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Franciscan VOLUME 1.1 • SPRING 2011

Our Common Heart A Publication of the Sisters of St. Francis of the Neumann Communities


t Seated from left: Sister Patricia Burkard, general minister and Sister Marian Rose Mansius, assistant general minister

EDITOR

Cheryl Aughton EXECUTIVE EDITOR

Sister Lorraine Wesolowski CONTRIBUTORS

Cheryl Aughton Gregory Griffin Sister Bea Leising Cindy Munschauer Sister Lorraine Wesolowski GRAPHIC DESIGN

Deborah Allen

CIRCULATION

Sister Rose Marie Colasurdo Kelli Cavo Sister Helen Paul Podesla Sister Donna Zwigart CONGREGATIONAL OFFICE OF MISSION ADVANCEMENT

Gregory Griffin 315.634.7085, ggriffin@sosf.org VOCATION OFFICE

Sister Rosemary Hendry rhendry@sosf.org, 315.634.7084 Sister Joselle Orlando jorlando@sosf.org, 315.634.7083 EDITORIAL OFFICE

Sisters of St. Francis of the Neumann Communities 146 Hawthorne Road, Pittsburgh, PA 15209 412.821.2200, info@sosf.org www.sosf.org

If there is a change that needs to be made, we want to do so. Please return your correct address to us, or contact Kelli Cavo by e-mail at kcavo@sosf.org or phone 716.632.2155, ext. 685. In addition, let us know if we have misspelled your name, sent you more than one newsletter or if you want your name removed from our mailing list.

Dear Friends,

Standing from left: General Councilors Sister Roberta Smith, Sister Maria Salerno, Sister Frances Kowalski, Sister Barbara Woody

It is my pleasure to welcome you to the first issue of our congregational publication, Franciscan Spirit. The information we share with you in this magazine will open you to our Franciscan spirit in all regions of our community. As a new congregation under the name of the Sisters of St. Francis of the Neumann Communities, we are just seven years old. However, our congregations of origin have long histories during which we have given and continue to give service in various dioceses. In 2009 we celebrated 125 years of service in the Diocese of Honolulu, Hawaii; in 2010 we celebrated 150 years of service in the Diocese of Syracuse, N.Y. This year, 2011, another 150th anniversary celebration is underway recognizing the sisters’ ministry and presence in the Diocese of Buffalo, N.Y. Because of women who answer the call to follow in the footsteps of Francis and Clare, the life of the congregation continues into the future. Currently, seven women are in various stages of formation and discernment in their journey to become vowed members of the congregation. The ministries of our sisters are many and varied and cover a wide geographical area in the United States including Hawaii as well as Puerto Rico, Kenya and Peru. In addition to sisters in active ministry, we have sisters who are involved in a prayer ministry through our Adopt A Sister program. As you learn more about this program, we invite you to join us in this special prayer relationship. A particular blessing to our congregation is that one of our own, Mother Marianne Cope, (1883 – 1918) was declared blessed by the church in 2005. Blessed Marianne spent 35 years caring for those afflicted with leprosy in Honolulu and on the Kalaupapa peninsula in Molokai, Hawaii. Blessed Marianne’s remains are in Syracuse and her cause for canonization to sainthood is currently with the Vatican Congregation for the Causes of Saints. Over the years, many of you have journeyed with us in our congregations of origin by sharing in our many celebrations, days of prayer, and fundraising events. As a larger congregation of more than 500 sisters, we invite you to continue being a part of our lives. Your friendship and generosity in so many ways is greatly appreciated. As we move into the future, you will continue to receive news about the community and our many activities throughout the year. We look forward to your continued friendship and support. Please know we are most grateful for all the ways you are a blessing to us. Please enjoy this first issue of “Franciscan Spirit.” May St. Francis and St. Clare bless you!

Sister Patricia Burkard, OSF General Minister


Directional Statement

Franciscan VOLUME 1.1 • SPRING 2011

2 Our Common Heart Historically we all share a common Franciscan heritage and today, as a new congregation seven years young, our mission remains strong.

5 Adopt A Sister 6 Celebrating Our Jubilarians

Rooted in the Gospel and energized by the Spirit of St. Francis and St. Clare, we seek to be women of vision living in right relationship with God, one another and with all creation. The goal of Franciscan Spirit is to reflect what it means to live the Gospel as Sisters of St. Francis of the Neumann Communities in our everyday lives. The spirit of Franciscan life is best described as: a joyful attitude, simplicity of heart, giving praise and thanks and greeting all with peace. Our hope is that concepts like these will come alive in the people you meet in this publication we call Franciscan Spirit, and that you will be inspired to partner with us in our mission.

On the Cover Pictured inside the heart are from left: Anna Dorn (later known as Sister Mary Bernardina), Barbara Boll (later known as Sister Mary Margaret and Maria Anna Boll Bachman (later known as Sister Mary Francis) surrounded by our sisters in ministry today.

8 Blessed Marianne Cope 10 Walking in the Footsteps of Francis and Clare 11 150 Years in the Diocese of Buffalo Rooted in the Gospel, and energized by the spirit of Francis and Clare, we pray this year’s celebration will lead us into a future filled with hope.

12 In Prayerful Memory 14 Mission Advancement 16 Upcoming Retreats and Events Franciscan Spirit is published quarterly. Printed on recycled paper using soy-based inks.

SPRING 2011 1


Feature

Our Common Heart who delivered their luggage to their residence. Thus, the Buffalo mission began with a quarter. In time, this group was separated from the sisters in Philadelphia and a third independent foundation began. In late 1865, just two years after Buffalo became independent, two sisters traveled to Pittsburgh to solicit funds for the operation of their home for the aged in Buffalo. While in Pittsburgh they were invited to establish a hospital which eventually became St. Francis Hospital. Their good work became known and they soon opened schools to teach German immigrants. When the bishop in Pittsburgh said the community could not remain unless it separated from Buffalo, a fourth independent foundation began. p St. Francis General Hospital, Pittsburgh, Pa., circa 1865

O

ur story begins with three women who emigrated from Bavaria, Germany and settled in Philadelphia, Pa. between 1845 and 1851. Maria Anna (Boll) Bachman, a widow with three children and pregnant with a fourth, her sister Barbara Boll and Anna Dorn, a secular Franciscan, desired to found a religious community to meet the needs of the immigrants and poor. Pope Pius IX, also a secular Franciscan, advised Philadelphia’s Bishop John Neumann to establish a congregation of Franciscan sisters. Very early in the life of this new congregation, founded in 1855, the sisters cared for the sick poor in 2 FRANCISCAN SPIRIT

their homes, educated children and established hospitals and orphanages. In 1860, the sisters began ministry in the Diocese of Albany, N.Y. which included the cities of Albany, Utica and Syracuse. In time, the sisters in Syracuse were separated from Philadelphia and a second independent foundation stemming from the original three founding women began. The good work of the sisters spread, and in 1861 they traveled from Philadelphia to Buffalo to engage in parish social work. As the story is told, four sisters arrived with a total of 75 cents in their possession, but handed over 50 cents to the gentleman

The work of the sisters in Buffalo increased and the sisters were asked to go to New York City to staff an orphanage. As their numbers increased, on August 8, 1893 they formed themselves into an independent congregation in Hastings-on-Hudson, N.Y. Their ministries expanded to health care and education and this group became the fifth independent foundation. These congregations remained separate and independent during the first half of the 20th century; however, written communication and visits among members continued. Relationships were also maintained among the leaders in the communities and cooperative planning and sharing took place.


q Sisters gathered in September 2010 for the dedication of a new headstone at Mount Loretto Cemetery in Staten Island, N.Y.

p St. Joseph’s Hospital, Syracuse, N.Y., circa 1869

p St. Francis Home for the Aged, Buffalo, N.Y., circa 1867 t Mission of the Immaculate Virgin (Mount Loretto), Staten Island, N.Y.

At a critical juncture, in the 1990s, three of the independent congregations headquartered in New York State, namely Williamsville (Buffalo), Syracuse and Hastings-onHudson determined that they would look to the possibility of union so that the Franciscan mission would continue into the future. In a process that took five years, this indeed came to pass. It was during this time that the Franciscan Missionaries

of the Divine Child, (FMDC) a diocesan congregation in Buffalo, made a request to merge with the congregation in Williamsville. The incorporation became official in 2003. In 2004, the three congregations based in New York, which now included the FMDC group, united to form a new congregation called the Sisters of St. Francis of the Neumann Communities. In 2007, the Sisters of St. Francis in Pittsburgh merged into this newly formed congregation. Historically, we all share a common Franciscan heritage and today, as a

new congregation seven years young, our mission remains strong. Together, we are a community of more than 500 women religious whose Franciscan charism motivates us to continue God’s work and respond to God’s people wherever there is a need. Currently, we serve in 32 dioceses, including locations in Hawaii, Peru, Puerto Rico and Kenya. As we continue walking in the footsteps of St. Francis and St. Clare, we remain committed to serving people who are poor, sick and in need of education into the 21st century and beyond.

SPRING 2011 3


Feature

Lurin

Timau

Kenya

Where you will find us:

More than 500 Sisters of St. Francis of the Neumann Communities minister Lurin in three countries, 15 states/American territories, and 32 dioceses. Peru

Kenya

UNITED STATES

California - 6 Peru District of Columbia -2 Florida - 6 Hawaii - 42 Maryland - 1 Massachusetts - 1 New Jersey - 10

p Mother Louis Bergem at the Pius Street Convent, Pittsburgh, Pa.

New Mexico - 2 New York - 319 Ohio - 1 Pennsylvania - 116 Puerto Rico - 3 South Carolina - 6 Texas - 1 Virginia - 1

Washington Montana Oregon

Washington

Mai

Minnesota

North Dakota

Montana

Wyoming

Oregon

Vt. N.H. Maine

Minnesota South Dakota North Dakota

Michigan

N.H.

Wyoming

Utah

Timau

Colorado

Nevada Utah

Colorado

California

New Mexico New Mexico

Kenya Kenya

Michigan

Illinois

Iowa

Nebraska

Kansas Kansas

Arizona Arizona

Iowa

South Dakota Nebraska

Texas

Texas

Arkansas

Louisiana

Arkansas

Ohio

R.I. Md. West Conn. Pennsylvania Virginia New Jersey Virginia Md.

Indiana

Ohio

Delaware Washington, DC

West

Kentucky Virginia

Virginia

Kentucky Tennessee

Tennessee

Mass. Pennsylvania

New York

Missouri

Oklahoma Oklahoma

Indiana

Illinois

Missouri

North Carolina South Alabama Carolina

Alabama Louisiana Georgia Mississippi

North Carolina South Carolina

Georgia

Mississippi

Florida

Florida

Peru

New York

Vt.

Wisconsin

Idaho

Nevada

California

Puerto Rico

Wisconsin

Idaho

Timau

Puerto Rico

Hawaii Hawaii

p Mother Catherine Wallace at the Mission of Peru the Immaculate Virgin, Staten Island, N.Y.

Puerto Rico Puerto Rico

SOUTH AMERICA

Peru - 5

n

Mother Margaret Boll at the Pine Street Convent, Minnesota Minnesota Williamsville, N.Y. Montana Montana North Dakota North Dakota

Washington p

Oregon

Idaho

a

alifornia

q Mother Bernardina at the Court Street Convent, Syracuse, N.Y. Idaho

Nebraska

Utah

Utah

Arizona

New Mexico

New Mexico

Iowa

Kansas

Illinois

Illinois

Oklahoma

Arkansas

Arkansas Louisiana

Ohio Lurin

Ohio

Indiana

Pennsylvania West Virginia

West Virginia

Kentucky

Missouri

Missouri

Oklahoma

Indiana

Kentucky

Tennessee

Tennessee Alabama

Alabama

Mississippi

Timau

R.I.

New Jersey Delaware New Jersey Washington, Delaware DC

Md.

Md.

Virginia

Timau N.H.

N.H. Mass. Mass. R.I. Conn. Conn.

Pennsylvania

Iowa Lurin

Kansas

4 FRANCISCAN SPIRIT Arizona

New York

New York

Michigan

Michigan

Nebraska

Colorado

Colorado

Vt. Vt. Wisconsin

South Dakota

Nevada

Kenya - 1

Maine Maine

Wisconsin

South Dakota

Wyoming

Wyoming

EAST AFRICA

Washington, DC

Virginia

Kenya

North Carolina

Kenya

NorthSouth Carolina Carolina

South Carolina

Georgia

Peru

M

R.I Conn.

New Jerse Delaware Washington


Building Relationships:

Adopt A Sister Prayer Ministry

p Sister Ruth Wangler and Laura Gutt have prayed for one another, and enjoyed each other’s company for many years.

Anita Tannehill traveled all the way from California to meet and spend special time with Sister Florence Kremer.

This unique ministry gives our sisters, many of them retired, a renewed sense of service, and enables sisters to connect with individuals’ specific prayer needs. Many individuals hunger to have someone praying for them, and the program has been rewarding for both our sisters and their adopters.

J

ust as an adoption brings joy to the hearts of a child and the adopting couple, adoptions of a different sort bring joy to our sisters.

For more than a century, our sisters have received prayer requests from the public. Our Adopt A Sister program allows individuals to “adopt” a specific sister, and to develop a special relationship with her. The adopter corresponds with the sister and prays for her and, in return, the sister takes a special interest in her adopter’s life, and is committed to praying for his or her intentions. “I believe that prayer companions develop a friendship which is truly a gift of God,” says Sister Ruth Wangler, who has participated in the program for many years. One of her adopters, Laura Gutt agrees, “The time spent with Sister Ruth has brought us such joy, happiness and a great sense of love. We feel very blessed for her prayers for our family and her warm and caring ways.”

“It makes me feel good!” explained Anita Tannehill of her relationship with Sister Florence Kremer. “I have a special place in my heart for the sisters. They have dedicated themselves to serving others, and I find great comfort in knowing that Sister Florence is praying for me and my family.” Adopters receive a certificate, the sister’s picture and a short biography of the sister. Participants may also choose a specific sister to adopt, or have a sister chosen for them. If you are interested in adopting a sister, please contact: Sister Bea Leising, 716.632.2155 ext. 591, bleising@sosf.org.

SPRING 2011 5


Celebrating our Jubilarians Congratulations to Sisters of St. Francis of the Neumann Communities celebrating milestones in religious life! A Eucharistic celebration was held Sunday, March 20 at St. Francis Convent chapel in Honolulu, Hawaii. Upcoming celebrations will continue on: • Saturday, May 7 at the Immaculate Conception Convent chapel, Hastingson-Hudson, N.Y. • Saturday, May 21 for sisters celebrating 50 and 75 year anniversaries; and Sunday, June 5 for sisters celebrating 60, 70 and 80 year anniversaries at the Mount Alvernia chapel in Pittsburgh, Pa. • Saturday, June 18 at St. Anthony Convent chapel in Syracuse, N.Y. • Saturday, October 1 at St. Mary of the Angels chapel in Williamsville, N.Y. Interested in reading the biography of a particular jubilarian? Visit www.sosf.org/jubilarians. If you do not have Internet access, send your request with a self-addressed, stamped envelope to the editorial office.

80 Years

Sister Mary Dominica Buttner May 7 Hastings-on-Hudson, N.Y.

Sister Ellen Gresock June 5 Pittsburgh, Pa.

Sister M. Lorraine Hahn June 5 Pittsburgh, Pa. 6 FRANCISCAN SPIRIT

Sister M. Rosemond Kraus June 5 Pittsburgh, Pa.

Sister M. Prudentia Ladisky June 18 Syracuse, N.Y.

75 Years

60 Years Sister Jean Canora

May 7 Hastings-on-Hudson, N.Y.

Sister Marie Carbery June 18 Syracuse, N.Y.

Sister Dolores Neunder

Sister Jeremiah Collins

October 1 Williamsville, N.Y.

June 18 Syracuse, N.Y.

Sister Miriam Van Hatten

Sister Margaret Coyne

June 18 Syracuse, N.Y.

70 Years

Sister M. Adele Bullock June 18 Syracuse, N.Y.

Sister Marie Clair June 5 Pittsburgh, Pa.

Sister Mary Martin Holly June 18 Syracuse, N.Y.

Sister Rose Assumpta Rossi

May 7 Hastings-on-Hudson, N.Y.

Sister Emeline Schneider June 18 Syracuse, N.Y.

June 18 Syracuse, N.Y.

Sister Christopher Dixon June 18 Syracuse, N.Y.

Sister Marilyn Hoeing June 5 Pittsburgh, Pa.

Sister M. Vergilia Jim June 18 Syracuse, N.Y.

Sister Eileen Kernan June 18 Syracuse, N.Y.

Sister Florence Kremer October 1 Williamsville, N.Y.


Sister Mary Theresa Leitem

Sister Florence Marie Donnelly

Sister M. Cyril Stauss

Sister Charlene Mader

Sister Adelbert Durant

Sister Suzanne Susany

Sister M. Petra Miyashiro

Sister M. Jogues Goldsmith

Sister Christopher Talbot

Sister Mary Murtagh

Sister Eucharista Johnson

Sister Mary Wabo

Sister Paula Marie Notarthomas

Sister Karen Krebs

Sister Barbara Jean Wajda

Sister M. Candida Oroc

Sister Grace Vincent Kupris

March 20 Honolulu, Hawaii

June 18 Syracuse, N.Y.

Sister M. Alicia Snyder

Sister Marise May

June 5 Pittsburgh, Pa.

June 5 Pittsburgh, Pa.

March 20 Honolulu, Hawaii

May 7 Hastings-on-Hudson, N.Y.

October 1 Williamsville, N.Y.

June 5 Pittsburgh, Pa.

Sister Gregoria Wong June 18 Syracuse, N.Y.

50 Years

Sister Patricia Bergan June 18 Syracuse, N.Y.

May 7 Hastings-on-Hudson, N.Y.

June 18 Syracuse, N.Y.

June 18 Syracuse, N.Y.

May 7 Hastings-on-Hudson, N.Y.

May 21 Pittsburgh, Pa.

June 18 Syracuse, N.Y.

June 18 Syracuse, N.Y.

May 21 Pittsburgh, Pa.

October 1 Williamsville, N.Y.

May 21 Pittsburgh, Pa.

October 1 Williamsville, N.Y.

Sister Christine Winterhalter October 1 Williamsville, N.Y.

25 Years

Sister Felicidad Cadavona

Sister M. Helen Paul Podesla

May 7 Hastings-on-Hudson, N.Y.

Sister Teresita Richardson

October 1 Williamsville, N.Y.

Sister Mary Schifferle

June 18 Syracuse, N.Y.

Sister Jeanne Karp June 18 Syracuse, N.Y.

Sister Patricia Nugent

May 7 Hastings-on-Hudson, N.Y.

October 1 Williamsville, N.Y. SPRING 2011 7


Celebrating a Blessed Marianne Cope “Where others feared to tread, Mother Marianne reached out to those in need: the sick, the elderly, the alcoholic, the outcast,” said Bishop Robert Cunningham during a Sunday, January 23 liturgy at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Syracuse, N.Y. Hundreds of faithful filled the cathedral to celebrate the feast day of Blessed Marianne Cope, a leader in the religious community of the Sisters of St. Francis.

Meanwhile, in Honolulu, Hawaii, with the theme “Christ’s love takes what is degraded and makes it glorious,” Bishop Larry Silva presided at a liturgy at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Peace where hundreds more gathered to celebrate.

8 FRANCISCAN SPIRIT

Born in Utica, N.Y., Blessed Marianne Cope joined the Sisters of St. Francis in 1862 from her home parish of St. Joseph’s. A natural leader, as a member of the governing board of the Sisters of St. Francis, she participated during the 1860s in the establishment of two of the first Catholic hospitals in the central New York area, St. Elizabeth’s in Utica (1866) and St. Joseph’s in Syracuse (1869). Graced with a heart of compassion for the outcasts of society, in 1883 she was the only one of 50 religious superiors to say “yes” in response to a plea from Hawaiian officials for sisters to provide care to people with Hansen’s disease (leprosy) in Hawaii. Immersed in the ministry of caring for the patients suffering with leprosy, she

spent 35 years in Hawaii, first serving as head of a hospital for leprosy patients in the Honolulu area where she established an orphanage and school for their children. Her legacy includes founding of the first general hospital on the island of Maui in 1884. She extended the Franciscan sisters’ mission in Hawaii to Kalaupapa, Molokai in 1888, where she established a home for female patients with leprosy. “We will cheerfully accept the work...,” she courageously responded, and after the death of Father Damien DeVeuster (now saint) in 1889 she took over the home he had established for men and boys. As Blessed Marianne cared for patients in a clean and safe environment, she was known to be far ahead of her time. For example, at Kalaupapa,


New Book and Statue Celebrate Sisters’ Ministry in Hawaii

p Sister Vincentia, Mother Marianne and Sister Leopoldina at Bishop Home (for girls and women with leprosy) at Kalaupapa, Molakai, circa 1890 t Bishop Robert Cunningham presides at the January 23 liturgy at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Syracuse, N.Y. Photo courtesy of The Catholic Sun/Chuck Wainwright

she brought joy to patients as she instructed them in the activities of color harmony, needlework and landscaping. In addition, no Franciscan sister ever contracted leprosy while caring for patients. Today, the legacy of Mother Marianne continues its farreaching effects in health care and education in many ways. In Syracuse and Utica, N.Y. St. Joseph and St. Elizabeth Hospitals, sponsored ministries of the Sisters of St. Francis, continue to provide holistic care to community residents. In Hawaii, sisters offer faith-based medical care to meet the growing needs of Hawaii’s senior population at St. Francis Healthcare System in Honolulu. Meanwhile, a well-educated and caring faculty at St. Francis School in Honolulu provides quality Catholic education to students from preschool to grade 12. Both are sponsored ministries of the Sisters of St. Francis of the Neumann Communities. At Kalaupapa, Molokai, the sisters maintain the continuity of their comforting presence to the few patients with Hansen’s disease who are living there. In 2003, Pope John Paul II issued the decree naming Mother Marianne venerable. A year later, he ordered a decree to be issued authenticating a miracle attributed to Mother Marianne’s intercession. On May 14, 2005 she was beatified. The verification of another miracle due to her intercession will lead to her canonization. Blessed Marianne’s earthly remains are located at St. Anthony Convent in Syracuse, N.Y., where the Shrine and Museum of Blessed Marianne Cope are also open to the public. For more information, visit www.blessedmariannecope.org.

Letters are a fascinating way of telling a story and sharing the journey of a life. In her book, “Letters From the Land of Long Farewells,” Sister Wilma Halmsay tells of the daily life of the Sisters of St. Francis and the patients at the settlement of Kalaupapa, Molokai in Hawaii where those suffering with leprosy lived in isolation from 1866 to 1949. Sister Wilma spent 30 years in Kalaupapa following in the footsteps of Blessed Mother Marianne Cope and St. Damien de Veuster. You will be inspired, not only by her courage, but also by the courage of those serving with her. Photos capture the beauty of the island and the life of the sisters. COST:

$20 (includes shipping and handling)

PLEASE MAKE CHECK PAYABLE TO:

Sisters of St. Francis of the Neumann Communities

MAIL TO: Sister

Alicia Damien Lau St. Francis Convent 2715 Pamoa Rd., Honolulu, HI 96822 808.988.3707, alau@icfsnf.com

The blessedness of Mother Marianne Cope is celebrated in this 11 inch, imitation bronze statue. Each statue, hand crafted in a U.S. foundry, celebrates the faithful and courageous life of Blessed Marianne Cope. COST:

$75 (includes shipping and handling)

PLEASE MAKE CHECK PAYABLE TO:

Sisters of St. Francis of the Neumann Communities

MAIL TO: Sister

Helen Hofmann or Sister Rose Raymond Wagner 1118 Court St., Suite 39 Syracuse, NY 13208

Sister Helen Hofmann: 315.634.7018, hhofmann@sosf.org Sister Rose Raymond Wagner: 315.634.7020, rrwagner@sosf.org SPRING 2011 9


Walking in the Footsteps of

Francis and Clare

p L to R: Sister Reyna Jesusa Ontón Ñahui, Sister Cheryl Wint, Danielle Tamashiro, Sisters Laura Hackenberg, Caryn Crook, Anne Marie Saphara and Amy Williams

A

s they walk in the footsteps of Francis and Clare, a group of seven women are on the path to creating the future by becoming vowed members of the Sisters of St. Francis of the Neumann Communities. Each one brings her unique gifts and talents and through the community’s formation process, they discover what it means to be a Franciscan in the 21st century. Sister Caryn Crook is completing her third year as a temporary professed sister and is eligible for final profession this summer. She lives in community with four sisters in Fayetteville, N.Y. Previously, Sister Caryn worked for the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service as a wildlife biologist. She continues to use her expertise as the Franciscan ecology coordinator at Alverna Heights in Fayetteville as she teaches others how to care for the earth.

Born in England, raised in Jamaica and now a U.S. citizen, Sister Cheryl Wint is in her canonical year at the Third Order Regular Franciscan Common Novitiate in St. Louis, Mo. Her connection with the sisters in Washington, D.C. drew her to enter the congregation in 2009. While volunteering in a parish in Silver Spring, Md., Sister Cheryl was trained and received a pastoral certificate in education, parish and service programs. In Lima, Peru, Sister Reyna Jesusa Ontón Ñahui is also in her canonical year. From her family’s work in agriculture, she acquired a love of nature. She was also fascinated by the life of St. Francis and was drawn to the lifestyle of the sisters. Living in community with the sisters in Lima, Sister Reyna continues to learn about Francis, Clare and the history of the congregation.

Danielle Tamashiro is a live-in resident with the congregation. She became A native of Pittsburgh, Pa., Sister Laura Hackenberg serves in pastoral care acquainted with the sisters while teaching while pursuing studies in clinical pastoral education at Sisters Hospital in Buffalo, alongside a Neumann Franciscan sister N.Y. Sister Laura is a temporary professed sister and lives in the congregation’s who invited her to consider religious formation house with three sisters. Prior to entering the congregation, she was life. Danielle is exploring the possibility an administrative assistant at FedEx. of taking the next step on her journey of becoming a sister of St. Francis. Sister Amy Williams realized a love of caring for others while serving as a She lives in community with three caregiver at Francis House in Syracuse, N.Y., a ministry dedicated to nurturing sisters in Fayetteville and teaches at the people who are in their final days of life. She is currently pursuing a degree in congregation’s Gingerbread Day Care nursing from LaRoche College in Pittsburgh. Amy lives in community with four and Pre-School in Syracuse. sisters in a congregational mentoring house. Before joining the community, Sister Amy worked as a legal secretary in Pittsburgh. In addition to these women in formation, vocation ministers Sister Using her Web design skills, Sister Anne Marie Saphara ministers in the Joselle Orlando and Sister Rosemary congregation’s communication office at its site in Williamsville, N.Y. Sister Anne Hendry are prayerfully supporting and Marie was married and has an adult son who is supportive of her lifestyle choice. maintaining contact with several women Originally from Auburn, N.Y., for many years she worked at the Pentagon and who feel called to religious life. For more at various government organizations as a graphic artist and Web designer. Sister information please contact Sister Joselle Anne Marie has professed temporary vows for three years and continues to at jorlando@sosf.org or Sister Rosemary participate in the formation process. at rhendry@sosf.org. 10 FRANCISCAN SPIRIT


I

n 2010, the Sisters of St. Francis, whose congregation of origin was in Syracuse, N.Y. celebrated 150 years of their presence and ministry in the Diocese of Syracuse. Just as the anniversary year came to a close, another year of celebration began.

Nursing (later transferred to Niagara University) • More than 300 refugees were offered hospitality and support at the former St. Mary of the Angels convent in Williamsville and more recently at VIVE, Inc., the largest refugee shelter in the U.S. located in Buffalo • More than 15,000 children cared for in the former orphanage

p Sister Eleanor Meyer is pictured with her second grade class at Our Lady Help of Christian’s School in Cheektowaga, N.Y., circa 1948

• More than 150 homeless, single parents and their children provided with transitional housing and daily living skills at Gerard Place in Buffalo

• Countless hours spent offering On January 8, 2011, the sisters whose prayers of praise and petition to congregation of origin was in the God for the many intentions which Diocese of Buffalo, N.Y. opened the are brought to the sisters daily celebration of their 150th anniversary with a liturgy at St. Mary of the Angels Events scheduled throughout the year in Williamsville, N.Y. will carry the theme of the anniversary. Founded in Philadelphia in 1855, the sisters were invited to Buffalo in 1861 by Bishop John Timon, the first Roman Catholic bishop in the diocese, to work with those who were sick, poor and in need of education. Since then, the sisters’ impact on the western New York community has been significant: • More than 1.5 million children and youth educated in Catholic schools • Cared for 200,000 sick and aged • More than 400 nurses graduated from Mount St. Mary’s School of

In addition, a traveling display celebrating the sisters’ rich tradition, both past and present, will travel to locations throughout western New York. As the sisters remember, celebrate and give thanks throughout this anniversary year, we thank you, our faith-filled friends and partners for your support and friendship. Rooted in the Gospel, and energized by the spirit of Francis and Clare, we pray this year’s celebration will lead us into a future filled with hope.

p Sister Christine Steigerwald ministers to patients at Mount St. Mary’s Hospital in Lewiston, N.Y.

Continuing the Celebration of our 150th Anniversary

APRIL 2 “Meeting Francis and Clare:

Franciscan Guides in a Tough Economy” ** Presenter: Sister Margaret Carney, OSF

MAY 3 Food and Wine Tasting ** MAY 30 Memorial Mass for

Deceased Sisters **

JULY 12 Williamsville Old Home

Days **

AUG. 6 Homecoming of Former

Members*

SEPT. 17 Benefactor Appreciation Day * OCT. 1 Jubilee Celebration * OCT. 10 Cherishing the Land: God’s

Gift to All ** Amherst State Park, 3:30 p.m.

DEC. 18 Closing Liturgy **

St. Joseph Cathedral, 3:30 p.m.

* By invitation

** Open to all

For further information, call 716.632.2155.

SPRING 2011 11


In Prayerful Memory

We Remember… Paschal Teresa Green (lovingly known as Pat) joined the community in Millvale, Pa. and served as an elementary and high school teacher, principal, administrator, assistant superintendant and librarian at schools in western Pennsylvania and Puerto Rico. She also served as executive director of government programs at the Diocese of Pittsburgh, librarian in periodicals and research at St. Meinrad Archabbey in St. Meinrad, Ind. and director of religious education at parishes in Chicora, Pa. area. An avid reader, Sister Zita also authored a number of books, including “The First 50 Years,” the story of the sisters from Pittsburgh and their first 50 years of service in Puerto Rico and “Holistic Ministries,” a study of the holistic ministries engaged in by one community of women religious.

Sister Mary Zita Green December 2, 1926 – January 11, 2011

Immaculate Conception Church in Johnstown, Pa. was the home parish of Sister M. Marcia Rosage. After joining the Sisters of St. Francis in Millvale, Pa., Sister Marcia spent most of her 61 years in religious life in food service at various convents. She always looked for new ways to serve the sisters, and to this end she attended many classes and workshops to improve her culinary skills. When she retired from this ministry, Sister Marcia joined the sisters in prayer ministry at Mount Alvernia. Well-known for her loving and caring ways, Marcia was a woman who was efficient, valiant and strong. Her strength was obtained through the years of waiting on the Lord, prayer and devotion to the word of God.

Sister M. Marcia Rosage August 8, 1921 – January 21, 2011

12 FRANCISCAN SPIRIT

To read the full text celebrating the life and legacy of a particular sister, please visit www.sosf.org/in-prayerful-memory. If you do not have Internet access, send your request with a self-addressed, stamped envelope to the editorial office.


Sister Dolita entered the congregation after having been taught by the sisters at St. Joseph School in Pittsburgh’s Mount Oliver neighborhood. From 1941 until 1967, Sister Dolita ministered as teacher and principal in diocesan Catholic schools. She was then appointed as secretary general of the congregation, a position she held for the next 14 years, until she was elected as community director. After serving two terms in this office, she became manager of St. Francis Plaza which was located near the former St. Francis Medical Center in Pittsburgh’s Lawrenceville neighborhood.

Sister M. Dolita Kessler August 3, 1920 – February 11, 2011

A cause that was always dear to Sister Dolita’s heart was the Boys and Girls Club of Western Pennsylvania. She was happy to be a part of the wonderful work being done for young people through this organization. Sister Dolita loved to celebrate. She enjoyed going with other sisters for shopping trips and dinners; and she never missed a family gathering. Throughout her life, Dolita always had great devotion to our Blessed Mother and the Sacred Heart of Jesus. After joining the Sisters of St. Francis in Millvale from St. Wendelin Parish in Pittsburgh, Pa., Sister Joachim taught children in Catholic elementary schools from 1948 until 1977. At this time, her ministry took a different turn and she joined Sister James Ann Germuska at Crosskeys Human Services, Inc. in Brownsville, Pa., where she became mental health services coordinator. For the next 25 years, Sister Joachim served at Crosskeys and also at Cor Amor, a residential and day care service. She then spent a number of years in ministry at Norbert House in Pittsburgh until joining the sisters in prayer ministry at Mount Alvernia.

Sister Joachim Blosl July 9, 1927 – February 13, 2011

Sister Joachim enjoyed the simple things of life. She found delight in each person and in every event that occurred in her daily life. She possessed a love of animals, country music, concerts and milkshakes. She accepted all as gifts from God. Sister Joachim did all things with a beautiful smile that conveyed a message of welcome, openness and gratitude. No matter what was going on in her life, she knew that God was her source of joy, peace and strength.

SPRING 2011 13


Mission Advancement

Meet Our Partner in Ministry:

Jerry Mazurkiewicz

J

erry Mazurkiewicz is a great man with a very generous heart who has supported the Sisters of St. Francis and their ministries in many ways. Recently he explained, “When the sisters personally touch your life and your children, it truly enhances your desire to want to give back — ­ especially knowing these sisters ministered unselfishly to others

Pax et Bonum Dear Friend,

for so many years. They deserve our support.” Jerry and his wife, Barb, both grew up in western New York, and benefited from a wonderful Catholic education. They have always embraced the Franciscan charism, and have found all of the sisters who have entered their lives to be uplifting and joyful. They passed

Later in life, Sister Nelson served as eucharistic minister and took communion to Jerry’s mother on a

peace and all good

In one way or another, we’ve all been blessed to have the Sisters of St. Francis of the Neumann Communities touch our lives. Maybe you were taught by the sisters in school; perhaps a loved one was nursed back to health in one of the many hospitals founded by the sisters; maybe you’ve been comforted or your intentions have been prayed for by the sisters. For more than 150 years, the Sisters of St. Francis have been there for us, for our parents and grandparents and for the communities in which we’ve lived. Today, through their Franciscan mission to serve the poor and underprivileged wherever they may be, the Sisters of St. Francis steadfastly continue to make a difference in the lives of so many in our neighborhoods and around the world. They continue to be active in health care and education, pastoral care and counseling, prayer ministry, social justice advocacy and so much more. 14 FRANCISCAN SPIRIT

along this tradition to their children who were educated at Queen of Heaven Elementary School in West Seneca, N.Y., where our sisters had a presence for years, especially Sisters Mary Nelson Harlach and Patricia Griffin.

Through our gifts, our time, and our prayers, we are fortunate enough to be able to journey with them — as partners in mission — ­ in building a better tomorrow for those in need. I hope you enjoy reading this inaugural edition of the Franciscan Spirit, our quarterly news magazine. Perhaps it will give you, as it has me, pause for joyful reflection on the many ways the sisters have participated in and inspired our lives. “Lord make me an instrument of your peace …For it is in giving, we receive.” As we reflect upon these words of St. Francis in his peace prayer, I invite you to join the Sisters of St. Francis of the Neumann Communities on their continued journey of service and spirituality. Through your generosity, may God’s grace and blessings be with you always. Peace and good,

Gregory J. Griffin

Congregational Director, Mission Advancement


regular basis. “They related very, very well with one another. Sister Nelson was a big part of our lives,” Jerry says. “Knowing how special she made mom feel, made us feel very special about her.” The relationship between Sister Nelson and the Mazurkiewicz family continues today, and it is one of mutual respect and admiration. When asked why they continue to support our sisters, Jerry explains, “The sisters have a big mission to fulfill,” and he notes “they need our support. People give to people, not to causes. We want to support these women who have given so much to us and others.” In addition to being generous supporters, Jerry and Barb have chaired the annual Food and Wine Tasting at St. Mary of the Angels in Williamsville, N.Y. They were also involved with the sisters’ capital campaign in western New York which successfully concluded in 2001. Today, Jerry chairs the Development Advisory Council in western New York, and serves on the congregational Financial Investment Advisory Group. As a certified public accountant, Jerry was a former partner at KPMG, an international network of audit, advisory and tax service firms. Currently, he is a partner at Dopkins & Company. We are indeed blessed to have your love and support, Jerry. Thanks for all that you do for us!

When God brings you back home to His kingdom, will you leave your legacy on earth?

A BEQUEST is a wonderful way for you to support your favorite charities. It enables you to be as generous in death as you were in life. It also gives you the unique opportunity to continue creating a better world long after you’re gone — leaving your legacy for years to come.

The Sisters of St. Francis of the Neumann Communities have been making a difference in the lives of people in need across the United States and around the world for more than 150 years! We have been blessed with friends and partners in mission like you who share our vision of hope and help for all God’s people wherever they may be. Through our Legacy Circle, we are pleased to provide you with the opportunity to extend your good will and shared desires to help others beyond your life. We invite you to consider including the Sisters of St. Francis of the Neumann Communities in your will or through other gifts in your estate plan. As women religious, we are always deeply honored to be remembered by our friends and family members in such a personal and significant way. Please let us know of your plans so that we may personally thank you, and enroll you as a cherished member of our Legacy Circle. For more information, please contact Gregory J. Griffin at 315.634.7085 or ggriffin@sosf.org.


Upcoming Retreats and Events

APRIL 1 – 2 Facing Fears with Faith Retreat

Begins Friday at 7:30 p.m. and concludes Saturday at 5 p.m. Tabor House of Prayer, Pittsburgh, Pa. Fee: $50 Contact: Sister Jane Schmitt 412.821.1149 taborhouse@sosf.org 2

Meeting Francis and Clare: Franciscan Guides in a Tough Economy

2 p.m. St. Mary’s, Swormville, N.Y. Presenter: Sister Margaret Carney, OSF Contact: Sister Marcella Nachreiner 716.632.2155 ext. 683 mnachreiner@sosf.org

20 Seder Meal

6 p.m. Tabor House of Prayer, Pittsburgh, Pa. Donation: $10 Contact: Sister Jane Schmitt 412.821.1149 taborhouse@sosf.org 20 – 23 Holy Week Retreat: A Time for Personal Reflection and Prayer

Begins Wednesday at 7:15 p.m. and concludes Saturday at noon Franciscan Retreat Center, Hastings-on-Hudson, N.Y. Contact: 914.478.3696 franciscanretreats@sosf.org

10 Thanksgiving Gratefulness and Praise Celebration for sisters, former faculty and Mount Alvernia High School alumnae

Mount Alvernia Chapel, Pittsburgh, Pa. Fee: $15 Contact: Sister Marlene Kline mkline@sosf.org 15 – 16 RCIA Spring Retreat

Stella Maris Retreat and Renewal Center, Skaneateles, N.Y. Fee: $75 Contact: 315.685.6836 info@stellamarisretreat.org

MAY

27 NUN-edibles Food Tasting

6 to 8 p.m. Franciscan Center Gym, Syracuse, N.Y. Donation: $40 per person $70 for two Contact: Sister Elizabeth John Timson 315.634.7005 Proceeds benefit the mission and ministries of the Sisters of St. Francis

3

Ninth Annual Food & Wine Tasting “Nun-Sweeter” Bake Sale

5 to 7 p.m. St. Mary of the Angels, Williamsville, N.Y. Live entertainment and auctions Donation: $40 per person Contact: Cindy Munschauer 716.632.2155 ext 687 Proceeds benefit the mission and ministries of the Sisters of St. Francis 4, 11, 18, 25 Book Study on Keating’s “Heart of the World”

7 to 8:30 p.m. Tabor House of Prayer, Pittsburgh, Pa. Fee: $10/session, $35 for all 4 sessions Contact: Sister Jane Schmitt 412.821.1149 taborhouse@sosf.org 21 A Day of My Own

30 Retreat on Emmaus: Back Home with the Disciples

9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tabor House of Prayer, Pittsburgh, Pa. Fee: $30 Contact: Sister Jane Schmitt 412.821.1149 taborhouse@sosf.org 16 FRANCISCAN SPIRIT

Stella Maris Retreat and Renewal Center, Skaneateles, N.Y. Fee: $15 Contact: 315.685.6836 info@stellamarisretreat.org


28 – 29 Introduction to Centering Prayer Retreat

18 Bridges Session 3: Living Your Deepest Desires

Begins Friday at 7:30 p.m. and concludes Saturday at 4:30 p.m. Tabor House of Prayer, Pittsburgh, Pa. Fee: $40 Contact: Sister Jane Schmitt 412.821.1149 taborhouse@sosf.org

9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Tabor House of Prayer, Pittsburgh, Pa. Presenter: Sister Ann Carville, OSF Fee: $30 Contact: Sister Jane Schmitt 412.821.1149 taborhouse@sosf.org

JUNE 2 – 5 Four Day Intensive Retreat

Begins Thursday at 7 p.m. and concludes Sunday following brunch Tabor House of Prayer, Pittsburgh, Pa. Fee: $175 Contact: Sister Jane Schmitt 412.821.1149 taborhouse@sosf.org 3 – 5 A Weekend Retreat for Women

Stella Maris Retreat and Renewal Center, Skaneateles, N.Y. Fee: $150 Contact: 315.685.6836 info@stellamarisretreat.org

20 – 26 Summer Service Camp for High School Women 4 Peace and Non-violence Workshop

9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Franciscan Retreat Center, Hastings-on-Hudson, N.Y. Presenters: Claire Lang and Sister Vergilia Jim, OSF Fee: $40 Contact: 914.478.3696 franciscanretreats@sosf.org 5 – 12 Directed Retreat

Begins Sunday at 7 p.m. and concludes Sunday after noon meal Franciscan Retreat Center, Hastings-on-Hudson, N.Y. Facilitator: Sister Meg Holden, FSP Fee: $400 Contact: 914.478.3696 franciscanretreats@sosf.org

Waynesburg, Pa. Donation: $95 Contact: Sister Rosemary Hendry, OSF 315.634.7083 rhendry@sosf.org 20 – 24 The Evangelical Life Retreat

Stella Maris Retreat and Renewal Center, Skaneateles, N.Y. Presenters: Father Andre Cirino, OFM and Sister Ann Bremmer, OSF Fee: $450 Contact: 315.685.6836 info@stellamarisretreat.org 24 – 30 God’s Extravagant Love Retreat

Begins at 7:15 on Friday and concludes after Thursday’s noon meal Franciscan Retreat Center, Hastings-on-Hudson, N.Y. Fee: $350 Contact: 914.478.3696 franciscanretreats@sosf.org SPRING 2011 17


Non Profit Org. U.S. POSTAGE PAID Pittsburgh, PA Permit No. 4009

ADDRESS SERVICE REQUESTED

Save the Dates: Join

us on the Links

Proceeds benefit the mission and the ministries of the Sisters of St. Francis.

,

AUGUST 1 Sewickley Heights Golf Club, Sewickley, Pa. For more information contact Sister Rosita Wellinger at 412.977.4067 or David Clark at 724.934.3510 ext. 222

SEPTEMBER 26 Cavalry Club, Manlius, N.Y. For more information contact Gregory Griffin at 315.634.7085