Allegany Sisters Mark Milestones

Jocelyn Thomas Franciscan World

The Franciscan Sisters of Allegany and Associates during the 25th anniversary celebration at St. Elizabeth Motherhouse.

The Franciscan Sisters of Allegany and Associates during the 25th anniversary celebration at St. Elizabeth Motherhouse.

ALLEGANY, N.Y. — It’s been a summer of celebrations for the Franciscan Sisters of Allegany.

One of the biggest was the 25th anniversary of the founding of the community’s Associate Program. From July 30 to Aug. 5, five sisters from three countries commemorated the anniversary with associates — laypeople who minister with the sisters, supporting their work — from Brazil, Jamaica and the United States. They gathered in Allegany to participate in a retreat, hear presentations and get to know one another.

Attendees stayed at nearby St. Bonaventure University. Photos can be found on the Franciscan Sisters of Allegany and Associates Facebook page.

The sisters also recognized the opening 140 years ago of St. Anthony’s Church in New York City. In 1866, at the request of Archbishop John McCloskey, Fr. Pamfilo da Magliano, OFM, sent friars to New York City, where they opened St. Anthony’s Church on Sullivan Street. While serving the Italian and Irish immigrants there, the friars realized they needed additional assistance and called on the Franciscan Sisters of Allegany. St. Anthony’s School was opened in 1874 and Allegany Franciscans served there until it closed in 2005. The sisters of St. Anthony Convent in New York City celebrated the anniversary with a meal.

Also announced recently by the Allegany Sisters was the recognition of several establishments. St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital in Tampa, Fla., was honored with a CMS Health Care Innovation Award that will allow the hospital to provide resources needed to share best practices with children’s hospitals across the country.

The Dwelling Place, a transitional residence for women in Midtown Manhattan sponsored by the Allegany sisters, was featured on Catholic TV from the Diocese of Brooklyn. The story was linked to the newsletter.

“Since 1977, we’ve provided shelter, sustenance, and support to thousands of women,” said the e-newsletter, which was launched late last year.

In 2009, the Franciscan Sisters of Allegany celebrated the 150th anniversary of the founding of the community. Celebrations were held in five locations where the sisters have served.

Many Allegany sisters are enjoying upgrades to the St. Elizabeth Motherhouse — including renovated rooms. After several years and moves, many sisters have settled into their new rooms. Each of the 20 bedrooms on the east wing of the second floor has a private bathroom and a spacious closet, according to the Allegany Sisters’ July 28 newsletter.

This month, the community’s archives were relocated into a climate-controlled storeroom. Ellen Winger, the congregational archivist, provided an update in the Aug. 11 e-newsletter. An ambiance committee approved a plan to create “history walls” for public areas of the motherhouse. Each will “have its own theme and will be designed to tell a part of the congregation’s story,” noted Winger.

Another upgrade experienced was the receipt of e-readers. “Thanks to an anonymous donation to the motherhouse library, we now have two Kindle e-book readers,” said Winger and Sr. Elizabeth O’Leary, OSF, in the July 28 newsletter in which they asked for suggestions of books to install.

Jocelyn Thomas is director of communications for Holy Name Province.