Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity will be in Austin, TX March 8-11, 2015. Journey with us this month of March in Texas by enjoying a free music download of The Yellow Rose of Texas from Chuck Pinnell’s album Blue Corn Music-Dark River. (Image: Franciscan Sister Elizabeth Benvie)

Franciscan Sister Elizabeth Benvie Yellow RoseThis compact version of the Yellow Rose of Texas is one of 3 stirring instrumentals from my 2011 album from Blue Corn Music-Dark River. With re-imagined and re-vitalized classics from the American songbook-Dark River explores the emotional landscape of 19th century America  during the Civil War , and the expansion west that immediately followed.  Always a favorite , The Yellow Rose of Texas dates back 170 odd years but remains very much alive by virtue of it’s soaring melody, sturdy chord structure , and irrepressible rhythm.

-Chuck Pinnell

Click on song title for free music download: 11 The Yellow Rose Of Texas

About Chuck Pinnell

Chuck PinnellChuck Pinnell is a veteran member of Austin’s celebrated music and film community, and has spent many years honing skills in both worlds . His accomplishments include composing original music for the influential indie classic The Whole Shootin’ Match, producing the Austin all-star Civil War album Dark River, and most recently, collaborating with Rich Brotherton on the score for Al Rienert’s riveting documentary An Unreal Dream, The Michael Morton Story. After winning the Audience Award at the 2013 SXSW Film Festival, the film went on to air on CNN in december of 2013 and will be shown on the Discovery Channel in the summer of 2014.

Born into a west Texas ranching family, it’s not surprising that Chuck’s work is often Texas-centric and full of authentic grit. His training and influences stretch from classical music to Leadbelly, from jazz to Doc Watson. Through a challenging spate of film and album productions, Chuck has been privileged to work with talented new artists as well as a number of Texas music icons, including Willie Nelson, Jerry Jeff Walker, James McMurtry, Jimmy LaFave, Eliza Gilkyson, and Slaid Cleaves. Whether scoring films or producing albums-Chuck Pinnell has consistently proven his ability to create unique and evocative music, and to guide high level projects with a sure hand.


Purchase Dark River album here:




Franciscan Sister of Christian Charity Sister Monica Martin shares about a recent Initial Formation Weekend.

There is a time-honored tradition of those in initial formation gathering at the Motherhouse for a weekend each winter. In years’ past, it was a chance for the temporary professed to meet and get to know the postulants and novices. This year, however, was different. In the months leading up to to the weekend, Sister Regina Rose and I would comment on how strange it would be to just have the two of us, and that it is a good thing we like each other.

There was a pleasant surprise in store for us, because we would get a chance to interact with young women who are discerning whether to Franciscan Sisters Temporary Professed Sisters Sister Regina Rose and Sister Monicajoin our community. Sister Julie Ann  arranged to have a discernment retreat that very weekend. Interacting with people discerning religious life always gives one a chance to step back from day-to-day life and look at the big picture of our calling again. It’s also nice to be able to pass on information that we have learned in our own journeys.

Sister Theresa Feldkamp had taken the time to schedule sessions for Sister Regina Rose and I to attend. On Saturday morning, Sister Marie Kolbe  spent time teaching us about the roles of Mary as daughter, Mary as spouse, and Mary as mother, as illustrated through the Annunciation. She challenged us to see ourselves in each of those roles as consecrated women religious. In the afternoon, we had a panel discussion with Sister Paula, Sister Lois Ann, and Sister Jerianne. We talked about how we come across to others through our dress and actions, how we can have holistic health, and how we can improve our dining experiences. We got to put what we learned into practice immediately during an outing to Culver’s, where we enjoyed Sundaes.

All in all, it was a great weekend to get refreshed, reconnect with our Sisters, and get to know some potential Sisters.

Franciscan Sisters Discernment Retreat



Franciscan Sisters Self-Help Discernment Questions

by Sister Julie Ann on February 24, 2015

Here are some questions Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity Sister Anne Marie Lom and Sister Carmen Marie Diaz prepared as a self-help jump start to personal discernment before their recent presentation at Roncalli High School, Manitowoc, WI. They may prove to also be a helpful to you.

Questions to ask yourself if you think you might have a religious vocation

  1. Have you found yourself thinking a lot about religious life lately?
  2. Do you have a caring heart, compassion for helping those in need?
  3. Is your relationship with God just as important as your relationship with your friends?
  4. Are you level-headed, a critical thinker, adventurous, flexible, and willing to learn from failures as well as successes?
  5. Are you attracted to spiritual things (service to others, spending time in prayer, reading about the Saints or reading the Bible, talking to others about God, etc.)
  6. Level of commitment-one year; two year or a lifetime?
  7. Serving God necessitates a joyful and humble spirit. Are you both?
  8. Over 18, healthy spiritually, physically and psychologically?Franciscan Sisters Discernment Possibilities include retreats and shadowing in our mission homes

How do I know for sure?

You don’t need to know for sure if you have a calling to the religious life in order to have a genuine vocation. If there is a something inside of you that wants more then why not explore this wanting to know more about God, or be closer to God and see where it takes you. The best way to find out is to visit communities in person and check in with your diocese vocations office.

The following are a few points that one might follow during the discernment process.

Meet with a spiritual director, a person experienced in helping others determine where the Lord is leading them in their lives.

Try to meet others who have walked this path, particularly a Vocation Director whose specific work is helping others discern if they have a Religious vocation.

Talk to those who know you. You might be surprised by their honest feedback.

Take action. Religious communities welcome discerning guests to stay with them. Make arrangements to visit certain communities for a short period of time (perhaps 4-6 days). Be prepared to join in prayer, work, spending time in relaxing and laughing.

Cultivate spiritual practices. Go to confession, Eucharistic Adoration and Mass often.

Spend some time in prayer or spiritual reading. Before going to bed, spend time in prayer and make an examination of conscience for your actions for the day.

Click here to invite us to meet you where you are! Franciscan Sisters are happy to make personal contact.


Franciscan Sister of Christian Charity Sister Carmen Marie Diaz shares about a recent Vocation Panel at Roncalli High School, Manitowoc, WI.

The Roncalli experience began with a warm welcome by the moderator, Sue Sevcik,  followed by each of the panelists, Bishop Robert Morneau, Sr. Anne Marie Lom, Deacon Paul Gleichner and Sr. Carmen Marie Diaz, offering a brief description of who they are and what they are doing. Sue had requested that students turn in questions that they wanted to ask the panelist. The questions were well thought out and gave each of us an opportunity to speak from our own experiences from our different views as a Priest, Sister and Deacon.

The panelists all had some sort of tie with Roncalli unbeknownst to the panelists and most of our audience. Bishop Morenau was part of Silver Lake College and would come out to play basketball with the Christian Brothers who had just started Roncalli. Sister Anne Marie had taught at Roncalli for 14 years. Deacon Paul had also taught at Roncalli and Sr. Carmen Marie did her student teaching observation in Math with Nancy Tomashewski and Pat Miske at Roncalli.

The sharing by the panelist and the student questions helped to make for an easy and fun interchange. There were serious and thoughtful responses as well as laughter and a true sense of community.

Thank you Roncalli for sharing your Spirit!


{ 1 comment }

Franciscan Presence at Holy Spirit Stevens Point Busy Student Retreat

February 20, 2015

A Franciscan Sister of Christian Charity was present recently for the first formally-named Holy Spirit Parish of St. Stans and Newman, Stevens Point, WI Busy Student Retreat February 8-12, 2015.  Here UW Stevens Point students gathered Sunday to Thursday for prayer, one on one meetings with a spiritual companion, preaching  and dinner. It was an […]

Read the full article →

Franciscan Sister Image: Desert Calls

February 18, 2015

Franciscan Sister of Christian Charity Sister Carol Seidl offers desert images for 2015 Lenten reflection. Sister Carol serves at All Saints Catholic School in Sierra Vista, AZ “Behold, I will do something new. Now it will spring forth; Will you not be aware of it? I will even make a roadway in the wilderness, rivers in […]

Read the full article →