News and Events
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 3.05
March 9, 2015


   Jesus, prophet and healer, evoked a new consciousness in the people in the synagogue; a consciousness that put them in tension with the dominant culture of their time. This culture bound widows with chains of oppression, rejection and poverty. It was a culture bent on keeping lepers where they belonged-ostracized from their family and loved ones. It was a culture that would be turned upside down if people responded to this invitation of Christ. The people were hardened with their own arrogance and greed, by their own 'leprosy' of superiority and non-acceptance.

     Jesus, the prophet and healer, lives today in people who evoke a new consciousness in us. In this season of Lent we are called to on-going conversion, to be attentive to the presence of God within and around us. Will we respond differently than the people  Jesus encountered in the synagogue?
Happy National Catholic Sisters Week - March 8-14, 2015!
Franciscan Federation Honoree


     We are happy to announce that Rita Joan Phillips, Associate of the Franciscan Sisters of Allegany, has been chosen as this year's Franciscan Federation Honoree. 

    The Franciscan Federation Conference is June 19-22 in Indianapolis, Indiana. The theme is Responding to God's Love, a Franciscan Moral Vision.

   Rita is someone who reflects and responds to the beauty and goodness of God 's Love through her artistic expression of music and through this has brought, and continues to bring, "power to the powerless."

   As a former member of the Franciscan Sisters of Allegany, Rita was selfless in her giving of her musical talent and created an atmosphere of such joy and enthusiasm that even the walls seemed to resound with praise.  Although called out of the congregation, Rita never lost her Allegany spirit and began sharing her musical talent in her parish where she formed a choir.  Her humility and transparency drew other laity who shared the same spirit.  Out of this grew a greater desire within her to reconnect with the Allegany Franciscans, and soon an Associate group was formed in Calabash, NC.  These Associates, under the leadership of Rita Joan, committed themselves to pray for peace and to partner with the Franciscan Sisters of Allegany to implement their 2012 Chapter Initiatives.  They also witness publicly against the death penalty and human trafficking and have an ongoing ministry to prisoners.  

   Thank you for your commitment and influence, Rita, and CONGRATULATIONS!


Sister Mother Earth
 Submitted by: Joyce Ramage and Melissa Scholl

"Respond to the impact of ecological crises on our 

Sister Mother Earth

by working for personal and systemic changes 

related to these crises,

 and by addressing the needs of affected persons

 through partnerships with other groups"


   Our Brasilian Leadership Committee for the Chapter Initiative on Sister Mother Earth provided reports via email in early February as well as in Connections in late 2014.  It is clear that they are involved in several local issues and actions.

   As liaisons our initial step is to establish Congregational connections that inform and unite local efforts around this Chapter Initiative.  To begin we are requesting feedback as to what and how we are involved in efforts to respond to Climate Change.   We ask that Sisters and Associates share with us the local issues in your area and how you are actively involved in making changes and/or what personal changes you have made in your response to Global Climate Change.  These will be shared and be part of our Congregational gatherings in April. 

   Your responses may be sent to either Joyce, or Melissa,

   As this Initiative develops, please consider the use of the Earth Charter for prayer and reflection and visit the FSA Webpage Spirituality section to reconnect, if necessary, to the St. Francis Pledge.  At our assemblies in April, we will publically renew the St. Francis Pledge to which we first committed at assemblies in 2008.

   Pope Francis' much anticipated encyclical on Ecology and Environment will undoubtedly challenge the  entire C(c)hurch and world to greater activism. Be ready!


Motherhouse chili cook-off

By: Monica Colts, Activities Director


   Sally Schaffer in housekeeping was asking when we were going to have another activity like our pie contest two years ago and I promised her that we would have something in February.  We decided to go with the chili cook-off because chili day is Feb 26th each year.  Yesterday a lucky winner in Las Vegas won $25,000!

   The idea behind the challenge is to bring staff and sisters together for a fun activity.  We had 10 employees from housekeeping, maintenance, nursing, activities and one volunteer participate!  Sr. Eva and Sr. Rosa Mystica were our Sister judges...each chili was given a special classification so all were recipients of a lottery ticket(with a chance to win $25 G) and a certificate of participation!



Most Creative - Heather (Nursing)

Best bite/spice - Molly  (Nursing)

Best Aroma - Sally (Housekeeping)

Best Appearance - Susan (Housekeeping)

Most Satisfying - Sue (Activities Volunteer)

Best Overall - Pam (Activities)

Most Traditional - John (Maintenance)

Best Consistency - Linda (Activities)

Healthiest - Mark (Maintenance)

Most Flavor - Charlene (Housekeeping)

Vocations Update

Submitted by: Sheila Vincent, Allegany Associate


   The recent meeting of the Vocations Outreach Team reiterated the fact that invitation is still important, but it must have a focus on evangelization, as Pope Francis models by proclaiming Gospel joy everyday and everywhere.

   The initial three-pronged plan of the committee is comprised of effective and up-to-date use of :

(1) Social Media: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and a frequently updated FSA Website. The production of a DVD, for use in parishes, schools, etc, was also an option, whose clips could be linked to the FSA website. Cost of Facebook ads will be researched as well as a YouTube channel. Will investigate a chat link, "Speak to a Sister," to be posted on the FSA Website.

(2) Engagement of Associates: inviting young adults to FSA gatherings/retreats. Offer short-term volunteer opportunities to men/women interested in FSA ministries; modify "Come & See" programs to expand to a "Come & Live" experience. Associates can work with/for the sisters.

(3) Print/promotional material: creation of a poster and a flyer was begun immediately; a trifold with pictures of active ministries could possibly be ready for distribution by the April Assemblies.

    The team is comprised of sisters, an associate and a partner in ministry, giving an all-around perspective into what may be needed to change the focus of vocations and evangelization/Franciscan spirituality. Members will be in touch with each other and  working on assigned tasks, with the next full committee meeting to be held in August 2015.


Chapter 2016 Webpage

   Please remember that you can find all pertinent information and documents for Chapter 2016 on the Chapter 2016 webpage
   Previous editions of the Chapter Planning E-Newsletter, as well as documents for participation of sisters, associates, and partners in ministry are available now in English, Portuguese, and Spanish. 
   Any questions or comments about the webpage may be directed to Denise Bunk-Hatch, communications director, at Concerns regarding Chapter 2016 Planning can be sent to Margaret Magee OSF at

  Dare to Image

Dare to Image - Franciscan Federation Sabbath Monthly Reflections 


As we, the members of the Franciscan Federation, prepare for our Sabbath year let us, individually and communally, enter into prayerful contemplation. May this Sabbath time awaken the unfolding mystery and the challenge before us. May we Dare to Image!
March - Prayerfully image:

  • Who are the people within your tent who help you live faithfully your Franciscan Life? Who are the others you would like to invite within your tent?
  •  Ponder the Word, "Do not neglect to show hospitality, for by so doing some have entertained angels without knowing it." (Hebrews 13:2)
  •  In your mind's eye Dare to Image: Hospitality

    What insights have come to you or your group, cluster, local community in this contemplative sharing?

   Share your insights and reflections by emailing them to Denise Bunk-Hatch at We'll share your insights in our FSA newsletter and will also send them to the Franciscan Federation for their Musings newsletter.


 From the Archives

   The Archives have been a busy place lately! Recently, two sisters came aboard as part time Archival Assistants. While it's possible for myself, a lay staff person, to learn a great deal about the Congregation, its history, and its way of life, there is no replacement for the vast knowledge and life experience that each individual sister carries. Also, as the saying goes, many hands make light work!
   In this picture, Sister Barbara (left) takes a break from helping me measure rare books to help Sister John Kevin - better known as JK - (right) identify sisters in a photo from St. Mary's Hospital in West Palm Beach. As John Kevin identifies sisters, she writes their names on the back of the photos, providing invaluable data for the historical record. Sister Barbara's measurements will help me order specialized preservation boxes to keep our rarest and most precious artifacts safe.
   Thank you, Sisters Barb and JK, for your wonderful help!


Upcoming deadlines: 

March 18, 2015 - Second edition e-newsletter