Compassionate Ministry

In the early 1980s, I was teaching at Bishop Gallagher High School and felt inspired to become a volunteer for the Team for Justice in jail ministry. Conversations indicated that I could best serve by forming a small team that would go weekly to the jail facility in Eloise to prepare the incarcerated to take their G.E.D. exam (the high school equivalency test). Sister Marie Geraldine Brownell, an Adrian Dominican Sister, had already agreed to help, but we needed a third to make it go. I asked my friend, Sister Beatrice Marie Plamondon (Albertus), if she were interested, and immediately she said “yes.” At the time, Sister Beatrice was teaching 5th Grade at Queen of Apostles School in Hamtramck. Permission was obtained from her Local Minister, Sister Ursula, and the Provincial Minister, Mother Clarentine, and we began.

Sister Beatrice taught Math to a group of men in the facility and she was greatly admired by them as well as by the staff rather quickly. Sister and I had already been friends for several years by then, but this was our first shared apostolic project. How my eyes were opened! It was there that I first realized that wherever I found Sister Beatrice, in the jail, in the parish neighborhood in Hamtramck, or for many years later at her parish in Saginaw, she steps forward quickly whenever the needy are present. Whether they are the incarcerated, the handicapped confined to their homes, the widowed or poor parishioner, the lonely or the poor, she has a knack for seeking them out and being present to them. What a living example she has always been for me of Franciscan values, Clarian fidelity and Felician service.

When her cousin, Saint Andre Bessette, was canonized in Rome, I happened to be assigned to Rome as a professor at the Pontifical Angelicum University, and I was delighted to share the happiness of that event and some of the delights of Rome with Sister Beatrice, and her Dominican sister, Sister Maxine. They and their deceased Felician aunt, Sister Bernadine Fabiszak, have been my friends for nearly fifty years now.

Father Michael Monshau, O.P.

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Serving where needed since 1874

Founded in Poland in 1855, the Felician Sisters are a congregation of women religious inspired by the spiritual ideals of their foundress, Blessed Mary Angela Truszkowska, and Saints Francis of Assisi, Clare of Assisi and Felix of Cantalice. Arriving in North America in 1874 following Blessed Mary Angela’s directive “to serve where needed,” they helped to weave the social service system. Today, the Felician Sisters founded, sponsor or support through the presence of our sisters, more than 40 ministries – all continuing to evolve to meet the needs of the people they serve.

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  • Felician Sisters of North America is a 501(c)3 tax-exempt organization.
  • EIN 27-1282473
Felician Sisters of North America