News and Events
In This Issue
Dare to Image
Prayer Retreat
Associate Anniversary blessings
Franciscan Spirituality
Peace Prayer Cards are available to be ordered now! Please see the November 24 Varia email, the Franciscan Spirituality page, or contact Denise Bunk-Hatch to order! 
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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 3.01
January 12, 2015

Temporary Professed Brazilian Sisters 
renew their vows
Pictured from left to right: Congregational Minister Margaret Mary Kimmins; Temporary Professed Marie Donizete, Lilian Cristina, Dayanne; Director of Temporary Professed, Julieta Maria de Carvalho; Temporary Professed, Valdeci and Liliane; and Marinēz Arantes da Silva, Regional Minister of Brazil.
Dare to Image

"This is a transformative moment in the life of the Franciscan Federation. Through the Spirit alive among us, we want to breathe new life into the Franciscan Federation through an evolving organic process...that continues with an effort to encourage reflection, to deepen the spirit of "Dare to Image," and to broaden involvement.  The basic premise: We're a Franciscan family and you're invited to "Widen the Space of your Tent"  to give Franciscan witness and voice."
Artist: Michelle Corliss, OSF

                   Dare to Image - Franciscan Federation Sabbath Monthly Reflections 
As we, the members of the Franciscan Federation, prepare for our Sabbath year let us, individually and communally, enter into prayerful contemplation. May this Sabbath time awaken the unfolding mystery and the challenge before us.
May we Dare to Image!
Choose a song or instrumental music to enter into stillness.
- Spend five minutes in contemplative stillness.
- Read the monthly invitation to prayer and reflection.
- After reflection on the scripture share with another, in community or with a group.
- Enter once again into contemplative stillness.
           - reflect on the Dare to Image exercise with five minutes of silence.
- Share the image or experience that comes to mind.
- Conclude by reverencing this sacred time and the "tent" you have been under. 

       *            *            *            *            *            *            *            *            *            *            *            *            *
January -
Accept the invitation to enter the Sabbath tent, mindful that the Sabbath belongs to God and not to us:
What is Sabbath calling forth in you? 
Ponder the invitational words,

"God presents the Sabbath rest as a shelter we can enter."   

                                                    (adaptation of  Hebrews4)                                                         

In your mind's eye Dare to Image: Peace


We invite you to share your insights and reflections in MUSINGS.  

Email: . Thank you!

Ad Hoc Committee
Dare to Image



A Message from the Franciscan Spirituality Committee

   Since our Fall Assemblies, the Franciscan Spirituality Committee has been eagerly working on the Media, Reflections and Peace Prayer projects outlined at the Assemblies.  In addition, the Committee came together December 3rd to December 6th at St. Clare's Convent in Tampa to continue our work.

   We are delighted to report the following:

  • Peace Prayer Cards - The English version of the Peace Prayer Cards are ready.  To order the cards: 1) go to the website, 2) click on the SPIRITUALITY tab 3) click on "ORDER PRAYER CARDS" 4) print the order form.  Mail the completed form to  

Franciscan Sisters of Allegany/Attn: Denise Bunk-Hatch 

PO Box W 

St. Bonaventure, NY 14778


        The Spanish version of The Peace Prayer Card and order form will be available in the near future. We           encourage you to distribute these prayer cards to your family and friends as well as your social and             church circles. Urge others to pray this prayer each Wednesday (at noon if possible). 

  • Reflections - Beginning in February, each month new reflection writings will be posted along with a quote attributed to or about St. Francis or St. Clare.  You are encouraged to contribute to this effort by writing a short reflection or inviting someone else to write one.  This can also be prose or poetry.  Submissions should be sent to:
  • Retreat -  A one-day four-segment retreat is being designed to reach a broad population.  The retreat is being arranged so that it could be given in a series of four parts. The retreat content is based on the retreat presentations by Pat Klemm and Jane Kopas  at the July Associates' Jubilee CelebrationThe retreat outline will include an opening and closing prayer with questions for reflection and sharing after some of the four component presentations.  These components are: 1) A scripture-based introduction of Jesus and Francis; 2) a brief introduction to Bonaventure's teaching on the Goodness of God; 3) an introduction to Dun Scotus's understanding of Incarnational Theology and 4) Looking to Francis for ways to approach justice issues today.  The presentations on Bonaventure and Scotus will be given via video by Pat Klemm.  A script/outline is being developed to assist facilitators.  We hope to begin these retreats by the Fall of 2015.

Resources for Small Groups -

  • Some initial steps have been taken towards putting together a reflection booklet which will take 12 topics of concern in our world today such as: violence, hunger, addictions, self esteem; entitlement. Each topic will be linked with insights from Franciscan Spirituality and will include prayer and reflection question presented in a format of a couple of pages.  The booklet could be used for small discussion/prayer groups.

    Lastly, if writing something is not your expertise, one of the easiest ways to help is to snap a picture of what moves you.   Grab your camera or phone and take the photo and upload it in an email to:

    The Franciscan Spirituality Committee will be meeting again sometime in June 2015.  Throughout all of these projects we seek to be always mindful of those who are poor or marginalized.  We look for ways to reach out to them.  


Peace and all good,


Franciscan Spirituality Committee

Pat Klemm, chair; Mrs. Betty Keating (Jamaica); Ms. Barbara Horwath (U.S.), Edir de Freitas Pereira (Brazil); Lucy Cardet (formation director); and Marita Flynn, Eleanor Berret, Colleen Brady, and Liz Schumacher (U.S.)



Franciscan Convent holds annual prayer weekend retreat

By: Margaret Mary Foley, OSF


   From January 2-4, the sisters at the Franciscan Convent in Tampa, Florida participated in our annual prayer weekend retreat.  Our sisters who participated were Jeanne Williams, Nancy Christopher, Dorothy Dwyer, Margaret Rumsey and Margaret Foley.  The retreat weekend was facilitated by Maureen R. Connors.  The theme of the retreat was "Called by Name to Be Who We Are:  How Do We Mature and Embrace Transformation".  We began and ended our retreat with prayer and sharing the sign of peace with each other.  Throughout the retreat we had quiet time and conversation time to look at:

  • Where Are We Now?  We shared what is true in our lives right now: personally and as a community.  We discussed our personal and community needs.  We participated in a healing ritual and ended with prayer.
  • How Did We Get Where We Are Now?  We shared the stories of our original vocation call and how this call has been changed and deepened.  We dialogued about what it means to mature in our vocation. 
  • Exploring our Transformative Experiences:  We harvested our life stories. We shared how we matured and were transformed.  We shared what helps or hinders our maturing.
  • Our Desires for Continued Personal and Communal Transformation: We shared our reflections on what God desires for each of us and as a community for the New Year.
Associate Anniversary blessings continue


My dear sisters all,


   The 25th Anniversary celebration of the Associates of the Allegany Franciscans has been richer for me than I could ever have imagined.  The salutation  of this letter really says it all.  Dear Sisters, how often I have written that phrase, but until now it had little real meaning for me.  All of you, associates, sister, participants in the celebration, residents of the Motherhouse, and staff, you have been instruments of Grace for me. 

   Let me try to explain.  When my husband, Bob,and I married 62 years ago neither of us had any idea what family life was.  Strange, yes, but not that unusual.  I was raised an only child by a widowed mother who had to work long hours to provide for us.  Bob, also an only child, was raised by his grandparents because his mother and father either couldn't or wouldn't make room in their lives for him.  His upbringing was much more emotionally impoverished than mine.  We sometimes call our large family over compensation for lonely childhoods. 

   There are many miracles in our story.  First is probably that we managed, with considerable help, to stay together all these years.   Then there are our eight children, 17 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.  What a crowd from such a beginning.  Perhaps most amazing is that they are, for the most part, happy evolving human beings.  God has always been active in our lives as we stumbled along learning how to be family. 

   For myself, the relationships among siblings has remained a mystery.  I clearly remember one day when two of our daughters were squabbling, not fighting or being mean, just bickering.  I asked them to be nice to one another.  They replied that they didn't have to because they were sisters.  Until this weekend I couldn't really understand that relaxed intimacy or security in relationship.

   This is a long and perhaps complicated way of saying thank you to all of you.  In another miracle, our loving God has, through your joy, diversity, and gentleness of Spirit healed a place within me that limited my freedom to be wholly (or holy) present to others.  Each and every one of you who smiled, greeted, or hugged me have given me that gift.  You have been the instrument of the healing power of God for me.  I hope that I will never forget the power of a simple act of acknowledgement as I go forward trying to follow Jesus in the footsteps of Francis and Clare. 

   May the God who made us for unity within the God-head, with one another and within ourselves be with each of you.  Know that you will always have a place in my heart and so in my prayers.


Peace and all good,


Pat Simmons

New Jersey Associate


 From the Archives
   On Thursday, at our monthly Archives talk at the Motherhouse, we had a special discussion and demonstration of the old and modified habits worn by the sisters. With the help of Denise Bunk-Hatch, Communications Director, and Sister Carlina Tronconi, both styles of habit were modeled and discussed.
   First, the sisters present instructed and assisted us as we put the old habit onto our lovely model, Denise. Many different pieces go together to create this traditional look, including:

Black underdress
Brown dress ( floor length)
Black undersleeves
White face piece
White head piece
Black veil

   As they helped us dress Denise, the sisters shared their memories of wearing the old habit. Some confessed to surreptitiously removing the hot undersleeves, while others gave us tips on how to sneak through school hallways silently without jangling the beads!
   Next, Sister Carlina modeled her white modified habit, which she made for herself to wear to work in a hospital in 1969. Introduced in 1968, the modified habit provided a wider array of styling choices as well as greater comfort than the traditional habit. Sister Carlina's habit consists of:

White dress (calf-length)
Short white veil
White stockings
White shoes

   Following our demonstration, Denise and Sister Carlina toured the Motherhouse to visit the sisters in their habits. The sisters were somewhat divided on which habit they preferred. While many do not miss the complexity of the discomfort of the old habit, some do miss the instantly recognizable aesthetic of the traditional habit. No matter which look you prefer, however, an Allegany Franciscan is most easily identified by her joyful spirit!


Upcoming deadlines: 

January 21, 2015 - Second January edition of e-newsletter
February 15, 2015 - Spring Edition Allegany Connections deadline