Franciscan Sisters at St. Peter Mission, Bapchule, AZ invited University of Wisconsin Madison Badger Catholic Students January 8-13, 2017 to experience life with them during the recent winter break. Eleven Badger Catholics arrived on the Gila River Reservation ready to discover the beauty of the people and the desert environment.
Some of visitors were interested in teaching and wanted to assist teachers in the classroom. Others helped out in the library, kitchen or worked with one of the Sisters in organizing rummage for distribution to needy families. All had daily interaction with the elementary school students at prayer time and in between classes. The children are the mission! One reason for these service trips is to learn and grow in the values of Catholic Social Teaching by incorporating them into daily living. Prayer took action.
Franciscan Sister Pamela Catherine Peasel, who acted as the local contact with the group, shared: “Another WONDERFUL group! Some are already planning on coming back in the spring. Their faith and desire to serve is incredible and inspiring!”
After leaving St. Peter Mission early Friday morning, Badger Catholics captured a memorable image at the Grand Canyon before heading back to WI.
A Bishop’s visit to a parish community is ever one of anticipation. When you live on an island, hospitality is especially important. When Bishop Larry Silva visited St. Theresa parish, Kekaha, HI from Honolulu, our Franciscan Sisters Sister Janet Rose, Sister Mary Ann Tupy and Sister Michael Ann O’Donnell joined with the people welcoming him to the garden island. Bishop arrived for the 5:00 p.m. Mass Saturday. After Mass, he joined the leaders of the parish for a pot luck supper and discussion in the parish hall.
The next day on Sunday, he presided over the 8:30 a.m. Eucharist and then enjoyed a pot luck dinner with all the members of the parish. Part of his reason for coming was more than to greet everyone. He entertained a lively discussion with the members of the parish concerning three questions – What are the blessings of your parish? What are your concerns for the parish? What questions do you have for me your Bishop? (How would you answer these questions in your own situation?)
A 5K Color Walk/Run for Vocations drew over 200 participants in the Diocese of Tucson. Franciscan Sisters were very much in step with this recent event.
Sister Joellen Kohlmann and the Sierra Vista, AZ group numbered among the winners. First place seminarian, first place children and second place for girls were all proud members of St. Andrew’s Parish. Sister Mary Ann Spanjers and Sister Monica Martin representing San Xavier Mission and San Miguel High School also witnessed in the crowd. Black shirts were given to priests, seminarians and all religious of the congregations represented in the diocese. Others received white shirts so that colorful paints could vividly powder the fabric.
Father Jorge Farias Soucedo, diocesan vocation director, was the main organizer of the gathering. After the walk/run of witnessing to vocations, a Mass was celebrated in Reid Park to pray for this intention. May the Lord bless the Diocese of Tucson and the Franciscan Sisters with strong and courageous witnesses to the Gospel of Jesus Christ!
Franciscan Sister Mariella Erdmann assists Skip Wallen with the Spirit of the Rivers project in the Manitowoc, Two Rivers, WI area.
Imagine my excitement to work with Skip Wallen for a day in his studio in Manitowoc. Skip is commissioned to do three Native American figures for the Spirit of the Rivers project in the Manitowoc/Two Rivers area. These figures will be placed along the lake shore. Skip is a native of Manitowoc and so it is fitting to ask such an accomplished artist from Manitowoc.
Skip, a friend from my years of reaching out to the community while an art professor at Silver Lake College of the Holy Family, invited me to experience first-hand the steps in preparing the sculptures for casting. He has been working on these for several years now and is coming to the refining stages with the clay. The sculptures will soon be cut apart and molds made in preparation for casting in bronze.
Needless to say, I am grateful and enthused to be asked to help with some of the finishing and to be shown some of the steps. My part was very miniscule, but it was such an honor to work with such a great sculptor and such a humble man.
We all can look forward to these pieces being installed in the area. What a treasure.