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 Sisters Serving in the Delta

My life as a Franciscan Sister of Christian Charity has offered many opportunities to serve the Lord and His people.”

Sister Judy recalls; “after teaching for many years; I began parish ministry, where among other things, I taught Faith Formation and RCIA. Here in the Delta, I tutor some of our school students, visit with our parishioners who are in Nursing homes and those who are home bound, bringing them the Eucharist and news from our parish in an effort to keep them connected to our parish family.

 

When I, Sister Annette, was a young Sister I determined early on that I was not called to be a teacher. I wanted to be a homemaker, but the kitchen did not contain all of my interests. Though I love cooking and baking for the Sisters I also wanted to be involved with the Sisters in their work, or work in the local community. I have gotten into some teacher aid work and even filling in for some teachers in times of need. I have volunteered in a hospital and a nursing home, done village ministry in AZ. and began a Youth Group.

 

Currently, besides my cooking, I am journeying with a Secular Franciscan Fraternity and am a Support Staff person here at St. Francis School. When I answered the call God placed in my heart, I had no idea what was in store for me. I could never have imagined where His love would take me, but here I am at St. Francis of Assisi, Greenwood, MS. I couldn’t have planned my life as well as God did! I am so blessed and happy as a FSCC.

 

If God may be calling you to begin a journey of discernment to be a Religious woman and are in our area feel free to contact us at 662-453-1221 or email sannettek@fscc-calledtobe.org .

Peace and all Good!

 

Franciscan Sisters Meet With Young Catholic Women “At The Foot of The Cross”

 The Franciscan Sisters at St. Francis of Assisi Convent invited young Catholic women to join them for a  time of reflecting during this Lenten season with the theme; “At the Foot of the Cross”.

 

Sister Kathleen with the help of Sister Judy gave a visual image of God’s wiping away our sins. The young women were guided in making red water symbolizing anger, green for envy, yellow for moral cowardice, and blue for self-centeredness and negativity.  Then, combining all the colors, they created a black liquid. This led the group to reflect on the darkness that we experience in our own sinfulness.   But as God forgives us our sins our hearts are again made pure. Voila!  This was accomplishd today with the help of a bleach solution!

Next, each young women chose a paper cross and a copy of St. Francis’ Prayer before the Crucifix and a sheet of sample “doodles”. The cross and prayer were glued to a black sheet of paper. The cross was then to be decorated with the “doodles” of their choice. This activity continued later as each person waited their turn to recieve the sacrament of Reconciliation.

“Most High glorious God, enlighten the darkness of my heart. Give me right faith, sure hope and perfect charity. Fill me with understanding and knowledge, Lord, that I may know your holy and true command.”  St. Francis’ Prayer before the Crusifix

 

With God’s cleansing love in mind all gathered at the foot of the cross in the sanctuary of our church for a reconciliation service with an examination of conscience based on the Stations of the Cross.

 

In the meantime the grill had been lit and the coals were ready for some favorite foods. A picnic lunch in the backyard of the convent featuring s’mores was in order.

 

 

Soon it was time for a group picture with everyone’s cross included to add to our photo album.

One last group gathering at the foot of the cross in our convent chapel.

Notice what happened with the craft project each young women had earlier recieved.

 

 

A closing prayer of petition and gratiude concluded our day.

 

 

 

“God calls you. We invite you.

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.”