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

 

Our Earth: A Franciscan Meditation

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!”

Supper With The Sisters and a Special Guest

 

Have you wondered about religious life?  We invite you to join the Sisters of the Joliet Diocese (and our own, Sister Peggy Quinn) to Supper with the Sisters and special guest, Bishop R. Daniel Conlon.  This event will take place on on Tuesday, March 13, 2018 from 5:00 – 8:00 pm at St. Ann Parish Hall located at 24500 S. Navajo Drive in Channahon (door 4).  You will need to RSVP by March 9th to Renee McIlheran at renee_ever@yahoo.com or call (815) 467-2910.

Sister Maria Barbosa will make her final profession

Sister Maria das Mercês Alves Barbosa will be making her Final Profession of vows on January 13, 2018 in the Chapel of the San Damiano Institute in Aparecida de Goiânia, Goiás, Brazil.  The Archbishop of Goiânia, Dom Washington Cruz, will preside at the celebration.  Sisters Dolores Zemont and Rosemary Fonck will travel from Joliet to take part in the celebration.  To read more about Sister Maria please click on: Sister Maria

 

Relaxing Time at Franciscan Autumn Feast

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.

Joliet Franciscan Sisters Announce 2017 Honorees

The Joliet Franciscan Sisters will present the annual Mother Alfred Moes Award and Joliet Franciscan Heritage Award at the 28th Annual Franciscan Autumn Feast on Sunday, October 22 at the Bolingbrook Golf Club.

The Mother Alfred Moes Award was first presented in 2008.  Mother Alfred Moes, Joliet Franciscan foundress, was a woman ahead of her time.  A pioneer and a visionary, she used her own dowry to transform her vision into service.  Mother Alfred responded not only to the needs of the people of Joliet, but wherever the need of communities across the country called her.  This award, named after Mother Alfred, recognizes individuals and organizations who also transform vision into service.

This year, the Mother Alfred Moes Award honoree is St. John the Baptist Parish.  In 1863, Mother Alfred was invited by the pastor of St. John the Baptist Parish, a parish which was only 11 years old, to come to Joliet and begin teaching the children of the predominantly German immigrant community.  All of the Sisters’ ministries, from the beginning of their history, evolved from St. John the Baptist Parish.  Throughout its 165 year history, St. John’s has responded to the changing needs of its parish family and beyond through its many programs, including a food pantry.

The Joliet Franciscan Heritage Award was established in 2010 to honor individuals and organizations that recognize the needs of their community and use their gifts of time, talent and treasure to care for those needs.  The 2017 Joliet Franciscan Heritage Award honorees are Joe and Jodie (posthumously) Adler.  The Adlers were involved with the Christian Family Movement, were founding members of the Will County Conference of Religion and Race and the Spanish Community Center.  They were active in the civil rights movement since the 1960s.  Joe and Jodie were founding members of the Will County Habitat for Humanity.

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 to the many needs of the Joliet community.

For more information about the 28th Annual Franciscan Autumn Feast, please contact the Joliet Franciscan Sisters’ Mission Advancement office at 815-725-8735, x116.

Sister Martha Eckstein Retires

Sister Martha Eckstein has retired after ministering for over 50 years in the classroom.  She spent her last 15 years at Assumption Academy in Broadview Heights, located near Cleveland, Ohio.  She was honored at the schools’ last assembly for the 2016-2017 school year.  Mrs. Joanne LoPresti spoke of Sister Martha’s service to the school and said that Sister Martha had blessed them with her knowledge, grace, beauty and love of teaching. “She has been a source of inspiration, and motivation not only for her students but for her coworkers and parents as well. No matter what the challenge was, Sister faced it with dignity, compassion and kindness.”

Sr. Marlene Ambrose Recently Honored

A classroom at the University of St. Francis’ St. Clare Campus in Guardian Angel Hall, was recently dedicated in honor of Sr. Marlene Ambrose, thanks to the generosity of Mr. & Mrs. Edward Dollinger.  The recently renovated classroom contains state-of-the-art equipment which is used by the students in the Leech College of Nursing.

Ed Dollinger, a member of the Board of Trustees at USF, was Sr. Marlene’s first grade student at St. Mary Immaculate in Plainfield, IL. “She was a great teacher,” said Ed.  He wrote about Sr. Marlene in a journal he had written while he was in 8th grade.

Pictured in front of the “Marlene Ambrose classroom” are Ed and Gloria Dollinger and Sister Marlene Ambrose.

14 Sisters Celebrate Jubilee

On June 24, 2017, fourteen Joliet Franciscan Sisters celebrated their jubilee at the Cathedral of St. Raymond in Joliet.  To read more about this celebration, please click on Jubilee-2017