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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 4.05
March 14, 2016
Congratulations Sr. Nara Jaime!

Nara recently professed first vows as a Franciscan Sister of Allegany. Congratulations!  Parabens, Nara!
Focus on Francis: Respect for Creation
By: Arlene McGannon, Vice President of Mission, St. Joseph's Hospital
This is the sixth in a series of reflections distributed by Arlene to St. Joseph's Team Members. 
   Francis is probably best known as the patron saint of ecology because of his great love for all of creation. He viewed every created thing as an expression of the Creator, worthy of our profound respect. And because everything comes from the same Sacred Source, Francis considered all things to be "brother" and "sister" to him, as we see in his beautiful Canticle of the Creatures where he refers to Brother Sun, Sister Moon, Brother Fire, Sister Water.
   There are many stories about Francis, nature and creatures, but one of the most famous is the story of the wolf of Gubbio. The people and livestock of that town were being terrorized by a wolf that had everyone living in fear. Francis went into the hills in search of the wolf, found it, talked to it, brought it into the town and assured the people that it would no longer cause problems if they fed it and treated it with respect. He then blessed the wolf and sent it on its way in peace.    There were never any more problems between the wolf and the people of Gubbio.
God has entrusted all created things into our care. Our planet desperately needs our love and respect. May Francis' example help us to see that we are called to honor creation and help others to do the same.
Franciscan Spirituality Today
By: Marita Flynn, OSF

   The "Franciscan Spirituality Committee" is one of the many committees
formed in preparation for our upcoming Chapter. Our task has been to consider the numerous aspects in the development of Franciscan Spirituality. 
One of our current projects involves giving presentations on Franciscan Spirituality Today in parishes where the sisters, associates and partners from the Committee are located. That would include sisters in Miami, New Jersey, New York, Jamaica, and Brazil.
The presentation is designed to be a retreat which is flexible and can be done either briefly or over a period of time. The content has two sections, one being Incarnational Theology and the Franciscan Tradition and the second being Francis and Justice.
Recently Sr. Jeanne Williams and Sr. Marita Flynn had an opportunity to do this retreat in a parish setting.  It was entitled "Franciscan Spirituality Today" and lasted two hours.
Sr. Jeanne's opening prayer was "Sacred Creation," by Rufino Zaragoza, OFM.  She truly set the tone for the morning by inviting all the attendees to join her in the sacred movements of the prayer.
   She then presented the Franciscan Tradition of Incarnational Theology by offering an overview of the thinking of Bonaventure and Blessed John Duns Scotus.  Her presentation was very insightful and uplifting. As Franciscan women and men we have an obligation to become imbued with the riches of this tradition and find ways to share it with the world in which we live.            
    Sr. Marita presented the ways Franciscan Spirituality calls us to live our lives from the perspective of Social Justice. Telling the story of Francis and the Leper from the official writings of Francis, Sr. Marita related the story of Francis and his encounter with the Leper, "the other." This experience led to his conversion, he became absorbed with living in a manner that we know as "The Preferential Option for the Poor."
   This presentation was held in a Franciscan parish in St. Petersburg, Florida. There was an excellent turnout and more than that the audience response was quite positive.     

Graymoor Formation Retreat
By: Lucy Cardet, OSF   

   Approximately 50 men and women in formation (all stages) of Franciscan congregations and several formation ministers met from March 1-4 at the Graymoor Retreat House (Friars of the Atonement) in Garrison, NY. This collaborative gathering, offered twice a year, is somewhat of a retreat with prayer, presentations on Franciscan values, small and large group sharing, good meals and entertainment.  Integral to this program is the collaboration among participating Franciscan religious in the preparation / celebration of communal prayer, liturgy, & sharing with peers.  Liz Schumacher, OSF and I were glad to be among them.
   In his presentations, Michael Cusato,OFM, gave an insightful overview of Minority and Poverty from the perspective of the early history of the Franciscan movement and its challenges for us today.
   Participation in future gatherings will be open to any Franciscan religious; we, too, are in "ongoing formation".
Next dates and presenters:
Nov. 8-11, 2016  Daniel Horan, OFM
Mar. 7-10, 2017  Kathy Warren, OSF
Updates will be posted on the Franciscan Federation website,                 

Blessing of the "Nun Dolls"
By: Helen Roberts, OSF
   On Sunday, March 6, the Sisters of the Archdiocese of Boston were invited to a Liturgy to "Give Thanks and Blessing" for the many years of service to the people of Boston and beyond. Over 100 Religious Communities served or are serving in the Archdiocese.
   Br. John Jaskowiak OFM (Holy Name), had each religious habit designed to specifics for a set of dolls portraying the religious who have served. Our very own talented Mary Ellen  Walsh was the seamstress for our Allegany habit.  The Friars there on Sunday who know Mary Ellen were so proud of her work and friendship.
Displays and collages were made available for all to see.
 Ellen Winger,
C ongregational A rchivist, sent a photo of Jane Kane OSF, a teacher in second grade St. Anthony School, Everett for the celebration.
   The festive Liturgy was attended by approximately 70 members of various communities.

Two involved with FSA Hospitals to receive Papal Honor

   Two men who have been involved with Allegany Franciscan sponsored hospitals and BayCare Health System are being awarded the Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice Medal for their work in their parishes. 
   William George Ulbricht of Nativity Parish, Brandon, FL is also the president of St. Anthony's Hospital, a 393-bed hospital located in St. Petersburg. St. Anthony's is part of BayCare Health System, a community-based health care system in the Tampa Bay area.
Frank Vincent Murphy was the first Chief Executive Officer of the BayCare Health System Inc., Tampa, Fl.
   The Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice Medal is bestowed for distinguished service to the Church by lay people and clergy. It is the highest honor that can be awarded to laity by the Pope. The Diocesan Bishop petitions the Holy See with the names and biographical information of those whom he wishes to receive the award.
   The current version of the Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice Medal is gold and is in the shape of a cross, which has been made octagonal in design. On the obverse of the medal are the images of Saints Peter and Paul, under which is inscribed the Latin name of the current pope. On the left arm of the cross in the inscription "Pro Ecclesia" and on the right arm is inscribed "et Pontifice". At the point of the top arm of the cross is the coat of arms of the reigning pope. At the points of the other arms are small Greek crosses.
   A full list of Papal Honor recipients from the Diocese of St. Petersburg can be seen here.
Did you know? 

The Franciscan Sisters of Allegany in Jamaica now have a website! Go to and pay them a visit! 
 From the Archives
   The Archives has been humming with activity as we enter the home stretch leading up to Chapter! Our dedicated team of sister volunteers is making fantastic progress cataloging and inventorying items in the collection, which will allow us to build a comprehensive archival catalog.
    It is my pleasure to welcome the newest member of the Archives Team, Sister Frances O'Dell! Freshly arrived from Florida, Frances has wasted no time diving into uncharted territory, helping to inventory the printed books in the collection. Welcome aboard, Frances! We're so happy to have you with us!

Upcoming deadlines: 

March 23, 2016 - Second edition e-newsletter