Franciscan Sisters Celebrate Sister Judy’s 60th Jubilee of Profession

Father who created us, Jesus who espoused us, and Spirit who sustains us: Help us to be mindful that we should desire one thing alone, namely, the Spirit of God at work within us. Always obedient to the Church and firmly established in the Faith let us live according to the poverty, the humility and the holy Gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ which we have solemnly promised to observe.

Sister Judy renews her vows

“Almighty and eternal God, I renew and confirm with all my heart the vows of poverty, chastity and obedience which I made at my profession and I implore your grace to accomplish them perfectly. Amen.” (Taken from our community’s Vow Formula)

Father Cam responds to this renewal.

“Sister if you remain faithful to these vows, I promise you in the name of God, eternal life. In the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen”.                                                              (Taken from our community’s Vow Formula)

“Through our profession of the evangelical counsels, we respond in the spirit of Christ with a total gift of ourselves to the Father.”   (Taken from our Community Constitutions)

“We embrace our way of life knowing that it is the way God is giving us to grow in intimacy with Him.”  (Taken from our Community Constitutions)

After Mass Sister Judy was congratulated by many of her friends and fellow parishioners.

Mrs. Lewis, our Principal, stopped to congratulate Sister Judy  after Mass.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Sister’s card are bears the words; “Having walked and blessed the holy ground of St. Francis, Greenwood, you have softened the clay of your being to be more perfectly formed by the potter.” Also, one of Sister Judy’s favorite quotes followed; “Take me, use me, lead me, mold me, call me, fill me, guide me.”

 

Sister Judy seems delighted to receive a gift card for the purchase of a Jubilee skirt.

Also stamps! What Sister isn’t pleased with a gift of stamps?

 

As we downsize our possessions during these Lenten days, Sister Judy’s request was that any gift be consumable. She appears pleased.

Romans 12:1ff   “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, by the mercy of God, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God–your spiritual worship. Do not conform yourselves to this age but be transformed by the renewal of your mind that we may discern what is the will of God, what is good, pleasing and perfect. Let love be sincere, hate what is evil, hold on to what is good; love one another with mutual affection; anticipate one another in showing honor. Do not grow slack in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, endure in affliction, persevere in prayer.”

Saint Francis’s Prayer Before the Crucifix:  “Most High, glorious God, enlighten the darkness of my heart and give me true faith, certain hope, and perfect charity, sense and knowledge, Lord, that I may carry out Your holy and true command. Amen.”

 

Franciscan Sisters Witness the Loss of Two of our Trees

For those who are familiar with St. Francis Convent and school, you will remember the three tall pine trees which grow near the two buildings. The first of our three trees near the west door of the school had to come down as it was dying.

We watched each branch as it came down.

But then as the tree came down we were told the second tree was infested with an insect and could live another year, but then would need to come down also.

So the Friars made the decision to take it down now also.

 

We watched with heavy hearts as each limb came down

 

Then the final notch.

 

And now there is one pine tree left.

Saint Francis of Assisi Hosts Annual Mardi Gras

The Franciscan Sisters assisted with the decorations at the Civic Center for the annual Saint Francis of Assisi Mardi Gras Dinner and Ball. The Mardi Gras event is a fundraiser for St. Francis of Assisi School. Sister Myra Jean, who was visiting us, joined in the true spirit of the season Friday evening, by lending a hand with putting up the stage skirting, arranging table center pieces and whatever else needed doing.

Final touches before the guests arrive. The centerpiece just wasn’t straight, but Sister Myra Jean was up for the task!

 

An overview of part the dining room.

 

Sister Kathleen ponders the evening ahead with the welcoming arc in the background through which the guests enter.

 

Three of the Friars eagerly anticipate the music and the meal.

 

As the guests begin to gather it seems like a good time for a group picture!

 

The meal was courtesy of Brown’s Catering and the music was provided by DJ TRAXX CRE8TOR 

After a delicious Southern meal of gumbo, red beans and rice, BBQ meatballs, various chicken drummies, crackers and cheeses, fresh fruit and toasted sandwiches. Dessert was yet to follow.

 

Bread Pudding with vanilla sauce and King Cake to top it off!                                                                                                      

The meal was delicious and the dance floor was often filled with people enjoying the rhythm of familiar songs.  It truly was an evening of “Festival” for all who attended!  Now masks and banners and balloons are tidily stored away for another year!

 

St. Francis of Assisi School Marks Black History Month

Our Black History Program began with Principal, Mrs. Lewis, welcoming the families and friends of our students who had come to enjoy the production of “We are the Dream: The Legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr.” by Kathryn Schultz Miller. According to tradition, the performance was preceded by the audience, faculty, staff and student body joining together in the singing of the Black National Anthem, “Lift Every Voice and Sing” by James Weldon Johnson.

A prelude was offered by Sr. Kathleen’s Pre K and Kindergarten. They performed “Siyahamba”, singing the lyrics in Swahili and accompanying themselves with rhythm sticks. This was followed by the dramatic presentation of the life and times of Dr. Martin Luther King.  Students of Pre-K through Grade 6 made up the choir and the cast of characters.

The program opens with a teacher explaining to her class the dream of Martin Luther KIng and announcing that he would be coming to visit their school.  The play unfolds by offering vignettes of various events in the life and growth of Dr. King.  He is first portrayed as a young boy and the script offers insight into some of the early experiences of Martin as he learns the effects of segregation.

Young Martin with his parents considering the purchase of new shoes.

The plot moves on to Martin’s proposal to Coretta Scott.

Coretta is unsure of her desire to leave her cultured life to share in the dream of Martin.

Dr. King really began his public pursuit of racial equality in the wake of Rosa Parks’ courageous stand on the bus in Montgomery, Alabama.  Thus her story became part of the performance.

Rosa Parks was tired of being discriminated against.

Woven throughout the story of Dr. King’s life, were renditions of spirituals and Civil Rights era songs by the student choir.  Selections in included “My Lord, What a Morning”, Nobody Knows the Trouble I’ve Seen”, Oh Happy Day”,  “We Shall Overcome” and “Free At Last”.

Sister Kathleen Directed and guided the students throughout the program. After many hours of practice and concern the students of St. Francis “did her proud”!

The cruelty dealt to the youth who participated in the Birmingham Children’s March was portrayed powerfully by the students as a sound track from the actual event played in the background.  The audience was solemnly silent as this moment was replayed before them.

The students fell to the floor as the scene in Alabama of the fire hoses and dogs attacking the children was enacted.

The scenes of the drama continued with the latter part of Dr. King’s life and the apprehension he and his family endured due to his activism.  A recording of Dr. King’s voice boomed out over the audience in the well known words of his “I Have A Dream” speech.  Our student actor froze in witness form as this speech played.

Martin Luther Kings speech “I Have A Dream” was was the crowning point of the program.

The members of the choir, as well as the rest of the student body, sang the spirituals from their hearts and in full voice.

The choir sang Spirituals and Civil Rights era songs.

 

The little ones sang their hearts out!

 

All the members of the cast joined together in the closing song; “We Shall Overcome”.

As the last notes of the closing song rang out through the church, all breathed the joyful words, “Free at last, thank God almighty, we are free at last!”  There was much to be proud and happy about in the St. Francis School community.

Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity Celebrate 150 years of Founding at St. Francis of Assisi Greenwood, MS

This year of 2019 marks the 150th anniversary of the founding of the Congregation of the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity.  Our Community began on November 9, 1869, in Manitowoc, Wisconsin. In order to share this historic moment with our St. Francis Parish Family, we decided to host an open house. Wanting to include our school families as well,  the opening of Catholic Schools Week made a perfect time for our event.

 

Sister Judy welcomed each of our guests as they walked to our house after mass.

Once in our house, our guests were invited into the chapel where Sister Kathleen greeted them and offered a prayer of blessing upon our home and theirs. Our book of prayers was in chapel so all could add their own petitions.  They were promised that we would bring their needs before the Lord daily.

The Principal, Mrs. Lewis, helped Sister Annette serve the refreshments.

Everyone was eager to relax and enjoy a piece of cake and other nibbles along with some sweet tea.

We each had time to visit with our guests and exchange memories and delightful stories.

Note the archival pages displayed behind Sister Maria Goretti.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We had printed off many of the archival pages which Sister Caritas has been posting on our Community Facebook page. These we displayed on the cupboard doors for our guests to enjoy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

         Day is done and smiles are still shining!

We have also been sharing the blessings of our founding through weekly articles printed in our parish bulletin. The first in the series offered a brief history of our community and its roots; ” Our Sisters have built our lives on faith in a loving God. We are deeply rooted in Franciscan tradition, in love for the Church, and mindful of our title, in selfless dedication to the service of others.” (Taken from a community history shared by Sister Caritas.) The articles sharing the beginnings of our community are being followed by a brief history of St. Francis School, leading up to the  coming of our Sisters  21 years ago. This will be followed by pictures and recollections of and about all the Sisters who have ministered here over the years.

We are so blessed and have so much to be grateful for as Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity.

We “join those who have gone before us in echoing the words of St. Francis as he said, ‘I have done what is mine (to do); may Christ teach you what is yours (to do)! ‘We continue to trust in God’s hand guiding us into the future. God calls you. We invite you.”  (Taken from our Community history.)

 

Franciscans Join in 35th Annual Greenwood Martin Luther King March

The 35th annual march honoring the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was held Sunday in Greenwood, MS. The march began at the St. Francis Center, then headed to the Friendship Missionary Baptist Church where Dr. Leroy Williams was the keynote speaker. Dr. King was in Greenwood on March 16, 1968, three weeks before he was assassinated in Memphis. Dr. King marched and spoke many times in Greenwood in the years he was the leader of the Civil rights movement.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was  known for the sweeping marches and nonviolent protests he led to protest systemic racism and poverty. Greenwood’s annual march is designed to unite races, religions and cultures across the community in honor of Dr. King.

Sister Maria Goretti and Sister Kathleen waiting for the crowd to gather.

 

A former St. Francis students came to have a photo taken with the Sisters

 

 

Sisters standing with one of our Secular Franciscans and Brother Mark OFM.

 

Fr. Kim, looking into the sun, proudly holds one of the many signs Sister Kathleen has made.

 

There is so much to pray about, work for, and guard against.

 

Many marchers carried signs bearing Dr. King’s phrases and hopes on signs as we walked the streets singing songs and witnessing.

 

Prayers were said outside of Friendship Missionary Baptist Church before entering for the service, prayers and music.

Despite the low 30 degree temperatures we held strong. The wind put a chilly bite in the air for us thin-blooded Southerners, but the spirit of all in the march was joyful and united as we prayed and sang; “We shall overcome someday…”

 

St. Francis of Assisi school presents; “Star Search”, a Christmas Program

Our students at St. Francis of Assisi did a fantastic job of performing “Star Search”, a Christmas musical  for kids by Gina Boe and Barb Dorn.  They took the stage under the guidance of Mrs. Lewis, our Principal and Sister Kathleen,  Program Director. The Pre-K and Kindergarten students reenacted the Nativity Story. The 5th and 6th grade girls did a praise dance to “Now Behold the Lamb” by Kirk Franklin and the entire student body sang a variety of songs backing up “the stars in the sky”, who narrated the story.

 

Sister Kathleen giving final encouragement to the little ones before the program began

The stars learned that the Christ Child was to be born on earth and that just one star would be chosen to shine brightly directly over Bethlehem. They all wanted to be the chosen one and each tried to build up strength and increase their shine ability and bling. Who wouldn’t want to shine for the King of Kings, Wonder Counselor, Prince of Peace? “But there are so many stars. How will He decide”?

The stars looking down from heaven observe earth below as they consider the coming event.

It so happens that the smallest star, Bob, who was always kind and doing nice little things for others was a silent part of the group. He would certainly not be picked!

A stir began among the stars as they looked down to earth, realizing that the Savior, the King of Kings, Emmanuel was born. Bob, is that BOB? Bob is shining down on the tiny baby Savior. It can’t be! Can it? Out of all the stars in the universe…BOB is the chosen one? Now they follow Bob’s light and see the Kings.

The students join together singing, “Away in a  Manger” and “Star of Wonder”.

It is then that the Stars see the qualifications for the “Star of Bethlehem”; “Don’t be selfish, don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than ourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. He is God yet he gave up His place in heaven for a bit. He took the lowly place of a slave and was born as a human being. He shows us that being little is what truly makes you great…do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become true, children of God who are good even though all those around you act in ways that God did not intend. Then you will shine out above all the rest, like a star in the sky”.

As Bob rejoined the stars in heaven, they all greeted him with wonder and praise. and Bob replied, “Thank you, guys. But I am just a little star. that God used to help fulfill His plan. All the glory and praise go to Him.” All gathered around and joined the angels in saying, ” Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will to all”.

Merry Christmas to all from St. Francis of Assisi parish and school!

 

 

Franciscans Gather to Give Thanks and Celebrate

Thanksgiving and Fall Break gave the Sisters of St. Francis, Greenwood and Our Lady of Guadalupe, St. Louis the perfect opportunity to gather and celebrate Thanksgiving together.

Not seen on the photo are Brother Craig, Sister Sue Ann and Sister Annette

Coming together with the Friars always adds that perfect Franciscan family Spirit.

What would gathering together of Sisters be without a fraternal game of cards? When the game got serious Sister Delores reminded us that “there is no charity in cards”! Wow!

Sister Kathleen had not only done a beautiful job decorating our dinning room table she also arranged a special setting in our chapel for our prayer and quiet reflection.

Transportation Fair for Sister Kathleen’s Pre-K and Kindergarteners

Each year Sister Kathleen teaches a unit on transportation. As a culmination she invites parents and community businesses to bring their vehicles out to St. Francis for her students to see close up. Yesterday we had rain and a chilly breeze. So Sister Kathleen rescheduled the Fair for today. But today was a blustery 35degrees that felt like a temperature of 31.  This makes for a very wintery day for those of us with thinning Southern blood. All we missed was a few snow flakes. The elements did not dampen the children’s spirits or excitement.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The students hit the parking lot armed with their clipboards, pencils and  a worksheet to fill out on each vehicle. Their assignment was to draw the vehicle, count the number of wheels, tell the colors and size of the vehicle.  Finally, they had to determine whether vehicle used for work or fun.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The cold crisp air was filled with the sounds of children calling “Sister, Sister”, along with sirens of the fire truck, the police car and horns being blown. The officials readily entered into the fun and excitement. Because of the cold the outdoor  activity was expedited a bit and adjouned to the classroom for bowls of warm applesauce that the class had helped prepare in the morning.  All in all, it was hard to decide whether it was the children or the adults who had the most fun!

 

 

 

 

 

Greenwood Franciscans Host “Meet The Sisters”

Saturday found the Sisters enjoying the company of 12 of our Catholic young women from St,. Francis of Assisi Parish. The time together began with a snack and sharing.

Once the popcorn and beverage where fully enjoyed, Sister Maria Goretti began a game of “Saints Bingo”. It was a great way to remember All Saints Day which we had just celebrated.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Having reviewed the lives and sacrifices of some of the Saints, it was time to recall our departed loved ones in remembrance of All Souls Day. For this activity, Sister Kathleen took the group over to her classroom where all reflected on the often told sentiment that the death of a loved one leaves an emptiness, a hole in one’s heart.  This is an emptiness that only God can fill.  The group listened to a song about the God-shaped hole in each of our hearts–a hole that only He can fill.  Just so, only he can heal and fill that emptiness from the loss of a loved one.  Our prayer not only helps our relatives and friends on their journey back to the Lord, but it helps to heal that hole in our hearts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Back at the convent Sisters Annette and Judy were setting up a lunch sure to please these young ladies. But before we ate our group was eager to display their finshed craft. Those hearts are waiting to be filled with prayer and healing.

Lunch followed with fun and sharing and finally, s’mores. This has become a traditional ending for our meal for “Meet the Sisters”.

 

 

 

 

Before our closing prayer we all gathered for one more group picture.

Next,  Sister Judy was ready to lead us in a closing prayer in our chapel. We remembered all those who had gone before us and all those we wanted to recommend to our gracious and loving Lord. Our response was; “Lord Pray for Us”.  Then it was nearly time for the parents to pick up the young ladies.  Shouted out words of thanks and questions about when the next Meet the Sisters would be, echoed across the convent yard as all jumped into their cars.  God is good!  All the time!

Franciscan View of Saint Francis school Fall Festival

After months of planning and weeks of preparation the result of the St. Francis Fall Festival was a rewarding day for all of us here at St. Francis of Assisi School.

Sister Kathleen has an early morning check in with Mrs. Lewis our Principal. Are we ready for this day?

Sister Judy stops to see how Mrs. Scott and Br. Patrick are doing in the Silent Auction booth. All appears well!

This year a big tent was added on the Silent Auction space to provide shade and make it look amazing!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Two additional bicycles were donated this year for the Silent Auction, which added a lot of interest for the younger set.

A large screen TV had been a $10.00 raffle ticket item the weeks before the Festival.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For a $1.00 raffle ticket a lucky rider could have  this adult man’s bicycle.

Food was plentiful and delicious.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Many chose to eat in the cool cafeteria…

….others enjoyed the outdoor dining!

 

 

 

 

 

 

The horses attracted many of the children.

Even a few of the very young and brave!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A new adventure this year was this round globe with room for only one occupant.

Eric was certainly having a ball!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tickets for all of the outdoor games and even food were sold just inside the cafeteria door. A wristband meant you could enjoy all of the games all day!

The ball did connect and the top three rows of the cans came tumbling down!  Prize time!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Throwing Horse shoes is still a fun and competitive game enjoyed by many.

A variety of new children’s games were added this year like; “Spoon and Egg”,  still it seems running and chasing are always in order.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sister Judy had a shady place to share the blankets, bibs and caps our own Sister Virgine worked so hard on this summer

Adults enjoyed the livley games of bingo under another big tent. With a temperature of 91 degrees we all appreciated a bit of shade along with the fun.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cousins taking a break in the shade!

So what is in your back pack?

Two of our upcoming Basketball stars were willing to pause from a serious basketball game to pose for a picture.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As the activity and children’s energy faded, the adult helpers enjoyed a bit of the shade in their game space.

When it was all said and done one could only reflect back on the many smiling faces of the day, even on the faces of the firemen who joined us and lost the challenge of a tug-of-war with some of our St. Francis school parents. The team which lost was to dance in front of the stage to the music provided throughout the day by Mr. Randle, one of our school parents who sidelines as a DJ.  Some went home with extra cash from the Draw Down.  Some left with Bingo prizes, or stuffed animals in hand.  Others left with pockets full of candy or stomachs full of barbequed chicken or catfish or popcorn.  We came home filled with thankfulness for the many blessings of this eventful day.

Franciscan Sisters Pitching In For Fall Festival

The St. Francis of Assisi Parish and School marquee announces the Fall Festival and the events around the convent and school indicate its nearness.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mrs. Scott annually attains art pieces for our Silent Auction.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Modern art

Brother Mark carrying a lamp base in for the auction.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our Principal asked the Faculty and Staff to help fold, roll and band, with size visible, endless numbers of T-Shirts which will be used as prizes during the festival. All are new shirts with a sports logo, donated by a benefactor from the Fox Valley.

 

 

 

 

 

Our Principal checking for sizes before boxing the T-Shirts up.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Saturday found the four Sisters selling raffle tickets in front of Walmart and Market Place, our local grocery store.

Sister Judy and Sister Annette took the first shift with two enjoyable ladies from St. Francis School.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sisters Kathleen and Maria Goretti suppied us with extra tickets and then took our places under the tent.

Back home Sister Judy worked unpacking and preparing other prizes for the Festival.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We pray for you as we celebrate this Feast of St. Francis and ask that the Lord bless and keep you.

Donuts with Dad and Muffins with Mom at St. Francis School

Family First is a non-profit group here in Greenwood which operates with the help of grants. They sponsored “Donuts with Dad in the school cafeteria on Friday.  Family First members and  St. Francis School Principal, Mrs. Lewis, served students and their dads. This was the first attempt at such an activity and we were all very pleased with the turn out.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Monday morning was moms’ turn! Having run out of donuts on Friday, they provided sufficent muffins for the moms and their children.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our Principal Mrs. Lewis visted with families as they enjoyed their time together.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fr. Kim asked blessings on the parents, the children, and Family First in all the work they do. They provide help for most any need that comes to them, from anger management to supplying adequate clothing for a job interview, to assisting in obtaining a GED. They are here for the people and are a support to our school.

Franciscan Frenzy

Many might envision the life of a Franciscan Sister of Christian Charity to be placid and prayerful at all times.  Here’s visual proof that this is not always so.  Though our activities are many, they give the opportunity for many joys.  This being Hispanic Heritage Month, our school is involved in many activities highlighting the culture of our Spanish-speaking people.  The local 4-H office volunteered to come and do a paper flower making project with our Pre-K through Grade 2 students.  The only thing brighter than the tissue paper layers were the smiling little faces.

Sister Kathleen surveying the situation.

A flurry of tissue paper.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How does this go?

Look at what I made!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The sense of taste was educated in the Hispanic flavors as our Pre-K and Kindergarten students experimented with the taste of tamales.  These were hand made by two of the

parents from the class.  After the children read Too Many Tamales they enjoyed tasting the real thing.  Classes also enjoyed tasting Mexican strawberry water, straberry pastries as well as tortilla chips and salsa from a local Mexican restaurant owned by parishoners.

Unwrapping the tamale.

Yes, Thumbs up!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dismissal time at school involves much more than just walking out the door.  Sister Maria Goretti leads her first and second graders in praying the Act of Contrition.  They can’t possibly leave without singing in praise of the God who has been with them throughout the day.  They join in singing A Gift For You.

Oh my God, I am so sorry…

Gathering together to pray their Act of Contrition.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ending the day in song and prayer.

“A Gift for You”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lining up with big smiles at the end of the day.

Days end, waiting in the shade of the Magnolia tree for their parents to arrrive.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the quiet of the Library Sister Judy is focused on the task at hand.

 

Thank you Lord, for the gift of the risen bread.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sister Judy honors St. Mattew, the tax collector on his feastday by doing some money counting of her own.  Though she doesn’t deal with taxes, she helps the cafeteria staff by counting snack money collected from student patrons.  Prinicpal, Mrs. Lewis and the cafeteria ladies are strong believers in the maxim that “many hands make light work”!

One does not live on bread alone, but it surely doesn’t hurt to have such delicious homemade delicacies as this bread.  Sister Annette left her hand and heart prints on these golden treasures fresh out of the oven.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As any given day winds down to a close, we all gather in our convent chapel for prayer.  The lovely Franciscan art is complemented by the theme word for our year, blessed.  We hope to support one another in remembering how truly blessed we are in so many ways along our daily journeys.

So, as you can see, life at St. Francis in Greenwood is never dull and everyone lends a color to the rainbow of activity in God’s sight.

 

 

Franciscans Celebrate at a Kermes, a Mexican Festival

The Latino community of St. Francis Parish sponsored a “Kermes” this past Saturday as a fundraising event to benefit St. Francis Parish. A “Kermes” is a Mexican festival, this one being very family-oriented and placed right in front of the Sisters’ Convent!

The flag of Mexico

Father Kim our Pastor greeting some of the families.

 

This particular celebration coincided with Mexican Independence Day (September15-16). It was titled ” A Mexican Evening”. The evening featured delicious traditonal foods.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ricos Elotes was made as we ordered. It is found at every corner food store in Mexico. The cooked corn has a stick  “handle” inserted and is then brushed with mayo and a sauce (spicy or not!) and sprinkled with Mexican cheese. We all attest it was delicious!

Some of the men are preparing meat and tortillas for a “Street Taco”. A street taco can be toped with any number of items of choice; onions, tomatoes, cilantro, and sauces of varying heat…!

An amazing plate!

It was a delight to see some of our former students who readily shared how their education was progressing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Everywhere we looked there were smiling faces.

Cousins!

Sisters!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My first “bouncer” experience!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Too cute for words!

Anticipation!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Everyone enjoyed their time at the Kermes and went home having shared in the richness of the Hispanic culture.

The sisters had the shortest distance home that evening, front lawn to front door.

Franciscan Fall Features

Life at St. Francis of Assisi Convent, School and Parish have been seemingly busier than usual, but that has not stopped us from enjoying the life around us!

Labor Day was the perfect time to gather as a Franciscan community. After a fine meal we all enjoyed a few rounds of “Spoons” and closed with Evening Praise. We missed Br. Craig who was unable to join us for the day.

Tropical storm Gordon blessed us with a wonderful rainfall. We had been in a drought situation so the ground was ready to absorb the gift.

This was the first time our rain guage, which meassures 5 inches of rain, actually overflowed during the night. The next morning we emptied the gauge and caught another 1 & 1/2 inches of rain.

We did ended up with the beginnings of our “Lake St. Francis”, which you can see in the distance, but nothing like some times. In 3 days the students were out again playing on the playground.

Another enjoyable and newsworthy item to report here are our hummingbirds. As you may know they are very territorial creatures. Often we have seen them dive bombing each other at the feeder. This year we learned that the solution is to put up a second or third feeder, each out of sight of the others. The results….!

 

A veiw from our diningroom window.

 

Guarding my feeder!


 

“My feeder”!

Evening serenity next to “Lake St. Francis”!

Hiding behind the feeder.

 

We like to think that the young hummingbirds (adolescents) are practicing their flying skills getting ready for their long migration ahead. They really are a fun distraction!

P.S. The feeders in various locations has not stopped the dive bombing. It must be a hummingbird game!

 

 

 

 

 

First Steps into New Year of Franciscan Life at St. Francis of Assisi School

As we returned from a full, but rewarding summer break, we found ourselves having to move all of the contents of several class rooms in the process of reorganizing our school. Each teacher now has her “homeroom” space and a second room for an aide to review a lesson or work with students who need extra help. It also provides a good place to set up centers for the students to go and learn independently.

“What is this”

 

“We have to do what”?

Both Sister Maria Goretti and Sister Kathleen spent hours on ladders, in cupboards and searching the internet as they prepared their rooms before the students arrived.

 

 

Four of the original Frairs who began our St. Francis of Assisi Mission; Fr. Nathaneal, Fr. Chrysostom,             Bro. Adrian, and Bro Bonaventure.

 

July 29th was the 70th anniversary of the arrival of the Franciscans of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Province to Greenwood, MS.

Fr. Cam celebrated the mass for the 70th Anniversary of the arrival of the Friars in Greenwood.

 

Br. Patrick shared a reflection of “Remembering” for the mass.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Following the special mass there was a luncheon served in the school cafeteria which encouraged the parishoners to linger and continue the “remembering” of how life was “back in the day” when the Friars first came to our town.

Now the days have passed and we are into the routine of school days.  Sisters Kathleen and Maria Goretti have at last met their groups of shining students.  Thanks to all the assistance of Sisters Judy and Annette in carrying on with duties in the house, all is finally ready in the classrooms.  All of us Franciscans are off to a flying start!

 

Sister Maria Goretti is setteled into her classroom with her smiling first and second graders. Some still miss their afternoon naps, but Sister says it will improve!

Sister Kathleen is shown with her Pre-K and Kindergarteners. The little ones are still getting used to the idea of being in school.

Sister Kathleen Shares Franciscan Joy in God’s Creative Love With Her Kindergarten Class

Kindergarteners seems to be the perfect age to teach and to enjoy, all at the same time. Here we see Sister Kathleen taking her class out on this  beautiful sunny afternoon to water the tomato plants they have put in and even named. The seedlings are now addressed by alphabetical names:  Adam, Barbie, Connor, DeeDee, Edgar and Francine.  The box garden had been an upper grade project last year, but this year the Kindergarten will enjoy the adventure of nurturing plants.

The watering is a big adventure today. Making sure each plant gets a drink and continues to grow is filled with wonder. A warning to the wise though! There are fire ants living in the far corner of the box bed. We need to stay away from them as they can be nasty.

 

What is this growing in our next box bed? A squirrel has been here doing his own planting!

 

A pecan nut! And it is growing into a potential tree. Our squirrels plant or hide these nuts every where, but not always in the right places.

These two boxes are a little different from the first. They are supposed to be self watering. Here we see Ashley adding water to the bottom of the box to provide continual moisture for these two tomato plants.  The rest of the classs looks on in wonderment.

 

Allison is giving the second box a good supply of water for these plants. What a fun time it is being in Kindergarten! Being outside and watering, learning about more of God’s creatures and watching things grow!

Franciscan Sisters Come To The Table With First Communicants

The Third Sunday of Easter held much happiness for the 22 First Communicants in Greenwood Mississippi. The first mass was at Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish  with 6 happy First Communicants.

 

A beautiful class picture at the close of Mass.

 

The second mass of the day was the 11:00 at St. Francis. The two Communicants here attend St. Francis School and as the day of their First Communion came closer, the two children counted down the moments until they could recieve Jesus with the rest of us.  It only seemed right to sing with them, “This is the day!”

 

 

At the close of Mass they were all smiles.

 

 

 

Brylon’s family is unique in that his Great Grandmother was an early convert at St. Francis Parish and when she arranged for her own baptism, she included all her children in the recption of the Sacrament of Baptism on the same day. This picture shows four generations of Catholics who have belonged to the St. Francis Church community. Brylon couldn’t be happier! Monday morning, with a gleam in his eye, he asked if he could receive again on Wedensday at the school mass. The innocence and joy in his heart was a gift to behold!

 

 

At 1:30 we had the celebration of First Communion at the Spanish mass. This community celebrated with 14 children, thus bringing the total number of First Communicants for the weekend to 22. The church and the city of Greenwood is blessed to have so many of its children happy and excited about their reception of the Lord’s Body and Blood. May this joy carry them through the ups and downs life will bring them as the Lords love grows and deepens in their hearts.

 

 

                                                                                                                                                                          God calls you…We invite you.

 

 

Franciscan Sisters Honored for Their Presence and Ministry at Mound Bayou, MS.

As the St. Gabriel Mercy Center in Mound Bayou, MS enters a new phase of leadership, the friends of the Center gathered for “A Night to Remember”.  Dr. Eulah L Peterson, Mayor of the City of Mound Bayou, MS. was the Mistress of Ceremonies and opened the annual awards dinner and fundraiser at the Fred B. Clark Family Life Center.  The event provided an occasion for  some of the Franciscan Sisters to gather together again in Mound Bayou. Sisters Monica Mary and Emy Beth were two of the four honorees feted during this special evening. Their presence and service were remembered and celebrated.

 

Sister Monica Mary DeQuardo OFS had been the Excecutive Director of the St. Gabriel Mercy Center during the past 4 years and was instrumental in the Center’s placement in the granting   of the Lumen Christi Award.

 

She arrived at St. Gabriel Mercy Center along with Sister Mary Beth Kornely and Sister Judanne Stratman in 2014.

 

 

Sister Emy Beth Furrer joined them the following year as an Administrative Assistant to Ms. Trena  Robinson.

 

 

Sister Monica Mary is seated with a number of the Mercy Sisters who remain on the St. Gabriel Mercy Center Board.

The Franciscan Sisters from St. Francis, Greenwood join their Sisters for the special evening of “Remembering”.

St. Francis of Assisi Parish Celebrates Palm Sunday Liturgy

“Hosanna! Blest is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”

St. Francis of Assisi Parish members gather outside for the blessing of the palms and procession to church for Palm Sunday mass.  All joined the choir in singing, Ride On, Jesus, Ride, a Negro Spiritual.  The singing set the tone for the jubilant portion of the celebration.  Later, the choir helped all to enter into considering the Passion of Jesus with their prayerful renditions of Calvary  and Were You There.  Many parish members joined the universal Church in its use of the color red for the Passion.  They chose beautiful red clothing to lend to the spirit of the day.

 

“It is truly a day to praise Jesus for overcoming sin and death through his act of pure, sacrificial love…Jesus’ death on the cross proves that the way to heaven is one of receiving graciuosly instead of possessing selfishly.”                                                                                                                                                                                                                excerpt from Word Among Us

Let us, on this Palm Sunday, fix our eyes on Jesus, and let his self-giving love move us to be more like him.

Franciscan Sister Reflects on God’s Unfolding Plan

As Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity we place our lives in God’s hand as we live out our vows. Our Community responds to the needs of the Church as they are expressed to our Community leaders.  We, as individuals,  respond in turn by going in obedience to serve where the needs await us.

 

Sister Kathleen Murphy and her Kindergarteners enjoying an ice cream treat!

 

Listen as Sister Kathleen reflects; “Life with the Lord is full of surprises!  I never dreamed of being a Franciscan Sister of Christian Charity, and yet here I am, happily loving and serving the Lord in a Community that just fits me!  I never dreamed of living in Mississippi which is a good bit different from the Wisconsin farm where I grew up.  Yet, here I am in the heart of the Mississippi Delta.  Here I see Jesus’ face in the expectant faces of my Kindergarten students.  I feel the joy of Jesus in the Gospel music celebrated by the parish choir I get to work with.  I sense some of the burden of Jesus among the Hispanic families, whose lives hang in a balance as they work, pray and raise their children among us.  God’s plan unfolds anew day by day, and though it is so different from the path I might have plotted for myself, it is surely the right path, the blessed way for me to find the Lord and the happiness only He can bring.”

 

 “God Calls You. We Invite You.”

Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity’s Presence in Greenwood, MS

St. Francis of Assisi Mission is located on the Eastern edge of Greenwood, MS. and claims a rich history of service and promotion of justice for the dispossessed.   Our parish began in 1948 and the school opened its doors in 1951. Today, St. Francis School educates children from Pre-K through Grade 6. The Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity (FSCC) have been serving this community since the fall of 1997, when a request for Sisters reached our Motherhouse in Manitowoc, WI. Though our Community had been serving in various schools and health care facilities across the country, Mississippi offered a new setting for evangelization.

 

 

Many of us met the FSCC as teachers during our grade school education. We were often attracted by the spirit and joy those Sisters radiated in, and out of school. This is not how most young women meet a Community today. The internet has now become the source of searching and finding Religious Orders. Over time, several young women from the South have shared their discernment journey with us here at St. Francis. How does that happen? Initially we meet at a McDonald’s or similar location between their home and ours. Or we may invite the young woman to spend a weekend with us in our convent home. A lot depends on what the young woman is comfortable with. Through visits, questions; texting, and phone calls she picks up our spirit and determines prayerfully how God is working in her life. Does our spirit match her spirit and the longing in her heart or not?

 

“The Lord Bless and Keep you.”