Sisters of St. Francis of the Holy Cross in Green Bay, WI
Reflection for March 15, 2020

Reflection for March 15, 2020

Sunday's psalm resonates throughout our history

Our heart for those in need  began 152 years ago and continues today

by Sister Francis Bangert

On the third Sunday in Lent, the psalm refrain, “If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts,” has special meaning for the Sisters of St. Francis of the Holy Cross. Our founder, the Rev. Edward Francis Daems, OSC, and his companions heard the plaintive cries of Belgian immigrants in Wisconsin, thirsting for a better life and spiritual assistance as they battled the fierce elements of an untamed land. Crosier missionaries were sent to serve the needs of the people. After several attempts to begin a Crosier foundation in the Fox Valley, Father Daems was sent by Milwaukee Bishop John Henni to pastor the people at Holy Cross Parish in Bay Settlement. There, with the help of a few women, they opened a school on Feb. 12, 1868, and helped students speaking 5 different languages learn English and their faith. The parish rectory became a center for dispensing herbs for healing. These humble beginnings birthed the Sisters of St. Francis of the Holy Cross and, in time, our first Constitutions on March 14, 1881.

This “settlement by the bay” has flourished for more than 150 years, bringing education and healing throughout the Green Bay Diocese and beyond. It is this history that Sisters and Associates will celebrate on Sunday -- Founders’ Day -- at St. Francis Convent. Through prayer, a celebratory meal, and an inspirational video of our 90 years at The Chapel (today known as the Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help) and the numerous ministries to which we have been called,   we will renew our passion for mission. In the spirit of Father Daems and our founding Sisters, we will strive to be open to: living lives in Community; being rooted in the Cross, Word, and Eucharist; proclaiming the Good News of Jesus Christ with the guidance of the Holy Spirit; and responding compassionately to the needs of our times through prayer, presence and hospitality.



Sister Laura
03/13/2020 6:14 am

Thanks Fran, this a beautiful tribute to our Community and the work of the Holy Spirit.

Claire Letourneaux
03/13/2020 7:40 am

God’s blessings to you all on your anniversary.

03/13/2020 9:42 am

Very interestingly, I am deeply moved this Lenten season, that I "see" how these six weeks before Easter are all about 'learning to listen to the Voice of God.' The First Sunday of Lent, is a depiction how Eve, in the lush and beautiful garden of abundance, listened to the voice of temptation. And then JESUS, taunted by this same voice of the tempter in the barren, dry desert, defeated it. The Second Sunday of Lent, we are led to hear the Voice of God on the mountain top, speaking with translucent power, "Listen to him."

And now, the Third Sunday of Lent, we meet with JESUS in his transparent conversation with the woman of Samaria, as JESUS allows her a glimpse of 'who' he really is. “I am He, the one who is speaking with you, " is his revelation to her heart's longing of 'when the one called Christ, comes.....'

When we get to the Fourth Sunday, we hear JESUS again, reveal himself to the blind man, who asked, "Who is he -- the Son of Man?" " The one speaking with you is he,” says JESUS.

Throughout these weeks, I see a real pattern of learning to LISTEN to the VOICE OF GOD, a pattern that I never realized as clearly until now. These are Times that call for our LISTENING EARS, our LISTENING HEARTS.

Sr. Rose Jochmann
03/13/2020 9:42 am

Thanks, Fran, for this good reflection on our history. A good way to let people know about our Founder's celebration and the new video about our ministries.

Cheryl Mader
03/13/2020 10:51 am

Indeed, Thanks be to God!

Peter Schumacher
03/13/2020 11:48 am

Your Community has been such a blessing to so many since your founding.

03/14/2020 11:58 am

God's special blessings to you all on your anniversary.

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