Hearts connected by Mother Angela’s example beat in unison during the Lenten season as two separate Felician communities raised over $16,000 to support Felician missions.
Every member of the St. Thomas Aquinas High School community in Edison, NJ — teachers, administrators, coaches, nurses, maintenance staff, cafeteria staff, students and families — participated in the “Dime A Day” program. The entire community, in the spirit of Lent and the tradition of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving, had the opportunity to experience solidarity with the poor throughout the world by contributing whatever they could.
In the end, $4,000 was collected and donated to four Felician missions that serve the poor and marginalized: Deo Gratias Ministries in Detroit, MI; St. Felix Food Pantry in Rio Rancho; NM, St. Felix Centre in Toronto, ON; and the Sister Celeste Childhood Development Centre in Tulita, Northwest Territories. The St. Thomas Aquinas community were blessed to give hope, grace, and much needed assistance to those in need.
Sr. Cynthia Babyak, St. Thomas Aquinas’s campus minister, said, “One dime, like one loaf or one fish may not feed a lot of people, but when a community comes together, dimes can multiply and then we can make a difference for some.”
At the same time the sisters of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary convent in Livonia, MI wanted to honor Christ in a special way by offering donations through the season of Lent.
Throughout the season, a Blessing Tree was placed in the dining room with cards made to look like ornaments on the tree. These cards had phrases on them to perform a good deed, read a certain verse from the bible, and other Lenten activities. A 'thought for the day' was placed on the window wall leading to the dining room so all who entered and exited the dining room could reflect on the message. These exercises kept the sisters and staff focused on the Lord and his message to us.
Between the sisters and the staff at the convent $4,500 was raised and donated to Felician Mission: Haiti; Deo Gratias in Detroit, MI; and to the Felician Sisters in Poland who are ministering to the Ukrainian refugees. An additional $7,565 was collected from donors to support the Ukrainian relief efforts in Poland.
Though separated by over 600 miles, the Felician communities in New Jersey and Michigan share the spirit of their Franciscan heritage and continue to live active lives of ministry fueled by prayer.