We have provided answers to several frequently asked questions as listed below. If you would like additional information, please let us know via our Contact page.
You may also contact us directly by calling Our Lady of Hope Provincial Center at 724-384-5300 or by contacting Sr. Desire Anne-Marie Findlay at email@example.com or (724) 384-5311.
What is the origin of the Felician Sisters' name?
Our first Sisters in Poland ministered to the orphans of nineteenth-century Warsaw, often accompanying them to the shrine of Saint Felix of Cantalice, recognized by the people of Poland as the patron saint of children, at Warsaw’s Transfiguration Church. The people of Warsaw observed this daily veneration, soon referring to the Sisters as the “Sisters of St Felix” or “Felicians.” Foundress Blessed Mary Angela named Saint Felix the patron saint of the newly-formed congregation, modeled after the contemplative-active life lived by Saint Felix. The congregation became officially known as the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Felix of Cantalice (CSSF).
Is the Felician Sisters' community an international community?
In addition to Our Lady of Hope Province in North America, provinces in Europe and South America together with numerous Felician ministries across four continents comprise this international community of nearly 1,800 vowed women religious.
How long does it take to be a Felician Sister?
On average, a woman takes part in a seven to nine year formation program—the formative, preparatory process for women who wish to become Felician Sisters. This period of formation begins with the Felician postulancy, continuing through the Felician novitiate and followed by a period of temporary profession, until a woman is ready to take her perpetual vows. For more detailed information on the formation process and each stage within it, please visit the Formation section of our web site.
Is there a minimum age requirement for entrance into the community?
A woman must be 18 years of age or older to be considered for entrance into the Felician community. Women of all ages may request candidacy. Each woman is evaluated on an individual basis.
Do Felician Sisters wear a religious habit?
Felician Sisters may choose to wear either a simple style of the traditional Felician habit, including the long modified habit, worn with a veil, or an alternate habit worn with or without a veil. The traditional habit may be brown, beige, or white. The alternate habit consists of a simple style of suit or dress in brown, beige, black, or white that may be worn with or without a veil.
We wear the Felician wooden crucifix and a simple metal ring received at perpetual profession.
What does living in community mean?
Living in community, or living in common, is central to the Felician way of life. We live in convent homes with a small group of several sisters or in large central convents that are home to hundreds of our sisters—each of us sharing in the lives of our Felician sisters with whom we live—praying, recreating, and eating in common. Our common life is simply the outward manifestation of our shared purpose, mission, and spirit, and strengthened by our shared prayer and liturgical life.
What does it mean that the Felician Sisters are an active-contemplative community?
As members of an active-contemplative community, our lives are spent in a balance of active ministry and contemplative prayer. There is a beautiful and grace-filled synchronicity to the active-contemplative life of a Felician Sister. Inspired by the active-contemplative lives of Saint Felix of Cantalice, Saint Francis of Assisi, and Blessed Mary Angela, the dual dimensions of contemplation and action—prayer and service—are seamlessly interwoven in the life of a Felician Sister, with prayer and active ministry both inspiring and propelling each other. Our contemplative lives—embracing a Franciscan spirituality in lives of prayer, centered in the Eucharist and with devotion to Mary—serve to nurture and sustain our “active” lives, serving in numerous ministries throughout North America.
Are women today interested in becoming Felician Sisters? Are women joining the community today?
Yes! Women throughout North America are choosing to live lives as Felician Franciscan Sisters. They are women of all ages, all backgrounds, and all walks of life who share a common bond in their desire to serve God and the Church within our Franciscan community of vowed women religious. Across all stages of Felician formation—candidacy, postulancy, novitiate, and in temporary profession—women are journeying toward life as a fully professed Felician Sister. Many, many more women are in the process of discernment.
Are the Felician Sisters involved in one particular type of ministry?
We serve in a wide variety of ministries, rather than in one particular field of ministry, continuing to heed our Foundress’ call to serve all in need without exception. You will find us across North America compassionately serving people of all age groups, serving a diversity of need as varied as the people of God themselves—from school children, the elderly, the infirm, the sick, the impoverished, the marginalized, the imprisoned, the homeless and the abandoned, college students, young adults, parish members, those who are disabled, to all those in need of prayer.
For more information about our range of ministries in North America, please visit the Who We Serve section of our site.