Volume 8.11 | June 8, 2020
In this Issue:

Part of our History - St. Joseph Academy

St. Anthony's Honor Walk

Congregational Activities During Quarantine

From the Communications Office

In Memory

Part of our History - St. Joseph Academy
By: Kathleen Stagnaro OSF and Joan Carberry OSF
The Catholic community of St. Joseph’s Parish in Lakeland, FL, dates back to its founding in 1898. The Catholic elementary school was opened in September of 1938 under the direction of the Franciscan Sisters of Allegany, who led the school until 1987. The school has continued in existence since then under the direction of a lay administration and faculty. Since 1960, St. Joseph Academy has been a feeder school for Santa Fe Catholic High School, also in Lakeland. St. Joseph Academy has also been instrumental in the development of two other parochial schools.

St. Joseph Academy experienced a new beginning on August 31, 2009, in beautifully renovated buildings. The new campus allowed for the expansion of the art and music programs, green space for sports programs, opportunities for individualized and differentiated learning, and space for state-of-the-art science and technology labs. The location continued to be a part of the downtown neighborhood where community partnerships and, most importantly, quality education in a Catholic environment could continue. A parochial, coeducational elementary school, St. Joseph Academy was fully accredited by the Florida Catholic Conference since 1973.

Our sisters ministered there for 49 years. This year the parish planned a million-dollar campaign to do major innovations in the school but, due to COVID-19, it fell through and the school is closing. Our sisters spent many happy years there and have wonderful memories of the students and the school and parish communities.
Caring for Each Other - Our Honor Walk
St. Anthony's Hospital, St. Petersburg, FL
By: Mary McNally OSF
In the midst of turmoil and violence in the streets of our country and community, there was a gift of love being given at St. Anthony’s!
Wednesday morning, June 3, we had another Honor Walk. This is a very sacred part of our Mission at St. Anthony’s. We honor those who enable others to live by donating their organs to those in need. Our CVICU Doctors, Nurses, Respiratory Therapists, and so many others, compassionately cared for our 28-year-old male patient and his family for days, and our Team Members from throughout the hospital honored him on his sacred journey to the OR where he was received by our Surgery Team and the LifeLink Team.
With gratitude, four people received the gift of life:
Heart – 64 y/o male (Tampa General)
Liver – 52 y/o female (South Carolina)
Right Kidney – 69 y/o male
Left Kidney – 60 y/o male
It didn’t matter whether they were Black or White, Asian or Native American, whether they were Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Atheist, straight, gay, transgender! They were in need, and received the gift of love and life!

We all participated because of our commitment to our Mission and Values. 
This was the hospital's 3rd donor case of 2020, resulting in nine lives saved this year.
  All three of the donors this year have been during the pandemic.
St. Anthony’s is a sacred place of love and healing for All!
Quarantine Activities Across the Congregation
From Cindy Matthews OSF
I thought I would take some time and respond to the invitation to share our experiences during the pandemic.
Because we are able to minister only at a distance, we organized 25 parishioners to call other parishioners to check on them from time to time and ask if they need anything we might be able to help them with. Parishioners are encouraged to call the rectory and leave a message if something comes up as time goes on.
Three of us have been walking the parish streets almost daily and checking in with parishioners at their homes (from outside, with masks on, and at least six feet apart, of course). We have reached a little over 400 homes at this point. We have received far more offers of help than requests for assistance. We do have some folks who are in need of food and have been able to provide gift cards through the generosity of other parishioners. We have been able to help with some overdue bills as well.

We have watched winter turn to spring and early “summer” as we continue our walks.
We have been reaching out to parishioners through our online newsletter, website, and a parish mailing. Much of the ministry is done via phone calls, emails, and texts. The in-person touch is sadly missing.
Our church reopened on a limited basis and with significant restrictions this past weekend. Each person was contacted individually to talk about our options, including the continued TV Mass. The majority of parishioners chose to stay home.
At St. Elizabeth Motherhouse
Old time Florida friends, from left to right, Janet Finley, Ruth Barthle, Frances O’Dell, and Betty Moore having a Friday afternoon chat! 
From Kathie Uhler OSF
Unexpectedly, l had to lock down at St. Elizabeth Beach House in Point Lookout, NY. It happened because I arrived there, unwittingly, on March 14, for what I thought was going to be a week’s “get away.” By St. Patrick’s Day, however, COVID-19 had taken over life-as-we-knew-it. In no way could I return to the Presentation Sisters with whom I had been living in Staten Island, NY since I left St. Anthony’s Convent in New York City two years ago. So began what turned out to be 67 days of my own company and cooking. Who knew?

On the other hand, please don’t feel sorry for me! (Not that I really think you are.) Who of us lives with a panoramic view of the ocean out her front window? When was the last time anyone took a hermitage experience the length of two 30-day “selfie” retreats? Really.

I have to say I enjoyed the solitude. To a point. I set up a routine, as one is advised to do in these circumstances. I began writing my memoirs in earnest. Phone conversations with Catherine Moran, our beach house caretaker, and other folks, I really enjoyed. Zoom meetings were great with the UISG and seeing other Alleganies in the windows.

I knew the name of only one other person in Pt. Lookout: our on-site caretaker, Maria, who lives diagonally from our house on Garden City Ave. One day she and I had a conversation, socially distant of course, while she was walking her cute dog. A most interesting person, Maria is one of the four seers of Garabandal, Spain. So humble, she wouldn’t talk about that, to my disappointment.

I returned to the Presentation Sisters on May 20. I was greeted lovingly at the door (within social distance) by two sisters, one who relieved me of all my baggage and the other with thermometer and shoe spray. The eight of them are sheltering well. It is good to be back in the comfort of a full community life. The old “horarium” isn’t all that bad.
In this time of COVID separation and quarantine we invite you to send in your experiences and pictures so that we can share them with all our sisters, associates and partners in ministry. Those who have already submitted their experiences will find them shared in our next edition!
From the Office of Communications:
By: Denise Bunk-Hatch, Communications Director

As COVID-19 restrictions ease here in NY, I am preparing to (finally) send the Directory to print. Please let me know if you have any recent changes (since March) you wish to have made before I send it in.

The Communications Office will be closed from Monday, June 8 to Friday, June 12. If you have an urgent need, please contact our leadership liaison, Margaret Magee, at mmagee@fsallegany.org. Thank you!
In Memory
Sr. Angella Harris
Date of Birth: February 20, 1960
Entered Eternal Life: May 29, 2020
Sr. Maria Antonieta Nogueira
Date of Birth: June 2, 1925
Entered Eternal Life: May 30, 2020