Mission and Heritage Week
Mission and Heritage Week is a celebration of our Felician/Franciscan heritage and legacy, as well as an expression of our lived, ministry experience. Usually held in October, events are scheduled near the feastdays of St. Francis of Assisi (October 4) and Blessed Mary Angela Truszkowska, (October 10), the foundress of the Felician Sisters. During Mission and Heritage Week, the Felician Center Board of Directors, Staff and Volunteers participate in a Commissioning Service to invoke God’s blessings for the new ministry year and commit to uphold the Core Values.
In keeping with the Matthew 25 mandate, a group-effort, October project included prayerful and financial support of the fall Kairos Prison Ministry weekend at the Camille Griffin Graham Correctional facility in Columbia, SC.
The children also learned about and celebrated Blessed Mary Angela’s birthday with cupcake treats.Children in the After-School Tutoring program learned about the lives of St. Francis and St. Clare, who lived in Assisi, Italy during medieval times. Dedicated art teachers enhanced the Middle Ages theme with costume-design art projects, depicting feudal knights and courtly ladies.
Due to the October 2015 rain storm, a number of planned events were cancelled. However for two months following the storm’s devastation, the Felician Center staff spearheaded the distribution of food, water and clothing and oversaw the disbursement of $25,000 in donated flood-relief funds, which translated into purchasing new appliances and furnishings for flood victims.
This year’s February ecumenical retreat for board members, staff, volunteers and the general public focused on the recent, environmental writings of Pope Francis, titled, “Laudato Si – Praised Be: On the Care of Our Common Home”. Addressing the subject of “a world in crisis,” Sister M. Jean Sliwinski, CSSF served as retreat facilitator. The Pope’s encyclical calls us to pay more attention to how the poor are disproportionately affected by climate change, to living more simply and to pondering more seriously how economic indifference and selfishness deteriorate the common good.
Even though the Felician Center team “seeks to be a transforming presence” in the lives of those served, there is something to be said about rewards gained from those served. We acquire invaluable lessons when we help the imprisoned, inspire young minds and assist when disaster strikes. One such lesson occurs when food pantry customers mindfully skip food-pantry days, “so that more food is available for those in greater need,” or flood victims who settle for used furnishings and appliances, “so that available funding is stretched to assist more folks”. It is during these ministry moments that we are fed and nourished.