Francis' passion to spread the Good News of Christ impelled him to take on a daring mission: to convert the Sultan in Egypt, known for his opposition to Christians. Sister Jeanne d'Arc tells the story.
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As a young woman, St. Clare of Assisi became an ardent follower of St. Francis. Under the mentorship of St. Francis, she founded the Second Franciscan Order, the Poor Clares. at San Damiano, the place where St. Francis first heard Christ's call to him to "Go, rebuild My Church!" Sister Marie Benedict shares the dramatic story of the beginning of young Clare's vocation.
Looking for direction for their lives, Francis and his first Brother, Bernard of Quintavalle, decided to go to St. Nicolo Church and open the Gospel three times to see what the Word of God said to them. Sister Jeanne d'Arc Paquette relates the story to us. St. Francis and Bernard moved with alacrity to follow the inspiration from the Gospels.
The famous account of Francis' encounter with his father and the bishop is presented by Sister Marie Benedict Elliott. This event marked a radical change in Francis' life as he dispossessed the benefits of being a son of a wealthy merchant and committed his life to serve his heavenly Father through a life of poverty.
Sister Jeanne d'Arc Paquette, FSE shares the story of St. Francis' encounter with a leper, the first image (lower left) in the tavola.
MERIDEN, CT (October 2020) - St. Francis of Assisi could easily be named "the people's favorite saint." On October 3, all Franciscans remember his death, his "transitus" with special services that commemorate the blessings he gave to his Brothers, St. Clare and her Sisters, and all his followers. The next day, St. Francis Day, October 4 is a major feast day for Franciscans and for the Church. Masses are offered in remembrance of him who renewed religious life and who upset the norms of the 13th century by living a life of poverty and "rebuilding the Church." This year, Pope Francis chose Assisi as the place to sign and launch for the world his new encyclical, All Brothers on October 3. Assisi also was chosen for the beatification of Carlos Acutis, an Italian teenager who is on the way to becoming a saint. All of these events point to the universal love for St. Francis and his special place in the Church. We offer a series of "Reflections on St. Francis" as part of the celebrations during October focused on St. Francis:
MERIDEN, CT (08-23-2020) - The Franciscan Sisters of the Eucharist joyfully welcomed Sister Mary Kolbe Heffern, FSE and Sister Faith Marie Woolsey, FSE as perpetual members of the Community on Sunday, August 23, 2020. The Most Reverend Leonard P. Blair, Archbishop of Hartford, celebrated the Mass of Religious Profession in the Chapel of St. John, assisted by Reverend Matthew Gworek, Master of Ceremonies. Deacon Ryan Eggenberger of the Archdiocese of Detroit proclaimed the Gospel. The Sisters pronounced their final vows in the presence of the Community of Sisters and Brothers and representatives of the two Sisters' families. Held within the limits of the State and Archdiocesan guidelines for gatherings, the simplicity of the liturgy served to highlight in a different way, the essential act that was taking place. Cantors Sister Marie Benedict Elliott and Sister Mary Mercy Lee and Organist Sister Mary Rose Irvine provided the familiar hymns as the Community sang silently in their hearts. Sister Mary Kolbe from Houston, Texas, is the daughter of Dan and Diana Heffern. She is a graduate of the University of St. Thomas and Holy Apostles College and Seminary. Currently she teaches art and Spanish at Catholic Academy of Waterbury in Waterbury, Connecticut and is pursuing a diploma in AMI (Association Montessori Internationale) Elementary. Sister Faith Marie is from Jackson, Michigan. Her parents are Michael and Ellen Woolsey. Sister Faith Marie is a physical therapist at Franciscan Home Care and Hospice Care in Meriden. She received her degrees from Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids and Holy Apostles College and Seminary. [...]
MERIDEN, CT (08-11-2020) - On August 11, the Church and all Franciscans around the world celebrate the feast day of St. Clare of Assisi. We call to mind some of the images Pope Alexander used to describe St. Clare in the document of her canonization in 1255.
Mary Irvine presents her request to enter novitiate to Mother Miriam Seiferman, Mother General. Mary enters the chapel after being clothed in the habit and veil. She is holding her postulant medal which she will present back to Mother Miriam. MERIDEN, CT (06-24-2020) - Mother Miriam Seiferman, Mother General, received Mary Irvine into novitiate in a private Community ceremony in the Chapel of St. John on the solemnity of the Birth of St. John the Baptist. After Mary presented her request to enter novitiate, Mother Miriam responded with a joyful "Yes" that echoed the sentiment of the entire Community of Sisters. Mother Miriam then blessed the habit, veil and cincture with which Mary would be clothed as a novice. Mother Barbara Johnson, Vicar General, assisted in the clothing. Upon her return to the chapel, Mary appeared radiant as she wore the habit of the Franciscan Sisters of the Eucharist for the first time. Mother Miriam announced that Mary would be named Sister Mary Rose. The traditional blessings of the new novice by Mother Miriam, Mother Barbara and Mother Shaun Vergauwen, Co-foundress, were given to Sister Mary Rose, after which the Community sang the Blessing of St. Francis. Sister Mary Rose, the Community's first novice from Nebraska, is the daughter of Don and Pat Irvine of Cairo, Nebraska. Sister Mary Rose received a Bachelor of Science in Social Work from the University of Nebraska - Kearney where she was the music coordinator for the Catholic Newman Center. As a postulant, she worked as the office manager for Franciscan Home Care and Hospice Care. The novitiate is a time set apart for the novice to learn about [...]
Sister Michaela Serpa, FSE and Sister Faith Marie Woolsey, FSE recently completed studies for Masters degrees in Theology at Holy Apostles College and Seminary. Sister Michaela earned a Master of Arts degree in Theology with a concentration in Bioethics. This degree adds a theological perspective to her professional training as a doctor of pharmacy. Sister Michaela serves as a pharmacy supervisor at Yale-New Haven Hospital in New Haven, Connecticut. She received her doctoral degree from Idaho State University. Sister Faith Marie's Masters degree is in General Theology. She works as a physical therapist at Franciscan Home Care and Hospice Care in Meriden, Connecticut. She earned a doctorate in physical therapy from Grand Valley State University, Grand Rapids, Michigan. As a way of forming Sisters holistically to meet with a faith perspective, the challenges presented in their various professions, it is a common practice in the Community that Sisters study theology to complement their professional degrees. Congratulations, to our 2020 graduates!