ALLEGANY, N.Y. — The Franciscan Federation has recognized Sr. Elise Mora, OSF, of Allegany with a Peacemaker Award for her commitment to the environment and social justice issues.
Sr. Elise, a lecturer in the Department of Modern Languages at St. Bonaventure University, received the award July 11 during the organization’s annual conference in Minneapolis, Minn.
Approximately 500 Franciscans — members of more than 50 religious congregations and their associates — attended the conference for four days of prayer, conversation and education on the growing needs of the environment and issues of social justice.
The 2007 conference theme was “A Franciscan Dynamic: Right Relationship, Care for Earth, Care for Each Other.”
Sr. Elise, a bilingual educator with more than 40 years of experience teaching and working in non-traditional settings, was recognized for being “instrumental in all areas of ecology and environment being observed and
carried through. She has also been committed to the poor and marginalized through her involvement with social justice issues.”
Focusing on Advocacy, Immigration
In the early 1980s, Sr. Elise took a hiatus from teaching to focus primarily on advocacy, immigration, and pastoral work among Hispanic people. She spent 10 years in New York City, where she worked in the South Bronx on behalf of indigent or low-income people in need of medical care, and later worked with Immigrant Services for the Archdiocese of New York providing paralegal and referral services to legal and illegal immigrants. She later moved to Chicago, where she served as a pastoral associate in a Mexican parish that included newly legalized and illegal immigrants.
In 1996, she was elected to serve in leadership for her congregation, the Sisters of St. Francis of the Providence of God of Pittsburgh. During that time, she served as the Peace, Justice and Integrity of Creation director. In that capacity, Sr. Elise sought to provide ongoing education to her sisters, employees and others about justice issues. She simultaneously served as a lecturer at St. Vincent Seminary in Latrobe, Pa., where she prepared seminarians for ministry among Hispanic people and initiated an ongoing religious education program for Spanish-speaking prisoners at the nearby State Correctional Institution at Greensburg, Pa.
Sr. Elise holds a master of pastoral studies degree in religious studies from Loyola University, Chicago, a master’s degree in Spanish from Millersville (Pa.) University, and a bachelor’s degree in education from Carlow University, Pittsburgh. She joined the SBU Department of Modern Languages faculty in 2006.