Felicians in Kingstree

Sights and Sounds of Christmas in Kingstree, South Carolina
Nearer and closer to our hearts be the Christmas spirit.  –Charles Dickens
 
PREPARING. . . homemade decorations for the tree, outdoor Nativity for passers-by, props for the Nativity drama, food from food drives all over the state of South Carolina, 340 children’s jackets from the South Carolina Knights of Columbus, pillows, towels, and toiletries for residents of a boarding house from benefactors and area churches, laundry baskets filled with household items for the elderly
SM Jacqueline Benbenek
From L: SM Carol Piskor, SM Johnna Ciezobka, and 
SM Jacqueline Benbenek
RECEIVING. . . hats, glove sets, books, LCR games, toys, boxes of cereal, candy canes, Oreos, popcorn, McDonald’s gift cards, sweatshirts, body wash, crosses with Nativity scene from benefactors near and far including wives of Knights of Columbus; Our Lady of the Sacred Heart High School, Coraopolis, PA; St. Andrew Church, Myrtle Beach, SC; Prince of Peace, Taylors, SC, and many individual benefactors
SM Jacqueline Benbenek
PERFORMING . . . hand bells, jingle bells, singers, dancers, Santa, elves and the “holy story”; S Susanne read the Gospel of the Nativity on the steps of the courthouse as part of the town’s celebration, children gift the sisters with their program
At L: SM Johnna Ciezobka and SM Carol Piskor; 
at R: SM Jacqueline Benbenek
CELEBRATING . . . delights of food at the party sponsored by Kingstree United Methodist Church and Williamsburg Presbyterian Church, salad (lettuce, spinach, kale, radishes) made from the Children’s Winter Garden, the 25th anniversary gift from the Felician Sisters of North America; opening gifts from the sisters, enjoying a magic show and Santa, too.
From L: SM Jacqueline Benbenek, SM Carol Piskor, 
SM Susanne Dziedzic
Like Wise Men laying presents before the Baby, kindness begot this feast. And Jesus is the cause of it all. Thank you for 25 years of prayers and support.
May each Christmas find us more and more like Him. . .more simple, more humble,
more affectionate, more resigned, more happy, more full of God. 
John Henry Cardinal Newman
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Felicians and the poor

During the month of December, the employees and sisters of the Blessed Mary Angela Care Center along with Sharon Secrist, director of nursing, and Melissa Green, clinical supervisor, collected items that mothers could use for their children at Gerard Place in Buffalo, NY. Gerard Place assists mothers with their children until they get themselves established.
SM Nicolette Wichrowski and SM Patricia Tomasik, mission awareness coordinators, sponsored the project  which was aligned with the Felician core value for ministry of “solidarity with the poor.” They helped procure baby bottles, bibs, diapers, wash cloths, formula, blankets, and little outfits for the children.
SM Shawn Czyzycki,  a board member for Gerard Place, accepted  gift bags containing these items as the care center’s donation and delivered them to Gerard Place.
Sister Nicolette said, “We enjoyed finding things that would help those most in need during this most joyous season of the year, Christ’s Birth.”

Felician Sisters and company …

Felician Sisters, associates, and Madonna University faculty and staff brought Christmas joy to Cabrini Clinic for the Poor patients, families, and local neighbors at Holy Trinity School in Detroit, MI, on Tuesday, December  13.
Working in the kitchen

For more than 25 years,

S Victoria Marie Indyk has coordinated this annual event. This year, more than 20 volunteers wrapped presents and assisted at this special event to provide a live Nativity play, sing Christmas carols, serve a delicious spaghetti dinner, and help Santa to distribute presents to everyone.
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.

At the end of the Nativity play, children from the audience were invited to come up and sit by Baby Jesus as everyone sang Christmas carols honoring Jesus on His birthday. Proud parents eagerly took pictures of the beautiful Nativity scene surrounded by their young children.
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.

Each person received a specially marked shopping bag that contained wrapped Christmas gifts of gloves, scarves, hats, hygiene kits, toys, clothes, candy, and age-appropriate presents. Presents for the men had been donated through St. Sabina’s Parish that had a “Giving Tree” as their special parish mission.
At the end, presents that were left over were given to local shelters and needy families in the downtown Detroit area.

Service Day – April 12

rrrrSisters Prepare for Service Day with Laity

 

Apart from the planning efforts of SM Faith Balawejder, coordinator for the service project at the West Hills Food Pantry, the sisters of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Convent in Coraopolis, PA, are gearing up for Saturday’s 140th Anniversary Celebration with their lay partners.
As a number of the sisters residing at the care center and central convent are not physically able to participate in the actual service day, there was no stopping them in doing their part. In preparation for the April 12th Service Day, Sister Faith and SM Denise Bernas involved the sisters by having them make Easter cards, favors, bunnies, and other items that will add color to the bagged articles while bringing joy to the hearts of the families who will receive food items for Easter from the West Hills Food Pantry.

The sisters gathered in the Activities Room on Friday, April 4, coming at whatever hour they were available for this history-making event. According to Sister Denise, “The sisters were certainly on a roll and had a great time doing something for others.”

Next week, both sisters and lay partners will gather to clean the West Hills Food Pantry by washing windows, painting walls, clearing the outdoors, and making additional favors for the bagged food items that will be distributed by the food pantry to their clients for Easter. Other service projects for this area will involve sisters and lay partners at McGuire Memorial in New Brighton and the Mooncrest Neighborhood in Moon Township.

Still Growing

St. Joseph Academy, a voucher school on Milwaukee’s south side with a long history of child care services, has launched a $4 million capital campaign to expand into a full, K-5 elementary school over the next two years.

The school, at 600 W. Oklahoma Ave., is the present-day face of a long line of child care centers run by the Felician Sisters, a branch of the Third Order of St. Francis in the Catholic Church.

It began operations as a school in 2009 with 16 students in one 4-year-old kindergarten classroom and has grown to include 256 students in 4-year-old kindergarten through third grade.

SM Brendan Bogdan, St. Joseph’s mission and outreach coordinator and one of five Felician Sisters working at the school, said the school has grown faster than administrators anticipated…

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Sounds of laughter and words of gratitude echoed throughout the Country Diner in Enfield, CT, on Sunday, May 19, as many friends and supporters gathered for the ‘Tip-an-Angel’ breakfast fundraiser that benefits the Felician Adult Day Center (FADC).

According to Director of Institutional Advancement S Patricia Marie Iagrosso, the event was very profitable. Joe Ravalese, owner of the Diner, worked side by side with the sisters.

Sister Patricia said that many of the people who came to support the fundraiser remarked about how happy they were to be served by the sisters and enjoyed ‘tipping their angel.’

She continued, “We are very grateful to our many friends who help us–through events like this–to give quality care to our clients.”

filling and wrapping … now that’s the spirit!

Picture6S Jane Marie Lebiedzinski and SM Theresann Zywicki have been busy filling and wrapping Christmas mugs with peanut butter crackers, candy, tea packets, cookies and hot chocolate packets to be taken to the people in the Appalachian Mountains in Virginia. In all, they filled one hundred mugs.

On November 23, 24 and 25, Sister Jane and Sister Theresann spent four to five hours each day at the home of Carl & Shirley Roos. They were helping to prepare “Shoe Boxes” with personal items including toiletries, gloves, scarves, hats and whatever else would fit in the box. They filled and wrapped a total of 642 boxes. According to Sister Jane, they have all been delivered to the warehouse in Virginia.