Thanks for asking the questions you did on the comment to the post entitled, "Enter In"! Glad you like the "amazing picture." Here's my response to your excellent questions!
"Is this all of the provincial motherhouse Sisters?"
No, there are some of the Sisters who live at St. Francis Convent in Alton, Illinois, who are not in the photograph, but there are many Sisters from our mission houses in other parts of the Province who are in the photo. Many Sisters were in Alton for the August retreat and our August 15 feastday. St. Francis Convent is the provincial motherhouse, that is, the headquarters for the entire province and not just the convent for the Sisters living and working in Alton - at Saint Anthony's Health Center, St. Francis Day Care Center, St. Mary's Grade School and in the convent itself. The convent in Alton is also the place where our young Sisters have their novitiate formation. Needless to say, it is a very busy place in the summer time!
"That is your new Bishop, isn't it?"
Yes, Bishop Thomas Paprocki was with us for the very first time. He was Auxiliary Bishop of Chicago before being installed on June 22 as the Bishop of Springfield. We enjoyed so much meeting him. We look forward to many more visits in the future.
"Do your sisters work in his chancery offices as well?"
Yes, Sister M. Maximilia is a canon lawyer and works as the Defender of the Bond in the Office for Tribunal Services in Springfield.
"What does the symbol mean on your sign?"
It is the official seal of our Province. I included a larger photo of the seal - along with Sister M. Rosalinda and Sister M. Talitha - on the day the seal and sign were installed. The Franciscan symbol of the hands crossed represent Jesus and St. Francis. Both have the mark of the nail wound - Christ received His on the Cross; St. Francis received the Stigmata. The three large red circles represent our vows of consecrated chastity, poverty and obedience. "Pax et Bonum" - often translated as "Peace and All Good" - is the motto of the Franciscan order.
Grateful Reader, please feel free to ask questions anytime you like! We are happy to share the good news of our Franciscan way of life with you and all our visitors. We are praying for you!
Gratefully in Christ,
Sister Eva-Maria, FSGM