What’s Helpful about San Xavier Mission Discernment Day

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.

Meet the Franciscan Sisters at Yuma Arizona

November 9 was a special day at Immaculate Conception Convent in Yuma. It was  our Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity Founders’ Day. Sister Ann Mary Hart looks over pictures of our beginnings in Wisconsin as Sister Mary Beth Kornely lights the candles for our evening prayer.

On this day we especially recalled that Immaculate Conception Convent was our first Arizona mission home.  Today Sister Ann Mary, Sister Janet Rose and Sister Lorita Gaffney are still serving at Immaculate Conception Catholic School as support staff to the principal, staff and students.

Sister Mary Teresa Bettag is shown selecting the song for the special office we used for our evening prayer. Sister Mary Teresa is a Theology and math teacher at Yuma Catholic High School. Sister Alexandra Bettinardi also serves in needed secretarial services in the school. Both enjoy the students and faculty taking part in other activities as well.

Sister Mary Beth and Sister Hannah Johnecheck feel blessed to minister at St. Francis School in Yuma. Sister Mary Beth assists with staff needs and Sister Hannah is the second grade teacher. Our Community returned to serving at St. Francis a year ago. It is good to see the vitality of the school and the goodness of the families.

We like to count our blesssings and actually have a blessing bowl. Besides the recent Founders’ Day, we also recalled the goodness of being able to witness the wedding of one of the teachers at Immaculate Conception School. We actually received corsages! May the Lord bless all the good people of Yuma.


Franciscan Sister Responds to Students’ Learning Needs

Franciscan Sister of Christian Charity Sister Mary Karen Oudeans shares more on her role as an Instructional Interventionist Leader for the Diocese of Tucson.

To accomplish the mission of meeting the needs of All students in the Catholic Schools in the Diocese of Tucson, the Catholic Schools provide a Response to Instruction and Intervention (RtI2) framework and CARE Team process. This initiative allows all students to meet their learning potential: getting the critical high-quality instruction and interventions they need so that minor learning needs do not grow into significant impediments. The hope is that students who need enrichment do not go unnoticed within the Catholic school environment.

Although originally designed as a multi-step delivery system to determine eligibility for special education services, RtI2 in the Catholic schools is more a functional framework to determine where there is misalignment between the educational environment and the learner, utilizing the expertise of school personnel to establish a problem-solving milieu to adjust the school’s response when learning is not occurring at the expected rate. If the school’s response doesn’t increase the rate of expected learning, instructional supports are intensified to meet the needs of the student. According to Dr. Michael J. Boyle (2018), “…Catholic schools can marshal what resources they have and create a systems response to those students who may not be making expected responses [to instruction]. Using the RtI/MTSS framework can also provide the necessary schema to address students who have more significant learning needs. RtI2/MTSS provides the foundation to creating a systematic approach to address the more complex learning needs of students.”

To complement this initiative, the diocese invited Dr. Michael J. Boyle, Ph.D. as keynote speaker to the convocation. Teachers appreciated meeting someone whose expertise was actually being used in in our schools.

Franciscan Discernment Day at San Xavier Mission

Called to be a Franciscan Sister? Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity are hosting a discernment day at historic San Xavier Mission on November 18, 2018.

Experience a place of enduring faith, meet our Sisters and have lunch with them at their convent near by. You will have reflection times to ponder St. Francis of Assisi’s own discernment journey and his drawing on the Gospel for making important decisions in his daily life. Includes Sunday Eucharist. Begins at 9:30 a.m. and concludes at 4 p.m..

San Xavier Mission, 1950 San Xavier Road, Tucson, Arizona
For more information call or text Sister Mary Ann at 920-320-1627
or Sister Carol at 520-678-8800.
Register here: https://fscc-calledtobe.org/we-invite-you/retreat-registration/


Franciscan Sisters’ Journey to St. Andrew Convent

Franciscan Sister of Christian Charity Sister Joellen Kohlmann shares on the move to St. Andrew Convent, Sierra Vista, Arizona.

It has been quite the month getting ready to move into the new fixed up Convent here in Sierra Vista. The parish purchased a four-bedroom house across the street and began fixing it up while we were away this summer. When we returned the crew was just beginning on the new roof.

About a week later the HVAC system was attached – oh my, what a load! You even get a view of our monsoon clouds.

Packing up is always a challenge…this is just the beginning. No picture of the final look in this room as it may have been embarrassing to see how much stuff one accumulates and there aren’t many extras.

The parish offered two times for parishioners to see the progress. The first time it was truly under construction and we were busy choosing colors and listening to new ideas. The people really liked the tours and were amazed at all the space in what looks like a small house from the front.

One day we were surprised to see the house all painted. There was still plenty of work to do but now things are really looking good. We have all new windows and they slide so easily. These two men are the contractor and parish representative in charge of renovations.

Here is a view of our back patio and Arizona room which faces west to the mountains and sunset.

Monday, Sep. 17th was moving day and we were so busy no one thought of taking pictures…sorry. The local Knights of Columbus moving crew arrived just before 8:00 am and by 10:30 am all of our things and boxes were in the new Convent! Wonderful but what chaos! And then un-packing began.

After six hours Sr. Doris and Sr. Joellen took a few minutes to have lunch amid the boxes etc. And we were still smiling. The tech from Cox was busy connecting us and by 4 pm we had phone, internet and TV…yeah…but really no time to watch.

Monday evening the Secular Franciscans brought dinner – spaghetti, breadsticks, lettuce salad, waldorf salad, watermelon, cookies and pie! What a feast. Of course we did manage to put stuff away so we had a table to sit around, And oops…forgot pictures again…but then we could barely function! Bed was welcomed and greatly enjoyed.

Tuesday morning we enjoyed a short walk across the street to Mass and when we returned we enjoyed coffee, news, and conversation on our patio.

You can tell that much progress has been made by Tuesday night we can see our kitchen and even part of the new dining set. Thankfully the washer and dryer were hooked up and we did many loads from the move.

And now…our first home cooked meal of chili on our new gas range! It is wonderful to have a gas range just like when I was growing up!


As of today, Wednesday, we are amazed at our progress but there are still many boxes to unpack and much settling in still looming.

On Sunday, October 7th, after the 10:00 am Mass, Fr. Greg will process from Church to our new chapel to bring Jesus home for us and bless our new St. Andrew Convent. We are looking forward to welcoming some of our Arizona Sisters along with the Carmelite Sisters from Douglas and the building and grounds committee members to a luncheon with us. More later…

Dedication of St. Andrew Convent in Sierra Vista, Arizona

Franciscan Sister of Christian Charity Sister Doris Jurgenson writes about an upcoming dedication of St. Andrew Convent, Sierra Vista, Arizona.

…Father Greg is very excited about having a convent in his parish-and Sisters, too!

We are moving the week of September 17, so we are busy packing. The convent matches the church and other buildings.

Women of the parish and the Knights of Columbus will help us move our things. Please keep us all in prayer.

The dedication of St. Andrew Convent is on Sunday, October 7, 2018. Immediately following the Mass there will be a Procession of the Blessed Sacrament from the Divine Mercy Chapel to the convent. A light lunch will follow in Madonna Hall.

Altar Servers: The Future of Our Catholic Church

Franciscan Sister Carol Seidl, principal at St. Anthony of Padua School, Casa Grande, Arizona, shares about a recent liturgy at the parish recognizing the generosity of Altar Servers in our Catholic Church.

Franciscan Sister Carol Seidl prepares altar serversa at St. Anthony Casa Grande

Sunday at our 10:30am Mass about 60 young Catholics were commissioned as Altar Servers for St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Parish.

The Knights of Columbus lined the aisles as the boys and girls processed down the aisle holding their new Altar Server robes. The older altar servers who have served more years than the younger ones were commissioned as the MC’s or Master of Ceremonies role. The smiles on the faces of these young people and their reverence were very impressive. Our Church is still alive.

Parents were asked to vest their child/ren. It is because of the parents that many of these altar servers make it to Mass every Sunday. Hats off to parents who are truly passing on the Catholic faith for as we know “Parents are the first teachers of the Catholic faith”.

Many of the altar servers attend our Catholic School which began  August 6th. We will see these servers at our Wednesdays school Mass.


Christmas in the Desert

The Christmas Eve play this year went off perfectly. Everything we practiced came together despite the flu hitting some of my actors. I had to move a girl shepherd to be a king and one of my angels also had the flu. However, I had a whole choir of angels so I didn’t need to add another.

The shepherds all made it in time, even the tiniest 4 year old with his robe dragging and coming up last came to adore the Baby Jesus.

The proud donkey made it weary and tired to the manger.


The Bethlehem Star came brightly shining leading all to the manger to see the Newborn King.


The scene is almost complete.  Mary and Joseph, the Star of Bethlehem, the cow and angels were all in the stable. 

But then all the children in the church were invited to bring their gift of a “star” to the Baby Jesus in Bethlehem and good old St. Joseph said “Thank You” to each and every one.


  Our pastor, Fr. Ariel, called all the children up to hear the Christmas homily so they would know the true meaning of Christmas. 

A week of Saints and Veterans

St. Anthony of Padua Catholic School in Casa Grande, Arizona was super busy this week and that isn’t counting Halloween!

All the students in K-8th came dressed as a Saint on November 1st to celebrate the holy day – All Saints Day. Here are some of the saints. Can you guess their name? The students knew their saint and something about that person. I was impressed.

Can you tell who we are?

After All Saints Day comes All Souls Day or Dia Del Muretos. Several classrooms brought favorite food of their loved ones who died and decorated memory boxes for those who died.

Onto November 3rd -making of 1,000 red poppies for our Veterans’ Day float for the city’s Veterans’ Day Parade come Saturday.  We will be reciting the poem, Flanders Field for the judges and passing it out to the crowd. We are creating the Weeping Cross after the Weeping Window that can be found in Europe since World War I.The red poppy represents the lives lost during the First World War.

The float is still in process but we will be ready to march come Saturday at 10:00am. We salute our Veterans and pray for those who died and pray for peace in the whole world.

Please join us in prayer.

Our Lady Comes to Visit


Our Lady of Fatima


This is the 100th anniversary of Our Lady of Fatima’s appearance to the children in Fatima, Portugal. Pope Francis, to celebrate the anniversary, blessed six replica statues of Our Lady of Fatima. We were very fortunate to have one of the replicas in our parish on Friday, October 20th. Fr. Ariel Lustan, pastor spearheaded the blest occasion. Students at St. Anthony of Padua Catholic School made white flags to wave as the Knights of Columbus carried Our Lady down the aisle to sit prominently in the sanctuary all day.

Our Lady of Fatima touched the children at St. Anthony of Padua School

All of the students were enrolled into the brown scapular. The sign below the statue says ” Please do not touch Our Lady, she will touch you. ”  One of the little 4th grade boys asked Sr. Carol. ” Does this mean that if I touch the statue she is going to touch me!!?!?!”  I explained to him that there is no need to touch the statue, just pray to her and she will touch you through your prayers.

This was a busy day at St. Anthony of Padua School because our school won the contest of naming the new police dog for the Casa Grande Police Department. Police officers and the Drug Alliance Reps came to our morning assembly in the courtyard and presented us with our award. Our school chose the name “Lobo” which in Spanish means wolf. Lobo and his new owner came for our morning announcements. In a month, after Lobo is fully trained, the police officers will return with Lobo and he will demonstrate all that he learned such as how to sniff out drugs.

Lobo, “Wolf” our new police dog. We won the naming rights.