Vacation Bible School

SM Taaa.jpgherese Chmura CSSF, director of faith formation, planned and facilitated Vacation Bible School at St. Mary of the Assumption Parish in Lancaster, NY during the week of July 11.

An extended archway covered with white sheer curtains became the entrance into “heaven” for the program. The children moved aside white streamers to enter this sacred space. Inside, a very talented teen from the parish played a violin, since a harpist was not readily available!

The live appearance of a dressed-up saint was the focus of each day. Joachim and Ann (an elderly couple from the parish) spoke about raising Mary and provoked a discussion about respecting and honoring the elderly. Then, the children were assigned to small rotating groups for crafts, outdoor activities, song and snack, all based on the theme of the day. A very competent team of adults led each of the sessions.

On the second day, Mary and Joseph (two teens from the parish) focused on following the will of God. Kateri Tekawitha arrived on the third day. She was played by a parishioner, a native American who became a baptized Catholic at the age of 22. She brought along some of the items used for ceremonies on the reservation and the children joined in a native American dance. On the fourth day, Father Joe Bayne, OFM, Conv,. appeared as St. Francis of Assisi.

In addition to the guest saints, the children named their favorite saints followed by discussions about them. Sister Therese explained that the 75 plus participants, including children and teen helpers, were filled with enthusiasm as they talked about the saints they know.

On Friday, a pot luck family picnic took place, during which parents viewed a slide show of the week and children sang the songs they learned. Parishioners donated various pins, medals, key chains, and holy pictures of saints that the children took home with them on Friday.


Family Fun Day at Felician Children’s Center!”

wwWhat do you do with your children on a hot sunny Saturday evening the beginning of summer?

SM Victoria Richardson’s answer: “Enjoy the Family Fun Day at Felician Children’s Center!”

The Family Fun Day event became reality through the hard work and vision of Casey Gray, secretary, and Tracy Smith Jackson, director. This event was planned as a benefit to fund a playground for the Toddlers and Wonderful Ones. These little ones need playground equipment to meet their growing needs.

Sisters and staff members managed the areas of the festival. The families attending had a wide variety of things to do, in addition to enjoying hot dogs and walking tacos, watermelon and salad. Sister Victoria proudly reported that donations were used to purchase the needed supplies.

Silent Auction items included a painting and an educational basket, along with items from local vendors. Sister Victoria herself created two baskets that were part of the raffle. Donated stuffed animals were used as prizes for the children who played the 1 to 10 BINGO. The day’s events also included a 50/50 Raffle.

Outside events included a Bouncing House for the children, Watermelon Eating Contest for children and adults, hand painting, face painting, sidewalk chalk drawing, water balloon games, and fun with foam water launchers.

Event supporters enjoyed popcorn and snow cones were the most popular item on the very hot day.

Sister Victoria said, “With laughter, watermelon, and a nice place to eat inside, the families who attended Family Fun Festival truly enjoyed themselves.” She added, “We are still accepting donations to help enhance our playground for the Toddlers and Wonderful Ones, but with this wonderful community-building festival, we have taken the first step.”


Sister Carole Mary Capoun CSSF Receives Maria Kolbe Award

Sister Carole Mary Capoun CSSF Receives Maria Kolbe Award

SM Juanita Arnister, director of Felician Associates, presented S Carole Mary Capoun with the Maria Kolbe Award, in recognition of her 30 years of dedication and leadership in the Felician Associate Program on Tuesday evening, June 27.

The Maria Kolbe Award was established to recognize a person who has contributed significantly to the ongoing evolution of the associate relationship.

Who was Maria Kolbe?

Maria Dąbrowska Kolbe was a woman who lived in Poland from 1870 to 1946. She is notable not only for being the mother of a saint, St. Maximilian Kolbe, but also because she could be considered a Felician Associate, in fact, a live-in Felician Associate.

Maria spent the last decade of her life living in the portals of the Felician Motherhouse in Cracow, Poland, praying with the sisters, eating with them, sharing their ministry to the poor and sick in that war-torn city. When she died, she was buried in the Felician cemetery in Cracow.

SM Felicita Zdrojewski, biographer of Maria Kolbe, whom she lovingly referred to as “Mother Kolbe,” attended a gathering of the provincial directors of associates held in Buffalo, NY, in the mid-1980s. She enthusiastically and memorably described to the directors and associates gathered there how Maria Kolbe really could be considered the first Felician Associate, long before the word associate had ever come to be used in its current context.

In her book To Weave A Garment, Sister Felicita lays out her careful research on Maria Kolbe’s life. The little book, published in 1989 by the Felician Sisters in Enfield, CT, sums up her remarkable life thus:

Maria Dąbrowska Kolbe was a Woman of Divine Providence. She totally confided in and completely surrendered to the designs of God. This was accomplished and enhanced through a deep spirit of prayer and an ardent love for her family. As a contemplative, she opened herself to truth, to everyday living, to real people, to their problems, and to events good and bad. And to prayer she considered all things. 

Sister Juanita made the award in the presence of SM Christopher Moore, provincial minister, the provincial council; SM Kristin Pieklowski, who will succeed Sister Carole, several regional associate coordinators, and several sisters from the Chicago area.

Sister Kristin is coordinating a reception with Sister Carole in July when the associates next gather.

Sister Carole was very grateful for this recognition of her contributions to the Felician Associates since the program’s inception.

S Christina Marie Luczynski, CSSF and teachers Teresa Nielsen, Kathy Isgar, Carol Shifflet, and Chris Mominey, were at the recent STREAM Symposium held at Neumann University in Aston, PA.

Holy Family School in Fairmount, NY, where Sister Christina is principal, will become a STREAM School this fall.  STREAM, an initiative of the National Catholic Educational Association, (NCEA), is a program that integrates Science, Technology, Religion, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics with writing, research and hands-on activities.

Kathy Mears, former executive director of the NCEA Elementary Schools Department, said, “Catholic school leaders believe in educating the whole child. We believe that exposure to the arts is essential and we are committed to an educational experience that provides multiple encounters with Christ in every aspect of curriculum and instruction. STREAM will help us to achieve these goals.”

Schools already committed to STREAM are accepting the challenge of preparing students in new ways, while remaining true to the classical Catholic educational roots. They are pledging to improve their curriculum and instruction, so that their students will receive the best possible Catholic education