The Franciscan Sisters attended a gathering for all Consecrated men and women of the Diocese of Omaha on Saturday, February 4, 2017. This gathering was held at Saint Gerald parish hall with Archbishop George Lucas as the guest speaker. Archbishop George gave an overview of the vision for the Diocese of Omaha. He used a power point to highlight the key points of his presentation. Archbishop George was both informative as well as inspirational.
Following the presentation, everyone was invited to the 5 p.m. Mass at Saint Gerald’s Church which was presided by Archbishop George. Everyone was invited to share the Lord’s light through the witness of their lives.
The Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity in West Point, Nebraska hosted a delicious dinner for three couples on Sunday, January 22, 2017. The dinner was an auction item which was purchased by Erv and Elaine Eisenmenger to benefit St. Mary’s parish last November. Those who attended the dinner were Erv and Elaine Eisenmenger, Harry and Doris Knobbe, Mary Kay Guenther, and Paul Timmerman.
The meal was lovingly prepared by each of the Sisters. Before the meal everyone was seated before praying a sung meal blessing. The Sisters served their guests barbecue pork ribs, twice-baked potatoes, creamed peas and carrots, spinach salad and the meal was topped off with their choice of homemade cherry or apple pie.
Sister Elizabeth Ann and Sister Joy dined with the gentlemen, while Sister Barbara and Sister Elizabeth enjoyed the meal with the ladies. At the end of their meal, Erv Eisenmenger said, “If this were a 10 star restaurant, I would give you 12 stars!” It was evident that everyone enjoyed their meal and the company.
Sister Mary Teresa Bettag, a novice for the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity visited the Franciscan Sisters in West Point from January 1-12. She is a graduate of Silver Lake College of the Holy Family in Manitowoc, Wisconsin. She was born in Colorado, however she has lived in Sheboygan, Wisconsin for many years.
After graduating from Silver Lake College of the Holy Family in 2015 and following some time of discernment, she entered the postulancy of the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity. Now she is a novice which translates to a Sister in training.
Sister Mary Teresa enjoyed shadowing the Franciscan Sisters at their various ministries during her stay in West Point. She had the opportunity to speak to the majority of students at Guardian Angels Central Catholic School about her call to religious life. As she spoke to the students, she reminded them of the importance of listening to what God’s dream is for them, as well as their own dreams.
Sister Mary Teresa is one who enjoys adventure. She joyfully played hockey with the eighth grade students, she went for walks around West Point and she was generally helpful to the Sisters with their ministries, as well as at the convent.
Sister Barbara Mathe’s brother Butch from Oshkosh, Wisconsin visited the Sisters from late December, until he flew to Phoenix, Arizona on January 14. During his stay, he was generally helpful around their convent home. While in Arizona, he will visit his other Franciscan Sister of Christian Charity, Sister Carol at Bapsule, Arizona. On Sunday, January 8th Butch and Sister Barbara prepared a steak dinner for the Sisters. The steaks were a special gift to the Sisters from Butch. The Sisters appreciate the blessing of their family members.
The Franciscan Sisters celebrated Christmas first and foremost by praying their Liturgy of the Hours and attending Mass. The Franciscan Sisters pray the Liturgy of the Hours, which is also known as the Prayer of the Church. They pray selected psalms, New Testament or Old Testament canticles and sing hymns each morning and evening as a community.
Sister Elizabeth and the Guardian Angels Central Catholic Youth Choir provided the music for the 5:30 p.m. Christmas Eve Mass. Sister Joy, Sister Barbara and Sister Elizabeth Ann attended the midnight Christmas Mass at St. Mary’s.
On Christmas day, Sister Renee Mirkes who resides in Omaha, Nebraska joined the Sisters for dinner and their gift exchange. Each Sister prepared a part of their Christmas dinner. Following their gift exchange the Sisters watched a Hallmark movie entitled, “Mrs. Miracle.” In all of their celebrating the Franciscan Sisters recalled the greatest gift of all, Jesus the Word made flesh!
On Monday evening, December 19th the Franciscan Sisters decorated Christmas cookies at St. Francis Hospital as a part of their community building activity. Following the cookie decorating the Sisters were invited to dress up for a funny photo.
Prior to Christmas the Franciscan Sisters were blessed with a gift of the Stations of the Cross for their chapel. Valeria Schlecht noticed that the Sisters didn’t have any Stations of the Cross in their chapel. She was the generous donor who made it possible for new Stations of the Cross to adorn the chapel of the Franciscan Sisters. The Franciscan Sisters are most grateful for this gift which will enhance their prayer.
The first snowfall of the winter fell on November 18. The cycle of falling snow continued throughout December 2016. It was extremely cold the week prior to Christmas with freezing rain and snow on December 16. The return of snow on December 23 made for a white Christmas.
The new year ushered in more single digit weather. The usual windy conditions caused the temperatures to drop further.
Freezing rain turned to ice creating hazardous conditions on Tuesday, January 10 then again on Monday, January 16. Schools and businesses were forced to close as a result of the very treacherous road conditions both days.
On Monday, January 16 none of the Franciscan Sisters ventured outdoors to their ministries due to the dangerous icy conditions. Sister Joy Rose prepared a delicious meatloaf dinner at noon that day. It was the first time they had a weekday meal together on an otherwise work day. It was certainly a change- of- pace kind of day for everyone.