What is a Franciscan Social Justice and Advocacy Day

by Sister Julie Ann on July 18, 2010

Franciscan Sisters All Community Gathering

Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity gathered for a 3 day Community Gathering on July 16-18, 2010.

Integrating community prayer, speakers, meals and recreation, Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity focused on social justice awareness and advocacy on July 17, 2010  as part of an all community 3 day weekend  at our Motherhouse in Manitowoc, WI.  Sister Carmen Marie Diaz, OSF, Sister Marcolette Madden, OSF, Sister Camilla Wolfgram, OSF, Sister Carol Seidl, OSF, Sister Elena Gonzales, OSF, and Sister Kathyrn Klackner, OSF were Saturday’s event planners.

Note: Watch for more coverage of this weekend in the coming days regarding Friday’s 75th Celebration of Silver Lake College of the Holy Family and Sunday’s choral reading ‘Dialogue of Francis and Lady Poverty’.

Here’s a Saturday snap shot.

Community Prayer

While Sister Louise Hembrecht, Community Director, welcomed all Franciscan Sisters before Friday’s Evening Prayer, Father Dan Felton, pastor of St. Francis of Assisi Parish, Manitowoc, WI, presided at a Saturday Morning Eucharist inspiriting the Gospel call to justice and peace . Father Finian Zaucha, OFM, Father Samuel Jadin O Praem, and Father Jeremiah Cullinane concelebrated. Sister Carol Ann Gambsky, OSF coordinated the liturgy planning for Mass while committee members also beautifully crafted the day’s theme in Evening Prayer.


John CarrKeynoter: John Carr, Executive Director, Department of Justice, Peace and Human Development for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, set the tone outlining the mission and message of Catholic social teaching and some of its implications for religious life  while lifting up the challenges at the heart of Pope Benedict’s two major social encyclicals: God is Love and Charity in Truth. Click here to review the power point slides.

Building a Franciscan House on Principle Stones: Sister Camilla Wolfgram, OSF, Sister Jan Villemure, OSF and Sister Elizabeth Benvie, OSF,  highlighted Where Are You at the Table, an intergenerational Franciscan program based on the seven major themes of Catholic Social Teaching. For more information contact us here.

Franciscan Sisters’ Role in Health Care: Sister Joy Rose, OSF, Sister Anne Turba, OSF and Scott McConnaha, Director of Corporate Relations for FSCC Health Care Ministry, Inc., gave a brief overview of current USA health care looking more closely at  Catholic Church teaching and views on health care. Real life examples made the material meaningful.

Francis and Ecological Science in Dialogue: Dr. Erik Hoyer, professor at Silver Lake College of the Holy Family, a Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity-sponsored institution, and Sister Anne Marie Lom, collaborated to address Franciscan care for the earth from an integrated ecological and spiritual view.

Diverse Experiences: In 1869 Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity began diverse experiences while illuminating the Gospel life with children of diverse backgrounds. Sister Elena Gonzales, OSF and Sister Carol Seidl, OSF presented our meaning of diversity through the words of Jesus and St. Francis. During the interactive session, previously selected Sisters shared beliefs and values related to diversity.

The Biology of Race: What is race and does it even exist? To what extent are racial categories developed as social constructs to group people so that advantages can be given to some and not to others? Sister Lorita Gaffney, OSF and Dr. Steve Vanden Avond, UW Green Bay, looked at examples of how the concept of race developed, how it is used differently in the world and some implications of using racial categories.

Action Planning

Sister Kathyrn Klackner, OSF facilitated the distribution of community discussion materials for 2010-2011. Franciscanized World will feature these topics in the coming months and invite you to join us in adding your voice to the conversation.

Ethnic Foods and Entertainment

The theme of the day was celebrated with an evening social that sampled simple ethnic foods and invited light-hearted feet to enjoy cultural dances.

21 thoughts on “What is a Franciscan Social Justice and Advocacy Day”

  1. Renewing, deepening, visiting, challenging, praying, enjoying, visiting, learning, eating, celebrating, visiting, discussing, pondering…some of the initial words that try to express this weekend experience together. I am so grateful for all of our Sisters who gave so much of themselves to make this weekend so meaningful!!!!

  2. Lisa Burke says:

    Thank you for this beautiful sharing!

  3. Sister Kathleen Murphy says:

    Thanks for the wonderful summary in word and picture. It reminds me to be grateful for so many people with so many talents contributing to such an enriching weekend. It was great to see everyone and the brownines were good too!
    Sister Kathleen

  4. Smaryfrances says:

    This was one of those WOW moments…in fact, 3 days of them! We are blessed to have the opportunity to pray, learn and discuss as Community. I thank God for the many gifts and blessings of this special time together.

  5. Sr. Delores Wisnicky says:

    Thank you to all who planned the days for us. It was an enriching and renewing three days. May we live out the challenges held before us. Sr. Delores Wisnicky

  6. Sannmary says:

    What a wonderful weekend! It was jammed packed with information and sharing. It gives us much to think about. God bless those who planned and made it all happen. The choral reading on Sunday was exceptional. Thanks Sr. Martin.

  7. S. Monica, novice says:

    Thanks to everyone involved. The more I reflect on it, the more I realize that I have learned a lot!!! Thanks especially to those who planned the entertainment of dancing!!! Loved it!

  8. Cardiaz says:

    This past weekend was truly an awesome experience. I love when the community can get together for a few days to enjoy each other and share common experiences that create good memories and a bigger space for God in our hearts. Thanks to everyone for generously sharing time and talents.
    Peace, Sr. Carmen Marie

  9. Adrianpaulita says:

    Was a day full of thoughts and many ideas to put into practice. The format was one that held your interest. Thanks to all who worked so hard to put it all together

  10. srsharon says:

    God's special blessings to all those instrumental in presenting a varied weekend of sharing, deepening, enlightening, stretching our minds & hearts to continue to LIVE Justice and Love embodied in the BEATITUDES each day and in the future. We have much food for THOUGHT & Discussion as we continue to REFLECT, PRAY and BRAINSTORM or our overall Community goal. (We may once in awhile follow the WIND!) In Gratitude & Dedication, Sister Sharon Paul

  11. Lwolf says:

    What a great weekend. Thanks to everyone who had a part in the preparation and execution of the wonderful program!

  12. Spatricial says:

    What a great summary and pictures of Saturday's events! Every session was very informative and the Liturgy was so festive and meaningful! Thanks to all who helped prepare!

  13. Novice Sr. Isabelle says:

    This was a really awesome weekend! It was so wonderful to see all the sisters in one place that are a part of this community. What a powerful experience having all the sisters together in one place praising and worshiping God through song, prayer, and liturgy! I met many new sisters from our missions sites and learned much information about our community from the meetings and the sectional I attended!

  14. sannek says:

    The weekend gathering of all of us home together was wonderful. The above summary presents so very well a veiw of what was shared. Thanks to all who worked so hard to bring this together and share with us. It was a community sharing to remember. We are so blessed.

  15. Kklackner says:

    What a great Franciscan week-end! I was so happy that so many truly found the days to be a good experience. That makes all the planning discussions and work so worthwhile. But most of all, it was a blessing to be together!

  16. Sister Rosita says:

    Truly a great weekend. Thanks for the preparation, presentations and behind-the-scenes workings of this valuable time together as community.
    Sister Rosita

  17. Sannjoachim says:

    The weekend gave us much to think about. The talk by John Carr was especially appreciated. Many thanks for the great number of participants who gave much time and effort to make the weekend one to remember.

  18. Sister Marlita says:

    The whole weekend was great, and the information invaluable. I especially was amazed at the presentationon RACE, and the new realization that there is no scientific basis for the issue!How does a country “start over” in this regard, and “e-RACE” all the false information that most assume?A mighty task indeed. We can pray for miracles, and in the meantime teach others more truths about race.

  19. Sister Anne Marie Lom says:

    It has been almost a week since we began our time together and I am still reflecting, processing, enjoying, remembering and deepening the experience. I am most grateful to all who made it possible, presented, shared, visited, played beautiful music, prepared all the materials etc. I can understand spiritual writers who say the important prayer is “Thank you”.

  20. Sister Carla says:

    The social justice Advocacy Day was so well planned and executed. I learned new insights like the fact that “race” is only an idea. I was reminded of the rich heritage we have of our Church's stance on social issues and I am challenged to be just and fair in all my dealings with people. Thank you to all our sisters who put it together. I feel so blessed to be a Franciscan Sister of Christian Charity and to be a part of such a talented community.

  21. Our NCCB has a great document online that is a great follow-up to the session that we heard on race. Our Sister Kathleen, who will be featuring some aspects of this writing and further material from the Bishops this year in our community publications, motivated me to consider rereading this material:

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