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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 4.01
January 11, 2016
 Happy New Year

May God continue to move within our hearts to make us instruments of His Peace.
Focus on Francis: Simplicity
By: Arlene McGannon, Vice President of Mission, St. Joseph's Hospitals
This is the third in a series of reflections distributed by Arlene to St. Joseph's Team Members. Following newsletters will feature other parts of this series. 
 Francis Bernardone began life as the son of wealthy parents. His father was a successful cloth merchant, and young Francis wanted for nothing. But in his early 20s, Francis underwent a profound spiritual conversion. It was then that he decided to renounce wealth and material possessions in favor of possessing God alone.
   The story is a famous one - how Francis' father, Pietro, dragged him before the Bishop of Assisi, hoping to bring his son to his senses. But instead of compromising, Francis stripped naked and laid his fine clothes at the feet of his father saying, "Until now I have called you my father on earth. But henceforth I have only one father: Our Father who art in heaven." The Bishop threw a cloak over Francis, who walked out of the town, away from life as he had known it toward the one to which God was calling him.
   Francis lived a simple, uncluttered life so that it could be filled with God. Our lives today are cluttered by countless "things." How can we follow Francis' example in some small way to make more room for the Sacred in our lives?
Deborah Bokas receives Sr. M. Elizabeth Corry, OSF, Award

   Congratulations to Deborah Bokas, MSW, Director of Social Services at Osborn Family Health Center, the recipient of the 2015 Sister M. Elizabeth Corry, OSF, Award.
   The annual award is the highest honor given to a Lourdes employee. It is named after the former president of Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center, who passed away in February. Seventeen Lourdes associates from across the health system were nominated by their peers for demonstrating the Core Value of Justice.
     "This is definitely like the Academy Awards," said Bokas after receiving the award. "I am looking at all the people who have helped me during my 31 years here. I was lucky to have known Sister Elizabeth Corry and had a career in her shadow, and to have been mentored by all the people she mentored." 
   Bokas spearheads many outreach efforts, including the Reach Out and Read program, backpack, prom gown and pajama drives, and the Osborn used-clothing boutique. But she was nominated for more than those activities. She works hard to ensure even the poorest of patients have hope and happiness.
   "The staff at Osborn, and in the hospital, rely on Deb as someone they can turn to in the most difficult patient situations, knowing she has the ability to handle her patients with respect and dignity and always acts justly when helping a patient to reach a goal of happiness and health in their life," wrote her supervisor, Shawne Cuilla, MSN, Osborn Executive Director.
   Nominees for the award were: Chal Adimoolam, Deborah Bokas, Dr. Wanda Broach-Butts, Classie Carter, Jennifer Dyas, Sheila Finamore, Glenda Garcia, Kathleen Geary, Michele Legenski, Mireya Llaurador, Father Joseph Monahan, Debra Mount, Angela Paulk, Joanne Quering, Jessica Vales, Janine Vallen and Amber Wright. 
   "It's a great legacy we have, the legacy of service to the community," said Lourdes President and CEO Alexander J. Hatala. "You humble all of us with the great work that you do." 

   This year's Core Value was Justice. Of the Values, Justice can be among the most difficult to see concretely. Sister M. Elizabeth Corry Award guest speaker Sister Mary Lou Lafferty, OSF, used the first letters of the word to broaden our understanding of it:

J: Judgment-How can we stay in right relationships with all people regardless of race, religion, sexual preference, etc.?
U: Upright-Are we true to ourselves and all those with whom we interface?
S: Sharing-How freely do we share our time, talent, and money with others?
T: Truth speaker-How often are we caught in a situation when it would be easier to be silent or remove ourselves from a situation, especially when we know our input will not be popular and may cause us to be excluded?
I: Influence-Most often, it is not what we say, but what we do.
C: Compassion-This is the essence of justice, reaching out to all, especially the least among us.
E: Environment/Care of the Earth-How conscious are we to recycle whether we are on the floors, in an office, in the ER, or the cafeteria? This Earth is for all of us, so we must protect it for future generations.

Human Trafficking Awareness Month kicks off in Tampa Bay

   On Saturday, January 9, a candlelight vigil was held at The Franciscan Center in Tampa to raise awareness about the ugly business of human trafficking, which thrives in the state of Florida and the Tampa area. The vigil marked the beginning of the national Human Trafficking Awareness Month. 

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 From the Archives
   Here in the Archives, we have been hard at work gearing up for a busy 2016! 
    In the office, Assistant Archivist Sr. John Kevin (JK) McNulty has been joined by Sr. Alma Glenn on a HUGE cataloging project. Together, these intrepid sisters have been documenting every newsletter article that is held in print in the Archives. To do this, the sisters work on a computer to enter each individual newsletter article into a spreadsheet. They document the article's date, title, author, summary description, as well as any sisters or associates that are mentioned in the article. Sisters JK and Alma have already finished diligently cataloging all 19 years of Allegany Connections, and they have begun working their way through over 60 years of ZEAL! Each series of newsletter catalogs will ultimately be imported into the master catalog on the main Archives Computer, allowing us to quickly and efficiently perform research services. Thank you, Srs. JK and Alma, for your continuing devoted service!
     The Ambience Committee, with the help of Brother David Haack, OFM, and the Maintenance Department, has also been hard at work designing and constructing a series of Heritage Walls surrounding the Motherhouse Chapel. There are now three walls that have been completed or are awaiting finishing touches! If you visit the Motherhouse, take a stroll down the hallway on the west side of the Chapel (on the left as you are facing the altar), and enjoy the walls commemorating the Foundation of the Congregation, the sisters' Education Ministry, and the sisters' Healthcare Ministry. Stay tuned for more Heritage Wall updates!
Pictured: Sister Alma hard at work cataloging ZEAL.

Upcoming deadlines: 

January 20, 2016 - Second edition e-newsletter
February 15 - Spring edition, Allegany Connections