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susanbherald

Missionary Sisters of St. Francis of Assis

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Pax_et bonum

A  quick google search came up with this link.

Although it is good to make sure a community is faithful to the Magisterium, especially with newer communities, the best way to learn about them is by contacting them. I know that is scary! But one email asking for a little information doesn't mean you're committing to anything ;) You'll learn more from them.

Discernment is a two way street. It's generally not helpful to just search and search for more and new communities. Maybe there is one community that you feel more drawn to than others, and that would be a good place to start. Contact that community, visit--truly discern, together. I wish I would have had a better grasp on this concept a few years ago! And what they say is true: just as there is no one perfect person you have to marry to be happy, there is no one perfect community you have to enter to be happy.

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lanpingpug

They aren't listed as being in Youngstown anymore, not on the list of religious communities in the area on the diocese website. Not sure what is going on with them at the learning centre either. 

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Kateri89

I’m not sure either.  I finally was able to get in touch with them and got an email back about a month ago.  I responded right away and haven’t heard from them since so I sent another message yesterday.

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Kateri89

Update on this community.  I’ve been in contact with Mother Mary Francis but the communication was sparse.  Today I decided to just make the drive to Youngstown, OH to the parish that they’re associated with.  It’s not too far for me and I wasn’t having much success with emailing or calling so I figured I would try in person.

Anyway, it went a lot better than I expected.  I met with Mother and we talked for a little bit.  She explained that currently it’s just her and one other Sister because the community is so new that they having been working with a canon lawyer on all of the paperwork involved in the founding of a new community.  Not only that, but their novitiate house was basically just a garage and they’ve been working with a contractor to expand it.  The house is almost done and will be able to accommodate five sisters.  They also have 10 acres of land and are planning to build a hermitage and monastery as well.

They can only accept 3 vocations right now because of such limited space, however they currently have 34 applicants!  She said that they are trying to accept women who would be suited to help as founders of the community before they can expand.

Basically, their mission is to support families.  Primarily, they’re doing this through education right now via a blended learning center.  They have actual classrooms as well as online learning.  Applicants are not required to have a teaching degree, though.  Mother said that the community has a Franciscan spirituality, a Carmelite heart, and a Benedictine approach to being a self-sustaining Order.  They also have it in their constitution that they are an exclusively EF community.  From our conversation, it seemed as though she was open to the Lord leading the community in whatever direction He sees fit so perhaps they’ll have other apostolates in the future as well.

Hope this helps anyone who is interested in the community since information online is extremely limited.

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lanpingpug
On 9/16/2019 at 3:00 AM, Kateri89 said:

Update on this community.  I’ve been in contact with Mother Mary Francis but the communication was sparse.  Today I decided to just make the drive to Youngstown, OH to the parish that they’re associated with.  It’s not too far for me and I wasn’t having much success with emailing or calling so I figured I would try in person.

Anyway, it went a lot better than I expected.  I met with Mother and we talked for a little bit.  She explained that currently it’s just her and one other Sister because the community is so new that they having been working with a canon lawyer on all of the paperwork involved in the founding of a new community.  Not only that, but their novitiate house was basically just a garage and they’ve been working with a contractor to expand it.  The house is almost done and will be able to accommodate five sisters.  They also have 10 acres of land and are planning to build a hermitage and monastery as well.

They can only accept 3 vocations right now because of such limited space, however they currently have 34 applicants!  She said that they are trying to accept women who would be suited to help as founders of the community before they can expand.

Basically, their mission is to support families.  Primarily, they’re doing this through education right now via a blended learning center.  They have actual classrooms as well as online learning.  Applicants are not required to have a teaching degree, though.  Mother said that the community has a Franciscan spirituality, a Carmelite heart, and a Benedictine approach to being a self-sustaining Order.  They also have it in their constitution that they are an exclusively EF community.  From our conversation, it seemed as though she was open to the Lord leading the community in whatever direction He sees fit so perhaps they’ll have other apostolates in the future as well.

Hope this helps anyone who is interested in the community since information online is extremely limited.

Do you have any contact details or photos?

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Nunsuch

Canonically, a "community" needs to have at least 3 vowed members. So this group (or pair) is a long way from being a real comunity. It also sounds like there might be a bit of a lack of clarity, with the Franciscan/Carmelite/Benedictine thing (ask yourself, or ask them, would any of these orders welcome affiliation by such a community with a lack of clear charism?). 

I'm not sure how they have "actual classrooms" if they are not certified teachers; most states require teachers, including those in private or religious schools, to have certification.

Do you have reasons why you are not looking at communities that are more established and have canonical recognition? I just think there are a lot of concerns here.

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GraceUk

I think you should have a look at more established communities.  34 applicants does seem a lot for a community with only 2 members. I would also wonder at the very mixed charisma. Still I suppose it could work.

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Kateri89

So let me give a little update on this community since this thread was resurrected.  I’m going to try not to delve into any sort of speculation or detraction but just explain the situation I encountered with them.  I wrote that informative post shortly after meeting them in person last summer.  I alluded to this in the post, but the reason I met them in person was because I wasn’t receiving very many replies to my inquiries.

I have no new information about the details of the community but all I can say is that I attempted many times over a period of about a year to arrange a visit with them.  This included emails, calls to Mother, calls to the parish office, contacting them through the website, and two in-person attempts.  I’m not sure what the issue is, but I would reach out several times over the months and get no reply, forcing me to make the hour and a half drive to the parish they’re affiliated with.  On occasion, Mother would answer me but then I would reply right away and get no further communication.  As I said, I don’t know what the issue is, but if anyone else has the same experiences as me, the Order won’t really come into fruition because they’re not doing anything on their end to make come and see visits happen.  If the Lord wills that community to flourish, He’ll make it happen but I gave up on them.

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GraceUk

I think you did the right thing. It would seem to me they are not at the present time accepting new entrants. I could be wrong but that's how it seems. Think about what appealed to you apart from their newness and see if you can find another order similar.

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JHFamily

I understand, from a friend of mine that know them, that the whole reason they are either slow or not answering interested parties have to do with their non-canonical status.  Specifically, 1. There are only two of them, so they are not really a "community" yet at this time. They need at least one other foundress, and they desire to have more than that.  They realize that a foundress is a very special calling that takes a high level of maturity, and they want to be careful as to who their first members are, and 2. They are using this time as discernment to decide on the direction that the community will take and giving more definition to who they are as Franciscans (and perhaps resolving the mish-mash of charisms).

 

Edited by JHFamily

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Nunsuch

The delay in recent months may also have to do with Covid-19. But I think the other issues are of greater (and more persistent) concern.

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Kateri89
On 6/20/2020 at 12:45 PM, JHFamily said:

I understand, from a friend of mine that know them, that the whole reason they are either slow or not answering interested parties have to do with their non-canonical status.  Specifically, 1. There are only two of them, so they are not really a "community" yet at this time. They need at least one other foundress, and they desire to have more than that.  They realize that a foundress is a very special calling that takes a high level of maturity, and they want to be careful as to who their first members are, and 2. They are using this time as discernment to decide on the direction that the community will take and giving more definition to who they are as Franciscans (and perhaps resolving the mish-mash of charisms).

 

That may be true, however I do think that they still have a responsibility to answer people who reach out to them.  How are they going to know if someone has the maturity and qualities needed for a foundress if they never talk to them or spend time with them? I spoke with another women very recently who had the exact same experience as me so I know I’m not the only one who this happened to.

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