Many of you might know Sister Chris Treichel, OSF, who has been the Pastoral Administrator of Sacred Heart and St. Ann Churches in Auburn since 2002, Sister Chris is a member of the Franciscan Sisters of Allegany. Sister Chris just finished her assignment as Pastoral Administrator in Auburn and will be engaged in work for her order. Father Michael Brown has been assigned as pastor of Sacred Heart and St. Ann parishes. Usually the missionaries that are assigned to us each year send a speaker to tell us about their missionary efforts and a second collection is taken up for their ministry. Unfortunately, this year the St. Elizabeth Mission Society did not have enough speakers available to speak at all the churches that were assigned to them, so we will not be having a Visioning Missionary visit our parish this year. However, in your church envelope packets for July and August there is an envelope marked Visiting Missionary. While we will not have a set date for a visiting missionary speaking and we will not be taking up a second collection, you can use the Visiting Missionary envelope any weekend in July or August if you wish to support the ministry of the St. Elizabeth Mission Society. Just make your checks out to GSCC and put them in the Sunday collection basket and we will send your contribution to the St. Elizabeth Mission Society through the diocesan office for The Society for the Propagation of the Faith. Below is some history of the St. Elizabeth Mission Society taken from their website.
The Society was founded in 1947 by Rev. Mother Jean Marie Greeley, O.S.F. She wanted to bring the mission work of the Franciscan Sisters of Allegany closer to the American people and provide these missions permanent financial support.
The first director of the Mission Society, Sister Teresa Anne Fitzgerald, O.S.F., helped the Society grow and develop from 1948 until 1972. During this time, the Society ran out of a spare room at the St. Clare’s Convent in Buffalo, N.Y. Enrollment cards were printed on a small printing press. Supplies such as clothes, over-the-counter medicines and bedding were transported to the missions in barrels by freighters to the established missions in Jamaica, Brazil and Bolivia.
In 1952, the Society moved to Allegany in the old Motherhouse. The first issue of Zeal, originally a small bi-monthly magazine, was printed. It informed benefactors and members of the strides made at each mission site and the experiences of our Sisters. Zeal is now published three times a month.
Under the direction of Sister Karen Burns, the society began to grow rapidly. The Society moved to the present Motherhouse in Allegany. In order to more fully help the economically poor abroad, the Mission Society also began paying for the American Sisters’ health care while they were stationed abroad. Supplies were sent to Sister Elizabeth Sweeney in Brazil to help her care for lepers.
Sister Marie Dolores Gionta, O.S.F. was appointed director of the Society in 1986, and she helped bring the Society into the 21st century while still remaining faithful to the Society’s original goal. Modern technology helped bring our missions closer to members and benefactors. She visited convents, hospitals and schools to see where our financial support was needed.
Our present director, Sister M. Chris Doherty, O.S.F., is bringing her focus on personal connection to our donors and bringing our missions closer to them. Now, we help fund projects all over the United States and in our missions in Jamaica, Bolivia and Brazil.
Enjoy these days of Summer. God bless you,