♪[ music ] hello and on behalf of the arch diocese of san francisco welcome to mosaic. the arch diocese has a long and deep relationship with st. francis and his following. various congregations of religious people that follow the way of st. francis we call them the. i said the relationship to our city is long but it's not really that long in the scale of things. our arch diocese is one of his younger daughters perhaps still in our adolescents really. she's named after her sainted father of course st. francis. the arch diocese was created about 160 years ago.
the mission church at the heart of the city was founded by francis' followers less than 250 years ago and all of that is recent history in the timeline. for francis himself was born close to 850 years ago and for more than eight centuries his followers have been among the spiritual, pastoral and interelect yule leaders of the catholic church. what forms has this leadership taken? the way of st. francis is one of service and humility and self-sacrifice to others and love for all creatures and all creation. today we will talk to one of the sisters of st. francis in our arch diocese to learn more about the mission and way of life. so please rejoin us after this brief break to meet st. helen and dive into the special world fran cyst yans
>> christian comparative. >> pennants and christian charity. >> yeah. >> tell us about yourself where are you located and what do you do? >> i'm in red wood city, california with the offices for st. francis province here in california. our congregation is an international congregation. we have provinces in ten countries around the world and then each province has missions in other countries. . >> ten countries around the world with provinces and sisters who populate that. >> right. >> okay. >> we used to have in the hay day of the congregation around 5,000 sisters. >> worldwide? >> worldwide and now we are about 1200. >> that's pretty good numbers for the declining population of catholic religious. >> yup but most we have are in indonesia, tanzania and brazil. the european and american provinces are slowly aging. >> we understand that and it's
a demographic fact that they're aging out. and then you say there were 5,000 in the hay day. when was your congregation founded? >> we were founded in 1835 in a small village in south eastern holland. right along the german border. and it was right after the napolean wars and catherine damon was a young woman in the village. didn't have much education but was touched by god in her own space and in her own heart and wanted to serve. and so she became--there were no religious to the friars and convents everything had been closed during the wars. >> yes so how did she find the franciscans? >> the catholics came to her village and she got a job there working and slowly they founded a third order section of--a third order
group that she belonged to. >> let's define a third order for one of these religious ti isthe franciscans have three orders. the first order is the friars. the second order are the poor claires. and then francis realized towards the end of his life that there were people who were called to be franciscan who were not free to become either a religious or because they had families. >> yes. >> but they still had the heart. >> they couldn't live in the community because they had another obligation. >> yeah. they had other obligations so the late group then was formed so people could come together, share their faith and promote works together. >> yes. >> but they still had their first commitment was to their families. >> and again the founding of the first order was just after 1200 am i wrong? >> right. 1222 i believe was the first
one. >> and it seems confusing to the lamen who looks into the many congregations but the original order of friars minors is that right? >> that's right. >> and the four claires. >> do they have an official name? >> i think it's just the poor claires. they probably do but i'm not aware what the official title is. >> and if i were a third order franciscan would i have initial titles? >> yes. our community we have osf after our name. >> osf? >> order of st. francis. >> and yourself how long have you been in this vocation? >> well i hate to say this but i've been in it for 51 years. >> so will you join unit three? >> yes i s and wai went to a catholic high school in a small town in nebraska called o'neil and our sisters the community i belong to our sisters were in school there an
late 1800s and so i was attracted to their life and knew that i was called to it and so i entered the community the year after i graduated from high school. >> and was your vision that you would live in the community of sisters or that you would carry out a certain work as your vocation? what did you see as your vocation and what did you learn as your expertise? >> what i saw then is a little different than what i see now. what i saw then is a group of educated women who were educating the young people in my town, in my area and also around the hospital. they were powerful women. they were like i said well educated and have traveled and there was something about them and the way that they cared for us that i knew i wanted to join them. >> hmm. and when you did what was your- -what became your expertise? >> i went to college. i majored in english and became an english
teacher, got my masters from holy names back in 91. >> holy names here? >> here, yeah. >> you came to california when? >> about 1980 and i was teaching at sarah high school from the fall of 1982 until 2002. >> okay. >> and then i did other various works for the community through the years. the community asked me at one point to go to germany to learn the culture and the language then i went as a missionary to tanzania for several months taking part in the international order. translatou have to lrn in your late 40s. >> all right. so you're not a teacher anymore. >> no. >> but you're working in the arch diocese of san
. hello and welcome back. i'm here with sister ellen mccabe. sister, do you have initials after your name? >> yes our community is osf, order of st. francis. >> okay. order of st. francis. and you live and work locally part of a global or international sisterhood with ten provinces. >> uh huh. >> but you derive your mission and your style of religion from st. francis originally. >> uh huh.
>> and that was a long, long time ago. what--you know i've forgotten some of my fifth grade catholic school learning so can you remind me about the original history of this? >> francis was the son of a wealthy merchant and when he was growing up it was just the time of the merchant class becoming part of that wealthy class the nobility and clergy and pes yants as they were moving up in that area so francis came from a wealthy family and had anything he wanted and was kind of a playboy. . >> okay. >> he had a reputation in the town and wasn't always a good one i don't think. >> okay. >> but his dream was to go to the crusades. >> yes, right. >> so he was on his way to join them and was in battles and got knocked off his horse and was held prisoner for a year just down
the road and he had dreams and visions then but it was a very dark time for him and when he went home his father was not happy with him and francis had somehow heard that call from the lord deep inside himself and he realized that he was repelled by some things in society and for him it was the leppers. >> yes. okay. >> and so as he went on with his life and realized he still wanted to go off to the crusades but francis had a dream in which the lord said to him francis do you want to serve- -who do you want to serve, the lord or the master? and well of course he wanted to serve the master. and so he began to think and gradually his conversion was a slow one and sometimes we laugh at ourselves and say we are franciscans before francis was converted and sometimes it's after. >> oh, okay. >> we all have to go through our own conversions so he was--he was praying in this
little church that he rebuilt. he heard this cross say to him francis rebuild my church so he took that very literally and rebuilt the little port. and then he realized it was more than that, god was calling him to something more than just putting bricks and mortar together and some of the other young men who he had been associated with before who had been laughing at him because he had be become this kind of out cast in another way. >> okay, yeah. >> and they began to join him and they began to form a brotherhood. >> interesting and their brotherhood was about--it wasn't about teaching. >> no. >> was it about hospital work? >> no it was about serving those on the edges. >> okay. >> the poverty stricken, the population--well i ldn't say huge but there was
a large population of leppers in the valley and they were--they had to ring a bell just like they did in the time of jesus. >> out casts, sure. >> so one day francis was riding his horse and he saw a lepper and usually he would turn and go the other direction. this time he got off his horse and went and embraced the lepper and that as franciscans we look at that as really the pinnacle of his conversion when he was able to recognize jesus in the lepper. >> and i think very quickly he was called to the order men came around him in a brotherhood. >> yeah. >> and claire is someone that francis knew personally right? >> yes. claire was also in the small village, the small commune. her family was of nobility so claire had a very fine education. she spoke several different languages. she had her ladies in waiting and she saw francis and she saw his work with the
poor and claire herself had done this time since she was a little child she would always set some of her food aside and the servants would take it out then at night when her father wasn't working. so claire had the same call. but it was impossible for women to roam through the country doing their preaching so francis made arrangements for her to stay a few nights then she became like for a while before like a hermit until they could find a place for her and finally they put outside of the town. >> and this is all in francis' life in a few short years. we only have about another minute in this segment. >> okay. >> but what's the magnetic attraction of these people who are doing good? why did so many people so quickly join? >> well the church was in a bad state. >> okay. >> very much like the
contemporary church. there was a lot of scandal and wealth in the church and there were a lot of poor people and what was the--francis saw that discrepancy and he and others wanted to change that. you know, monks in monasteries should not be acquiring all of this wealth when people didn't have enough to eat and children were starving. so his desire was to be among the people and to serve the people as best he could. . >> and in this it seems like francis sinclair and their people didn't leave the church but they recognized the responsibility to i don't know challenge the church. >> yes. francis was very much and we as franciscans today we follow francis and francis' vision was we stay in communion with the church, we are part of the church. but part of our responsibility as being part of the church is to challenge those things that are not right. >> sounds very good. we do it on the domestic level.
hello and welcome back. we have a few more minutes to talk with sister ellen mccabe. we'll squeeze a lot in. sister helen we wanted to ask you about projects that your congregation and order is doing. you mentioned hospital work. >> uh huh. we were initially founded in holland by appeases yant woman who served the people in her village so she was teaching the children and visiting the sick so we ended up as a congregation that basically promoted teaching, education and hospital work. >> okay. >> with several hospitals in different parts of the world we still do. here in our province we have one hospital that's associated with dignity and santa maria. >> oh yeah, okay. >> but that was what we did for the first 150 years of our life as a congregation. now many of our sisters are
older, many of them are retired. those who are still working are working in parishes and working on the margins so to speak. >> okay. >> one of our sisters has gone down to the border. a couple of times in july and in august and is planning to go again to work with the immigrants there at the border. 25 years ago, we went down to mexico to a small village. >> is that mountain territory? >> it's in the mountains the southern most state of mefn could he so there's a lot of indigenous people there. really no healthcare available to them at all. . >> right. >> so we're in the process now of building a clinic there so that the needs of the indigenous people will be taken care of and they will have some place to go for broken bones, to deliver babies, whatever happens to them.
>> sure. >> to get treatment. >> and you've been there 25 years? >> 25 years. >> do all of the workers there come down from the north? or local. >> we've got four sisters now down there who are natives there, two of our sisters from this province go back and forth with their work there. and one of them is a nurse and they're training in administration so that they can get this--it's not really going to be a hospital. it's more of a clinic where they can go. >> and you mentioned the clinic comes in a box. >> yeah it's called a clinic in the can. >> genius of modern technology. >> yeah. it's a carrier of. >> a container from a ship? >> yeah and they built them in kansas and you can have them fully equipped with whatever you want in it. so they--i can't remember what they cost. it's about a $2 million expense to get everything and then to get the land prepared for it to sit on
and all of that. but two of them, two modules will become a surgical center and one module will become obgyn and the other will be for emergency services. >> wonderful. >> so it's exciting. >> is there a tocontte to this project? >> of course. yes. i'm sure that our sisters would be very happy to take contributions. i can give you our address. >> you know speak it now if you don't mind. >> oh, okay. we're at the sisters of st. francis at post office box 1028 in redwood city, california 94064. . >> wonderful. good to know. >> it's wonderful. we need funds and as franciscans we are so, so with banking. it's not one of the thidges that we like to do but we doo it when we need to help the poor. >> sure, that's wonderful. that's an interesting project. you mentioned your population
is aiming some have retired. are you looking for vocations? >> the world is changes. women have many more opportunities and some ways that plays into it and in other ways it has nothing to do with it. god is still calling people to follow in whatever way god chooses to call them. >> yeah. >> and it might not be to the kind of religious life that i've lived for the last 50 years but there are people who are being called and we will walk with anyone who wants to walk that journey. it really wouldn't be fair for us to taiping women into a group of grandmothers and say you know this is the way we live life but if you want to come together as two or three and you want some guidance. >> yes. >> we are there to walk with you. . >> that sounds very attractive. there are lots of young people searching for spiritual component for their lives which they don't know where to find it.
>> there's a group out there called nuns and nuns. i'm sure you're familiar with that. >> the nones. no i don't know about this group. >> it's the communication between them. it's forming that relationship and at the bottom of our franciscan that is what it's all about is relationship. >> yeah. >> what is our relationship, what is my relationship to my sisters and the people i work with and the people that i serve to the world. >> yeah. >> who am i in this world and what am i called to do. and it's nothing big. it's relating on a one to one basis and doing what i can. . >> you mentioned that the fran cyst can style is to kind of be on the margins not put yourself forward, be assistance, be consistent, be stable and be unknown. i think that's part of it. >> that's kind of what it is, yeah. everybody knows about francis but most people--i shouldn't say most people
because i don't really know but a lot of people think francis and the bird bath. >> yes. >> and the blessing of the animals on feast day. >> sure. >> but it's much more than that. it's identifying with the voiceless and vulnerable. it's being at places like st. anthony's foundation. >> exactly. >> in the dining room there and on the streets with the people. >> exactly. >> and being of service the faithful fools. >> the faithful fools. that's a good one. we only have a few seconds left just about time enough for me to say thank you very much. >> thank you. >> it's been a gift to meet you and talk with you and if anybody wants to look up the sisters of st. francis. >> post office box 1028, redwood city, california 94064. wonderful. it's been great talking to you. thank you so much for joining us on mosaic and if you want to get in touch with st. francis all you need to do is to pray and he will answer and hear what you are saying. thank you very much for joining us on mosaic.
live from the cbs bay area studios this is kpix5 news. . thousands of iranians take part in the funeral precession for the country's top general killed in a u.s. drone strike. president trump says he was plotting attacks against americans. protestors around the u.s. including san francisco and san jose to voice their opposition to a potential war with iran. a man who was trapped friday and rescued has now died. it's just z about 6:00 a.m. on this sunday january 5. good morning. >> i'm emily turner let's start with your weather this morning. there are a few scattered showers out there still but not too many of them. certainly not nearly as many as yesterday ta overall