St. Francis of Assisi (1182-1226)

October 4, 2009

Francis' parents, Pica and Pietro, were part of Assisi's prosperous merchant class. A born leader, Francis instigated many revels among the young men of Assisi. Shaken by a year's imprisonment as a prisoner of war and by a long illness, Francis decided to abandon hi knightly ambitions and dedicate himself to God's service. He would eventually describe himself as "the herald of the great king."

One day the crucifix at San Damiano, a dilapidated wayside chapel near Assisi, told him, "Rebuild my house, for it is nearly falling down." He then repaired San Damiano and two other nearby churches. That required begging stones in Assisi; Francis survived the occasional mocking that greeted him there.

Francis' life took a new direction when he met a man suffering from leprosy. Tempted to ride on, Francis dismounted, kissed the man and gave him some money. Later Francis and his followers would work among people suffering from leprosy. At the end of his life, Francis wrote of this incident on the road outside Assisi. "That which seemed bitter to me," he said, "was changed into sweetness of soul and body" (Testament). Francis overcame himself on that road and afterward was much more ready to care for the suffering.
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The Dr. Lyle F. Renodin Foundation, attentive to the religious tradition and pastoral mission of the Franciscan Sisters of Allegany, New York, is committed to the Gospel stance of social justice which is lived out in a spirit of love, healing and compassion. The Foundation will focus its energy and resources primarily in the Twin Tier Region (NY and PA) and strive to improve the quality of life of our poor and marginalized neighbors. More information can be found here. For a Grant Application, view the PDF file here.

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Franciscan Sisters of Allegany
St. Elizabeth Motherhouse, 115 East Main Street, Allegany NY 14706     

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Last updated October 20, 2009

The Franciscan Sisters of Allegany were featured October 18, 2009, in the
St. Petersburg Times, "Strong women keep the faith: Under the eye of Rome, American nuns soldier on" Read the article

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Allegany Art Presents:
Awesome Mystery Daily Reflections for Advent 2009

As Franciscans we are called to live in profound gratitude for the true Source of All Goodness and Life, The Word made flesh, Jesus Christ. With this Advent booklet, we give thanks and celebrate the Christ of Advent, the dynamic Word of God in our lives. Twenty-seven Franciscans have gifted us with their reflections on the daily readings. They have prayed with the Christ of Advent, the Word of God written in scripture and dwelling within their lives. They have waited, listened to the promptings of new life, and have enfleshed the Word with the insights and wisdom from their faith experiences.

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Franciscan Sisters of Allegany, NY
Allegany Art

Living the Mission; Making a Difference: Part I
by Dana Hollis, OSF
The Franciscan Sisters of Allegany are blessed to have wonderful sisters who seek creative ways to live the congregational mission, whether in full-time ministry or in retirement. Sr. Anne Crowe teaches "English to Speakers of Other Languages" (ESOL) — young adults from Brazil who are students at New Life Christian School in Olean, NY. This fall, in addition to teaching ESOL, Anne will involve her current students in teaching introductory Portuguese to a group of New Life Christian School students, who will then volunteer their services at an orphanage in Brazil in December. Read more

Day One in Horcones
by Kathy Maire, OSF
Once again I have had the incredible privilege of accompanying the Global Health Medical Mission to Guatemala. As other team members, I arrived at the airport with 100 pounds of medications, a wheel chair, a pair of crutches and all the paperwork for the trip. All this could only happen with your gener-ous support and donations. Please accept this small snapshot as a token of my appreciation. Kathy Maire La clinic was silent - a rare moment - since people were lined up against all the walls waiting to see the doctors. The reason for the silence was that everyone was trying to imagine what was happening inside the consulting room, where the screams of a four year old were overpowering. The unspoken question was: What could the doctor possibly be doing to cause the boy such terror? Read more

Serving Those Who are Poor, Hungry and Vulnerable
Besides working with Bread for the World, a global initiative to eradicate hunger in the world, Margaret Mary Kimmins also serves as president of the Franciscan Action Network (FAN) and is past-president of Franciscans International (FI). The latter two are organizations dedicated to working for a world that "reflects the balanced and just society that...St. Francis and St. Clare of Assisi believed God invites all of creation to accept... Through the proper ordering of relations, using Catholic social teaching principles of solidarity and the common good, they envision a world where all have what they need to reach the fullest of their individual humanity.

In an interview published in The Capuchin Journey (Spring 2009), Margaret Mary explained how she was drawn into these ministries and what they mean to her as a Franciscan. She described two incidents that broadened her understanding of Francis' teaching that we are all brother and sister to each other and to all of creation.