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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 4.07
April 11, 2016
Profession of St. Francis (April 16)

April 16 is a day of celebration for all Franciscans!

On April 16, 1210 Pope Innocent III agreed to meet with Francis and the first brothers. Initially Pope Innocent had doubts about these simple beggars whose only desire was to live the gospel in poverty and humility. Innocent, following a dream in which he saw a beggar who he believed to be Francis holding up the Basilica of St. John Lateran, he decided to bless and approve this new movement and their Rule of Life.

May we continue to walk in poverty, simplicity and humility holding onto the Gospel and love for the Incarnate Christ. Let us celebrate and live Francis' dream for goodness and peace for all people and for all creation. Happy feast day!

House of Prayer Update
By: Kathie Uhler, OSF

   Greetings to All in this Easter and (coming) Passover Season! I write this from my convent in New York to let you know that the House of Prayer for All People is alive and well - in my mind and heart - and that I have fully recovered from my sciatic nerve problem of over a year ago.
   More than all of that, please allow me to say a big "Thank You!" to each of you who have been so faithful and committed these many months to the concept and the development of the HoP.  I am truly humbled and encouraged, astonished even, when you have taken the initiative to approach me personally with your concerns and well-wishes for yours truly and the project. I believe that these encounters are of God and bring blessings and energy to me to go on.
   What is there to say since my last official Update of April 24, 2015? In some ways I withheld this Update while waiting for that one big, positive thing to happen to be its centerpiece. This positive thing - viz., a new location for the HoP outside of Israel - has not happened.
Understandably, perhaps, my contacts in Jordan, Lebanon and Palestine have fallen silent. Yet, I guess in my naivité I wanted to press on:  to follow up invitations from contacts on the ground and fly "there" to scout for a suitable site, as I did in February and March 2014. 
Interestingly, some other sites have presented themselves, made attractive especially through their proponents.
   One is Saint-Denis in France. This is the site of the Muslim cell from which the plans to terrorize Paris were laid. My contact, who has worked there for many years, says there is a Muslim community in Saint-Denis who are much in favor of activities for reconciliation and peace.    To follow up with this suggestion, I contacted a French Franciscan friar, a long-time friend, now based in Avignon. He responded by saying  that there were enough religious leaders in the region who would understand how important such houses of prayer would be for accepting each other and to spend time praying together.
   Another location could be Cuba. Some of the Core Group of the HoP had suggested this some time ago and looked into how we might get an entrée into the country. Subsequently, I met two Cuban guys in a sports bar, one of whom was very interested and said he knew a lobbyist in Cuba who could help. Not much has happened with this contact beyond a couple of emails. I include it to show you that I do indeed follow up on leads. One never knows when and where the graces will come!
   Other sites with strong, on-the-ground backing are in Baltimore and here in New York City; and I made attempts to establish Franciscan contacts in Assisi.  I also offered the HoP project for a West Bank site to a congregation of sisters who have a ministry there. They visited me in Jericho in the Fall of 2014 when I was there rehabbing a house for the HoP. They are in full accord with the Mission Statement. Their leadership has not given them the go-ahead as yet.
   Why haven't any of these locations gotten off the drawing board? For one thing, my life has become encumbered, especially since last summer (2015) with several role responsibilities: the presidency of the Franciscan Federation of the Sisters and Brothers of the Third Order Regular of the US; the local minister's position at the convent where I live; and membership on my religious congregation's General Chapter Planning Committee, with monthly face-to-face meetings till that event in late July this summer.
   I accepted these commitments because I saw that I had the time while waiting for the Kairos** moment to establish the HoP. Now, perhaps these commitments are serving as a distraction from a grace? One never knows: I must go on from day to day in the belief of my fidelity to the will of God.
   On the plus side, the HoP has been incorporated in New York State as a not-for-profit charitable organization. Papers are being readied to file with the IRS for tax exempt status. And I am into the fourth year of a five-year ban on entry into Israel. So, who knows? I may out-live that ban.
   I need to hear from you. What do you think of all of this? What's the best bet? Where else would you see the HoP? Would you be interested in volunteering for any one of these possible sites? Or other?
Sr. Margaret Mary celebrates Golden Jubilee in Brazil
By: Sr. Terezinha de Jesus Oliveira

    How can we put into words so significant an event? 
   In a house filled with joy and gratefulness, we celebrated the Golden Jubilee of Sr. Margaret Mary Kimmins, a woman who embodies God's tenderness, giving, joy, and commitment, bringing to life the great task of Sr. Teresa O'Neil. 
   Having her in Brazil to celebrate her day of Thanksgiving for his call to Consecrated Life, was a testament to the friendship that God has blessed us with, and which will be forever in our memories. 
   All of the sisters of Brazil want to thank Sr. Margaret for coming to celebrate with them, because we know it is a challenge to leave the numerous commitments she faces and travel internationally, with all of the annoyances it brings with it. 
   Father, bless her in her life. 

Mother Earth Day

   April 22 is Mother Earth Day. 
   This year marks the 46th year of a movement that continues to inspire, challenge, and motivate people to action. International Mother Earth Day promotes a view of Earth as the entity that sustains all living things found in nature. It honors Earth as a whole and human beings place within it. More information is available at:

    Doing something to celebrate with your community or Parish? Let us know! Please send your stories and photos to Denise Bunk-Hatch, communications director, at

Join us in honoring Mother Earth and Sister Water
   The Franciscan Sisters of Allegany will be hosting an interfaith celebration in honor of Mother Earth Day on Saturday, April 23, from 11 a.m. to noon in Olean's Franchot Park. 
   In light of Pope Francis' encyclical,
Laudato Si: Care for our Common Home, and in solidarity with the people of Flint, MI; Hoosick Falls, NY; and all those who suffer with polluted water, the Franciscan Religious Communities of WNY invite you to pray, learn, and enjoy the gift of our Sister Water. 
   For more information on the event, please contact Sr. Liz Schumacher at
   This event is being co-sponsored by the Buffalo Diocesan Care for Creation Committee. 
Mt. Irenaeus Spring Service and Reflection Day

   It's that time of year again when we are making ready for the newness of Spring at the Mountain!  
   We could use your help if you might have a few hours to give on Saturday, April 23rd.  Details are in the flyer below (or the exact same one is attached if you are having trouble viewing this).  
     We have indoor and outdoor projects for all abilities.  
     Bring friends or feel free to forward this email - the more hands, the lighter the work - either respond to this email or call the Mountain to let us know how many are coming so we can plan for work and meals.
     We hope to see you at the Mountain two weeks from this Saturday!  Contact Fr. Lou for more details if you're considering spending the night - 585-973-2470 .

 From the Archives

Don't look now, but creative things are happening in the Heritage Room at the Motherhouse! We're so excited to finally be bringing this display to life! Stop by to check out progress, and stay tuned for more updates!

Upcoming deadlines: 

April 20, 2016 - Second edition e-newsletter