Franciscan Footprints

A Reflection on Serving as a Pastoral Care Volunteer at our OSF Hospice Home

OSF Richard L. Owens Hospice HomeServing our residents and families at OSF Richard L. Owens Hospice Home is a joy and a blessing to me. Currently I am missioned to live and serve here at our Motherhouse in East Peoria, IL. As a part of that service Sister Judith Ann, our Major Superior, asked me to visit the Hospice Home as a Pastoral Care volunteer.

Each time I encounter and visit with the residents, their families, and our staff, I am aware that I have been given the opportunity to serve Christ in my brothers and sisters.  At first the thought of ministering to the dying and their family and friends was intimidating to me. I thought, "What can I possibly do to help ease their pain?" and, "I feel unfit." Later,  I realized that I'm not there to necessarily do anything, but to bring Christ's presence to them in their need. And in this I find joy.

Hospice Home ChapelPeople, whether they are conscious of it of not, are searching for God. It is in times of intense struggle, such as a death of a loved one, when a person may be more open to the Lord. Witnessing to the reality and centrality of Christ by being present to the dying and their families and friends is another way to serve with the greatest care and love. As it is stated in our OSF HealthCare Mission Statement, “ In the spirit of Christ and the example of Francis of Assisi, the Mission of OSF Healthcare is to serve persons with the greatest of care and love in a community that celebrates the gift of life. “

In all that I am missioned to do, whether at our Motherhouse or at the Hospice Home, I pray that I may be God’s instrument. As Blessed Teresa of Calcutta said “I am a little pencil in the hand of a writing God who is sending a love letter to the world.”

Resident Room

We Love and Honor Our Lady of Guadalupe

Yesterday was the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Patroness of the Americas.  

Our Lady appeared to Juan Diego - a poor Aztec Indian - in Central Mexico in the year 1531. As a result of her appearance, millions of Aztec Indians converted to Catholicism. On October 12, 1945, Pope Pius XII, decreed Our Lady of Guadalupe to be "Patroness of all the Americas." Her feast day is December 12, and it is a Holy Day of Obligation in Mexico. To read more about Our Lady of Guadalupe and Saint Juan Diego click here

Three of our Sisters went to the Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Immaculate Conception to pray and witness to our love and devotion to Our Lady. There were hymns sung in Spanish, Lauds, and Native dance culminating in the celebration of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass with our bishop, Daniel R. Jenky, CSC. 

It was a glorious and grace filled day! Our Lady of Guadalupe, pray for us!

Sister Veronica - New Sister Blogger

new sister blogger on Franciscans FootprintsWe have a new/old sister starting on the blog.  She has been on the blog before, several years ago, so really she is just coming back.

Sister Veronica, with her new duties at the motherhouse, will be contributing to Franciscan Footprints and to our page on Facebook and on Twitter.

Sister is in Temporary vows, preparing to make her final commitment to the Lord.

Please join me in welcoming her back.

Photos from the Year of Consecrated Life

No, the Year of Consecrated Life isn't over quite yet; it ends Feb. 2, 2016, the World Day of Consecrated Life.  Seeing as how I haven't posted anything on our celebration of the year since August, I thought I might as well do it in one post.

Hopefully, the pictures will speak for themselves for the most part. 

Come Meet with Us Open House

February 15, 2015

OSF Sisters' Open HouseWe had a great turnout for our first public event for the Year of Consecrated Life.  We estimate around 500 people came through our doors.  Here you can read a few details about what we had planned for the day on our post advertising the open house.

We got some great pictures, courtesy of Lisa Pallardy Photography. See more photos.

Come Serve with Us

June 13, 2015

Come Serve with Us Open HouseAs part of a nation wide initiative for the Year of Consecrated Life, this second open house was centered on service. 

Along with around 50 visitors, we packed care bags, made cards and other items to benefit those in need.  These were sent to patients with OSF Hospice, the communities served by our OSF Faith Community Nurses, and the poor.

Special thanks to all those who spent their Saturday afternoon working with us.  God bless you.

See the rest of the photos of the Come Serve with Us event.

Come Pray with Us

September 13, 2015

Our last open house for the Year of Consecrated Life, was a pilgrimage around our motherhouse grounds to different shrines there. 

Beginning in chapel, we processed with song and prayer from the Virgin of the Poor all the way around to the Virgin of Fatima then back to chapel for Evening Prayer.  Then, of course, we served refreshments.

See more pictures of our little pilgrimage.


Wake Up the World Conference

September 17-19, 2015

Sister speaks to children at Wake Up the World ConferenceThe Peoria Association for Religious Life (PEARL) had the idea to bring together those in the consecrated life, along with the priests and the lay faithful of the Diocese of Peoria to celebrate the Year of Consecrated Life.  So, we decided to hold a conference.

Pope Francis, in his apostolic letter for the Year of Consecrated Life, had said that it was a duty of those in the consecrated life to wake up the world, which is where the name for the conference came from.

Those main aims of the year were for consecrated individuals to:

  • Look to the past with gratitude
  • Live the present with passion
  • Embrace the future with hope

He also called all the members of the Church to celebrate with us.  With that in mind, we organized the event to include Liturgical celebrations, talks from local and outside speakers, vocation booths, and fun activities for all.

I will let the pictures tell the rest of the story.  Enjoy. :)

CMSWR Symposium on Religious Life

November 13-14, 2015

Sisters at the CMSWR Symposium on Religious LifeThe Council of Major Superiors of Women Religious held this symposium in St. Louis.  They organized it in conjunction with their Annual Meeting and the Formator's Workshop. 

I heard that there were about 500 religious there for the symposium.  Even the sisters were saying they had never seen so many sisters in one place.  I can just imagine how strange it seemed to those in St. Louis at the time.

There were eleven of our sisters who were able to attend.  The Liturgical Celebrations at the old cathedral were beautiful and they had some wonderful speakers.  We really enjoyed having the time together and were inspired to live our religious life with greater zeal.

Hope you enjoy the pictures.

Wake Up the World Conference

Have you heard the news?!

We're having a conference on the Consecrated Life, right here in Peoria.

Who is it for? - Everyone!  Thursday, September 17 evening is a special event for the consecrated persons serving in the Diocese of Peoria.  Friday, September 18 during the day is for middle school and high school students.  The evening of Friday, September 18 and all day Saturday, September 19 are open to everyone.

There will be opportunities to learn about the consecrated life, to pray and play with religious and other consecrated persons in the diocese, and some great talks to help us all to live our vocations to the full.

Also please help us to spread the word to adults, youth and families in and around the Diocese of Peoria.

Like us and share this on Facebook: www.facebook.com/wakeuptheworld.peoria

Follow us and tweet us on Twitter: twitter.com/WUTWPeoria

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