In This Issue
Allegany Franciscans Website
FSA Jamaica Website
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UPCOMING MEETINGS

CL Meeting
May 2, May 16, May 30

General Commission
May 8-9 St. Clare's, Tampa
 
Franciscan Spirituality
July 7-9 St. Clare's, Tampa

FABS Meeting
April 17-19, Reading, PA

Assemblies
 
April 20-23 - Brazil
 
April 22, 23 - Tampa
 
April 29, 30 - Jamaica

Issue 5.07
April 10, 2017
Easter Sunday
Profession of St. Francis 
(April 16)

Serendipitously, this Easter Sunday, April 16, Franciscans throughout the world also celebrate the founding of the Franciscan Order by renewing our vows to live in poverty, chastity, and obedience to the gospel way of life. On April 16, 1209, Francis of Assisi received the "Primitive Rule" from the hands of Pope Innocent III giving approval to our expression of Evangelical Life.

So truly this is  a day for us to 'Rise Up' in Christ! It is a day to celebrate Christ's conquest over suffering, fear, despair and death itself. In Christ we overcome the deception of evil and live as sisters and brothers. In Christ we embrace peace and the integrity and dignity of all people and of all creation. In Christ we proclaim God's gracious and mercy, compassion, and love for all people.

Alleluia! Christ, our Paschal Lamb, has overcome death! Alleluia!
Let us celebrate this Easter feast, not with the old yeast of fear and doubt, but with the Eucharistic bread of sincerity, truth and love.

Easter joy, peace, and renewed love from the Allegany Franciscan sisters, associates and partners in ministry!

St. Joseph's Teachers' College Celebrates 120 Years
By: Deborah Francis, Vice Pricipal, Administration, St. Joseph's Teachers' College

   On Sunday, March 19, 2017, St. Joseph's Teachers' College (SJTC) launched its 120th anniversary year activities by joining the congregation of Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Liguanea, St. Andrew, in celebrating Mass.  A wide cross section of the college community participated in the service, including students, civic leaders, administrators, staff, alumni, members of the Board of Governors, the former Principal, the former Chairman of the Board of Governors, and members of the Franciscan Sisters of Allegany. Included in the list of attendees was also Mr. Julian Robinson, Member of Parliament.
   The church warmly welcomed the St. Joseph's community. The pastor, Fr. Donald Chambers, reminded the congregation in his homily of the role played by the Franciscan Sisters of Allegany in "listening" to the call to respond to the educational needs of the Jamaican people when the college was founded in 1897. He charged the college and the teachers-in-training to continue to "listen" and to build on the legacy laid down by the Founders. This "listening" was in alignment with the reading of the day: "If today you will hear the voice of the Lord, harden not your hearts" (Psalm 95:8).
   During the annual St. Joseph's Week activities, the college community continued to be mindful of the vision statement, which says: "We seek to build a community that is guided by Franciscan values based on the gospel and which will foster and sustain a culture of excellence as a way of life". This vision was also embedded in all the activities of the week which included the opening Mass at the college; Feast Day Luncheon; an Awards Function; Celebrating Excellence; the annual Inter-House Competitions, which included the St. Cecelia Song Competition; the SJTC Talent Competition; a Promotional Television Interview; and the staging of the college's Staff Drama Production called 'Out!'.
   Throughout the year of celebrating our rich heritage, there will be several other activities to showcase the college; its past, present and future. Some of the activities will be a Long Service Awards Function; a Gospel Concert; Fun Run; Culture Day Celebration; and, the SJTC Alumni Banquet (in which five alumni will be inducted in the college's Hall of Fame). Through these events we continue to "pledge to build partnerships that value humility, joy and integrity" which are characteristics of our Founders, the Franciscan Sisters of Allegany.

A Thank You
The following is a letter from Sisters Aldenir Mota Ribeiro and Maria da Paz de Jesus following their recent mission trip to Guinea Bissau, Africa. All monetary amounts are approximate, as some have been converted from the Euro and Brazilian Real to U.S. dollars. 
  
   Gratitude is the word of the day. Thank you, sisters, for the generous contribution that we received for our missionary experience in Guinea Bissau, Africa.
   Beside the material contributions, we deeply felt your prayers. We, the Franciscan Sisters of Allegany, became a presence at Mission Africa, in conjunction with the Nova Aliança Community, from February 22 to March 9, 2017, in the Diocese of Bafatá, Guinea Bissau, in the north of Africa.
   We followed the suggestion made by Sister Margaret Mary Kimmins, our Congregational Minister, and through a letter solicited the help of our sisters, who responded with immediate donations to help us assist our brothers and sisters in Africa.
   The generosity of our sisters was manifested as follows:
a)        Sisters from the US: $3,500
b)      Sisters from Jamaica: $100
c)       Sisters from Brazil: $811
d)      Partners: $192
e)      Friends and family: $213
   The entire donation from the sisters in Brazil was used to buy medicine, sterile hospital material, surgeries, and a little food. In two hospitals, we did 25 surgeries with the help of Sister Aldenir, and we visited more than eight Tabancas, which were really rural villages, with Sister Maria da Paz, besides the enriching experience we shared with the Communities of Life Nova Aliança.
   We left a monetary contribution with the three communities where we lived the mission so that they could purchase medication, food, and maintenance of the mission, as follows:
  1.     For the Bishop D. Pedro Zili (Bafatá): $1,692
  2.     Community of the Divine Potter (Tite): $799
  3.     Community Nova Aliança (Gabu): $1,065
  4.     Community Our Mother's House (Mommy's House): $213
   Once again, we thank all of you for your generosity. We send our thanks with blessings for the Congregation and our partners in mission.
" For us, the mission to Africa from the Franciscan perspective was to see a reality that is conditioned by the Christian gaze, which attempts to see reality with the eyes of disciples. It is not just a sociological look, but an authentic evangelical discernment. It is the missionary disciple's view, which draws strength from the light and strength of the Holy Spirit of God." Just be!
 
   And that was our missionary experience in the Diocese of Bafatá, Guinea Bissau, in the north of Africa.
 
With love and gratitude and our prayers, 

 Sister Aldenir Mota Ribeiro OSF
 Sister Maria da Paz de Jesus OSF

Read more on this trip in the upcoming Summer 2017 edition of Allegany Connections, to be released in June!

Soup Supper and Lenten Evening of Reflection
By: Colleen Brady OSF  

  On Tuesday, March 21, a group of 23 gathered at Martha/Mary House (home of Srs. Lucy Cardet and Michele Dolyk) in Miami Shores for an evening of reflective prayer and an enjoyable soup supper. Claudia Herrera, the Director of Campus Ministry from St. Thomas University, brought the missionaries and students in four cars. Also present with Srs. Lucy and Michele were Jo Streva, Colleen Brady, and Maria Guiomar de S. Oliveira.  The evening was provided through the Vocation Ministry.
   The evening began with introductions all around, and then it was time to dig into the three different pots of soup served with delicious bread, followed by a wonderful dessert of cookies and brownies. As we ate, we chatted and learned about each other. The Focus Missionaries are a presence on the St. Thomas University campus. They lead prayer, share meals, and accompany students on their journey. Each one had a unique and fascinating background - each a delight!
   A PowerPoint presentation, entitled the "Seven Last Words of Christ," was viewed with reverence and everyone seemed deeply engaged. We then broke into four groups as the guests selected the "Last Words" they wanted to discuss with one of the sisters and their peers.
There was a level of trust and openness during this special time of conversation with many significant and deeply meaningful questions shared and discussed. The students wanted to know about the Franciscan Sisters of Allegany and our spirituality. 
   The evening drew to a close before we knew it.  The young people brought life, hope, new insights, and gave the sisters an opportunity to better understand their life, interests, and concerns.
   We hope to come together again at a future date.
Note:  If anyone is interested in hosting students for a light supper and prayer at their home or parish, please contact me. I would be delighted to prepare a program and help with the evening.  Contact: email colleenbrady@live.com or by phone (239) 464-5188

Voting for Protection of the Environment and People
By: Gloria Oehl OSF

   As part of my ministry regarding Socially Responsible Investing for the Franciscan Sisters of Allegany, I represent the Congregation at both the Interfaith Center (ICCR) and the Tri-State Coalition for Responsible Investment. Through participation with these organizations and collaboration with its members, the FSA are trying to use our corporate influence in advancing the Gospel values in our ownership of shares in certain companies. 
  To further that influence, last year we (FSA) set up a separate portfolio of shares in a few company stocks so that we could participate in a more active manner, e.g. vote proxies to support other members of our faith-based institutional investors (represented in the two organizations mentioned above) in upholding the dignity of the human person as well as protecting the environment which affects all of us. 
   A proxy statement is the document used by companies seeking approval from shareholders of issues relating to corporate governance, recognizing that most shareholders will be voting remotely "by proxy" rather than in person at each company's annual meeting. Proxy items include election of directors and other proposals by management as well as any shareholder proposals to be voted on by all shareholders. This statement is filed in advance of the annual meeting.  Each shareholder has a right to vote on the proposals in the statement. A s hareholder resolution is a proposal submitted by a shareholder(s) for a vote at the company's annual meeting and is included in the proxy statement.
  • With Tyson Foods, we have voted to support the shareholder resolution presented at the 2017 Annual Meeting (February 9, 2017) on water impacts of their business operations (the number one polluter in its industry). The final vote was 14.46 percent of total shares voted in favor of the proposal which is considered good considering that the total shares outstanding are in the millions.
  • With Chevron Corporation, we plan to support a resolution (filed by a member of the ICCR) asking the company to not do business with governments complicit in genocide as well as other shareholder resolutions concerning issues of sustainable energy access, low carbon transition and having a business plan for a 2-degrees Celsius warming scenario.
  • PepsiCo Inc. will be holding its annual meeting in May and has a pending shareholder resolution to request a public report on company strategies or policies currently employed or under consideration to protect public health and pollinators (bees) through reduced pesticide usage in the supply chain which we (FSA) plan to support.
   Pope Francis recently stated the importance of "putting the human person at the center of the economy". We continue to monitor our investments with that in mind.

The "Drumming Nuns"
By: Chris Tenn OSF

   How about " the drumming nuns" at St. Elizabeth's in Tampa! On Friday, March 30, Steve Turner of Giving Tree Music facilitated an interactive drum circle experience. There was a drum for each Sister and more. It was  fantastic to see so many of the Sisters participating in rhythm and harmony - no drumming experience needed! Steve has a unique way of involving all and even got some to dance to the beat.
    Karen Coad with the Wellness Team is doing a marvelous job in organizing and getting the Sisters to be involved in a variety of activities. The Sisters enjoyed the drumming experience so much they thought the Sisters at the Motherhouse might be interested in it too and Steve said he would be happy to do drumming with the Sisters at the Motherhouse.  
    Next Thursday, thanks to Karen, we will be going on the Hillsborough River in the Water Taxi, which accommodates 30 people, and all our Sisters in the area are invited free-of-charge.    

Holy Name Province announces Chapter
  
   The Franciscan Friars of Holy Name Province will hold their Provincial Chapter June 4-9, 2017, at Siena College in Loudonville, N ew Y ork
   The theme for the Chapter is "Pilgrims, Not Strangers". 
   Let us remember our brothers in prayer as they prepare for Chapter and for their gathering in June. 



Upcoming deadlines: 

April 19, 2017 - Second edition e-newsletter