Associates Beyond Borders



rp 01Nicola, Maria, SebastianoThis past May 22nd, we renewed our Covenants as Associates of the Franciscan Sisters of the Poor. During our preparatory meeting with the sisters in the Saint Clare Community, we shared our proposals, our experiences with Mother Frances and we drew up a small booklet-style guide for prayer.
The covenant ceremony was an intense and engaging event. In attendance were the parish community of Bisconte, Parish Priest Father Francesco, some couples from the group that Sister Vincenzina leads, some of the friends in the Diocesan community with whom we have been sharing faith experiences, and our adult children who, even though they do not completely share in our choices, nonetheless participate in our life with joy.   

Having Calogero La Zara present was a truly important part of the event: he opened the prayer by explaining in what way Mother Frances’s family is also composed of laypeople, and he described what it meant to be an Associate.

However, the Holy Spirit, St. Francis and Mother Frances were the true ‘leaders’ of our celebration. From Mother Frances’ life we highlighted faith in God, while from the Gospels of Luke we welcomed the invitation to entrust ourselves to the Father, and not to fear tomorrow because the Lord always takes care of us.  

rp 05Maria:

“During the celebration, I felt Mother Frances’s presence very close to me. I had already experienced the preparation of the liturgy as a healing moment, even though events of the past two years had produced doubts and even wounds within me. But after re-reading some excerpts from Mother Frances’s life, having prayed together, having continued in my own small way to serve the poor and, not least of all, having participated in the Area Assembly, I felt the healing process that only Jesus can give – and I felt that our SFP family, to whom I am so strongly attached, seeks to bring to our brothers and sisters who are living in situations of poverty.”

rp 04Nicola: “For me, the renewal of my Covenant was an affirmation of my belonging to the Family, and of the commitment I accepted with my first Covenant.”

rp 06Sebastiano:

“It was a joy for me to renew my Covenant in the Church of Bisconte, in front of the Parish community and so many friends. After I talked about my experience, many people came up to me to find out more about what it means, as a layperson, to belong to a religious family.”


As a symbol/memento of this renewal we created a poster with the Chapter logo, within which we included some excerpts from the Holy Scripture, from Mother Frances’s thoughts and from Pope Francis’ Evangelii Gaudium.

rp 02The Sisters with Calogero and the Associates who renewed their Covenants

The experience that we shared together highlighted our commitment to live the healing charism in communion with the Franciscan Sisters of the Poor, and our joy in being able to share this choice with the friends who were present. Our friends can now more fully understand that The Franciscan Sisters of the Poor, as an organization, listens to, and is in service to, the poor.

 Casa Santa Chiara

Published: Dicembre 02, 2014

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