In This Issue
Allegany Franciscans Website
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Congregational Leadership
February 5-6
Chapter Planning Committee
January 18-19, 2019
St. Clare's, Tampa, FL  
Franciscan-Clarian Spirituality Committee
February 22, 23, 24, 2019
St. Clare's, Tampa, FL   
Assembly - Tampa, FL
March 9-10
FSA Board of Directors
March 16-22, Tampa, FL
FABS meeting, Reading, PA
March 27-28
Assembly - Easton, PA
March 29, 30, 31 
Issue 7.01
January 14, 2019   

In this first week of Ordinary Time we hear once again the call and invitation of Jesus to his disciples. "Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men." Simon, Andrew, James, and John immediately dropped their nets and followed.

How compelling Jesus must have been to receive such a spontaneous response. The disciples never asked about what they should do with their property, their homes, and their fishing business. Could it be that these men had heard news in that Galilee region about the preaching of Jesus?

What are those concerns that we hold tightly that keep us from responding whole-heartedly? What preoccupations fill our minds and hearts that keep us from quiet, prayerful contemplation? What concerns envelope our time and energy and keep us from visiting those who are ill or volunteering our time for those who are in need?

Let us be attentive to hear the call of Jesus, "Come!"

60th Anniversary Year of Cloister/Ritiro 
By: Sharon O'Neil OSF 
   In the 1950s a number of our Sisters, desiring a more contemplative lifestyle, were entering Poor Clare monasteries. Mother Jean Marie Greeley, inspired by the Spirit, wanted to respond to the movement in the Sisters by providing a Cloister within the Congregation. With the consent of her Council, a Cloister was established and officially began January 25, 1959.
   The Second Vatican Council and the Decree on the Adaptation and Renewal of Religious Life, Perfectae Caritatis, encouraged all religious congregations to return to their roots. As a result of this study, we became aware that "cloister" was not a part of our Franciscan Third Order charism. However, historically, houses dedicated to a more intensive prayer life and open for others to "come apart for a while" were a part of the charism. These houses were called Ritiros. Therefore, it seemed more faithful to rename St. Elizabeth Cloister to the Franciscan Ritiro to reflect this change.
   This year - 2019 - marks the 60th Anniversary of the Cloister/Ritiro. As Allegany Franciscans, we stand in gratitude to God for God's faithfulness and love for us throughout all these years. The anniversary date of January 25 will be remembered in an intention in the Prayer of the Faithful at the Motherhouse morning liturgy. A formal celebration will be held at the Motherhouse later this year, at a date to be announced.

St. Elizabeth Motherhouse Sisters Witness Again
By: Melissa Scholl OSF  

   In December in the Northern Hemisphere, the night of the Winter Solstice is the longest period of darkness each year. "Light Up the Night" has used this symbolism to bring homeless awareness to civic populations around the country. As supporters of The Genesis House since its inception, we again joined with The Genesis House in demonstrating our awareness of the reality of homelessness in our own region.   
   After dark on December 20,  two staff members and a sister lit 75 luminaries that lined the Motherhouse entrance and another 25 at the top of hill in front of the Motherhouse. 
   May our ongoing efforts and prayers work to alleviate the pain of homelessness in our cities, country and world.
St. Joseph's Hospitals Celebrate 25th Anniversary of Mission Basket Program 
   For 25 years, St. Joseph's Hospitals team members have shown their generosity toward families in need through the hospital's annual Mission Basket program, a gift drive for families of former patients who are in need of assistance during the holidays. In a quarter of a century, their compassion has served more than 1,500 families.
   When the program began in 1993, hospital departments filled baskets with non-perishable food, toys, and other small gifts to give to needy families. Over the years it grew into a festive and friendly competition to see which department can create the most original display out of the donated gifts.
   Sr. Pat Shirley OSF, former St. Joseph's Hospitals Vice President of Mission and current board member, was involved from the very beginning. "This is a wonderful way to celebrate Christmas," she said. "I'm so grateful to the committee members and volunteers who have driven it to what it has become today. The team members' generosity is both inspiring and humbling."
   A Ferris wheel, an underwater Santa, zoo animals, and superheroes were some of the themes on display during this year's Mission Basket event, held on December 14 in the hospital's Medical Arts Building Auditorium. First, second, and third place winners were announced in each of the four display size categories (small, medium, large, and ginormous). Winners received a ribbon and bragging rights.
   As a special addition to the 25th Anniversary event, The Most Reverend Gregory Parkes,
Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of St. Petersburg, presided over the blessing of the gifts.
   "We were honored to have him join us for this very special event," said Arlene McGannon, Vice President of Mission Integration at St. Joseph's Hospitals.
   This year, in addition to providing gifts for specific families through the Mission Basket program, team members were invited to provide Blessing Bags that will be given to patients throughout the year who are struggling with poverty. The one-gallon plastic bags were filled with personal hygiene items, non-perishable foods, fast food gift cards, and a note with an encouraging message. More than 400 Blessing Bags were donated by team members during the Mission Basket event.

Women's March 
   In January 2017 , people of all backgrounds came together, 5 million strong, on all seven continents of the world. They were answering a call to show up and be counted as those who believe in a world that is equitable, tolerant, just, and safe for all, one in which the human rights and dignity of each person is protected and our planet is safe from destruction. Grounded in the nonviolent ideology of the Civil Rights movement, the Women's March was the largest coordinated protest in United States history and one of the largest in world history.
The mission of Women's March is:
  • To harness the political power of diverse women and their communities to create transformative social change;
  • A women-led movement providing intersectional education on a diverse range of issues and creating entry points for new grassroots activists and organizers to engage in their local communities through trainings, outreach programs, and events;
  • Committed to dismantling systems of oppression through nonviolent resistance and building inclusive structures guided by self-determination, dignity, and respect;
  • To bring awareness to causes relating to non-violence; human rights; equality; inclusion; the care of our planet.
   We encourage Sisters, Associates and our Partners in Ministry to consider participating in local marches and activities in their respective areas.
   The National Women's March will be held on Saturday, January 19, 2019 in Washington, DC. There are "Sister Marches", held regionally throughout the United States, that may be taking part in a location close to you.
   Sister locations and more information about the march can be found by visiting .
   Please note, the Buffalo, NY march is scheduled for Sunday, January 20th from 1:30 to 3p.m. convening in Niagara Square, Buffalo. Please note the difference in date for the Buffalo location.
   Please consider participating if possible and sending any pictures you may take to Denise Bunk-Hatch for publication in the e-newsletter,  . We look forward to seeing pictures from your day!
How to Overcome Our Biases? Walk Boldly Toward Them 
By: Verna Myers, taken from the LCWR Update, January 2019

   In her TED Talk, How to overcome our biases? Walk boldly toward them, diversity consultant Vernā Myers invites us to examine our subconscious biases, look deep within and change ourselves. First, she advises that we must get out of denial and acknowledge our biases. She poses the question, "Can you imagine our country embracing young black men, seeing them as part of our future, giving them that kind of openness, that kind of grace we give to people we love? How much better would our lives be? How much better would our country be?" Secondly, she notes that we need to move toward young black men and invite us to walk toward our discomfort! Lastly, she challenges us to have the courage to confront racial bias, to say something when necessary.

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January 23, 2019 - Second January edition e-newsletter