Franciscan Sisters Presence in Tucson, AZ

by Sister Julie Ann on January 1, 2008

San Xavier Mission ChurchSix Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity currently live in community at the San Xavier Mission Convent while serving the people of God at San Xavier Mission and Santa Cruz Church.

While Santa Cruz is an important part of the history and ministry in South Tucson and seeks to preserve the historic foundation and tradition of this historic great church, San Xavier celebrates the Jesuit missionary Father Eusebio Francisco Kino who visited “Bac” in 1692. The present church was built from 1783-1797 by the Franciscan Friars Juan Bautista Velderrain and Juan Bautista Llorenz. Santa Cruz Church

13 thoughts on “Franciscan Sisters Presence in Tucson, AZ”

  1. Sister Leonette Kochan says:

    Our sisters working in the schools and parishes in Tucson serve among people who face all of the economic and societal challenges brought brought about by lack of financial stability and, in many cases, real poverty. Whether working as administrators and teachers in the two schools we serve, (San Xavier Mission School and Santa Cruz Catholic School) or as leaders of youth and adult education, we are both challenged and inspired by the people with and among whom we minister. Perhaps people living on the fringes of human comfort are in a position to have hearts that are open to the Gospel message of hope, bringing a warm and welcoming spirit to us. We pray that we are worthy stewards of the trust they place in us.

  2. Sister Natalie says:

    Happy and Blessed New Years Greetings from Tucson, Arizona!
    This past week I was able to be in Wisconsin for a funeral and to spend a few days with my family. The family Christmas gathering was a wonderful event to bring 2007 to a peaceful and joyful end!
    As a Franciscan Sister of Christian Charity I am nurtured and nourished by my Sisters in Community as well as by my biological family. My family is very supportive of me being missioned thousands of miles from where I grew up and where they live. They know that I am happy being a Sister and fulfilling God’s call for me. Family is very important and modern technology provides many opportunities for us to keep in touch.
    I am presently teaching First Grade at Santa Cruz Catholic School. I assure you that I am learning LOTS! We are life-time learners! The children are great teachers. I have grown in my spiritual life over the years because of the simple approach that children have. I always pray for the grace to be open to the message that a child has for me. I believe that God sends those children into my life. I just need to listen.
    May God bless you as we begin a new year with new possibilities for growth.

  3. Sister Carla Riach says:

    Greetings from sunny and warm Tucson!
    It feels very good to be back after a week in Wisconsin. Though I greatly enjoyed being with my 92 year old mother and other family members, I’d forgotten how cold it can be. I must admit I enjoyed the glorious sight of clean snow hanging on the trees. Wow! God’s creation never stops overwhelming me. My first day back to ministry here at San Xavier Mission was good. I’m preparing for a gathering of Religious Education teachers and aides. Our gathering is tomorrow and I’ve planned some teacher education along with personal spiritual inspiration for the New Year and some Christmas fun. It’ll be great to see everyone. It is my pleasure to minister with very dedicated and caring people.
    May God bless you all as you celebrate Epiphany this weekend!May we all be open to God’s revelation of Himself to us this year.

  4. spatricias says:

    I just got back from retreat at Monte Alverno. Wonderful solitude for prayer…holy ground! I met Fr. Art Cooney, O.F.M., Cap., this past week and got to eat lunch with him today before I left the retreat center. He said he is flying to Tucson soon, like tomorrrow/got cancelled today due to the fog. He likes to visit San Xavier, so I asked him to stop and see two of my classmates who work out there. So, I hope you, Sr. Carla and Sr. Ellen, especially get to meet him. They had a men’s retreat over the weekend and had 55 men take part. I sat in a a couple of the talks/took part in the Mass with them. Wonderful! God bless your ministry in every way in 2008!

  5. Sister Carla Riach says:

    Hi Everybody,
    Tucson is bright and sunny after a cloudy, windy day. This is the kind of day winter visitors come for, and I also like it better. Life is busy as ever and it feels good to get back into the groove after vacation.
    My Religious Ed teachers gathering turned out great. We did not accomplish the agenda but we had super, beautiful personal sharing flowing from our opening prayer. I feel blessed to work with such lovely, sincere ladies.
    Our after school religion classes started up Monday and the children are as eager as ever to participate. It’s great to see their happy faces and desire to learn about Jesus. Some benefactors gave us some little gifts so we are able to give each child something in honor of the Three Magi who brought gifts to Jesus.
    Our Franciscan priests and brothers are away for three days having community meetings. I have the privilege of leading a Communion service at 6:30am these days and also had one for the elderly of the village on Monday. It’s not the same as Mass, but it is a way to gather in community, hear God’s word proclaimed and receive our Lord in the Eucharist.
    I trust you are having a good week. God bless you!

  6. San Xavier Mission and Santa Cruz School are truly places where one feels like one is walking on holy ground. Our Franciscan Sisters are part of the great spirit of the people of God making the Gospel come alive in these desert places. I feel blessed to be able to visit here for a few days to see with new eyes God’s goodness. (My favorite renovation is the lavender paint job in the Santa Cruz girls’ restroom!)

  7. Sister Natalie says:

    It is wonderful having visitors! It was great to have Sister Julie Ann visit Santa Cruz School yesterday! The first graders were wondering if she was going to come today to help with the Centers! The children are proud of what they are able to do and they want to share those gifts. We are always happy and proud to show off our classroom and school. I think we all have a bit of child in us, excited to share the blessings of our ministry and what is happening in one’s life to help make the world a little better. I always look forward to visits with my Sisters! Now that the weekend has come there is more visit time! YES, teachers love Friday, too!!!!

  8. Yes, Sister Natalie, I didn’t quite get to enjoy your students at Santa Cruz on Friday, but I will begin the day on Monday in your first grade classroom. It will be one of the many tender moments with my Franciscan Sisters here in Tucson. The dedication and love for the mission of the Gospel is so alive here. I am sure the Sisters will continue to share more about their lives.

  9. Sister Natalie says:

    Thank you, Sister Julie Ann for teaching in the first grade today. The children enjoyed the stories and the writing project on the Good Shepherd! Ordinarily when the children write they have to think of their own message. They told me that they liked how you did it! I did, too! You are more than welcome to come again!

  10. Sister Carla Riach says:

    Greetings from Tucson,
    Last week I was able to attend the Southwest Liturgical Conference Study Week. The focus was Eucharist and Justice. One thing that is hovering in my mind is the meaning of Biblical Justice. Some points are that Biblical Justice is biased in favor of the poor, sees poverty as systemically caused by the powerful, is proactive, and is restorative of the original harmony in relationships between God, humans and creation. This whole emphasis on restoring the balance and harmony of creation as God made it originally resonates with the Franciscan and Native American view of life. My understanding of justice has been stretched!

  11. Sister Pat Sevcik says:

    Sr. Carla, I appreciated your comments and thoughts on Biblical Justice. We are fast approaching Ash Wednesday and many of us might be focusing on a plan for the living out of our faith during the sacred season of Lent. I plan to begin a focus today as I give Instructions to Angela, our Postulant. It seems to me that as we gaze upon the poor, crucified Christ during Lent, we cannot help but be drawn into the lives of all around us and to pray for all that is needed to bring justice to the earth.Compassion for one another will lead to greater unity among all peoples and all of creation will rejoice as the love and compassion of Christ is spread everywhere. God bless you and everyone in Tucson in your on-going ministry!

  12. Sister Leonette says:

    As the Midwest is experiencing sub-zero weather this weekend, I believe we saw 70 sunny degrees today – want to come?

    This morning, before the 10:00 AM Sunday Mass at Santa Cruz I had the pleasure of meeting with young girls and their parents to begin planning for the girls to attend Camp Franciscan at our Motherhouse in June. It looks like there may be about 12 coming from Santa Cruz! Five of the girls would be returnees, the others new to this experience. Sister Julie Ann, is there room for that many?
    The group this morning began making fundraising plans for the travel to Wisconsin for the girls. I was so proud of them. Some of the families could afford to pay more of the actual cost than others, but, as one, they all wanted to share fully in the fundraising – there was no question of not being in this effort in support of each other. That is Gospel living – all sharing in common and giving of their means to help others.

    I know their efforts will be blessed.

    Sister Leonette Kochan

  13. Sister Leonette, we welcome 12 young women from Santa Cruz for Camp Franciscan. We are excited about them meeting the other young women that have already registered. Indeed, you may want to direct the former campers to our posting entitled “Walk a Lourdes Grotto Procession”. They may indeed see themselves among the partipants holding lighted candles. The Lord bless you and all the good people you and our Sisters know and serve.

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