MERIDEN, CT (04-12-2019) - We, Franciscan Sisters of the Eucharist, invite you to follow Christ with us through Holy Week as we share each day a short video about the theme of the day. Since 1978, our Community throughout the world has celebrated Holy Week with a unique focus for each day, based on the event of Christ's Passion commemorated in the day's liturgy. As we strive for holiness, our human nature can pull us back in fear and hesitation, and at the same time, impel us forward in faith and conviction. We see the tension of those tendencies in us during Holy Week as we strive to follow Christ in his Passion, Death and Resurrection. Let us pray together for the Church and for one another that this week will truly be a Holy Week. Commitment Saturday You might want to hear how Father Mike Schmitz of the Diocese of Duluth, a friend of the Franciscan Sisters of the Eucharist, describes the Community's unique approach to Holy Week in his video, Praying Through Holy Week. The introduction states, "Find out how the Franciscan Sisters of the Eucharist from Duluth pray during Holy Week, and maybe discover something you can use in your prayer life as we walk with Jesus from his entry into Jerusalem, to Calvary and the Resurrection. The unique prayer commitment Fr. Mike suggests in this video follows Jesus through all of his experiences—from suffering to celebration—in this the holiest week of the year."
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MERIDEN, CT (03-28-2019) - Late winter-early spring means pruning time for the Sisters who care for the Homestead Orchard at the motherhouse. Sister Francesca Silver had a helper as she went about her work. Sister Faith Marie Woolsey caught these photos of the favorite four-legged volunteer named Emmie-Sunshine. The Homestead Orchard is dedicated to Mother Rita Brunner, FSE who managed the fruit trees at the Franciscan center in Lowell, Michigan, for many years. The Motherhouse Community looks forward to delicious apples, peaches, nectarines and pears, thanks to the diligent work of the Sisters who faithfully care for the orchard.
FALLS CHURCH, VA (03-27-2019) - In an article in the Arlington Catholic Herald, Sister Mary Timothy Prokes answers the question, "Why do you wear a habit?" See her answer. Sister Mary Timothy is a noted writer and theologian who has the unique gift of expressing deep theological principles in ways that are understandable to the "man on the street." More about Sister Mary Timothy.
LOWELL, MICHIGAN (03-21-2019) - Sister Damien Marie Savino, FSE, Ph.D. and Dr. Philip Sakimoto of the University of Notre Dame presented an engaging talk on"Banana Peels and Climate Change: A Daily Examen" at St. Robert of Newminster Parish, Ada, Michigan on March 21. Using principles expressed by Pope Francis in his encyclical Laudato si': Care for Our Common Home, the two scientists proposed a daily examen of the events of each day and how that might lead to practical steps to increase one's personal caring for creation. Dr. Sakimoto is an astrophysicist and and the former Acting Director of NASA’s Space Science Education and Public Outreach Program. Sister Damien Marie is the Dean of Science and Sustainability at Aquinas College. Mother Shaun Vergauwen, FSE, Mother Co-foundress, was a special guest at the presentation.
POCATELLO, ID - Sister Janice Otis, FSE, a founding member of the Franciscan Sisters of the Eucharist, entered eternal life the afternoon of February 12, 2019, after a series of health issues over the past months. Her Sisters of the Family Life Center, Pocatello, were praying with her as she died. Sister Janice, with Sister Mona Brunner, founded the Family Life Center on Truckerville Road in 1975. Sister Janice was known throughout the region for her involvements in both civic and religious organizations. Sister Janice was born in Spokane, Washington, on January 24, 1935, to Marie and Philip Otis. As a youth, she enjoyed swimming, ice skating and softball, and was an avid reader. She started piano lessons in the third grade and played organ during high school. Her music skills continued throughout her life as she obtained a Bachelor of Music Education from Viterbo College, and taught music in Wausau, Wisconsin; Spokane; Blackfoot and Pocatello, Idaho. In 1956 Sister Janice entered the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration in La Crosse, Wisconsin, professing first vows in 1955 and final vows in 1961. Her religious name was Sister Cecil. When the option was given for Sisters to return to their baptismal names, she did so. Sister Janice chose to become a founding member of the Franciscan Sisters of the Eucharist from the order's beginning in 1973. She lived in southeast Idaho since 1970 where she served her Community in various capacities: from 1970-1974, she was a Migrant Religious Education Teacher for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Boise and set up religious education for migrant children in labor camps and towns from 1974-1976, she tutored migrant children in elementary schools [...]
JERUSALEM (02-05-2019) - Cardinal Edwin O'Brien, Grand Master of the Equestrian Order of the Knights of the Holy Sepulcher, bestowed the Order's Cross of Merit of the Holy Sepulcher of Jerusalem on Sister Monica Navalta, FSE at a ceremony held at the Latin Patriarchate in Jerusalem. In receiving the Cross of Merit, Sister Monica is recognized as a "person of unquestionable moral conduct who has served the Church and has shown great charity and love for the Holy Land" according to the Order's website. Sister Monica serves in the English section of the Latin Patriarchate in Jerusalem and has frequent contact with issues related to the Knights of the Holy Sepulcher. She assisted in organizing the pilgrimage of the Order's Rome staff who were present for the ceremony. Sister Monica also ministers to the large number of migrants who live in the Holy Land. Her Franciscan Sisters in the FSE Jerusalem Center report that Sister Monica is receiving calls and messages from all over the world congratulating her on the auspicious award. The Cross of Merit comprises three crosses: a large one worn around the neck, a smaller cross pin on a long ribbon, and a small lapel pin. The Governor General, Ambassador Leonardo Visconti di Madrone, assisted Cardinal O'Brien in draping the large cross around Sister's neck. The ceremony was strategically planned as a complete surprise to Sister Monica who characteristically prefers to stay in the background and carry on her mission without notice. Congratulations, Sister Monica, for this well deserved award! Click on photos to enlarge.
PANAMA - Sister Frances Zajac, FSE and Sister Sophia Peters, FSE send greetings from World Youth Day in Panama! The Sisters, along with priest-chaplain, Father Glen Dmytryszyn, Parochial Vicar of St. John Bosco Parish, Branford, Connecticut, and nine young adults from Connecticut and Michigan left the Franciscan Motherhouse in Meriden on Wednesday, Jan. 23 for their flights to Panama City. The theme of the 34th World Youth Day 2019 is, “I am the servant of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word” (Lk 1:38). The Franciscan Sisters' group is being hosted by Sister Sophia's cousin and his family (see photo above). The Sisters report that they have received a warm welcome, are being well-fed and enjoying the local culture. On Thursday they joined the 200,000 other young people for the Welcoming Ceremony with Pope Francis. A highlight of the days ahead will be the Saturday overnight prayer vigil followed by the closing Mass with Pope Francis on Sunday.
The Franciscan Sisters of the Eucharist wish you a Very Blessed Christmas and a New Year of Hope and Joy!
The Sisters at the Family Life Center in Pocatello, Idaho offered an Advent Retreat entitled Mary Waits on the feast of the Immaculate Conception, December 8. In her presentation, Sister Mary Colman Pyle drew parallel feelings of activities in the retreatants' lives with those feelings Mary possibly would have felt in the involvements she and those around her had experienced. Accompanying the presentation were pictures of famous paintings of the events of Mary’s life. In the afternoon Sister Mary Matthew Morrisroe presented on the Advent mystery of waiting. The question "why does God call us to wait for so many things in life?" was explored through quotes from Scripture and the Catechism of the Catholic Church. A time of meditation in front of the Blessed Sacrament and small group discussions provided the participants time to reflect on their experiences of waiting, and the opportunities that they have to grow in patience, hope, faith and love through "having to wait" both in joyful and sorrowful times in our lives. Waiting provides a time to grow in holiness! The Sisters at Family Life Center, Pocatello, Idaho discuss Advent themes with retreatants.
Sister Amaris professes the vows of chastity, poverty and obedience in the presence of witnesses Sister Sophia Peters and Sister Maria Sena (far right). Brother Leo Maneri, FBE assisted with the microphone. The newly professed Sister Amaris receives the blessing of St. Francis in song from the Community. MERIDEN, CT (11-25-2018) On the Solemnity of Christ the King, Sister Amaris Salata professed her first vows into the hands of Mother Miriam Seiferman, FSE, Mother General. Sister Amaris has been a novice for the past two years at the John Lateran House of Formation. Growing up in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and through her college years, Sister Amaris was a participant in pro-life activities. She is now the Assistant Program Coordinator for Pro-Life Ministry for the Archdiocese of Hartford. Sister Amaris has had an active career as a certified public accountant and is currently pursuing a master's degree in marriage and family therapy. In professing the vows of chastity, poverty and obedience for three years, Sister Amaris commits to community living according to the Constitution of the Franciscan Sisters of the Eucharist. To symbolize this commitment, Sister Amaris received a cincture with three knots, representing the vows. She also received the insignia of the Community, a medal made of square nails in the form of a cross held by a circular wire, signifying the vertical and horizontal dimensions of Community life, prayer and apostolic outreach, held by the Eucharist as the center of religious life. The Community sang the blessing of St. Francis to conclude the vow ceremony held during the Mass.