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Allegany Franciscans Website
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CL Meetings
July 11, July 26, August 15

Assembly Planning Committee (APC) Meeting
July 17 via Zoom
LCWR Assembly
August 8-12, Orlando, FL

Issue 5.13
July 10, 2017
Feast of St. Bonaventure (July 15)

Today is the feast of St. Bonaventure of Bagnoregio, seventh Minister General of the Order of Friars Minor. Bonaventure was born Giovanni and in his own writings recorded the event of being gravely ill as a young child, regained his health through his mother's prayerful intercession to St. Francis of Assisi. He also recorded that his name originated from the prophetic words of St. Francis."O Buo na ventura" (O good fortune!)

Bonaventure became one of the greatest Italian medieval Franciscan scholastic theologians and philosophers. His leadership guided the Order on a moderate and intellectual course that made them the most prominent Order in the Catholic Church. His theology was marked by an attempt to completely integrate faith and reason. 

"If you do not know your own dignity and condition, you cannot value anything at its proper worth." - St Bonaventure

Franciscan Federation Presidential Address
By: Kathie Uhler OSF, Franciscan Federation Conference President

   How do you open a conference on Saint Bonaventure's "Itinerarium", knowing that our speakers, André Cirino OFM, Josef Raischel OFS, and Joanne Schatzlein OSF, will lead us carefully and even "sense-ably" around and into deep theological and philosophical waters?
   I recall entering a private Easter retreat at our Ritiro in Allegany many years ago, coming directly from a semester break at St. Bonaventure University, where I was teaching in the Philosophy Department. With gusto I delved into my personal retreat text, "The Triple Way" of St. Bonaventure. But truly, by day three, I was on the brink of a physical and mental collapse! "The Triple Way" overwhelmed me. I couldn't get my head around it, nor did I even have the requisite physical energy to tackle this dense text with the deceptively simple name. It was hubris on my part to attempt such a thing, but I didn't know it then.
   And so it is with hard-won humility that I sit at the feet of our keynoters and with great respect await their tutelage.
   Perhaps what I can offer at the start of our journey are some reflections on a sort of obliquely related concept that is more within my comfort zone - the idea of a tool that one might use to a very helpful extent as we move through the weekend. The tool is democratized mysticism. Or democratic mysticism, without any political spin. This is a term I distilled from a book by Dorothee Söelle titled, "The Silent Cry: Mysticism and Resistance." 

A Chance for a New Beginning - Dwelling Place of NY appeal

   For almost half a century, the Dwelling Place of NY has offered women in need a chance for a new beginning, the power to change their own lives.  Since its foundation in 1977, the Dwelling Place has assisted 3,000 women with housing in their time of need, as well as providing 80,000 meals to the needy women of the local area. 
   Now, they're hoping the generosity of like-minded people will help them continue for the next 40 years. The Dwelling Place receives no city or federal funding for its work, relying solely on donations. In honor of their 40th anniversary, the Dwelling Place has a goal of raising $250,000 this year. The total cost of operations for providing and administering services from March 1, 2016 - February 28, 2017 was $365,600, and funded assistance 33 women and the provision of 12,700 meals. 
   "We are grateful to you, our community of support," said Sr. Joann Sambs, CSA, Dwelling Place President. "With your assistance, the Dwelling Place continues to be a beacon of light and hope on 40th Street. From our ladies, 'thank you for saving my life.'"
   In addition to the anniversary year fund drive, the Dwelling Place is holding a calendar raffle during the month of September. More information can be found here.
   Donate online to the fund drive here.

Where there is doubt, faith
By: Judith Terrameo OSF
The following is the third in a series of reflections by the Franciscan Spirituality Committee on the Peace Prayer of St. Francis. These reflections will be shared in future editions of the e-newsletter. 

    Every Thursday I do chaplain ministry at the Neighborhood Center, a clinic for the poor operated by Mount St. Mary's Hospital, in the center of Niagara Falls, NY. The clinic services about 75-80 clients a day. I spend time in the waiting room, visiting with clients who are waiting for their medical appointments. I am often amazed at how open and honest people are with me in the sharing of their life stories.
   Recently, the first client I had an opportunity to speak with had her life altered within a matter of minutes when a drunken driver T-boned her car at an intersection. It took nearly 45 minutes to get her out of the car. She had numerous broken bones and a head injury. The client (54-years-old) mentioned that she had numerous surgeries and had to learn how to walk and talk again.  She still has difficulty with memory and recall, as well as an inability to walk without the use of a cane or walker. When asked how she managed to work through this difficult time in her life, the client noted, "God was with me." She told me that it was her faith that got her through this difficult time in her life, and God who continues to give her the strength that she needs each day of her life now.
   Later that same day I had the opportunity to meet another client who underwent a similar life-altering event when he collapsed under a heavy beam he was lifting at his work place. His back snapped, leaving him debilitated. This client (in his mid-60's) felt that God abandoned him; that God had punished him; that God had no concern for him.
   As I pondered these two visits later that evening, I had a deep sense of sadness for the gentleman who felt that God had abandoned him.  I wondered, how does one assist another in discovering faith amidst their doubt?
   I often pray that my way of being with another in his/her struggle can help them come to a place of belief and faith in God because of my acceptance of them and my compassionate presence will help them to meet the compassion presence of the One who cares deeply and who loves deeply.

Gratitude Online Course

     Gratitude is a feel good topic; everyone wants to be more grateful and to learn more about gratitude. But I have to warn you that it can also be hard work. It is something that you have to practice every day.  Some days you'll really want to practice and other days you won't care and yet, if you intend to develop an attitude of gratitude, you'll still have to do it.  It takes a strong commitment and some even suggest that it necessitates a life-long commitment, like a VOW. What we know for sure is that gratitude has the power to heal, to energize and to change lives. Gratitude, in and of itself, changes everything.
   The above paragraph is from the online course "Gratitude". Created by Sr. Julia Keegan of the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia, this course is free and available to all. We encourage you to take some time to open your heart to the importance of gratitude in your life. You can find the course here

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August 9, 2017 - First August edition e-newsletter
August 23, 2017 - Second August edition e-newsletter
PLEASE NOTE: Due to scheduling conflicts, there will be ONE e-newsletter in July (released on July 10). The next newsletter will be released on August 14. Thank you!