News and Events
Issue 2.20
October 27, 2014
In This Issue
Allegany Assembly
St. Elizabeth Mission Society welcomes new President
Sr. Margaret Mary Foley receives Award
First Responder's Golf Classic
Franciscan Spirituality

Shared Reflections

We invite you to share reflections of your own spiritual journey and insights through prose, poetry, music, photography and art. Email us your  submissions. We look forward to hearing from you!
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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! 

Enjoying Autumn's Beauty

Photo by: Sr. Eva DiCamillo

 "I'm so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers." 

Allegany Assembly hosted in new Motherhouse meeting room
By: Denise Bunk-Hatch, communications director

   During this fall's regional assembly, the sisters attending the Allegany gathering were welcomed into the newly renovated meeting room. For many, it was the first time they had been in the room, which features widescreen televisions, a large LCD projector, and a hearing loop, as well as a mounted camera for live-streaming throughout the Motherhouse. 
   The room had only been used for one other large gathering since its completion, that being the Associate Anniversary Celebration in late July. Since then, congregational leadership, assisted by sisters and staff, have worked to improve on the multimedia technology to ensure smooth operation and a positive experience for those attending, both in-person and via in-house television.  
   Throughout a weekend filled with spiritual reflection and shared experiences, sisters and employees shared their joy about the new facility. Sisters watching the assembly via live-stream were able to hear all that was said, and those gathered in the room itself were able to see the presentations and videos regardless of their location within the space. 
   As with the assembly in New Jersey the weekend of October 11, and the Tampa assembly the weekend of October 25, presentations were given on how the Chapter 2012 initiatives are moving forward; saw a video and heard testimony on the Associate Anniversary Celebration; were given an update from the most recent LCWR Assembly and the Dare to Image project of the Franciscan Federation; got a quick lesson on using Facebook and the importance of social media and communication; received input on the Franciscan Spirituality Committee's current initiatives; and listened and witnessed to the human stories and experiences of persons who have suffered and survived the pains of human trafficking, unjust immigration policies, poverty, and the drug culture. Time for reverent silence was held for those courageous people. 
   At the end of the weekend, those in attendance expressed their gratitude for the new meeting space, which is located in the old auditorium and serves a number of functions. The plan is to hold Chapter 2016 in the space. 

Sr. Chris Doherty (left) presents Laura Whitford (right) with a gift. 
St. Elizabeth Mission Society transitions with new President, combined services with Renodin Foundation
By: Denise Bunk-Hatch, communications director

   The St. Elizabeth Mission Society and the Dr. Lyle F. Renodin Foundation are moving forward into a new era together.

   On October 6, Laura Whitford - the president of the Dr. Lyle F. Renodin Foundation since 2012 - took the helm as the president of both the Renodin Foundation and the St. Elizabeth Mission Society.

   Laura has been involved with the Franciscan Sisters of Allegany since she began serving on the Renodin Foundation board of directors in 2005. She says, "I had really hoped and actually prayed for an opportunity to work with the Franciscan Sisters of Allegany."

   That opportunity came when Sr. Chris Doherty, who had served as president of the St. Elizabeth Mission Society since 2009, made the decision to retire as of September 30, after completing almost two terms in the position.

Laura, who was involved in communications and development at the local YMCA for 15 years, brings a wealth of experience in philanthropy, board development and engagement, and event management to the position.

   "I did feel a calling to work more for the sisters," Laura said.

   The boards of both the St. Elizabeth Mission Society and the Dr. Lyle F. Renodin Foundation came together with congregational leadership, sisters, and friends of the organizations to bid farewell to Sr. Chris and welcome Laura during an evening social gathering on Wednesday, October 15. Sisters from each of the four countries served by the congregation sent their thanks and well wishes to Sr. Chris, and encouragement and cordial greetings were given to Laura.

   Laura says she hopes to be able to increase community awareness of both organizations, and to help integrate the work of the sisters further into the local community, while investigating alternative funding sources such as grants and planned giving. "It will be an interesting and exciting challenge," she said.

   Sr. Chris is hoping to find time to return to painting. "As an artist, I want to continue my creative expression through visual media and my spirituality," she noted. 


Sr. Margaret Mary Foley receives customer service award
Submitted by: Margaret Mary Foley, OSF

   I wanted to share with you that this morning at ministry during a Customer Service training, I was awarded the leader of Customer Service amongst the Thrift Store Team.  My supervisor said I received the most positive comments from my coworkers and customers!  She said she was proud of me.  One of my  co-workers added that I'm always smiling.  The award was in a form of a gift certificate.    

  Editor's note: Sr. Margaret Mary Foley is employed with Metropolitan Ministries in Tampa, FL. 

Franciscan Center to hold First Responders' Golf Classic 

 The Franciscan Center will be holding its first annual First Responders' Golf Classic on Monday, November 10, at the Carrollwood Country Club, Tampa, FL.
  The Golf Classic is a meaningful way to give back to our law enforcement officers and fire fighters. All proceeds from the golf classic benefit Post Trauma Training Programs, which are held throughout the year at the Franciscan Center.
  Registration is $125 per golfer, and all are invited to participate. Registration fee includes breakfast, lunch, a goody bag and contests, including a putting contest, closest to the pin, longest drive, and a grand prize for a hole-in-one. 
    The Post Trauma Training Program for first responders is a new focus of the Franciscan Center. The five-day, four-night program is located at the Franciscan Center, on eight acres along the eastern banks of the Hillsborough River. This private and peaceful setting allows first responders to connect with others who have faced the same constant stream of critical incidents, and begin the process of renewal and restoration of their lives.
   For more information on the Golf Classic, or to register, visit
 From the Archives

   On the first Thursday of every month, the Archives gives a presentation to the sisters living in the Motherhouse. At the end of the presentation, the sisters help choose the topic for the next month's presentation, which often results in some lively debate! The topic for October's presentation was the Old Motherhouse. During the presentation, the sisters viewed photographs such as this one, which was discovered in the Archives in Jamaica! The sisters were also kind enough to share their memories of living and working in the Old Motherhouse, where so many of them were received into the Congregation. It was a wonderful learning experience for all!
   The topic that the sisters chose for November is "What's That Thing? A presentation of archival artifacts." If you have an idea for a topic to be presented, please contact Ellen Winger at


 Retreat Opportunities
Experiencing the Incarnation through Spiritual Companioning: A Scriptural Foundation
A retreat for spiritual directors and those who companion others in the Franciscan Tradition. 

Offered by: The Franciscan Center
February 23-27, 2015
Guided by: Nancy Schreck, OSF
Cost: $475 before January 30, 2015
         $500 after January 30, 2015

For more information contact Karen Davies, (813) 229-2695 or email

Upcoming deadlines: 

November 5 - First November edition e-newsletter
November 15 - Winter edition, Allegany Connections
November 19 - Second November edition e-newsletter