Felician Sisters Vocation Booth

S Mary Beth Bromer, director of vocations,
S Judith Marie Blizzard, and S Jane Marie Gawlik arrived in San Jose, CA, on Wednesday, November 30, to begin setting up the Felician Sisters Vocation Booth for the National Conference on Catholic Youth Ministry (NCCYM) entitled Connect Christ.
According to Sister Mary Beth, as in the past, the presence of the Felician Sisters was a welcome addition to the Conference that took place from December 1-3.
More than 3,000 youth ministers, priests, and religious from North America attended this three-day event. These individuals were able to take advantage of the opportunities for professional enrichment, praise and worship, prayer and liturgy, and were also able to build relationships with one another as well as with the representatives from the religious congregations who were present.
Renowned  Christian musician Jessie Manibusan loved reconnecting with the sisters and visiting with them at the Felician Sisters booth after his performance at the Conference. Also pictured S Jane Mary Gawlik and Joan, 
a youth minister from Montana

This year, the Felician Sisters sponsored the Annual Dinner of NCCYM. At the dinner, a Felician backpack, filled with a variety of giveaways, all with the Felician logo and website address on them, was provided for each person in attendance.

At the dinner, Sister Mary Beth welcomed the group in the name of the Felician Sisters and spoke to them about the importance of collaboration in helping young people today to deepen their relationship with Jesus as well as to encourage them to consider a vocation to the priesthood or religious life.
Sister Mary Beth also spoke about the need for youth ministers to help young people to listen and to discern God’s Will and to encourage them to be courageous in responding with open and listening hearts.
Finally, she shared a recent and strong message from Pope Francis on the need to encourage vocations. “Not devoting time to helping young people discern their vocations is a very serious error,” the Holy Father told a group of Jesuits. He went on to say, “Not promoting local vocations is suicide; it is directly sterilizing a church, the church who is mother. Not promoting vocations is an ecclesial tubal ligation. It does not allow that mother to have her children. And that is serious.” These words of the Holy Father serve as a message that Felician Sisters can take to heart.
The three full-day Conference enabled all participants to interact with the three Felician Sisters who were present in the Felician booth and to reconnect with youth ministers who have come to know the Felician Sisters through the years, which is always a highlight of being with any large gathering.
Representing the Felician Sisters at the NCCYM Conference in San Diego, from L:  S Mary Beth Bromer, S Judith Marie Blizzard, and S Jane Mary Gawlik
The connections made in previous years were extremely helpful on Friday evening when the three sisters had to place 3,000 copies of The Felician magazine on each chair in the Grand Ballroom for the following morning. Sister Mary Beth said, “Thanks to the friends made through the years, we had a number of youth ministers from Montana, Illinois, New York, and New Jersey volunteer to pitch in and help. What seemed like a daunting task became lighter with the many hands that helped! We promised to say a rosary as a thank you to them!”
One of the favorite giveaways for the weekend was the Blessed Angela chaplets that the women in Haiti have been making for distribution. The reality of just how much these chaplets were appreciated and treasured became evident to Sister Mary Beth as she was walking to the luggage area at Midway Airport. There, a group of youth ministers, waiting for their connecting flights, raised their hands to show her that they were wearing their Blessed Mary Angela Chaplets on their wrists! Sister Mary Beth said, “That quick and meaningful interaction brought an awareness of how people respond to our sharing of who we are as Felician Sisters.”
Sister Mary Beth noted that she is especially grateful to Sister Judith and Sister Jane for all of their hard work during the weekend as well as to Valerie Oltmanns, executive director of mission advancement, for all that she did to ensure that the Felician Spirit continues to be shared with others and especially those ministering to the young Church.

‘How Good and Pleasant It Is When Sisters Live Together in Unity’

‘How Good and Pleasant It Is When Sisters Live Together in Unity’
Father Bruce Lewandowski, CSsR develops the topic 
“We are All Missionary Disciples”

Yesterday, November 30, was the feast of St. Andrew, and the Gospel told the story of how Jesus called his first disciples, Simon, called Peter, and his brother Andrew.

It seemed fitting, then, that attendees at Ongoing Formation Conference 2016 heard Father Bruce Lewandowski, CSsR, speak about the importance of keeping alive the Church’s mission in the world.
Referencing the Gospel, Father Bruce explained that when Christ began to preach, he began to gather disciples, who were hearers, and afterwards, preachers (kerygma) of his doctrine. He noted that one of the central purposes of mission is to bring people together in hearing the Gospel, in fraternal communion (koinonia), in prayer (liturgia) and Eucharist, as well as in being people of service (diakonia).
Father noted that what was done at the beginning of Christianity to further its universal mission remains valid and urgent today. By virtue of baptism, every Christian is sent forth to proclaim the Gospel all over the world, and called to repeat the cycle of kerygma, koinonia, liturgia, and diakonia, “because there is always someone who needs to hear the Word.”
Discussing what it means to be missionary disciples are, from L:  S Kathryn Marie Augustyniak, IM José da Cunha, IM Aparecida Vilas-Bôas, and 
 IM Nazaré da Costa Quaresma

“Pope Francis is calling us to be missionary disciples,” he said,” and encouraged the sisters to “be nostalgic for the pioneer time with its outward movement toward a world waiting to hear the Good News of Jesus Christ.”

In both small and large groups, the sisters discussed what it means to be missionary disciples and its relationship to initial and ongoing formation.
The afternoon session began with adoration of the Blessed Sacrament in the chapel, followed by praying the rosary together, reflecting on the Glorious Mysteries, praying for those called to make disciples of the nations, pleading with the Spirit to renew the call to serve in the priesthood and consecrated life, as well as those called to continue Jesus’ work.
Following this sacred prayer time, the large group broke into four smaller groups. Their task was to review sections of THE FUNDAMENTALS OF FELICIAN FORMATION: The Spirit’s Creative Presence with an eye to possibly revising the document published in 1994.
Praising the Lord in music ministry, from L:  SM Purity Wawira Ireri,
SM Cynthia Ann Machlik, and S Margaret Marie Padilla

Sister Celestine recognized both Sister Danat and SM Franciszka Stępniewska for organizing the Conference and briefly reflected on “What Now?” She encouraged sharing with the sisters important learnings from the meeting, particularly the post-Vatican II understanding of the vows and articulating the missionary characteristics of the Felician charism.
Following Evening Praise, the Closing Prayer officially concluded Ongoing Formation Conference 2016:
Jesus, Good Shepherd, today we come to you with great gratitude for the    gift of this meeting. To paraphrase the Psalmist we say: How good and   pleasant it is when sisters live together in unity! (Ps. 133.1)

Anniversaries of religious life

The sisters of the New Jersey area celebrated the anniversaries of religious life of seven sisters on Sunday, October 16. The festivities took place in Our Lady of Lourdes Care Center in Lodi.

The Rev. Msgr. Richard F. Groncki presided over the celebration of the Eucharist and Father Mariusz Koch, CFT was the homilist.

Celebrants were:

Sister Mary Imelda Pilarska 80 years

Sister Mary Marcilia Zaleski 75 years

+Sister Mary Agnese Golecka 75 years

Sister Mary Charitine Spitalniak 70 years

Sister Mary Pontia Zdzichowska 70 years

Sister Mary Leona Kotula 70 years

Sister Mary Ellen Brulinski 60 years

In his homily, Father Mariusz noted that people are often impressed with those who make the cover of TIME Magazine as man or woman of the year. But, he said, “Almighty God has a publication called ETERNITY and each of the celebrants would be featured on the cover as Sister of the Year!”

The joyful blare of the trumpeter Dave DeRienzo during the Mass added to the singing of the choir and congregation.

S Maria Magdalena Vallellanes was soloist for Schubert’s Ave Maria. The chapel resounded with the Thanksgiving hymn Magnificat in Latin.

Following Mass, the sisters and family members of the celebrants gathered in the dining room for a festive dinner prepared by Chef Marcin Puzio and his staff.

SM Virginia Tomasiak said, “How grateful we are for the dedication of our jubilarians.”

50 years of consecrated life as a Felician Franciscan Sister

From L:  Tom and Betty Roome;  S Barbara Theresa Marie Martis; 

Father Noel Danielewicz, SM Edith St. Jean

S Barbara Theresa Marie Martis celebrated 50 years of consecrated life as a Felician Franciscan Sister on Saturday, August 27, at Our Lady of the Angels Convent in Enfield, CT.

Opening the day’s festivities, SM Lawrence Lojko, local minister, congratulated Sister Barbara at breakfast and extended best wishes on behalf of the sisters on this joyous occasion.

Father Noel Danielewicz, OFM, Conv., chaplain, was the main celebrant and homilist for the Mass of Thanksgiving, assisted by Franciscan Friars Father Joseph Grzybowski, Father Lucian Krolikowski, Father Firmin Finn, and Father Henry Madigan.

In his homily, Father Noel’s remarks focused on the call to discipleship each person receives to follow God. He said, “Each of us is called by a loving and persistent God who is interested in our response to his invitation to holiness of life.” He continued, “Reflecting back over the past 50 years of consecrated life as a Felician Sister, Sister Barbara realizes that she was given an invitation to follow the Lord, and she said, ‘I chose to accept that invitation.'”

In the name of all those gathered, Father Noel said, “We say thank you, and God bless you, Sister Barbara Theresa, for your generous heart and life given for the good of God’s people.” In closing, Father Noel invited all in attendance to extend a blessing upon Sister Barbara Theresa: “May the blessing of our father Francis, our mothers Clare and Angela, be upon you as you continue to live the Gospel life with joy.”

Following the Communion Rite, Sister Barbara presented roses at the altar of Mary for the intentions of the Felician Community.

Sisters, friars, family, and friends enjoyed a festive dinner in the sisters’ dining room where they continued to extend congratulatory wishes to the jubilarian.

The theme of the observance: “Praise God for 50 years of consecrated life” was re-echoed in Sister Barbara’s message of thanks: I wish to thank you for your presence here today, and for your spiritual and sisterly support on my journey over these past 50 years.

Sister Barbara Theresa continues her ministry as director of case management at Joseph Hospital in Bangor, ME, where she has dedicated herself for more than 30 years.


A Reason to Celebrate and Give Thanks

Felician Sisters CSSF

Meet the New Novices

The postulants arrived at Mother of Good Counsel Convent in Chicago, IL, their hearts full of thanksgiving both for the upcoming ceremonies and for revisiting the convent where they first met in January 2014 during a discernment retreat.

As with all good things, the weekend began with a retreat on Saturday, August 13, allowing the postulants to take a step aside and spend their last full day as postulants with the Lord.

In the evening, the community gathered once again after supper to celebrate the Rite of Initiation for postulants Michele Curry, Lauren Gault and Regina Garofalo. As Lauren so eloquently said, “The loving guidance of Mary, our Mother, was felt, her smile of joy shining down upon all, as we were lovingly accepted even more fully into the Felician Community.”

dddFrom L: S Regina Marie Garofalo, S Petrina Marie Gault, and S Michele Antoinette Maria…

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