05/06/21 – Global Sisters Report – Sisters’ archivists are collecting COVID-19 history as it happens
When the COVID-19 pandemic began in March 2020, historians and journalists scoured documents for information on the World War I-era disaster that was dubbed the Spanish flu of 1918-19, seeing it as the closest historical parallel to the new lockdowns and hundreds of thousands of deaths. …
Sr. Helen Jacobson, archivist for the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia, has been collecting newspaper accounts and reflections shared on the community’s website. Chronicled have been accounts of long-term isolation, the impact of school closings and the lack of in-person communal prayer life, especially in Lent and at Easter. Read more
04/15/21 – Global Sisters Report – Serving those in the shadows, sisters follow in footsteps of women long gone
When it comes to helping immigrants, Catholic sisters are one of the few constants in a tempestuous American landscape often shaped by hostility and division.
As associate director of the Franciscan Action Network, Sr. Marie Lucey, of the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia, works collaboratively with the Justice for Immigrants campaign of the U.S. bishops’ conference and with the Interfaith Immigration Coalition.
“Working with partners is very, very essential to what we do as a multi-issue organization,” Lucey said. READ
04/15/21 – The Spokesman Review – Faith leaders hope to build awareness through poster art contest
The graffiti vandalism of Temple Beth Shalom has inspired area faith leaders to turn away from hate and instead turn to community.
In a productive reaction to the February desecration, the Faith Leaders and Leaders of Conscience are hosting an art contest dubbed “Celebrate Curiosity,” in an effort to build on solidarity, inclusion, advocacy, accountability and truth in the Eastern Washington and North Idaho region.
Sister Pat Millen of the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia said the Rev. Heywood has done a good job bringing awareness to ecological issues. Involved with FLLC since its inception, Millen said the art contest is an opportunity to get youth involved with justice issues, in addition to giving them a project to work on while in the middle of a pandemic. Read
04/06/21 – Catholic Philly.com –Webinar explores history of Philadelphia Franciscan sisters
The Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia will celebrate their founding with an April 9 webinar surveying the history of the congregation, which was established under the direction of then-bishop St. John Neumann.
The 12 p.m. presentation will feature insights from Franciscan Sisters Anne Amati, Mary Kennedy and Pat Warman, along with mission companions Anne Pullis and Carol Baiocchi. Edward Lis, director of Catholic mission integration for archdiocesan Catholic Social Services, will moderate the event. Read more
04/05/21 – The DelcoTimes – Letter to the Editor: Call for action – stop gun violence
The Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia deplore the latest acts of gun violence here in our country. These recent acts of violence are further indications of the need to evaluate easy access to guns in the United States. We encourage ourselves and all with whom we are in relationship to contact senators and congresspersons calling them to strengthen and enforce current gun laws and to issue a ban on assault weapons. The safe future of our citizens, most especially our children, depends on this. Read more
03/22/21 – The Catholic Sun – Shareholders push companies on racial justice, equity in vaccine access
A resolution filed by the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia with California-based Chevron, one of the country’s largest oil and natural gas producers, provides an example of the issues related to racial justice that cross over into other concerns.
Sister Nora Nash, director of corporate responsibility for the religious order, said the resolution asks the company to commission an independent third-party report that analyzes how Chevron’s policies, practices and the impacts of its business “perpetuate racial injustice and inflict harm on communities of color in the United States.” Read more
03/14/21 – Pittsburgh Post Gazette–Our world cannot afford to wait for action
Letter from Sr. Nora Nash – “It is clear that we are in the midst of a climate crisis requiring immediate action, not only at the federal level but also in Pennsylvania, the fifth-largest greenhouse gas polluting state in the nation. If we are a large part of the problem, we must be part of the solution — our natural world, of which we are stewards, cannot afford to wait. This is why I offered public testimony in December in support of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a multistate cap-and-invest program among nearly a dozen Northeast and Middle Atlantic states with a proven track record of reducing carbon pollution from fossil fuel power plants.” Read More
03/10/21 – Philadelphia Inquirer–‘Remember to vote!’ The CEO’s $14.3M pay at drug distributor AmerisourceBergen inspires dueling campaigns
As AmerisourceBergen prepares to face investors at its annual meeting Thursday, the pharma distributor is locked in a campaign battle with dissident stockholders over its CEO’s paycheck, after the company said it would shoulder a $6.6 billion loss to settle opioid litigation….“It’s our job to push them to see that they find better ways of doing what they’re doing,” said Tom McCaney, associate director for corporate social responsibility at the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia. With “the distribution of opioids, there are people’s lives at risk.” Read more
02/10/21 – Delco Times– Sisters of St. Francis plan food drive to help with food insecurity in Chester
ASTON— Fifty-two weeks a year, women religious stand with the poor and immigrants, teach children, fight injustice, heal the sick, share spirituality, empower women, defend the planet, promote peace, create community, and offer hope. But for one week, March 8-14, the spotlight shines on women religious during Catholic Sisters Week. This year, the focus of Catholic Sisters Week is on food insecurity.
As part of the Catholic Sisters Week’s “Challenge to End Hunger and Food Insecurity,” the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia are sponsoring a food drive on Friday, March 12, from 2-6 p.m. and Saturday, March 13 from 9 a.m.–noon at Our Lady of Angels Convent parking lot, 609 S. Convent Road, Aston. Read more
01/27/21 – Daily Times – Community Briefs: Drexel Neumann Academy celebrates 14 years with live-streamed event
Drexel Neumann Academy is celebrating its 14th year of providing a safe, quality education in the city of Chester with a virtual live stream event. The live streamed Drexel Neumann Academy Annual Celebration Dinner will begin 6:45 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 28 and the event starts at 7 p.m. The link to the event is: https://one.bidpal.net/dna. Read more
01/15/21 – Reuters – Investors push for social media controls ahead of U.S. inauguration
The Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia are signatories to the attached letter to Alphabet, Facebook, and Twitter, calling on the board to take all necessary steps to address their role in enabling and facilitating violence at the U.S. Capitol and at state houses across the country in the run-up to inauguration day. Investors are calling on appropriate board committees to convene immediately and, as a matter of public record, take steps to exercise oversight of management’s decisions on these matters to ensure adequate controls are in place to mitigate future harm. Read More
12/10/20 – PHL17 – Holiday Hunger Relief Program hopes to combat food insecurity in Delco.
Sr. Maggie Gannon speaks on behalf of Anna’s Place, which is spotlighted here for their hunger relief program. “Food insecurity has increased dramatically during the COVID-19 pandemic and with the holiday season upon us many are wondering how they can help. In partnership with Visit Delco, Springfield Country Club is preparing freshly made meals for those in need throughout the community.”
Watch the segment which appears on PHL17 here: https://phl17.com/phl17-morning-news/holiday-hunger-relief-program-hopes-to-combat-food-insecurity-in-delco/.
10/12/20 – Global Sisters Report – Sisters registering as many people as they can to vote
…McManamon is just one of many Catholic sisters across the United States who are working to ensure citizens are able to exercise their right to vote. They work for legislative changes to make voting easier, they register voters and they work the polls on Election Day.
Sr. Marie Lucey, a Sister of St. Francis of Philadelphia, is one of those working to get out the vote. She’s the associate director of Franciscan Action Network , which made three videos this year to encourage people to vote.
“We don’t have a good history of voting in this country,” Lucey said. “We either take too much for granted, or people think their vote doesn’t count. But voting is a right and a responsibility.” Read more
10/7/20 – Trenton Monitor – Religious orders bring variety of gifts, experiences to Diocese of Trenton
Since its founding in 1881, the Diocese of Trenton has been blessed with the presence of faith-filled, courageous and inspired religious men and women whose unique ministries bring the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the lives of the faithful during rapidly changing times.
“Each of these religious orders, congregations and societies are blessed with a sacred charism, a gift of the Holy Spirit given over to their founders to share and enrich the Church and continue its ministry through services of prayer, missionary activity, education, health care or social service,” said Sister of St. Joseph Rose McDermott, who serves as diocesan delegate for religious.
The Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia were founded in 1855 by Bishop John N. Neumann, C.Ss.R., Bishop of Philadelphia, after following the advice of Pope Pius IX to establish a congregation of Franciscan sisters in his own diocese. Read more
10/2/20 – Earthbeat Weekly – Following in St. Francis’ footsteps as Season of Creation ends
As summer turns to autumn in the Northern Hemisphere, and winter to spring south of the Equator, we have celebrated the transitional month of September as the Season of Creation. It has been a time to take stock of our relationship with all of our fellow travelers on this planet, human and non-human alike, and renew our commitment to healing and renewing the Earth.
The Season of Creation ends, appropriately, on Sunday, which is the feast day of St. Francis of Assisi. In answer to this week’s Burning Question, EarthBeat staff writer Brian Roewe explains who Francis was and how he became the patron saint of ecology .
Franciscans worldwide will celebrate their patron’s feast day this weekend. Virtual events on Saturday, Oct. 3, include those hosted by the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia ; the Franciscan Solidarity Table in Southern California with St. Matthews Church ; and a virtual celebration of Transitus , a remembrance of the moment when St. Francis died, by Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia. Read more
10/2/20 – Seahawks Communication – Seahawks Support Crucial Catch Campaign for Cancer Awareness and Early Detection, in Collaboration with Virginia Mason and CHI Franciscan
Today the Seattle Seahawks, in partnership with Virginia Mason, the Seahawks Official Health Care Partner, and CHI Franciscan, launch a month of cancer awareness activities to promote early detection through the NFL’s Crucial Catch: Intercept Cancer initiative. To kick off the Crucial Catch campaign, representatives from the Seahawks, Virginia Mason and CHI Franciscan participated in a ceremonial raising of the Crucial Catch flag at CenturyLink Field. The Seahawks will host the team’s annual Crucial Catch game on Sunday Night Football, October 11 vs. the Minnesota Vikings.
Started in 1891 by the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia, today CHI Franciscan is one of the largest health systems in Washington state. The system is comprised of more than 1,250 hospital beds and over 4,000 credentialed providers offering cardiovascular care, cancer care, orthopedics and sports medicine, neurosciences, women’s care and other health care services. Read more
8/10/20 – Global Sisters Report – Shut up at home by pandemic, sisters find world is still with them
After months of emergency shutdowns, staged reopenings and, in some cases, reversals, sisters are finding ways to cope with the inevitable COVID-19 anxiety, brought on by months under virtual lock and key.
No, they aren’t congregating in gyms, bellying up to the bar or having unmasked beach bonfires. Surprised?
Instead they are sewing masks for frontline responders. Scheduling extra prayer time for those suffering from the ravages of the virus. Ringing the monastery bell to remind townspeople to pray in a pandemic-stricken state.
…In the meantime, women religious are finding ways to connect with others and have fun at the same time, even while maintaining the recommended social distance.
…Navigating the twists and turns of a work life lived largely online — she works with two computers on her desk — hasn’t been easy for Sr. Marguerite O’Beirne, a member of the Order of St. Francis in Aston, Pennsylvania, where she serves as the vice president for mission and ministry at Neumann University. “I never thought I would live that long,” joked O’Beirne, about the dual computers, commenting that she grew up in Ireland without a phone.
The sisters in her order, both active and retired, sent out welcoming notes to approximately a thousand students arriving in the fall, she said. In Palmer Method handwriting, of course. Read more
7/16/20 – Daily Record News.com – CHI Franciscan And Virginia Mason Sign Memorandum Of Understanding To Explore Combining And Forming New Integrated Health System
The Washington-based health systems would employ a patient-first approach, an innovative structure, and strong quality and safety performances to transform health care
“Founded 130 years ago by the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia, CHI Franciscan has served its communities by providing compassionate, high-quality care to those in need, especially those who are vulnerable. Our relationship with Virginia Mason is another meaningful step forward in this journey,” said Dr. Uli Chi, chairman of the board of directors for CHI Franciscan. Read more
7/13/20 – GreenBiz – Chemical footprinting comes of age
When the Chemical Footprint Project launched in December 2014, it aspired to become the next carbon footprint or the next widely used tool for measuring company performance on a critical sustainability concern — toxic chemical use in the manufacturing of products.
It’s made steady progress since then, with 31 companies, including Levi Strauss, Walmart and HP Inc., using the Chemical Footprint Project’s annual survey to inventory and report on their hazardous chemical use, as well as their progress towards safer alternatives.
The Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia has been linking environmental justice and chemical risk concerns in its work with retailers such as Dollar Tree and oil and gas companies with stores or facilities in communities of color. “We are tying the pandemic, climate change, environmental justice and human rights. They’re very much linked to one another,” said Sister Nora Nash. Read more
7/9/20 – Pittsburgh Business Times – Investors urge Pennsylvania DEP to expand methane-emissions rules
A group of investors representing nearly $4 trillion under management — including the Pennsylvania state treasurer, Pittsburgh-based Federated Hermes Inc. (NYSE: FII) and the California State Teachers Retirement System — is urging the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection to strengthen its methane emissions rules in the state’s oil and gas industry.
The 50 investors sent a message to the state’s oil and gas industry — some of whom they invest in — to do more to manage methane emissions. The letter singles out existing sources of methane, including 71,000 older and lower-producing wells that it said was responsible for half of methane emissions from the industry.
This is big news for the State of Pennsylvania and we are signatories and mentioned in the text. Click here to read more. A PDF of the article is attached here.
6/15/20 – Catholic News Service – Women religious, inspired by current protests, also see long road ahead
Across the country, women religious have joined in peaceful protests against racial inequality, while others, home for health reasons amid the pandemic, are very much in spirit with the marchers.
But on the streets or not, many of them see the scourge of systemic racism not just as a blight on the nation but something the church must own up to and help eradicate.
…That’s what Sister Marie Lucey, a Sister of St. Francis of Philadelphia and longtime activist, also is recognizing, describing it as a “kind of wakening.” The gray-haired woman religious who attended the same Washington protests as Sister Howard, said she wanted to stand with those seeking change. “As a white person, as a Catholic, as a sister, I have work to do.”
She also said she feels “some kind of hope, not optimism.” She is reading, and discussing with other sisters in her community, the current best-seller: “White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism.” Read more
5/12/20 – Global Sisters Report – The true gift of sisterhood
I needed a kidney and Franciscan Sr. Deborah Krist gave me one. Sounds so simple, yet so incredible. We are two sisters — not by blood but by vocation. We are both Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia. There was no telling that we would be a match at all, but Sister Debbie just knew she would be a good fit. “It was an act of God for sure,” Debbie said. “It has been an amazing journey, which I believe, through the grace of God, has changed both our lives!” Read
5/10/20 – Delco Times – Acts of Kindess: Sisters of St. Francis help to house nurses, feed the community
The Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia have been praying for all those infected by the virus and their loved ones, as well as the health care professionals who willingly expose themselves to the pandemic every day. “Their dedication and commitment is inspiring,” the sisters said in a released statement. “At the same time, the health care professionals are concerned about exposing their loved ones to the virus and putting them at risk. We hear news reports of them moving into hotel rooms, sleeping in their garages, or temporarily living in RVs.” Read
5/10/20 – The Dialog – Heeding God’s call — Sisters of St. Francis housing nurses and ‘helping in any way we can’
As we continue to experience the realities of COVID-19, we pray for all those infected by the virus and their loved ones. While we self-quarantine to avoid encountering the virus, health care professionals willingly expose themselves to the pandemic every day. Their dedication and commitment is inspiring. Read
5/4/20 –US Catholic – Laypeople, sisters share a common space and mission at the border
This is the 3rd part of a series of stories on sisters at the El Paso-Juarez border, which has been published by US Catholic. Our own Sr. Caroline Sweeney has been ministering at the U.S. /Mexico border as part of a yearlong commitment at border-based nonprofits like Annunciation House and the Loretto Volunteers Program. READ
4/21/20 –The Dialog – Sisters of St. Francis jump in to make sandwiches for the hungry served by Ministry of Caring
1/7/20 – U.S. Catholic Magazine -Voices of the Future: Young women religious are reaching congregational boundaries to revitalize religious life
Attached is an article that was published in U.S. Catholic magazine in their January 2020 issue. The piece is called “Voices of the Future” by Jessica Mesman, and features an interview with our Sr. Anna Maria Dela Paz.At 32, novice Maria Anna Dela Paz is the youngest sister in her congregation, the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia, by about 20 years. She was drawn to the community’s Franciscan charism and its emphasis on human rights and social justice advocacy, but she says, “I didn’t ever think there were people like me who were discerning.” Read more
1/7/20 – Time Magazine– ‘Our Work Is Helping People Find Happiness.’ Meet the Leftist Nuns Helping Migrants at the U.S.-Mexico Border
Since 2018, more than 700 nuns from LCWR, a 300 member congregations have volunteered their services, some traveling hundreds of miles to join sisters who already lived in border towns. Our Sr. Caroline Sweeney is one of the sisters who has made numerous trips down to minister to those at the border. She is pictured in the article. Read more
1/8/20 – Catholic Philly – Prayer vigil pushes for peaceful solution in Iran crisis
WASHINGTON (CNS) — The gathering outside the White House after dark Jan. 6 to protest U.S. aggression toward Iran was not nearly as big as a parade two days earlier protesting against the warlike moves. It certainly was not as loud.
But, in its own way, the peace vigil was just as strong. The 30-minute vigil, organized by Faith in Public Life, drew about 100 to a park across the street from the Executive Mansion — about one-tenth the size of the Jan. 4 march down a downtown Washington street. Our Srs. Maria Orlandini and Marie Lucey were on hand representing FAN and the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia. Read more
3/25/20 – Catholic News Service – Catholic universities, and a high school, donate medical supplies to hospitals
BROOKLYN, NY – On March 24, The Catholic High School of Baltimore also donated personal protective equipment including masks, gloves, goggles and protective gowns to Mercy Medical Center, sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy, in downtown Baltimore.
The hospital, which treats many of the homeless in Baltimore, has a collaborative relationship with the nurses’ club at the high school, sponsored by the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia. Several of the students’ parents also work at the hospital. READ
4/2/20 – St. Kateri Center celebrates Laudato Si’
To celebrate Laudato Si’ Week, Red Hill Farm Manager, Margaret Lilley, the sisters, and the Saint Kateri Conservation Center will plant the beginnings of a Saint Kateri Habitat at Red Hill Farm in May.
The habitat will feature a biodiverse array of native plants, such as milkweed, golden alexanders, and goldenrod, that will boast different heights and colors and bloom at different times of the year. Read more here.
4/8/20 – Delco Times -Acts of Kindness: Six-year-old Aston girl helps community with pretzels, art and Crown Royal masks
This amazing little girl is working hard for her community during a time of need. Anina is now busy making masks for the retired and ill Sisters of St. Francis and their staff at Assisi House in Aston. She is crafting the masks out of Crown Royal bags donated by Sundance Saloon in Aston. Read