East Peoria Franciscans plan open house with a service twist June 13
Photo Caption: Visitors to the motherhouse of The Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis on Saturday, June 13, will be invited to “Come and Serve with the Sisters” in three of their outreaches.
EAST PEORIA — The Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis are opening the doors of their motherhouse again on Saturday, June 13, and this time they hope you’ll “Come and Serve with the Sisters.”
The open house will be held from 1 to 4 p.m. and give people an opportunity to learn more about the OSF Richard L. Owens Hospice Home in Peoria, the OSF Faith Community Nurse Program, and the community’s annual bazaar, which raises funds to help the needy all year long. Those who wish may work with the Sisters on projects for each of these mission outreaches, according to Sister Judith Ann Duvall, OSF, major superior of the East Peoria Franciscan community.
She emphasized that individuals of all ages will be able to help.
“For the hospice home we’ll be making prayer shawls out of fleece material, with Scripture messages on tags. That will wrap them in comfort with a little spiritual message,” she said, noting that more than 800 people were served there last year.
While people are needed to cut the material, tie the ends, and attach messages to the prayer shawls, children will be invited to draw pictures and make cards for the people who will receive them. Adults may also wish to lend a hand or sign their names to these messages of comfort and hope, Sister Judith Ann said.
The Faith Community Nurse Program has four nurses working in a ministry of presence and friendship in two of Peoria’s poorest neighborhoods. The goal is to get to know area pastors and their people and connect them to the resources they need.
Sister Judith Ann said people who attend the open house will be able to help them assemble house blessing kits and rosary kits, as well as dental kits that include toothbrushes, toothpaste and information about good dental hygiene among other things. They may also make gift bags for neighborhood children and learn about a project to collect and assemble packets for one inner-city school.
The Faith Community Nurse Program is a perfect fit for the Franciscan community, she said, because “that’s how the Sisters started — going door to door, getting to know people.”
The nurses will be on hand to talk about volunteer opportunities and give people contact information.
“It will be activities done inside, within a large room, so come casual and comfortable,” Sister Judith Ann said. “It will be fun to have people join us.”
She said she looks forward to sharing how they strive to reach out and partner with those most in need and address their needs. “This will give people a wonderful opportunity to see how they can be part of it, if they wish.”
The motherhouse is located at 1175 St. Francis Lane (Access Road 14 on Illinois Route 116) just west of Germantown Hills.