News and Events
Issue 2.19
October 13, 2014
In This Issue
Sr. Liz reflects on time at St. Francis Inn
Sr. Gloria participates in Climate Change March
Motherhouse Pope Wall
House of Prayer update
Franciscan Spirituality

Shared Reflections

We invite you to share reflections of your own spiritual journey and insights through prose, poetry, music, photography and art. Email us your  submissions. We look forward to hearing from you!
Quick Links
Allegany Franciscans Website
Like us on Facebook

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! 

Motherhouse Employees Recognized

   St. Elizabeth Motherhouse celebrated Employee Appreciation Week the week of September 15 to 19, 2014. This annual event is intended to express the appreciation and gratitude of the Sisters to the employees who serve the Motherhouse so faithfully.

   As part of this celebration, a special dinner was celebrated in the dining room of St. Elizabeth's on Tuesday, September 16. Family and friends were invited to join the sisters in honoring those employees being recognized for their years of service.

   The following honorees were awarded with an appreciation certificate and gift:


20 years: 

Sally Fye

15 years: 

Donna Blue, Lynn Mett, Elizabeth Rodgers, Mary Hennings

10 years: 

Dolores Marvin, Patricia Friedhaber

5 years: 

Andrea Calloway, Carolyn Chase, Teresa Rau, Neva Murcin, Debra Loop



All I really need to know, I saw at St. Francis Inn
By: Liz Schumacher, OSF
 St. Francis Inn is located in the Kensington section of Philadelphia and has been serving meals to the needy since 1979. The Inn serves between 350 and 400 meals a day, with one dinner per day, and three breakfast meals a week. The Franciscan Sisters of Allegany have had a presence at the Inn since 1979, beginning with Sr. Mary Lawrence Scanlon, and continuing on until today. Sr. Mary Augustini marked 27 years of service at the Inn in September, and says she is still going strong. 
  If you are reading this and have been to St. Francis Inn, you well know what I am saying. If you haven't been there, maybe this is your invitation to go and find out for yourself. It is an amazing place and not to be missed on your Christian journey. Considering the Holy Land? Assisi? Lourdes? Consider St. Francis Inn! It is truly a remarkable place. 
   I came to spend this past June at the Inn to volunteer and see what goes on there. Here are just a few of the many noteworthy things I saw. 
   On a mid-afternoon before the Inn opened for supper, a woman and her two children came to the back door. The core team member in charge of the back door let them into the dining room where they were waiting. The mother was very quiet, looking worried and sad. The children, a boy about nine and a girl slightly older, were quiet too, and well behaved. The family was leaving an abusive home situation and the Inn was helping to arrange a place for them to stay. My heart went out to them and to the courage of the mother for taking these hard steps. Helping amid such heartache is an everyday affair at the Inn, where those in difficult circumstances are met with love, respect, and whatever tangible help the Inn can offer. Continue reading
Sr. Gloria participates in Climate March
By: Gloria Oehl, OSF

   As the Congregational delegate to the Tri-State Coalition for Responsible Investment, Sr. Gloria Oehl participated in the recent New York City March on Climate Change, collaborating with other members of the Tri-State Coalition CRI, Franciscan Action Network, Friars, PaxChristi-Metro NY, and many other faith-based groups to call on the United Nations Member States to take climate change seriously with action. Participation in such efforts is one way to carry out our Chapter initiative to protect and promote care of Mother Earth. 
   Environmental concerns are also part of Sr. Gloria's ongoing work on Corporate Responsibility for the Congregation. This work entails studying the companies in which we are invested to hold them accountable for the impact of their business on activities in terms of environment, as well as social and governance areas. One way to do this is to see that shareholder resolutions, such as requests for reporting on green practices, just labor treatment, and executive compensation are supported through proxy voting. 
   To learn more about the Tri-State Coalition for Responsible Investment, go to their website, 
Motherhouse Pope Wall shows the Glory of God
By: Vicki Masterpaul, OSF

"The glory of God is the person fully alive." 

  This familiar quote from St. Irenaeus stands at the base of nine vividly inspiring photos of Pope Francis at the end of the east corridor of the Motherhouse chapel. The display, which faces the formal portrait of Pope Francis on the opposite wall, is being affectionately and enthusiastically described by visitors, staff, and sisters as our "Pope Wall." 
   Not too long after Pope Francis' election, he was interviewed at length by Antonio Spodaro, SJ, for AMERICA magazine. Early on in that encounter, Father Spodaro points out that Pope Francis' spirituality focuses on the human faces of Jesus, St. Francis, St. Joseph, and Mary. Pope Francis' choice of a name is borne out strongly not only in his beliefs, but also in his actions. 
   As Franciscans it is understandable that many of us choose to center on the fact that Pope Francis repeatedly reaches out, as St. Francis did, in such a loving human way to the sick, the down-trodden, the misunderstood and rejected, as well as in a joyous, humorous manner. Hopefully, these nine photos mirror this fact and will inspire us to look at our own lives and choices in the day-to-day. 
   May we strive to be women and men becoming more and more fully alive!
House of Prayer update  
By: Kathie
 Uhler, OSF
  Greetings from Jericho, the oldest city on earth at 10,000 years!
   Thank you for your interest in the House of Prayer for All People in Jericho. We are in the very early stages of establishing a Prayer Room and a Hospitality Room within the residence that a friend of mine has offered to the HoP, rent free. 
   Her home (and she wishes to remain anonymous) has been vacant for two years, since she was denied return by Israel for her human rights work with the flotillas at Gaza. 
   Thus her garden was overgrown, parts of the grounds and outside of the building were vandalized, and the interior was loaded with sand and traces of "critters" that sought shelter there. 
   The attached photo shows some of the damage and how we are progressing, after just over two weeks. Yes, there is a pool, but it may morph into a mini-theater. 
   Some  have asked where to send checks to support the project. Please make checks payable to "House of Prayer" and mail them to my home address: 
Kathie Uhler, OSF
190 Prince Street
New York, NY 10012
   The kind sisters there are watching for checks and making deposits while I am away. 

Sr. Kathleen Stagnaro celebrates 60th anniversary
By: Joan Carberry, OSF

   On Sunday, September 7, St. Paul Catholic Church and School celebrated the 60th anniversary for Sr. Kathleen Stagnaro. Several Sisters from the Tampa Bay area, along with some members of Leadership, and former students of Sr. Kathleen - several who now have children in the school - joined in this celebration. 
   The standing-room-only crowd filled the church to witness Sr. Kathleen and Sr. William Margaret recommit to their vows. A brunch followed in the school gymnasium. 
   Sr. Kathleen taught at St. Paul School for 10 years before becoming Principal for 11 years. 
Refugee gardeners harvest familiar produce

Submitted by: Mary Lou Lafferty, OSF

Excerpt taken from article from the Diocese of Camden 


   Ten Burmese refugees listened intently as master gardeners Rebecca Szkotak and Chris Waldron offered nuggets of gardening wisdom. The Burmese' community gardens will benefit next spring from the gardeners' advice on composting, rain water collection and, especially, keeping away those pesky turkeys.

   The garden training took place on Oct. 2 at the Camden County Environmental Park in Gloucester Township. Rebecca Szkotak is the Agricultural Program Associate for the Rutgers Master Gardeners program, a volunteer-based training and certification program through the Rutgers Cooperative Extension that "provides educational programs and activities in support of environmentally responsible home gardening."

    Chris Waldron, the county's Office of Sustainability Director, is a gardener and farmer himself and works with the program. Together Szkotak and Waldron gave the Burmese gardeners a tour of the environmental park, with its greenhouse, composting system, rain water collection barrels, and raised garden beds.



 From the Archives

Boxes and folders and papers, oh my! What DOES an archivist do in her office, anyway? Lately, I've been unpacking and organizing paper records to be easily accessible for research. In this box, you can see that I've been processing the Archives' collection of Zeal, published by St. Elizabeth's Mission Society. Every year that Zeal is published gets its own folder. Since Zeal has been in publication since 1952, that means a LOT of folders! Every folder also bears a unique identification number, which will allow for easy cataloging and access of the materials. In the coming months, much of the material in the Archives will be receiving the same treatment. 


Ellen Winger, 

Congregational Archivist

 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: 

October 22 - Second October edition e-newsletter
November 15 - Winter edition, Allegany Connections