October 19, 2017

Meet Faith!

Hello!  My name is Faith Becker and I am currently 20 years old.  I grew up on a small dairy farm in Spencer. Wisconsin. I milked alongside my parents, Daniel and Bernice, and my siblings: Father Aaron (26), Alissa (24), Jessica (18), Amber (13) and Joel (10).  After graduating high school, the Lord called me to the Mater Redemptoris House of Formation in LaCrosse, Wisconsin where the Sisters of St. Francis of the Martyr St. George ran the discernment house. It was there that I realized that the Lord definitely placed in my heart the desire to make the Merciful Love of Christ visible which just happened to be the sisters charism!  A few of my hobbies are playing games like Ticket to Ride, pinochle, and any competitive team sports. I enjoyed playing the piano with my mom in Church every Saturday.  My favorite pastimes are just sitting around and talking with people.  We are all so different and have so many incredible stories to tell!  I am excited to see what the Lord is going to do with me next on this great adventure here in AltonIllinois!  

October 17, 2017

Meet Sabina!

My name is Sabina Abbadessa. I am 24 years old and am from Wilmington Delaware. As an only child I received an immense amount of love and attention from my Mom (Sabina) and Dad, (Paul). I am so grateful that I was raised in a loving home which afforded me the gift of a Catholic education. The greatest example of this happened for me at Franciscan University of Steubenville. It was here that I first met our sisters. As a Catechetics and Theology student I was able to be taught by one of the sisters.
I also belonged to the women’s discernment household which this community advises. Through the encounters I had with the sisters on campus my heart was drawn deeper to the Lord, even after my graduation in 2016.  Some of the hobbies which I enjoy include running, volleyball, singing and listening to music. I find a great comparison in sports to the spiritual life. The same perseverance an athlete uses to train is compatible to the continuous striving for holiness in our daily lives. As for singing, I have been able to praise the Lord with song throughout most of my life and it gives me great joy to continue this. I am so grateful the Lord has brought me this far in my discernment.  I look forward to seeing how He will continue to form me in His merciful love, so that I too can bring this love to others.

October 15, 2017

Meet Natalie!

Hello! My name is Natalie Weighner. I am 29 years old and I am from Grand Rapids, Michigan. After being away at college and living out of state for a couple years, I returned to Grand Rapids to be closer to my family. I love spending time with my Mom and Dad, Brother Kevin (31), and Sisters Maggie (22) and Cait (19). Before coming to St. Francis Convent, I worked as a pediatric nurse in a children’s hospital. I have a passion for working with sick children, especially infants. It is such a gift to be able to care for children and their families at a vulnerable time.  I absolutely love being outside in God’s creation, especially the mountains! The view from the top of a mountain reminds me of the vastness of God’s love for us and points towards heaven. I also enjoy rock climbing, biking, swimming, camping, coffee, and the color “comfy gray!”  St. Therese said “My vocation is to love!” I hope to continue to grow and learn to live this each day! 
I first met The Sisters of St. Francis of the Martyr St. George when I was in college. I was initially drawn to the community because I knew nursing was a part of their apostolate. Over the years, it has become so much more than that. I love the Franciscan Spirituality of embracing the Crib, the Cross, and the Eucharist. Over the past 7 years or so, I have visited, discerned, and gotten to know the sisters. Jesus is so patient with me! He is always inviting, but waits for a response. One of the sisters told me “there is peace in the surrender” and I now know this to be true! Praised be Jesus Christ!

October 12, 2017

Life Lessons

Teaching Biology often includes Religion, Health, Latin, and Life lessons.  To make science vocabulary less daunting for my students, I give the Latin root of words, and this helps us discover meaning in the lessons to come.  I was giving the Latin for Kingdom Eubacteria that are found everywhere when one of my students asked if True is the root word, then what does Eucharist mean.  I am not a Googler for a quick answer but I allowed another student to look up and find thanksgiving as the meaning as I have heard before for Eucharist.  Then I broke the word down further: eu does mean true and charist is from charity.  So all day long I was able to also share in my Biology lesson on Bacteria that Eucharist means True Love!  The Life lesson was for the teacher today and for her to share this with others.  When we are in the presence of our Eucharistic Lord, we are before True Love!  Praying before the Blessed Sacrament, we experience True Love, given and received, the God Who is Love.  This may be a simple revelation, but it is a lesson I will not soon forget.  I am excited to continue learning Latin and Life, and I am full of thanksgiving for the meaning of our Lord's physical Presence on Earth, the Eucharist.  Let us gaze upon True Love!

- Sr. M. Benedicta, FSGM teaches at Alleman High School in Rock Island, IL.

May 25, 2017

Centennial Blessings















On May 13, 2017, I was able to experience the Holy Father’s Eucharistic Celebration in Fatima from my sick room as it aired on EWTN.  The faith, joy, and prayerfulness of the pilgrims were so touching and it made me desire to take on the spiritual experience with an open heart.  I was not able to see the whole celebration because of the early hour at which it began and the fact that it coincided with our own convent Mass being celebrated.  After Mass, I quickly returned to watching EWTN.  Most of it was over and they advertised a replay later at 11:00am.  Sr. M. Lucia, who entered the convent with me and was celebrating her nameday, also wanted to watch it, so I invited her to join me. 

The day before, while praying the rosary along with the pilgrims gathered in Fatima, I had the inspiration to invite her, along with Sr. M. Jacinta who also celebrated her feastday on May 13 to join me to pray together.  It worked out that 2:00pm would be the best time.  We had EWTN on mute but still visible.  As we were starting the rosary, Pope Francis exposed the Blessed Sacrament.  As we were praying the 5th Joyful Mystery, our Holy Father walked over to the section where all of the sick and infirm were seated and blessed each section with the Eucharist.  What a true blessing!  It was so wonderful to be a part of this Fatima Celebration in the Heart of the Church, my Mother.


-       Sr. M. Theresita

May 5, 2017

Open to the little things...

Sr. Mary Joseph's mission reflection from her time at Bonacum House in Lincoln, NE concludes the reflections of our second year novice mission experiences.  Please pray for our sisters as they continue to prepare for their first profession of vows.

The last six months, I have had the privilege to be on mission at Bonacum House in Lincoln, Nebraska. Bonacum House is a retirement home for the priests of the diocese of Lincoln with our sisters running it. While my daily duties were that of a housekeeper, it was really the presence and witness of the Sisters as spiritual mothers that was the primary apostolate. 


I was daily reminded that it is through our encounters with one another that we are able to meet Christ.  I realized this doing laps around the house with one of the priests one day. While it was a simple experience, I was reminded of the importance of being present in the moment. In our world today, people often don’t even look at each other when walking by.  They ask how you are doing but then do not stop to really listen to the answer. However, it is when we stop and listen to each other that we have a chance to encounter Christ, and I was reminded of this time and time again being at Bonacum House. So many times we are looking for the big things to do when it is often in the little things that the Holy Spirit often works. We simply have to be open to the Spirit working in our lives and respond in trust that He is guiding us for it is through having that receptive heart that we can encounter Christ. 

May 3, 2017

Change a life with a smile...

We continue our mission reflection series with some thoughts from Sr. M. Philomena who served at the Mother of Good Counsel Home in St. Louis.

Sr. M. Philomena with her family at her reception into the Novitiate.

These past six months I was on mission at our Mother of Good Counsel Home in St. Louis. I was part of the activity staff. We would play bingo, make cards, have sing alongs, watch movies, and have potlucks and other activities with the residents. They always looked forward to the activities, especially bingo. When it was bingo day some residents would come a few minutes early, go to their favorite spot, and count their bingo chips to make sure they had enough. Their prizes if they won were candy, money or chips. Chocolate Hershey bars were a must have in our prize bucket. What also made bingo fun was that certain numbers had little sayings after it that the residents would say like “get your kicks on route 66” when 66 was called or “double nickel” for 55. I also had the blessing to give the Holy Eucharist to our residents who were not able to attend Mass. One resident kissed the Eucharist before receiving Him which was very touching. Some nights, before they would go to bed I would give them a blessing.

I learned that when you do your apostolate with humility, love, and with a smile it can change the lives of the people around you. It can give comfort to a family who just lost a loved one or give encouragement to a person going through a tough situation. The Home is a place where you can encounter Christ each day. I was able to encounter Him through my conversations with the beautiful and joyful staff, our ever grateful residents and their families, and by living our Thuine Franciscan charism with my co-Sisters. The Mother of Good Counsel Home is truly a home where the presence of God can be felt and seen.


I want to thank my co-Sisters, staff, and residents at the Home who welcomed me with open arms and showed me the beauty of the Body of Christ, His Church.