News and Events
Issue 2.12
June 23, 2014
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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! 
In This Issue
Holy Year Band celebrates 65th Jubilee
Sisters travel in Brazil for assembly and missions visit
Dwelling Place holds annual meeting, welcomes new President
Sr. Ruth Barthle remembers SJH's infancy
Holy Year Band of 1950 reunites to celebrate their 65th jubilee 
By: Roseanne Duffy, OSF

  A reunion is a memorable event in anyone's life. It is a rare occasion when seven out of the eight living sisters from the same Band can get together to celebrate 65 years of Religious Life. The Holy Year Band of 1950 (as they were called) was favored with this rare and special occasion the week of June 8, when Sr. Teresa Sweeney came to the Motherhouse, from Brazil, for a six-day visit and was reunited with six of her bandmates. 
 The only missing member was Sr. Maureen Dorr, who is stationed in Florida. Maureen surely was with her Band in prayer and spirit. 
  To cap the enjoyable visit, a special 65th anniversary party was celebrated in the dining room of the new Health Care Facility. 
   Donuts and cookies were served with both hot and cold drinks. The walls of the dining room resounded with laughter as the Bandmates reminisced. Stories relating to the "old" Motherhouse, summer school, assignments, families and friends, as well as the changes in religious life and in their own lives, were enjoyed. The strong camaraderie, for which the Band of 1950 is famous, is still alive and thriving. 
   On a serious note, the Band felt very blessed to share this precious time. They are grateful to God for their vocations as Allegany Franciscans and their abilities to serve God's people all these years. May God's graces continue to bless the Holy Year Band of 1950. Jubilate Deo!
Sisters Margaret Mary Kimmins and Pat Reid visit Brazil for Assembly and tour of local missions  
By: Margaret Mary Kimmins, OSF


   Sr. Pat Reid and I, Margaret Mary Kimmins, travelled to Brazil in April for the Assembly and to visit three of our local missions.  We began our journey in Cristalandia, the land of Sr. Veronica Mary Louis. We took a picture of the street named after her, and Sr. Teresinha de Jesus Santos shared some of the experiences Veronica had when she started the school.

   We were there for the Palm Sunday services and procession.  We carried our palms, sang hymns, and stopped in front of the Mayor's office, where over the microphone the Bishop preached about the sufferings of our day, especially those of human trafficking. We visited the hospital where Sr. Euripedes dos Santos works. An ambulance had just arrived with a woman in labor.  She gave birth to a stillborn child, as the health services in the area are so far away that she was not able to get prenatal care.  We met with the sisters, who had prepared a wonderful meal, and also met with the local vocation team before heading to Palmas.

 Click here to continue reading, and to view additional photos 

Dwelling Place Annual Meeting Held
By: Margaret Magee, OSF

   The Annual meeting of the Dwelling Place of N.Y. was held on Thursday, June 19th. This meeting was significant as we received the annual report from outgoing President, Margaret Boyle PBVM and the Board Chairperson, Anna Marie Simone. We also welcomed the incoming President JoAnn Sambs, CSA.

   Margaret Boyle's gift of 23 years of selfless service is most evident in her 

presence and compassionate care for the women, the staff and the volunteers of the Dwelling Place and in her assuming the leadership role as President

JoAnn Sambs, CSA

from 2011 to 2014. After the meeting, Margaret used the image of a bridge as she spoke of her role in assisting the board in finding a strong and capable successor who would embody the spirit of the Dwelling Place. Margaret shared that as she leaves the Dwelling Place, it remains a steady light in today's darkness. The mission continues to enable women who are more fragile and unable to survive the shelters in New York City. The women themselves say that they feel safe because rules are enforced and there is a sense of stability. Margaret expressed gratitude for the love and support of the Allegany Franciscans, especially Nancy Chiarello OSF who continues to serve on staff, her own Presentation Community and the Board of Directors, especially Anna Marie, for the staff, volunteers and the courageous homeless women. We are most grateful for Margaret's years of service and her many gifts to the Dwelling Place and to our Allegany Franciscan community.  Her presence, dedication and love will continue to unite us in our shared desire to serve those who are poor and most in need.

   JoAnn Sambs, CSA will begin her term as President of the Dwelling Place on July 1. Members of JoAnn's community, the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Agnes, live with our sisters at St. Anthony Convent while serving in various ministries throughout New York City. The Sisters of St. Agnes, founded in Fond Du Lac, Wisconsin, have ministered in New York City since 1889.

   JoAnn, who has recently completed her term of leadership in her congregation, comes to the Dwelling Place with a rich background in leadership, administration and development. Her gifts, talents, life experiences and gentle presence promise to be valuable assets to all at the Dwelling Place. We welcome and support JoAnn and are grateful for her willingness to serve as President of the Dwelling Place. JoAnn expressed her gratitude for this opportunity to serve and also shared that in accepting this position we not only got her but have her community, too.

   The Dwelling Place, established on the West Side of Manhattan in 1977, is a transitional residence for homeless women. In the Spirit of St. Francis, we provide food and shelter in an atmosphere of love, respect and dignity. Visit our website


Sister Ruth remembers original St. Joseph's Hospital

Submitted by: Arlene McGannon

Originally printed in St. Joseph's Hospital CHAT News


   The year was 1943.  St. Joseph's Hospital was in its infancy, having opened its doors on 7th Ave. and Morgan St. in Tampa, FL, on October 1, 1934.  After only a year-and-a-half at St. Elizabeth Motherhouse in Allegany, NY, a young Franciscan Sister of Allegany was sent to work at the hospital as her first mission.  That nun was Sr. Ruth Barthle.

    "I was just a high school kid," Sr. Ruth recalls.  "I came from a country town - San Antonio, FL.  I always wanted to become a Franciscan."  But her short time at the convent did not prepare her for what would be required of her at SJH.  "It was on-the-job learning," Sr. Ruth said.

    Her first assignment at SJH was working with the woman in charge of purchasing for the hospital, mostly stocking shelves.  "But after three months, the lady left and I was in charge!" Sr. Ruth exclaimed.  She held that position for three years - interviewing salesmen, purchasing food, sheets, even medicines.  "The pharmacist would send me a list and I would buy the medicine," she recalled.

   In 1947, Mother Loretto Mary Ballou, OSF, took over as hospital administrator succeeding Mother Mary Emmanuel Durkee, OSF.  "Sr. Loretto Mary had great vision," Sr. Ruth said.  "She built the wing in the first hospital and she bought the cow pasture where the present hospital is.  She did wonders."

    One of the "wonders" that Sr. Loretto Mary performed was to declare that Sr. Ruth needed to be with patients.  She sent her to work with two physicians doing x-rays.  Eventually, Sr. Ruth was in charge of x-rays.  "We were very busy," she said.  "They all wanted to come to St. Joseph's."

    Sr. Ruth remembers beds lining the halls with screens around them for privacy.  Even when the new wing was added in 1951, they were always full.  "I would get called in the middle of the night to take x-rays," Sr. Ruth said.  "It was great work.  I enjoyed it."

    Like all job descriptions, in addition to taking x-rays, Sr. Ruth occasionally had to fulfill those "other duties as required."  Like one night, during a bad rain storm, she and another Sister had to go on the roof of the chapel and sweep water off the roof to keep it from leaking.  But the assignment she liked best was visiting with patients in the evening.  "I liked that work," she admitted.

    After 10 years at SJH, Sr. Ruth was reassigned to Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in NJ.  From there, she went to Bolivia to help open a Poor Clare Community.  Then she came back to the Tampa Bay area, where she worked at Day Star in St. Petersburg, helping take care of the poor.  She retired in 1975.  But she has fond memories of St. Joseph's.  "I thank God for all the beautiful memories.  I had many wonderful experiences there.  I've had a varied life.  It's been a great life.  God took care of me."

   At the age of 91, Sr. Ruth still lives in Tampa at St. Elizabeth's Convent.


Prayer in preparation for the Associate gathering

Submitted by: Kathy Doyle, associate program co-director


   Walking in the footsteps of Francis and Clare, we pray:


Come Holy Spirit, fill us with the grace and wisdom to know where to place our feet now and in the future, while we give continued faithful attention to Your inspiration in preparation for our gathering in Allegany.  Amen.


   The Associate Program will commemorate its 25th anniversary with a celebratory gathering in Allegany from July 31 to August 4, 2014. 

Holy Name Province elects new administration
 Taken from Holy Name Province 
LOUDONVILLE, N.Y. - The friars of Holy Name Province have a new administration. Last week, at the triennial chapter, they elected Kevin Mullen, OFM, as their 16th Provincial Minister, and Lawrence Hayes, OFM, as Provincial Vicar, as well as new Council made up of three ordained and three non-ordained friars.
 From the Archives

A message to all associates: 

  Peace and all good! For some time now, I've been working on collecting photographs and stories from the Associates, which will be compiled into a special presentation for the Anniversary Celebration in July. Many of the pieces have come together, but I still need your help! To complete this project, I would like to incorporate as many individual contributions as possible. There are several ways that you can help:

  • I have created a short survey which can be found at this link. This survey is completely voluntary, but I would appreciate as much input as I can gather!
  • If you have any pictures of your Associate group at work in service or ministry, would you be willing to share them with me? Email me at to discuss your photos!
  • If you have any thoughts that you would like to share out loud, please consider allowing me to record you sharing them! If you are interested, please send me an email so that we can discuss how to make that happen.

To those who have already contributed their time, materials, and stories, thank you very much! I look forward to seeing you this summer!


 Upcoming Opportunities
Presented by: Fr. Joseph Krastel, C.Ss.R.

Held at the Notre Dame Retreat House
5151 Foster Rd.
Canandaigua, NY 14424

July 13-18, 2014
$325 registration fee

Upcoming deadlines: 

July 9 - Next edition e-newsletter