FSC Associate Articles

 It’s All About Me! - Associate Reflection Day - August 27, 2022 - Presenter: Sr. M. Francis Clare

By Mary Mosser, FSC Associate

Sr. M. Francis Clare introduced the topic and explained how she had been drawn to this particular topic for our August reflection day. Sr. M. Francis Clare shared her experience of wanting to spend time on reflection, but other responsibilities and commitments pushed aside those plans.  

 

Sr. M. Francis Clare asked us to quiet ourselves then she walked us through a practice of deep breathing. Next, Sr. M. Francis Clare asked us to close our eyes and continue the deep breathing exercise as she read aloud the Litany of the Holy Spirit. 

 

After the reading of the litany, Sister explained the guidelines for our reflection time. Each person would get a copy of the reflection questions and the guidelines. We could find a place to reflect and write inside or outside. Before we started, we were to offer a prayer to the Holy Spirit to be with us and guide us as we answered the questions. After we completed the questions, we were to move to a different location and read what we had written.

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It was a nice day so I decided that I would go outside for my reflection time. I walked for several minutes on the grounds behind the Motherhouse, sat in the grass under a tree, asked the Holy Spirit for guidance and began to reflect upon and write answers to the questions we had been given. My answers to some of the questions are below.

Sister M. Francis Clare Radke

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Mary Mosser with
Sister M. Bernadette Bajuscik

How did you hear about the Franciscan Sisters of Chicago Associate program?

I heard about this program from three Franciscan Sisters of Chicago. The first two Sisters were teachers from St. Florian School who I stayed in contact with after I graduated. First was my 6th grade teacher, Sr. M. Maristella. Next was my 5th grade teacher, Sr. Victoria Valerie. Both Sisters suggested that I might enjoy joining the Associate program, but I didn’t follow up on their suggestion. When I visited Sr. Victoria Valerie, I met Sr. Emilie Marie and talked with her several times. Sr. Emilie Marie also mentioned the Associate program and I finally decided to explore the possibility of joining the program. 

 

Why did you decide that you wanted to become an Associate?

I felt drawn to the Sisters. I wanted to spend more time with them, and this seemed like a good step to take.

 

How long have you been an Associate? 

I have been an Associate of the Franciscan Sisters of Chicago for 11 years. My commitment was in October 2011.

 

Do you feel that you are a different person now than you were when you first became an Associate because of the program? 

 

Yes. One change that has occurred is with my prayer life, which was almost non-existent before. I only prayed when I needed something or when someone died. When I joined the Associates, I began praying our Associate prayer every day. I still say the Associate prayer every day and as time went on, I added other daily prayers and reflections. Prior to joining the Associates, I would brush it off when someone said they would pray for me or when someone asked for prayers.  During my time as an Associate, prayer has taken on a more meaningful role. I’ve experienced how comforting it can be when you know that someone is praying for you or for a family member. Now, I can sincerely tell people that I’m praying for them.

 

Another change that has happened is that I’ve become more knowledgeable about Scripture and about my faith because of the Associate day presentations that I’ve attended.

I continue to be an Associate because I love the Sisters and I’m thrilled to belong to this group of people who want to grow in their faith. This group is my anchor in good times and bad. These are the people who hold me and my loved ones in prayer.  I also enjoy spending time with my fellow Associates and with the Sisters.

 

Is there anything that you can do to be a better Associate?  What does that mean to you – be a better Associate?  

 

To me, being a better Associate means continuing to grow spiritually and finding ways to share in the mission and ministry of the Sisters. One thing I would like to do is to get to know more of my fellow Associates better.  

 

When the group gathered in Marian Hall after our reflection time, we were invited to share our thoughts about this experience. Afterwards, Sr. M. Francis Clare read the Litany of the Holy Spirit again. This time, we responded with “I thank you” to each name of the Holy Spirit.  I am very grateful we were given this time for reflection. It reminded me of what led me to join the Associates of the Franciscan Sisters of Chicago and why I continue to commit to this group.