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August 2003      

FABS first gathering was held during the Annual Franciscan Federation Conference held at the Detroit Marriot, Detroit, MI.

Representatives of the Bernardine Franciscan Sisters, Allegany Franciscans, Missionary Sisters of the Immaculate Conception (SMIC), Whitehall Franciscans, Joliet Franciscans, Franciscan Sisters of the Sacred Heart, Frankfort, IL, and the Wheaton Franciscans were in attendance. All Communities with Motherhouses in the United States and with Sisters in Brazil: Provinces, Regional or Missionary Activities.


Sr. Margaret Guider, OSF (Joliet) proposed the reflection: "Eating Tamera"

Part I: "On Planting Date Trees - The Foundation and Development of U.S. based Sisterhoods in Brazil."

Part II: "On Eating Dates - The Coming of Age and Flourishing of U.S. based Franciscan Sistershoods in Brazil."

This article was sent out to be read prior to the first gathering.


Sr. Marilisa da Silva, OSF (Bernardine) shared her Inter-Cultural experience in the United States.


Followed by a sharing of other issues:

  • Communication between cultures

  • Translation of materials

  • Accountability at various levels in congregation; to general leadership

  • Financial issues

  • Need for resources on culture

  • Literature on religious life/mission

  • Immigration issues

  • JPIC issues

  • Vocation promotion; formation

  • Ministries; retirement

  • Sharing and collaboration among congregations



November 2003

Meeting at Whitehall, Pittsburgh, PA (Bernardine, SMIC, Whitehall, and Joliet)

This meeting focused on prioritizing the issues common to all:

  • To use the Cultural Program from Center for the Study of Religious Life and adjusting it to reflect our Franciscan charism and values

  • Education for Leadership - canonical and civil issues from both cultures

  • Immigration issues

  • Trends in missionary activities

  • Programs on Language and Culture

  • Intercultural Formation/ Franciscan Identity

  • Resources for the Clarian Year

  • Sharing of Prayer Services and articles

  • Resources persons: from both cultures

  • Possibility of gathering the leaders in Brazil



  • Share information and educate ourselves in mutual collaboration on common issues

  • Expand the focus beyond our Congregations in order to raise systemic changes

  • Improve our intercultural understanding in our Congregations



April agenda issues: Cultural Audit and further education in Free Trade Area of Americas

October: Cultural Audit, peace and justice issues related to Brazil and USA



April: Cultural Audit, changing laws in Brazil with philanthropic organization

October: Cultural Audit, Immigration



April: Cultural Audit; Erik Law on destructive views of others/cultures and the dimensions of primary and secondary diversity



March: Cultural Audit; Erik Law's stages of intercultural sensitivity; issues of trafficking, immigration and Brazil's Campanha da Fraternidade: Amazonia

October: Cultural Audit; High/Low Power distance Orientation and Cultural Workshop Planning for 2009; idenify sponsoring congregations, introducing the Franciscan Action Network



March: Meeting/Conference Call

 - planning for the Cultural Program

 - immigration and canonical/civil issues

 - issues on Justice and Peace - World Social Forum, Human Trafficking, Water

 - IFC-TOR, Franciscan Action Network, 800th Anniversary of the Clarian Charism

 - Prayer Service: St. Elizabeth of Hungary 



April: Charism and Culture: Intercultural Formation for Franciscan Life - Workshop in Tampa, Florida



September: Conference Call update by Ad Hoc Committe on plan for Leaders Workshop in Anápolis, Goiás, Brazil



April: Hearts on Fire: A New Moment for Intercultural Franciscan Leadership, Witness for the Future, held in Anápolis, Goiás, Brazil



October Meeting: FABS Leadership Team


Coordinator: Sr. Mary Joseph, OSF (Bernardine) - Term 2012/13-2013/14

Secretary and Treasurer: Sr. Janice Jolin, SMIC - Term 2012/13-2013/14

Resource Person: Sr. Margaret Guider, OSF (Joliet) 



March: Evaluation of the Tampa workshop and "post Tampa" experience, develop FABS public face, website, establish a Task Force


May: Conference call - goals, roles and responsibilities of the Task Force


October: Clarify FABS Mission and Goals, formation of a Core Team 


Coordinator: Sr. Mary Joseph, OSF (Bernardine) - Term 2013-2014

Secretary and Treasurer: Sr. Janice Jolin, SMIC - Term 2013-2014

Member: Sr. Joanne Brazinski, OSF (Whitehall) - Term 2013/14-2014/15

Member: Sr. Teresinha Del'Acqua, OSF (Joliet) - Term 2013/2014 - 2014/15

Resource Person: Sr. Margaret Guider, OSF (Joliet)

5/2014 Core Team meeting (phone)

  • Discussion and Planning for a FABS website

  • Organization of archival materials to be sent to FABS members

  • Discussion about changes in FABS goals



  • “In the Name of our Third Order Rule” workbook prepared by Sr. Roselie Wisniewski, OSF was sent digitally in English and Portuguese to each FABS member.

  • A list of all FABS congregational convents in the US and Brazil was prepared for the website

  • FABS archival materials was distributed (flashdrives) to each congregation.

  • FABS mission statement added concept of seeking inclusiveness with the Franciscan Family and beyond: :

--FABS would seek to reach beyond its membership to include other congregations with similar focus: seeking collaboration between US generalates with their established missions in other countries.

--FABS expanding to include Sisters beyond existing leadership membership to US Sisters who have served in Brazil or Brazilian Sisters who have lived in the US.


  • ESL teacher Sr. Kate Conti, SMIC presented teaching materials available for the study of English

  • Website development in process

  • A summary statement of the meeting is to be sent to the leadership to keep them informed.

  • Explore possibility of creating our own ESL program in Brazil, USA



  • Website is active:

  • ESL resource center is sponsored in Reading by the Bernardine Sisters

  • Portuguese language opportunities offered at PUC- University at Catarina, Brazil

  • Discussion of intercongregational mission opportunities.



  • Act of beyond FABS results ina declaration of support to Syria which will be shared for support with the Franciscan Federation and Franciscan Action Network (FAN)

  • New core team to begin leadership of FABS


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