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We Welcome
Regina Umanskiy
President and CEO of Franciscan Ministries

A Commissioning Celebration was held on September 20.

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The Franciscan Sisters of Chicago gather around new President and CEO of Franciscan Ministries, Regina Umanskiy
and offer God's blessings.

On Tuesday, September 20, the Franciscan Sisters of Chicago held a Commissioning ceremony and celebration for Regina Umanskiy, who was recently hired as President and CEO of Franciscan Ministries.  Regina recently succeeded Judy Amiano, who retired earlier this year. Franciscan Ministries (originally named the Franciscan Sisters of Chicago Service Corporation) was established in 1988, by the Sisters to help support, manage and operate all facilities sponsored by the Franciscan Sisters of Chicago and also to assist them in extending their charitable mission in health care, social services, pastoral care, and education.  Regina will oversee all aspects of Franciscan Ministries, including Franciscan Communities, Franciscan Advisory Services and the philanthropic efforts of Madonna Foundation and St. Jude House.

The celebration began with a luncheon in Marian Hall where many Sisters attended along with leadership from Franciscan Ministries. After the luncheon, everyone gathered in Sacred Heart Chapel in Our Lady of Victory Convent for the commissioning ceremony for Regina. This beautiful ceremony is a celebration of the values and commitment that the Sisters established and built since their founding in 1894, by foundress Mother Mary Theresa Dudzik.  September 20 is a special day of remembrance and prayer as it is the day Mother Mary Theresa passed into eternal life in 1918.

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Sister M Bernadette Bajuscik, General Minister, greets the attendees of the ceremony.

Sister M Bernadette Bajuscik, General Minister of the Franciscan Sisters of Chicago and Regina began the ceremony in the procession as everyone sang the entrance hymn, “All Our Welcome,” played by Sister Emilie Marie Lesniak. Sister Jeanne Marie Toriskie served as Lector, Sister Helene Galuszka read the interventions, and Father Robert Lucas, C.M. was the Celebrant and Homilist.

After the homily, Sister M. Bernadette started the ceremony by reading the service of commissioning as Regina faced the chapel audience and listened:  “Throughout salvation history, the call of the Holy Spirit has been heard and responded to.  As people of faith, our mission is that of Jesus himself. It is the summons of the personal Christ, personally known and personally loved that has brought us into his Church. He says to each of us, by our name, as he said to Philip, Peter, James, John and the rest, ‘Come, follow me.’  And just as they responded, so must we. When you meet him person to person, ‘deep calls unto deep,’ and the spontaneous reply is, ‘Yes, Lord, I am coming.’  As Christians, we are called to portray in our daily life our experience of God. We are gifted people called to give freely of that which we have been freely given. I now call upon you, Regina Umanskiy, to publicly respond to your call to share in the mission of Jesus Christ with the Franciscan Sisters of Chicago as President and CEO of this Ministry to serve God’s people with the following:  Respect (Reflect God in everything we do), Dedication (Passionately carry forward this ministry entrusted to us), Stewardship (Responsibly use the gift of our resources), Joy (Give from our hearts).”

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(From left to right) Sister Jeanne Marie Toriskie, Sister Emilie Marie Lesniak, and Father Robert Lucas, C.M.

Regina then read her certificate of service to everyone:  “I Regina Umanskiy, freely accept the responsibilities and duties of sharing in the mission of Jesus with the Franciscan Sisters of Chicago and the Franciscan Ministries in my role as President and CEO. In the spirit of St. Francis of Assisi and the Charism of Mother Mary Theresa Dudzik, I undertake the responsibility for providing leadership and support to Franciscan Ministries. I will celebrate life and serve with joy and uphold the core values of Respect, Dedication, Stewardship and Joy.  I will strive to achieve a greater understanding of the needs of those we serve and of our associates and will support and work with Franciscan Ministries so that the mission of Jesus will be maintained and extended.  I promise this because of my own integrity and my desire to serve God’s people in a manner consistent with the Mission of Jesus and the Franciscan Sisters of Chicago.”

Sister M. Bernadette then blessed the Franciscan Tau pin and pinned it on Regina. “Remember, Regina, the words of Jesus that will give you the strength, courage, and grace to fulfill this call:  “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide; so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.”  We now bless the “I Chose You” pin. Almighty God, We ask your blessing upon this pin. As Regina wears it, may she be enfolded in God’s love, brightened by God’s joy, and calmed by God’s unbroken peace. Amen.”

Regina responded with her acceptance of the pin. “I believe and trust in that promise of Jesus for each of us and I pray:  All powerful and ever-living God, I ask you to direct your love that is within me, that all the talents bestowed on me may be generously given in service to those in need. Teach me to hear with my ears and listen with my heart as shown by Jesus, your Son. I ask this in His name, Amen.”  The Sisters then gathered around Regina to extend their hands for the blessing. After the blessing, Regina walked with a bouquet of roses and placed them on the sarcophagus of Mother Mary Theresa Dudzik to pay tribute and prayer to her on this special day.  

Every Executive Director from each senior community and ministry walked to the front with a lit candle, greeted Regina, and placed the candle in the special candle holder to represent their community and ministry.  The ceremony ended with the hymn, “Joyful, Joyful We Adore You.”  Afterwards the Sisters and leadership from Franciscan Ministries attended a reception in Marian Hall.  The Franciscan Sisters of Chicago welcome Regina and wish her God’s blessings in her new position as President and CEO.      

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Sister M. Bernadette Bajuscik and Regina Umanskiy. 

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Regina placed a bouquet of roses on Mother Mary Theresa Dudzik's sarcophagus in the chapel.

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Regina Umanskiy thanks everyone at the end of the ceremony.

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Leadership from Franciscan Ministries gathered together with a reception after and posed for a photo in Our Lady of Victory Convent.  Regina's daughter also attended the ceremony and reception.