By Jeanne Connolly, Covenant Companion More than 280 people filled Our Lady of the Angels chapel on Christmas Eve to celebrate Mass with the Wheaton Franciscans. As in recent years, the liturgy began with a procession to fill the nativity scene that would grace the chapel throughout the Christmas season. From young children to our eldest Sister, each piece was brought in with love, and placed with care, in the stable. The choir provided beautiful music and the faith community joined in joyful song. Smiles, hugs, and wishes for a “Merry Christmas” filled the space as people left the chapel. “Joy [...]
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On Sunday, January 7, 2020, nearly 400 people gathered at Wentz Hall on North Central College's campus in Naperville for the 15th Annual DuPage County World Peace Day Interfaith Prayer Service. As in past years, the Wheaton Franciscans were one of the sponsors of this event.The theme for this year’s service was "2020 Vision: Seeking a World Where Everyone Belongs."The program celebrated various faith traditions with prayers or songs from representatives of Christian, Jewish, Hindu, Muslim, Latter Day Saints, Christian Science, Baha'i and Sikh communities. The keynote speaker was Regina Brent, founder and president of the nonprofit Unity Partnership. Her [...]
By Sister Beatrice Hernandez On January 22, 2020, the Wheaton Franciscans flipped the switch on a 203-kilowatt solar energy system that will generate 25% of our energy use from the sun. More than 400 solar panels were installed on the roof of the Motherhouse buildings. This project was a collaboration with Catholic Energies, a program of the Catholic Climate Covenant aimed at helping Catholic organizations implement solar power and energy efficiency projects at no cost to the institution. The solar panels will basically run the chillers, which is the largest producer of energy cost related to the buildings.In addition to [...]
By Mary Ellen Durbin, Covenant Companion On December 8, 2019, the Wheaton Franciscan Community welcomed three new Covenant Companions. Pat Faivre, Paige Samdal, and Vicki Wojciechowski made their commitment as Covenant Companions at a Sunday Liturgy, in the presence of 83 family members, friends, vowed members and Covenant Companions, as well as over 100 faith community members.The new Covenant Companions were received into the community by Sr. Melanie Paradis, OSF, Provincial Directress of the Wheaton Franciscans. Each publicly proclaimed their personal covenants and then signed their covenants, along with Sr. Melanie, who represented the Wheaton Franciscan community. All vowed members [...]
By Sister Toby Bonny, OSF Bethlehem Farm is located in West Virginia, over 600 miles from Wheaton, IL. I was fortunate enough to travel with 3 other fine people: Sister Glenna Czachor, OSF, Andy Joseph, and Steve Demaris, members of the Wheaton Franciscan faith community. Steve volunteered to drive us. We had a great trip and conversation on the drive. This was the first trip to the farm for me and Andy. Steve and Sr. Glenna had been there before. Covenant Companion Tom Ruggaber and his wife Pat were also visiting the farm at this same time. Formerly a Catholic Worker [...]
January 1—World Day of Peace The World Day of Peace was inspired by the encyclical Pacem in Terris. This day call us to an awareness of the links between peace, poverty and the care of creation articulated in Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si. 2020 marks the 53rd annual World Day of Peace. The theme is PEACE AS A JOURNEY OF HOPE: DIALOGUE, RECONCILIATION AND ECOLOGICAL CONVERSION. War, violence, and the ecological damage caused by climate change have all contributed to the poverty and injustice that make true peace impossible. Restoring justice requires restoring balance in our world—respecting and protecting the [...]