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 3.09
May 11, 2015
Celebrating in Jamaica

Congratulations to Srs. Lorraine Chen OSF and Margaret Mary Kimmins OSF who celebrated their 50th Jubilee in Kingston, Jamaica at the conclusion of the Sisters' Assembly weekend.
A Reflection on Guatemala 

By: Kathleen Maire, OSF


   What do you do with a 4-year-old in acute respiratory distress when you just packed up your equipment and given away the last of the medication needed for treatment?  This was the dilemma faced by one of the doctors on the Guatemala mission trip on the last day of our clinics.  To add to the problem, the little girl was accompanied only by her 8-year-old sister, who had walked her down to the church where we were located.  The answer was simple, you do what you can.

   So the doctor sent a nurse after a mother who had received two containers of the medication to ask for one back, which she graciously gave.  He dug out the nebulizer and started the treatment while the rest of the team searched for an adult who knew the children.  They learned that the mother was in the hospital in Zacapa, four hours away with another child with a similar problem and the father was in the fields working.   A grandmother was looking after the other children at home.

   An hour later, the child was not much better.  The doctor wanted to take the child back to Esquipulas to a pediatrician who was one of our on-site partners.  But, it was impossible to take a 4-year-old without a parent.  A neighbor said she couldn't go with us because she had seven children at home.  Finally, the local health promoter agreed to go, after sending the eight year old back to inform the father.    So over the rocky road we made our way back to Esquipulas and the clinic.

   The pediatrician kept her for six hours, giving various treatments, medications and monitoring her progress.  The nurse bought her a new cotton outfit and the health promoter kept vigil.  Finally the father appeared and the happy little girl in her new clothes was on her way. 

   A dramatic end to our journey.


Celebrating the ties that bind the Allegany Franciscans to other Congregations

By: Gloria Oehl, OSF

   Invited to attend the "Heritage Day Celebration" of The Franciscan Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart, Sisters Mary Conboy, Margaret McManus, and I travelled to Peekskill on Saturday, April 25th.  This day was the founding day of our Congregation in 1859.   Only six years after we were founded, we sent Sr. Elizabeth Bucher [see "From the Archives" in the last e-letter] from Allegany to help the Italian sisters learn English and the customs of our Country.

    The celebration started with a Mass of Thanksgiving with Fr. Andrew Reitz OFM, pastor of St. Francis of Assisi Church in Manhattan, and 11 other priests concelebrating. In his homily, Fr. Andrew mentioned the unrest in the city at the time the sisters arrived right around the Church area.   Imagine our Sister Elizabeth coming from rural Allegany into a big city with rioting going on...!  What courage and generosity she showed these new immigrants.

   We met Sr. Anne James and many sisters, associates, friends and family of the Peekskill Sisters and Sister Mary got to visit with a Bolivian sister, Maria Elena Martinez, who is now living in Peekskill.  When Sr. Mary Conboy was in Bolivia, our sisters went to Apolo to continue the mission left by the Peekskills - furnished convent, supplied school and clinic. The first Allegany community included Sisters Gemma Delgado, Inez da Silva (from Brazil), Elvira Donaldson and 2 postulants, Melvi  Aranibar and Miriam Nogales.  This is an example of collaboration for ministry to the people in which we were beneficiaries of generosity of the Peekskill Sisters.

   After luncheon,  in looking at their archival material, we saw pictures of Ladycliff College where our Sister Frances Cardillo ministered with them in teaching science for a few years in the 60's and 70's.  The celebration came to an end with a Memorial Service in which the FSA's were mentioned and acknowledged that we were present representing the Congregation.

   Many blessings on the Peekskill Sisters as they look forward in gratitude to a "promised future".


Stewards of the Earth
By: James Peter Goggin OSF

   As Allegany Franciscans, we are stewards of Earth and must try to sustain the Earth for our present and future generations. Renewable sources of energy is the answer. We need only to look and find it is not only possible, but readily available, all over our Earth. 
   Harnessing ocean waves, waterfalls, and other water sources to produce electricity is sound and cost-effective. 
   Our Brother Sun is God's gift and solar energy abounds if we will only use it in constructing new homes or businesses. 
   For countless years, farmers have used windmills to generate energy. Now many corporations have wisely adopted this practice. Could not many more profit from this use of God's gift? 
   Currently we seem to have a surplus oil supply in our country. Why must we seek more and more when we know fossil fuels spew more and more CO2 into our air daily? The Earth is God's gift to us. What we do with it is our gift to God. 
Sister's Art Helps to Fund Education and Outreach in Jamaica

By: Ellen Winger, Congregational Archivist 


   FSA Art, created and run by Sister Helen Rose Yee Sang at Immaculate Conception Convent in Kingston, brings together the beauty of Jamaican nature and Christian values in the medium of art. Helen Rose uses digital photos of Jamaican scenery, taken by herself and her friends, to create calendars, planners, notecards, and bookmarks.

   Helen Rose sells her creations to raise money for CAFSA (Charitable Association of the Franciscan Sisters of Allegany), which contributes to the sustainability of the schools in Jamaica founded by the Allegany Franciscans. These schools, which are situated in the poorer areas of Kingston, admit many children from poor families. Helen Rose also uses the money she raises from FSA Art to help fund her own outreach ministry, which provides a small subsidy to help individuals pay for for medicine, rent, food, or other articles they may need.

   If you would like to order materials from FSA Art, email Helen Rose at Currently, she offers calendars, planners, notecards, and bookmarks. She is also able to customize her designs to order for any occasion. 


Associate Advisory Committee Meets

By: Jeanne Williams, OSF, and Kathy Doyle  


  The Associate Advisory Committee met in Tampa this past weekend, May 8-10.  The committee welcomed Sheila Vincent as a new member.  A major focus of the meeting was to develop plans to integrate suggestions for the future of the Associate Program made by those gathered in Allegany last summer for their 25th anniversary.  Plans were made for sharing materials for Chapter 2016 preparation. These materials will be sent to the Local Associate Coordinators for each associate group. 

   Pictured above are:  Michelle Robinson, associate from Jamaica; Pat Tyre OSF, translator, and Ana Bernadete Albernaz OSF, associate liaison from Brazil.  In the background are Mary Laubenthal, associate and chair of the Advisory Committee and Jeanne Williams OSF, co-director.


 Dare to Image - Franciscan Federation

Dare to Image - Franciscan Federation Sabbath Monthly Reflections 

   As we, the members of the Franciscan Federation, prepare for our Sabbath year let us, individually and communally, enter into prayerful contemplation. May this Sabbath time awaken the unfolding mystery and the challenge before us. May we Dare to Image!


MAY - Ponder inner Wisdom: What is Wisdom's call as we prepare to enter Sabbath time?  Be attentive to the invitation, "Write down the vision clearly upon the tablets so that everyone can read it. For the vision has its time, presses onto fulfillment, and will not disappoint; if it delays, wait for it, it will surely come, it will not be late." (Habakkuk 3:2)  In your mind's eye Dare to Image: CREATIVITY 


   What insights have come to you or your group, cluster, local community in this contemplative sharing?

   Share your insights and reflections by emailing them to Denise Bunk-Hatch at We will share your insights in our FSA newsletter and will also send them to the Franciscan Federation for their Musings newsletter. 

 From the Archives

   For the past week, I have been enjoying the hospitality of the sisters at ImmaculateConception Convent in Kingston while I work in their archives and help prepare for the Assembly in Jamaica. It has been a week full of good food, good friends, and a lot of accomplishment!

   In the Archives, I am fortunate to have the help of two wonderful women, Myrtle and Hermine. They are both librarians who were kind enough to volunteer their time to learn the basics of Archival work to help get the Jamaican Archives inventoried and organized! After I return to the States, they will continue the work that we have begun this week. Our hope is that we will soon have a complete inventory of the material housed at the Immaculate Conception Archives that will be accessible at both repositories. 

   The Spring Assembly in Jamaica was both prayerful and productive. While I helped keep the technology up and running, both sisters and associates alike contributed deep insights into the process of contemplative dialogue, as well as the Chapter 2012 initiatives. Everyone left the Assembly energized and excited for the future.

   We also held a celebration of Sister Lorraine Chen's 50th Jubilee. The Mass was celebrated by the Archbishop and Archbishop Emeritus of Kingston (pictured here with Lorraine, her family, and Leadership), and was followed by dinner and cake in St. Francis Hall at Immaculate. Associates Donna Haynes and Theresa Mendes entertained us by singing many Jamaican folks songs, and they had everyone clapping and singing along. It was an evening of wonderful Franciscan Joy!

   Of course, we also have had some time to have a bit of fun! In addition to our nightly swims in the pool at Immaculate Conception, on Sunday we went to see an original musical performance of the story of King David. Written by Father Richard Ho Lung, MOP, the show featured a large cast of local talent, colorful costumes, and plenty of Jamaican energy and enthusiasm! It was a bit like being at a rock concert! The money raised by the performances goes to the Missionary Brothers of the Poor, and helps to fund their work with some of the most disenfranchised people in Kingston.

   I am incredibly grateful for the time that I spent this week in Kingston, and for the hospitality and the warmth of the sisters in Jamaica. Until the next time I see you, sisters, walk good!


Upcoming deadlines: 

May 20, 2015 - Second edition e-newsletter
June 15, 2015 - Allegany Connections Summer Edition