What is a Religious or Consecrated Life? • All people are called to a religious life, that is, to respond in faith to God who created and sustains them.
Some receive a calling from God to join a group of people who commit themselves to a special way of life, a life that witnesses strongly to God's love. The people who respond to this call have the same needs, hopes, desires, and struggles of all humans
This special way of life is called Religious orConsecrated Life, and the groups who live it are called Religious Communities (or Congregations or Orders). • It is a very meaningful, peaceful, and joyful way of life for those who accept it wholeheartedly. Indeed, it is living at the heart of life.
There have been Religious Communities in the Catholic Church almost since its beginning. There are many today. • These Congregations have different spiritualities and different work or ministries on which they focus their efforts.
Member of Religious Communities are Sisters, Brothers, and Priests who are also nurses and doctors, pastoral ministers, advocates for social justice, spiritual directors, educators at all levels and in all disciplines, contemplatives, lawyers, social workers, counselors.... They are as varied as all human beings.
Yet they are the same in that their way of life -- Religious Life -- focuses on what matters most, God's all-embracing love.
In order to free themselves for this lifestyle, they take vows of chastity, poverty, and obedience. • Through these vows they are able dedicate their lives and work more fully to God and His people.
Vow of Poverty • For a Sister, Brother or Priest the vow of poverty means that all material goods are held in common and used by members of the group to further the common mission.
Vow of Chastity • The vow of celibacy is a public acknowledgment that God is their greatest love.
Vow of Obedience • The vow of obedience does not mean giving up all individual choices and decision making, but rather living in communion with others for the good of all.
Community Life • Those who choose Religious Life join a community whose members form an extended family who share life and possessions.
They work together for the sake of God and -- through the strength and support of the group -- are able to take on various challenging tasks..
Prayer • Being a vowed religious today means engaging in a lifelong spiritual adventure which is also necessarily a deeply human undertaking.
A Religious Sister, Brother, or Priest has all the usual human concerns, cares, and activities -- including relaxation and fun -- that every individual does. But as a member of a Religious Community, an individual is dedicated to living and witnessing to the fact that God's love calls some to go beyond blood relationships, ethnicity, and nationality, to be brothers and sisters to all.
Steps in becoming a Religious Sister (Felician) • Postulant
Professed (in traditional habit) • Sister Mary George • 1967
Professed in modified habit • Christmas at the convent 1985
Entertaining at the Nursing Home • The sisters entertain at the nursing home for Sister Cyndi’s mom
Different Communities of Sisters Carmelite Sisters Daughters of Charity Filippini Sisters MercySisters Mercy Sisters
Different Communities of Sisters continued Mother Teresa’s Sisters Sisters of Christian Charity St. Joseph Sisters
Different Ministries of the Felician Sisters Rio Rancho, New Mexico Traditional Garb Buffalo, New York
Felician Sisters Our Roots • Our story begins in the 18th century when Sophia Truszkowska joined the Third Order of St Francis receiving the name of Mary Angela. • She began her ministry gathering orphaned children and widows.
There were many who found themselves homeless because of the wars and political insurrections at that time and Sophia and her companions were happy to take care of them.
Sophia rented an attic room to provide them shelter. • She taught them and made sure they had food. • As time went on and the numbers of children and elderly homeless grew, other women began to follow her example and offered to help her with the work.
Additional space was rented as the community expanded and the needs of the people became more evident. • On November 21, 1855 Sophia and her cousin Clothilde, her companion from the beginning, formed a religious community under the spiritual direction of a Polish Capuchin, Father Honorat Kozminski.
They consecrated their work to God under the patronage of Our Lady of Czestochowa. Sophia then became Mother Mary Angela. • Taking the children in their care for daily walks the Sisters would stop at the Capuchin church and pray before the shrine of St. Felix, a Capuchin lay brother.
Upon observing this, the people in the town began to call them Felician Sisters and this remains the name of our community today. • Mother’s work was noticed by the government who prevailed upon her to send her Sisters to the villages in remote areas of the countryside so that the men, women and children there could be taught good hygienic practices and receive basic education and life skills.
As the community grew in numbers, Mother Angela was able to send Sisters to more cities and villages. • Eventually she was approached by Father Joseph Dombrowski, who asked her to send some Felician Sisters to Polonia, Wisconsin, in faraway America so that they would be able to do the same good works with the Polish immigrants there.
Five Sisters were chosen as the “Pioneer Sisters” and began the long and arduous journey across the ocean. When they arrived in New York City, they were approached by a gentleman from a foreign aid society who assisted the sisters in finding a place to stay so that they could regain their strength and continue their mission. This was in 1874.
With just a few coins and great trust in God’s providential care they took a train to Chicago and from there, traveled by stagecoach to Steven’s Point, Wisconsin, a short distance from Polonia, Wisconsin, their destination.
“I wish I could multiply myself a thousand times • and travel to all parts of the world bringing God's love and mercy to all people.” • — Blessed Mary Angela Truszkowska
Blessed Mary Angela is an example of true feminity, a woman of conviction who dared to be prophetic, a woman who inspires us to both action and contemplation.Blessed Mary Angela was not only a deeply spiritual woman, but also a truly enlightened woman of her day.
Her community, unique to the then traditional religious life in Poland, was innovative in pioneering nontraditional roles for women and service-oriented roles to meet the needs of the times. • However, she integrated these nontraditional roles with the existing forms of religious life, thereby uniting ministry and contemplation within the framework of her own charism.
For 150 years, Felician Sisters have taken Blessed Mary Angela's wish literally. Inspired by her words and works today, the Felicians have grown to over 2000 Sisters worldwide. Her life and ministries, her prayers and service, guide us all
We are a religious institute of pontifical right, • whose members profess public vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience, • and follow an evangelical way of life in common. • It is through the daily living of our vision that its richness and significance is seen
The aim of the community is to cooperate with Christ in the spiritual renewal of the world. As an apostolic congregation, the Felician Sisters fulfill their mission in the Church through action and contemplation.The Felician community is officially known as the Congregation of Sisters of St. Felix of Cantalice, Third Order Regular of Saint Francis of Assisi (CSSF).Since the Congregation had its origin in social services, diverse forms of charitable acts have become inseparable from the Felician vocation
Spirituality Eucharistic - Felician Sisters are transformed by the miracle of Jesus becoming human and being present in the blessed bread and wine, simple elements of the earth. We find intimacy with Jesus through daily liturgy and adoration, and by being Eucharist to others. Evangelical - As followers of Saint Francis, committed to Gospel living, we vow poverty, chastity, and obedience in imitation of Jesus Christ . Ecclesial - The Church is the People of God led by the Holy Father. Felicians respond to the needs of the Church through compassionate service to others and by sharing the Good News of Jesus. Marian - For Felicians, love of God overflows in devotion to His Mother. We model our lives and actions by our congregational motto, “All through the Heart of Mary in Honor of the Most Blessed Sacrament.” We seek to imitate Mary in all ways.
Our MissionCaring, Compassionate Service… for the poor and most needy. Diversity in Service to OthersAs we continue the legacy of Blessed Angela today, we are involved in many types of ministries including: Education Health Care Parish Works and Outreach Social Services Missionary Work
Our Vision • Turn to the Lord your God...Accept His unconditional love.Be Eucharist…Centered in Jesus, Gift received, Gift given. • Be Sister…Live the Pascal Mystery. Nurture, encourage, and celebrate. • Be Servant…Faithful daughter of Mary and Blessed Mary Angela, embrace all in Franciscan joy. Be compassionate and merciful, be a prophetic witness to a world in need of healing. Proclaim the saving presence of God.
The charism of the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Felix of Cantalice is • to imitate Blessed Mary Angela’s boundless love of God and surrender to God’s Will in • Compassionate service • Total availability • Concern for the salvation of all people.
Matiri Mission, Kenya • Felician Mission in Kenya Celebrates 25 Years - 27 April 2008 • The first five Felician Sisters imbued with the spirit of their Foundress, Blessed Mary Angela accepted the providential invitation to bring the Gospel message to the people of Kenya. The seed of the Congregationwas planted and nurtured. Life sprang forth from this seed into nine Felician communities. • The Felician Sisters are celebrating 25 years of the Felician Charism in Kenya on Sunday the 27th April 2008 at Kyeni Parish
St. Ann Catholic Outreach Center, Kingstree, So Carolina • The Felician Sisters there use the Gospel mandate of “Whatever you do for the least of My brothers and sisters, you do unto Me” as their guide. The people of the Center try always to embody the corporal and spiritual works of mercy to all people, especially to the African-American community of Williamsburg County, South Carolina.
St. Ann Catholic Outreach Center • Outreach Assistance Programs at St. Ann Emergency food and clothing Clothing Closet Monthly Blessed Mary Angela Meals Dental/eye care assistance Christmas Angel Tree Prescription assistance • Out of School Programsat St. Ann Homework programs for grades K-3 and 4-6 Enrichment programs, such as Quilting and Kid’s CuisineLiteracy Through Art program Academic incentive program Student/Family Nights Educational field trips Summer camp scholarships