In This Issue
Allegany Franciscans Website
FSA Jamaica Website
Like us on Facebook


CL Meetings
September 19
Assembly Planning Committee (APC) Zoom - Sept 25
Associate Advisory Committee
Sept 28 - Oct 1, Tampa, FL

Allegany - Oct 7-8
New Jersey - Oct 21-22
Florida - Oct 21-22
Jamaica - Oct 28-29
Brazil - Nov 2-5
Board of Directors
Oct 9-14, Allegany

Issue 5.16
September 11, 2017
Stigmata of St. Francis

September 17 is celebrated by Franciscans as the feast of the Stigmata of Francis of Assisi. The stigmata, the marks of Christ's crucifixion, were manifested physically in Francis' body two years before his death.

Every year Francis was in the practice of making a journey to La Verna to spend 40 days in prayer and fasting. Two years before his death, while praying on La Verna near the feast of the Exaltation of the Cross, Francis saw what appeared to be a seraph with six bright wings gleaming like a fire descending from the heights of heaven. As this figure approached and came near Francis it appeared not only winged but also crucified. The sight of it amazed Francis and his soul experienced joy mingled with pain. He was delighted with the sight of Christ appearing to him so graciously and intimately. This vision of Christ nailed to the cross aroused in his soul a joy of compassionate love.

May the merciful and compassionate love of the crucified Christ capture our hearts and imagination so that our lives may be marked by Christ's love. May our lives make God's presence ever more visible in our world.

Remembering September 11, 2001 

   Jesus said, "I ask you, is it lawful to do good on the sabbath rather than to do evil, to save life rather than to destroy it?"
   What are we learning through the experiences of the multiple tragedies that have changed our very lives to the core of our being? Violence, hatred, and revenge only creates more hatred and violence. Healing and peace comes when we work to save lives and respect all people.
   It is Christ in us, the hope for glory.
   It is Christ whom we proclaim.
   Let us hold this day sacred and holy for all who die unjustly from hatred, violence, and war. Let us pray and work for peace and justice for all life and all people.

Canticle Farm "Farm to Table Dinner" a Success 
By: Melissa Scholl OSF, Canticle Farm President

   Farm to Table Dinner! What a special day, making memories with friends and family as we gathered together to enjoy a delicious, true farm-to-table meal. Approximately 200 people attended the event, making it one of our biggest yet!
   I think we all agree that this day was made great by The State Street Ramblers, Four Mile Brewery, Savage Winery, chair massages by Lydia Hawley, and the educational booths. What an amazing area we live in! So many knowledgeable, talented people!
   Thanks for all your prayers, it was a beautiful fall day!

Motherhouse hosts Health Fair for Sisters and Staff
By: Denise Bunk-Hatch, Communications Director
On Thursday and Friday, August 31 and September 1, St. Elizabeth Motherhouse hosted an array of area medical and health professionals in its first ever Health Fair for Sisters and employees. 
   The event was intended to provide information on a variety of services, including physical therapy, acupuncture, fall prevention, healthy eating, and massage therapy. Nurses were on-hand taking vital signs and representatives from organizations such as The Hearing Aid Shop providing on-site assessments. 
   Sr. Mary Lou Lafferty, Motherhouse Local Minister, organized the event in cooperation with department heads, and hopes to hold similar events again in the future. For now, she is busy preparing for two more upcoming events at the Motherhouse. 
   On October 3, Bishop Richard Malone, bishop of Buffalo, will pay a visit to St. Elizabeth's, celebrating Mass at 2 p.m. and blessing the building. The Motherhouse will also be open for community tours from 2 to 4 p.m. on Sunday, October 15. 

"Welcoming Home the Stranger" Prayer Service

   The Franciscan Sisters of Allegany are inviting the public to join them for a prayer service in support for refugees and immigrants on Sunday, September 17, 2017 at 2 p.m. in the Chapel of the St. Elizabeth Motherhouse.
   The service, entitled "Welcoming Home the Stranger", will support the refugees at Jericho Road's Vive Program in Buffalo, NY. Attendees are asked to bring personal hygiene items to donate.
   "Migrants and refugees are not pawns on the chessboard of humanity," said Pope Francis in his message for the 100th World Day of Migrants and Refugees. "They are children, women, and men who leave or who are forced to leave their homes for various reasons, who share a legitimate desire for knowing and having, but above all for being more."
   Vive La Casa was founded in 1984 by members of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) in the Diocese of Buffalo. In 2015, Jericho Road Community Health Center assumed operation of the shelter, which was renamed Vive. It is committed to providing legal aid and safe refuge to persons seeking asylum in the United States and Canada. 
   Find out more about Jericho Road's Vive Program at 
Where there is darkness, light
By: Colleen Brady OSF
 The following is the fifth in a series of reflections by the Franciscan-Clarian Spirituality Committee on the Peace Prayer of St. Francis. These reflections will be shared in future editions of the e-newsletter.

John 12:46 "I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness."
   I sat at the round table with five boys in grades 6-8. Their parents were either going through or had already been through a divorce. Their families were shattered and split. They didn't understand and turned to video games for consolation and distraction but felt no comfort or relief, only numbness. How do you explain this darkness and offer hope to their world which seemed utterly devoid of light?
   Preaching was never an answer - only a turn off as were words of wisdom. How could I share my own hope and belief across this chasm of age and experience? I asked them if they had ever experienced total darkness; maybe they had visited a cave? What did that darkness feel like? Did they feel anything similar in their situation today?
   What was it like to be in that total darkness when someone turns on the flashlight? Did it hurt their eyes or blind them? Was it a welcome light or did they wish to stay in that darkest of dark?  Did that light offer comfort and give a sense of direction? And Who is this Light?
   They got it - and for the rest of that school year, when times were particularly heavy, I could say, "Turn to the Light!" They understood perfectly and in that reminder, were able to manage another day.

Religious Formation Conference Webinar 

"Encounter or Isolation: the Challenge of Pope Francis"  
   In this complex time of ever-increasing diversity, we are continually faced with the possibilities of encounter and isolation. The natural tendency to relate only with people who share our cultural values and religious beliefs unconsciously reinforces ethnocentric isolationism, a room full of mirrors. Pope Francis' challenge to encounter the "other" - the one who looks, acts, and believes differently - moves us beyond our comfort zone to a greater self-awareness and the openness to see the world from another's point of view. Intentional relationships with people of other races and cultures is the only way to diffuse fear, challenge stereotypes, and change prejudices.  
   This webinar will examine the phases of this journey towards encounter and its implications for mission in today's world, divided by walls of fear and mistrust. Join us in sharing the wisdom of our experiences and how we can together build bridges for respectful encounter and intercultural relationships.

Presenter: Arturo Chavez, PhD 
President of the Mexican American Catholic College, San Antonio, TX  
September 27, 2017
2:00 pm - 3:00 pm CDT
Register at:
There is no charge for the webinar, however, registration is required

Franciscan Action Network to host Wine and Cheese Event

Upcoming deadlines:
Submissions are not guaranteed publication. All submissions will be edited prior to inclusion, 
and may be held for future use if deemed appropriate

September 15, 2017 - Fall edition Allegany Connections
September 20, 2017 - Second September edition e-newsletter