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Started in 1976 by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, National Vocation Awareness Week, celebrated November 1-7, 2020, is an annual week-long celebration to promote vocations to the priesthood, diaconate, and consecrated life through prayer and education.

In 2015, the United Nations member states adopted the UN Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDGs). These 17 goals were adopted by participating governments in an effort to work towards ending poverty, protecting the environment, and bettering the lives of people everywhere.

With so many children learning remotely right now due to the COVID-19 pandemic, working parents don’t know where to turn for extra help. Some students are noticing a difference between having a teacher in-person versus online learning, but some local groups are stepping up to fill that void.

On Saturday, Sept. 26, the Felician Sisters in Lodi, New Jersey, celebrated the anniversaries of their Sisters who entered the Congregation in 1945, 1950, 1960, 1970 and 1995.

The Maryville Retreat Center in Holly, Michigan, has announced their new programs for the fall that are open to the public. This beautiful facility and the Felician Sisters that operate it invite you to join them.

October 4 is the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi. In 1979, Saint Pope John Paul II declared St. Francis the patron saint of ecology. St. Francis believed that all things were created by God and therefore held a sacredness in their own right; that they existed to praise the Creator. He believed that we, humans, were to live in relationship with all things.

In 2014, seven very special students walked across the stage at Madonna University’s graduation ceremony. “The 7”, as they call themselves, were the first graduates of the university’s Haitian Education Leadership Program, and they were receiving their bachelor’s degrees in business administration.

The sisters at St. Joseph the Worker Convent in Pomona, California, are caught between two wildfires. The El Dorado fire is 45 miles east of the city and is 66% contained; the Bobcat fire is 18 miles northwest of Pomona and is only 9% contained after 12 days.

In Haiti, a Felician ministry in Jacmel on Haiti's southern coast has faced a number of challenges in the last six months, Felician Sr. Marilyn Marie Minter told GSR in an email, though, she added, "we see it as a grace and a response to the needs of the times."

On Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2020, at the Our Lady of the Angels Convent in Enfield, Connecticut, Patricia Jaeckel made her commitment to the Felician Sisters candidacy program.

The 2020 recipient of the Villa Maria College Blessed Angela Award is Sr. Mary Michaelanne Galas, who has spent the last seven years as director of the Sister Mary Josette Food Pantry. This award is presented annually to an employee who embodies the mission and spirit of Villa Maria College.

Sept. 1 is the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, which marks the beginning of the Season of Creation, which lasts from Sept. 1 through Oct. 4, the feast of St. Francis of Assisi.

On Aug. 13, 2020, the St. Ignatius Nursing & Rehab Center administrative team hosted the blessing and dedication of Francis House in West Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the third Low Income Tax Credit Project developed by STINRC.

On Saturday, August 15, the Feast of the Assumption of Mary, the Sisters of Mother of Good Counsel Convent in Chicago, Illinois, honored 13 jubilarians from three communities.

On Sunday, August 16, at the St. Joseph Convent in Pomona, California, Monica Edaburn made her commitment to the Felician Sisters candidacy program.

On August 5, 2020, Angela Maloney, President and CEO of the Catholic Foundation of Michigan, presented a check for $10,000 from over 500 different donors to the Felician Sisters of North America. Sr. Mary Andrew Budinski, local minister at the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary Convent in Livonia, Michigan, accepted the check on behalf of her community.

The Response to Love Center, under the leadership of Felician Sister Mary Johnice Rzadkiewicz, was awarded a $500 grant from the City of Buffalo Love Your Block Community Response Fund and a $500 donation from the Erie County Masonic Foundation. Both contributions will be used to purchase food for their clients.

All proceeds went towards the Saint Felix Pantry, a non-profit that helps people in need of food, clothing, and more. “It’s hard to put into words what this means for the pantry but the fact that the community is coming out and putting out a movie together even though we’re distanced, it shows what a strong community we have,” Rachael Miletkov from Saint Felix Pantry said.

The sisters and friars of Our Lady of the Angels Convent in Enfield, Connecticut, celebrated 60 years of religious life for Sr. Frances Marion Bonczar, Sr. Janice Marie Gaudette and Sr. Joan Marie Swierzb on Saturday, August 1.

There has been an outpouring of support for the Livonia group of religious sisters that has lost 13 members to the coronavirus.

Schools in the state of South Carolina have been closed since March 14, and according to director Sr. Mary Susanne Dziedzic, the impact on Felician Center has been huge and ongoing. "The ministry has not been stagnant during these months and at times it has been exhausting as volunteers are not yet ready to return to help,” said Sr. Susanne. “Poor or unavailable health resources among the rural economically disadvantaged population are keeping us distanced from one another.”

This spring, Mooncrest Neighborhood Programs in Moon Township, Pennsylvania, celebrated a major milestone with one of their neighbors. At the age of 21, after having come to the country as an asylum seeker, struggling with language barriers and becoming a first-time mother, Sindy Niz Juarez received her high school diploma from the Moon Township School District.

Felician Sister Maryann Agnes Mueller joined more than 400 constituents from 45 states and the District of Columbia in virtual legislative visits with 150 congressional offices last week.

The Felician nuns of the Deo Gratias Ministries feed people each Friday. This year, after taking over the duties of feeding the community on Detroit’s East side when a nearby food bank shut down, the Sisters went into high gear -- bread, cereal, non-perishables, but fell short on produce.

 As small as it is, the bee is essential for feeding our world and supporting an entire ecosystem. 

On June 28, Felician Sisters Mary Faith Balawejder and Melanie Marie Bajorek participated in a contemplative prayer vigil, We Stand Together in Solidarity with Black Lives Matter, at Freedom Corner in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

We are reaching out to share some sad news, but also good news as we cautiously move forward with resuming life in our new normal. Sadly, we lost another of our older Sisters due to the residual effects of the coronavirus, which can cause continuing difficulties with other chronic medical conditions. Some of our Sisters who have had COVID-19 are struggling to recover from a variety of effects, including continuing weakness, respiratory issues and more. We ask for your prayers as we support them in their recovery.

Recently, a disturbing incident occurred in our town of Kingstree, South Carolina. A Caucasian local business owner used the "N" word toward an African-American woman, not knowing his phone was left on for her to hear. Understandably, the woman was deeply disturbed and deeply hurt, and so reported the hateful incident to local officials who contacted the NAACP. 

“God’s call to religious life was like an invitation. It started out as a simple thought in the back of my mind. When I was young I would read about saints like St. Teresa of Ávila or St. Catherine of Siena and I would think to myself, “It would be amazing to live that kind of life.” That was it. A simple thought. Then I met the Felician Sisters on a 100-mile walking pilgrimage and I saw a depth in them that I knew I longed for.

On July 7, with COVID-19 protocols in place, the Felician Children's Center in Jackson, Michigan, will begin welcoming children and families at their new facility at the Jackson Public Schools’ Bennett School.

Today we share with you the good news that during the past week, all of our Sisters have officially come out of COVID-19 isolation, with no active cases in our convents.

When Sr. Mary Christopher Moore, provincial minister, began her prayer before a dinner celebrating the Golden Jubilee of provincial councilor Sr. Mary Geralyn Mroczkowski, she opened with "On this golden day of jubilee." Sunday, June 21 truly was a “golden” day, as the sun shone on the celebration of Sr. Geralyn’s 50 years of religious life at the Our Lady of Hope Convent in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania.

While the quarantine has limited travel and the ability to interact with discerners in person, Sr. Desiré Anne-Marie Findlay, vocation outreach minister for the Felician Sisters of North America, has been using technology to reach out to women interested in vowed religious life. 

Every year we produce 300 million tons of plastic, using more than 17 million barrels of crude oil. Over 8 million tons of that plastic ends up in our oceans; the oceans are home to five gyres of plastic that resemble small islands.

Like much of the country, in March, Michigan was placed under a Stay Home Stay Safe Executive Order due to COVID-19. All non-essential businesses, including many childcare centers, were closed, but many essential employees still needed childcare services. St. Mary Child Care Center in Livonia, Michigan, recognized that need and swiftly worked with the State of Michigan to obtain a provisional license to operate as a Disaster Relief Child Care Center.

As a woman of color living in the United States, who is woefully underrepresented within my own religious community, there are times when I feel uniquely seen and heard.

In the spirit of the nonviolent Jesus and the example of peacemaking handed down to us from Saints Francis and Clare of Assisi, the leadership team of the Felician Sisters of North America decries and mourns the murder of George Floyd and all our brothers and sisters who have been murdered due to the violence of those sworn to protect all citizens.

The Sister Jubilarians from Blessed Mary Angela and Immaculate Heart of Mary Convents in Buffalo, New York, awoke to a surprise celebration on Sunday, May 31, the beautiful feast of Pentecost.

Angela Moloney, President and CEO of the Catholic Foundation and an alumna of Madonna University, was deeply moved by a sense of profound loss for the Felician community and the impact of losing so many sisters so quickly. She felt called to respond and invite others to join her in creating a fund to support the sisters.

In the past week, there were no new cases in any of our convents and Sisters who were COVID-positive continue to complete their 28 days of isolation with no symptoms for at least a week.

Jeff Hulbert, mission leader at Our Lady of the Sacred Heart High School, coordinated a May crowning for the Felician Sisters in the convent and representatives of the students from the high school.

Madonna University celebrated the Feast of St. Felix of Cantalice with a musical prayer vigil in honor of the 12 Felician Sisters of Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary Convent who recently passed away.

Our Srs. Felicity, Francis and Shelley were interviewed on the 4 p.m. news on WDIV Local 4 on Tuesday. Click the link to watch the video.

When the quarantine began, Sr. Paul Marie Baczkowski, local minister at Immaculate Heart of Mary Convent, and Sr. Mary Lorianne Tylczynski, local minister at Blessed Mary Angela Convent, both in Buffalo, New York, wanted to do something for the workers on the front line of the coronavirus pandemic.

Watching the sun’s warmth grow and spread, we continue to celebrate the Resurrection and trust in the hope we have been promised. As we have examined possibilities for stepping down coronavirus restrictions in our convents, we have been reminded about the need to use caution as we make changes.

Golden jubilarian Sr. Mary Therese Ann Parobek crowned the statue of Mary during evening prayer on Wednesday, May 13, at St. Joseph the Worker Convent in Pomona, California.

Watch this video of Senator Dayna Polehanki giving a heartfelt tribute to our Felician Sisters on the floor of the Michigan State Senate.

The sisters at the Generalate in Rome, Italy, held the May Crowning of Mary our Mother on Saturday, May 9. The crown for Mary was beautifully handmade by Sr. Mary Maristella Rokosz, who cultivated the flowers in the Generalate garden.

As the earth begins to wake up around us (despite the chill and even some snow flurries this past week!), we are beginning to emerge from the sorrow of our many losses due to the coronavirus, as well as those that continue from the more normal course of life.

In hope of continuing the Marian traditions long observed by the Felician Sisters in Lodi, New Jersey, and with a desire to ask the Virgin Mary to intercede to God for His mercy during the pandemic, the annual May Coronation took place on Thursday, May 7, in Our Lady of Lourdes Chapel. 

The annual prom and class reunion at The Felician School for Exceptional Children has been an enduring tradition for the past 25 years -- and the school wasn’t about to let the coronavirus pandemic stop it.

On May 2, Sister Mary Bridget Becker '63, Sister Janet Marie Kurgan '65 and Sister Mary Joellen Zajac '66, all alumni of Immaculate Conception High School in Lodi, NJ, crowned the Blessed Mother at the Peace Site on behalf of the ICHS Senior Class of 2020.

On Friday, May 1, during the daily video-broadcast of announcements from Holy Family Chapel in Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary Convent to the Sisters quarantined in their rooms, the annual May Crowning was held. 

As we look back on the past week, we see so much strength and solidarity, despite the distance between each of us as Sisters, and between us and the neighborhoods we love so much.

The Williamsburg HomeTown Chamber Image Award recipient is the Felician Center.

Sisters Agnes Marie Molitoris, Jane Mary McNamara and Darlene Marie Schoenherr showed their support of the staff of Marywood Nursing Care Center in Livonia, Michigan, by holding signs on the front lawn to express their appreciation.

Manaujnk restaurants delivered meals to Temple University Hospital and St. Ignatius Nursing Home and Rehab Center, where the crowd of workers couldn't hide their appreciation for a little goodness in a dark time.

Sister Jeanne Marie Akalski, fourth grade instructor at St. Joseph School, is a Felician Sister who has spent decades in educational ministry. Never in her wildest dreams would she have imagined how her teaching strategies would dramatically change in March of 2020.

On April 18, Sr. Christine Marie Stankiewicz celebrated her 50th jubilee as a Felician Sister. Though COVID-19 required her to make some adjustments to her plans, she was still able to mark the occasion at her home in Enfield, Connecticut.

This past week has been one of sharing, of sorrow, of support, and yet, of beginning to look to the future and how to move forward in safety while living our lives as women religious.

The first Earth Day was held in 1970 and today it celebrates its 50th anniversary. The day is meant to call into awareness the need for the environmental protection of our planet. Today, Earth Day is celebrated in more than 190 countries.

In September 2017, the Felician Sisters of North America completed a 2MW solar energy project on six sites in five states. To date, the entire array has produced over 7GW of power.

Today, life as we know it has been turned upside down. We, as Felician Sisters, are both sheltering in place in order to protect precious lives and working through our ministries to assist those in need, who require our assistance even more urgently at this time of joblessness and uncertainty.

The quarantine may have caused the cancellation of the traditional Easter egg hunt at Enfield Montessori School in Enfield, Connecticut, but it couldn’t stop the teachers, parents and students from celebrating Easter with a parade.

The Felician Sisters at Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Convent in Coraopolis, Pennsylvania, put their culinary skills to work to make a special treat for the Valley Ambulance Service, who have served them for many years, especially when the convent was a care center.

While COVID-19 shut down businesses, churches, schools and more, the Sisters at the Felician Center in Kingstree, South Carolina, persevered as they donned their gloves and face masks to distribute Easter baskets and gift cards to the families served by the Learning Center.

With the shelter-in-place orders from the Governor of Illinois and the increased number of individuals now unemployed, calls requesting assistance from the St. Turibius Food Pantry in Chicago have escalated. In response, the Sisters and lay members of the St. Turibius St. Vincent DePaul Society are working to ensure that the needs of the people in crisis are being met.

The Felician Children’s Center in Jackson, Michigan, is closed due to COVID-19, but the staff has found a way to continue to help. Tracy Smith Jackson, CEO, said the staff has collected all of the personal protective equipment (PPE) left at the center and donated them to Henry Ford Allegiance Hospital in Jackson.

Felician University in Lodi, New Jersey, was recently awarded a $10,000 grant from the Pittsburgh Conference Memorial National College, or Pittcon, grant program. The university will use the money to supply their chemistry labs with fluorescence spectroscopy units, instruments used in biochemical, medical and chemical research for analyzing organic compounds.

While the COVID-19 pandemic is keeping many people apart, residents and their families at St. Anne Home in Greensburg, Pennsylvania, are finding new ways to connect.

St. Felix Pantry, a ministry of the Felician Sisters of North America, is the only food pantry still open in and around Rio Rancho, New Mexico.

Haiti confirmed its first two cases of COVID19 on Friday, March 20. That same day President Moise announced the closing of schools, businesses and churches until further notice. There are to be no gatherings over ten people, and a curfew will be in effect after 8 p.m.   

With jobs cut off and mouths to feed, the economic victims of the Covid-19 virus are increasingly turning to Western New York's food pantries and free meal sites.

Operating with only essential staff, the Mooncrest Neighborhood Program (MNP) in Moon Township, Pennsylvania, is continuing to serve during the coronavirus pandemic. Although their schedule and services have been modified to protect both the staff and the community, they continue to do what they can to serve their neighbors in need.

We face enormous challenges in preserving our earth for future generations. One of the challenges is to lessen the effects humans have on climate change.

The Felician Center continues to care for its neighbors through the current pandemic with adjustments to protect themselves and those they serve.

Mooncrest Neighborhood Programs, a ministry of the Felician Sisters of North America located in Moon Township, Pennsylvania, is working with a number of organizations to provide onsite services to assist residents in participating in the 2020 Census.

Sr. Desiré Anne-Marie Findlay recently attended her 7th Kairos retreat with the students of Pomona Catholic High School.

In response to COVID-19, commonly known as the coronavirus, the Felician Sisters of North America are limiting visitors to convents with sisters who have respiratory concerns, as is common during flu season.

Felician Associate Anita Mascarenhas hosted a presentation entitled The Science and Spirituality of the Heart at Holy Name of Mary Convent in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, on Saturday, February 29.

University officials were joined by medical professionals and Parsippany Mayor Michael Soriano recently to cut the ribbon on Felician’s new Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing, or ABSN Learning Site in Parsippany.

On February 22, Felician-sponsored St. Felix Centre in Toronto, Canada, participated in the annual Coldest Night of the Year event, walking through the cold and dark of a Canadian winter night in solidarity with our brothers and sisters who are hungry, homeless and hurting.

Bitter cold couldn't stop supporters of the Madonna University Welcome Center and Felician Sisters of North America Heritage Center and Archives from attending the final beam raising and topping off ceremony Feb. 20.

Construction on Francis House, the 60-bed assisted living and personal care facility in West Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is in full swing. This addition to the property of Felician-sponsored St. Ignatius Nursing & Rehab Center will provide affordable housing for the elderly.

The Lakeshore Memory Clinic recently received a Collaboration Award from the Chamber of Manitowoc County. The clinic is an affiliate of the Wisconsin Alzheimer's Institute Dementia Diagnostic Clinic Network and a collaborative effort of Felician Village in Manitowoc, Wisconsin, and Holy Family Memorial, a local healthcare network.

Each year, on the Sunday before Valentine’s Day, Our Lady of the Sacred Heart (OLSH) High School and Convent in Coraopolis, Pennsylvania, honor the legacy of Felician Sr. Louise Marie Olsofka by hosting the Love Walk for the Poor. This year, 80 members of the OLSH community joined the Felician Sisters in their efforts to bring attention and empathy to the poor and homeless.

Sr. Desiré Anne-Marie Findlay, vocation outreach minister for the Felician Sisters of North America, was invited to be a keynote speaker at SANCTUS, the first annual Catholic youth conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Held from Jan. 31 to Feb. 2, the event was sponsored by the Norbertine Community and attracted students from across the state.

Felician University has been awarded a $638,000 grant from the National Science Foundation. The Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (S-STEM) grant is the largest academic grant ever received by Felician and will be used to fund the Science and Information Technology Scholars or SAINTS program: Recruiting, Retaining, and Graduating Biology, Computer Science, and Cybersecurity Students to Meet Workforce Needs Project.

Approximately 41 million people face hunger in the United States. Citizens in Williamsburg County are not immune to the crisis. The Sisters of the Felician Center are on a mission to help some of our community’s most vulnerable.

On Sunday, February 2, the Felician Sisters welcomed Catherine Rotterman as a postulant at her Rite of Acceptance during a Eucharistic liturgy at the Provincial House in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania.

Two Felician Volunteers in Mission, Grace Ruppert and Simone The, recently arrived at Felician Mission: Tulita in the Northwest Territories of Canada. Both have accepted long-term placements in Tulita (Grace for 6 months and Simone for one year), where they will work alongside Sister Mary Celeste Goulet, ministering to the people of the Diocese of Mackenzie-Fort Smith.

The Catholic Foundation of Michigan recently presented Sr. Shelley Marie Jeffrey and Sr. Felicity Marie Madigan with a grant in support of Deo Gratias, a new ministry in Detroit co-directed by the two Sisters. The grant was one of only 33 awarded to a pool of 90 applicants.

On Thursday, December 19, 2019, SSM Health honored the Felician Sisters for their 80 years of service to SSM Health Southern Illinois.

Our Sister Marilyn Minter shares her perspectives on the progress in Haiti 10 years after the earthquake in this article in the Global Sisters Report.

Sr. Desiré Anne-Marie Findlay, vocation outreach minister, recently attended SLS20 in Phoenix, Arizona, a conference for young adult leaders under the ministry of FOCUS. She was accompanied by two young women: Nadia, with whom she worked at Pomona Catholic, and Jordyn, whose family she met during her time in Columbus, Georgia, where she spoke about vocations.

Thanks to a partnership with the Grand Rapids-based Hope Network, a Center for Autism that will include applied behavior analysis (ABA) services, is coming to Madonna University next year. ABA therapy helps children on the autism spectrum improve specific skills like communication and reading.

Felician Sisters across the globe had even more reason to celebrate on this Founders Day, November 21, 2019, as it marked the inauguration of the Vice-Province of Our Lady Mother of Africa in Embu, Kenya.

Nov. 21 marks the anniversary of the founding of the Felician Sisters, their arrival in North America, and the establishment of Our Lady of Hope Province.

On Sunday, Oct. 27, 2019, the chapel of the Felician Sisters of North America Provincial House in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania, was filled to capacity with joyful witnesses to the first profession of vows of Sr. Agnes Maria Trojnar and Sr. Gabriella Maria Ianieri.

Join us on Facebook Live this Sunday, Oct. 27 at 11 a.m. (EST) as Sisters Agnes Maria Trojnar and Gabriella Maria Ianieri make their first profession of vows to the Felician Sisters.