News and Events
In This Issue
The Franciscan Spirituality Committee now has a blog! All current and previous reflections can be found there.
Allegany Franciscans Website
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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 3.21
November 23, 2015
Feast of All Saints of the Seraphic Order (November 29)
November 29th is the feast of all the Saints of the Seraphic Order. As Franciscans, we honor those who embraced and lived the Evangelical way that inflamed the hearts of Francis and Clare. We commit ourselves to walk in the footsteps of Christ and embrace gospel living so that Christ is birthed anew in and for our world. 

We hear this call of Christ today, be attentive that your hearts do not become drowsy with the anxieties of daily vigilant at all times and pray for the strength to escape the tribulations that are imminent so to stand before the Son of God. 

Francis, Clare, and all Seraphic Saints, pray for us!
Bolivian Anniversary week kicks off a year of celebration
By: Denise Bunk-Hatch, Communications Director

   Sr. Margaret Mary Kimmins recalls the first words Sisters Maria Miranda and Elvira Donaldson said to her when she stepped off her plane into Bolivia the last week of September. 
   "This is a dream come true," they said. 
   For the only two Allegany Franciscans serving in Bolivia, having so many Sisters present at once was a source of great joy. "It was really something," Sr. Margaret Mary recalled as she reflected on the time she and a number of other Sisters spent celebrating the 50th anniversary of the congregation's mission in the South American country. 
    For the full recounting of the Bolivian Anniversary Celebration, see the Winter 2015 edition of Allegany connections , to be released the second week of December.
All Saints Day chapel display
By: Barbara Bartkowiak, OSF, St. Elizabeth Motherhouse Sacristan 

   During the month of November the sisters were invited to place pictures or remembrance cards of people who have died on Mary's altar.
   Seventeen pictures of sisters who have died since last September were placed on this side altar, along with many pictures of family members.
   The Paschal Candle burns off to the side to remind all of us that these, and all who have died, are in eternity with the Risen Christ.
   This religious practice drew the sisters closer together as we all shared in the loss and remembrance of past loved ones.
The Sultan and the Saint - Upcoming Docudrama
  By: Margaret Magee, OSF
President and Chair of the Board of the Franciscan Action Network

   Friday, November 12, 2015, the day the bombings in Paris killed 128 people and injured hundreds more will be a date similar to September 11, 2001, remembered for the violence and senseless killings by extremist terrorists. For many people it may also reinforce mistrust and fear of Muslims, with attitudes that quickly move to prejudice and the stereotyping of all Muslin people as untrustworthy and radical.
    The following day, November 13, 2015, I was honored to attend a fundraising event in New Brunswick, NJ, for the Unity Productions Foundation ( ). The event gathered hundreds of Muslim men, women, and youth, along with others representing various faith communities in the area, to hear about the work of the foundation and a special upcoming production of a docudrama entitled The Sultan and the Saint, to be available in the fall of 2016.
    Unity Productions Foundation (UPF), a nonprofit organization, began in 1999 with the mission of creating peace through the media. UPF develops films to promote education with the hope of increasing dialogue and understanding among people of different faiths and cultures, especially among Muslims and other faiths.  
    Recently, UPF and the Franciscan Action Network (FAN) began a partnership to promote this new film, and more importantly, to work together in peacemaking and the building of relationships where  all people are sisters and brothers united in our one God.  
    The opportunity to attend this gathering with Patrick Carolan, Executive Director of FAN and his wife Stella, FAN Board member Kelly Moltzen, and two Aston Franciscan Sisters was a reminder of our rich Franciscan tradition and spirituality of being instruments and the presence of peace and hope in a world darkened by hatred and violence.   

An Update from Vocations
  By: Colleen Brady, OSF

   C ongratulations to Sister Liz Schumacher on her First Profession of Vows  and to Sister Margaret Mary Foley on her Final Profession of Vows. 
   May we continue to pray for vocations to religious life!
Did you know?
   Did you know that in the USCCB/CARA Profession Class of 2014, 21% of women and 24% of men were encouraged by parishioners to consider a vocation to religious life before entering religious life? (NRVC)
   Are we continuing to be aware, open and willing to ask the question?
Who Do You Say We Are?
   Thank you for the thoughtful responses to the question asked at the recent Assemblies: Who do you say we are?  It was heartening to read the responses and confirm our awareness of the vibrant, prayerful, service-oriented community of women religious that we continue to be!  Here are just a few of the responses. Watch for more of the responses in the future.
  • Women following the gospel, in the footprints of Jesus, in harmony with all creation.
  • Women striving to make a difference, helping people become aware of the Love that is theirs.
  • Joyfully serving the Lord and loving and welcoming all.
  • Ecclectic group of women, who share great pride in having sisters in Bolivia, Jamaica and Brazil and we strive to be instruments of peace and justice, no matter where we are.

FSA Vocations Facebook Page
   Check out our new Vocations Facebook page at  We recently received two inquirers from this site!
Meeting with Brother Basil
   Lucy Cardet, Michele Dolyk, Jo Streva and I had a wonderful meeting with Brother Basil, OFM during his time in Miami.  We compared notes and committed to finding ways to work together in this special ministry.  And, of course, we had some good laughs.  We look forward to working with the friars!
   Let us remember to prayer for our Affiliates, Elysee Mpasi Manshia in Miami, Tenicea Hewitt in Kingston, those in Brazil and all who are discerning a religious vocation. 

 From the Archives
   Today, the Ambiance Committee - with the help of the Maintenance Department and Brother David Haack, OFM -constructed the first of a series of wall displays that will illustrate the history of the Congregation. The first wall - which depicts the foundation of the Congregation, the first convent, and Rev. Mo. Teresa O'Neil - can now be found next to the reception desk at St. Elizabeth Motherhouse! Stay tuned for more Heritage Wall updates; more walls are in the works!

Upcoming deadlines: 

December 9, 2015 - First edition e-newsletter
December 23, 2015 - Second edition e-newsletter