Clad in matching blue tie-dye t-shirts, with “Companions on the Journey” emblazoned on the back, Felician Associates and Sisters recently “gathered for good” during a day dedicated to solidarity with those in need.
At the Villa Maria College Athletic Center, accompanied by Sr. Mary Gerard Fredrick, Sr. Mary Therese Chmura, and Sr. Mary Francesca Buczkowski, Felician Associates in Buffalo enthusiastically took part in an intense food-packing service day. Food packets containing vitamins, dehydrated vegetables, soy, and rice were assembled, sealed, weighed, packed in cases, and then placed on pallets for shipping overseas. Kim Kotz, a professor in the Physical Therapist Assistant program and Chair of Health Sciences at Villa, coordinated the event. Feed My Starving Children, a Christian nonprofit that works with food distribution partners to provide nutrition for hungry children, provided the framework for distributing life-saving food packet to children in need around the world.
The Felician Associates group packed more than 30 cases, making a strong contribution that produced enough nutritionally appropriate packets to feed 88 children for one year. At the end of the day, the participants gathered around the towers of boxed food, each laying their hands on one of the pallets as they offered a prayer together. Some of this food has already gone to children in Haiti. According to Sr. Gerard, Felician Associate Coordinator in Buffalo, this event was memorable and moving. “We have already volunteered for next year,” she reports.
After a day of volunteering, Sr. Francesca, CEO of St. Felix Centre, left for Toronto to join volunteers and staff there for the “Coldest Night of the Year” event. In solidarity with Sr. Francesca, the Buffalo associates returned to Immaculate Heart of Mary Convent to join sisters for a “Love Walk” around the dining room and through Alumnae Hall, in solidarity with people experiencing hunger, hurt, and homelessness.
Felician Associates are lay women and men who carry the charism of the Felician Sisters. Their call mirrors Blessed Mother Angela’s mission and vision, and their monthly gatherings include social, spiritual, and service-oriented components.