Franciscan Footprints

Tornadoes

As I am sure you've heard, we had a huge storm system pass through Illinois on Sunday, November 17 which spawned a bunch of tornadoes.  An EF-4 went through Washington, IL which is about 10 miles east of the House of Formation and a few miles southeast of the Motherhouse.  We were not directly impacted by it, but many of our employees lost their homes or had significant damage.  It is really just amazing that more people were not killed.  Please join us in praying for the deceased, their loved ones and all those who were impacted by these tornadoes.

Blessed John Paul II Relics

JPII RelicMother Adele, Foundress of the Servants of the Pierced Hearts of Jesus and Mary, interceded to bring a relic of Blessed John Paul II to Peoria.  The relic is a small vial of his blood.  (I think it was taken for lab tests shortly before he died.)  They came to St. Mary's Cathedral in Peoria the evening of Monday, November 18.  There was a huge crowd of people, pretty impressive for a Monday night.  There wasn't enough room in the Cathedral for everyone so many had to go to the Spalding Pastoral Center.  They had video feed there, and after everyone at the Cathedral had venerated the relic it was brought over there.

Read more: Blessed John Paul II Relics

Discernment Retreat Nov. 2013

November 2013 Discernment RetreatWhew, I should have posted this over a month ago! 

Our November 2013 Discernment Retreat went well.  It was a smaller group than anticipated, but everyone seemed to enjoy the retreat.  (There were several people who ended up having scheduling conflicts.  Hopefully they'll be able to join us next time.)

Father Robert Lampitt from Champaign had the main talk on Friday, the Holy Hour, Confessions and Benediction.  Sister Agnes Joseph, Director of Formation, spoke about vocations and religious life in particular.  Sister Judith Ann, Major Superior, spoke about prayer and discernment.  I told about our community history and gave a tour of our Heritage Hall.  Sister Veronica and Sister Faustina told their vocation stories.  Besides that we had another Holy Hour with the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, joined in the regular community prayers, Rosary and Liturgy of the Hours, had some recreation time and took the infirmary sisters out for a walk.  Click the picture for more photos.

Surperior's Feast Day

October 28th is a double celebration for us.  It is the feast day of our Major Superior, Sister Judith Ann, O.S.F.  (The feast of St. Jude) and it is the death anniversary of our foundress, Mother M. Frances Krasse, O.S.F.

Mother Frances passed on to her eternal reward early in the morning of October 28, 1885, while the sisters prayed around her bed.  Her last words to her sisters were: "Dear Sisters, keep yourselves in strict accord with the rules and statutes. Live in meekness and obedience. Nurse the sick with the greatest care and love, then will God’s blessing be with you.”

We always celebrate our Major Superior's Feast day with special festivities and gifts, even if her feast day doesn't land of Mother Frances' death anniversary.  With Sister Judith Ann's we just get to celebrate double. :) 

During the year many of us work on crafts, or "fancy work" as our older sisters call it, to be sold at our Annual Bazaar.  These items we give to the Major Superior on her feast day.  Of course it is entirely up to her whether she keeps them, gives them away, or puts them in the Bazaar.  Just thought I should explain a bit about the gifts, in case they seemed excessive.

Click on the image for more pictures.

By the way the Motherhouse Annual Bazaar is Friday, November 22, 2013 from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm and Saturday, November 23, 2013 from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm.  There will be baked goods, doughnuts, handmade items, plants, used items, jewelry, religious material, etc.  Come early because things go fast.  It is worth the trip for the doughnuts alone.  The motherhouse is off Illinois Route 116 west of Germantown Hills, on access road 14 or St. Francis Lane.  (See on map.)  You can see some pictures of last year's bazaar here, starting about halfway down the page.

Transitus and Feast of St. Francis

The evening of October 3, we, and Franciscans around the world, celebrate what we call the Transitus.  It is the remembrance of the death of St. Francis and his entrance into eternal glory.  St. Francis of Assisi had strived with all his being to be close to Christ so, while it was hard for his followers to see him go, they also rejoiced to see his happiness.  So on the eve of his feast day, we current day followers of St. Francis tell the story of how he died and honor this great disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Here is a good example of the Transitus service, not exactly as we do it but close enough.