February 13, 2011 – The Franciscan Missionaries of Mary – USA Province hosted the 15th World Day for Consecrated Life in Fruit Hill Compound, Providence, RI. Priests, brothers and sisters belonging to different congregations celebrated the gift of religious life by being nourished with spiritual wisdom from Fr. Frank Sutman, OP then followed by solemn vespers.
15th World Day For Consecrated Life
The Franciscan Missionaries of Mary – USA Province hosted the 15th World Day for Consecrated Life in Fruit Hill Compound, Providence, RI on February 13, 2011. Priests, brothers and sisters belonging to different congregations celebrated the gift of religious life by being nourished with spiritual wisdom from Fr. Frank Sutman, OP then followed by solemn vespers.
In 1997, Pope John Paul II instituted a day of prayer for women and men in consecrated life. This celebration is attached to the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord on February 2nd. This Feast is also known as Candlemas Day; the day on which candles are blessed symbolizing Christ who is the light of the world. So too, those in consecrated life are called to reflect light of Jesus Christ to all peoples. The World Day for Consecrated Life is celebrated to highlight the gift of consecrated persons for the whole Church. (from usccb.org)
Right from the beginning, Sr. Josephine, better known as ‘ Josie’, was ‘International’! She was born on Second Avenue in Manhattan of Greek parents, staunch members of the Greek Orthodox Church, who had emigrated from Turkey. When the family moved to Brooklyn, Josie was enrolled in a Catholic elementary school. In High School, as secretary of the Student Mission Crusade, she attended many missionary exhibitions, meetings and conventions. Thus she met missionaries, from many distant places, who shared their zeal for evangelization. This increased her interest in the Catholic Church, religious life, and ‘Far Away Places’. It was at one of these meetings, that Josie first met the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary. Later Josie and one of her friends went to visit the Sisters at Fruit Hill in Providence, R.I. She was attracted by the idea of evangelization, and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, which she learned were part of the life of a Franciscan Missionary of Mary. From that moment she began to count the days until she could join their way of life.
Shortly before her graduation from High School, Josie requested permission from her parents, to become not just a Catholic, but also to become a Franciscan Missionary of Mary! They refused and immediately transferred her to Public School. However, Josie remained firm in her decision and after her graduation and her eighteenth birthday she secretly became a Catholic. This aroused opposition at home and not daring to remain there; she left secretly and went to the Convent in Fruit Hill. On that day she left a note for her father saying, “We ought to obey God rather than man.” In September 1933 she entered the novitiate and on March 19, 1934 she received the habit and the name – Maria tis Theotokos, which is Greek for Mary, Mother of God. During the early months of the novitiate her family and friends came to take her home. But Josie won the day and the family left.
A Providence, Rhode Island girl, Sr. Helen met the FMM at Bell Street through a friend who went to “the Sisters” once a week. Helen soon joined her for prayer, lessons in religion, embroidery, sewing and recreation. . In 1929 Mother St. Michael, Superior General, visited the United States and the Sisters at Bell Street asked Helen to present flowers and play the piano for the occasion.