Beginning with a warm reception on Sunday, October 15th, partners in ministry from two countries, eight states, and one Canadian province gathered in Chicago to:
Felician Services Board Chair Jack Cashman and Andrea White, Felician Services President, engage SM Angela Parkins, CEO, and Dave Akerson, Board Chair, of St. Felix Pantry in Rio Rancho, New Mexico.
On Monday, S Elaine M Frigo, CSSF, traced the roots of peacemaking in ministry to St. Francis of Assisi and St. Clare, and called on partners in ministry to maintain relevant connections to those roots. Ann Garrido returned with an interactive session to support leaders in Redeeming Conflict at ministry. This included engaging role-playing with internal and external voices which kept everyone laughing while provoking transformed responses to conflict. Tuesday morning, Georgianna Torres-Reyes challenged partners in ministry to better understand their interconnectedness, diversity, and privilege.
Participants in Torres Reyes’ “Level Playing Field” activity examine their privilege.
Additionally, thoughtfully arranged affinity group breakout sessions challenged partners in ministry to contemplate response and opportunities to engage as catalysts for peace through new and necessary initiatives. Each affinity group formed task forces to continue follow-up on these topics including:
As always, Felician-Sponsored Ministries gathered more information about their role as sponsored ministries and the Our Lady of Hope Provincial Council provided a beautiful reflection on their recent Chapter. Provincial Minister SM Christopher Moore, CSSF, encouraged partners in ministry to no longer think about “change” which is something that is in the past, but to consider TRANSFORMATION, something which has yet to occur in the future when considering their opportunities to be catalysts for peace at ministry.
SM Christopher Moore, CSSF, Provincial Minister, opens the session regarding the Sisters’ Chapter.
To complete the whole experience, Felician Services provided comfortable accommodations, opportunities to take excursions out on the town and even in the Central Convent. The entire gathering celebrated partnership in mission with a delightful meal in a transformed auditorium on the lower level of the Central Convent.
A festive, celebratory dinner in the lower level of the Central Convent
Blessed Mary Angela caring for those in need
SM Angela Parkins, CSSF, in front of a picture of SM Genevieve Ryskiewicz, foundress of St. Felix Pantry.
Andrea White joined Felician Services in January 2004 as VP of Marketing. Following the Felician Sisters’ reconfiguration in 2009, she assumed the role of Senior Ministry Advisor. Since July 2013, Andrea has served as President. Prior to joining Felician Services, Andrea served as President of Good Counsel High School, a Felician sponsored ministry. From 2005 – 2008 she served as chair of a four-campus charter school board. Before joining Good Counsel High School, Andrea founded People Focus, a strategic planning and organizational development consulting firm. In this practice, Andrea worked with not-for-profit and corporate clients. During this period, Andrea served as President of the Association for Quality and Participation – Chicago Chapter. She published articles, served as a keynote speaker for a variety of association and corporate clients, and co-authored a series of books published by Scott Foresman entitled: Dealing with Change in a Complex World (Grades 6, 7, & 8).
Andrea co-founded an organization, Pathways through Grief, which offered a week long summer camp experience for children who suffered the loss of a parent or sibling. Prior to founding Pathways and authoring the camp curriculum, Andrea served as a grief camp counselor for the Hospice of Northeastern Illinois and volunteered at St. Francis Hospital Hospice in Evanston, Illinois.
Prior to People Focus, Andrea served for eleven years in various sales and marketing management positions for two international contract furnishing organizations. Andrea began her career in education where she served for 5 years as an elementary school teacher, unit leader, and consultant for the National Science Foundation. Andrea received her BS in Elementary Education from the University of Illinois, Champaign; a M.Ed. in Administration and Supervision from the University of Virginia, Charlottesville; and an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership and Policy from Loyola University; Chicago, Illinois. Andrea has been married for 40 years to her husband Brent. They are the proud parents of their son Beau. Beau and his wife Kiley have blessed their union with Andrea’s two beautiful grandchildren, Maeve (2) and Mac (born in May 2017).
A native of Erie, Pennsylvania, Sister entered the Felician Congregation in July of 1958. She received an M.S.ED in Student Personnel Services from the State University College, Buffalo, NY and a B.A. in English, Medaille College, Buffalo, NY. SM Ambrose began her ministry as a teacher in elementary education and then was called to administration in higher education. She served as the Director of Admissions at Villa Maria College, Buffalo, NY and then the Vice-President for Student Affairs. Sister served two terms as Provincial Vicar and one term as Provincial Minister for the former Immaculate Heart of Mary Province before being elected to the General Administration of the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Felix of Cantalice in Rome, Italy as a General Councilor/Secretary General. SM Ambrose has been involved with numerous Felician community service committees and professional service projects throughout the years. Currently, SM Ambrose is the Administrative Assistant to the Provincial Minister and the Provincial Coordinator of the Cause of Blessed Mary Angela. She also serves on several committees and the Felician Services Board.
Sister Carol Marie Wiatrek has been a Felician Sister for fifty-six years. Currently she ministers at Blessed Mary Angela Spirituality Center Among the Poor. As a certified spiritual director Sister Carol also facilitates specialized retreats, scriptural prayer classes, as well as formation sessions in Felician spirituality for the the California Felician Lay Associates. Sister Carol Marie feels privileged to share about the Felician Charism with the others who work within the Felician Congregation.
Sr. Julie currently serves as the Director of Mission Services for Our Lady of Hope Province. Early in her career, Sr. Julie taught at the elementary, secondary and college levels, much of it in the areas of theology and spirituality. She has done extensive retreat work for laity, religious, seminarians and priests and has given numerous workshops school faculty members and catechists. Sister also served for five years as the Associate Director of Vocations for the Chicago Archdiocese. She is one of the authors of the Paulist Press book, The Religious Life of the Adolescent and has written articles for spirituality publications. Sr. Julie served as a Pastoral Associate for parishes in Illinois and Wisconsin and was an Elementary School Principal. In addition, she was Director of Ministry Development at St. Francis Hospital in Milwaukee and as Vice-President of Mission Integration with Felician Services.
Sr. Julie attended Alverno College in Milwaukee before joining the Felician Sisters, graduating from Mundelein College in Chicago with a BA in English/Biology from Fordham University with an MA in Religious Studies. She has done further study at Loyola University in Chicago and at St. Mary of the Lake Seminary in Mundelein, Illinois.
I have been a Felician Sister for fifty-seven years. During this time I have been blessed serving in varied ministries: Teacher of grades 1 and 2; Elementary and High School Principal; Faculty and Administrator at Felician College; Director of Mission and Values at a health system and at present Director of the Blessed Mary Angela Institute for Contemplation, Action and Transformation at Felician University.
I have enjoyed an interesting educational panorama: BA in Elementary Education from Felician University; MA in Education and Reading from Seton Hall University; MS in Supervision and Administration & Special Education from the Bank Street College of Education; MS in Pastoral Care and Counseling from Neumann University and a PhD in Educational Leadership from Union Institute and University. In my spare time I relax watching TV Sports, National Geographic and Home Improvement programs; playing cards and scrabble and sharing lively conversations with community, family and friends.
Sister Dorothy is a Texas farm girl of Polish & German descent. She first encountered the Felician charism enfleshed in the dedicated and happy Felician Sisters who taught at Annunciation Elementary, a rural school in St. Hedwig east of San Antonio, TX. With the encouragement of SM Bernardia Jenrush, SM Dorothy received blessing of her parents to attend the aspirancy high school in Ponca City, OK. SM Dorothy is grateful to have had many opportunities to open and share the gift of the Felician Charism as teacher, principal, formation director, provincial leadership team member, missionary, religious education director, and minister of local communities.
Having spent fifty-two years as a Felician sister, Sister Roberta is first and foremost an educator. She taught school (everything from 1st grade through high school) and her teaching skills brought her to focusing on adult formation. Sister was a “mission leader” before mission leaders were really in vogue. There is a great passion in her heart for bringing to life the mission and Felician Core Values for Ministry. As a mission leader sister ministered at a hospital in Southern Illinois. She then moved to a position at FSI as vice-president of mission integration. She now acts as a champion for mission and values at Villa St. Francis, Milwaukee.
As provincial minister of the Felician Sisters’ Our Lady of Hope Province, Sister Christopher is the leader of the more than 600 Felician Sisters in North America. Sister Christopher had previously served in a number of leadership roles at the former Felician province in Coraopolis, PA, including provincial minister, provincial secretary, and council member. Over the course of three decades, Sister Christopher served as teacher and administrator in a number of Catholic schools. Her classroom career began in elementary school classrooms as a teacher of science, religion, and language arts. Sister Christopher went on to become the English Department Chair at Quigley High School in Baden, PA, followed by an 18-year tenure as Principal of Felician-sponsored Our Lady of the Sacred Heart High School in Coraopolis, PA. One of the pioneers of green building in the Pittsburgh area, Sister Christopher was a member of the six-person team that led the 155,000-square-foot green renovation of the Felician Sisters’ Coraopolis, PA provincial house which won the designation of the first Gold LEED-certified buildings (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) within the Pittsburgh area. Sister Christopher holds a B.A. degree from La Roche College, and a M.Ed. from the University of Pittsburgh.
Dr. Sylvia McGeary has been engaged in both the educational and pastoral ministry of the Church for more than thirty years. As a Director of Religious Education and a Pastoral Associate, Dr. McGeary designed and delivered formational programs for families and adults. She worked with parish groups to establish pastoral councils and strategic plans for parish life. Dr. McGeary’s dissertation was a study of the ways in which Lay Ecclesial Ministry is understood and lived out in the twenty-first century. She has been a member of the faculty of Felician University for the past seven years, serving in the Religious Studies department and as an Academic Success Coach. Her time at Felician has also included working with the Office of Mission Integration on developing and implementing a five year strategic plan for increasing awareness of the Felician Sisters’ mission and ministry within the University community. Dr. McGeary lives in New Jersey with her husband. They are the proud parents of two daughters and the even prouder grandparents of four grandchildren… who make them smile every day!
Paul Lipowski joined Felician Services, Inc. in July of 2014 as Vice President of Mission Integration. Prior to joining Felician Services, Inc. he served in parish ministry at various parishes as Director of Religious Education, Pastoral Associate, and Liturgist. Paul, also, currently teaches at Dominican University, teaching in the core‐curriculum. He serves on various boards including the editorial board at Creighton University’s Journal of Interdisciplinary Leadership.
Paul holds a Bachelor’s degree in History with a minor in Theology from Loyola University Chicago as well as a Master of Art degree in Pastoral Studies from Loyola. He holds a Certificate in Change Leadership from Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations and a Master of Letters degree in Bible and Contemporary World from St. Mary’s College (School of Divinity) at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. He also holds a Doctorate in Interdisciplinary Leadership from Creighton University.
Sister Suzanne has been a Felician Sister for 52 years and currently serves as a Provincial Councilor responsible for Formation. She is a staff member for Franciscan Pilgrimage Programs and also gives presentations and retreats on Franciscan and Felician themes. She served as the Director of the Franciscan Center for Social Concern at St. Bonaventure University for seven years. Previously, she was a research assistant for the Third Order Regular Rule Project, Adjunct Assistant Professor at both Felician University and St. Bonaventure University and taught at both secondary and elementary school levels. In her Province she has served as Director of Novices, Director of Vocations and Director of Associate members. Her educational background includes a Bachelor of Arts, History, a Masters of Arts, Religious Studies, a Masters of Arts, History, and a Masters of Arts, Franciscan Studies. Her thesis for her Masters in Franciscan Studies is entitled: The Capuchin Influence on the Founding Spirituality of the Sisters of St. Felix of Cantalice. She has published several articles for The Cord, for Franciscan Institute Press, and for the International Franciscan Conference. Currently, Sister Suzanne is a member of the Blessed Mary Angela Institute’s Advisory Council, Felician University, chairperson of the Franciscan Federation Executive Committee on the Charism, and member of the Board of Trustees, Villa Maria College.
Fr. Kelly is a priest of the Archdiocese of Newark. He was born and raised in West Orange, NJ. He has a B.A. in Business Administration from Upsala College, a M.S. from The Steven’s Institute of Technology in Industrial/Organizational Psychology, and M.Div. from Immaculate Conception Seminary at Seton Hall University. He was ordained in 1988 and has served in five parishes in the Archdiocese of Newark and was pastor in two. He has served as Dean in South Orange and Jersey City, is a former member of the Presbyteral Council, was director of vocations for the Archdiocese of Newark from 1999-2002. Father Rich currently is the Director of Campus Ministry and an adjunct professor of Religious Studies at Felician University, beginning in June 2014.
William E. Hall serves Felician Services as Vice President of Mission Integration and as a Senior Ministry Advisor. Prior to joining Felician Services, Bill served as the System Director of Mission Integration and Spiritual Care for the Benedictine Health System in Duluth, MN. Bill’s life experiences include over twenty years with the De La Salle Christian Brothers where he served as a teacher/professor and administrator at the secondary and university levels. Bill acts as a consultant to a number of non‐profit organizations and to several communities of men and women religious. He has also served on non‐profit and civic organization boards. Bill holds a Master’s degree in Theology from La Salle University in Philadelphia and a Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh in PA. He has done additional study at Duquesne, George Washington and Temple Universities. In addition, he holds certificates in Health Care Administration; Spirituality and Health; and Palliative and End‐of‐life Care. He is also trained as a Malcom Baldridge Quality Award site evaluator.
Sr. Honorata Grzeszczuk, currently an adjunct instructor at Felician University, has been a member of the Felician Congregation since 1988. Born in Poland, she completed her education at Theological College of Koszalin, University of Lodz, and Jesuit University in Cracow, Poland. This fall, she is defending her doctoral dissertation at Seton Hall University. Sr. Honorata’s professional experience includes 20 years of teaching in private and public educational institutions in Poland, and recently at Felician U. She served her community in Poland as a director of formation, chair of the Provincial Chapter Implementation Committee, and the Warsaw Province Justice and Peace Coordinator. After transition to the United States, she continued the Justice and Peace works through social and spiritual services to immigrants as a detainees’ visitation coordinator at First Friends of NY and NJ. Recently, she served as a mission integration coordinator in the Lodi Central Convent.
Sister Elaine Frigo joined Felician Services, Inc. in 2012 as a VP of Mission Integration and presently is Executive VP of Sponsorship and Mission Integration. Prior to joining Felician Services, Sister Elaine served as a provincial council member for the former Lodi, NJ Province with primary responsibility for formation. Before serving on the provincial council, Sister Elaine was a staff retreat director at Loyola House in Guelph, Ontario with responsibilities that included spiritual direction, supervision of spiritual directors, coordination of the Staff Associate program, ongoing formation for spiritual directors, and facilitation of group processes. Prior to this ministry Sr. Elaine taught at the elementary, secondary and college levels. Sr. Elaine holds a B.A. in Education from Felician University, an MA in Theology from St. Bonaventure University and has done graduate work in Mathematics and additional graduate work in Theology.
Zeni Fox is Professor Emeritus, School of Theology, Seton Hall University and a recognized expert on Lay Ecclesial Ministry. She earned her M.A. in Religious Education and Ph.D. in Theology from Fordham University. Her doctoral dissertation was titled, Lay Ministries: A Critical Three-Dimensional Study. Dr. Fox was awarded a Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa by Christ the King Seminary in 2006, the Doctor of Divinity, honoris causa by Georgian Court University in 2007, and the Gaudium et Spes award from the National Association for Lay Ministry. She is the author of New Ecclesial Ministry: Lay Professionals Serving the Church, (Sheed and Ward, 2002). For over ten years, she served as an advisor to the Bishops’ Subcommittee on Lay Ministry, as they developed Co-Workers in the Vineyard of the Lord: A Resource for Guiding the Development of Lay Ecclesial Ministry. She lectures frequently throughout the country on this topic. Dr. Fox serves on the boards of the Center for Ministry Development, Gig Harbor, WA, and The National Catholic Reporter, Kansas City, MO; she recently has served on working groups of the Association of Theological Schools, the Church Leadership Roundtable, and the Catholic Health Association. She edited Lay Ecclesial Ministry: Pathways Toward the Future (Rowman and Littlefield, 2010) and co-edited Called and Chosen: Toward a Spirituality for Lay Leaders (Rowman and Littlefield, 2005). Articles and book reviews have been published in various pastoral journals, including Church, The Living Light, and Health Progress, as well as chapters in several books.
Sr. Kathryn is a native of St. Paul Minnesota and has been a member of the Felician Sisters for fifty years. She earned a Bachelor’s degree from St. Catherine’s University in St. Paul,MN in Home Economics Education and a Master’s degree from St. Bonaventure University in Olean, NY in Franciscan Studies.
Sister ministered in the field of elementary and secondary education for over twenty-five years and was involved in parish ministry for five years. Presently, she is the Archivist and Resource Historian for the Felician Sisters Archives in Chicago, IL. Sister has given numerous retreats and days of reflection on various Franciscan topics. Her article on Blessed Mary Angela Truszkowska was published in The Cord magazine.
For more than 50 years, Sister Mary Antonelle Chunka has dedicated her life as a Felician Franciscan ministering to people of all ages, making God known, loved and glorified. A graduate of Seton Hall University with a BS in Education, Sister Antonelle went on to earn a Master’s Degree in Communication from the University of Notre Dame and a Doctorate in Leadership from Fairleigh Dickinson University.
Her ministry in education includes teaching on elementary, high school and college levels as well as being principal of St. Anthony High School in Jersey City. At Felician University she was a professor and then then vice-president. As provincial minister of the Felician Sisters, she served as chairperson of numerous boards of trustees in education, health care, housing and social services. Sister Antonelle currently directs The Promise, a Christian outreach to youth-at-risk which she founded 32 years ago in Jersey City and which now includes ministry to adult inmates and immigrants. She has given numerous workshops throughout the United States, Europe, South America and Africa. This year, Sister Antonelle has found the added joy of teaching Latin to students at Immaculate Conception School in Spotswood, NJ.
Sister M. Barbara Ann Bosch, CSSF, has served as CEO of Felician Services, Inc., since August 2013. Her relationship with Felician Services is longstanding since she was on the Provincial Council that established Felician Services in 1989. Before joining Felician Services, Sister Barbara Ann served in Rome, Italy, as Minister General of the Congregation of Felician Sisters for six years. Previous to that she was the Provincial Minister of the former Chicago Province for twelve years. Her contributions to the life of the Felician Congregation have included service on numerous Congregational and Provincial commissions, committees and task forces. Sister Barbara Ann was also involved in the establishment of Our Lady of Hope Province in North America. With her background in education, Sister Barbara Ann ministered as a teacher and as an administrator in Felician staffed schools in Illinois and Minnesota.
Sister Barbara Ann received her BA from Mundelein College, Chicago; MA in Theology from St. Francis University, Joliet; M.Ed. in Administration from Loyola University, Chicago. She was awarded two honorary degrees: Doctor of Humanities from Madonna University, Livonia, Michigan, and Doctor of Humane Letters from Felician University, Lodi, New Jersey.
Sister Judith received her Bachelors of Art in Education and Religious Studies at Felician University, Lodi, NJ and her Masters in Spirituality at Creighton University, Omaha, NE. She has been a Felician Sister for thirty four years. Her past ministries have been in the areas of education, leadership, vocation ministry, formation, retreat ministry and spiritual direction. She has attended and participated in workshops and conferences on spirituality, formation, faith, contemplative prayer, wholistic living, and new membership. She is currently involved in evangelization, retreat ministry, giving parish missions and providing spiritual direction. She also is mission leader for the Mooncrest Neighborhood Programs in Moon Township, PA.
My name is Iris Bartraw. I’m the Director of Engagements at St. Felix Centre. 1991 was the first time I had the opportunity to walk past 25 Augusta Ave. At the time I had no knowledge of who lived in the beautiful Victorian house but each time I passed this beautiful house I had an overwhelming feeling of peace. I was shortly told the house was owned by Sisters no one knew what their order was. In 1996 a neighbor of mine invited me to join her for a meditation group at the Centre located behind the house. My twin boys were now two years of age and I was invited by Sister Dorothy and Joan to join them along with a few moms from my neighborhood. My children interacted with other children as the moms socialized. In 1998 I was invited to be part of the renovation committee for now St. Felix Centre. The renovations were completed in 1999. My children attended summer camp and the after school programs. I worked part time at another agency and would volunteer with the lunch program at St. Felix Centre once per week on my day off. December 2 2002 I was asked to be part of the St. Felix Centre team. Since 2002 to the present I have had the opportunity to not only see St. Felix Centre grow but have the opportunity to grow with it. I have worked in the following areas Kitchen Manager, Volunteer Coordinator, Director of Services and now Director of Engagements. My Journey at St Felix Centre has been a true blessing. At a young age I faced several difficult challenges not knowing what God had in store for me. I now know I had to face these challenges to take me to St. Felix Centre. A place where I have the opportunity to have God work through me to help those in need in a place I now call home.