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w1Sisters Adelaide, Pauline and Marilyn examine Sr. Pauline certificateThe 49th annual Franciscan Federation Conference was held in St. Louis from July 18-20. The theme was: “Celebrating the Kindom Power.” Our two presenters, Margie Will OSF and Michael Crosby OFM Cap. shared their reflections with us.Sisters Ann Cecile Albers, Dorothy Ann Bolser, June Casterton, Mary Jacinta Dolye, Marie Clement Edrich, Karen Hartman, Adelaide Link, Mary Maloney, Pauline Sweeney, Marilyn Trowbridge and Associate Joan Mills were among the attendees. The setting was delightful as we were blessed with flowers, a walking path around the lake and perfect weather.

The pre-conference meetings of “Envisioning our Future”, JPIC meetings, and “Sharing Our History” as well as the Board meeting kept participants engaged. There was much excitement and energy as people arrived and greeted friends from around the country. The official opening was the evening of the 18th. The opening ritual was a meaningful experience involving young dancers and unfolding the meaning behind the Conference’s symbol.

We were greeted by Edna Michael, OSF, the president of the Franciscan Federation. Our presenter covered the themes of “Franciscan Life: Contemporary Challenges”; “The Gospel: Reflecting on and Reclaiming our Charism”; and “Kindom Power: How do we cultivate it? How do we communicate it?” Michael Crosby gave us a solid background on the historical and current reality within the Franciscan movement. Margie Will challenged us to enter the womb and wait in the dark to see what is emerging in our lives today. We ordered DVD's of the presentations, and they will offer us an opportunity to hear and discuss these topics among ourselves.

Our attendees offer the following comments:

“As I contemplate on all the input we received; every time I encounter even an insect, it comes to me that this little creature is just as much a part of the Kindom as I am.” Sr. Ann Cecile Albers

“One of the insights that keeps coming back to me is this: To envision and to usher in a world of non-violence, we need to let go of power and control and become contemplatives, mystics and prophets. Only when we become contemplatives, mystics and prophets will peace reign in our parishes, our Churches, our communities and our world.” Joan Mills, Associate

w2Franciscan Federation honorees“For me, the Conference was exceptional! The sessions on human trafficking and climate change raised my awareness of what climate change and trafficking do to people ...especially poor people and women.” Sr. Pauline Sweeney

“It seemed to me that both of the presenters emphasized that this is a time for a 'tribal' way of life as a religious to transition us to a new way of koinonia … a Gospel way of community. The 'trick' would seem to be to approach this sense of community with a mindset of openness, a willingness to change, daring to be imaginative especially in the relationships with the world, even with the cosmos. THE VOICE OF GOD IS CALLING!! The world...yes, the whole world … needs your ….yes, your love!!!” Sr. Marie Clement Edrich

“For me, the Conference presenters both challenged and deepened my awareness, understanding and appreciation of our Baptismal/Franciscan call to live as Kindom people, the fuller reality of Gospel love of Jesus in the here and now moment of my life. In so doing, we affect Kindom peace, Together we bring about God's Kindom, right here and now.” Sr. Dorothy Ann Bolser

“I was delighted that the two main speakers gave a review and in-depth learnings of the challenges that Illia Delio OSF and Keith Warner presented last year. Michael Crosby and Margie Will were a great team … with wisdom, insight and humor. The future of the Franciscan Federation has been in question. The announcement of the 'Sabbath' was encouraging so that the membership will have the opportunity to participate in the proposed future of the Franciscan Federation.” Sr. Karen Hartman

“I highly recommend the DVD's. Your world may be changed and/or enlightened. Re-claim the 'Trinity', Image God! Repair or rebuild my house! Bring peace to every house you enter...that is Jesus’ and Francis’ gospel message.” Sr. Mary Maloney

w5Sisters Anne Cecile, Marilyn and Pauline Sweeney at the banquet w3Sisters Mary Jacinta, Adelaide, June and Marie Clement at table

Other highlights of the conference included:

The 2015 conference will be held in Indianapolis, IN in June. It will start the Sabbath year which concludes at a celebrative gathering in 2016. We hope to see you there.

 

w4Some of our Attendees: Sisters Adelaide, Mary Jacinta, Pauline, June, Marilyn, Karen, Dorothy Ann, Ann Cecile

 

Sr. June Casterton

 Published: October 17, 2014