Statement on AA/PI Hate Crimes

In 2016, the Joliet Franciscan Sisters committed to a Corporate Stance of anti-racism. Within this statement, we committed to make a conscious intentional effort to eradicate racist nature in all its forms.

In 2020, as women of faith and participants in the global community, we stood in outrage at the senseless killing of George Floyd, a black man who became a symbol of the abhorrent treatment of people of color for decades.

While this was happening, we were unaware that largely due to the root of the pandemic, hate crimes were growing by leaps and bounds in this country against the Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) community. We are now aware of the depth and breadth of the verbal, physical and cultural abuse being inflicted upon the AAPI community.

As we stated last year, let us reach out in understanding of each other as we seek to move forward in a country that remains built on the belief that all are created equal. Most importantly, we must join in praying for healing in a nation that is still hurting.

Archbishop Wilton Gregory elevated to Cardinal

The Leadership Conference of Women Religious rejoices over the news of the appointment of Archbishop Wilton Gregory as a cardinal in the Catholic Church. Over the years we have been grateful to Archbishop Gregory’s leadership within the church where he has not only been a strong pastoral presence, but also a fearless outspoken critic of injustice. His public stances on many critical matters such as the repair of the US immigration system, race relations, climate change, sexual abuse within the church, LGBTQ matters, and much more reveal his deep integrity and courage.

In making this historic appointment of the first African-American cardinal, Pope Francis is clearly giving a message about the importance of assuring racial diversity at all levels of society and within the church. We are pleased that the African-American voice will be represented in this important decision-making body.

As an organization headquartered in the Washington archdiocese, we are especially pleased to have the opportunity to work closely with Archbishop Gregory. We look forward to this continuing relationship and congratulate him on this important recognition of his gifts and abilities as an outstanding leader.

 

Pray For Our Nation

We are a nation living in the depths of incalculable pain.  More than 103,000 of our brothers and sisters have lost their lives to the pandemic.  Forty million people are now among the ranks of the unemployed.  Our economy is in a free-fall most days. And now, because of the tragic killing of George Floyd a week ago, the racial injustice that has been near the boiling point for decades has exploded into rightful peaceful protests, along with the destruction of communities through the senseless acts of vandalism.

As a people, let us take a stand in seeking equal justice for People of Color.  Let us reach out in understanding of each other as we seek to move forward in a country that is built on the belief that all are created equal.  Most importantly, let us pray for healing in a nation that is hurting.

Sister Deborah Gaughan Makes Profession

On April 28, 2018, the Sisters of St. Francis of Mary Immaculate celebrated the perpetual vows of Sister Deborah Gaughan.  She becomes the 1,256 perpetual professed member of the Congregation. Sister Deborah willingly professed her vows of living in poverty, in chastity and in obedience according to the Rule and Life of the Third Order Regular of St. Francis and the Constitutions of the Congregation of Sisters of St. Francis of Mary Immaculate. She then accepted a ring, as a sign of Jesus’ love and faithfulness and as a reminder of her commitment to Him and to His people. God’s plan for her had come to fruition. What was planted in her as a first grader has become a reality.

To read more about Sister Deborah’s profession, as highlighted in the Herald News, please click here:  Sister Deborah

Happy Feast Day – Feast of the Profession of St. Francis

In 1209, Pope Innocent III accepted the first Rule and the Franciscan Order received its canonical status. It is our tradition that we, as followers of Francis, renew our commitments this day. You are invited to renew your vows to commemorate this Feast.

Happy Feast Day!

Our Earth: A Franciscan Mediation

Our Earth:  A Franciscan Meditation

All creatures on earth need other creatures to survive including ourselves. All creatures are needed for the harmony of the earth. The one creature not needed by other creatures is the human being. Water does not need us. Air does not need us. Plants and animals do not need us. At least in times past they did not need us. But they need us now because of what we have done to water, air, earth and its creatures.

We humans have forgotten how to live in harmony with nature and consequently with each other! Because we have forgotten our rightful role as stewards, care-takers of creation, we have become the enemy, the annihilators of creation by our abuse, misuse and our appropriation for self what was meant for everyone. So we have created a needy earth, an earth that needs us to turn our minds and hearts to remembering that all creation is for our caring and thoughtful sharing.

Can we respond to our planet that is crying out in so many ways, asking for our help, our love, our care and respect? Maybe if we could remember, recognize our rightful place here on earth as stewards and care-takers of Mother Earth we would also awaken to our role as sister and brother to all creatures as our Father Francis did. Then the harmony would return and we could sing together: “The heavens are telling the glory of God and all creation is shouting for joy!”

By:  Sr. Rose Marie Surwilo, OSF

 

The Call – By Marianne Saieg, OSF

Nothing Can Make God Stop Loving Us

Sister Barbara spoke at the April 12th Prayer Breakfast on “Nothing Can Make God Stop Loving Us.  Among the things she reminded us is that God is love and that each and every one of us is loved. She went on to say, “As we approach Holy Week, this is the time we focus on the passion and death of Jesus. The crucifixion is about love!  It is the ultimate sign of God’s deep love for us. As Pope Francis tells us, ‘God loves us as we are. No sin, fault or mistake can make God change His mind.’  Through the love of the cross, God says: I don’t care what you’ve done, I don’t care who you’ve treated poorly in the past, I don’t care about the stumbling blocks or obstacles you continue to struggle with in your life, I don’t care if you spit on me, crown me with thorns, break me or nail me to a tree, because there is nothing you can do to make me stop loving you!  Nothing! I am your God and I love you! There is nothing you can do to change that!”

 

Living the Gospel by Sister Mary Franz, OSF

Sr Mary Franz“To me, living the Gospel is taking the words of the day’s Gospel and putting into practice throughout the day.  The words are there for us to follow.”