Volume 7.12 | July 8, 2019
In this Issue:


Cloister/Ritiro Anniversary Celebrated

Movement to Restore Trust

Giving Voice Gathering

Venerable Florenzia Profilio

Franciscan Federation History
Cloister/Ritiro Anniversary Celebrated
On Sunday, June 30, the Franciscan Sisters of Allegany, Associates, friends, and family celebrated the 60th Anniversary of the Cloister/Ritiro.

The festivities began with a 9:30 a.m. Mass in the St. Elizabeth Motherhouse Chapel. Dominic Monti OFM celebrated the Mass, during which current and former Ritiro members served as Lectors, Leaders, and Ministers. The Ritiro Sisters - Sharon O'Neil, Beth McGinnis, Anne Wachter, Eleanor Berret, and Carol Kenyon - then welcomed guests into their home for an open house.

Guests gathered in the Motherhouse dining room at 11:45 to share in a turkey dinner from nearby Sprague's Maple Farm and give gifts and thanks to the Ritiro sisters. A video history of the Cloister/Ritiro was also unveiled during the meal.

To see the video history and interviews from current and former Cloister/Ritiro sisters, click here.
The Movement to Restore Trust
By: Margaret Magee OSF
On Saturday, June 29, members of Congregational Leadership (Margaret Mary Kimmins, Goianira Silva and I) attended a Listening Session on the Clerical Abuse Situation. The session, sponsored by the Diocese of Buffalo, was held at Archbishop Walsh Academy, Olean, NY with many people, priests and friars in attendance. Buffalo Bishop Richard Malone welcomed and thanked all who gathered. He explained that this was one of many sessions being held throughout the diocese and assured the group that he was present to listen and he is committed to making the needed changes to bring about healing to victims, their families and to work to bring greater transparency and more inclusive leadership to the diocese.

The session was facilitated by an independent organization of lay women and men within the Diocese of Buffalo called The Movement to Restore Trust. Their process included prayer, table conversation with reflection questions, and reporting from each table. Following the table reporting some parents whose children had been victims of abuse shared their stories and pleas for change. The experience was intense and heartfelt, as it was clear that all who were present had been touched in some way by the scandal of clerical abuse, either personally or through their participation in the church. There was a clear call for systemic change as well as a public and visible sign of repentance and reconciliation that would be a witness to the church and to the wider world.

We encourage all Sisters, Associates, and Partners in Ministry to participate in local Diocesan listening sessions and other opportunities for discussion and education. If you have or will be participating, we encourage you to let us know by writing and sharing your experience. Let us continue to pray for our church, especially for the victims, the survivors of abuse, and their families. May we continue to work for healing, wholeness and restorative justice for all people.     
Giving Voice Gathering
By: Margaret Foley OSF
Between June 27-30, 77 courageous Catholic Sisters under the age of 50 participated in the National Gathering of Giving Voice at Fontbonne University in St. Louis, MO. This bi-lingual gathering (Spanish and English) was entitled, “Boldness and Beauty of Communion: Living Religious Life Now.” I felt blessed to participate.
 
The gathering started with an exhibit of sisters’ artwork which remained on display throughout the conference. I was pleased to bring a piece of my artwork which I titled “Communion” to share.
 
There was no keynote speaker for this gathering, rather the time was peer lead with the voices of the participating sisters leading the way through the break-out sessions and workshops. This collective and collaborative gathering was a source of great fellowship and fun which flowed into our daily celebrations of the Eucharist. 
 
We ended the gathering with heart-felt sharing of our desires and hopes for the future. It is now our responsibility to take the boldness and beauty of being the communion we received from one another to share with the world we live in.
Venerable Florenzia Profilio
Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate Conception, Lipari
By: Margaret Mary Kimmins OSF
While I was in Rome at the International Union of Superiors General (UISG) meeting, I visited the Sisters of Immaculate Conception, founded by Mother Florenzia Profilio in Lipari, Italy. Florenzia was received into the Franciscan Sisters Allegany in 1892 and ministered in Pittsburgh. She was invited by the Bishop of Lipari (a very poor island community) to found a new congregation. She left us in 1898, went back to Italy, and founded the Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate Conception of Lipari.

 In 1945, Florenzia relocated the Motherhouse to Rome. It was there that she started an orphanage and school for those who were affected by the travesties of post-war Italy. She died in Rome on February 21, 1956.

It was a joy to meet the sisters. There were several sisters who knew Florenzia personally and shared stories of her humility and courage. The warmth, gentleness, and welcome that I received spoke of the spirit of Florenzia and her congregation. Presently, they minister in schools in Italy, Peru, and Brazil.

There are currently 74 sisters and two novices. Mother Florenzia is a candidate for canonization. Attached is a picture of Sister Liliana, the present Congregational Minister, our translator, and myself. (Please note the beauty of the sky).
God's Love & Mercy
Franciscan Federation History 1965-2016
God's Love & Mercy , the history recounting the 50-year journey of the Franciscan Federation has just recently been published and was available for sale during the conference. We congratulate our Sr. Kathie Uhler for her work in writing and updating the initial work written by Sr. Elise Saggau OSF (Franciscan Sisters of Little Falls, Minnesota). Elise and Kathie were on-hand during the conference to sign copies of the history.

Congratulations and thank you Kathie! Each congregation was given a copy of the history.