Volume 8.16 | October 19, 2020
In this Issue:

The Dream and the Journey

House of Prayer DIscussion

Socially Responsible Investment

FAN Benefit Celebration

In Memory

How the House of Prayer for All People Came About
By: Kathie Uhler OSF for the Franciscan Federation Newsletter
“When we’re expecting things, they take forever; but when they happen, they happen fast.” Elsa (Uhler) McNulty, my sister

Looking back, this describes the dynamic of the gestation period that produced the House of Prayer for All People (HoP). A lot happened along the way.

It was in Israel, c. 2005, when I came upon a chapel in the monastery of the French Catholic Sisters of Bethlehem. The chapel was a simple room with a Christian altar, a Menorah and a Koran: a prayer room dedicated to the three Religions of Abraham. I was struck immediately and irrevocably by the spiritual logic, if you will, of this dedication. Deep inside I felt heard and assented to a call, that I have never doubted came from God, to “Go and do likewise.”  
It took several years for me to articulate freely this call. I started by hearing myself explain it to sister-friends. Soon enough, I was telling anyone who would listen. Recently, for example, in a drop-in clinic, a lab tech asked me what I was into. She got the HoP! In less than three minutes, the young woman “got it,” was excited, and claimed her father would also love the idea! 
Over the past 15 years, similar instances were repeated so often that I grew to expect positive reactions more than negative. I experienced that there was “something” in the air. Or as Teilhard de Chardin would say, there is in our world today an ever-emerging union of individual self-consciousnesses converging in the “Noosphere,” the envelope of thinking humanity encircling the globe. I believe with Teilhard that we humans are becoming of one mind: Humanity is inexorably evolving to an Omega Point, to the Christ.
And, yes, there were setbacks and heartbreaks along the way: In the fall of 2014 I began rehabbing a house in Jericho for the HoP that a friend had donated. This house was in the Occupied Territories of Palestine. I was almost finished when, at the Jordanian border, the Israeli Government gratuitously imposed upon a newly arrived HoP Core member and me a five-year ban of entry into Israel. 

In 2015, now based back in New York City, I scouted neighborhoods of diversity in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Staten Island only to be discouraged by the universally high rents.

Fast forward to the fall of 2019: A life-long friend contacted me to say she thought her pastor might be interested in housing the HoP on church property. I contacted Fr. Stephen Moore, pastor of Trinity Episcopal Church in Gulph Mills, PA. Fr. Stephen was most welcoming and expressed a great appreciation for the mission of the HoP. He saw it as a ministerial outreach of the parish and, as such, would not charge us rent, only utilities. Thus, Fr. Stephen’s leadership and the openness of his Church Board made possible the establishment of the HoP.

What sustained my dream over this long journey?

Belief. Faith in the “dream,” in my inner call: that it was from God and totally trustworthy, like a rock-solid certainty in the depths of my being. The notion of the rightness and necessity of everyone praying as one human family with one voice to our Creator God for peace grabbed me in the Abrahamic Chapel and has never left me for a moment. I have said many times that I am only an instrument in bringing about the HoP, an “instrument of peace,” if you will. Moreover, I have also stated that, even if I were the only person on the face of the earth who believed in this kind of prayer, I would go on alone to make a place for it and, if need be, to die trying. I would give my life for the House of Prayer for All People.
Learn more about the House of Prayer for All People
The steering committee of the Franciscan Federation, Region Two, invites you to a ZOOM Gathering and Presentation by:
Sister Kathy Uhler, OSF of Allegany
October 24, 2020
1 to 2:30 p.m.
Theme: “A House of Prayer for All People”
To register, e-mail to Sister Anne Amati at Amati@osfphila.org
Socially Responsible Investment Activities for October 2020
Submitted by Gloria Oehl OSF
I signed onto a letter being sent to Bank of America to oppose funding for oil and gas development in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
A letter was sent in conjunction with IASJ (Investor Advocates for Social Justice) to the CEO of the IBM Corporation regarding dialogue to discuss the company’s approach to addressing the risks to human rights, civil rights, and racial justice related to surveillance technologies.
Also signed on to a letter in support of The Alliance for Fair Food and the Coalition of Immokalee Workers to be sent to Governor [Ron] DeSantis (Florida) and Collier Department of Health to protect Florida farmworkers during the COVID-19 crisis.
Franciscan Action Network Annual Benefit Celebration
October 28
7:00 p.m. ET / 4:00 p.m. PT
Online, from the comfort of your home

The year 2020 has been a challenge for our nation. A year like no other. Its challenges call for Franciscan values. This is a Franciscan Moment. We are excited to unite our energies, to lift up this moment and celebrate with all our members and friends the vital witness and work we have accomplished together! We hope you will join us.

Featuring Special Guests

  • Sr. Ilia Delio, OSF, PhD – Renowned theologian, speaker and author will be our keynote speaker who will inspire us to do all that we can to make 2020 a truly Franciscan moment!
  • Sr. Joan Brown, OSF – Franciscan Sister of Rochester and Executive Director of New Mexico Interfaith Power and Light.
  • Sr. Jannette Pruitt, OSF – Franciscan Sister of Oldenburg and a mother of three, grandmother of seven, great-grandmother of two.
  • Prairie Rose Seminole – Tribal member of the Three Affiliated Tribes of North Dakota and Program Director of Native American and Alaskan Ministries for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Upcoming events at The Franciscan Center
Centering Prayer via Zoom
Tuesdays; 1:30 - 2:30 p.m.
Led by Nicholas Nitch and Kathleen Moore

Once a Month Interfaith Devotional via Zoom
Wednesdays, 12:00 - 1:00 p.m.
October 21, November 18, and December 16 
Facilitated by Farah Khorsandian-Sanchez

Boundless Compassion - A Way of Life via Zoom
November 14, 11 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Compassion and Suffering and Compassion and Marginalization
December 12, 11 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Compassion for Creation and Compassionate Presence
Facilitated by Michelle Mehan, MAPT, ACC

Our Beloved Dead: Blessing As They Go via Zoom
Friday, October 30, 9:30 - 11:30 a.m.
Presented by Patricia Livingston

Creating Mandalas Using Inspiration from Nature via Zoom
Thursday, November 5, 7:00 - 8:30 p.m.
Facilitated by Margie Jervis, in collaboration with Creative Cauldron, Falls Church, VA

Advent Retreat via Zoom
Tuesday, December 1, 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
With Father Michael Cooper, SJ

Conscious Contact Mini-Retreats - via Zoom
Topic: Joy to this World!
December 2, at 7:00 p.m. 
Presenter: Sister Cathy Cahill, OSF
Stories of Jesus - via Zoom
Luke - Thurs, December 3, 10:00 -11:30 am 
Matthew - Thurs. Dec 10, 10:00 -11:30am
Prologue John - Thurs, Dec 17, 10:00 -11:30 a.m.
Presenter - Sister Jeanne Williams, OSF

For more events, information, and to register, visit the Center's website: https://app.etapestry.com/cart/FranciscanCenter_1/default/index.php.
In Memory
Sr. Anna Sheridan OSF
Date of Birth: November 29, 1917
Entered Eternal Life: October 5, 2020
Sr. Ângela Teresinha Gonçalves OSF
Date of Birth: July 1, 1930
Entered Eternal Life: October 5, 2020