In This Issue
Allegany Franciscans Website
FSA Jamaica Website
Like us on Facebook
 
UPCOMING MEETINGS
 
CL Meetings
May 1-2 

Assemblies
Allegany - April 7-8
NJ/Easton, PA - April 20, 21, 22 Brazil - April 20, 21, 22
Tampa - April 28, 29
Jamaica - May 5, 6

FABS (Franciscans with American and Brazilian Sisters) meeting 
April 23-24, Reading, PA 
 
Issue 6.06
March 26, 2018  
Holy Week
Do you understand what I just did for you? You call me 'Teacher,' and 'Lord'- and fittingly enough, for that is what I am. But if I washed your feet- I who am
Teacher and Lord- then you must wash each other's feet. What I just did was to give you an example: as I have done, so you must do.
                                 (John 13:12-15)
   We are to become the Incarnation, right here, right now. Do we understand what Jesus has done for us? What does washing feet look like for me? It might be sharing a cup of coffee or tea with someone, listening attentively to stories already heard several times, looking into the eyes of a beggar, being present for an event that does not interest you, greeting another whom you would rather not see. Who most needs our time, perhaps through a note, card, phone call, our presence, or might it be preparing for one more meeting, writing one more letter, doing one more thing.  
   How is my heart as I humble myself to kneel before the other, to wash and kiss their feet? My heart can be conflicted by time, by a person with whom I do not want to interact, but of course I want to share time with you. 
   Who is seeking to wash my feet? How is my heart when others are washing and kissing my feet? Am I willing to let this person minister to me in ways that may not be comfortable, or that I view as a waste of time? What is the dirt that needs to be washed away?
We can choose to answer these questions quickly without much thought or just off the top of our heads. Washing feet in 2018 probably is not a literal action. Therefore, there is no map, plan, or instructions for this particular ongoing conversion of washing feet. Sitting in vigil with these questions perhaps is a challenge. This is the week of foot washing. What better time to delve into the depths of this action?
   In what ways is Christ being incarnated in my action of foot washing?

(Taken from the March Reflection by the TOR-FCN)
The Joy of Easter
By: Janet Sullivan OSF

   By walking in the footprints of Francis and Clare, we know that they lived immersed in God. Life's experiences revealed to them God's loving presence. Our experiences are meant to do the same.
   In offering you the following three vignettes, I am inviting you to reflect on your own experience of Easter. It is my hope that sharing my experience with you will prompt you to share your experience with others: Easter Sunday Mass, Easter lilies and flowers, Easter parades, new clothes, Easter baskets, snow surprise. Everything speaks to us of 'God with us'.
   About 20 years ago on Easter Sunday morning I went to a late morning Mass at the parish church. It is an understatement to say the church was packed. Not only were there no seats; the people were standing on the side and around the back. I made my way to the far side of the church where I hoped to be able to sit somewhere, at least during the homily, even if it were on the floor. I was so overwhelmed by this expression of Resurrection faith, so choked up, that I could not even sing. The experience brought me to a deeper appreciation of what Christian Community means: its uniqueness, its importance and its support value. There is no substitute for it because there the risen Lord is present.
   On Easter Sunday morning in 1975 I was at Mass in the Basilica of the Annunciation in Nazareth, Galilee. It was as though I had been propelled there by the words of the Risen Lord, "Go tell my disciples that I go before them into Galilee." The little children sang the Mass; my parents and Sister Edwardine were my companions. I recall a joy, a lightness, a rightness; I was where I belonged. That experience speaks to me today about the invitation that is given to all of us. Easter never ends; it is there within the joy and blessedness of what Christ has done for us that we must choose to live. Author, Ruth Burrows writes, "Reality is the life, the world, of the risen Jesus, where there is utter security and joy, where all is well and will be well."
   About ten years ago, Fr. Russel Becker gave the Holy Week Retreat at the Franciscan Center in Tampa. His explication of symbols was more than enlightening; it was spiritually exciting. The following is one that I treasure; it thrills me.                                                                        
   In ancient Palestine, sometimes a newborn lamb or the ewe would die. The shepherds would take the blood of a deceased newborn and wrap it around another newborn whose mother had died. The ewe, whose newborn had died would then claim the living newborn as her own; in that way it would be nurtured and survive. Through the Passion, Death and Resurrection of God's own Son, we have been washed in the blood of THE PASCHAL LAMB and God the Father claims us as his own. "These are the ones who have survived the great period of trial; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb" (Rev.7: 14).
   May the peace of the risen Lord enfold you, the vision of the risen Lord inspire you and the love of the risen Lord fill you.

Sr. Grace Yap recognized 
Submitted by: Lorraine Chen OSF

"International Women's Day is a time to reflect on progress made, to call for change and to celebrate acts of courage and determination by ordinary women who have played an extraordinary role in the history of their countries and communities."
                                  The United Nations
 
   In Jamaica, WROC, Women's Resource and Outreach Center, which is a branch of the NIA, National Integrity Action, presented the Community Builders Awards to five individuals who have played an extraordinary role in the volatile communities of Myrrh Villa, Whitfield Town, and Trench Town. One of these ladies was Sister Grace Yap, who received a beautiful plaque for outstanding service and dedication to the citizens of these communities.
   Grace has worked for about 30 years in the inner-city communities of Myrrh Villa, Whitefield Town, and Trench Town. During that time, she has established clinics in various places to take care of the health needs of these communities. She has also built houses for the poor
and distributed care packages to its many needy and elderly citizens. As a community motivator, she has enabled the residents to envision the possibilities of their resources. When Grace drives through any of these communities, which are feared by many, she is recognized by the residents as they utter friendly greetings and display welcoming gestures.
   Grace received the Community Builders Award at the International Women's Day Brunch which was held at the Lyndhurst Methodist Church in Kingston. There was much energy and enthusiasm as the large gathering showed their appreciation for what she has done to assist them in transforming their community.
    Congratulations, Sr. Grace!

Mission Society and Renodin Foundation are on Facebook
By: Connie Cooper, Communications Coordinator, St. Elizabeth Mission Society

   The St. Elizabeth Mission Society and the Dr. Lyle F. Renodin Foundation, both sponsored ministries of the Franciscan Sisters of Allegany, are on Facebook. If you haven't found us and "Liked" us, please take a look.
 
 
 
Once you "Like" us, then our posts will show up in your Facebook feed.
 
   Tip: If you want to be sure to see our posts, simply go to our page, look under the cover photo and find the "Following" button, hover over it to see a list of options. Then simply choose "See First" and our posts will show up first in your feed.
   We work hard to ensure the content on our pages is personal, entertaining, relevant, and interesting - but most importantly, we want it to be valuable and beneficial to you! Here are two great reasons you should follow our Facebook page right away:

 

  • Because You Love Us - many, if not all of you, have served in the Missions of the Franciscan Sisters of Allegany. We know that the work you do or did is near and dear to your heart and you would love to hear what is happening today.
  • Because You are Part of Our Community - both the Mission Society and the Renodin Foundation are sponsored ministries of the Franciscan Sisters of Allegany. The Mission Society supports the ministries of the Sisters in Bolivia, Brazil, Jamaica, and the United States. It's fun to see pictures of what is happening now in these places where our grant funds are being used.
 
Don't delay! Like us today!

 
National Day of Action Against Gun Violence in Schools 

   The Protect our Schools movement is inspired by the courageous young people in Parkland, Florida, and across the nation who are demanding our leaders take real action to end gun violence in this nation. On April 20, they are asking everyone to participate in a high-profile activity of your choosing that demonstrates your support for comprehensive legislative solutions and programs designed to reduce gun violence in schools. Whatever action you are a part of, please wear orange (the color of the movement) in solidarity. Click here to organize an action in your community.
   April 20 marks the 19th anniversary of the massacre at Columbine High School when 12 students and one teacher were killed. Unfortunately, there have been far too many other school shootings since then: Virginia Tech, Chardon High, Umpqua Community College, Sandy Hook Elementary, and now Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. These are just some of the schools that have experienced shootings in recent years. We must stand up on April 20 and say "no more!"
   In the past, when gun tragedies happened, they attracted attention and mourning for a week or two before attention moved on to other issues. Only through sustained movement and the work of many groups on many days will we overcome the resistance to change. Protect Our Schools salutes all efforts to combat gun violence and is supportive of the March for our Lives on March 24th.
   The National Law Enforcement Partnership released a statement calling on Congress to implement a slate of reforms they recommend including background checks, a limit to high capacity weapons and ammunition, and more. Read the full statement here.
    We encourage all members and friends to continue to talk about the need for common sense gun legislation, and lift up and participate in events in your area.
 
Lent with Francis and Clare 

During the recent Franciscan-Clarian Spirituality Committee meeting, our Associate, Alba Mejia, shared a video reflection of the Stations of the Cross. Each Station of the Cross includes a reading or reflection from the writings of Clare and Francis of Assisi. We share this video with you and encourage you to share it with others. The video is shared on our FSA YouTube channel and can be viewed by clicking this link:
Franciscan-Clarian Stations of the Cross .
 


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.
   
April 4, 2018 - First April edition e-newsletter
April 18, 2018 - Second April edition e-newsletter