In This Issue
Allegany Franciscans Website
FSA Jamaica Website
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CL Meeting
May 16, May 30

General Commission
May 8-9 St. Clare's, Tampa

Associate Advisory Committee
May 11, 12, 13, St. Clare's, Tampa
Franciscan Spirituality
July 7-9 St. Clare's, Tampa

Issue 5.09
May 8, 2017
 Honoring Mary, Mother of God, and all mothers

Holy Virgin Mary,
among the women born into the world,
there is no one like you.
Daughter and servant of the most high
and supreme King and of the Father in heaven,
Mother of our most Holy Lord Jesus Christ,
Spouse of the Holy Spirit,
pray for us with St. Michael the Archangel,
all the powers of heaven and all the saints
at the side of your most holy beloved Son,
our Lord and Teacher.
Happy and blessed Mother's Day!

The Sultan and the Saint has been a blessing
From: Franciscan Action Network (FAN) website

   FAN's collaboration with Unity Productions Foundation (UPF) to promote the  docudrama,  The Sultan and the Saint , has been a blessing. The film's message of  peace through encounter comes at a time when violence against Muslims has  increased, and Christians, especially Franciscans, are challenged to reach out in
friendship. Through the power of God's love, genuine listening, and dialogue we can change minds and hearts, calming fears and creating bonds of mutual respect which lead to peace.
    Pictured with Margaret Magee OSF (President of FAN) during the Orlando premiere are Huseyin Peker, Executive Director of the Atlantic Institute, and Fatima Sadaf Saied, President of the Muslim Women's Organization. These organizations strive to engage as dynamic presence within their local communities benefiting all people, regardless of race, religion and ethnicity, by supporting community initiatives and creating unique programs that empower people.

Shoes in Zarzalito: A reflection on Guatemala
By: Kathy Maire OSF

   The mother looked sad; the child appeared depressed. The mother seemed frightened; the little girl had no emotion. They presented a whole different appearance from the usually excited and upbeat crowd that visited the clinic as if it were a major social event. Neither seemed sick, but something was clearly wrong. 
   We were in Zarzalito, about a two hour trip from Esquipulas. Considering the poverty and lack of appropriate space, the village organizers had done a good job. There was a steady flow of patients and people had the usual mix of bronchitis, infections, rashes,  and parasites. But the 10-year-old girl was a different story.
   Her mother explained to the doctor that her daughter didn't want to go to school, cried easily, and had no friends. She claimed that the other children made fun of her and she could not play their games. Further questions led to the discovery that the little girl had been born without toes and therefore could not wear flip flops, the standard footwear of all children. She had a pair of shoes that were much too small and had to shuffle along to keep them on her feet. The mother insisted she wear them to protect her from parasites, but the children laughed at her daughter. 
   The solution appeared so simple - buy her a new pair of shoes. However, the distance, the difficulty of transportation, the cost of the trip, plus the shoes, made that impossible. The doctor told the mother she was doing a good job with her daughter and that we could possibly help.  Then she asked for a cell phone number. The mother didn't have one, but a neighbor did, and we left with that.
   Back in Esquipulas, the search for shoes began. Two team members located a pair that would fit the child, plus another pair two sizes larger. Then came the issue of getting them to the family. They located a driver for Sunday, who happened to have a grandmother in Zarazlito, and called the mom to say they would meet at the clinic site on Sunday. And so it went.
   When the little girl saw the shoes, she burst into tears, but this time tears of joy. She put on the shoes and ran down the hill, then up again. The mother too began to weep, along with the team members. The cost of the shoes had been $3.00 a pair.

Sr. Kathy wants to thank all of our Sisters and Associates for their support during her recent trip.

Give Day Tampa Bay
By: Sharon Joller, Marketing and Communications Director, The Franciscan Center
   The Franciscan Center was excited to participate in this year's Fourth Annual "Give Day Tampa Bay". It is an 24-hour online campaign fundraiser which The Community Foundation of Tampa Bay hosts to raise awareness and financial support for more than 500 local nonprofit organizations. This was our third year taking part in the event. This is a joint effort in getting the message out to "Live Here Give Here", also supported by our local nonprofit PBS station, WEDU.
    We raised $969.05 in 24 hours! WEDU live streams the event and we had an opportunity to be part of the Lightning Round of Interviews allowing us to get our message out to an audience that may not have heard of us. It is a way for us to connect to other nonprofits that may want to use the retreat center for their events. Last year we met Canines for Christ, a dog therapy organization serving their community through Christ. They have now established a relationship with the Sisters next door at St. Elizabeth's Convent. This year we met the folks with the Tampa Natives Show. We hope to have them out to the Center. They do work in the community with Tampa Bay Arts and Education Network.
    It was a great day and we look forward to next year's event! 

Allegany area Associate Retreat a success
By: Mary Laubenthal, Allegany Associate 

  The rainy weather did not dampen the enthusiasm  that permeated the Gathering Room at St. Elizabeth Motherhouse on Saturday May 6, for the "Love Unfolding, Becoming Wholemakers" retreat presented by Sr. Jeanne Williams and Kathy Doyle, Associate Co-Directors, and Sr. Colleen Brady, Vocation Minister.
    The nearly 40 attendees were a wonderful blend of sisters, associates, secular Franciscans, and locals (both Catholic and non-Catholic) from the surrounding area and parishes who participated in thoughtful reflections and lively discussions of the material presented and offered suggestions about how to become "Wholemakers" and spread the love of God to those they meet.
    The Franciscan virtue of Hospitality was clearly evident in the warm welcome, enticing snacks, and delicious noon meal offered by the Motherhouse Sisters and Staff.  The local associate group did a fantastic job of planning and promoting the event.

fly_to_heaven.jpg A field guide to the birds at Sullivan Street
By: Kathie Uhler OSF

   Perhaps the last place you might think good for bird-watching would be at our convent in New York City, at the corner of Prince and Sullivan Streets. In my 25 years at St. Anthony's Convent, I have bird-watched whenever my room faced the courtyard formed by the backyards of all the buildings on our block. I have sighted dozens of bird species; I keep my binoculars at-the-ready.
   Just today, for example (April 29, a Saturday when I had more time to watch) I was treated to: a pair of White-throated sparrows, a Cedar waxwing, and a pair of red-headed House finches. These were the "specials" or "good" birds. Actually, the House finches are year-round residents, but they always remain special to me because of the male's coloring.
   In addition to these sightings, popping in and out, were many of "the usual suspects":  a Blue jay, many Eurasian Tree sparrows, starlings, doves, House sparrows and pigeons. All of these birds are also year-round residents somewhere in our neighborhood.
   In the background, all the while, I could hear the singing of the robins and Mockingbirds that are nesting in a heavy vine across the courtyard. A Mockingbird, bless it, starts singing in the spring around 4 a.m., but I love it! Last Sunday - I keep a log of the birds I have seen - I witnessed a Mockingbird chase away a Blue jay that was undoubtedly aiming to invade its nest.
In early December, an immature Northern Goshawk appeared and perched for about five hours, immobile, except for the constant swiveling of its head.  (I was in and out of my room, of course!) Well, he seemed to have scared away all the little birds, because they disappeared for about three weeks. He returned for the first time, to my knowledge, in early March. I feared he would take over the courtyard! I do respect the fact that these birds have been losing their natural habitats. The males must stake out their own territory. But, please, not here? He has not returned, again, to my knowledge.
   How could all this be, here in the Big City? We are fortunate, for many reasons, to be situated in a "flyway" for migrating birds. This is thanks to all the rivers, the ocean, the bays and the sounds around us. Also, there is the wonderful rectangular green patch called "Central Park." This attracts the migrating birds' attention and they rest and nest there. I do believe also that some of the more exotic species I have seen in our courtyard have started residence in the park and then moved out, for whatever reason.
   We are blessed in this city that birds are permitted to live around us. Would you like to share your birding experience? 

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May 17, 2017 - Second edition e-newsletter
June 7, 2017 - First June edition e-newsletter
June 15, 2017 - Summer 2017 Allegany Connections