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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 4.14
July 22, 2016
 Feast of the Portiuncula (August 2)

On August 2, we celebrate the Feast of the Portiuncula, the chapel where the Franciscan spiritual life and movement began. 

In this Jubilee Year of Mercy, this feast also marks the 800th Anniversary of the Pardon of Assisi. Francis of Assisi persuaded Pope Honorius III to grant this plenary indulgence. Francis, Clare, and the early sisters and brothers lived lives of mercy and called all who follow Christ in their spirit to do the same. We are to be, in words of Pope Francis and spirit of Francis and Clare, carriers of mercy, reconciliation and peace.

"This is our vocation: to heal wounds, to bind what is broken, to bring home those who are lost." Francis of Assisi
W elcome home, Sisters!

The 2016 General Chapter begins Monday, July 25, and runs through 
Tuesday, August 2, 2016. 
International guests to fill halls of St. Elizabeth Motherhouse
By: Kate Day Sager, Olean Times Herald 

  For the first time in 24 years, the Franciscan Sisters of Allegany will conduct Chapter 2016 activities entirely at St. Elizabeth Motherhouse in Allegany. Sister Margaret Magee, associate minister of the congregation, said the July 25 to Aug. 2 event will play host to close to 250 sisters and guests from foreign countries. The theme is "Were not our hearts burning within us ... Be the fire!"
   The event is held every four years. "They recently finished the renovation (at the Motherhouse), and we now have the meeting space to hold the Chapter itself," Magee said in reference to the completed, multi- million-dollar renovation and expansion of the Motherhouse. Magee said Chapter meetings were held in Doyle Chapel and the Hickey Dining Hall at St. Bonaventure University to accommodate more interaction between Sisters. The venues were needed for participants to discuss and plan for changes happening in the church and the world.   The current conference room at the Motherhouse will more than accommodate the sessions. "I think having everyone here in the Motherhouse is a real blessing," Magee said. Magee admitted the Motherhouse staff has been extremely busy making last minute preparations. "Sisters will begin arriving at the end of this week from Brazil, Jamaica and Bolivia, and places on the East Coast of the U.S.," she noted. Magee said some sisters from out of the area will stay at the Motherhouse or in housing provided by St. Bonaventure. "We're very grateful to the university for their services and the work they do," she commented.
   Part of the scheduling by the transportation committees includes picking up the sisters at the Buffalo Niagara International Airport and driving them to Allegany. The sisters will be involved in a full week of sessions, as well as a day of retreat July 26. "Besides our sisters and Chapter participants, we've invited our partners in ministries, associates, other members and friends to participate in the retreat," Magee said. The retreat will be lead in the chapel by Franciscan priest The Rev. Vitório Mazzuco of Brazil. "He'll speak in Portuguese, and we'll have simultaneous translation to English," Magee added. "The topic is on the Franciscan's spirituality; we hope it will help slow us down and ground us in our spirituality." There will be a contemplative and prayer-filled process, Magee said. "It's a sense of really listening to what God is asking of us," she continued. "It's a very important, significant time for us." She said the gathering is important because it will help the Sisters reflect on the current situation in the world and its economic issues. She said the last Chapter's initiatives for the congregation included engaging in service with people who are unemployed and underemployed; sharing Franciscan spirituality; and responding to the impact of the world's ecological crises. A celebration of the Sisters' 50th anniversary in Bolivia will be held at the Aug. 31 Mass. Election of officers will be held Aug. 1. The last day of Chapter will feature the Feast of the Portiuncula.    
   Denise Bunk-Hatch, Motherhouse communications director, said activities will be live-streamed to sisters in other countries who can't attend. In addition, pictures of activities during the week will be posted on the congregation's website and Facebook. "Facebook is very active, and I expect it to be even more so during Chapter," Bunk Hatch said. Magee said some people see the Motherhouse on the hill near St. Bonaventure and think that's the extent of its community. "And yet the community is very expansive," she said of the congregation's ministries, which have included one in Jamaica since 1879, one in Brazil since 1946 and one in Bolivia since 1965. "We were not founded as a missionary community. But listening to God's call and responding to the needs of the people, we went."

Pope Francis to visit the Portiuncula
Taken from Holy Name Province website

   Pope Francis will join pilgrims traveling to the Portiuncula chapel next month to commemorate the 800th anniversary of the Pardon of Assisi, which falls during the Year of Mercy. He will visit the chapel to pray privately.
   According to Franciscan tradition, St. Francis experienced a vision of Jesus and Mary in the Portiuncula chapel on Aug. 1, 1216. He prayed that all pilgrims to the chapel would receive a plenary indulgence, and his prayer was granted on the condition that he received permission from the pope.
   Today, a plenary indulgence can be received on Aug. 2 by anyone who visits a Catholic church with the intention of honoring Our Lady of the Angels and recites the Creed, the Our Father, and prays for the pope's intentions, along with fulfilling other conditions.
   Last year, Pope Francis marked the Pardon of Assisi by stressing the importance of the sacrament of confession. The feast of Our Lady of the Angels of Porziuncola "is a powerful reminder to bring ourselves closer to the Lord in the Sacrament of Mercy and to receive Communion," he said, according to  Catholic News Agency.

Upcoming deadlines: 

August 3, 2016 - First edition e-newsletter
August 17, 2016 - Second edition e-newsletter