In This Issue
Allegany Franciscans Website
FSA Jamaica Website
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CL Meeting
April 3, May 2

General Commission
May 8-9 St. Clare's, Tampa
Franciscan Spirituality
July 7-9 St. Clare's, Tampa

FABS Meeting
April 17-19, Reading, PA

April 1, 2 - New Jersey
April 20-23 - Brazil
April 22, 23 - Tampa
April 29, 30 - Jamaica

Issue 5.06
March 27, 2017
 "Love Unfolding: Becoming a Wholemaker"

Motherhouse Assembly

   With spring finally arriving in Allegany, the Franciscan Sisters and Associates in the area around St. Elizabeth Motherhouse gathered for the first assembly of the season on Saturday, March 25.
   The topic of Saturday was "Embracing More Fully the Clarian Dimension of our Franciscan Clarian Life as Franciscan Sisters of Allegany and Associates", a series of reflections by Meg Guider OSF. The presentation offered new insights into the life and spirituality of St. Clare of Assisi. 
   On Sunday, presentations were given from the General Commission, the Franciscan Spirituality committee, and leadership. Before lunch, the area Jubilarians were recognized. They were: Mary Lou Lafferty, Rosemary Higgins, Margaret Mahoney, and Patricia Perry (60th); Helen Lodge and Anna Theresa Sheridan (65th); and Eileen Joseph Regan (75th). Congratulations and blessings!

Sr. Avril inducted into Hall of Fame 

   On Saturday, March 25, Sr. Avril Chin Fatt was inducted into the Hall of Fame at Immaculate Conception High School in Kingston, Jamaica.
   The Hall of Fame, which was started in 2013, honors alumnae who have made contributions that " have made their school and country proud," according to a press release from Immaculate Conception High School. 
   Sr. Avril is a 1958 graduate of Immaculate Conception and was recognized for her work in religious education and volunteerism. She ministered in education for three decades, serving as a teacher, vice-principal, and principal, before being elected to regional leadership, and then as Congregational Minister for two terms, spanning from 2004-2012. 
   Congratulations, Sr. Avril!

Interfranciscan Formation Conference
By: Lucy Cardet OSF

   On March 7, 2017, Liz Schumacher OSF, and I joined 46 other women and men religious in formation and formation ministers from a variety of Franciscan congregations/orders/provinces of the U.S. at the retreat house of the Friars of the Atonement in Garrison, NY.  As Fr. Ron Pecci, OFM, has pointed out, this cooperative formation program (now in its 32nd year) involves volunteering, good input, and being together.  He has been the coordinator of the program for the last few years. Prayer, talks, reflection time, and group sharing made up our time together, even a "talent show" (a high point of our time).
   The presenter for this retreat/gathering was Sister Kathy Warren, OSF (Rochester, MN Franciscan) whose focus in graduate Franciscan studies was "interreligious interaction through a Franciscan lens". She authored/collaborated in Franciscan Media's DVD and materials: "Francis and the Sultan", which was shown during the program and provided a context for understanding Francis' encounter with the Muslim people . When there is respect and openness on both sides, even enemies can begin to respect one another.
   Underlying theme:  Francis of Assisi's vision of "universal kinship" and his praise of God. Francis' process of conversion is seen in:
  • the encounter/embrace of the leper, his experience of a suffering human being.  God lives in every person and every man and woman is loved beyond measure, with no exceptions.
  • his going to the Sultan, not to condemn, but to understand and embrace him in peace.
  • in the Canticle of Creatures, everything spoke to Francis of God and of God's love. Francis came to know the importance of recognizing one's uniqueness and having respect for one another; every human being is unique. It is all about relationship building. The core of the Franciscan way of life is fraternitas. The primary fraternity/sorority, knowing Jesus Christ is brother to all of us, makes us brothers and sisters.   
   The Canticle expresses Francis' most integrated and simple wisdom . It takes universal kinship to a whole new level. His basic, foundational attitude was that everything belongs to God!  "Praised be you, O Lord, through ALL your creatures" is devoid of exclusion; all have a place.  Francis felt it was his responsibility to share the message he had received with as many as possible: all the people of the world. The call to conversion seeks to unite all people of the earth in praise of God, a cause for unity among us.   
   In keeping with the insights that Francis received, we were encouraged to become informed and to  reach out to others. Kathy  Warren shared her own experiences in interreligious dialogue and YouTube videos of Pope Francis and others. Attached are prayers and resources that may be helpful in promoting God-centered praise and kinship with our Muslim brothers and sisters and with all of creation. Laudato Si.

Additional resources: 

Vigiling: March Reflection
Submitted by: Lucy Cardet OSF

   Keeping vigil means letting go of control and being open to the Spirit's dream for us. We need to quiet ourselves and surrender our plan so there is room for God's whisperings and direction. Many times it doesn't come quickly or in a way we expect so being patient and waiting in hope is vital. 
   This is so counter-cultural to our society that believes that it all depends on us and our plans.  We can be led to believe that we trust in ourselves alone.
   It is necessary for us to remember and savor God's past faithfulness in our lives and stand in trust of God's provident care for the future. We believe God is with us helping us create opportunities and possibilities for the future of religious life.   
Diana De Bruin, OSF
  • When have I let go of control and experienced God's grace and strength in my life?
  • When has God in the past shown God's faithfulness in my life?  Why would God not continue to shower me with God's presence and love?   
"Beloved of God"

   The Franciscan Spirituality Committee has updated the booklet Beloved of God for a 2nd printing in English.  The booklet has been translated to Portuguese and committee members in Brazil are looking to have booklets printed and distributed in Brazil.  The committee is also exploring the possibilities of a Spanish translation of the booklet.
    Updated English booklets will be available at the upcoming Assemblies.  If you would like to order booklets for your prayer group, Associate group or ministry partners please contact Denise Bunk-Hatch at
     A printable copy of the booklet is available on our FSA website in the Spirituality section at

Upcoming deadlines: 

April 5, 2017 - First edition e-newsletter
April 19, 2017 - Second edition e-newsletter