Prince of Peace Catholic Church, Taylors, SC

Under the direction of Dr. Gaye Douglas, Assistant Professor of Nursing at Francis Marion University, we were blessed with 13 Senior II nursing students who prepared and served the Blessed Angela Meal at our Center. The students did an excellent job with the preparation of the meal and served with generous and compassionate hearts. Thank you Dr. Gaye and the students. I know they will be nurses with generous hearts and respect for the dignity of each person in their care. God bless you all!
11224766_10206505076172936_394460239433120656_nA very special Thank You to Father Chris Smith, Pastor of Prince of Peace Catholic Church, Taylors, SC and all of the Parishioners for their very generous donations of book bags, knapsacks, socks, T-shirts, school supplies and boys’ and girls’ underwear. What a great way to help us get children ready for the new school year. A very special Thank You to Gary and Brenda Weakley for making the trip from Taylors to Kingstree with all of the goods. They are special folks! We are very grateful for their generosity to us. God bless you all!

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“power to the powerless.”

Be it resolved that we, as persons of faith in relationship with all of Creation, and in a privileged position of faith leadership within our society as members of the Franciscan Federation, are called to personal and communal reflection that leads to action to sustain our one planet Earth, so that all Creation may share in the generous gifts of Earth provided by our Creator and Sustainer God. Climate change, especially those changes caused by human ignorance, indifference and greed, calls us to be prophets of change-to act in prophetic ways to halt human-induced abuse of Earth’s resources that are given to be shared by all.  As followers of St. Francis of Assisi we are called to right relationship with our Sister Mother Earth, our home.

ppSM Francis Lewandowski was among the 27 honorees at the Franciscan Federation Banquet on Sunday evening.  This year’s honorees were sisters who reflect  the beauty and goodness of God through artistic expression–music, poetry, drawing, flower arrangements, etc., and who, with artistic expression, bring “power to the powerless.”

Sister Francis was chosen because, through her ministry, she disseminates pertinent information to community members and uses her gift of artistic expression as she designs program booklets for provincial and congregational chapters and assemblies, prepares and publishes cards, monographs, and books, and creates settings for major functions. She currently is coordinating a ministry of presence project in the city of Detroit. After visiting Felician missions in Kenya, Brazil and Haiti, Sister Francis created a photo display to foster awareness of the people, their living conditions and the challenges poverty poses for them. In Jacmel, Haiti, in 2013 and 2014, Sister Francis conducted week-long art classes for youth. The students self-organized into “The Felician Artists of Haiti” and continue to use what they have learned to produce art pieces, placemats, coasters and trays to sell,and are learning basic business practices they can use for future employment. This endeavor is one way to “bring power to the powerless” and hope for the future!

Food Pantry in NY

Sister Mary Josette – Dancing in Heaven Buffalo, NY

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Sister Josette

eeee rrrrr qqqSunshine, warm temperatures, smiling faces, generous hearts, and willing hands fashioned a blessed Day of Service, an overwhelming demonstration of community spirit and solidarity with the poor at the Sister Mary Josette Food Pantry in Buffalo, NY, on Saturday, April 12.

No doubt Mother Angela’s holy desire, “I wish I could multiply myself a thousand times and travel to all parts of the world bringing God’s love and mercy to all people,” found deep expression in the loving service offered by all involved.

According to SM Michaelanne Galas, Pantry supervisor, donations were quickly and efficiently sorted, packaged, and shelved by SM Francianne Zielezinski and volunteers from St. John Vianney School in Orchard Park, NY, and S Marilyn Ann Dudek and volunteers from Annunciation School in Elma, NY. Walk-in volunteers from the Western New York area joined in the preparation of packages that will be distributed throughout Holy Week to those in need.

S Paul Marie Baczkowski, S Sharon Marie Dombrowski and SM Fredrica Polanski, members of the 140th Anniversary Committee, along with many sisters from the central and local convents, were on hand to assist with shelving, gift intake, greeting donors as they arrived, and providing a tour of the Pantry. S Marcella Marie Garus, president of Villa Maria College, and SM Louis Rustowicz, director of mission, were among the many volunteers.  Grandmothers brought their grandchildren, and mothers, along with their children, spent the morning so the young could learn and experience the joy of giving.
Sisters from Immaculate Heart of Mary Convent and St. Francis Residence as well as each of the local convents–strong and loyal supporters of the mission of the Sister Mary Josette Food Pantry–had the opportunity to offer yet more of their time and treasure. The spirit of the holy Lenten season provided the sisters an occasion for almsgiving. Sacrifices made during Lent from the sisters, Personal Touch Food Service staff, nurses, aides and central convent employees enabled Sister Michaelanne to purchase a much-needed freezer.

Kyle Tobin, an Eagle Scout candidate from Troop 659 at Queen of Martyrs Parish in Cheektowaga, NY, assistant scoutmaster and Villa College student Marc Muroff, along with Troop members, cleaned and painted the storage area and built wooden pallets for additional food storage in preparation for the Day of Service.

The College Community sponsored a mini grab bag raffle for the clients and collected needed food items during the week preceding the April 12 event. The Felician Sisters, Felician Associates, College community, non-profit organizations, numerous private donors, anonymous donors, volunteers–especially SM Georgette Zielinski and Claire Keuhmeier–pantry attendant Barbara Wetzel, and Joan Mullin, campus minister, are the living stones that continue to build up the Body of Christ wounded by material poverty.

Clients and donors who came to the Sister Mary Josette Food Pantry learned about the 140th Anniversary of the Felician Sisters of North America and received a holy card prepared by SM Francis Lewandowski as a reminder that “we are both giver and receiver.” Sisters who minister in schools and parishes also received the holy cards so that they could speak to the 140th Anniversary of the Felician Sisters and pray with students and staff.

In reflecting on the Day of Service, Sister Michaelanne remarked, “The earth is certainly full of the goodness of the Lord. So many have shared their goodness with us and we accept gratefully — in giving and receiving we are all blessed. Sharing in the heartfelt desire of Mother Angela to serve the poor, Sister Mary Josette Smigielski and all who support the Sister Mary Josette Food Pantry in any way have and continue to nurture a culture of hope and Abundant Life by taking practical steps to alleviate poverty. Deo gratias!”