Working in the kitchen
For more than 25 years,
Serving up the spaghetti
The festive spirit was alive with excitement as children and adults admired small Christmas toys and decorations on the tables that were donated for the party. As the volunteers dressed for the Nativity play, several young girls asked to be “angels” and a young boy was dressed to be the Drummer Boy.
Shiranthi DeSilva leading the singing
Volunteers then served the participants homemade chicken soup made by Sister Victoria along with delicious spaghetti, salad, rolls, and dessert. Filled to the brim, everyone then waited for Santa to arrive.
Fourteen Felician Sponsored Ministries Receive St. Francis Fund Awards
The Felician Services Board accepted the recommendations of the St. Francis Fund Committee and awarded $352,258 in grants to 14 projects in December 2015.
SM Barbara Ann Bosch, CEO, said, “This is the fourth round of grants awarded through the St. Francis Fund since its inception in 2012. Grant applicants were challenged to bring forward projects and programs that promote and advance Felician mission and core values through collaborative, community-based efforts with particular emphasis on serving our most vulnerable brothers and sisters.”
The grant submission deadline for this cycle was October 30, 2015. The Grant Committee members reviewed proposals against the published criteria during November and December. The Committee finalized its recommendations for the December Board Meeting.
“Our hope is that the St. Francis application process helps our ministries prepare grant requests that meet the standards of most foundations. We remain committed to helping them achieve that level of professional proposal preparation,” commented Mariita Conley, Felician Services Board Member and Chair of the St. Francis Fund Committee of the Felician Services Board.
Of the 21 grant applications submitted, 14 applicants will receive either a full or partial award.
The ministries whose programs and projects were selected include:
- Enfield Montessori School, Enfield CT – New Toddler Program
- Felician University, Lodi, NJ – Gerontology Institute Survey
- Felician University, Lodi, NJ – MA in Counseling Psychology
- Villa Maria College, Buffalo, NY – Student Centered Instruction
- St. Felix Centre, Toronto, Ontario – Trash to Treasures
- Our Lady of the Sacred Heart High School, Coraopolis, PA – Nutrition of Students with Limited Means
- Madonna University, Livonia, MI – Bridging Lost Gaps
- Madonna University, Livonia, MI – Center for Catholic Studies and Interfaith Dialogue
- St. Ignatius Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, Philadelphia, PA – Nursing Instruction and Critical Skills Lab
- Felician University, Lodi, NJ – Online Institute for Religious Studies and Education Ministry
- Madonna University, Livonia, MI – Center for Humane Studies
- St. Joseph Academy, Milwaukee, WI – Well Now
- St. Mary’s Home, Manitowoc, WI – Dementia Center of Excellence
- United Stand, Chicago, IL – Reading and Language are Possible
The FSI Board of Directors was pleased to learn of the many programs and projects suggested and the innovative approaches that the sponsored ministries designed to reflect the mission and charism of the Felician Sisters.
“The St. Francis Fund provides our ministries with an opportunity to expand services in their communities based upon needs identified in their strategic plans,” said Jack Cashman, Felician Services Board Member and St. Francis Fund Committee Member. “Hopefully, these grants are the catalyst or seeds for increasing their capacity to fulfill their missions.”
Award recipients will provide mid- and end-of-year accountability reports to the St. Francis Fund Committee as a vehicle to track the progress of the respective program implementations. The next funding cycle begins with application submissions between August and October 2016.
After serving 14 years as President of Madonna University, Sister Rose Marie will retire at the end of June 2015.
The reception offered University administrators and staff, Board members, Felician Sisters, and friends the opportunity to share memories and rejoice in the many blessings and accomplishments that have been a part of Sister Rose Marie’s legacy.
Following the opening prayer, Andrea Nodge, vice president, University Advancement, welcomed the crowd to “an entertaining program about one of our favorite people.”
In her remarks describing Sister Rose Marie’s legacy of achievement, SM Christopher Moore, provincial minister, said, “Sister Rose Marie’s ministry here at Madonna is a beautiful incarnation of the spirit of our beloved foundress, Blessed Mary Angela, whose boundless love of God and surrender to God’s will in compassionate service and total availability is what each Felician Sister strives to imitate.
The Honorable Michael Talbot, Chair, Board of Trustees, said he came to know Sister Rose Marie as the principal and chief cheerleader of Madonna University. He noted the challenges facing higher education across the country and said, “Sister Rose Marie has been living her prayer life and it’s been a lesson for me.” He announced that a rose garden outside the Franciscan Center–The Sister Rose Marie Kujawa Rose Garden–would be dedicated in her honor.
In a video entitled “Remember and Rejoice,” individuals and groups from various segments of the University community expressed their appreciation to Sister Rose Marie and also took advantage of the opportunity to say goodbye.
Jack Kirksey, mayor of the city of Livonia, was last but certainly not least among the individuals expressing gratitude, not only for Sister Rose Marie’s accomplishments at Madonna, but also for her innovative community outreach programs, building partnerships and alliances.
Just before the conclusion of the program, when Sister Rose Marie took the podium, she said “These accomplishments are not mine alone. Rather, it is about all of us working together.” She continued, “This is an event of family,” and then credited her birth family, Felician family, Madonna University family, and Livonia family for the blessings of the past 14 years.
The month of October was filled with lots of activity at the Montessori Center of Our Lady in Livonia, MI. According to SM Juanita Szymanski, on Halloween, the staff and the children had a fun time singing Halloween songs at Angela Hospice, Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary Convent, and St. Joseph Care Center.
Montessori families joined in the Family Fun event on Saturday, October 18, by generously donating apples to benefit Forgotten Harvest Mission to relieve hunger in metro Detroit and prevent nutritious food waste.
It’s round up time at the Ol’ St. Felix Pantry Corral in Rio Rancho, NM.
“Yes, that includes the cheese head,” said Jack Bunting, president and CEO of the Pantry.
“The cheese head is our very own Sister Paula Mary Palasz, assistant director of operations for the Pantry,” said Manuel Casias, vice president of development.
The rest, well they are just a bunch of rowdy good ol’ cowfolk volunteers.
Manuel continued, “Halloween is one of the best days at the Pantry especially as the kids light up when they see the costumes.” Last week, the Pantry was able to give away close to 300 pumpkins. Many are probably carved just in time for Halloween.
So “Giddy Up,” and Happy Halloween to all our friends, brothers and sisters of the Felician-sponsored ministries.
For more than two decades, if not much longer, SM Ramona Borkowski, founder of the Felician School for Exceptional Children in Lodi, NJ, has hosted a mid-summer crab feast/pizza party for the sisters of the Immaculate Conception Convent Complex.
This year’s party took place on Wednesday, July 16, following Evening Praise. Five bushels of crabs and approximately 25 personal pizzas–plain, pepperoni, sausage, white, white with pepperoni–brought extraordinary dining delight to the sisters of Immaculate Conception Convent, Holy Spirit Convent, Saint Felix Convent, and Our Lady of Lourdes Care Center. Dinner accompaniments included beer, soda, seltzer, and lots of candy bars.
SM Virginia Tomasiak said “Our wishes of gratitude cannot be expressed adequately to Sister Ramona who is a model of generosity, kindness and compassion. Throughout the year she remembers us in countless ways. We always promise our prayers for her and we want the Felicians of North America to hear about her goodness.”