By Sister Ann Carmen Barone, OSF
Thanks to the cast of characters for the life-giving Memories …
…of ice cream scoops, shared breakfasts, prayer gatherings and our regular Franciscan celebration with a centennial plus, outreach opportunities around world issues, mission moments, time to reconnect with the past and moved it forward.
Thanks for the hope as we begin our next 100 years of shaping and sharing our legacy.
The planning committee asked me to create a Centennial Prayer focused on Francis’ Canticle of Brother Sun and I did that but I had a few other ideas, too. I was reflecting on one that wasn’t chosen.
God, you are all good, all loving, the source of all life.
You have called us to share the work of creation.
We give thanks for our rich past, our creative present and our trust in your promise of a future full of hope.
With you we can create a “house of harmony and peace” – a space in which everyone is able to find their proper place and feel “at home” because it is good – because we are a community. (Pope Francis)
We are grateful for our beginnings and for the many fresh chapters of our Mission.
Like Brother Sun, we ask for the grace to shine the light of your truth.
Like Sister Moon and the stars, help us reflect your wisdom in our decision making.
Like Brother Wind and air, support and uplift us when we need to grasp a bigger view.
Like Sister Water, let us be a source of refreshment that frees the potential of each Sylvania Franciscan and those who share our journey.
Like Brother Fire, allow us to burn with a passion for making peace.
Like Sister Earth, our Mother, let us be leaders who nourish and sustain the vulnerable
We give thanks for leaders, past and present. We acknowledge the many partners in mission, associates and benefactors who have generously expanded the circle of our influence and the integrity of our Mission.
It is good Lord that we are here.
We move forward in gratitude for 100 years of Franciscan Presence.
We move forward trusting that You will continue to create through us.
This was a remarkable year for me as our profession class celebrated it Golden Jubilee—50 years as a Sylvania Franciscan. Who would have believed how quickly those years flew? How blessed I have been with my Barone family, extended Franciscan family, colleagues in ministry and so many students I was honored to serve along the way.
I never thought that the banner – 100 years of Franciscan Presence – would make me walk so tall, dream so big, love so deeply, hope so honestly and believe so truly in the call to share the presence of God wherever I walk.
Earlier this week Sister Fidelis, Sister Magdala and I braved the cold to stand in the welcoming backdrop of a tree we planted 25 years ago. Jubilee has grown tall and her roots are firmly planted in the yellow sand. Like her, we are called to reach up with joy and praise and to reach out in faithful service to all God’s children. May our Franciscan roots grow deep and wide.