On January 12, 2017, sisters from the U.S./Caribbean Province gathered at SSM Franciscan Courts in Oshkosh, Wis., to close the Province after 28 years – the governance structure that supported the sisters to live their life and ministry following the legacy of Venerable Mother Frances Streitel, our founder. In its place will arise two new structures: a region (U.S. and Dominican Republic) and a delegation (St. Lucia, Grenada and Trinidad & Tobago).
The Sisters took time to be grateful to God for the past and hopeful for the future during the meetings. It was a “day of gratitude for the wonderful works that God had done through you [the Sisters] here in the U.S/Caribbean Province.”
A liturgy was then held to commemorate the occasion. During this, the sisters presented a memory book listing all the sisters who have been involved in the Province and placed it before the altar. Plaques featuring stones and a quote from Venerable Mother Frances Streitel were unveiled and given to representatives from the region and delegation.
Sister Teresina Marra, General Superior of the Congregation, presented a Mass vestment made in Brazil to Sister Angella S, Delegation Superior, and Sister Cathy H, Regional Superior, as a symbol of gratitude for all they have done and will do, indicating “no structure can restrict our dedication to God.”
Sister Teresina then sang “We are Standing on the Shoulders of the Ones Who Came Before Us.” You can view the video of her beautiful performance here: https://youtu.be/48FaNITgq48
In the afternoon, the Sisters selected their new names, St. Clare of Assisi Region and St. Francis of Assisi Delegation. Sr. Teresina closed the Gathering with a blessing over all the Sisters with words from Numbers 6: 24-26: “The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.”
The Sisters ended the day with an evening social, where more memories and many hugs were shared.
View all photos from the Closing on our Flickr Photostream here: https://www.flickr.com/…/ssmsisters/albums/72157677858166980