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Mission Integration Happenings



In announcing the First World Day of the Poor taking place on Sunday, November 19, 2017, Pope Francis invites Christians to make every effort to “create moments of encounter, friendship and solidarity” with those who are marginalized by performing “deeds not words” that demonstrate a preferential option for the poor. The observance will include an evening prayer vigil on November 18 in Rome, at the Church of St. Lawrence, for volunteers who work with the poor. Why the Church of St. Lawrence?

As a deacon in Rome in the year 258, St. Lawrence was responsible for the care of the treasury and the riches of the Church, including the distribution of alms to the poor. After the death of Pope Sixtus, the prefect of Rome demanded that St. Lawrence turn over the material possessions of the Church. When ordered to deliver the treasures, St. Lawrence presented the indigent, the crippled, the blind, and the suffering, declaring that these were the true treasures of the Church. This act of defiance led directly to Lawrence’s martyrdom.

Citing the example given in the Acts of the Apostles and other New Testament letters, Pope Francis states that service to the poor was “one of the first signs of the entrance of the Christian community upon the world’s stage.” The Pope also offers an example in St. Francis of Assisi, who served the poor authentically by keeping his gaze so firmly on Christ that he was able to see Christ in the poor and vulnerable.

In his closing remarks, Pope Francis indicates that “The poor are not a problem; they are a resource from which to draw as we strive to accept and practice in our lives the essence of the Gospel.” Titled, “Let us love, not with words but with deeds,” the Pope’s entire message can be accessed at

In presenting the Pope’s message for the First World Day of the Poor, Archbishop Rino Fisichella, president of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization, simply stated, “the first step to meeting the needs of the poor is to transform the way we think about the poor.”

Following in the footsteps of Jesus, St. Lawrence, St. Francis of Assisi, and Blessed Mary Angela--the foundress of the Felician Sisters--the Felician Center board, staff members and volunteers continue to maintain that those living on the fringes of society are integral members of the Body of Christ. For the past 25 years, the Felician Center has believed that, not only are the poor “a treasure to behold,” but also “blessed” for “theirs in the Kingdom of heaven.”


This year’s theme for Mission and Heritage Week is “Honoring Our Felician-Franciscan tradition: Speaking the Language of Peace.” Blessed Mary Angela—the foundress of the Felician Sisters--once wrote: “Remember that everything that disturbs our inner peace comes not from God.” The renowned Buddhist monk and peace activist, Thich Nhat Hanh once was asked this question: “Who caused the war in Iraq? “I did”, was his answer. In a profound sense, his answer was correct. So what is peace?

Peace is more than just the absence of war and violence. Peace is not the absence of conflict, but the ability to manage conflict constructively, as an important opportunity for change and increased understanding. Peace is a commitment to understanding, celebrating and learning from differences of all kinds. Peace is a commitment not to harm , but also to nurture all individuals regardless of race, creed, or gender.

People deeply attuned to the unity within the world understand that everything and everyone is connected. If our thoughts are peaceful, than we radiate peace around us; but if they are not, then we are spreading discord. Back in the early ‘60’s Trappist monk, Thomas Merton spoke these profound words: “We are not at peace with others because we are not at peace with ourselves, and we are not at peace with ourselves because we are not at peace with God.”

In Matthew 5, Jesus tells us, “Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the children of God”. This is a call, an invitation and a mandate for each one of us to be bearers of peace in our families, our communities, our workplaces and in our world.

During Mission and Heritage Week, and using a PEACE theme, Mission Integration will sponsor the following events:

Mission and Heritage Week Events:


10/4-5 - Commissioning Service for Felician Center staff, volunteers, After-School Tutoring children

10/6 - Felician Center Board Meeting -- Commissioning Service for Board members

10/6 - Evening Peace Site/Peace Pole Installation Ceremony -- Felician Center Properties

10/5-7 - Children in the After-School Program will experience a peaceful learning environment,
become acquainted with peace education and skills and engage in peacemaking activities, including Origami
Peace Doves and Peace Heroes of the Month.

Ongoing - Food Pantry, Clothing Closet and Health-Service Customers will view a 4-minute “Peace Today” video
and invited to make/sign *Peace Pledges.
- Collaborating with Kingstree Methodist Church, Felican Center will provide prayerful, moral and
financial support for women inmates making Kairos Retreat at Camille Griffin Correctional Facility,
Columbia, SC

- Customers “Pay It Forward” by contributing loose change to help pay for retreating-inmates meals

- Feature peace-themed Op-Eds on Felician Center website and The News (Kingstree, SC)

- Distribute peace-themed magnets and bumper stickers

*All constituents will be invited to make/sign Peace Pledges and receive Peace magnets or bumper