News and Events
Issue 2.9
May 12, 2014
In This Issue
Personal relationships drive Mission Society success
A reflection from Sr. Eva
Jamaican Franciscan Festival
Franciscan Federation Meeting
St. Francis Xavier's 75th Anniversary
Quick Links
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! 
Feast of St. Paschal Baylon (May 17)

Personal relationships drive Mission Society success
By: Denise Bunk-Hatch, communications director 
   Since 1947, the St. Elizabeth Mission Society has been raising money to assist sisters in their missions abroad, and more recently, at home. 
   Sr. Chris Doherty has served as director of the Mission Society since 2009, and says there is a very personal relationship between the benefactors of the Mission Society and the congregation of the Franciscan Sisters of Allegany. 
   The Mission Society operates through five separate, but connected, facets. The first facet is the grants the organization gives out to support the missions where the congregation's members are serving. These grants are supported by the four other parts of the organization: its five annual appeals; the publication, Zeal, which shares with donors the good works made possible by their contribution; enrollment/birthday/and jubilee cards offered by the Mission Society for a suggested donation and sent throughout the United States; and the evangelical work of volunteer sisters sent out into parishes across the east coast to raise money. 
   Each year, between eight and 10 sisters agree to participate in the appeal within individual parishes. The Mission Society was once able to visit as many as 30 to 50 parishes per year, with sisters who missioned through the organization and more relaxed policies within the Church. St. Elizabeth Mission Society now visits only a selection of the parishes they apply to go to. This is due to the overwhelming number of requests each diocese receives from religious congregations each year for such work, and the smaller number of parishes in existence. 
   "That is still very important for us," Sr. Chris said of the sisters' work. "We depend on them." 
   The personal contact, and the relationships built over the years between the congregation and donors is one of the most important aspects of Sr. Chris' work. She is always looking for new ways to connect with the people who continue to support the sisters' missions throughout the United States, Jamaica, Brazil, and Bolivia with their contributions. 
   So far, this has meant personalizing thank yous for contributions; sharing details of the lives of sisters at the Motherhouse in each year's Summer appeal (the most successful); and expanding the selection of cards available for those looking to send a meaningful message to a friend or loved one. In the future, this will continue to grow and change, as Sr. Chris continues to look for more creative ways to spread the organization's mission. 
   For more information on St. Elizabeth Mission society, visit


A reflection on the canonizations of Pope Saint John XXIII and Pope Saint John Paul II 

By: Eva DiCamillo, OSF 


   How could one day in our lives hold so much?

   On Sunday , April 27, 2014 , by way of current technology, I was able to witness our present day Pope Francis, hundreds of cardinals , bishops and other clergy greet Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI as they joined the thousands of people who had gathered in St. Peter's square to be a part of the Canonization ceremony raising Pope John XXIII and Pope John Paul II to the dignity of sainthood.

   How proud and yet humbled I felt to participate in this glorious an observer, and a believer, and member of the Holy Roman Catholic Church. 

   Recall that at the time of Christ, Jesus was called Rabbi , that is Teacher. Yes, each of these men as canonized Popes were and still are teachers. And what do they teach? ..... Mercy, Love, forgiveness, concern for the people of God so that we will all be able to rejoice and be glad that we are all people of God, members of one family, God's family, a family that prays together, worships God together, and loves one another.

   The Church directs our attention to two men who listened to and obeyed the Holy Spirit.

   Pope John XXIII called the Church together and, with hard work, held Vatican II Council. The Directives of Vatican II Council will be utilized in the Church for many years to come. This will only happen if we now call on Pope Saint John XXIII to inspire the church leaders of today to fulfill all that God has in mind for the people of God, to bring about a movement to unify all believers in God and be a joyful people.

   Pope Saint John Paul II, by his loving example, has taught us to be forgiving and gentle. We will be able to continue to practice his teaching of mercy and kindness toward each other by studying and learning the directives in his many encyclicals and other documents.

   How very inspiring it was to watch and join the thousands of people in St. Peter's square pray together, join their voices in song and receive the Body of Christ. How profound the moment of silence when the thousands of people were asked to be silent.

   May God , all the Saints in heaven, including Pope Saint John XXIII and Pope Saint John Paul II, bring all of us here on earth to a holy and happy unity celebrating joyfully the awareness of how very much God loves us.


Jamaican Franciscan Schools Festival Photos 
Submitted by: Patricia Shirley, OSF
On the evening of May 3, the sisters in Jamaica enjoyed the 2014 ExtravaFRANza at St. George's College in Kingston, which was organized by the Charitable Association of the Franciscan Sisters of Allegany (CAFSA).
   This was the first concert given by CAFSA celebrating the Franciscan Family of schools.  Each school started by the Franciscan Sisters had two or three performances. Schools ranged from "infant schools" to the "teachers college".
   To view pictures and video, visit our Facebook page.
Franciscan Federation - Chicago Meeting

 By: Margaret Magee, OSF


   "Dare to Image" was the theme of the Franciscan Federation meeting held at the Felician Sisters Regional Convent, Chicago, IL, on April 29-30, 2014. Invitations to attend were sent out to Federation members involved in the three Commissions, Elected Leaders, Charism Services and Regions. Sixty members responded and arrived in Chicago to discern the future of the Federation and to develop a recommendation and action steps that will be brought to the Federation Annual Conference, July 18 to 21 in St. Louis, MO. Four of our sisters were present for this meeting: Kathie Uhler, who serves on the National Board of the Franciscan Federation; Margaret Mary Kimmins, who serves on the Executive Committee for the Commission of Elected Leaders; Anne Dougherty, who serves on the Commission of Charism Services; and Margaret Magee, who had served as the Associate Director of the Federation.

   Through many rounds of facilitated table conversations, those gathered affirmed the following statement to bring to the Annual Conference: This is a transformative moment in the life of the Franciscan Federation. Through the Spirit alive among us, we want to breathe new life into the Franciscan Federation through an evolving, organic process.

   This gathering also recommended and established an ad hoc committee, consisting of: Marilyn Trowbridge (Franciscan Sisters of the Poor), Nancy Miller (Dubuque Franciscan), Rose Elsbernd (Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration), Anne Amati (Franciscan Sisters of Philadelphia), Peggy Quinn (Joliet Franciscans), and Margaret Magee. The National Board will hire a facilitator to work with the ad hoc committee in moving this process forward. This time of planning was expressed as a time of active Sabbath to revitalize and refocus the Federation for its members and to be inclusive of all Franciscan hearted people.


St. Francis Xavier School's 75th anniversary  
By: Colleen Brady, OSF

   Seventy five years ago a group of Allegany Franciscan sisters arrived in Fort Myers, FL, to open a new school. Throughout those 75 years there have always been Franciscan Allegany Sisters at the school - an unbroken legacy.

   The celebration began early in the school year with Media Day.  The mayor of Ft. Myers, members of the Chamber of Commerce, friends and benefactors of the school, as well as all faculty and students, attended the event which culminated in the dropping of balloons - much to the delight of all!  This event was followed by Family Day, celebrated through a gathering of family and friends, games, music, food, rides and plenty of fun.  

   An alumni gathering in January included a presentation to Dorothy Kellum and Arnold Sarlo, the first graduates of St. Francis.  That evening was a spectacular gathering of alumni to remember, rejoice and celebrate! February brought the annual Edison Parade of Light.  Many volunteers worked to create the school float which earned 1st place in both the Junior Parade and Parade of Light.

   The grand finale to our year of celebration was the Gala dinner and dance which took place at the Lexington Country Club.  Over 200 were in attendance.  Sr. Odette Haddad represented the congregation and gave an enlightening address highlighting the many sisters who had served St. Francis School over the years.  Many came to ask Sr. Odette to carry greetings to those sisters remembered with such fondness.   


 From the Archives
    Greetings from Jamaica! On April 30th, I set out with Sister Pat Shirley for Immaculate Conception Convent in Kingston. My task has been to work in their archives, collect oral history, and have some fun, too! I'm proud to say that, so far, I've been successful in all three areas. 
   This weekend, I'll be helping out at the Jamaica Assembly. I'm looking forward to meeting more of the sisters and associates. I'm also hoping to collect more oral history from sisters and associates alike. If you would like to participate in the Oral History program, please email me at Your stories are an important part of the history of the congregation and the associates! 

For more updates on my time here in Jamaica, check out our Facebook page!

Ellen Winger

Congregational Archivist

 Upcoming Opportunities
Franciscan Center Retreat Offerings: 

A Retreat with Bishop Thomas Gumbleton: Rebuilding the Church - St. Francis and Pope Francis
May 10, 10:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
A return to the Gospel message of Jesus for the 21st century.
Fee: $25, lunch included. 
Please RSVP by May 2 to reserve seating.

Silent Directed Retreat
June 23, 5 p.m. - June 29, noon
Led by Sister Mary Arghittu, OSF; Father Anthony Carrozzo, OFM; Sister Anne Dougherty, OSF; and Sister Jeanne Williams, OSF
During the silent directed retreat, participants meet daily with a spiritual director. The rest of the day is spent participating in daily Mass, time for prayer and contemplation, walking the grounds or labyrinth, creating art, listening to music and resting.
Fee: $440. 
Please RSVP by June 6 to reserve your space.

To RSVP for any of these events and retreats, please call (813) 229-2695, visit, or email



Awakening the Impulse of Conscious Evolution within Ourselves and our World: Entering an Era of the Radically New
Presented by: Barbara Marx Hubbard
Held at River's Edge
3430 Rocky River Dr.
ClevelandOH 44111


June 2, 2014

$500 event fee 

216-688-1111  ext. 251 


Presented by: Fr. Joseph Krastel, C.Ss.R.

Held at the Notre Dame Retreat House
5151 Foster Rd.
Canandaigua, NY 14424

July 13-18, 2014
$325 registration fee

Upcoming deadlines: 

May 21 - Next edition e-newsletter