In This Issue
Allegany Franciscans Website
FSA Jamaica Website
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CL meetings
Feb 21st

FSA Board of Directors Meeting
March 15-20
General Commission
May 8-9 St. Clare's, Tampa
Franciscan Spirituality
March 13th - Zoom call
July 7-9 St. Clare's, Tampa

Issue 5.03
February 13, 2017
Motherhouse Celebrates Groundhog Day

Despite  Punxsutawney Phil's prediction of six more weeks of winter, the St. Elizabeth Motherhouse sisters and staff gathered on February 2 for a picnic lunch in celebration of Groundhog Day. This is the second year for the event, which was created by Sr. Toni Pellegrino, and featured an array of summer picnic foods and a cake prepared by the Motherhouse kitchen staff.
WNY Premiere "The Sultan and the Saint" a success
By: Denise Bunk-Hatch, Communications Director

   The Franciscan Sisters of Allegany, in conjunction with Franciscan Action Network and the St. Bonaventure University Center for Arab and Islamic Studies, sponsored the WNY premiere of the Unity Productions Foundation film "The Sultan and the Saint" on February 1, 2017.
   The premiere, which was held at the Quick Center for the Arts at St. Bonaventure University, was free and open to the public. The auditorium was filled with St. Bonaventure students and staff, friars, Sisters, and members of the local Muslim and Christian communities, who had an opportunity to discuss the film, its message, and its creation with Unity Productions Foundation Director of Programs and Producer Daniel Tutt, and Fr. Michael Calabria OFM, Director of the SBU Center for Arab and Islamic Studies and a respected scholar on the subject of St. Francis and the Sultan. 
   "The Sultan and the Saint" tells the story of St. Francis of Assisi and the Sultan Malik al-Kamil of Egypt, who had a meaningful encounter on the battlefields of the Fifth Crusade. St. Francis' time with al-Kamil and in the Muslim army camp is believed to have influenced his later writings and his belief in peaceful co-existence between Christians and Muslims.  
   After a very strong showing on Wednesday evening, the film was again screened on Thursday, February 2, at St. Elizabeth Motherhouse for the Franciscan Sisters of Allegany. Following the screening, a number of Allegany Franciscan sisters attended a rally at St. Bonaventure University in support of refugees and immigrants. 
   Additional information and photographs from these events will be shared in the Spring Edition of Allegany Connections
A Win for Corporate Responsibility and Care of Creation
Submitted by: Gloria Oehl OSF

   I would like to share an exciting success in the work to advance care for creation in corporate responsibility by our colleagues in the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR). ICCR members engage the corporations in their investment portfolios, such as ExxonMobil, to improve their corporate policies for justice and care for creation. The portion of the press release shown below is a big win and something to be celebrated. Partners from ICCR have filed shareholder proposals with ExxonMobil asking for a Board member with climate expertise for the past three years and have also raised it in meetings with the company.  I encourage you to learn more about the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility here  and  also our local Coalition .
   We are pleased about this outcome since we do own shares of ExxonMobil in our portfolios.  Some of our colleagues in the Tri State Coalition for Responsible Investment have been working with this company for over 30 years to advance better policies on climate change, and a Board member with environmental expertise is an important step toward improved practices.
   Please see the text of the press release, below: 

   "Members of the Interfaith Center and long-term shareholders of ExxonMobil were encouraged by Exxon's decision yesterday to appoint a climate scientist to its board of directors.  
   In a company press release  yesterday, ExxonMobil announced that Dr. Susan K. Avery was elected to its board of directors, effective February 1, 2017. Avery, an atmospheric scientist, is the former president and director of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. Her appointment is a response to   a long standing request from shareholders to appoint a climate expert to its board.  
For three years, led by the Midwest Capuchins, ICCR shareholders and other groups have filed a resolution calling on ExxonMobil to elect an Independent Director with climate change expertise.  Until now, the company has opposed this effort. Investors were informed of the election of Avery by company representatives in a phone call yesterday and requested a dialogue to discuss withdrawal of the resolution."
St. Elizabeth Mission Society offering Jubilee Cards
By: Connie Cooper, Communications Coordinator, St. Elizabeth Mission Society   

   Help our Jubilee Sisters "Celebrate Their Journey" with a special Jubilee Mass enrollment card from the St. Elizabeth Mission Society. As members of the Mission Society, their intentions will be remembered at Masses celebrated throughout the year in the St. Elizabeth Motherhouse Chapel. They will also share in the prayers and good works of our Sisters in Brazil, Bolivia, Jamaica, and the United States.
    As a sponsored ministry of the Franciscan Sisters of Allegany, the St. Elizabeth Mission Society shares in its spiritual aims, one of which is to advance the awareness of God's love. Donations given for the cards are used to support the ministries of the Franciscan Sisters of Allegany who work to educate, heal, clothe, and feed those who are desperately poor in Jamaica, Bolivia, Brazil, and the United States.
    Special Jubilee cards, as well as various other enrollment cards, may be ordered online. For more information about ordering cards,  call the St. Elizabeth Mission Society office at (716) 373-1130, or e-mail the Information about available cards and an order form can also be accessed here

AFM's Eileen Coogan in the News

   Eileen Coogan is featured in Grantmakers in Health's Views from the Field publication. Grantmakers in Health is an affinity group that support health funders of various sizes and interests through education, networking and leadership. Eileen provides insight regarding the recent changes to the Affordable Care Act and how philanthropy can address these changes.
Vigiling - February
Submitted by: Lucy Cardet OSF

   For the past several months vigil has been part of everyday language, everyday experiences, and in some way it seems to be part of the signs of the times. The sense of vigil seems to be missing some component. For some it becomes an alone time wondering what the end product might be. For others vigil presents itself as a fear-filled time - where is the hope? For others it offers peace at a time when there is much confusion. In my reflection on vigil, its definition began to lack clarity and the peace that would come. It seemed as though there was no meaning to vigil.
   However, that feeling comes when I forget that God is part of the vigil. To reflect that God keeps vigil over us as we vigil leads me to a sense of hope, a sense of the future, a call to the silence that is so much a part of this mystery!
   How different the coming months will be with the remembrance that God is keeping vigil ... things will change and peace can come because vigiling gives strength.
Judith David, SSJ-TOSF
  1. How have I responded to vigil in my life during these months?
  2. What makes a difference when we remember that God keeps vigil over us?
  3. What gives me hope at this time as I look at the world around me?
Franciscan Spirituality - Embracing the "other"
By: Pat Klemm OSF

   I have often felt that if we were to live as if we truly are sisters and brothers to each other, we would solve a lot of the problems of the world. This is especially relevant today, when the violence that is engulfing our world is based in a lack of respect for those with whom we disagree. When we see only the differences of race, politics, sexual orientation, or even religion, we are ignoring the fact that we are children of a loving God who has given life to each of us. We are bound together in a family relationship that calls each of us to love our sisters and brothers regardless of the things that make us different.
   Today, examine your initial reaction to those who challenge your perception of what is good or acceptable.  Look at them as a member of your own family and see if your openness to them is changed when you do this.
   When you are confronted with someone who is in need of love or care or simply your attention, make the time to respond to that person in a positive way. 

Franciscan Center "Women in Spirit" Program

   In honor of National Catholic Sisters Week (March 8-14), the Franciscan Center of Tampa will present "Women in Spirit". 
   The event will feature a presentation from Sister Kathleen Power SSJ, Sisters of Saint Joseph of St. Augustine, who will speak on  the legacy of the first sisters to arrive in Florida in 1866. The documentary Women in Spirit will also be shown. 
   Light refreshments will be served, and Father Anthony Carrozzo OFM will celebrate Mass. Please RSVP by February 22, 2017 to or (813) 229-2695. 

Upcoming deadlines: 

February 15, 2017 - Spring edition Allegany Connections
February 22, 2017 - Second February edition e-newsletter