In This Issue
Allegany Franciscans Website
FSA Jamaica Website
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Congregational Leadership
 Jan. 24  
Brazil Assembly
December 28 - 31
General Commission
January 13-14
Franciscan Spirituality Committee
January 19-21

Issue 5.01
January 16, 2017
Feast of Angela Merici (January 27)

Angela Merici, (1474 - 1540) was born in Northern Italy. Encouraged by her family, Angela developed habits of prayer and fasting which shaped her life. She spent her early days helping others as a member of the Third Order of Saint Francis.

Angela's family died when she was young and so she lived with her uncle's family in a neighboring town. Angela, obviously quite distraught over the loss of he r family, prayed to God for a sign that her family was in heaven. One day during harvest she was alone in the fields when she experienced a vision: the heavens opened and angels and young women came toward her singing, surrounded by light. One of the young girl's was Angela's sister.

Angela dedicated her life to God and the service of others. She worked with other women and established infirmaries for the ill, shelters for widows, orphans, and the destitute. In only a few short years, a group of women gathered around Angela as their spiritual center and the Ursuline community was born.

"Strive to be faithful to that which God has called you." - Angela Merici

"The Sultan and the Saint" to be shown at St. Bonaventure 

   St. Bonaventure University will host a February 1 screening of a new film about Saint Francis and the Sultan of Egypt that explores the spiritual exchange between these two men of faith amid a 13th century battlefield of horror.
    "The Sultan and the Saint," a docudrama about Muslim-Christian relations, features historical context about their meeting provided by several experts affiliated with St. Bonaventure.
    The public is invited to the Wednesday, February 1, screening, which will be held in the Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts on campus. The event begins with a reception in the Quick Center Atrium from 6 to 7 p.m., followed by the showing of the film in the Rigas Theater and a question-and-answer session. The program is expected to conclude at 8:30 p.m. There is no charge to attend.
    The screening is sponsored by St. Bonaventure's Center for Arab and Islamic Studies, the Franciscan Sisters of Allegany, and the Franciscan Action Network.
   For more information on "The Sultan and the Saint", click here

From Christmas Eve to New Years Eve at the Motherhouse

   Our Motherhouse Christmas celebration began with a procession to the Nativity Scene with Sr. John Kevin McNulty carrying the Christ Child. After Dominic Monti, OFM, blessed the Crib, he celebrated the Christmas Eve liturgy. The chapel was full with Sisters and guests from the Greater Olean/Allegany area. The festivities continued on Christmas Day with a festive dinner served by our ever faithful dietary staff. Sometime during the night, Santa Claus visited everyone's room and left a bag of 
surprises! For the week between the two holidays, we had a relaxed schedule, so we truly felt we were on vacation!
   During the week, our party committee (Sisters Sandy Teevens, Toni Pellegrino,  Carol e Ann Hoppe, and Liz Schumacher) decorated the center community room on second floor. A great time was had by all, 45 Sisters plus some of the nursing staff.  
   Our hope is to continue to celebrate as many occasions as possible - so February will bring us Ground Hog Day, Valentine's Day, and Mardi Gras!

Welcome, Bishop Parkes! 
Submitted by: Kathleen Stagnaro OSF   

   On Wednesday, January 4, 2017, Bishop Gregory Parkes was installed as the fifth Bishop of the Diocese of St. Petersburg, succeeding Bishop Robert Lynch, who had served the Diocese since 1996. 
   Bishop Parkes celebrated his first public Mass at St. Paul Church on January 7, where he stopped to take a photo with Sisters Kathleen Stagnaro and Joan Carberry. 
Ways to conserve energy and help our Earth-home
By: Gloria Oehl OSF

   In working for a more sustainable planet, the United Nations has several goals that work toward that end.  They are called Sustainable Development Goals or SDG's.  This is one of them with some links to helpful videos to help us perhaps change some of our choices and habits in this New Year.
    SDG 7 - Ensure Access to Affordable, Reliable, Sustainable and Modern Energy for all
Recommended Actions:  Watch the 4 videos for your Ecofriendly life style

1.    Clean Energy is life 

2.    Tips for Fuel-Efficient Driving

3.    Your living habits make up your footprint

4.    Easy Ways to Save Energy at Home

Vigiling for the New Year
Submitted by: Lucy Cardet OSF

   A  watchman's job may seem mundane and ordinary, but being watchful and vigilant in our own lives is neither dull nor humdrum. We are invited and called to keep watch over our own solitude and souls. Personal introspection and searching the silent recesses of our hearts is demanding, holy work. In stillness and isolation, we realize God is already searching for and seeking us, accompanying us as we ask and pray with intimate and troubling questions. In this space, we hold chaos and confusion, disturbances and obstacles, illumination and birthing, blessings and enlightenment.
    Keeping vigil is indeed an encounter with God, a greater sensitivity to the holy one's presence in our lives and in the world, and a better understanding of who we are in light of being watchful. Keeping watch is paying attention so that we focus our attention on God's movement at work in us and in the world around us. In stillness, we find the significance of the darkness, which may otherwise elude us. (Kathy Knipper, OSF)
As you begin this new calendar year, please spend time in reflection with the following questions:
  1. How might you carve out solitude to enter more deeply into God's work within your soul?
  2. How do you keep watch and stillness as you search for light and truth in times of confusion and/or birthing? 
Girl Scouts brighten the day at St. Elizabeth's 
Submitted by: Joan Carberry OSF

   St. Paul Catholic School 5th grade Girl Scout Troop, made lap blankets for the Sisters at St. Elizabeth's Convent. The troop visited the Sisters before Christmas and presented each Sister with a handmade blanket as well as serenading the Sisters with Christmas carols.  The girls and the Sisters had fun visiting with each other and the girls enjoyed the ice cream and cookies that the Sisters served.  

Franciscan Spirituality: Feed the Poor
By: Margaret Magee OSF  

   Our featured Franciscan Spirituality video of the month is from Sr. Betty Moore, reflecting on "Feeding the Poor."
   It could be said that care and concern for those who are poor and in need is deep within our Franciscan DNA. We know of many occasions, after his conversion, of Francis begging alms for the poor, feeding the lepers, giving away his habit and cloak so that a poor person might be warmed or use the items in exchange for food.
    However, Clare's generosity and charity began long before her journey from her father's house to the Portiuncula on Palm Sunday evening.  The Legend of Clare of Assisi recounts that as a young girl, Clare freely stretched out her hand to the poor and satisfied the needs of many out of the abundance of her family's house. In order that her sacrifice would be more pleasing to God, she would deprive her own body of delicate foods, and sending them secretly through intermediaries, she would nourish the bodies of the poor. Thus, from her infancy, as mercy was growing in her, she bore a compassionate attitude.
    May we see and recognize the needs of others, especially those who are hungry, and respond in mercy, love, charity, and justice. "You pray for the hungry. Then you feed them. This is how prayer works." Pope Francis.
   To see Sr. Betty's video, click here

World Day of Consecrated Life

   The World Day of Consecrated Life will be observed on February 2, 2017, and celebrated in Parishes the weekend of February 4-5. According to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, " In 1997, Pope Saint John Paul II instituted a day of prayer for women and men in consecrated life. This celebration is attached to the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord on February 2nd. This Feast is also known as Candlemas Day; the day on which candles are blessed symbolizing Christ who is the light of the world. So too, those in consecrated life are called to reflect the light of Jesus Christ to all peoples. The celebration of World Day for Consecrated Life is transferred to the following Sunday in order to highlight the gift of consecrated persons for the whole Church."
   Are you, your parish, or your ministry doing something to recognize the World Day of Consecrated Life? Let us know, so we can share it! Email Denise Bunk-Hatch, Communications Director, at, or call her at 716-373-0200 x3246. 
   For more information, visit the USCCB page

Upcoming deadlines: 

January 25, 2016 - Second edition January e-newsletter
February 8, 2016 - First edition February e-newsletter
February 15, 2016 - Spring edition Allegany Connections