October 13, 2014

“Remain in My Love”

            Sixteen women from Franciscan University joined St. Clare Convent for an evening of prayer, and sisterly fellowship. The joy of sharing a meal, and the presence of Our Lord encompassed the evening. We discovered the beauty of being present to one another, and found our faces aching from laughter. The “Saints” faced off the “Poor Humble Sinners” in a lively game of Guesstures.

                The evening came to the close with an invitation to remain in Our Lord’s love: to take the time to hear Him call you by name, invite you into relationship with Him, and respond generously with your life. Inviting us to meditate upon the Father’s love, “As the Father loves me, so I also love you. Remain in my love,” (John 15:9), may each of us allow ourselves to be immersed in the Lord’s abundant love, and choose to remain there.
 

October 11, 2014

Oh, the places you'll go!

Sometimes my summers feel like the title of that Dr. Seuss book. I never know where I'll be sent and where I will go next, while other years my summers are much more predictable. As a teacher who has their "summers off" we give our summers to the community as needed. It really is beautiful. I often marvel at the true gift of self that our Sisters experience as we trot across the globe of the United States, filling in for each other so that we can take time off to retreat and renew ourselves in the Lord. It is in this very act of selflessness that unknown cooks are born, florists are discovered, and above all a greater appreciation for the apostolate of your Sister is experienced and embraced. A little humility is always good for us as we step outside of our comfort zone.

If we are not working in one of our convents you can very often find us doing one of many summer programs. That was my summer this year. I think I lived at various camps for almost 5 weeks. From the mountains of northern Georgia to the northern woods of Minnesota, you would find Sr. M. Catherine and myself, or Sr. Mariela and I with hundreds of teenagers. I truly felt like St. Francis traveling in pairs with my sandals and "carry on bag" in hand. St. Francis has given us the original example of carrying the gospel to all people and our new Holy Father Francis reminds us:

"People today certainly need words, but most of all they need us to bear witness to the mercy and tenderness of the Lord which warms the heart, rekindles hope, and attracts people towards the good. What a joy it is to bring God's consolation to  others!"

 We didn't go alone however. We went surrounded by the prayers of our community as we ministered to these young people and were able to share Christ's mercy with them. Most of the high schoolers I encountered had never met a Sister before, and for some, we would probably be their first and last encounter with religious life. The intense praying, ultimate frisbee playing, preaching about the Mass and vocations, white-water rafting sisters who sit on a rocking chair until 11pm listening and counseling about the difficulties of their life and playing 4 square with you the next day...(pause for breath)... singing the songs from the depths of their hearts and playing capture the flag, would be your encounter with joy and God's love through us. It may have been really late nights and equally early mornings on our part, but I pray that they experienced the joy of the gospel from some simple Franciscans.

There were many graces that God was pouring out upon us and all the young people we encountered. If you are familiar with Dr. Seuss' book that I mentioned at the beginning there is a line in it where he says..." You're on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who'll decide where to go....” And yet for us we experienced the opposite. God was with us, working in so many young peoples lives this summer. I know that I was NOT alone. I relish that I have been given the faith that I have and that HE is all knowing. And that it's His will that I am always trying to do and not my own. So if I am sent out to spend weeks at Catholic summer camps with bugs and canoes, God's will be done. I don't really mind, sprained ankle and all! 

- Sr. Mary George, FSGM

October 8, 2014

Witnessing to the Merciful Love of Christ

Seventy-five Sisters were in town over the weekend.  Why all the fuss?  On Saturday, we celebrated the Feast of Saint Francis, the founder of the Franciscan order and patron of our religious community.  Then on Sunday, we gathered for another joyful occasion: the Diamond Jubilee (60 years of profession) of Sister M. Julia Kuropka and my Silver Jubilee (25 years in the convent).


Jubilees are a time to thank God for the gift of one’s vocation, to thank Him for his love, mercy, and faithfulness, and for the grace of perseverance.  The spiritual highlight of the day was of course the Mass with scripture readings that focused on a covenantal relationship with the Lord.  The remainder of the day had a wonderful mix of prayer, fun, and fellowship with my Sisters in community.  There was lots of food and the delight of opening presents.  Sister M. Julia was “Queen for the Day” and I was the “Princess”, but it was all about remembering that we are servants of Christ the King.  

By Sister M. Elena, FSGM

See more pictures from the Jubilee Celebration.

September 30, 2014

Joy!

Over the weekend we had visitors from Bishop Kelly High School and other schools in Tulsa, Oklahoma.  What a joy it was to be with Father O'Brien, Theresa and the 11 young women they brought along!  Yes, and of course our own Sister M. Margaret who traveled with them too.



From celebrating the Eucharist, having adoration and confession, some recreation, helping in the kitchen and our Day Care Center, to gratitude for one of the young women who turned 18, we had a very blessed time.  We pray these women encountered the love Jesus has for them and may hear His voice each day.  May Our Lady accompany them on the way to the Heart of her Son.

You can check out more photos from the weekend too.

September 27, 2014

Welcome Catie!

      Hello!  My name is Catie Kneemiller and I am overjoyed to have entered with the Sisters of St. Francis of the Martyr St. George!  I am 25 years old and from St. Charles, Missouri.  My parents and younger brother still live in St. Charles.  In my free time, I enjoy reading, playing sports (non-competitively), and taking walks.  I was drawn to our community because of the joy of the Sisters and their charism to make Christ’s merciful love visible.  I was also drawn to the fact that their charism is lived out in many different apostolates.  Please pray for me and know that I am praying for you as well!

September 25, 2014

Meet Krystle

       My name is Krystle Cagandahan, 26.  I am from Richmond, Texas.  I was born in the Philippines and spent most of my childhood in Dubai, U.A.E. before moving to Texas in 2002, where my parents and younger sisters still live.  I love to draw and play basketball during my free time.  I am joyful to finally be here with the Sisters.  I first visited the community in 2012 and right away felt at home.  The love and dedication that each Sister puts in their apostolate and their prayer life together drew me to the community.  As I begin my journey, I pray that God may use me as one of His instruments to show His merciful love to His sons and daughters.

September 23, 2014

Welcome Kristen!

       My name is Kristen Rainey.  I’m 31 years old.  I grew up in Kennett, Missouri and I have one brother.  Some of my interests include traveling, reading and studying our faith, learning to play the guitar and experiencing the gift of getting to know other people.
        I was drawn to the beauty of religious life for many years but at the same time was drawn to the vocation to marriage.  For several years I wrestled with choosing between these two goods in prayer although deep in my heart I could hear God calling me to religious life.  Through a deepening of prayer spent in adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, a fuller entrustment of myself to Our Lady, and through getting to know the Sisters through my job in campus ministry, the Holy Spirit removed all the obstacles that were preventing me from saying yes.  He revealed through interior and exterior confirmations that He was calling me to this particular community and that only in giving my whole self entirely to Him could my heart be fully satisfied.