US Sisters vote to Restructure
At the Annual Province meeting held August 27-29th , province members met to enter into a final discussion and voting process to address their position on Congregational Restructuring.
During the 2016 General Chapter, the near 20 year process of restructuring by the Congregation (consisting of 6 international Provinces, two in Brazil, Germany, Asia, Namibia, and the US plus the region of the Philippines ) was decided. Each Province would undergo the necessary preparations to meet the requirements that would put into effect in 2021 the restructuring of provinces into units. In 1960 the Congregation opted to create provinces to strengthen local leadership fostering creative and cultural perspectives to add to the life of the Congregation. Now, to continue to foster Congregational life, the individual provinces are returning to promote a unified vision and give supportive service to the whole.
The Sisters participated in a ritual honoring its history by gathering at the Province Cemetery in Woodland Park. The statue of the Virgin Mary once located at the doorway of the province house and the bell that for years called the sisters to prayer were placed in the cemetery site. Each of the near 100 deceased sisters were recognized with a flower and much gratitude for their guidance and generosity to us ...we stand on the shoulders of those who came before us!
Statement Of Solidarity For Syria
April 27, 2018
Do not be conquered by evil but conquer evil with good. - Romans 12:21
We, as leaders and members of congregations of Franciscans with American and Brazilian Sisters [FABS], share our deep distress, concern and prayerful support for our sisters and brothers in Syria, who are suffering the cruel and inhumane effects of violence and chemical warfare at the hands of their own government leaders. The most innocent and defenseless citizens of that country, women and children, are the victims of this outrage which some have called another holocaust.
We urge the leaders of our governments and our churches in the United States, in Brazil and in other countries to call for action that will help and provide aide to innocent victims and restore their safety and health. We ask our leaders to enter into dialogue with the leaders in Syria and other countries to work to promote peace and the care and dignity of all people, especially women and children. We stress the need for a complete ban of the use of all chemical weapons.
We request that our members, our associates and partners in ministry share this message with others as we issue a call for prayer, action, and a swift end to this humanitarian crisis. Let us beg God for an intervention of mercy and justice on behalf the people of Syria, and all whose lives are being shattered by the ravages of war throughout the world.
On June 19, we had the delightful experience of dedicating a bench and 3 cherry trees in Eastside Park, Paterson, New Jersey. The Province of the Immaculate Conception donated these to the people of Paterson, as a symbol of our 100 plus years of presence to and with the city and its needs.
17 SMICs were joined by the Bishop of the Diocese of Paterson Arthur Serratelli, his priest secretary and Vice chancellor Fr. Kevin Corcoran, Chancellor and Delegate for Religious Sister Joan Daniel Healy, SCC, current mayor Jane Williams-Warren, the mayor elect Andre Sayegh, as well as Gianfranco Archimede, Executive Director of the Paterson Historic Preservation Commission, Joanne Wiley of the Eastside Neighborhood Association and a commissioner of the Historic Preservation Commission as well as several officers and members of the Eastside Neighborhood Association.
Several years ago while attending another dedication in the Park of a bench donated by the Islamic Center of Passaic County, Sister Barbara Fried remarked that this would be a wonderful way to commemorate our time in the city when we would be leaving for senior housing elsewhere.
So began a 3-year process navigating the inner workings of city government, historical commissions, and various civic councils to bring about this moment. Thanks to the able guidance of Joanne Wiley and the on-going efforts of Mr. Archimede, it was finally accomplished. In addition to the bench for rest and relaxation of park-goers, we added the flowering cherry trees to not only enhance the beauty of the park but to back up our province environmental stance on constructively helping with climate change.
As we started to name the various ways we have been present to the people of Paterson through the years we realized that we were involved on the west side, through St. Bonaventure parish and Don Bosco High School, center city at Martin de Porres, Eva's Village, St. Joseph Hospital as well as Paterson General, several elementary schools, the Paterson Public library, on the north side with Associate Ethel Williams, on the east side through Barnet Hospital, St. Therese parish, the Eastside Neighborhood Association, and Paterson Catholic High School.
In recognition of all this, the city council of Paterson presented a plaque to our leadership team. The Historical commission also honored the Missionary Sisters with their annual award citing people who treasure the city and its people in their actions and presence.
Following the ceremony which ended with the Sisters blessing the bench and trees with holy water and a prayer for all those who would use the bench and enjoy the trees, billed by the historical as a place of contemplation, all adjourned to Joanne Wiley's home in the neighborhood for tea and sandwiches and sweets.