Executive Committee 1998-2000
Paula Burke Depass
Norma La Haye
Gloria Ho Shue
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Franciscans celebrate 140 years and 120 years in Jamaica
Franciscan Sisters of Allegany (FSA) was founded in 1859 by three young women in
the foothills of Allegany, New York, U.S.A. At the first General Chapter In
1865, Sr. Mary Teresa O'Neil was elected General Superior and remained as such
for nearly 60 years. The Immaculate Conception Academy (later ICHS) was
opened in January 1858 in downtown Kingston by Franciscan Sisters from Glasg6w,
Scotland. When they became unable to send Sisters to Jamaica, they asked for
help from the Vicar of Jamaica, Very Rev. Thomas Porter, S.J. So it was that the
FSA sent Srs. Mary Veronica Murphy, Mary Raphael McCauliff and Mary Dominica
Enright to Jamaica in 1878 on board the banana boat, "Clarabelle".
They were the first American Sisters to perform any foreign missionary work. The
history of ICHS is therefore older than that of the FSA in Jamaica. In 1879 the
FSA firmly established itself at 76 Duke Street, Kingston.
From its humble birth in Allegany, the FSA has grown into a congregation with convents in the U.S.A., Jamaica, Bolivia, and Brazil. Currently, Sr. Joan Clare is working to establish a new community of Missionaries of the Poor in the Philippines. Education is the basis of positive development in any country, organization, or person and women are the glue that keeps families and communities together. With this in mind, the primary goal of the FSA is to provide good education for young women. Their work in Jamaica began with ICHS but expanded into numerous schools around the island. When the D'Aquin sisters joined the order, their father donated a dowry of twenty-five acres called the "Pen". The Sisters renamed the area "Alvernia" and developed on it - St. Francis All Age School, St. Joseph's Teachers' College, Alvernia Prep, a convent, and a final resting place for the Sisters. The FSA serve in the medical field in the U.S.A. but in Jamaica their work has been concentrated in education. They established and serviced many schools throughout the island, some of which they are no longer associated with because of a lack of new vocations. The Sisters also serve the people of Jamaica in the areas of health care, spiritual direction & prayer, and several outreach programs. Of note are: "Franciscan Ministries" (1992) directed by Sr. Grace, works with the poorest of the poor within their own communities. The "FSA Refugee Office", an arm of the U.N., directed by Sr. Joan Clare was established in 1994 to deal with the Haitian refugee situation. The "Franciscan Spirituality Centre" (1994), directed by Sr. Maria Goretti is located at Immaculate and offers days of retreat, hermitage experience, ongoing spiritual direction, First Friday Club for business and professional people, and senior citizens' days of recollection. "The Charitable Association For The Franciscan Sisters of Allegany" (CAFSA), co-ordinates aid for the continuation of the Sisters' good work in Religious development, Education, and Health Care. "The Hope Teaching Health Clinic" or "Roman Clinic" (1975) operates in MoBay.
In addition to the aforementioned, a few of the FSA's schools are: St. Aloysius Primary, St.Joseph's Infant, Our Lady of the Angels Prep., Marymount High (Highgate),Mt. Alvernia Prep., and Chetwood Memorial (MoBay), etc. Some names of note are: Sr. Adele Marie Hugue O.S.F. who came in 1934; Sr. Cordia Keady O.S.F., the oldest living Franciscan missionary in Ja. came in 1935; and Sr. Mary John, gifted musician and artist whose painting of the Sacred Heart hangs in the convent's lobby. Some of the sisters' oldest work was done within the city's primary schools, such as St. Anthony's. St. Anne's; St. Joseph's, St. Aloysius, etc. Forever associated with these schools are such stalwarts as Srs. Sylvia, Eugene, Augustine Marie, Marie Emmanuel, Marie Jean, Maria Gertrude, Clare Marie, Magdalene Marie, Fidelma, Dorothy Adelbert, Basil, Daniel, Constance Marie, Teresita, Anacetus, Anne Martin, Greta, Coleen, Eloine. In Jamaica the jewel in the crown is of course, I.C.H,S, Immediately we think of Sr. Davidica O.S.F. (Sr.D) headmistress of ICHS for many years and her successors, Srs. Maureen Clare and Mary Catherine. We also think of Srs. Anne O'Donnell, Stella Rose, James Vincent, Mary Ambrose, Mary Agnes, Tarcissia, Immaculene, William Margaret, Jean Francis, Trinita, Pat Shirley, Cecile, Josette. Over at ICHS Prep we think of Srs. Martynello, Clarella, Mary Murphy. Sr. Barttholomew left an indelible mark on Catholic teacher training in Ja. but we also think of Srs. Charlotte and Avril. All these vowed women of the Church plus many, many others not mentioned gave of themselves solely for our betterment and benefit. Some gave their lives, coming to Jamaica as young women and staying. Others came and served in Jamaica for only a short time. These Franciscan sisters have touched us all, some for generations- from our grandmothers to our grand children. From three brave, Christian women grew an extended family of great worth. Where would we be today without these Sisters helping to shape and guide our nation of Jamaica for the past 120 years. Thank you, Sisters, and may God continue to hold you in the palm of His hand.
The Franciscan sisters of Allegany in Jamaica pose with the General Minister and General Council from the United States during one of their regional assemblies. Regional assemblies are held approximately three times a year. The sisters assemble together to pray, discuss, plan and examine their life in community and their mission to the church in Jamaica.
glorious summer is here. We spend so much of our year waiting for summer that I
think we miss a lot of the good in the other seasons. Coming from the tropics we
have a yearning for warm weather. The summers in Toronto are beautiful and we
have to enjoy every day and store up the feeling for the winter. I know that is
how I get through the winters. With this in mind I hope I will see a great
turnout for the picnic in August. We had a very nice turnout at the lost one and
a very good day was had by all. It was a very relaxed and pleasant day with very
little activity planned. We all appreciated that no stress day. We did not have
to participate in too many organized activities.
am using this space to publicly thank my newsletter staff. We would like to have
others contribute to the newsletter (that means YOU). We will print anything of
interest, news, and jokes. Please contribute and make the newsletter fun to
receive. The last newsletter can be viewed on the Internet. Without the tireless
Yvonne Lyew keeping on us to get our articles to her we would not have a
newsletter which you all enjoy so much. Janice Soon Fah now calls Hawaii home
and loves it, but she still looks forward to the newsletter.
hove received word from girls living all over the world that they would love to
hear more from all of you. If there is someone you have thought of and wondered
about, just drop us a line and we will track her down and print an update on the
life and times of .... Maybe you have a small business and need to get the word
out, we would only be too happy to do an article. If you have a thought running
through your head and need feedback, please pass it along and we will print it
and get the feedback from others, Anything that is important to you is important
to us. Give it a try. We are here to be of service to you.
August 20th 2000
good wishes and prayers to our spiritual advisor who has gone south for one
year's novitiation to become a Franciscan Friar.
God bless Father, see you back in Toronto next summer.
Millingen, Maggie Silvera and 5adie Murdock (Texas) would like to acknowledge
their thanks and appreciation to Sr. Maureen Clare who made all the arrangements
for a Funeral Mass for their mother, Mary Steer, who passed away in her 108th
year in Jamaica.
Dr. Alex Mah and Dr. Andrew Mah, sons of Lily and Edward Mah-Leung, on the opening of their Markville Optometry Clinic, located in Markville Mall. Both graduated with Honours from the University of Waterloo.
Prayers and Condolences to alumnae and their families who lost loved ones
Eleanor Vaz on the loss of her mother,Midiana Shackleford.
the family of Gloria Ho Shue (nee Wee Tom) and Francine Leung on the loss of
Myrtle Wee-Tom who died under tragic circumstances in Jamaica.
Lodenquai, mother of Raymond who is married to Beverley Chin-Lodenquai.
(Nicey) Chin nee Hugh, mother of Christine, Simon and Darren; sisters Virginia
Chong, Norma Bloye and Anita Chang for whom "Life has not ended, only
is time for renewal of your membership with the Toronto Chapter of the
Immaculate Conception High School Alumnae Association.
Membership entitles you to:
monies received through contributions and membership fees are distributed by the
Association for the following:
Scholarship fund effective Sept 99 - annually
services, food and activity expenses are voluntary and contributed by the
Alumnae, their families, friends and supporters.
make cheque for $10.00 payable to: