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The St. Francis Satyr is an endangered species found only in one part of the United States –specifically, Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Habitat loss has contributed to a reduction in the species population.

On July 1, 2021, Immaculate Conception High School (ICHS), a Felician sponsored ministry in Lodi, New Jersey, officially welcomed Jessica Cutrona as the new head of school. She replaced Joseph Azzolino, who departed from the school after more than 25 years of faithful service.

The Felician Sisters of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Convent in Coraopolis, Pennsylvania, had plenty of reason to cheer during the NBA finals this year. Cameron Johnson, a graduate of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart High School (OLSH) and now a guard for the Phoenix Suns, was putting on a stellar display – including a dunk on Milwaukee Bucks’s P.J. Tucker that has been blowing up on social media.

Summer vacation is a welcome time for children but sometimes a stressful time for parents who find themselves scrambling to arrange childcare and activities. After a year of remote learning and missing friends, the Felician Center in Kingstree, South Carolina, is working hard to give the children of the community opportunities for learning, play and fun.

Rachel Zegler's dream was to be a real-life Disney princess, and it looks like that dream will finally become true. Disney has cast the Immaculate Conception High School alumna as Snow White in their new live-action film

The Felician Sisters of Our Lady of Hope Province gather every six years to elect new leadership. Forty-eight Felician Sisters gathered at Mother of Good Counsel Convent in Chicago, Illinois, during the third week of June 2021 for the Chapter of Elections. These delegates represented sisters from across the province as they elected a new provincial minister and five councilors.

The Felician Sisters in Coraopolis, PA, are rooting for Cam Johnson and the Phoenix Suns.

KGNS TV in Laredo, Texas, shared a tribute to these Felician Sisters for their service to the community and St. Augustine High School.

On June 6, the Feast of Corpus Christi, the Felician Sisters of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary Convent in Livonia, Michigan, honored their 2021 jubilarians. After COVID-19 robbed the sisters of their community celebrations in 2020, there was great joy in this gathering.

Summer is here, and what a great time it is to gather family and friends for picnics! But have you ever considered the amount of plastic and other disposable products that will result from your gathering? Here are some tips for a plastic-free picnic.

The students from the preschool and Montessori classes at the Felician Children’s Center in Jackson, Michigan, celebrated their “Moving Up” Day on June 2 and 3, to celebrate their transition to kindergarten.

This event, which was funded by the Felician Services St. Francis Fund and Duke Energy, is part of the Center’s Beyond the Classroom learning series, which will continue throughout the summer through the sponsorship of week-long camps exploring science, cooking, art, math and reading. In addition, ten children are being sponsored to attend the Moore Botanical Camp in Lake City, South Carolina, including garden exploration and a culinary camp.

We are proud of the actions of the United States government to declare Juneteenth a national holiday and look forward to using this annual celebration as an opportunity to build awareness of and work toward rectifying racial injustices within our country.

In the Roman Catholic Church, May is traditionally a month of devotion to Mary. For the Felician Sisters and ministries, the highlight of the month is the annual May Crowing. Each year, statues of Mary are given places of honor and adorned with flowers in celebration of her role as our Blessed Mother.

Praise the Lord – the priests, Sisters, and lay people taken hostage last month have been released after a ransom was paid. While the violence and demonstrations still affect every aspect of life in Haiti, our missionaries are still finding cause for celebration at Felician Mission: Haiti.

Water for Life was in Jacmel from May 3-6, to dig wells for Felician Mission: Haiti and our bakery and for our neighbors at St. John Paul II School and Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church in Cayes-Jacmel.

Leaving at 4 a.m. to drive three hours to the town of Boulevard, volunteers began searching around the hill near where the man's body was last seen. “As we searched around the side of the hill, something up ahead looked strangely man-made. As we got closer,” noted Sister Maria Louise, “I realized it was the Wall. I had never seen it firsthand, and I didn't know if I would ever be this close again.

Twice a year, in June and September, Aguilas del Desierto volunteer Octavio loads up a trailer full of canes, walkers, and wheelchairs and drives them across the border to the small town of Pinal de Amoles, in the Mexican state of Queretaro, where he grew up.

The sisters of Mother of Good Counsel and Our Lady of the Angels Convents in Chicago, IL, celebrated the Jubilarians of 2021 on Saturday, May 22.

The Pennsylvania Solar Center has presented the Felician Sisters of North America with the prestigious Lodestar Award, a distinction given to Pennsylvania entities who are leading the way investing in clean and renewable solar energy.

Our Lady of the Sacred Heart High School (OLSH) in Coraopolis, PA, held a school-wide Mass to celebrate Ascension Thursday on May 13. Seniors socially distanced in the school’s chapel, while the rest of the school participated in Mass virtually from their classrooms.

St. Francis believed that we are in relationship to all things and that every part of creation exists to give praise to God. In his Canticle of the Creatures we hear, “Praise be to you, my Lord, through our Sister, Mother Earth, who sustains and governs us, and who produces various fruits with colored flowers and herbs.”

“Last year, three Felician Sisters received special permission to hold a crowning of the Blessed Virgin Mary at the Peace Site of Immaculate Conception Convent. We are blessed to be able to celebrate this momentous occasion today in-person and provide an option to livestream it to the community.”

The Sisters of Our Lady of the Angels Convent in Chicago, IL, gathered for the annual May Crowning ceremony on May 10.  “We are blessed to be able to gather and celebrate at this time,” noted Local Minister Sr. Mary Ursula Myszka, “when, a year ago, we were quarantined.”

May is traditionally the month we set time aside honor our heavenly mother, Blessed Mary. St. Mary Child Care Center and the Montessori Center of Our Lady, both in Livonia, MI, celebrated this special event by crowning the Blessed Mother statue with a wreath and presenting her with beautifully handcrafted flowers.

These last days, my thought and reflection took me back to my early childhood days. Our Blessed Mother was always honored during the month of May. For fifteen cents, I bought a fluffy blue ribbon with a medal of the Blessed Mother.

On May 31, 2020, the Interdicasterial Working Group of the Holy See on Integral Ecology published the document Journeying Towards Care for Our Common Home: Five Years After Laudato Si.  The document stems from the desire of Pope Francis to implement the document On Care for Our Common Home (Laudato Si) and to inspire individuals, groups, and organizations to take action. 

Following a year characterized by strict COVID prevention rules at St. Francis Residence in Enfield, CT, the community room was reopened for the use of the residents on Easter Sunday. According to Residence Manager Sr. Joan Marie Swierzb, all of the residents have received their COVID vaccinations and they are ready to get back to enjoying the each other’s company.

The Felician Sisters of North America welcomed two new candidates in a virtual prayer service on April 25, as Mairead and Veronica declared their commitment to continue their discernment process.

The Earth Day, April 22, was established in 1970 and continues to be an event that celebrates the environment and raises awareness of issues effecting fragile ecosystems. It’s a wonderful opportunity to take some time to spend outdoors with friends and family just appreciating the beauty of the world around you.

If you missed the virtual Hope in Haiti event at the end of March, here's your chance to get caught up on all the latest from Felician Mission: Haiti - a bakery, a sewing school, wells, scholarships, and a sampling of items being prepared for our upcoming online store.

Sr. Mary Elizabeth Mackowiak recently spoke with Sojourners about her time in quarantine and the difficulty of being isolated from her community.

Affordable housing and homelessness have long been issues close to the hearts of the Felician Sisters. Recently, we collaborated with Catholic Charities USA to create an eviction prevention fund in the hopes of inspiring others to give.

Sr. Rose Marie Kujawa, CSSF, delegate for consecrated life for the Archdiocese of Detroit and former president of Madonna University in Livonia, received the “Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice” (”For Church and Pope”) medal awarded by Pope Francis during a March 21 prayer service at St. Colette Parish in Livonia.

“I try to take things as they come, and try to make the best of it, and try to see the will of God in it," said Sr. Mary Ursuline.

Sister Ursuline Helinski celebrated her 100th birthday on Holy Thursday by receiving her 2nd dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Convent in Cheektowaga.

Before the pandemic, Felician Sr. Desiré Findlay's calendar was completely full. But when the vocation outreach minister came home from a retreat last March, all the scheduled conferences, college visits and other events she was planning to attend were canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic. At first, she thought she would love the unexpected free time, but then she wondered not only what she would do but how would she connect with young women who might have a calling to the religious life.

Veronica Kowalski, a 26-year-old from Mississauga, Ontario, has officially been in the discernment process with the Felician sisters for more than a year. Last November, she quarantined and then stayed with the sisters in their convent in Mississauga for two weeks. Since then, her conversations with the order’s vocation director, other sisters, and other women like her who are discerning a vocation, have all been on Zoom.

When the fall 2020 issue of the Felician magazine showed up at the Mooncrest Neighborhood Programs (MNP) in Moon Township, PA, the staff and volunteers saw an opportunity to engage their students in active reading and discussions of social justice issues.

Our Sr. Michelle Marie Stachowiak is featured in this article in the Global Sisters Report about how sisters connected online and continued their ministries during the pandemic.

Thanks in large part to the hard work of Administrator of Health Care Services Beth Ann Haseley and John Beyer, President and CEO of the Life Pace Program, the Felician Sisters at Blessed Mary Angela and Immaculate Heart of Mary Convents in Buffalo, NY, were finally able to receive their COVID-19 vaccines.

The Poland into which Sophia Camille Truskowska was born in 1825 was complicated by war, political unrest, and an absence of social services to meet the needs of the most vulnerable of society. Her family’s devotion to their faith and her father’s experiences as a judge in the juvenile court system shaped her understanding of the world around her and led her to recognize and respond to the cries of the poor.

The Sisters at Felician Mission: Haiti are one step closer to seeing their dream of building a bakery to provide job opportunities to Haitian women come to life.

World Water Day is celebrated annually on March 22 to raise awareness of those living without access to clean water and the need to protect this vital natural resource.

Sr. Kathryn Marie Augustyniak received her first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at Able Pharmacy in Enfield, CT, on Monday, February 22. She was among the last group of sisters to be vaccinated in Enfield.

New volunteers at the Mooncrest Neighborhood Programs (MNP) in Moon Township, PA, are always greeted with enthusiasm and curiosity by the children in the after-school program, but one new volunteer quickly became a fan favorite – Sr. Michelle Marie Stachowicz.

George Richert of WIVB Channel 4 talked to our Sr. Paul Marie Baczkowski and Beth Haseley, Care Center Administrator, about their struggles getting vaccines for the Felician Sisters in Buffalo.

Erie County Legislator Frank Todaro is pushing for elderly nuns living in convents and motherhouses to be included in Phase 1A of the COVID vaccine rollout, allowing the nuns to be prioritized.

“It's a GROCERY BAG PACKED WITH LOVE,” said Sr. Mary Johnice Rzadkiewicz, Executive Director of the Response to Love Center in Buffalo, NY, referring to a special surprise for their guests who come to pick up groceries this week.

On Tuesday, January 19, the country was introduced to Lori Marie Key as she sang “Amazing Grace” during the Memorial Service in honor of COVID-19 victims at the Lincoln Memorial on the day of Joe Biden’s inauguration. As her voice rang out in D.C., the Felician Sisters in Livonia, MI, realized that her voice also likely comforted their Sisters who died of COVID-19.

Since vaccines began rolling out in December, some elderly sisters have been able to get vaccinated, but not all of them. Many, who live with fellow sisters, not in assisted living or long-term care centers, are not at the top of vaccine eligibility lists. It also depends on where the sisters live and how their states are distributing available vaccinations.

God’s created beauty is all around us if we take the time to notice. Taking a good long look reveals marvels beyond our imagination. Contemplating the beauty of each season is a good way to start.

The Felician family of ministries is growing! We are excited to announce that as of January 1, 2021, the Felician Sisters of North America officially accepted sponsorship of St. Anne’s Family Services, a well-respected non-profit in Los Angeles, CA, that has been serving women, children, and families in need since 1908.

Our Sister Nancy Jamroz recently spoke to America Magazine - The Jesuit Review about the impact of COVID-19 on the Felician Sisters and her advice for other communities facing these losses as well.

America Magazine shared these two beautiful reflections by our Sr. Andrew and Sr. Mary Ann about their experiences having recovered from COVID-19 at a time when they lost so many Sisters to the virus.

“In this year dedicated to St. Joseph, it would be wonderful if the Felician Sisters of North America would have a Mass offered for President-Elect Joseph Biden as he becomes President of the USA. I think Biden would be deeply grateful for Mass on Inauguration Day. He needs lots of prayers to govern our country that is so divided.”

Plastic waste is a growing international problem. For most of us, plastic bags are not recyclable in the curbside bin, but plastic bags and plastic wrapping are recyclable through the Wrap Recycling Action Program (WRAP).

Staff and residents at Marywood Nursing Care Center in Livonia, MI, have begun to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. CEO John Mimnaugh led by example, getting his vaccine and doing his part to “end to the pandemic together – Marywood Strong!” Diane McDonald, Director of Mission Integration & Spiritual Care at the Center, reported that they had a good turnout for the first round of vaccinations, adding, “What a great way to protect our residents and each other.”

In the spirit of the nonviolent Jesus and the example of peacemaking handed down to us from Saints Francis and Clare of Assisi, the Felician Sisters of North America decry the violence that occurred at our nation’s Capitol and the attempts to interfere in the democratic process of certifying the election. We join other people of faith in praying for the safety of our legislators, our President and Vice President-elect, and all who work to uphold democracy.

St. Anne Home in Greensburg, PA, began the new year on a hopeful note as its health care partners at Walgreen's administered COVID-19 vaccinations to 102 residents and several staff members.

Each Advent, the Felician Sisters of Mother of Good Counsel and Our Lady of Angels Convents in Chicago, IL, take up a collection for a mission in need. This year, they collected $2,000 which they donated to United Stand Counseling Center, a nonprofit that provides support to special needs students at approximately 100 Chicago-area Catholic schools.

The Response to Love Center is moving forward with a $400,000 renovation to include a COVID-compliant kitchen, food pantry, intake area, bathrooms, and a large dining room where people could be seated in a socially distant manner.

Our Felician Sisters in Michigan were included as part of the Today Show series called Lives Well Lived. Sr. Nancy Jamroz speaks movingly about our Sisters who were lost to COVID-19.

Felician University, the Felician Associates of Lodi, NJ, and the Lodi Police Department have joined forces to assist Santa’s Response Team, a nonprofit that provides Christmas gifts to children in need.

The students at Mooncrest Neighborhood Programs have been learning sewing skills while creating holiday gifts for their loved ones.

December 8, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, was a cold day when Karen Sanborn, director of University Communication at Madonna University in Livonia, MI, recorded the live Nativity for Madonna’s Facebook page.

Our Sisters at Deo Gratias Ministries Detroit were featured as part of this article about adapting food resources during the pandemic.

The Felician-sponsored Montessori Center of Our Lady (MCOL) and St. Mary Child Care Center (SMCCC), both in Livonia, MI, joined forces with Goodfellows this year for the No Child Without a Christmas food and toy drive. Together, the two ministries donated more than 200 toys and nearly 400 pounds of food.

Our Lady of the Sacred Heart High School (OLSH) is holding a fair trade sale in support of Felician Mission: Haiti. Through December 31, a portion of all sales made through OLSH’s link on Serv International will benefit the mission.

When Michael and Phyllis Izbicki heard about the loss of 13 Felician Sisters to COVID-19 this spring at Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary Convent in Livonia, MI, they were moved to find a way to help.

A newly-married couple placed the topping of their wedding cake at the foot of the statue of Blessed Mary Angela on the grounds of Our Lady of the Angels Convent in Enfield, CT.

Sister Mary Johnice, director over at the Response to Love Center, says they typically serve about 1,000 meals a month. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, however, she says the center has been serving double that every month, and it's also why there will also be a need for Thanksgiving meals this year.

Despite the complications caused by COVID-19, the St. Thomas Aquinas High School (STA) family in Edison, NJ, once again showed how big their hearts are with an outpouring of donations for Thanksgiving. The school collected approximately 75 frozen turkeys that maintenance staff delivered to FISH, Inc., in Piscataway, NJ.

In September 2017, they completed a 2 MW solar installation project on six sites in five states. We are happy to report that as of November 11, 2020, the panels have produces 8.5 GWhs (gigawatt hours) of power, avoiding the addition of 5,072 tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

Thanks to a grant from Felician Services Inc., the Felician Center in Kingstree, SC, has established monthly “Beyond the Classroom” activities and events for the children in the learning center program. These day-long events offer children opportunities to learn something new, be creative, reflect the mission, and go home with some tangible takeaways.

At the beginning of the pandemic, Sr. Felicity Marie Madigan and her friend John built and installed a Deo Gratias box in the front yard of the convent. The inscription on the front reads, “Take what you need. Give what you can. Above all be blessed!”

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.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, the Felician Center in Kingstree, SC, has distributed food every Tuesday to residents of Williamsburg County in the form of bags of groceries, bagged lunches, or gift cards to local grocery stores.

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.

For nearly eight decades, the Felician Sisters served the Newark community, first with Our Lady of Grace orphanage and later a kindergarten on approximately 180 acres along Route 4. The sisters left the site in 2014, but five years later they are ready to serve in a different way.

“Because of you” became the mantra of the Celebrate Mission: Haiti event hosted by the Felician Sisters at their convent in Livonia, Michigan, on Oct. 10. Because of you, we are able to provide daily meals to 100 children...

As the violence and unrest in Haiti show no sign of stopping, Srs. Marilyn, Inga, and Isjasza are begging for prayers. Protesters are calling for the removal of President Jovenel Moïse. They say the demonstrations will continue until he resigns or is removed, saying they are tired of corruption, ballooning inflation and a shortage of basic goods.

In this installment of #BeyondTheHabit, Sister Desiré reflects on how she’s overcome her assumptions about who sisters are and what they do, and how she’s learned to make her vocation her own as a black woman, as a dancer and as one of the youngest members of her religious order.

Sr. Ann Therese Kelly creates stained glass that inspires prayer and contemplation from her studio in the Felician Sisters' Central Convent in Buffalo, New York. An artist and educator, Kelly has been working with stained glass for almost 40 years.

Felician-sponsored Villa Maria College said its incoming class is a 12 percent increase over last year’s class and the largest class in three years.

As the needs of the community change, the ministries of the Felician Sisters change to meet them. This evolution is evident in the ongoing transition of the Our Lady of Grace property in Newark, Delaware, from an orphanage in the 1940s to an affordable housing complex scheduled to open in this fall.

Year four of Glass Camp commenced this summer at Sister Mary Ann Therese Kelly's Illumination Stained Glass Studio at Villa Maria Convent in Buffalo, NY, from July 15-19.

On July 15, 2019, Felician Sister Victoria Marie Indyk, CSSF, Ph.D., R.N., took the podium as a keynote speaker for the World Congress on Nursing and Healthcare. The topic of her presentation was the more than four-year-old partnership between the Madonna University nursing program and the Felician Mission in Jacmel, Haiti.

Felician Sister Dr. Judith Marie Kubicki, CSSF, was recently awarded the 2019 Jubilate Deo Award from the National Association of Pastoral Musicians (NPM).

A beautiful stained glass window created by Felician Sister Mary Ann Therese Kelly, Megan McElfresh, and Barbara Steffan is now on its way to Ghana, West Africa, where it will be installed in Christ the King Cathedral.

On Thursday, Aug. 15, 2019, the chapel at the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Convent in Rio Rancho, New Mexico was packed with joyful witnesses to the public profession of perpetual vows of Sisters Desiré Anne-Marie Findlay and Maria Louise Edwards.

Join us on Facebook Live this Thursday, Aug. 15 at 12 p.m. as Sisters Desiré Anne-Marie Findlay and Maria Louise Edwards profess their perpetual vows to the Felician Sisters.

When Crossroads, a social service outreach agency in Detroit, received a last-minute cancellation of volunteers, they reached out to the Felician Sisters, who mustered a dozen volunteers.

Joyful song and dance, rich tradition, and heartfelt worship brought the Immaculate Conception Convent in Lodi, New Jersey, to life on July 13 as the Felician Sisters celebrated Sister Maria Bakhita Waweru’s perpetual profession of vows.

The Fourth of July celebration for the Felician Sisters in Lodi, NJ, took on special meaning this year. True to the Felician spirit of generosity, the Sisters used their afternoon activities to raise funds for the Mary Ruchalski Foundation, which benefits children battling cancer.

On Sunday, June 30, the Felician Associates of Western Pennsylvania renewed their commitment to the Felician Sisters and welcomed new Associate Darci Smith.

“You are the hope. We are the change.” That was the mantra heard time and again at the 2019 Seeds of Hope Felician Youth Leadership Experience, and it exemplifies the intention of the program: to bring about positive change in the world by nurturing the next generation of leaders...

On their second day in Rome, the Sisters traveled to the Catacombs of St. Callixtus.

After returning from Assisi, the pilgrims returned to Rome, where Sister Mary Agnieszka Mruga led them on a tour of various historical sites significant in the history of the Catholic Church.

From Cantalice, the Sister pilgrims traveled to Assisi, to walk in the footsteps of St. Francis and St. Clare.  Assisi is where these two saints were born, baptized, and called into the service of God. It is a city rich in the Franciscan spirit of simplicity.

After saying goodbye to Poland, the Sister pilgrims made their way to Rome, Italy, where they celebrated Mass on the Feast of St. Felix at his tomb.

On Sunday, May 26, the feast of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart, the Felician Sisters in Western Pennsylvania celebrated five jubilarians. T