Barb Spies, OFS, Director of Mission Services and Pastoral Care
St. Francis greeted all that he met with the Italian words “Pace e Bene,” which means “Peace and Good.” That is my wish for you all as I start this role as Director of Mission Services and Pastoral Care here at Felician Village. I come to you after spending 20 years at Cardinal Stritch University, a Franciscan campus in Milwaukee that recently closed its doors. I was the Director of Mission Integration and taught Communication. I am a Secular Franciscan, which is an Order in the Catholic Church for lay people who want to follow the Gospel in the model of St. Francis and St. Clare of Assisi.
As you can imagine, this change has been quite the transition for me! But, we all go through transitions. Change can leave us feeling vulnerable
and challenged. We like to feel that we are in control. At the same time, learning new ways can be exciting. As we pass through this doorway from
the well-known to the new and different, we wonder what it will look like when we enter.
Scripture tells us the story of God’s people, a people in constant motion. Moses led his people through the wilderness for 40 years, strengthened
by God’s promises. As we move along our way through life, there are many shifts and turns. In Psalm 32:8, we learn about the comfort of God’s
presence: “I will instruct you and show you the way you should walk, give you counsel with my eye upon you.”
The first Felician Sisters in North America had quite the journey on their call to serve in Wisconsin. They traveled by train and ship from October 24
to November 20, 1874 from Cracow, Poland to Polonia, Wisconsin. I am strengthened in my transition to this new role in this new place by their
stories of letting go of all they knew to face the turbulence of travel to begin their ministry here. I am especially certain that this change is to a welcome place where the Felician Village family has made me feel at home!