What’s New

  • Welcome to our newest companions: Jan Smith and Joe Boney. We look forward to the gifts they bring to our group and to the congregation.
  • At the invitation of the Muslim community in Yardley, Pennsylvania, members of our group attended our first Eid celebration.  We were warmly welcomed and shared a wonderful meal of traditional food.

Faith Sharing

trenton_2pixOur companions’ group meets three or four times per year for prayer, faith sharing, and fellowship in the Trenton, New Jersey area. Members of the group provide hospitality in their homes and facilitate faith sharing on a rotating basis—as they are able. Our goal is to provide a safe, supportive environment where we can continue to grow in our Franciscan spirituality and encourage each other in living our call to Gospel values.

Faith sharing focuses on a variety of Franciscan themes. Currently we are working with the program entitled “God’s Extravagant Love” prepared by the Sisters of St. Francis.  Each gathering includes prayer, reflection, and sharing.  Our time concludes with a light lunch together.

Annual Activities

In addition to our gatherings for faith sharing, we participate in the following annual events:

October (weekend closest to St. Francis’ feast day):

  • Recommitment service
  • Francis Fest Italian dinner follows recommitment service and faith sharing

November:  Gift wrapping for Assisi House St. Nicholas Party


December: (1st Sunday) St. Nicholas Party at Assisi House

We bake cookies, help set up, assist with entertainment, and serve as Santa’s helpers for the day. We make a special effort to take candid photos the sisters present and prepare a photo remembrance.

March (Companions Gathering Day and Annual Charism Day):

Because of our proximity to Aston, Pennsylvania, we make a special effort to participate in this weekend gathering. Transportation is provided to ensure that no one is left out. All who participate in this weekend come away refreshed and renewed.

Being a Franciscan Presence in the Larger Community

As companions we make every effort to be present at congregational events.

When possible we are present to support each other and our Sisters of St. Francis—both at times of joyful celebration and at times of loss or illness. Individually and as a group, we strive to be a compassionate presence in our world.  Our special focus is being present to our Sisters at the Assisi House, the congregation’s retirement residence.

In the spirit of Francis, Clare and Mother Francis Bachmann, we also serve our local communities in a wide variety of capacities—both individually and as a group:

  • St. Raphael-Holy Angels Women’s Retreat Planning Committee: several companions participate regularly on this committee which annually plans a weekend retreat for women of our parish and neighboring parishes.  We plan retreats that are Scripture-based, using the Franciscan values shared with us by Sr. Kathy Ganiel, OSF, our mentor, and the Sisters of St. Francis. In September 2015 we prepared and presented our 25th Jubilee Retreat.
  • Facilitators for small faith sharing group (First Friday of each month)
  • Readers proclaiming the Word and Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist in our parishes, hospitals, and rehab centers
  • Music ministers in local parishes
  • Interfaith caregivers
  • Hospitality for special parish events (group activity)
  • Hospitality to 12-step members in need of housing
  • Assistance to parishioners and neighbors during times of need, including assistance in navigating social service systems
  • Board member of Franciscan Volunteers: No Risk, No Gain program

Open Invitation

All are welcome! If anything you have read touches your heart, please consider joining our Companions group. You are welcome to join us for a gathering to explore your interest. For more information, please contact Sr. Jeanne Nisley, OSF, Director of Companions, 609 S. Convent Rd., Aston, PA 19014; (610) 558 7756 (phone) or (610) 558-6131 (fax); email: companions@osfphila.org.

Respectfully submitted by Nancy Opalski and Pat Langon, Coordinators.