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The Franciscan Spirituality Committee now has a blog! All current and previous reflections can be found there.
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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 3.11
June 8, 2015
Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus
(June 12)
Today we celebrate the feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. The beautiful words of Hosea speak of God's desire to embrace all people and all creation. "When Israel was a child I loved them, out of Egypt I called my child. Yet it was I who taught Ephraim to walk, who took them in my arms; I drew them with human cords, with bands of love. I fostered them like one who raises an infant to the cheek. Y et, though I stooped to feed my child, they did not know that I was their healer."

God desires to be with God's creation and so we may imagine the heart of God being open and inviting us to move and dwell in Divine Love and Goodness. May our hearts move with openness in and with God and with all of creation! Happy feast day!

   In gratitude for our sisters who have served at St. Francis Xavier School since its foundation in 1938. 

Sr. Colleen Brady and Sr. Jo Streva are moving from Fort Myers, FL, to Miami next month, marking the first time since 1938 that an Allegany Franciscan will not be present at the school. 
   A farewell Mass will be held at 11 a.m. on June 14, followed by a reception at the parish hall. Sisters who have served at the school will be invited to attend. 
Renodin Foundation Breakfast
By: Laura Whitford, Renodin Foundation President



   On Monday, June 1, the Dr. Lyle F. Renodin Foundation held its annual grantee breakfast in the dining room of St. Elizabeth's Motherhouse.

   The breakfast, which is held on the first Monday of June each year, recognizes the good works done by the organizations that receive financial assistance through Renodin Foundation grants during the year. Over 100 Sisters, board members and grantee organizations enjoyed networking and learning more about one another.

   The Dr. Lyle F. Renodin Foundation was established using funds from the sale of St. Francis Hospital. The Foundation provides grants to groups and organizations to use in their service to the poor and marginalized people of Cattaraugus and Allegany Counties in New York, and McKean County in Pennsylvania. Since 2002, the Foundation has awarded 284 grants totaling $914,353 to 59 organizations to provide food, shelter, basic needs, and other ways to improve the quality of life for individuals served. This past year, the Foundation granted almost $91,000 to 23 agencies.

   Each year, the Foundation invites a select group of these organizations to speak briefly about their work over the past year, and how the Foundation's grant has helped them in their efforts. This year, those assembled heard from Sr. Melissa Scholl with The Genesis House; Elizabeth O'Neill from Saving Grace Outreach; Edna Kayes from the Allegany County Mental Health Association; and Karen Fohl from the Olean General Hospital Foundation.


Pictured from left: Sally Mazzarella, associate, former member and past principal; Fr. Daniel Kenna, OFM, former pastor; and Margaret Mary Kimmins, OSF.  
St. Joseph's in Winsted CT celebrates anniversary
By: Margaret Mary Kimmins, OSF, Congregational Minister

   On August 15th, 1865, three Allegany Franciscan Sisters traveled by train to Winsted, CT, to start St. Anthony's School. This is considered the congregation's first mission. The Allegany Franciscans served for 129 of the 150 years since the school's foundation, along with the Friars of Immaculate Conception and Holy Name Provinces.  

   The school  still continues to serve the children of the parish and surrounding parishes.  The people of Winsted recently celebrated the 100th Anniversary of St. Joseph's Church.

   At the anniversary celebration, Margaret Mary Kimmins, OSF, had the opportunity to address the parish community to congratulate them and to thank them for all their support over the years.  She told them of our present initiatives and encouraged them to join us on Wednesdays at noon to pray the Peace Prayer of St. Francis in solidarity with the people of Brazil, Jamaica, Bolivia, and the United States.  

   At dinner following the liturgy, Sr. Margaret Mary responded to questions regarding the sisters who served there. The people spoke so warmly of the Sisters and what they meant to them. They are proud of the fact that  now their children and their children's children have attended or attend St. Anthony's. The Franciscan Spirit continues to permeate the school and parish, with Patricia Devanney serving as Principal and Fr. Ron Gliatta serving as Pastor.


Jane Kopas' article featured in The Way

By: Jane Kopas, Associate   


   Associate Jane Kopas' article "Thomas Merton's Contemplative Journey" appeared in the April issue of the British journal The Way. You may download and print the article from their website. Her article on Francis and social justice should appear in the same journal later this year.

   You can also download the PDF by clicking here.



Dare to Image: Creativity
By: Helen Roberts, OSF

   What better Feast to write concerning the Franciscan Federation than the Feast of Pentecost?  The theme of CREATIVITY is the invitation from the Holy Spirit to listen to your heart! What gifts and fruits are within each of us to make Pentecost a re-birth to the world of what both Francis and Clare heard in their hearts to help the Gospel come alive for so many seeking peace?     
     Do we hear and listen, or just hear and ignore? When we are listening to a person with a creative vision are we judging that vision or hearing the voice of the Holy Spirit within that sharing? When teaching my first graders had I not listened, I would not have heard the "cry in their voices about a home situation or their hope for a better world!" The least of these have taught me to listen to creativity.
    Pentecost invites us to personal and communal creativity.  Creative ideas involve a
three-fold paradigm.  The person gifted to offer the idea, the listener and the doer (s).
"Faith in Action" becomes the creative action unfolding for the common good.
Each person would benefit from a catechism review of the Gifts and Fruits of the Holy Spirit.          Spirit of God, come to us, enlighten us, help us to both hear and listen to You in every person, as we encourage the creativity and DARE TO IMAGE! 


Dare to Image: Creativity

By: Anne Martin Robonie, OSF


   Gaze upon the heavens reflecting the mysteries of creation.  And God saw that it was good.  God separated the light from the dark, and the waters above the dome from those below. God gathered the waters and the land appeared. God made two great lights, the one to govern the day and one, the night. God saw that it was good.  God filled the waters, sky and land with creatures and then brought forth plants and all kinds of living things.  God created man to God's image to have dominion over all.  God saw that it was very good and gave power to man. 

   I image creativity as a continuation of what God has done. God has no hands or feet, no eyes, ears or mouth.  I am to be a continuation of creation as I bring forth  what God has started.  Will God see that it is good? 

   My hands are to lift the burdens of my sisters and brothers.  Today, it may be a package that is heavy or maybe it is the burden of pain.

   My feet are to take me to those in need.  No one has visited my sister in her loneliness. It may take me a little longer to get home but I have made my sister's home a bit brighter.

   My eyes make eye-contact with the other.  Does she see the tenderness and love I share.  Is there room for a twinkle to make her smile?

   My ears heard the cry, the complaints, the stories retold and I stayed to listen. 

   My mouth brought a smile with extra time for stories.

   Yes, God continues to love through me.  And God saw that it is good.


 From the Archives
This group of sisters in Jamaica have their names attached to them, but many other sisters aren't as lucky. Standing, from left: Srs. Cecile Ho On, Eloine Marie Palomino, Magdalen Marie Newton, M. St. Thomas Lydon. Seated, from left: Srs. M Antoninus O'Donell, M. Seraphia Millan.
The Archives Needs Your Help!

   Are you planning to visit the Motherhouse in the future? If so, please consider scheduling a time to meet with us in the Archives. In our collections, we have hundreds of photographs of sisters who are unidentified, and we need YOUR help to give them back their names!
   During your appointment, we will bring out a collection of photos to show you, based on where you have served. As we look through the photos, our hope is that you will be able to recognize unidentified sisters and provide us with a name.
   An appointment will only take as much or as little time as you have available. Every pair of eyes can make a huge difference in our collection and our understanding of history! Don't miss this great opportunity to get up close and personal with the Archives!
   If you would like to schedule a Photo Identification Appointment, email Ellen Winger at

Upcoming deadlines: 

June 15, 2015 - Allegany Connections Summer Edition
June 17, 2015 - Second edition e-newsletter (June)