Reaching out to the Church in the Northwest Territories:

tttSM Jeanine Heath, faithful caretaker of the alms collection throughout Lent at Mother of Good Counsel Convent in Chicago, IL, presented the alms collected there during the Holy Thursday Liturgy.

Each day during Lent, she counted the money and then transferred it to a safe place, after placing a little note with the amount written on it by the collection bowl so that all knew the rising total.

The sisters united with one another and prayed for SM Celeste Goulet and the needs of the Church in the Northwest Territories:

As we bring up our alms for the poor, for Sister Celeste and the Slavey Dene Indians of Tulita, Northwest Territories, Canada, we pray . .

That through our Felician ministry there, the Slavey People may continue to uphold their native traditions while welcoming God within their lives, we pray . . .


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.

Our international ministries

The Felician Sisters, being an international congregation, minister to people all over the world in many and varied ways.  A current update to our Ministry page gives a link to our sisters in our provinces in Poland.  The featured ministry for the month of January is our sisters in Kenya, a ministry of our Warsaw province.

International Ministries

Sr. Lee in Yellowknife

6181The annual Study Days at Trapper’s Lake Spirituality Center, Yellowknife, Canada, took place over a recent weekend.

Forty priests, sisters, lay ministers and staff gathered for a day of business and two days of conferences. Father Raymond F. Dlugos, OSA, from Philadelphia, PA, shared his reflections on “Maintaining Passion for Mission:  Faith, Hope, and Love in Response to Disillusionment.” According to SM Lee Przybylski, the participants left for their missions uplifted by his words and with an increased feeling of camaraderie.

Sister Lee said that the previous bishop, Archbishop Murray Chatlain, joined the group for an evening of sharing.  “All enjoyed his presence and words of encouragement to continue our work with the people in the North. He asked us to pray for the speedy appointment of a new bishop to lead the diocese.”

SM Celeste Goulet and Sister Lee enjoyed an extra day together. They took care of dentist appointments, enjoyed a treat at Tim Horton’s from SM Celestine Giertych, minister general, as well as an evening of praying and sharing together, and shopped for preschool needs. Sister Lee said, “It was a short but joyous time of being together in community.”

Pomona Catholic Marks 115 Years

Written by Brenda Rees Friday, 13 September 2013

Hot temperatures didn’t stop students at Pomona Catholic High School and Middle School from heralding the beginning of the school year with their traditional half-mile walk to St. Joseph Church for an all-school Eucharistic celebration.

This marks the 115th anniversary year for Pomona Catholic which has served families in the Inland Empire since 1898 when it was created at the invitation of St. Joseph Church. The original campus was destroyed in a 1927 fire; it was immediately rebuilt in 1928 and still stands today.

gggggIn addition to kicking off the commemorative school year, the celebration also welcomed one of the newest teachers to the staff, Felician Sister Desiré Anne-Marie Findlay, who renewed the vows she had recently professed for the first time in the presence of the school body. In a calm, strong voice, the New Mexico native pledged to “choose Jesus for my spouse and Lord, the Blessed Virgin Mary for my mother and lady, the seraphic St. Francis for my model of evangelical life and this congregation for my family.” “We are very blessed to have Sister Desire here with us,” agreed Kathleen Li, campus minister. The Felician Sisters have taught at Pomona Catholic since 1946; the Holy Name of Mary Sisters also were a part of the staff for an earlier period.  The presence of Sister Desire – who joins Felician Sister Feliz Gil-Jimenez, who has taught at the school since 1977 – allows the high school girls to better understand the call to religious vocations, said Li.  “They have a lot of questions for her like, ‘How did you know you were called?'” said Li. “Her presence and her youth makes the idea of a vocation more real to the students here. They can see her living her vocation.

Our Sisters are back in Haiti

20130901-222208We are back on the blog!

01 Sep

Lwanj pou Jezi! So much has been happening this past month while in the States. Because of your prayers and support, we can continue the mission in Haiti. During the month of August, we participated in a few Provincial meetings. We spoke with our sisters in the Central Convent in Chicago, where we experienced support as our sisters realized they are on this mission also. Next we went to Beaver Falls, our Provincial House, where we met for a meeting on the theme: Haiti: The Next Chapter. (more)


One Sister’s Concern for the Poor

SMGeorgette's 063The Food Pantry at Villa Maria College, in Buffalo, NY,  began in 1986 when it became evident that a number of students and employees were in financial difficulty.   Inspired by a magazine article from the Los Angeles Times describing student outreach at Palomar College in San Marcos, California, Villa Maria Professor Joseph Yonder, conceived the idea of outreach to those in need.  Beginnings were small; a single table in the cafeteria near a door for easy access and anonymity, and a few bags of donated non-perishable goods became the base for student and neighborhood outreach to the poor and hungry.

In 1987, Sister Josette Smigielski , campus minister at that time, recognized the growing need for expansion, and moved her office to make way for enlarging the Food Pantry.  Soon donated items made the room a storage area and a hospitality space to provide a refreshing cup of coffee to clients as they waited for service.

In 2008 the Villa Maria College Food Pantry was renamed and dedicated to Sister Mary Josette Smigielski, who passed away suddenly on January 17, 2008.

Under the direction of subsequent campus minister, Frank Antonucci the pantry grew and expanded to its present service of approximately 560 households and 1200 individuals per month.  From one table in the cafeteria, to a quarter of the basement floor of the College’s Music Building in just over 20 years is testimony to the community outreach and ministry of Villa Maria College.

Picture1In 2013, Sister Mary Michaelanne Galas, through prayer and discernment, thought it might be time to change her ministry from the classroom to another venue.   Today, Sister Mary Michaelanne Galas, a cherished friend of Sister Josette, manages the Sister Mary Josette Food Pantry to carry on her vision of serving needy students and members of the community.  This is not only a wonderful tribute to her friendship for Sister Josette, but also an example her true Felician Francican service.