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Blessings – August 2022

A Joyous Celebration of Presence

August 13, 2022

With joy the Wheaton Franciscan Community of Sisters and Covenant Companions welcomed the Most Reverend Ronald A. Hicks, Bishop of the Diocese of Joliet as the presider of a special Anniversary year Mass and the Feast of St. Clare of Assisi. From the gathering hymn All Are Welcome, to the recessional hymn Now Is The Time a Franciscan spirit of welcome, community, joy, and challenge filled the celebration. Bishop Hicks recognized the historical legacy of the Wheaton Franciscans and challenged the Community to remember that “life goes on.” The past and the present are important to celebrate but the call to live the Franciscan spirit goes on.

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A Visit from Sister Magdalena

August 2022

The Community was also blessed with a short visit from Sister Magdalena Schmitz, the General Directress of our international congregation, the Franciscan Sisters, Daughters of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary. While Sister Magdalena visited from Rome, two of the butterflies in our Monarch Waystation emerged from their cocoons ready for release, so we asked her and Sr. Jane to do the honors of letting them out into the world. While we enjoyed watching them in the garden, a ‘wild’ tiger swallowtail butterfly joined us as well, savoring the flowers in the warm sun alongside the honeybees. It was such a pleasure sharing this special moment with Sr. Magdalena on a beautiful August day.

A few days later, she celebrated with the Community at the special Anniversary year Mass. In her remarks she recalled the year 1872 when Mother M. Clara Pfaender made the decision to send Sisters from Germany to meet the needs of the large number of German migrants in the “New World.” She traced the courage and creativity that took the U.S. Sisters from St. Louis to Wheaton and from Wheaton “to the ends of the earth” in partnership with others. She expressed gratitude on behalf of the General Council and the whole Congregation. With hugs and waves, we said good-bye to Sr. Magdalena on Monday, August 15.

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Summer Food and Fun

August 17, 2022

Recently, the Wheaton Franciscan Sisters and staff gathered for our Summer Picnic. Taking advantage of the glorious weather and practicing good pandemic protocols, we gathered outside of entrance #5 for brats, burgers, baked beans, corn on the cobb, potato salad, and pasta salad.  If that wasn’t enough, assorted chips, cookies, and brownies were also provided. The tables were festively strewn with “penny” candy and the lawn provided opportunities for croquet, horseshoes, and bags (or “cornhole” depending on where you’re from). If you were into solo activity, hula hoops were also provided. Most of the participants spent time chatting and laughing together while enjoying the summery background music, abundant sunshine, and one another’s company.

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