Mother Frances Is Always at Work!

A young woman rings the bell at our house. She feels lost and abandoned. The depression she suffers from prevents her even from taking exams at the University.

After some time, she tells me that had it not been for our open door and welcoming spirit, she would not have had any reason to live. Since then, she began a journey of healing and feeling welcomed, listening and trusting in us. She ended up getting her Degree cum laude. Mother Frances is always at work!

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A Healing Experience at Tamar's Place

Yesterday, one of our volunteers who is in recovery, inspired me all over again. She has very little, but she is both generous and content with what she has…She told me about a minor catastrophe she experienced: she broke a plate. That may not seem like much, but when you have only 3 plates and you break one, it’s a lot! As we were talking, I told her, “Charline, I am so proud to know you. You have only two plates, and yet you are happy with what you have…”

How much each of us can learn, how much healing gratitude each of us could feel, if only we could be happy with what we have! This is what I mean when I say that these women give so much…in this case, their appreciation, their gratitude for what they have. There is no envy, no sense of entitlement, no jealousy. There is only gratitude. Meister Eckhart said: "If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, 'thank you,' that would suffice…” In Charline, I have seen this ‘prayer’ in action, and felt a welling up of gratitude in my own heart: one of her many gifts.

Last night, I visited Sr. Karen Hartman’s storage area for her yearly ‘garage sale’… and found 4 matching plates, cups, saucers and bowls along with some utensils and boxed them up for her. I know she will be thrilled! I wish I could be there when she opens it…
Sr. Mary Lawrence Vanderburg, SFP

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Touched by Blessed Frances

I am a nurse and a Secular Franciscan and feel the precious presence of Blessed Frances Schervier in my life. I came to know Blessed Frances by visiting web sites of Franciscan congregations.

Your site is beautiful, well developed, clear and objective. I am enchanted by reading your publications – Voices, Remembering Sacred Lives and the new Blessed Frances Site. What is most fascinating is your charism of recognizing Christ in the poor to heal His wounds in them. This touches me deeply.

While on a retreat related to the St. Damiano Crucifix. the words “Do you not see, Francis?” pierced my heart. After prayer and silence, the gaze of the Crucified invited me to behold people with evermore compassion and to understand their stories and limitations. This inflamed my heart. I knew that I needed to rebuild my own life, since I experienced stress and health issues last year. I needed first to heal myself, as my spiritual director had suggested.

Through the Internet, I was touched by Blessed Frances’ words: “In the poor and the suffering I saw and loved the Lord…” and the words of St. Francis: “When you see a poor or an ill person, you are gazing at the mirror of the Lord.” I started praying the Blessed Frances Novena, Litany, and Prayer for her Canonization. Since then, all my laboratory exams have shown improvement. I also kept praying that Blessed Frances would intercede for the sick and the needy.

Then my nine-month old niece had an acute case of bronchitis and was hospitalized for only three days! This fills me with joy, hope and thanksgiving. The journey may be difficult, yet the Crucified asks us: “Repair my Church!” Now I know that it is the Lord himself who asks me, who brings me the help from St. Francis and our Blessed Frances, as their gaze converges toward the same point: seeing Jesus in the poor and the sick to heal this wounded world!

Due to the geographical distance I cannot be with you nor participate in the activities of your lay Associates. However, I express my spiritual union in your marvelous charism!
I want to make Blessed Frances known where I live. Her dedication to healing people, especially the poor and the suffering, may bring healing to the many realities where I live in Brazil. I ask your help since so that this immense love, this healing power given by the Lord to Blessed Frances Schervier will attract more people, as it happened to me!
To show my gratitude, I will pray and spread the word about Blessed Frances’ life, especially among the many that need healing. I am certain that she will intercede for them to the Lord. I thank you!

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