St. Francis School Celebrates Grandparents

Franciscan Sister Kathleen Murphy shares on a recent Grandparents’ day at St. Francis of Assisi School, Greenwood, Mississippi.

On Wednesday, September 11 the St. Francis of Assisi School community welcomed our students’ Grandparents and other family members. Guests joined us for the school Mass where they were specially welcomed and received a special blessing from Franciscan Friar Fr. Camillus Janus.

The students then escorted their family members to the classrooms for a little visit before lunch. Our cafeteria staff outdid themselves with a true southern feast featuring fried chicken, sweet potatoes, greens, mac and cheese, cornbread, iced tea and cake. Proud students and happy grandparents finally received cards and greetings from the little ones and all said their goodbyes. It was a great day to share the joys of family.

Franciscan Sisters Begin School Year with Jesus

Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity at St. Francis of Assisi Convent, Greenwood, Mississippi, had many special intentions beginning this new school year. Eucharistic Adoration in our convent chapel was especially meaningful, knowing that Jesus was hearing our every petition and need.

Sister Janet Rose and Sister Kathleen Murphy prayed for our students and their families. As teachers we needed to not only set up classrooms, but in Sister Kathleen’s case to move classrooms. She is teaching first grade this year and because of multiple reasons, needed to move furniture and materials. The generous hands and strength of others helped this happen in a timely manner. At this time, school is already in session and learning is taking place.

Sister Maria Goretti Scandaliato is soon to return for another year with the children. Our Sisterly prayers for God’s healing rays to help her in her recovery were answered.

To get you in the spirit of our school environment, here’s one of the bulletin boards in St. Francis of Assisi School!

Franciscan Sisters Welcome First Communion Candidates

Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity are blessed to assist in the instruction of the First Communion children at St. Francis of Assisi School, Greenwood, Mississippi.

Like St. Francis, we feel blessed to walk with the young people who receive the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ.

In St. Francis’ own words: “O how happy and blessed are those men and women while they do these things and persevere in doing them, because the Spirit of the Lord will rest upon them, and they are children of the heavenly Father.

Whose works they do, and they are spouses, brothers, and mothers of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

May the Lord bless these young witnesses and their families! May their faith grow and inspire many others to walk in the light of Christ.

 

St. Francis School Children Crown Mary Statue

It is the month for Mary. St. Francis of Assisi School children crowned a beautiful statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary at a recent Mass. These words from The Versified Life of Saint Francis by Henri d’Avranches seem appropriate for this devotion.


O loving Mother, hail Mary, filled with the Spirit’s gift,
The Lord be with you, you are blessed among women,
And blessed the fruit of your womb,’ And say those words
For as long and as often as your devotion lasts.
For through you ponder the first joys of Christ’s mother.

Franciscan Sister of Christian Charity Sister Kathleen Murphy also prepared her PreK and Kindergarten students for the Sunday readings. Jesus is the Good Shepherd. Can you find the sheep among the students?


Find next Sister Kathleen and her class making a symbol of their hearts giving to Jesus as they learn how much Jesus loves them. “Sing Alleluia, Sing”!

St. Francis’ Rule Tells Story of Parish Triduum

Each year St. Francis of Assisi School and Parish Community celebrate the Triduum with great devotion and loving participation. As Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity, we feel called to highlight moments of the last days with the words found in St. Francis’ Earlier Rule. Francis prayed for unity -reflected best in the Trinity -among his followers and all people. We pray for this grace among us and the whole world.


Therefore, let nothing hinder us, nothing separate us, nothing come between us.

Wherever we are, in every place, at every hour, at every time of the day, every day and continually,
let all of us truly and humbly believe, hold in our heart and love,

honor, adore, serve, praise and bless, glorify and exult, magnify and give thanks to the Most High and Supreme Eternal God Trinity and Unity Father, Son and Spirit….

Special Easter greetings to all from all of us in the heart of the Mississippi Delta! The Lord bless you!

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.)