't improved dramatically, and it's frustrating when you don't see that," he said. "But we say to patients the day they've been diagnosed, they become a survivor, whether they survive for two weeks or 31 years."
   McNally was diagnosed with breast cancer in September 2016. She began radiation in February 2017, coming into the center for treatment Mondays through Fridays. The process, she said, could be solitary and frightening. While technicians and doctors prepare the patient, he or she must enter the radiation vault alone. McNally remembers repeating to herself "Be still and know I am God and love" until each session was over.
   "It's not painful," she said. "But there's always a fear of the unknown."
   While each person's journey is different, McMahon said bringing closure to a successful treatment stage is an important step in holistic recovery. Sandra Bailey, Cancer Center manager, said they often tell patients they hope to never see them again.
   McNally, who was cancer-free after seven weeks of radiation, said it's helpful to have an external symbol like the bell.
   "It allows you to freely get on with life," she said. "It doesn't happen that soon, but after a fashion."
 
St. Joseph's Women's Hospital opens new Special Delivery Unit 
Submitted by: Margaret Mary Foley OSF

   St. Joseph's Women's Hospital is thrilled to announce the completion of our Special Delivery Unit, a new, larger space for the NICU delivery team to stabilize babies in need of additional critical care at birth. Situated between two operating rooms, the unit will care for newborns ranging from very premature infants to full-term babies in distress, in a warm, calm environment. The unit was blessed yesterday and we are proud to open it to patients next week.

Franciscan-Clarian Reflections 

   Over the next few months, the e-newsletter will post reflections on Franciscan-Clarian artworks. The members of the Franciscan-Clarian Spirituality have written these reflections as a way to invite further reflection and sharing through the arts. We hope you enjoy these reflections and encourage you to share them with others. We also invite all our sisters, associates, and partners in ministry to share in this reflection process by selecting a Franciscan-Clarian artwork and writing a reflection. Reflections may be sent to Judith Terrameo OSF at srjterrameo@gmail.com

Franciscan-Clarian Art Reflection 
By: Lilian Cristina Pinheiro OSF

   Francis and Clare: two hearts that find each other, in love and in Christ. It is an image of wholeness. The experience of faith of the two saints enriches the arid soil, allowing red and white flowers to bloom. The red represents a life searching for Gospel living; the white embodies unwavering faith.
   In their embrace, they unite and give birth to the Franciscan-Clarian charism, represented by the strong branch reaching up to heaven. Francis' feet are raised up and he seems to lean on Clare. Throughout his life, whenever he had doubts and had to discern something, he would ask Clare to pray. An example was when the seraphic father was in doubt as to whether he should preach or lead life as a hermit.
   Clare remains in San Damiano (seen partially behind the figures), the first church restored by Francis, where he himself met the Poor Christ on the crucifix and heard the words that determined his life mission. Clare, therefore, becomes the one responsible for guarding the foundational charism of the Franciscan order: to live the Gospel as poor as Jesus Christ himself. The sun enlightens the figures and is a reminder of the Franciscan charism, that was given to restore the church and to enlighten lives and hearts.



Upcoming deadlines:
Submissions are not guaranteed publication. All submissions will be edited prior to inclusion, 
and may be held for future use if deemed appropriate.
   
May 9, 2018 - First May edition e-newsletter
May 15, 2018 - Combined Spring/Summer edition Allegany Connections
May 23 - Second May edition e-newsletter