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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 3.15
August 10, 2015
Feast of St. Clare
(August 11)
Happy feast of Clare of Assisi!
Clare, companion of Francis and the friars of the early community, embraced and gave life to their evangelical way of living the gospel. Not desiring to live a traditional and monastic expression of religious life that was current in Clare's time, she was received by Francis on Palm Sunday, March 20, 1212.

Clare lived in poverty and simplicity serving her sisters and those in the local community who were ill. Her life reflects the gospel call, "Whoever becomes humble..."

We celebrate with our Poor Clare sisters and all who desire to follow in the footsteps of Francis and Clare. Happy feast day!
Life Commitment Program

By: Margaret Mary Foley, OSF


   For one week in July, I had the privilege to participate in the Life Commitment Program sponsored by the Religious Formation Conference, where I met 12 other men and women from throughout the United States who are preparing for Perpetual Profession of religious vows.  We lodged at Immaculata Retreat House in Willimantic, CT. 

   Each day we had a presentation on various topics, such as the Vows of Obedience, Poverty and Chastity, Community Life, and Religious Life as a Prophetic Enterprise in the 21st Century.  Each day was spent in class, followed by personal reflection time, then group sharing. We had several evening socials, and ended each day with liturgy. 

   I found the experience to be transformative and challenging.  I'm grateful for this experience and for the new friends I shared it with. 


Renodin Foundation Makes Employee Recognition Possible for Individuals with Disabilities

By: Laura Whitford, Renodin Foundation President

   Dr. Lyle F. Renodin Foundation board members recently had the opportunity to attend an awards luncheon to honor individuals with disabilities who are working in the Olean/Allegany area. Amid a festive luau theme complete with leis, ukuleles, and roasted pork, 37 individuals were honored for their years of service. 

   The ReHabilitation Center's SubCon and The Employment Connection divisions make it possible for 250 people with disabilities to work in the community. Renodin Foundation funding helped provide plaques and commemorative watches to the select employees who were being honored for between five and 40 years of service, plus several other special awards, at the annual event.

   The word "dignity" came to mind many times throughout the lunch. A nice comment or a family member's quote was read for every one of the honorees, which truly personalized their recognition. All of the recipients had such joy on their faces, and the pride they had in their jobs and in being recognized was evident.

   SubCon employee Debra Harris is happy that she can work and earn money to help provide for her daughter. "Working has made me a better employee and a good performer at my job," she said. "The best part of working for 25 years is the encouragement from the supervisors, who I really admire a lot."

   Dr. Wayne Dyer says, "Circumstances do not make a man, they reveal him." That day, Renodin Foundation board members were privileged to see many men and women revealed not only as hard-working, dedicated, and productive individuals, but as champions for their fellow employees.


Joliet Franciscans 150th Anniversary
By: Margaret Mary Kimmins, OSF, with contributions from Ellen Winger, Congregational Archivist 

   Srs. Pat Reid and Margaret Mary Kimmins were recently invited to the 150th Anniversary of the Joliet Franciscans. It  was a wonderful celebration and the sisters were so grateful for our being with them. Sr. Pat also did the translation for their Assembly.
   The paragraph below, taken from our Archives, gives us  the history of our relationship.  It was rather noble of us to send a sister to them when we had only 11 sisters in our congregation at that time.  At the present time, the Joliet Sisters have 17 sisters in Brazil and were graciously welcomed by our sisters in Anapolis when they began their mission in Goiana in 1963.
The Joliet Sisters
   During the early 1860s Father Pamfilo had taken under his care four sisters in the Congregation of the Holy Cross at St. Mary (Notre Dame), Indiana. They desired to transfer from the congregation and become members of the Franciscan family. On August 2, 1865, Father Pamfilo received their first postulant, Mary Rosenberger (Sister Mary Angela) in the chapel at St. Bonaventure College in Allegany. At that time he appointed Sister Alfred Moes the first superior of the Congregation of the Third Order Regular of the Sisters of St. Francis of Mary Immaculate, Joliet, Illinois. During their stay in Allegany, Mother Alfred and Sister Angela lived at St. Elizabeth Motherhouse.
   In April 1867 Father Pamfilo, in response to Mother Alfred's request, sent Allegany Sister Mary Benedicta Fabri to Joliet to serve temporarily as Mistress of novices. In autumn of 1867 Sister Benedicta became ill and returned to Allegany. She died on February 24, 1868. She was the first Allegany sister to be called home to the Lord. She was not replaced in Joliet.
Teddy Bear Clinic

By: Judith Terrameo, OSF


   Mount St. Mary's Hospital has a program called the "Teddy Bear Clinic".  Each year we go into the schools, both Catholic and public, Pre-K and Kindergarten classes to talk with the children about health. There are four stations:  exercise, nutrition, hand-washing, and blood pressure.  Each child is given a teddy bear and they can decorate it in any way they want to. Some of them come in with broken arms, broken legs, a cut, etc. The classes are divided into groups of about 12 children and they go through the cycle of programs where there is some educational piece and then a practice exercise. In my particular section, which was checking blood pressure, one of the nurses talked about the tools and why we are checked.  Then three of us did a blood pressure check on each child.  We let them hear their heart beat, which was especially exciting for them. The program lasts about two hours. Each group session takes about 20 minutes or so, given the number of children in the group.


Surprise visitors brighten Sr. Mary T's day
   Sr. Mary T. Maher received a surprise visit on Thursday (August 6) from her niece, Pam Kracker; her great-grand-niece Nicole Bolanos; and her great-great-grand nephew Jacob, from Pheonix, Arizona. 
   Sr. Mary and Jacob share the same birthday of June 28. The two were born 90 years apart, to the day.
 From the Archives
   On Thursday, August 6, at the monthly Archives Talk in morning activities, we had a lively discussion of the history of the sisters' ministry in Winsted, CT. The sisters arrived in Winsted in July of 1865, and the following month opened a grade school which would come to be known as St. Anthony's. This was the sisters' very first mission outside of Allegany, NY.
   Pictured here is the convent of St. Margaret of Cortona, built for the sisters in 1876 by Father Leo da Saracena, the Franciscan who had invited the sisters to serve in Winsted. The convent was capable of housing 25 to 30 boarders in addition to 12 sisters. On the back porch, scarcely visible on the left side of the photo, sisters who served in Winsted recalled having refreshments with the needy of the area in a ministry that reminds us of the Back Door Guests today at Immaculate Conception Convent in Kingston, Jamaica.
   Among the 19 sisters in attendance at the talk was Sr. Mary Angela DiCara, a Winsted native who attended St. Anthony's School. She provided us with valuable insight into the sisters' ministry at the school. Sisters Maureen Dorr and Virginia May, the last two sisters to serve in Winsted, also attended the group, and Sister Maureen entertained us with tales of the work of this self-described "odd couple."
   We decided together that next month we will be discussing the history of St. Clare's Hospital in New York City. Please join us on September 3rd at 10:15 a.m. for what promises to be a very interesting seminar!

From the editor: Please note that the second August edition of the e-newsletter will be released on the second Tuesday of August, instead of the second Monday. The deadline will remain the same and no other publication dates will be impacted.

Upcoming deadlines: 

August 19, 2015 - Second August edition e-newsletter
September 1, 2015 - Fall edition of Allegany Connections