News and Events
In This Issue
The Franciscan Spirituality Committee now has a blog! All current and previous reflections can be found there.
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! 
Issue 3.23
December 29, 2015
Feast of the Epiphany
(January 3)

Today we celebrate the feast of Epiphany. The word "epiphany" dates back to the ancient Greeks and in their understanding refers to appearances, manifestations or revelations brought about by their gods.

Our feast of Epiphany and our readings this Sunday recalls the arrival of the magi, the visitors from the East, who were guided by a star and who came bearing gifts to worship Christ, the newborn  king. 

Epiphany can also be understood as a moment of sudden or deep insight that has the potential to change us in significant ways. May attentiveness in contemplative prayer and silence before Divine Love open us to the epiphanies of God's inbreaking goodness and mercy. 

"God, every nation on earth with adore you."

Conveniently Yours for Another Year
By: Roseanne Duffy, OSF

   The plan for a Motherhouse Country Store was the dream of Sr. Mary Lou Lafferty during the renovation of the Motherhouse. Sr. Mary Lou strongly believed that the sisters who are unable to get out to shop should have a convenience store here in the Motherhouse where they can come to browse, socialize, and make purchases. 
   During 2013, the major part of the renovation had been completed and the time had come to focus on the country store. The room designated for the in-house store is spacious with large windows, lots of built-in cabinets with shelves, a storage room, and a nearby elevator. Final plans were completed and the store became a reality. 
   Helen Trainor volunteered her services as the manager, which involved being merchandiser, decorator, cashier, bagger, and entertainer. As manager, Helen's first chore was to have a contest to name the store. "Conveniently Yours" was the winning title, and the store opened its door to sisters on December 1, 2014. 
   Country style curtains were hung, the walls were decorated, and shelves were stocked with items such as toiletries, stationary supplies, greeting cards, decorating items, picture frames, batteries, puzzle books, nick knacks, and other goodies. A beautiful fireplace with a remote to light the electric flames added to the ambiance. For each season Helen takes delight and pride in decorating the store. Christmas is a favorite, with a lighted Christmas tree, stockings hung on the fireplace, little villages here and there, and the Christmas stable, which is the focal point. 
   The store is open every Monday and Friday from 1 to 3 p.m. The sisters come in full of excitement and anticipation to browse or make purchases. They also come for companionship, socialization, and fun. 
   On December 1, 2015, the store celebrated its first anniversary. "Conveniently Yours" has proven to be a true country store with its charm and homey atmosphere, full of love, friendship, and joy. Sr. Mary Lou's dream came true, and the Motherhouse sisters thank her. 

Recycled Art Projects
By: Joan Carberry, OSF

   Students at St. Paul Catholic School (St. Petersburg, Fl.) - "keepers of creation" - understand the importance of protecting and preserving our Common Home. That's why their Christmas art projects were made from recycled materials.
   The Christmas tree was made from recycled water bottles which the students cut, colored, and painted to create this beautiful tree.
    The manger scenes were made from recycled plastic water bottles, prescription bottles, bottle corks, and material.
"Praised be my Lord for our Sister, Mother earth."
St. Francis of Assisi

A Gift for St. Francis Primary and Infant School
By: Maureen Clare Hall, OSF

   A gift in the form of a statue depicting the Patron Saint of the St. Francis Primary and Infant School in Kingston, Jamaica - St. Francis of Assisi - was donated by Dr. Linda Dix (right) of Our Lady of Good Counsel school in New Jersey, USA, in memory of her late husband, Greg Dix. Standing next to her is the sculptor Mr. Marlon Thompson. The statue shows St. Francis making peace with the wolf on behalf of the people of the town of Gubbio. The gift of the statue is also a part of the school's 125th anniversary celebrations.  It was unveiled on October 12, 2015.
Focus on Francis: Compassion 
By: Arlene McGannon, Vice President of Mission, St. Joseph's Hospitals
This is the second in a series of reflections distributed by Arlene to St. Joseph's Team Members. Following newsletters will feature other parts of this series. 

   The word compassion means "to feel with," to care about the sufferings of others. Saint Francis was a person of great compassion. He was a kind, caring man, who tried to put himself in the other's place, especially the poor and the sick, the downtrodden and the outcasts of society, to better understand and serve their needs.
   Francis' compassion extended toward all of God's creatures, not only human beings, because you can't respect some living things and treat others badly. Francis believed that everything created by God is worthy of our respect and should be treated with compassion.
How can Francis' example of compassion make a difference in our lives and in our work? How are we challenged each day to "feel with" those we serve? As Team Members who carry out our health care ministry in the Franciscan tradition, we pray for the grace to be people of compassion toward all persons and all living things.

Jamaican Associate receives Papal Award
By: Maureen Clare Hall, OSF
   On Sunday, November 22, the Feast of Christ the King, Theresa Mendes received the Papal Award, "Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice"  for her untiring work for over 40 years as Sunday School teacher, Member of the Choir and Cantor at her Parish church, Sts. Peter and Paul in Kingston, Jamaica.  Theresa is the Local Associate 
Coordinator of the Associates in Kingston, Jamaica.
    Pictured is Theresa with Sister Maureen Clare Hall, OSF, who received the Archbishop Samuel Carter Certificate of Honour for her work on the Archdiocesan Liturgical Commission.

E'Clares tradition continues on
By: Cathy Cahill, OSF

It's now a tradition: before Christmas, the St Elizabeth's and St Clare's communities gather around St Clare's Christmas tree and celebrate the bond formed when they were one community in 2011-12 while St E's was being renovated. No matter the menu, one item is sure to appear: eclairs or as they've become known, E'Clares. 

new_years_fireworks.jpg New Year - New look! 

   Coming soon - an all new Franciscan Sisters of Allegany web presence! 
   This new website, which will remain at, will be sleeker, more user friendly, and provide more information than ever before! 
   Keep an eye out for the official announcement of its launch!

Denise Bunk-Hatch
Communications Director

Upcoming deadlines: 

January 6, 2016 - First edition e-newsletter
January 20, 2016 - Second edition e-newsletter