News and Events
Issue 2.17
September 8, 2014
In This Issue
Assistant Local Minister transition at Motherhouse
Sisters attend energy forum
Remembering Pat Redmond
Recommendations from the library
Quick Links
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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! 

Welcome Home: 
Motherhouse Renovations near completion

   On Thursday, September 4, the front doors of the St. Elizabeth Motherhouse were reopened following several months of disuse due to renovation work.
   The switchboard, which was relocated to the west side near the St. Francis wing during construction, has consequently been returned to its previous location in the Motherhouse lobby, which is now fully open.  
   For more updates on the Motherhouse renovations, see the Fall 2014 edition of Allegany Connections

Sr. Roseanne Duffy retires as Motherhouse assistant local minister; Sr. Marigene Kennedy takes her place
appointed new assistant local minister
By: Denise Bunk-Hatch, communications director
   After six years in the position, Sr. Roseanne Duffy has retired as assistant local minister at St. Elizabeth Motherhouse. 
   "My decision to retire does have its bittersweet moments," said Sr. Roseanne, who celebrated her 65th jubilee in May. "I enjoyed ministering to our Sisters, whether it was sitting with them in the hospital or a Doctor's office, solving their transportation needs, shopping with or for them, meeting their families and friends, or just listening to their stories over a cup of coffee." 
   Sr. Roseanne said she is following the Holy Spirit's guidance and direction in her life by choosing to retire. "The whispering in my heart said, 'it is time.'" 
   "Sisters never really retire from ministering," she noted. "They merely readjust their lives." As for Sr. Roseanne, she intends to continue to live at the Motherhouse, where she hopes to "enjoy the comforts of our beautifully renovated Motherhouse and to appreciate the panoramic view of our majestic mountains along with the breathtaking sunrises and sunsets." 
   Sr. Marigene Kennedy, who served perviously as local minister for Independent Sisters at the Motherhouse, has returned to St. Elizabeth's to assume the role of assistant local minister.
   "I would love to be able to simply be in ministry with our sisters," explained Sr. Marigene, who has been living in New Jersey. She said it is a gift to be able to live in community and minister to the needs of the congregation at this moment. "I'm just glad to be home," she said. 
Sisters attend forum on Energy
By: Melissa Scholl, OSF


Chapter Initiative:  Respond to the impact of ecological crises on our Sister Mother Earth by working for personal and systemic changes related to these and by addressing the needs of affected persons through partnership with other groups.


   The FSA committee who accepted the challenge of moving this Chapter Initiative forward (Iolanda, Maria da Paz, Mariana, Guiomar, Cl�usa and Maria Helena) attended F�rum Social Tem�tico-Energia, (the Thematic Social Forum on Energy) at the University of Brasilia in August, and I was asked by Leadership to join them.  Joining my sisters in Brazil?  Environmental issues? With Goianira as my translator, no one could hold me back! 

   This Forum was an international event modeled after the World Social Forum whose goal is to seek to strengthen ties between social movements struggling for new forms of coexistence between people and nature, from the perspective of social and environmental justice.  The Brasilia gathering was one of more than 40 Self-organizing Forums at the national, regional and thematic level.  The Forum in Brazil was titled "Energy:  For What? For Whom? How?  Another World is Possible".

   The initial sessions focused on benefits and consequences of hydroelectric dams, thermoelectric power, nuclear energy, and fossil fuels, including hydrofracking, as well as the energy efficiency and decentralized renewables such as ecologically sustainable geothermal, solar, and wind power.  Throughout the four-day event we heard first hand experiences and talked with experts, presenters, and regional organizers from Bolivia, Peru and Brazil. 

   The remaining time was spent with the self-organized group whose focus was the region of Amazonia and the 26 hydroelectric dam projects planned to provide power to other regions of Brazil. The specific focus was the huge hydroelectric dam project proposed on the Tapaj�s River at Santar�m, where we minister.  The dam and resulting devastation in the Lago Grande region would cause property loss, relocation of thousands, including indigenous peoples, and cultural, economic, and environmental devastation over a huge area.

   Experts, local residents of Curuai and Santar�m, our sisters and others shared experiences and expertise.  With the intention of preventing such destruction and reshaping of the environment, commitments were made and action steps planned that included education and activation of the 140 communities of this area, educate the people of Brazil and the International communities (including FSA)  as to this "invasion of Amazonia" and the environmentally sustainable alternatives that could be regionally developed  to the energy needs of Brazil. For more information see the website  Click on the appropriate flag for translation.

   I was very impressed with the passion and activism put forth by the various groups at the Thematic Forum, including the commitment of our FSA leaders of the Chapter Directive.  After the event, I was able to debrief with the FSA committee.  Additionally we spoke about the Congregational efforts regarding the Chapter Directive.   My take away from all of this is that as Franciscan women, we need to know of global environmental devastation and participate in the defense of those who are affected.  We also have local environmental issues that need attention, some as big as dams that will flood miles of land where people currently live, love and raise their families.  Over the past years we, as FSAs, have been asked to examine our Carbon Footprint, commit to sustainable practices concerning water and energy, and at our Chapters committed our Congregational and personal energy to actively respond to environmental destruction.  So, I have to ask myself as a conscience examin...How am I using/renewing/abusing Earth and its resources?    How am I an example of and proponent of change?  How am I partnering with others locally for the sake of Earth and her/God's people? How am I fulfilling my Franciscan commitment and God given responsibility to care for Our Sister, Mother Earth?              

Sr. Pat Redmond remembered 
By Doris Hartter
   On August 26th, Fr. Anthony Hewitt had a beautiful service and blessed a memorial in honor of Sr. Pat Redmond, who died April 9, 2014. 
   At the blessing, Villa Francisco residents, joined by Sisters Jo Streva and Colleen Brady, Sr. Pat's Sisters in Community, stood joyfully and prayerfully around the memorial site to pay tribute to Sr. Pat, a beautiful part of our Villa heritage.
   In December 2013, Sr. Pat asked Charlene Lee if she would take care of her bamboo plant. Unknown to Charlene at the time, Sr. Pat would be moving from the Villa, a move that would be an everlasting one.
   The bamboo was planted in the Villa North yard and this summer Bernadette made the beautiful memorial stone, on which she placed Sr. Pat's picture and inscribed the dates of her birth and death and the words, "ONE OF A KIND". Fr. Anthony, after learning of the memorial, chose to come and bless it.
   Sr. Pat is remembered as always having a smile that warmed the hearts of her fellow residents. She brought sunshine into the lives of those whom she encountered on a daily basis. She was naturally compassionate and one who saw the needs of many; often reaching out to them before they themselves knew they had a need.
   Sr. Pat was and will always remain "one of a kind" in the hearts and minds of the residents of the Villa Francisco.
   We have no doubt she rests in peace!


Migrant Center to hold film festival

   From September 15 to 19, 2014, The Migrant Center at the Church of St. Francis of Assisi, 31st Street, New York City, will hold its First Indie and Foreign Film Festival at the San Damiano Hall. We will screen socially relevant films, with themes ranging from human trafficking and immigration to the conflict in Syria.

   Tickets are free and the event is open to the public. For more information please visit:, call (212) 736-8500 extension 377, or send an email to


Library recommends free e-books and language programs

By: Diane Winger, Motherhouse librarian


   Did you know that Project Gutenberg,, has over 45,000 e-books that anyone can download to their computer or Kindle and read for free with no due dates attached?  If you spot an interesting title, let me know so I can add it to our library's Kindles. The e-books include fiction and non-fiction in many languages besides English.  For our Brazilian Sisters, here is the link to the Portuguese collection:  Our Bolivian Sisters can download Spanish titles at .

   If you would like to learn to speak a little Portuguese or Spanish, there is a solution!  Ellen Winger, our archivist, recommends going to and clicking on a language link at the bottom of the screen.  This fun and free interactive online program can teach you Brazilian Portuguese or Latin American Spanish starting with the basics. It includes pictures, print, and audio so you hear and see each new word or phrase.  If English is your second language, you can improve your American English vocabulary at . Beginners will need to sign up with a username and password - just like an email account. Who knows where learning a little of each other's languages will lead? Let's give our brains some exercise!  Be brave - give it a try.  Obrigada and cuidate!


 From the Archives

 Yesterday (Sept. 7th) marked the 49th Anniversary of the sisters' arrival in Bolivia! On September 7th, 1965, Sisters Marie Patrice Gallagher, Karen Burns, Rita Frances Guarasci, and Virginia May landed in La Paz to begin preparing for their mission in Mapiri, a rural community several hours from the capital. After studying Spanish with the Poor Clares in Coroico for several months, the sisters arrived in Mapiri, where Sister Marie Patrice served as Superior, Sisters Karen and Rita Frances served as teachers, and Sister Virginia served as a nurse in a small clinic. The Allegany Franciscans would remain in Mapiri until 1968, when they relocated to the town of Carmen Pampa. Today, Sisters Elvira and Mar�a continue to serve in La Paz, where they teach religion and minister to the underprivileged.

 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: 

September 17 - Second September edition e-newsletter
October 8 - First October edition e-newsletter
October 22 - Second October edition e-newsletter
November 15 - Winter edition, Allegany Connections