|This relatively brief, yet life-changing ritual, set in the context of Evening Prayer, posed this very significant question to the two former Postulants, Agnes Trojnar and Gabriella Ianieri.
The ritual took place on Sunday evening, October 22, in the chapel at the Mother of Good Counsel Convent in Chicago, IL. The Initiation Service was well-attended by more than 85 Felician Sisters.
SM Christopher Moore, as provincial minister, does indeed ask the two postulants, “What do you ask of us? The two women in turn respond that they want to learn our way of life, the vows, prayer, penance and to live out the Gospel.
Sister Agnes Maria expressed happiness and joy along with gratefulness to God, as well as gratitude to the sisters for their prayer, because she could truly feel the support of those prayers.
As Sister Gabriella expressed it, she thanked God with a heart full of joy and peace! She likened the rite to walking through a gate to the next steps ….. and to the mutual discernment which will follow.
SM Julie Weckwerth reflected that while Sister Gabriella and Sister Agnes do not yet know the province’s past, during the Assembly, they were called into a future that they–and we–do not yet know. An interesting position to be in … indeed.”
S Suzanne Marie Kush, coordinator of formation, commented on how solemn and peaceful the service was. It was broken only by the rousing applause, which she said, “Was a wonderful affirmation of Sister Agnes and Sister Gabriella by those gathered.”
SM Dorothy Young said: “What a blessing and joy to witness this Rite of Initiation of these two special women. May we continue to support them and the whole novitiate community, especially in prayer.”
|Postulants Request Admission to Felician Novitiate
Having completed a year of postulancy under the direction of SM Dorothy Young, Postulants Agnes Trojnar and Gabriella Ianieri discerned their readiness to take the next step and to continue in the Felician formation program as novices.
Both Agnes and Gabriella requested admission to the novitiate of the Felician Congregation in Our Lady of Hope Province this morning.
The simple ceremony took place in the chapel of Our Lady of Hope Provincial House in Beaver Falls, PA, before the concluding rite of the Eucharistic liturgy celebrating the feast of the Birth of Mary. Father Samuel J. Esposito was the celebrant and homilist.
In the presence of the provincial house community, SM Christopher Moore, provincial minister, asked each postulant if her request was “made for the love of God, willingly and deliberately?” Agnes and Gabriella each answered affirmatively and promised “to try to observe all that [they] will be taught.” Also present was S Desiré Anne-Marie Findlay.
Following the Mass that also celebrated this 152nd anniversary of the affirmation of the Felician Congregation, the postulants joined the sisters and Father Sam in the dining room for breakfast.
The Rite of Initiation will take place on Sunday, October 22, in the presence of the sisters attending the Provincial Assembly at the Holiday Inn Chicago North Shore in Skokie, IL. The Mass of Thanksgiving will be celebrated at Mother of Good Counsel Convent Chapel in Chicago, IL, the following day.
Agnes, who is from Perth Amboy, New Jersey, came to know the Felician Sisters when her pastor encouraged her to visit the Convent of San Damiano in Perth Amboy where she met with SM Rebecca Piatek and S Dorothy Mary Sajczuk to discuss her leanings and to find out information about the Felician Sisters. The visit culminated with coffee, dessert, and an invitation to come back for Evening Prayer and supper.
Gabriella, a native of Italy, came to know the Felician Sisters while completing her doctorate in philosophy at Our Lady Mediatrix of Graces Generalate in Rome where she lived for approximately a year and a half.
I think I was 19 years old the first time I went to eucharistic adoration. It wasn’t regularly offered at my parish, and my family never lingered after Holy Thursday Mass. When my college chaplain informed us he was going to start offering it each week, I had to ask him for a tutorial. I was pretty uncomfortable during my first few visits. An hour seemed like an eternity to be looking at the host.
Six Buffalo Sisters Celebrate God’s Call
|Sunday, August 13, marked a great day of celebration in Buffalo, NY, for six Felician Sisters as they observed their 50 year anniversary of religious life.|
|To express their sentiments regarding this special day, they used the theme, “A tiny whispering sound, God called…, and the Journey began,” based on 1 Kings 19:12.|
The six sisters celebrating are: SM Fredrica Polanski, SM Melanie Jaworski, SM Kristen Pietrowicz, S Diane Marie Szylkowski, SM Rosalind Rosolowski and SM Renée Kurczaba.
In order to accommodate their guests, the jubilarians chose to have their celebration at Resurrection Church, Cheektowaga, NY. The pastor, Father Conrad Stachowiak, was so delighted with this choice that he even announced the event on the sign in front of the church as well as in the church bulletin.
| SM Angelette Helak said, “It was so pleasant to drive up to the church and to see the announcement.” Five yellow floral arrangements adorned the altar. A bouquet was also placed before a statue of Blessed MaryMr. Keith Kelly, the organist, played spiritual selections before the Mass began. The entrance procession moved down the main aisle as all joined in singing “Gather the People,” by Dan Schutte.
Angela, imported for the occasion.
|At center, Bishop Edward M. Grosz|
Auxiliary Bishop Most Rev. Edward M. Grosz, was the main celebrant for the Eucharistic liturgy, assisted by 16 priests and one deacon. Father Conrad officially welcomed everyone to the celebration. Bishop Grosz added his personal comments before beginning the Mass.
Sister Diane Marie proclaimed the first reading and Sister Melanie, the second. Deacon Heinz Friedman proclaimed the Gospel.
|Father Richard Jedrzejewski, pastor of Assumption Parish in Buffalo, delivered the homily. Using a story, Father Richard made his audience aware that God gives us the faith and ability to do the things he asks of us. He noted that the jubilarians, who were invited to come and serve God in a special way 50 years ago, responded and followed him faithfully. “May their hearts be filled with joy as they serve him in years to come and may they never be afraid.”|
|When the jubilarians came forward to renew their vows, Bishop Grosz also invited SM Celestine Giertych, minister general, to come forward to receive their vows. After the ceremony, everyone joined in singing John Michael Talbot’s arrangement of the Magnificat, “Holy Is His Name.”|
Following a round of applause, the jubilarians presented flowers to the Blessed Mother in memory of their living and deceased parents and in loving memory of SM Deborah Suflita, their jubilarian in heaven. Kathy Kotowski, sister of Sister Deborah, carried flowers in her memory. Sister Fredrica and Sister Kristen offered the general intercessions.
During the offertory, the jubilarians placed the white cloth on the altar and family members presented the gifts accompanied by the hymn “We Come to Your Feast,” by Michael Joncas.
The music enhanced the ceremony with SM Anna Falbo playing the flute. Sister Angelette said, “The singing was exceptionally full with many joining the choir members in singing.” The song “Clare’s Melody” composed by S Margaret Marie Padilla, accompanied by SM Claire Doyle on the piano keyboard and Sister Anna, resounded with the praise of God after Communion.
Before the final blessing, Bishop Grosz once again expressed his gratitude to all the Felician Sisters whom he had served as chaplain for 11 years, and wished the jubilarians God’s blessings in the years to come. In closing, everyone joined in singing the recessional hymn, “Be Exalted,” by Brent Chambers.
Dinner guests enjoyed hors d’oeuvres at the Millennium Hotel in Cheektowaga. Before the meal was served,
SM Francesca Buczkowski extended a warm welcome to everyone and introduced prominent guests, Bishop Grosz and Sister Celestine; as well as SM Jolene Jasinski, S Constance Marie Tomyl and S Michelle Marie Stachowiak, members of the provincial leadership team. She also acknowledged the presence of SM Celeste Goulet, who ministers in the Northwest Territories and who is also celebrating her 50th anniversary of religious life in the Felician Congregation.
After introducing the jubilarians, Father Romulus Rosolowski, OFM, Conv., brother of Sister Rosalind, led the prayer before meals. Following the delicious dinner, Sister Rosalind and Sister Reneé shared a PowerPoint presentation that took sisters and guests on a walk down memory lane.
Sisters and guests enjoyed the evening as the dining room was transformed for dancing.
Reflecting on the day, Sister Angelette said, “God graced the jubilarians with a beautiful day, his powerful presence at the well-planned Eucharistic Liturgy, a delicious dinner, and the great love of family and friends.
It will be a memorable occasion for many when they take time to remember.”
Toronto Archdiocese Offers Mass for Consecrated Life
From L: S Shelley Marie Jeffrey, SM Teresa Mielech, Bishop Wayne Kirkpatrick, and S Peggy Marie Rosehart
SM Teresa Mielech, S Shelley Marie Jeffrey, and S Peggy Marie Rosehart attended the Mass and social for the men and women religious of the Archdiocese of Toronto on Wednesday afternoon.
More than 100 religious gathered at Loretto Abbey in Toronto, Ont, Canada, at the invitation of Bishop Wayne Kirkpatrick, the Episcopal Vicar for Religious.
Sister Peggy said, “It was an opportunity for him to thank the religious of the Archdiocese for their service and witness of religious commitment. It also gave the sisters a chance to get to know other religious in the area and to reconnect with friends and acquaintances.”