Drive-Thru Farewell for the Sisters in Greenwood

St. Francis Parish and School held a Drive-Thru Farewell for the Sisters.  It was a beautiful day with bright sunshine and welcome shade in the Sisters’ front yard.  The scent of magnolias rode on the playful breeze.

2 small tents contained tables filled with “happys” for all who would attend.  The planning committee had filled white lunch bags with a bag holding two remarkably delicious chocolate chip cookies, a bookmark from our own Vocation Department and a photo souvenir of the occasion.  The cover of the souvenir was filled with verbs describing all the ways our sisters had formed the faith of those they worked with and met.  Inside were the photos and names of all who had served here at St. Francis over the years.  It was all beautifully done.

Brother Patrick had prepared simple signs saying “Vaya con Dios” and “God Go with You”. There were balloons and decorated baskets for cards.

The event began with a small gathering of all the Friars, several of the parish women who would help greet guests, and the Sisters.  Father Cam began by reading a Proclamation from the Leflore County Board of Supervisors.  This was then presented to Sister Janet.

Next, Father Kim read a Proclamation from Mayor Carolyn McAdams which was then presented to Sister Janet.  This was followed by a key to the city being bestowed on each of us by Fr. Kim in the name of the Mayor.  Both proclamations communicated gratitude for all the many listed ministries done by our Sisters here over the years.  Sister Kathleen also received a special plaque from the school listing all the staff members she had worked with over the years.

Following the presentations, the Sisters were seated near the driveway in front of the convent.  Over the next 2 hours about 50 cars pulled up, placed cards and remembrances in the baskets and called out wishes and thankful thoughts from their cars and then drove on.  About midway through the event, a “parade” of about 12 vehicles gathered to drive through.  They were led by Andrew McQueen, Leflore County Constable.  He used his squad car with lights flashing and siren blaring.  As he drove the full length of the property driveway at about 1 mph, the other cars followed honking and waving.  Soraya Ratliff, granddaughter of Preston and Jackie Ratliff, stood and waved from the sunroof of their car.  It was quite a sight.  The above photo includes 2 former students of St. Francis School, Soraya and Preston Ratliff III.  In the background Mrs. Edith Spells and Ms. Maxine Ford enjoy some shade.

After many greetings and as many photo-ops, the Sisters retired to the Convent, the helpers headed home and the Friars removed the tables, tents, etc.  It was a memorable afternoon which was followed by a 4:00 p.m. Pentecost Mass.  This was the first public liturgy since mid-March.  Members of the liturgy committee came at various times to contribute to various parts of the Pentecost environment.  All was aflame with the color red and with candles.  15 parish members took part in the 4 p.m. Mass.  Sunday was highlighted by the 11:00 Mass which brought together 18 parish members while others participated via Facebook.  It was a source of joy to see and pray with the good people of St. Francis.

In the afternoon the Sisters sat down to open cards and gifts.  It had been announced that contributions be made to a scholarship fund for the school in lieu of gifts.  So after sharing cards, messages and gifts, the Sisters wrote thank you cards and prepared the $300 received for presentation to Jackie Lewis, principal.  Others have communicated the fact that they will be contributing to the scholarship by mail.  We have much to be thankful for!

St. Francis of Assisi Parish Decorated for Christmas

Franciscan Sister of Christian Charity Sister Kathleen Murphy has her eye on the beauty and uniqueness of Christmas celebrations around her at St. Francis of Assisi Parish, Greenwood, Mississippi. Find here convent chapel scenes that also inspire focused contemplation.

The glorious tree in St. Francis Church creates a beautiful backdrop for baby Jesus. Reminiscent of the story of Christmas in Greccio, St. Francis Church always features the image of Francis with the Baby Jesus near the tree.

St. Francis Church in its Christmas splendor includes the Eucharistic Presence adorned with magnolia leaves and poinsettias.

St. Francis saw the great love of God for us as exhibited in Jesus in the crib, Jesus on the Cross and Jesus in the ciborium. Christmas at St. Francis Church recalls all of these wondrous manifestations of God’s love.

At the convent the three-fold  theme of St. Francis and his great love for Jesus is also displayed.

“Blessed Francis, however, was standing before the manger fully of sighs of joy and suffused by an indescribable sweetness…truly he was so overcomeby sweet devotion toward the infancy of that King, that whenever he had to speak the name of Jesus Christ, he would, as if stuttering, call him “the babe of Bethlehem,: out of excess of loving tenderness…” -The Life of Saint Francis by Julian of Speyer, Chapter 10, 54

St. Francis of Assisi School Entry in Greenwood Christmas Parade

Franciscan Sister of Christian Charity Sister Kathleen Murphy shares Christmas parade moments for St. Francis School, Greenwood, Mississippi.

Students of St. Francis School are ready and waiting for the Christmas Parade to begin. The theme for the float was Ornaments of Hope.

Sister Janet enjoys the children’s enthusiasm for the joys of the holiday!

Aladin’s lamp and his genie are inflated and ready. The genie seems to be enjoying the band’s performance.

The mighty young men of St. Francis School are in readiness as the parade begins to roll forward.

Celebrating Franciscan Sisters’ Sesquincentennial in Greenwood MS

Franciscan Sister of Christian Charity Kathleen Murphy shares moments of celebration of our Community’s 150th Anniversary with Franciscan Friars of the Assumption BVM Province serving at St. Francis of Assisi Parish, Greenwood, Mississippi .

The Sisters and Friars gather to celebrate Mass with a special commemorative liturgy.

The chapel arrangement featured bricks and a stone candle along with a framed collection of communal historical pieces.

Fr. Camillus Janus celebrates Mass. The hearts were the focus of his homily. The largest heart is the heart of God whose love encompasses all. The next heart represents the Church, a gift to us from this loving God. The third heart represents the Franciscan Family whose focus is rejoicing in God’s great love for us. The smallest heart represents the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity. We dwell in the depth of and surrounded by God’s love with the mission of sharing and spreading this great gift of love.

The table is ready.

The friars dig into brunch delicacies.




Franciscan Reflection on Families

On this feast of the Holy Family

it is a day to sit before these images in our convent chapel

and to:

give thanks for our own families.

pray for the families of our students and parishes.

ponder the humility of God as he comes to a simple family.

reflect on the hardships and fears as well as the graces and wonders that were part of these day for Mary and Joseph.

Happy Feastday to our Motherhouse community

and to all of us who belong to so many different families!

Merry Christmas!


Meet the Franciscan Sisters of Greenwood

Greetings to each of you from each of us here in the Mississippi Delta!  Given time to reflect,  we find that we have many reasons to rejoice in our call to serve here at St. Francis Mission.  Francis is more than a name here in Greenwood.  It is truly a tangible spirit.  Walk with us as we follow the example set by Francis and his band of Saints.

Franciscan Sister Annette and Secular FranciscansSister Annette is walking in the footsteps of Francis and has experienced and brought many blessings to our convent community as well as to the still forming community of Secular Franciscans here at St. Francis Parish .  She stays very busy creating a true spirit of home for us sisters just as Francis did with his friars.

Sister is also very committed to her work as the Spiritual Assistant  and Formation Minister of our Secular Franciscans.  Monthly, she plans formation sessions as well as a total group gathering .  In between she is busy studying, staying in touch with fraternity members and keeping current on regional and national fraternity matters.  She has become very active in the regional group and led an inspiring Day of Recollection for all members of the region.  May St. Francis remain at her side!

Franciscan Sister Mary Ann St. Francis of Assisi School Principal

You might be looking at the feet of Brother Giles.  Tradition holds that he once said, ” Your right eye must keep on heavenly things, the left one, on the things of this earth.”  Sister Mary Ann has been following Giles’ words and footsteps.  She has been keeping one eye on school finances and one on the academic excellence of our students.  She wears one professional shoe and has attended some helpful and encouraging gatherings of principals.  She continues to lead the school staff in working with the ACES program sponsored by Notre Dame University which aims to strengthen the curriculum.  She also moves the school community forward in increased use of technology.

Her jogging shoe speaks of the attention she gives to keeping us all on the path of goodness.  She makes many miles a day in reaching out to each student, parent, and staff member to let them know that they are a valued member of the school community.  Her efforts produced an amazing Fall Festival with record breaking proceeds and family involvement!

Franciscan Sister Kathleen Kindergarden Teacher St. Francis of Assisi School

Have you ever heard of Friar Gregory Girard?  He was a Franciscan who created new methodologies for teaching large numbers of the children of the poor.  Sister Kathleen finds that his footsteps lead in a helpful direction as she works with her little Kindergarten flock.  The patter of their little feet in so many directions keep her busy following up on their needs and interests.  Her feet also find their way into work in the parish as she teams up with the Faith Formation program, liturgy committee and choir.


Franciscan Sister Elena steps into St. Francis, Greenwood.


These comfy shoes are empty, but they belong to Sister Elena.  She will has just joined us, coming from the Arizona desert.  She will venture into life as a third grade teacher and will be finding her way into other needs that match her many talents.


We hope that sharing our journeys and inspirations with you will help to let you know that we, here in Greenwood feel very blessed to be Children of the King!  Know of our prayers for you as we walk on our Franciscan way.