Franciscan Sisters reflect on service in Greenwood

(Editor’s Note: Earlier this year, Mississippi Catholic requested reflections from the orders of consecrated people serving in the Diocese of Jackson. As those reflections come in, we will share them in the paper as part of the Year of Consecrated Life. Four Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity shared their thoughts on their current work while Sister Judith Norwick, OSF, who has since left her work in Greenwood shared her own reflection on the community. Religious wishing to submit a reflection should send it to
The members of our community include Sister Elena Gonzáles Sister Annette Kurey, Sister Mary Ann Tupy and Sister Kathleen Murphy. We are currently serving at Greenwood St. Francis of Assisi Parish. Our Community Charisms are simplicity, firmly built on faith in a loving God; joyful acceptance of poverty; love for the church, and selfless dedication to the service of others.
Our Community‘s ministries are mainly education and health care though we do have sisters who are parish administrators or use their gifts in different ministries. So when the Franciscan Friars of the Assumption of the Blessed Mary Province asked our Community to work with them here in the Mississippi Delta at St. Francis of Assisi grade school it seemed like a perfect fit. Our school goes from Pre-K to sixth grade.
The school was started in 1951 to serve mainly the African American community here in Greenwood. Today we still serve largely the African American community, but our open door policy welcomes Hispanic families and those of other ethnicities as well.
To celebrate the Year of Consecrated Life we Sisters join in a monthly Holy hour during which we recite a prayer in celebration of Consecrated Life. To initiate the year to our parish we held an open house at our convent on Sunday, February 8th.
We will also be praying as a parish for all of the consecrated men and women religious who have ever served here at St. Francis from its beginnings until today. Another part of celebrating our call to consecrated life is sharing that life through vocation outreach activities. As the year unfolds other opportunities to pray and share will be coming.
My name is Sister Judith Norwick, O.S.F. I served at St. Francis of Assisi Parish during the school years of 2003 – 2009 in parish ministry – visiting the homebound, bringing the Eucharist to them and also to our parishioners in nursing homes or in the hospital.  I was also a part of the RCIA team, and helped in school wherever needed and in our local food pantry. I found the people of Greenwood very welcoming, warm, and friendly, “as warm as the weather in the South.” I miss each one of them.