Wishing you a joyful, prayerful Christmas Season! Franciscan Sisters of the Eucharist
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MERIDEN, CT (11-30-2020) - Natalie Yuen of Vancouver, British Columbia, was received into novitiate on November 22, the Solemnity of Christ the King in the Chapel of St. John by Mother Miriam Seiferman, FSE, Mother General. In her formal request for entrance into novitiate, Natalie recalled significant moments in her life that led her to this request. Mother Miriam, in accepting Natalie's request, welcomed her into this next phase of formation and assured her that the Community will be a strong support as she continues to grow as a religious woman. As is customary, Mother Miriam blessed the habit, veil and cincture with which Natalie would be clothed by Mother Barbara Johnson, FSE, Vicar General. Upon her return to the chapel, dressed in religious garb, Natalie received her religious name from Mother Miriam - Sister Anne Therese. Mother Miriam explained that St. Anne, the grandmother of Jesus, and St. Therese of Lisieux, a patroness of missionaries, have special significance in Sister's vocation journey and in her heritage. Sister Anne Therese, the daughter of Bandy Unaphum, was raised in Calgary, Alberta, and in Richmond, British Columbia. She attended the University of British Columbia in Vancouver where she received a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and a Master of Science degree in Integrated Studies in Land and Food Systems. She worked in Finance and Human Resources Management for ten years at the UBC Center for Sustainable Food Systems. At the UBC Center, Sister Anne Therese learned first-hand methods of experimental farming and gardening which she enjoyed. She shared with the Franciscan Community that these experiences have served as rich spiritual analogies during her faith journey, as God tending to [...]
When St. Francis knew he was dying, he asked to be laid naked on the ground at the Portiuncula and there he welcomed Sister Death. With his grieving Brothers surrounding him, he entered eternity singing. Immediately, a flock of swallows circulated above as though they were carrying his soul to heaven. Sister Marie Benedict shares the account of Francis' final moments on earth.
At times, Francis retreated to Mt. La Verna, a high mountain that had been given to him and the Brothers as a place of contemplation. While deep in prayer, suddenly Francis was overcome by what he thought was a vision. Sister Jeanne d'Arc relates this dramatic spiritual experience that marked Francis with the wounds of Christ.
Francis cared lovingly for his Brothers and encouraged those who were ill. In this episode, Sister Marie Benedict explains how Francis related to the individual needs of a Brother, and shares suggestions for how we might imitate his kindness.
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.
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.