Franciscan Sister Mary Ann Spanjers shares on the recent Bi-National Migrant Las Posadas in Mexico.
Sister Leonette, Sister Rosalyn and Sister Mary Ann participated in the annual Bi-National Migrant Las Posadas with hundreds of others including Mexico’s Diocese of Nogales Bishop Jose Leopoldo Gonzalez and Diocese of Tucson Bishop Edward Weisenburger.
Mary on the donkey with Joseph walking next to her led the pilgrimage. At this time when caravans or exodus of Central Americans coming to the borders with migrants and refugees who are forced to leave their countries of origin because of violence as they look for asylum, many who are deported and others in search of a better future, they knock on the doors of our lives and they ask about our comforts, the unequal distribution of goods, corruption, violence and impunity and many other ruthless acts that create this movement of people. Called by faith and hope of one human family, and as children of the same Father, we came together to celebrated the BiNational Posada, a symbol of a beginning and welcome for all migrants.
At the four stops we heard true stories of immigrants from various countries as they related their horrific experiences of violence, poverty, rejection and faith in God as they looked for refuge and welcome. Both Bishops related how with the Church there are no borders. The pilgrimage concluded at the Kino Border Comedor (Food Kitchen) where all the pilgrims were invited to a warm meal!
Franciscan Sister Leonette Kochan shares on her memorable pilgrimage experience of walking 18 miles for the intention of vocations in the Diocese of Tucson.
In support of Vocations Awareness and in solidarity with Pope Francis’ Share the Journey Campaign for Immigrants and Refugees, the Diocese of Tucson Vocations Office, under the direction of Father Jorge Farias-Saucedo, sponsored a walking pilgrimage from several parish locations to San Xavier Mission. Pilgrims, numbering over 160, began at one of several locations. The furthest starting points were St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish in northern Tucson and Our Mother of Sorrows Parish on the far east side of Tucson.
From those points, walkers tread miles and miles toward San Xavier Mission. Other groups joined the two routes from different points. From the north, walkers joined the group from St. Margaret Mary and Our Lady of Fatima parishes, and from the east others joined the group from St. Monica and Our Lady Queen of All Saints parishes. The pilgrimage concluded with Mass at the Mission.
Sister Leonette Kochan walked the 18 miles with the pilgrims from Our Mother of Sorrows Parish to the Mission. Sister Carla Riach and Sister Rosalyn Muraski joined the pilgrims celebrating Mass at San Xavier Mission.
Are you literally waking up to questions about your vocation? Wondering if God is calling you to be a Franciscan Sister? Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity serving in Arizona recently collaborated to offer a discernment day for young women. The perfect location was a favorite pilgrimage destination site, San Xavier Mission Del Bac, Tucson.
Here’s what the discerners had to say about the day.
What touched your heart during this discernment day?
- The Sisters- always welcoming, kind and insightful
- Hearing the Sisters’ stories
- Seeing Sister Mary Teresa. I missed her a lot. The fact that you all fed us.
- The passion the Sisters have for their vocation
- Time spent with the Sisters…I really was meant to be here today.
- Getting to meet such a young Sister! Not very often-or ever-that I’ve seen someone my age in a veil.
- Reuniting with all the Sisters
What part of the day did you find the most helpful?
- When the Sisters talked about their vocation, it was helpful for me in trying to find mine.
- Reflection questions (workshops)
- the 10 minute prayer/meditation times
- Being able to sit down and talk to the Sisters
- Open discussion
- How much Sisters supported vocations, even for those who don’t finish the program
- I liked the balance between group time and reflection time in the morning. It’s so hard to find a space to be quiet.
- Parting into groups and going to different topics in the booklet
If you would be interested in a discernment day, call or text Sister Julie Ann at 920-323-9632 or contact us here.