Mission and Heritage Week is a communal expression of our shared tradition, mission and values in Felician Sponsored Ministries. The aim of the week is to create a sense of unity among us and to call us to a deeper understanding of, and a sense of accountability for, living our mission and values.
It is an opportunity to acknowledge and celebrate Saint Francis of Assisi and Blessed Angela Truszkowska both of whom have inspired countless people to serve the less fortunate with compassion, readiness of spirit, and generosity of heart in response to God’s love. This week gives current employees, volunteers and board members a chance to learn more about their founding spirit to celebrate their gift to the Church with the Felician Sisters of the North American Province. Mission and Heritage Week renews a sense of pride in mission and allows us to praise God with much gratitude for all the good that continues to be done in our Felician ministries.
An international Congregation of nearly 2000 women religious, the Felician Sisters have a story with simple beginnings.
In 1825, Blessed Mary Angela Truszkowska, foundress of the Felician Sisters, was born Sophia Camille in Kalisz, Poland of well-educated and devout parents. From her earliest years, her deep piety was coupled with a strong recognition of the needs of the people of her time: the plight of the youth, widows and elderly.
By 1854, she had crystallized a vision of her mission. She set about to seek help for the forsaken children of Warsaw’s inner city and the elderly homeless. The congregation had its origin in social services and this work flourished.
In 1855, Sophia became a member of the Third Order of St. Francis and took the name Angela. On November 21, she and her cousin consecrated themselves to do God’s will. This was the beginning of the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Felix of Cantalice, Third Order of St. Francis, more popularly known as the Felician Sisters. In the decades after, the Felician sisters actualized the Gospel in generating needed social changes, actively survived political suppression and assumed a vital and lasting role in the mission of the church.
In 1874, Angela heartily endorsed sending sisters to America and personally blessed the first five Felician Sisters as they left for Polonia, Wisconsin, where they worked with Polish immigrants as well as with Winnebago and Menomonee Indians. Soon after, in 1882, the sisters established their first provincial headquarters in Detroit, Michigan. From there, six more provinces, many vocations and diverse ministries flourished.
In 1989, to safeguard the Felician Sisters interests at the sponsored ministries, Felician Services, was created to empower, challenge and support the sponsored ministries.
In 2009 the Felician Sisters established one North American province, Our Lady of Hope, centered in Beaver Falls, PA.