The Felician Sisters were one of the first communities of women religious to emulate an active-contemplative way of life.
I found the Sisters to be deeply spiritual women who balance the contemplative with their life of ministry. I was attracted to the balance I found there—all within a very loving and caring community of women.”
-Sister Dong Hong Marie Zhang
This pathbreaking model, embraced by Felician Foundress Blessed Mary Angela in the nineteenth century, blended a life of prayer with a life of service—a pioneering concept in religious life at a time when communities of women religious were largely cloistered.
The dual dimensions of contemplation, or prayer, and action, or service, are seamlessly interwoven components of a Felician Sister’s life—each dependent upon and graced by the other. Inspired by the active-contemplative lives of Saint Felix of Cantalice, Saint Francis of Assisi, and Blessed Mary Angela, there is a synchronicity to the active-contemplative components of a Felician Sister’s life—with a prayer life and a life in active ministry both inspiring and propelling each other.
Prayer and the Eucharist are at the heart of each of our days. It is through the contemplative part of our days—spent in quiet meditation, communal prayer, daily Eucharist, and daily rosary—that we are centered, supported, and guided. It is through prayer—both personal and communal—and through daily reception of the Eucharist that we become deeply aware of God’s love, mercy, and abiding presence in our lives.
Our contemplative life—embracing a Franciscan spirituality in lives of prayer, centered in the Eucharist and with devotion to Mary—serves to nurture and sustain our “active” life, ministering among the poor and marginalized, the elderly and infirm, individuals with disabilities, children and youth, and the many who look for God’s presence in their lives.
Nourished by the Eucharist and the Word of God, we reach out to God’s people each day, actively serving in our many and diverse ministries throughout North America, ministering to all those in need as we live the Gospel message and bring spiritual nourishment and the love of God to all whom we serve. We are conduits, if you will, of God’s great mercy and love to all whom we serve and to all whom we meet. It is the contemplative aspect of our lives that supports, guides, and nourishes all that we do in service to God, the Church, and God’s people.
In turn, it is the part of our days spent in service to others that directs and informs our prayer life. As we encounter the many needs, struggles, concerns, and hopes of all those we serve, we look to God to help us become women of hope amid a world so greatly in need of hope. In this way, our prayer life is nourished and guided by our daily ministries.
There is a beautiful and grace-filled synchronicity to the active-contemplative life of a Felician Franciscan Sister.