Franciscan Footprints

New Contributor to Our Blog: Postulant Tracy

New Postulant  Blogger for Franciscan FootprintsFebruary 15th, we had a new addition to our family: Postulant Tracy!  She comes to us all the way from Fort Lauderdale, FL.  A brave soul to arrive in Peoria during the middle of winter.

She has already started classes and volunteering at OSF Saint Francis Medical Center and now we are starting her on the blog.

Stay tuned to hear about her experiences in Franciscan religious life as a postulant.

God Loves us Like a Mother

A Reflection on Isaiah 49:8-15, the first reading for the Wednesday of the 4th Week of Lent

In this passage from Isaiah, we are reminded of God’s immense love and mercy toward us, which is likened to a mother’s love and tenderness for her child. What a beautiful analogy! Just as a mother's love for her child is unconditional, so is God’s love for us. There is nothing we can do (sin) that is outside of God’s mercy toward us.  Isaiah even states later in the passage that, “Can a mother forget her infant, be without tenderness for the child of her womb? Even should she forget, I will never forget you.” Here we see just one example of God’s great love and mercy toward His people.

Another example is found in the Catechism of the Catholic Church paragraph 219, which states “God’s love for Israel is compared to a father’s love for his son. His love for his people is stronger than a mother’s for her children. God loves his people more than a bridegroom his beloved; his love will be victorious over even the worst infidelities and will extend to his most precious gift: 'God so loved the world that he gave his only Son.'"

Wishing you God’s abundant blessings on you during the remainder of this Lent.

Rest in Peace, Dear Sister

~Requiescat in Pace~

Sister Aniceta Magana OSFOur dear Sister, Sister M. Aniceta, passed away peacefully on February 24, 2016 at 2:17am.

The wake was at 7pm on Friday, February 26th and her Funeral Mass was on Saturday, February 27th at 10am.

Sister M. Aniceta, OSF was born in Kansas City, Kansas on May 29, 1918, one of nine children.  She would have been 98 years old this coming May 2016. Sister entered our Community on January 3, 1940 at the age of 23. She made her final profession of vows on October 19, 1948, her Silver Jubilee May 17, 1965, her Golden Jubilee on May 17, 1990, and her Diamond Jubilee on May 17, 2000 with a total of 76 years in Religious Life.

Here is a video of Sister Judith Ann's eulogy for Sister Aniceta at her wake.  (Our little Sister Aniceta was a bit of a colorful character. :) )

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

OSF Hospice Home ExteriorServing 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.

OSF 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.”

OSF Hospice Home Room

We Love and Honor Our Lady of Guadalupe

Our Lady of Guadalupe StatueYesterday 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!