News and Events
Issue 2.14
July 28, 2014
In This Issue
Welcome, Associates
Motherhouse Renovation
Franciscan Federation
Guests at Glover Avenue
A Hidden Oasis
Quick Links
Allegany Franciscans Website
Like us on Facebook

Did you know that a daily reflection is posted on our Facebook page, or that it is also shared with a Portuguese translation by our Sisters in Brazil? Take a look! 
Sisters of Divine Mercy Silver Jubilee

   On August 5th 2014, in the Chapel St. Elizabeth at the Divine Mercy Farm, the sisters of Divine Mercy will celebrate the Congregation's Silver Jubilee. The congregation was founded by two of our own Allegany Franciscans, Srs. Elizabeth Sweeney and Ignez Goncalves, and has been  blessed with a number of vocations, ministering in the fields of evangelization and service to those in great need.

   Srs. Rita Frances and Pat Reid will represent the congregation on August 7, 2014, when Sr. Marinez and the Allegany community in Brazil will celebrate the event with a festive liturgy followed by a meal.

   It is with great pride that we celebrate this occasion together. Reflecting on the words of St Francis, "the lord gave me brothers," we, the Allegany sisters and associates, rejoice that The Lord gave us sisters.

Congratulations. Parab´┐Żns. 

    May the Lord Bless you and give you peace

(Submitted by Patricia D. Reid, OSF)

Welcome, Associates! 
Associates from three countries gather for anniversary celebration this week 
Submitted by: Kathy Doyle, associate co-director, and the planning committee


   This week we celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the founding of our Associate Program.  Gathering in Allegany will be 17 associates and two sisters (Ana Bernadete and Ana Cristina) from six associate groups in Brazil and five associates and three sisters (Maureen Clare, Angella and Trinita) from Jamaica. Six of the seven associate groups and sisters will be attending from the US:  Allegany, Boston, New Jersey, Calabash, Miami and Tampa, along with many of the Motherhouse sisters, and translators.

   The members of the Planning Committee have prepared a weekend full of sharing to get to know one another and our cultures, a day of retreat as well as presentations by Allegany Franciscan ministries, St. Elizabeth Mission Society, our sisters in Bolivia, our Communications Office, and a tour of the Motherhouse.

   The retreat on Saturday, August 2nd, (the feast of the Portiuncula) - prepared by Jane Kopas and Pat Klemm - will focus on Incarnational Theology and Spirituality.  During a festive Sunday liturgy, we will celebrate the founding of the Associate Program and honor those sisters, living and deceased, who shared their vision and wisdom in founding and guiding the program over the years. Following Mass we will gather and discuss:


How would we like to see the Associate Program evolve into the future?


   The Masses at 8 a.m. Saturday and 9:30 a.m. Sunday will be streamed live on the internet. More information and a link will be emailed for those wishing to log-in and watch.

   We look forward to this gathering and the many ways it will invite us to vision and shape our future as Allegany Franciscans and Associates together. Watch for more pictures and information after the weekend and on our website and Facebook.


Motherhouse Sisters beginning to settle into renovated rooms
By: Denise Bunk-Hatch, communications director 
   After several years and three (or more) moves, many of the sisters at St. Elizabeth Motherhouse are settling into their renovated rooms.

   "Everybody is thrilled," said Sr. Roseanne Duffy, assistant local minister and one of the sisters who will be living in the rooms on the east wing of the 2nd floor, which has a total capacity of 20 rooms.
   Each bedroom has an attached private bathroom and shower, and either a walk-in or spacious enclosed closet. The renovated wing includes spacious community rooms with computer space, two complete kitchens, a parlor, a laundry room, and a bathroom featuring a walk-in spa tub with Jacuzzi jets. 
  "I love it, I absolutely love it," Sr. Charlotte Reilley said of the renovated space. Concerning her own room, she mentioned how much she enjoys the view of the hills, and being able to look over the old laundry building where she worked as a novice. 
   Sr. Eva DiCamillo, known throughout the house for her sewing abilities and artistic skill, has designed her space for multiple purposes. Her walk-in closet doubles as a sewing room, and she has created a work area for her photography and poetry in one corner of her room through creative organizing. 
   Sr. Eva noted how much fun it is to relearn the Motherhouse and discover the best routes to-and-from locations and offices now that the majority of the construction has been completed. "It's discovery," she said. 
   While not all of the spaces are finished - decor is still being added, and some places such as the Chapel balcony are not yet complete - the sisters are happy to have a space that is truly their own. 
   "It's very nice, it is beautiful," Sr. Roseanne commented. 
Cultivating Kingdom Power

By: Margaret Magee OSF


"Listen, the voice of your God is calling.

Listen, the voice of your God is calling.

Listen with the ear of your heart.

The voice of your God is calling."



   The 49th Annual Franciscan Federation Conference opened with the stirring words of this song by Monica Brown. The keynote presenters, Margie Will OSF, Redwood City Franciscan, and Michael Crosby OFM Cap, focused on the theme "Cultivating Kindom Power", picking up on challenges presented by AFC 2013 presenters, Ilia Delio OSF and Keith Warner OFM.

   Our presenters challenged us to reflect on the following questions: How do we witness to a Franciscan culture? How do we Cultivate Kindom Power? They spoke of a need to rethink and redefine our way of thinking and knowing. This is done by moving from a mindset of hierarchy, power and dominance which flow from attitudes of "separation" and "superiority" to expressions of inclusivity, 'wholearchy,' and relationship as sisters and brothers. This relationality is embedded within the "DNA" of our Franciscan Spirituality and can be clearly traced in the writings, prayers and stories of Francis, Clare, Bonaventure and others.

   The challenge is to rethink the notion of power as 'archē' which means primal power, energy, and source.  We are called to perceive God as the originating source, ultimate power, beginning reality, and core of all being. This Trinitarian dynamic compels us to embrace our gospel call of proclaiming the Kindom that is within us, within all creation and ahead of us, drawing us into a future of greater relatedness without dominance and power.

   To live into this experience calls us to deepen and enliven our contemplative, attentiveness and intentionality so that we may have the eyes and hearts to see and sense the divine patterns of relatedness. The future and hope of religious life dwells in the potential to live the mystical and prophetic dimensions of our spirituality.  In the words of the novelist and spiritual writer, Sue Monk Kidd,  "You must come to the place where there is nothing to do but brood, as God brooded over the deep, and pray and be still and trust that the holiness that ferments the galaxies is working in you, too."

   Printable copies of the keynote presentations by Michael Crosby OFM Cap and Margie Will OSF will be made available on the Franciscan Federation website,


Special guests at Glover Avenue
By: Mary Lou Lafferty, OSF   


   In May, two Palestinian students from Bethlehem University joined the Catholic Charities staff for a six-week internship.  Mariana Nazi and Amjaad (AJ) Musleh are seniors at the university and major in Computer Science and Business Administration, respectively. Both are Christian and related with great ease to the various religious places in the Holy Land. During their time here, they were exposed to the American way of preparing in their fields of study through projects with Catholic Charities in order to witness the good works accomplished locally. They also had opportunities to visit many historical and cultural sites in the Mid-Atlantic region, as well experience some of the American ways of life.

   One activity was an All-American cookout which was held at our house with about 20 staff members and our own Congregational Leadership, who happened to be visiting. Gatherings such as this leave each one a little more informed of life in Palestine, especially what is happening at this present time and how it affects the lives of these young women.

   Part of their responsibility was to plan an all-day professional experience for the staff - sharing their life experience, culture, religious practices, and history of their country.  Two other young women from the university were interns in the neighboring Diocese of Paterson.  Hannan and Ameera, both Muslims, joined Mariana and AJ to provide a complete picture in the lives of these Palestinian women. 

   When the question arose as to where they would stay for the three days to prepare for the event, I extended our Franciscan hospitality.  Can you imagine the convent with four vibrant 21-year-old women?  While they prepared their presentation and made delicious foods from their country, they sang and danced and kept the house alive until the wee hours of the morning! Their presence in our lives will be a memory that will last a long while.  May they soon know peace!


A Hidden Oasis

By: Michelle Dolyk, OSF

We've driven past this place for over 20 years and never knew that such a place existed.  We've worked in poor places but never such as what we have worked in throughout this past year. Lucy and I learned of the "Sunnyland" Trailer Park through Fr. Pedro, who invited  parishioners to get involved. 

   Initially we joined one of our associates, Alba Mejia, on Saturday nights to help with the adult prayer group which she started, and to begin a children's bible and craft hour. Elysee (associate and affiliate) joined us several times in teaching some of the young teenagers.

   A grant was obtained to help organize and train several of the people to become  a resource group for those in the trailer park. These funds will also assist with access to information about medical, material, transportation, safety, immigration issues and provide opportunities where the people can go to obtain other help.  Many of the residents of the park are Hispanic and Haitian, some unemployed and some that are undocumented. The training of this resource group has helped the people to help each other.

   Through the generosity of donors, Alba has been able to set up a Math and Reading summer children's camp and obtain free lunches for the program. Free lunches are important as many would most probably be without lunch during the summer days.

   On Saturdays, the men's Emmaus Group come out to the camp to provide activities for the children. They also have been very helpful in providing materials to repair many of the trailers, which were leaking from bad roofs. Our associate, Ella Pulido, took part in teaching a religion class to the young and entertained them with her joyful Mexican music.

   Why do we call this a Hidden Oasis? We found Jesus there in such a very special way - in the residents who live there. We witnessed how they cared for one another and looked out for one another in the midst of their poverty, in the midst of the violence and drugs that are so prevalent there.  We witnessed and experienced their desire for and trust in God. We experienced their deep gratitude for the smallest gesture of kindness or concern.  We also found a treasure in all the various people who have reached out and continue to help the residents. Both groups sharing the gifts of self and the gifts of their talents with one another. Jesus is here in this   Hidden Place.  However, it is no longer hidden or forgotten.


Motherhouse Library receives Kindles
By: Diane Winger and Sr. Elizabeth O'Leary, OSF

   Thanks to an anonymous donation directed to the Motherhouse library, we now have two Kindle e-book readers! Would you please help us choose e-books to put on them? 

*    Are there books that you have always wanted to read but you just never got around to them? 

*    How about favorites that you would like to read again? 

*    Not sure what to suggest?  Tell us what your favorite types of books are or which authors you like. 

   Just write down your recommendations with your name and put them in the "Suggestions for Kindles" box (on the freestanding bookcase nearest the library doors) or email Diane

    Let us know if you would you like Kindle lessons.  Kindles are small, light, easy to read and fun!


 From the Archives
   This past week, I've been working closely with the Ambiance Committee,
 discussing ways to use some of the space in the Motherhouse to tell the story of the Congregation. The Ambiance Committee has approved a plan to create "History Walls" in the publicly used areas of the Motherhouse. Each History Wall will have its own theme, and will be designed to tell a part of the Congregation's story!
   The History Walls will be an artistic combination of existing decorative material, as well as historical material from the Archives. Each wall will be uniquely designed to provide a fun glimpse into the history of the Congregation.
   This project is still in its infancy, so I can't tell you much more without ruining the surprises we have in store! Keep your eyes open for future updates!


Ellen Winger, 

Congregational Archivist

Upcoming deadlines: 

August 6 - Next edition e-newsletter
August 15 - Fall issue: Allegany Connections