Franciscan Footprints

Year of Consecrated Life Days With Religious - Come Serve with Us

ear of Consecrated Life Come Serve with Us EventAs part of our celebration of the Year of Consecrated Life, we will be having our second open house on Saturday, June 13, 2015, from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM.  We hope you'll be able to join us.  The theme of this open house is "Come Serve with Us".

The USCCB's Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life, and Vocations along with the three religious leadership conferences in the United States, have planned for three Days with Religious, this one being the second.

There will be Come Serve with Us events at many religious houses around the US this summer.  As I've already said above, ours will be on June 13, which is the feast day of one of our community patrons, the Evangelical Doctor St. Anthony of Padua, a great Franciscan saint.  (If you get lost on the way to the motherhouse, pray to Tony.)

So, what will we be doing?  How will we be serving?  It was a little difficult for us to find a way for visitors to work with us for half a day.  There would have to be orientation, training and forms to do if we tried to do something with patients in our healthcare facilities.  After a little brainstorming we figured out some projects that anyone can to that will impact the lives of patients in our care.

We'll be working on some gifts and cards for patients in OSF Hospice Services and the OSF Richard L. Owens Hospice Home, and our Faith Community Nurse Program.  There will also be some craft projects to complete that will be sold at our Annual Fall Bazaar.  All proceeds from the bazaar go to our mission fund to support the poor and the needy both locally and around the world. If you like writing, packing, wrapping, crafting, decorating, cutting, or punching (paper, that is) this should be right up your alley.

The Faith Community Nursing program and OSF Hospice and Hospice Home are in need of volunteers.  You'll have the opportunity to learn about other ways you can help.

We had a great turn out for our last Open House on February 15th.  If you weren't able to come to that, you will have the opportunity to have a short tour of the motherhouseRefreshments will be available.

Children are welcome.  We'll have some little projects they can work on as well.

Please if you can, bring some non-perishable food items for local food pantries.

Where: Motherhouse of The Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis, 1175 St. Francis Lane, East Peoria, IL (It is on access road 14 on IL Route 116 just west of Germantown Hills.)

When: Saturday, June 13, 2015 1:00-4:00 PM

What to bring: Non-perishable food items, your creativity, your heart and your hands.  (And perhaps an apron in case glue or glitter happens.)

Questions? Call the Motherhouse at (309) 699-7215

Retreat with Fr. James Kubicki

Our February Retreat just ended on Wednesday, the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes and World Day of Prayer for the Sick.

Retreat started with a snow storm but Father James Kubicki, SJ warmed our hearts.  A quote he used as a main element of the retreat was from St. Diadochus.  "The measure of your love for God depends on how deeply aware you are of God’s love for you."

Father has a deep and evident devotion the the Sacred Heart and is the National Director of the Apostleship of Prayer.

I'm afraid I don't have time to tell you much more.  We are in the midst of getting ready for the big open house on Sunday.  The Open House for the Year of Consecrated Life was actually put on the front page of the Peoria Journal Star last Sunday, so we really have no idea how many people may come.  We're are preparing for a flood. :) And I have two visitors right now.  (Special thank you to all those who are praying for vocations to our community. And thank you, Father, for your kind blog post.)

I hope to see many of you at the open house this weekend.

Open House - Come Meet with Us

Year of Consecrated Life Open House at the Motherhouse

This is a very special year for our Sisters, The Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis, and for all Religious Communities around the world.  Pope Francis has designated a “Year of Consecrated Life” that began on November 30, 2014 and extends to February 2, 2016.  We are encouraged to open our doors and invite the public into our homes to share with them the Joy of living a life of consecration to God.  It is from this essential foundation, of consecration to God that our Sisters serve in our sacred ministry of healthcare along with 15,000 plus individuals “in the Spirit of Christ and after the example of Francis of Assisi.”

There are three aspects of this Open House across the nation.  People of all ages and all religious affiliations are welcome.

Come and Meet with Us, Sunday, February 15, 2015

On Sunday, February 15, 2015, we will have an Open House at our Motherhouse, on St. Francis Lane off Route # 116 from 1 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. and we warmly invite the public to “Come and Meet with Us!” This will be an opportunity for you to speak with our Sisters, enjoy a guided tour of our home, learn about our life and our work in health care, hear Sisters’ personal vocation stories, and experience our Franciscan hospitality with refreshments.

Future Open Houses to look forward to:

Come and Serve with Us, Summer 2015:
In the summer of 2015 we will be announcing an Open House for the public to “Come and Serve with Us” at our Motherhouse, and work along with our Sisters in a work of mercy. 

Come and Pray with Us, September 2015:
Finally, in September 2015 we will have an Open House to invite the public to “Come and Pray with Us,” and join in our Community prayers with us at our Motherhouse.

Watch for these special days and give our Sisters the joy of having you under our roof.  We look to the past with gratitude, live in the present with passion and look to the future with hope.

Like to Come?

Just come on down to the Motherhouse, 1175 St. Francis Lane, East Peoria, IL.  (Off Illinois Route 116 on access road 14, just west of Germantown Hills.)  Doors are open between 1:00PM and 4:00PM.

Hope to see you there. :)

St. Francis and Christmas

Altar at Greccio. Courtesy of Br. Bob Jones, SM"For I wish to do something that will recall to memory the little Child who was born in Bethlehem and set before our bodily eyes in some way the inconveniences of his infant needs, how he lay in a manager, how, with an ox and an ass standing by, he lay upon the hay where he had been placed."  This, from the First Life of St. Francis by Thomas of Celano, was St. Francis' intention when he had the first live nativity scene set up in Greccio.

It wasn't with expensive little ceramic figures sitting near a Christmas tree, but actual farm animals, and hay, and a feeding trough up on a hill in Greccio, Italy.  There, along with his friars and people from the surrounding area, they celebrated Christmas Midnight Mass.

They put before their eyes what they were having trouble imagining, to help them to meditate on the miracle of Christ's birth.  Sometimes we get too used to things, too familiar, to see them clearly anymore.  We can gain new perspective by looking outside of ourselves: seeing an image or icon, reading a book, listening to others, ...

St. Francis and those with him took the time and the effort to do that.  They made preparations, they hiked up the hill at night, the celebrated Mass at night in the cold, to try to get a feeling for how it would have been for the Holy Family that first Christmas night.

And their efforts were rewarded!  It was a time of consolation and renewed fervor.  At least one man saw a vision of the Infant Jesus.  The Lord worked miracles for mothers in child-birth and for animals through the straw that had been in the manger.

Perhaps if we made a similar effort, the Lord would work a miracle in our hearts.

Read more about St. Francis' Christmas at Greccio.

Read about and see pictures of Brother Bob's pilgrimage to Greccio.

St. Mary's New Chapel

Our OSF Saint Mary Medical Center in Galesburg, IL has been sorely in new of a bigger chapel for many years.  This year on November 18, with some renovations and an lot of department shuffling, they finally have their new chapel.  I took a few pictures of the dedication, but the ones they have on their Facebook page are much better, so I'll just send you over there to see them.

Chapel Dedication Photos