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.”