News and Events
Issue 2.21
November 11, 2014
In This Issue
Update from Roberta Brunner, OSF
AFM Common Good Initiative
CHE Invites you to 100 Days of Prayer
Franciscan Spirituality

From Teddy Altreuter:

   I have been a Franciscan Associate (Calabash, NC), for 12 years.  Over that period of time I have been fortunate enough to have been to the Motherhouse and to Tampa for meetings, retreats and celebrations but this October was my first Assembly.

  As always, there was much wisdom and spirituality to share.  As always, there was much friendship and love among new friends and long- time friends but this time I sat next to Sister William Margaret whom I had never met before and what a remarkable new friend she turned out to be.


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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! 
Feast of St. Elizabeth

Happy feast of St. Elizabeth! 
   Born and married into royalty, Elizabeth was not caught up with status, privilege and power. Her husband, Ludwig IV of Thuringia supported her charitable services to those who were poor and in need. After his death she continued her life in penitential service.
   Elizabeth lived Franciscan simplicity, poverty and compassion. May her life and witness guide our actions and in service with others.

All Saints Day - All Souls Day in Bolivia
By: Roberta Brunner, OSF


   Buenas Tardes!

   Last week was quite a week.  I'll begin with Wednesday when we went to visit Maria's sister, Yola, high above downtown LaPaz.  We were invited for tea.  To begin Yola and her two daughters Clara and Teresa had recently moved from the 11th floor to the 10th for a better view.  Wow, the living room was surrounded by windows, and with spectacular views.  Most notable was Mt. Illimani the snow-covered mountain high above La Paz, the highest Capital in the world at over two miles above sea level.  We also had a view of downtown La Paz down the mountain and the cable cars that run from Los Alto to downtown La Paz.  The trip takes about an hour by car and 20 minutes by cable car.  As the sun set the view remained awesome as all the lights of the city and the homes on the side of the mountain were visible.

   We then sat down to tea.  Maria�s sister Yola (82 years young) made all the goodies.  Cinnamon rolls, Ham and Cheese bread, a fried pastry that reminded me of "elephant ears" popular at Fairs and Carnivals, and served with a brown sugar sauce. coconut cookies all most delicious. This table is very much like the one that would be set on All Saints Day when the souls of the departed a called home for the Day of the Dead,  All Souls Day.  Special prayers are said at noon on All Saints Day to welcome the souls, families gather and feast on the food prepared.  At noon on All Saints Day they pray again for the souls to return.

   On Halloween work began on the street to lay the pipe line for the gas so the people can have hot running water in the kitchen and bathroom faucets and sisters will be able to heat with gas.  They dug right across the drive way so the car could not be taken out.  Elvira walked down the hill to Church and took a taxi back. Maria and I had a Communion Service.  Elvira came home with some pastries they were selling at Church for the feast of All Saints and Souls.  She said there were some children and adults dressed up for Halloween.  Since the sisters own their property but don�t pay taxes, they had to go and buy the pipe for the gas line.  Pipe is provided for tax payers. They had a paper with what to buy they walked to the place and came home by taxi.  Short time after they were home they were told they needed to get another piece of pipe so off they went again.  They begged the men to cover the drive so we could go to Mass in the morning which they did.  On our way home from church the street was blocked off on both ends with yellow tape.  No problem they drove up to tape, one got out held up the tape and the other drove through.  By late afternoon they took the tape down and the Sisters were able to go teach CCD.

   On Sunday they were invited by Bishop Del Castilo, to the Papal Legate�s residence for a Day of Prayer for Religious.  They said it was a wonderful day, about 80 sisters were present, several brothers, seminarians and four Bishops.  The day provided prayer time, confession if they chose by the four bishops. The Day of Prayer began and ended with Mass, because priests have privilege of celebrating three masses on All Souls Day. 

   Since All Soul�s Day is a holiday in Bolivia and was on a Sunday this year it is being celebrated today Monday. No school, no Post Office, no Banking. 

Also last week in the grocery store they had things out for Christmas.

It�s coming too fast.  Take care, forward, post, etc this letter.  Again thank you for your e-mails I love hearing from you.


Find all of Sr. Roberta's tales from Bolivia on our website


AFM Common Good Initiative

By: Kathie Hardy, Administrative & Grant Services Coordinator, AFM


  In 1927, the Franciscan Sisters of Allegany, NY came to Miami Beach and began their legacy of founding hospital ministries that were devoted to meeting the needs of their poor, oppressed and disenfranchised sisters and brothers.  Over the years, the ministries grew to encompass three regions of Florida, continuously adapting to changing needs while keeping the values of the Franciscan Sisters of Allegany at their heart.

   In the mid to late 1990s, as the healthcare environment changed, the Sisters looked for ways to continue their ministries in the Florida communities served by the hospitals.  In 1997, the Franciscan Sisters of Allegany joined with the Sisters of Mercy and the Sisters of Providence to help form and sponsor Catholic Health East (CHE), a multi-institutional Catholic health system with ministries in 11 eastern states from Maine to Florida.  At the same time, the Sisters divested certain assets through their Florida healthcare partnerships and created the initial Allegany Franciscan Foundations to serve three regions of Florida-Miami-Dade County, Tampa Bay and Palm Beach, Martin and St. Lucie counties, which later consolidated to create Allegany Franciscan Ministries. A non-profit Catholic organization focused on improving the overall health status of individuals through increasing access to health services and information, Allegany Franciscan Ministries continues to be guided by the tradition and vision of the Franciscan Sisters of Allegany, and is a member of CHE Trinity Health. Allegany Franciscan Ministries provides grants to organizations primarily in three regions of Florida. One of the grant programs, Allegany Community Out Reach (ACOR), provides short-term support to local community projects that are in keeping with the mission, vision, and direction of the Franciscan Sisters of Allegany. Allegany Franciscan Ministries strives to be a catalyst for systemic change, committing resources and working collaboratively to promote physical, mental, spiritual, environmental and cultural health and well-being in these communities.

   In late 2013, after an extensive and thoughtful discernment process, the Allegany Franciscan Ministries Board of Directors approved a new strategic enterprise called the "Common Good Initiative."  In keeping with our mission to serve together in the spirit of the Gospel as a compassionate and transforming healing presence within our communities, the initiative will allow us to work with residents and stakeholders in specific identified communities to create opportunities, develop strategies and make investments that lead to positive health outcomes.

   Evidence suggests that a focused approach in one geographic area will help us leverage resources and make a greater, measurable impact. We hope to utilize our resources to build in-depth relationships in each community, involve residents in creating or developing creative and innovative opportunities, and direct our investments towards the long-term success of those initiatives and programs.  Allegany Franciscan Ministries plans to commit over $6.5 Million to the Common Good Initiative over the next two years, while we anticipate working with communities for at least five to seven years.  The total amount available and flow of resources needed over time may change depending on the community, strategies chosen, and availability of funds.

   Broadly speaking, the goal of the Common Good Initiative is to partner with specific neighborhoods to create healthier, safer, and more prosperous places in which our most vulnerable residents can live, learn, work and play.  

   Allegany Franciscan Ministries' staff, volunteers and community partners announced in June the selection of a "Common Good Community" in each region. The Common Good Communities are:   


Miami-Dade Region: Overtown

Palm Beach Region: Lincoln Park (Fort Pierce, St. Lucie County)

Tampa Bay Region: Wimauma Village (Wimauma, Hillsborough County)


   The three communities are different in many ways, while the opportunities for us to partner with residents to impact lives in the short and long term are significant in each. For example, the Common Good Initiative will be sponsoring a series of visioning sessions in Wimauma, a rural community, to provide Wimaumans the opportunity to have their voices heard. Community meetings in Lincoln Park, a 2 � square mile residential community, have demonstrated a passion for creating a healthier and safer hometown. And in Overtown, a geographically small urban community, we will be supporting the Overtown Children and Youth Coalition to secure an official designation from the state of Florida as a Children's Initiative, a designation that would potentially bring substantial state funding to improve outcomes for children and youth.  

   We will continue to engage members of each community as well as other stakeholders even more deeply in thinking about the best ways we can be involved in that community. We are working with existing coalitions and hosting roundtable events and town hall meetings to gather information and prioritize. We are learning a great deal about the love residents have for their neighbors and neighborhoods, and their intense desire to actively participate in this strategic endeavor in order to improve the health and wellness of their community.  


Catholic Health East invites you to 100 Days of Prayer
Taken from press release from CHA

   You are invited to join with thousands of people across the U.S. Catholic health ministry and beyond who are coming together in prayer for those who are sick or injured and their caregivers.

100 Days of Prayer begins now when you sign up, and culminates at 1 p.m. on Feb. 11, 2015, World Day of the Sick, when the people who have joined this prayer campaign will stop for one powerful minute of collective prayer for healing. World Day of the Sick is an annual observance, initiated by Pope John Paul II, coinciding with the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes.

   Please go to now to sign up to join this prayer event. You can also submit the names (first names only) of those persons who are sick or injured and their caregivers in need of prayer. Each Monday, leading up to Feb. 11, you will receive an email with a unique prayer for your reflection during the week. 

   And help us spread the word about 100 Days of Prayer. Follow CHA's social media posts on FacebookTwitter, and LinkedIn, and share the news about 100 Days of Prayer through your own social media networks. Resources available on the 100 Days of Prayer webpage make it easy to share this event with your social media friends and followers.

   2015 will mark the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Catholic Health Association. 100 Days of Prayer is the inaugural event of the association's Centennial observance. Be a part of this ministry-wide prayer campaign; sign up now at


National Gun Violence Prevention Sabbath
Taken from the LCWR Newsletter   

   The National Gun Violence Prevention Sabbath weekend is being rescheduled to complement Newtown Action's National Vigil for Gun Violence Victims, December 11-14. 
   Approximately 75 congregations of women religious participated in last year's event which was held in March.
   The National Gun Violence Prevention Sabbath weekend has been a cornerstone in the national conversation about gun violence and, specifically, what people of faith can do in their own communities to prevent it. This year, organizers are hoping to strengthen their outreach while also bolstering the efforts of a key partner, Newtown Action.
   As gun violence prevention organizations look to be more effective advocates for policy change, Faiths United has chosen to strengthen its partnerships with organizations such as Newtown Action and to schedule the National Gun Violence Prevention Sabbath weekend to coincide with the anniversary of the tragic Sandy Hook shootings and Newtown Action's National Vigil for Victims of Gun Violence.
    Plans for this year's Sabbath include the National Vigil for Gun Violence Victims at the Washington National Cathedral (and in states across the country) on Thursday, December 11, and an invitation to congregations across the nation to participate via prayer, song, vigils, and education from December 11-14.
   Congregations can pledge to join the Newtown community, and hundreds of religious congregations, the weekend of Dec 11-14 at
   Gun violence prevention resources for religious congregations are available here.


 From the Archives
   This past Thursday, the Archives held its monthly presentation during the morning activities session in the Motherhouse. This month's theme was "What's That Thing"? Sisters were invited to reach into a covered box, feel the artifact inside, and try to guess the object's identity. The process of guessing was very entertaining, and the revealed artifacts prompted a lot of interesting discussion! 
   The sisters and I had a wonderful time talking about an old headpiece that was part of the original Franciscan habit; many sisters had a story to tell about their experience wearing the headpiece and the old habit. Here you can see the headpiece on display in the Library at the Motherhouse. All of the artifacts presented at the activity can be viewed in the library throughout November. Stop by and see if you can guess what they are!
   At the end of the activity, it was decided that December's presentation topic will be "Sisters in Boston," featuring photos, history, and open discussion. Are you interested in stopping by? Contact the Archives at for more details!


 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: 

November 15 - Winter edition, Allegany Connections
November 19 - Second November edition e-newsletter