Fantastic Support

Friendship, morality, and brotherly love are three of the Masonic core values that drove Albuquerque Lodge No. 60 to donate $40,000 to St. Felix Pantry, Inc. in Rio Rancho, New Mexico.

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Because of their generous gift, purchasing a new grocery truck that will be used to rescue food from throughout Central New Mexico is closer to becoming a reality. Alan Varela, past Lodge Master and Chairman of the Charity Committee for the Lodge says, “Our Masonic Lodge is working tirelessly to improve the living conditions for all people, and we immediately recognized the vital assistance that St. Felix Pantry provides to humanity. We were unanimous in selecting St. Felix Pantry as the recipient of this year’s grant.”

 

“We still have requests out there for the balance of $18,000 in order to have the total amount necessary to buy a new $58,000 refrigerated truck that will be used daily,” Manuel Casias, vice president of development said.

 

“This truck would serve as one of the necessary vehicles used for the St. Felix Pantry Rescue Food Program which collects and redistributes nearly 1.9 million pounds of food each year that would otherwise end up in landfills. It will collect rescued food from various venues including restaurants, schools and businesses, repackage it, and donate it to people in need.” He added, “A new truck will help us tremendously as we need it to keep various meat and dairy products cool during transport between picking it up and delivering it to the Pantry.”

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Our Haiti Mission

222333Students at St. Joseph Academy in Milwaukee, WI, donated loose change that they collected from May 19 – 30 for the Felician Sisters Haiti Mission with helping hands and loving hearts.

According to SM Victoria Richardson, one little boy in K5, who claims all loose change he finds at home to be his, told his mother that he was giving his change to the Haiti Mission. She said, “He proudly handed in the baggie filled with change. It was a very heartfelt moment.”

Altogether, the students donated approximately $400 in loose change including funds from yesterday’s Haiti Dessert Walk at the school’s annual picnic.

Ms. Chiriboga, first grade teacher, organized the Haiti Dessert Walk. The staff of SJA and some parents donated desserts. Students walked the walk for one dollar and then picked a dessert of their choice.

Sister Victoria said the picnic was fun for all the students and neighbors, featuring five bouncing houses, arts and crafts projects, face painting and carnival events, free food, and many smiles. “Above all, the generosity and the joy of the staff radiated to all who participated in the event.”

Welcome Sister

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From L to R: SM Alfonsa Kunicka, SM Lynne Tramble, SM Milena Pociask, and SM Michaelette Corey

Sisters at Holy Name of Mary Convent in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, welcomed SM Milena Pociask to their home on Sunday, June 8.

Sister Milena, who is from Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary Province in Krakόw, Poland, spent 22 hours travelling from Tanzania, Africa, to Toronto including a stopover in Switzerland.

She will reside at the Mississauga convent until the end of November in order to study English.

Sister volunteered to work in the new Tanzanian mission that began in December 2013 with two sisters from Kenya. In all of their work and activities, they need to speak fluent English.

SM Lynne Tramble, local minister, speaking on behalf of the Canadian sisters, said, “We are glad to be able to participate in the new mission of Tanzania by helping her.”

First hand experience

For the second time–from May 23 to June 1–Felician College students, led by SM Honorata Grzeszczuk, 9999participated in the Felician Sisters Volunteers in Mission Program in Haiti.

Three seniors–Keisha, Marie, and Anthony–left for Haiti just after celebrating their graduation. Desirrie, a junior at the College, will complete her program in another year.

The ten days-long service-learning program was a good, life-changing experience. The students taught ESL and participated in the mobile clinic service in the mountains. Every day they learned something about Haiti during an “academic hour.”

They interviewed Sister Clara, a Missionary of Charity; Dr. Yves, who works with Caritas in Jacmel and the mobile clinic; and Karolina, a Polish engineer supervising the school being built in Jacmel. They also visited houses in the neighborhood. Most important, they participated in the service that S Marilyn Marie Minter and SM Inga Borko offer to Haitians, and experienced the simple mission lifestyle. Sister Honorata said, “Sharing the sisters’ stories and their great hospitality made our program unique and enriching.”

After returning to the United States, the students shared their thoughts about the experience.

“It’s been a real good time being here. I will miss the people I met and the experiences I had here were definitely something worth remembering for the rest of my life. I learned a lot every single day that I was there. I was not only teaching English, the kids also taught me more than their language. They made me realize so many things that I had started to take advantage of. I’m happy to have met so many people through this journey. I thank my parents for letting me have the experience of a lifetime and most of all, I thank God for sending me to this journey and making me rethink things and have more of an open mind about the world around us. Hopefully, someday I can do the same thing and go on a mission…”

“We won’t be able to ever forget that experience. All night my brain is working on how to help. I came up with some suggestions that I will share with you… I missed the time we shared together.”

“Just spent the best time of my life in Jacmel, Haiti, from the weather to the people, to the culture, to the food. The moments I’ve encountered in Haiti through my volunteer service with Felician College were amazing! Most importantly, the children I’ve met–“my children”–in a matter of ten days have changed my life, and for that I am more than grateful!
“Not only did I go to Haiti for the first time in my life, but I got to experience it with an amazing group of people. We ate, we laughed, we saw, we cried (well, some of us) but most importantly, we got to impact and teach the people we interacted with in Haiti, with our own individual personalities. Some things cannot be said as well as they were experienced.”

Awarded

Recently during the Awards Convocation at Our Lady of the Sacred Heart High School in Coraopolis, PA, the most prestigious award was presented to the student who most personifies the virtues of Blessed Mary Angela.

According to SM Justice Przybocki, mission leader, the students anticipate this presentation each year and eagerly wait to receive it

This year Sister Justice presented the Award to senior Meghan Bayer.  Meghan has given her time and talent in service not only throughout her four years at OLSH, but it has been her way of life. She volunteers at Children’s Hospital where she herself has been a frequent patient. She has made a difference in life even though she is plagued by hearing problems.

Meghan was elated to receive the Blessed Angela Award for 2014.  SM Francine Horos noted that she will be attending the University of Pittsburgh and plans to major in neuroscience in the pre-med track.BlessedAngela5

Sister Justice added, “We pray Blessed Mary Angela watch over her  and guide her during her life.”

Hero #1

Jack Bunting, president and CEO of St. Felix Pantry, Rio Rancho, NM, wrote this article that appeared in the Rio Rancho Observer on Thursday, May 28.

JACK BUNTING: In a time of crisis, you can be someone’s hero

This past weekend was a time to intentionally remember all those who gave of themselves to protect the freedoms that we all presently enjoy. Unfortunately, Memorial Day, the national holiday that takes place every year on the last Monday of May, seems to have become just another excuse for a three-day weekend or four days if you can get away with it…click here to view full article.

Manitowoc Wisconsin

The Manitowoc Wisconsin associates and prayer associates participated in a retreat day on Saturday, May 17.

Jill McNutt, an art therapist from Saint Luke’s Hospital in Milwaukee, WI, conducted the day’s events.

Twenty-two people who were in attendance participated in activities designed to explore the idea of community and healing through art. During her presentation, Jill focused on the concept that each person is part of the larger community.

To illustrate this, she spread paint onto a large canvas. Each individual then took paper provided and approached the canvas to make a print from the larger canvas.

S Bernadette Marie Zandonatti explained that the individual prints were finished after lunch by adding embellishments.

Following lunch, participants held a discussion to identify and discuss what each person saw on the larger canvas. Participants were able to take their print home.

Sister Bernadette noted that the large canvas will be displayed somewhere in the Felician Village Campus. The group named the finished picture “Paradise.”