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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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.

“This is an event of family,”

oooooMore than 300 people gathered at the Laurel Manor Banquet and Conference Center in Livonia, MI, on Wednesday evening, May 20, to bid a fond farewell to  S Rose Marie Kujawa.

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.

‘Anything is Possible’

Haitian Madonna University Student: ‘Anything is Possible’

S Rose Marie Kujawa, president, Madonna University, sent this letter, “a sample”  of “the letters we received from one of the Haitian graduates. I thought you might enjoy it.” 

To you all who welcomed us,

Thanks! Thank you for this learning experience. Thank you for having understood our need to pave the path for future Haitian Madonna students. My studies at Madonna University have equipped me with the tools I need to really spark a change in my country. Your willingness to welcome us has opened my eyes to a whole new world in the sense that my dedication to thrive has been restored. I no longer feel apprehensive about what my future holds.

In support of my classmate’s moving speech, I would like to say that we are indeed grateful for your hospitality. This has been a rather inspiring opportunity that will stay with us for our remaining years, no doubt. What made it all so special is this feeling of “anything is possible” that I’m sure we’re all riding right now. With a group as sharp as ours, what’s to stop us from conquering the world?

 

The best regards,

Students Share Their Light

Enfield Montessori Students Share Their Light

The children and staff at the Enfield (CT) Montessori School celebrated the Liturgy of Light at the school yesterday, Easter Monday.

S Carol Marie Saladin’s Junior I students were responsible for the service.  As they processed into class singing the “Celtic Alleluia” to begin the service of light, they carried the items to prepare the prayer table.

Before hearing the Scripture account of the Resurrection, the children listened to the explanation of the markings on the Paschal candle. S Francine Mary Sousa and Sister Carol then sang a portion of the Exsultet.

The children then received their candles and placed them around the Paschal candle. Sister Carol said that as the children reflected on what this meant to them, they offered comments such as: “Jesus is the paschal candle and we are the smaller candles;” “Jesus is the big light and we are the little lights of Jesus;” and “There is so much warmth coming from the candles and Jesus is the warmth of our lives.”

The service concluded with singing “This Little Light of Mine.”

Distribution of food and a touch of love … the Felician Way!

vvv Under the direction of SM Eliana Remiszewska and two other adult Teen Leaders from St. Turibius Parish in Chicago, IL, members of the St. Turibius Teen group worked after school to assist the St. Vincent De Paul Society.

The teens prepared packages of Easter goodies for the children, helped carry hams and food packages, and assisted in setting up Felician Hall in preparation for the food distribution to the needy.

The teens were also on hand to help families carry food and kept the children busy with art projects as they waited their turn to receive treats from the Easter Bunny.

Before the food distribution began, the teens joined hands in a circle with members of the St. Vincent De Paul Society to pray for God’s blessings upon all those who are in need and for all those who assist them.

nnnnnSM Francine Lagocki, SM Eunice Olbrantz, SM Barbara Ann Bosch, S Mary Beth Bromer, SM Eliana Remiszewska, members of the St. Turibius Parish’s (Chicago, IL) St. Vincent De Paul Society, gathered with other Vincentians in the parish’s Felician Hall to distribute food to needy parishioners on Tuesday, April 15.

In addition to distributing food baskets, hams, and gift certificates to the adults, the Easter Bunny provided treats for the children who came with their parents. Each child received Easter goodies and a book, and had their picture taken with the Easter Bunny.

“Helping others is what we need to do.”

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Students at the Enfield (CT) Montessori School collected pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters for Pennies for Patients, their Lenten project.

Pennies for Patients is an organization that collects money to benefit children suffering from Lymphoma and Leukemia. After collecting the coins, the children in S Carol Marie Saladin’s class separate the coins and count the amount of money they have in their box.

Sister Carol said, “It is a great learning tool for the children.  In addition, they learn about having empathy and compassion for children who are seriously sick and need the help of others.”

Annabel and Hannah, students in Sister Carol’s class, said that they enjoyed collecting the money because it was helping children. Abby said, “Helping others is what we need to do.”