Postulant’s Mission Experience

by fscc on February 4, 2016

Franciscan Postulant Mary Bettag shares her recent mission visit with Sister Pamela Biehl and Sister Regina Rose Pearson at Visitation Convent, Oshkosh, WI.

Postulant Mary and Franciscan Sister Pam visiting the sick and elderlyAfter a fantastic Christmas vacation at home with my family I returned to the Motherhouse only to head out on another adventure—a week-long mission experience with Sister Pamela Biehl and Sister Regina Rose Pearson in Oshkosh! It was incredible to see what those Sisters do all day—they stay very busy! Between finance council meetings, pastoral visits to hospitals and nursing homes, wedding rehearsals, and innumerable other meetings and events—Sister Pam showed me a glimpse into the life of a pastoral leader. I think what struck me the most about her work (besides her untiring energy!) was the incredible love she has for each and every one of the parishioners at the parishes where she serves. Her work is definitely not a job—it is a vocation within her vocation, and that was very moving!Postulant Mary and Franciscan Sister Regina Rose with youth ministers

Sister Regina Rose kept me busy too—making first communion banners, going on a service retreat to Fr. Carr’s, attending youth group, and helping with religious education, among other things. But it wasn’t all work and no play—Sisters Pam, and Regina Rose showed forth real Franciscan hospitality and made sure that we had fun—loads of it! We baked cookies, went to the movies, and laughed nearly all day! I am so grateful to have had the chance to meet them and experience life in their shoes for a little while—it made for a very memorable week!Postulant Mary and young people of St. Mary Parish


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Jubilee of Mercy Free Song: Mercy Flows by Mary Castner

by Sister Julie Ann on February 1, 2016

In this Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy, Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity collaborate with Mary Castner to offer the free song “Mercy Flows”.  Pope Francis reminds us that ‘Jesus Christ is the face of the Father’s mercy…let us allow God to surprise us. He never tires of casting open the doors of his heart and of repeating that he loves us and wants to share his love with us.”

Brendan Wroblewski OFM OREGON 2013 284I am now utterly convinced that on judgment day, the Lord Jesus is going to ask each of us one question and only one question, ‘Did you believe that I loved you?‘…The real believers there will answer, ‘Yes, Jesus, I believed in Your love, and I tried to shape my life in response to it.’. . . . Jesus Christ in this moment comes right to your seat and says, ‘I have a word for you. I know your whole life story. I know every skeleton in your closet. I know every moment of sin, shame, dishonesty and degraded love that has darkened your past. Right now I know your shallow faith, your feeble prayer life, your inconsistent discipleship. And my word is this: I dare you to trust that I love you just as you are, and not as you should be – because you’re never going to be as you should be.’ (excerpt from a sermon by Brennan Manning).

How easily we forget that His love comes FIRST!  “We love because He first loved us!” For the better part of my life, so much of my time and energy had been wasted trying to earn God’s love and mercy.  It took a series of painful events (the passing of my grandfather and a series of heartbreaks) for me to realize that I had been working myself to death to earn what I already had! It was out of this realization that I experienced a freedom unlike ever before.  The very thing I was working so hard to earn (God’s mercy) was already freely given to me.  It did not need to be earned, but recognized, received, and experienced.  This experience so profoundly impacted my life that I desired to share it with others, and what better way to draw hearts into an experience of the freedom of God’s mercy than through song? As we enter this Year of Mercy, I pray that through this song, hearts might come to know the free gift of mercy that the Lord desires to pour into every life.  That He loves you as you are, not as you should be – for it is He who first loved us!

-Mary Castner

(Photo: Fr. Brendan Wroblewski, Assumption BVM Province)


For a free mp3,  right click, open link and save: 10 Mercy Flows

About Mary Castner

Franciscan Sisters feature Mary Castner's Mercy FlowsBorn on Thanksgiving Day of 1988, Mary Castner has followed the calling to be a contemporary Christian music artist. Her Roman Catholic upbringing caused her to develop a deep love, not only for the Lord, but also for Christian music. She received great encouragement from her father, Fred Castner, who has worked extensively in the music industry as a guitar luthier at C.F. Martin Guitar Company. During his career he has repaired guitars for such acclaimed musicians as Eric Clapton, Paul Simon, John Mayer, and Sting…just to name a few. At age 14, after seeing Phil Keaggy in concert and hearing his witness, Mary felt inspired to take up guitar and piano.

Not long after, her passion for music overflowed into song writing and recording. With the encouragement of friends and mentors, Mary began sharing her music for the glory of God. While attending Franciscan University of Steubenville, the university selected her as the 2010-2011 head of Music Ministry. As the leader of over 100 liturgical musicians, Mary successfully organized one of the nation’s largest music ministry programs. From 2012 to 2016 Mary has helped coordinate both the Music and Youth Ministry Programs at Christ the King Catholic Church in Mesa, Arizona.  She is currently the Coordinator of Youth Evangelization for St. Theresa Catholic Church in Phoenix, AZ.


Twitter: @marycastnermusic

Instagram: marycastnernusic


Music and full “By Faith” Album available for download on iTunes,, Google Play, and Spotify



Register for Camp Franciscan 2016

by Sister Julie Ann on January 27, 2016

Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity invite young ladies Grades 6-9 for Camp Franciscan 2016 Women of Strength, Women of God. Held at our Motherhouse in Manitowoc, WI, camp begins at 1 p.m. on June 15 and ends at 1 p.m. on June 17.

We invite high school sophomores and college age young women to consider our Leadership Team with in-service beginning June 13 at 1 p.m.

We offer hospitality to Milwaukee and Green Bay airports.  Amtrak, bus and ferry connections are also a travel possibility for those at a distance.Camp Franciscan Leadership Team 2

Experience meeting many Sisters, friendship with other campers, Community prayer, Sacraments of Eucharist and Reconciliation, fine arts, homespun entertainment and more. Catch the Franciscan spirit!

Camp Franciscan joy2

Special to this year’s camp is a Franciscan Variety Show. We are seeking camper acts.

To find all needed Camp Franciscan registration forms click here.

Here’s a video from our 2014 camp. Recall the memories.


Franciscan Sister Regina Rose Pearson provides a little background why she organized a recent youth group Q & A night.

One of the things that I have found in my time working with the teens of today is that they question everything! And there is a hard-heartedness that they struggle to overcome. The challenge for them is when to let faith take hold. After many discussions on several hot button issues that teens face today, I decided to bring in Father Peter Mitchell, who has a great deal of experience with high school students as well as a great deal of knowledge about the Church.Franciscan Sister Regina Rose and Parish Youth Group

Father Peter began by explaining our understanding of tradition, Scripture, and the Deposit of Faith as the basis for Church teaching. There was a natural progression that led to a conversation about truth and how we know what is true, the true meaning of freedom, the true meaning of love, same-sex marriage, evolution, life issues, sexuality, the world’s call to materialism and individualism versus Christ’s call to poverty, chastity, and obedience, and more!

It was a difficult conversation because, as Father Peter pointed out, many of us have been “brainwashed” by the culture; we have been seduced by the idea that true freedom and happiness comes from our instant gratification, from our being able to do what we want when we want. We live in a world that is not interested in sacrifice or suffering. We have also lost our common sense in many realms.



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Franciscan Stations: Unclothing by Francis’ Father

January 23, 2016

Franciscan Sister Marsaia Kaster offers a reflection on a significant moment in St. Francis’ life. Francis and his merchant father, Pietro, had come to such an impasse. Why was Francis acting like a beggar; provoking the ridicule of the populace; and “stealing” his father’s money and goods to buy supplies for the churches? Enough was enough! […]

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Franciscan Postulant Part of Winona Vocation Panel

January 21, 2016

St. Stanislaus Basilica, Winona, MN hosted a Vocation Panel including Franciscan Sister of Christian Charity Postulant Mary Bettag and Vocation Director Sister Julie Ann Sheahan. The Wednesday evening also included a scavenger hunt, visiting with students from St. Stanislaus as well as St. Mary Parish. Of course, there was time for questions. Mary spoke about her […]

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