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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 3.07
April 13, 2015
Profession of St. Francis (April 16)

April 16th is the day that Franciscans celebrate the renewal of our vowed commitment to live gospel life. April 16th marks the day when Francis and the first brothers received approval of their form of life from Pope Innocent III.

Our gospel that day captures Francis' desire for all who follow this form of life, "For the one whom God sends speaks the words of God and does not ration the gifts of the Spirit."
Maureen Clare named Education Coordinator in Jamaica

From Congregational Leadership

   During the recent meeting of the Board of Directors, Maureen Clare, OSF was appointed the Education Coordinator in Jamaica.


Some of her responsibilities include:

  • Representing the Congregation on all the Boards of the Allegany Franciscan Educational Institutions
  • Acting as the official liaison for the Congregation with the Ministry of Education, The Archdiocesan Education Board and Director of Education and with all the Chairpersons of all the Boards and all the Principals
  • Acting as the Coordinator of the Sponsorship Council to ensure that the Franciscan Charism is continuing in each of our Institutions


We are very grateful to Maureen for accepting this position.


St. Anthony Hospital rolls out the red carpet for Sisters' Assembly Weekend
By: Margaret Magee OSF

   This weekend the sisters gathered at St. Anthony Hospital in St. Petersburg, Florida for the April Assembly weekend. They were welcomed by staff members of the hospital with a sign that featured a picture of the Motherhouse with its Welcome Home banner and these joyful words, "St. Anthony's would like to welcome the Franciscan Sisters of Allegany to your home away from home". The entrance of the hospital was decked with beautiful hanging flowers baskets and a bright red carpet of welcome. Hospital staff also volunteered as parking valets dressed in St. Bonaventure University t-shirts. The assembly took place in the hospital auditorium which was beautifully decorated with Easter colors and plants thanks to the local assembly committee and at each sister's place was a gift bag from the hospital.

   The Saturday assembly schedule was full with presentations, reflections and sharing on topics of the Year of Consecrated Life, the continued work on the Initiative for our Sister Mother Earth, a report and follow-up on the October 2014 assembly panel on Social Issues, reports from the Franciscan Spirituality Committee, the Formation and Vocation ministry and updates from the Congregational Leadership.  The day concluded with a festive Eucharistic celebration in the hospital chapel with Anthony Carrozzo OFM as presider and Cathy Cahill OSF as homilist. After communion the sister jubilarians celebrating 25, 50, 60, 65 and 70 years were acknowledged and presented with gifts. This celebration ended with the singing of the blessing of St. Francis for the jubilarians.  

   The Sunday gathering focused on the 2016 Chapter Planning with members of the committee and Chapter facilitator, Carmelita Murphy OP leading the assembly in contemplative prayer and the prayer for Chapter, reflection on the theme and logo, the process of being a Learning Community and a reflection on the Chapter 2012 Initiatives in Action. All who gathered expressed gratitude and appreciation for all who made the weekend possible and especially to the staff of St. Anthony's Hospital for their gracious welcome and hospitality. It was a blessed weekend!

Upcoming Assembly Dates and Locations:

April 18-19 - Regional Assembly, Cranford, NJ

April 18-19 -20  Regional Assembly, Anapolis, Brazil

April 25-26 - Regional Assembly, Allegany, NY

May 8-9 Regional Assembly, Kingston, JA


Earth Day, April 22, 2015

By: Melissa Scholl OSF and Joyce Ramage OSF


   Humans are created as thinking, contemplative, choice-making participants in God's Creation.  Earth Day is a narrowly focused time inviting us to consider how we respond.  Perhaps the following prayer, sent from CHA, may be the contemplative spark that continues to enliven our commitment to Sister, Mother Earth.


The Heavens speak of the Creator's glory and the sky proclaims God's Handiwork.  (Psalm 19:2)

Out of nowhere, the spark.

From nothingness, the immense somethingness.

Lord God, Creator of the Universe,

Hear our prayer,

Witness our awe,

Accept thanks -

For this Earth on which we live and thrive;

For all that is, every element in Creation,

Every person, in all times and places.

Out of your goodness and love, the Earth came to be.

Out of your everlasting power,

Came the multiplicity of everything that is.

We pray, this day -

Hold us accountable,

Guide us in your ways -

To protect, to serve, to hold precious

This glorious Earth in all its abundance.

Give us wisdom, that we may be faithful to your will.

Give us restraint in our use of resources;

That this Earth on which we live,

This Earth, that you made and sustain,

Will pass to our children, generation upon generation.

We pray in your Holy Name.  Amen


On April 22nd:

  • Take time to prayerfully consider our God-given responsibility for Sister, Mother Earth.
  • Take time to create or participate in local opportunities that witness to Earth Day.
  • Take time to focus on actions that support recovery of and/or destruction of Sister Mother Earth, and the complexities involved.
  • Continue to use the internet webpages, television, radio... listen to commentary, to experts and activists, read.  Change your/our lifestyle even more.  Respond prayerfully, locally, politically.  Become an educated, stronger voice for Sister, Mother Earth.


   There are many FSA communication vehicles through which we can share our actions, ideas, responses etc.  These communications have the ability to strengthen our focus, knowledge and commitment with the Congregation, Associates, Partners and others.  If you prefer, send your comments, actions, ideas, webpage references and other thoughts to Melissa ( or Joyce ( for periodic publication. 



LCWR Region V experiences the needs of Lake Providence, LA

By: Pat Shirley OSF   


   The Leadership Conference of Women Religious of Region V (the Southern Region of the United States) chose to meet in Lake Providence, LA, the ministerial project supported by the communities Region V, among them the Allegany Franciscans.  Sr. Angela Cools-Latigue, an Allegany Franciscan, was one of the founding members of the ministry there and is still fondly remembered.

   Lake Providence was featured on CNN as the "most unequal place in America",  the very wealthy living on one side of the Lake and the abject poor on the other.  We experienced the poverty of the area through a tour and learned of the disparity and economic reality of the people in the community through a presentation of the demographics by Jenny Hodge, a social worker missioned to the area by the Baptist Convention  We experienced the strength of the interfaith community through sharing in a Lenten Luncheon.  Every Friday of Lent a different church hosts a meal with interfaith sharing and a sermon by pastors of different denominations creating an atmosphere of openness to each other and the God within.  Our time at the lunch was not only fulfilling spiritually, but an opportunity for those gathered to share the economic challenges of their church communities.  Lake Providence was a welcoming community proud and hopeful for a better future despite their daily challenges.  Sr. Bernie Barrett SHSP, a Sister of the Holy Spirit and Mary Immaculate who is carrying on this ministry, expertly planned our time, was ever present to the group and is tirelessly working within this community, to bring in better housing and job opportunities.


 Dare to Image - Franciscan Federation

Dare to Image - Franciscan Federation Sabbath Monthly Reflections 

   As we, the members of the Franciscan Federation, prepare for our Sabbath year let us, individually and communally, enter into prayerful contemplation. May this Sabbath time awaken the unfolding mystery and the challenge before us. May we Dare to Image!


April - Listen and reflect:


  • Ponder the Word, "Enlarge the place of your tent...stretch your tent curtains not hold back..."  (Isaiah 54:2)
  •  In your mind 's eye Dare to Image: GENEROSITY AND OPENNESS


   What insights have come to you or your group, cluster, local community in this contemplative sharing?

   Share your insights and reflections by emailing them to Denise Bunk-Hatch at We will share your insights in our FSA newsletter and will also send them to the Franciscan Federation for their Musings newsletter. 

Hospitality (March)
By: Helen Roberts OSF   

   When I read the theme of "hospitality"  it occurred to me that Jesus was the first person to offer hospitality. When the  disciples asked Jesus, "Where do you live?" he answered "Come and See"..offering an open invitation to be part of the heart, soul and dwelling of God.
   Hospitality involves trust, loyalty, relationship building and welcoming.      Within my tent of hospitality in living the Franciscan life are many vowed religious, associates, my good parents, friends, and family with whom "hospitality" is an Irish expectation.  The future of the Franciscan Federation depends upon the gift of hospitality which has always been a centering value for the directors, past and present, as well as the Board Members, Committee representatives. Inviting speakers, presenters who develop evolutionary thinking as well as discerning the needs of the people of God, brings forth faith, wisdom, insight and Pentecostal blessings of the Risen God.
   Evolving into a new paradigm for the Federation requires the continued blessings of Francis and Clare. There is a sense of "coming home" whenever the Annual Federation Conference is planned. Members extend an invitation to others to "Come and See" relationships and continue to spread the kindom of "peace and all good."  Personal invitations are "priceless" in this age of speed and individualism.
   To be invited is to be respected for who you are and how you are evolving into a person with
the spirit of "hospitality."                                                                                    


 From the Archives


    This month in Activities, the sisters and I held a discussion about the history of the hospitals that the sisters founded. We focused on the time period between 1883, when the sisters acquired St. Elizabeth's Hospital in Boston, and 1960, the year of the death of Mother Alice Henry, who had a hand in the foundation of no fewer than six of the sisters' hospitals. Materials that we reviewed included this rare early photo of Mother Alice, taken on the occasion of her perpetual profession in 1906, and this 1914 photograph of a hospital room at St. Elizabeth's Hospital in New York City.

    The sisters contributed wonderful insights about what it was like to work in the hospitals during those years, as well as several humorous anecdotes about Mother Alice! For example, although she was a brilliant 

hospital administrator who was renowned as "The Doctor of Sick Hospitals," Mother Alice was a terrible driver! Once, when pulled over by a police officer and informed that she was driving the wrong way on a one-way street, Mother Alice retorted, "I'm only going one way!"

Discussing history with the sisters in the Motherhouse is always a rewarding experience for everyone; through our dialogue, we each deepen our understanding of where the Congregation has been, and where it is going. 

Upcoming deadlines: 

April 22, 2015 - Second edition e-newsletter