We, Missionary Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate Conception, commit ourselves by profession of vows to:
Manifest God’s universal compassion through inclusive non-dominating relationships of love.
Trust in God’s Providence and live in a manner that affirms the right of all to a just share of the earth’s resources.
Discern together the voice of the Spirit that has called us to be one in our diversity.
In the spirit of Francis, Clare, and Elizabeth Hayes, we promote ever-widening circles of communion as we:
Open ourselves to a life of continued conversion in response to the call of the Gospel.
Identify with the victim, the poor and the marginalized in seeking a peace built on justice.
Reverence creation, acknowledging the right of all God’s creatures to enjoy its blessings.
Address the need within ourselves for repentance, forgiveness and healing while promoting a message of reconciliation.
I have been in a Franciscan school for six years, and as I reflect on my years here, in my final year, I have to think about everything a Franciscan education has given me. When I came to Mount Alvernia in seventh grade, I wasn’t shy in the slightest-it was actually quite the opposite. I had a spirit I had no idea what to do with. The energy and curiosity I had when I came here have been molded and shaped, even concentrated into the senior you see in front of you. My teachers saw what I could do, and infused that spirit with Franciscan values like humility, compassion, and service. I know what to do with the spirit I was given thanks to the education I received here at Mount Alvernia, and I know the lessons I learned here will not easily be forgotten.
Along with the influence of Franciscan values in my personal and academic lives, the values taught at Mount Alvernia influence my spiritual life as well. When I had to pick a Confirmation saint, the first person I thought of was Saint Clare of Assisi. To me, she is what I, and every other Franciscan woman has the ability to be. She followed Saint Francis, and lived by his teachings. In many ways, she is the first 7C’s woman. Her compassion for the world and her dedication to service define how I view my faith and my role in the world. Going to a school where those ideals are championed has only strengthened my drive to do good and helped me develop even more into the person I am meant to be.
I am so grateful for everything my Franciscan education has given me. I am thankful for my understanding of compassion, my sense of duty towards service, and my willingness to be an instrument of peace. The 7th grader who came to Mount Alvernia had the potential to be a 7C’s woman, and the senior in front of you is able to realize her potential to be a woman of compassion,confidence, character, courage, competence, commitment, and community. Without the women who have shaped me in the classroom, on the sports’ field, and in the chapel I would not be who I am today. These women, with their dedication to the teachings of St. Francis and to the vision of Elizabeth Hayes, have made me the best version of myself I could be. When I leave Mount Alvernia, those seven virtues won’t leave me, they will only grow. My Franciscan education has given me the amazing opportunity to develop myself beyond these walls, yet never feel like I am ever too far away from where I came from. I want to thank all of my teachers, coaches, the administration, and the Missionary Franciscan Sisters who had led me by example and who continue to inspire me every day. Pax et Bonum.
Amanda McFarland Class of 2017