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In This Issue
The Franciscan Spirituality Committee now has a blog! All current and previous reflections can be found there.
Allegany Franciscans Website
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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! 
Issue 4.04
February 22, 2016
Feast of the Chair of Peter

Today's feast of the Chair of Peter commemorates Christ's choosing Peter as the servant-authority of the whole Church. It is also a reminder of our call to be of service and care for one another. We can only do this when we remain focused on Christ and recognize Christ as true servant and shepherd.

May our call to be servant, in the image of Christ, lead us to gentleness and generosity in our care for one another.

Peace Prayer Initiative

The Franciscan Spirituality committee has revised the Peace Prayer card and we are encouraging all to use this as often as possible to pray for peace throughout the world.  The card can be found on our website:
Cards can be orde r ed through our Communication Office. Contact Denise Bunk-Ha tch . Donations are appreciated.

Focus on Francis: Perfect Joy
By: Arlene McGannon, Vice President of Mission, St. Joseph's Hospital
This is the fifth in a series of reflections distributed by Arlene to St. Joseph's Team Members. 

   While on a journey walking with Brother Leo, Francis mentioned many things that might appear to the brothers as perfect joy - great preaching success; lofty intelligence; knowing all the secrets of agriculture or the sciences; even performing amazing miracles - but none of that, Francis said, is perfect joy. On and on he went as they walked, listing things that many think are important but that, to him, did not qualify as perfect joy.
   Finally, Brother Leo asked, "What IS perfect joy?!" Francis said, "When we get back to the brothers in Assisi, if they refuse to let us in, despite the frigid cold of the night and our obvious fatigue and hunger, and refuse to believe that we are who we say we are, and call us impostors and send us away, if we accept all this with patience, joy and charity, O Brother Leo, write that this indeed is perfect joy."
In other words, for Francis, perfect joy was not allowing any external forces to affect one's inner peace and love of God.
   How can Francis' view of perfect joy impact your life this day?
Stations of the Cross for the Earth
Submitted by: Joyce Ramage, OSF
The following is the first paragraph from a Lenten reflection service focusing on the Earth. The entirety of the document is attached at the end. 
   Leader: God's overflowing love fills the Universe, Earth and each of us. We are One life, One body, One being. We share one Origin and one destiny. Jesus lived in that consciousness, showing us the way to embrace suffering, death, love, joy and each other in our journey toward the wholeness of more abundant life.
As we pray together today the remembrance of His Passion and Death in the Stations of the Cross, let us do so in the context of Christ's suffering being lived out today. May we awaken to our identity within the Mystery of God's Great Love embodied in Jesus, in Earth, and in each one of us.
   Earth, the Body of Christ, is suffering its Passion today. Read the full service
Franciscan Center to hold Holy Week Retreat

Holy Week Retreat: Weep for Yourselves (Luke 23:28) 
March 23 (5 p.m.) - 27 (9 a.m.) 
Reverend Anthony Carrozzo, OFM 

   We hear these words of Jesus to the women of Jerusalem who met Jesus as He moved to Golgotha but we seldom reflect upon them. What are we to make of Jesus' words? Are we to feel sorry for ourselves and weep through life? That seems far too self-absorbed. With the help of Pope Francis' challenging words to us during his visit to the United States, we will reflect on the contemporary importance of these words and explore not only our need to weep but also our need to turn our mourning into joy. Please register early with a non-refundable deposit $50; balance due March 18. Fee: $244/Single, $232/Double/Rel igious, $137/Commuter
From the LCWR newsletter: 

  • March 8
      International Women's Day is
    a chance to reflect on progress
    made, to call for change, and to
    celebrate acts of courage and determination by ordinary women who have played an extraordinary role in the history of their countries and communities. The 2016 theme for International Women's Day is "Planet 50-50 by 2030: Step It Up for Gender Equality." It is an opportunity to consider how to accelerate the 2030 agenda, building momentum for the effective implementation of the new Sustainable Development Goals, especially goal five, Achieve Gender Equality and Empower Women and Girls, and goal four, Ensure Inclusive and Quality Education for All and Promote Lifelong Learning. More information is available at
  • March 21                                                                                                            The International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination is an opportunity to renew the commitment to building a world of justice and equality where xenophobia and bigotry do not exist. "We must learn the lessons of history and acknowledge the profound damage caused by racial discrimination," explained Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. More information is available at

Upcoming deadlines: 

March 9, 2016 - First edition e-newsletter
March 23, 2016 - Second edition e-newsletter