This year’s 28th Annual Franciscan Autumn Feast proved to a relaxing time where guests were able to get together and enjoy each other’s company while also supporting the Mission and Ministries of the Sisters of St. Francis. Nan Nagl, Mission Advancement Director, was told during the event, “it was like being at a family party.” The Sisters are very grateful to all who participated to make this event a huge success.
In addition to raising funds for their ministries and retired sisters, the Joliet Franciscan Sisters also took time to recognize two honorees who have made an impact on both the Sisters lives and the Joliet community at large. St. John the Baptist Parish was honored with the Mother Alfred Moes Award and Joseph and Jodie (posthumously) received the Joliet Franciscan Heritage Award.
In presenting the Mother Alfred Moes Award, Sister Dolores Zemont, President of the Congregation, reminded those present that without the invitation of the pastor of St. John’s to Mother Alfred, the foundress of the Congregation, the Joliet Franciscans would probably not be here today. “All of the ministries in which we have served for the past 152 years, as well as our beginnings, evolved from that very first invitation from St. John’s Church to teach their children in 1863,” said Sister Dolores. Today, St. John’s continues to make an impact in the community providing various programs including social justice initiatives and food assistance.
In honoring the Adlers with the Joliet Franciscan Award, Sister Dolores stated, “…Together, they strove for justice for all. Together, they were involved in the Christian Family Movement. They were founding members of the Will County Conference of Religion and Race as well as the Spanish Community Center which still continues contributing to the lives of our brothers and sisters on the east side of Joliet.” She went on to say, “Even after Jodie’s death in 2014, Joe has continued to be a force for peace and justice in the Joliet area through his tireless contributions of time, talent and treasure, meeting many needs of the Joliet community. Justice for all burns in his heart and his soul, as it did for Jodie.”
“We are very grateful for the work of the Autumn Feast Committee, our friends, our supporters, our sponsors, our benefactors and friends who all make this event possible,” added Sister Dolores.
For the past several years, the sisters have asked guests to bring a box of pasta, jello or cereal to this event to share with a local food panty. This year, two vans were filled to capacity with the food that was collected during the event. These were then taken to St. John the Baptist Food Panty.