In Memoriam

Sister Ann Carville OSF
Executive Director
Franciscan Federation
1981 – 1988

Sister Ann Carville OSF

Welcomed to eternal life, February 3, 2018

Just Imagine

The funnier the card, the faster it found its way to 146 Hawthorne Rd – only to be shared all over the Motherhouse – even in chapel!

This was our way, Ann and I, to continue the blessing of our friendship. No matter what illness weakened her body, nothing could touch her spirit.

Fall in love, stay in love… and it will decide everything.    Pedro Arrupe SJ

For over 38 years I have experienced that spirit.  Ann had two great loves: her Franciscan vocation and her Millvale Sisters.  I could not measure the times I heard that!  Actually “cherish” would be a better word.

In a touching e-mail, learning of Ann’s death, Sister Renita Brummer, former President of the Franciscan Federation wrote: A Franciscan pioneer and visionary has transitioned.  And she did all with such grace, humor and inclusion.

Grace, humor and inclusion. And I would add wisdom, passion and of course love. Cancel

Ann’s insight into human nature was uncanny. Her ability to express those insights worth any attention – and sometimes mountains moved. In so many ways she was the treasure held in an earthen vessel. We know of the challenges. Ann clearly lived the Paschal Mystery.

Ann’s insight as a facilitator was like a laser beam. So much good came from that clarity. The entire Franciscan Federation was revitalized on her 9 year “watch” as Executive Director.  Surely it was the Rule itself that kept it on the map, but Ann’s passion and wisdom blazed trails which only now we’ve learned to walk:

  • 1981 over 10,000 pocket editions of the TOR Rule yet to be approved were sent to every Federation member. Come Pope John Paul II’s approval a year later, WE WERE READY.
  • 1982 the first of nineRoots and Wings Seminars” began… five day training Seminars that literally helped us as TOR’s rediscover our birthright. I believe it is safe to say that nothing has been the same.
  • 1983 integral to Federation’s mission, the JPIC Committee is added to Federation’s structure along with the already standing Rule and Life Committee. Both committees are essential to the advancement of the implementation of the new TOR Rule.
  • 1984 Ann and I take the Roots and Wings Seminar to Melton Mowbray, England because the Superior General wants all her Sisters to experience the same enthusiasm and learning of the Americans as she did in Rome in 1982 while voting on the Rule. NB Margaret Carney, Thaddeus Horgan, Roland Faley and all the American Superiors General voting on the Rule.
  • 1985 Ann helps craft the By-Laws for the creation of the International Franciscan Conference TOR, Rome. This IFC/TOR is the fruit of the remarkable collaboration among 200 congregations as the Rule was in the making 1974 – 1982.
  • 1988 Ann renames the international Franciscan Missionary Correspondence Course (FMCC) to Build with Living Stones as 129 sisters and brothers of the Family meet for 10 days in Aston to give it a genuine USA stamp. Original authors attending: Andreus Muller, Anselm Moons and Mel Brady.
  • 1989 The New Orleans Annual Federation Conference (AFC) introduces the family to the concept of “Evangelical Life” through the keynote address of Thaddeus Horgan S.A. By now most of our Constitutions carry that distinction from “Apostolic Life.”
  • 1990 Federation turns twenty-five and Ann gives us an unforgettable Party – River cruise included – in Pittsburgh where Federation was founded by her own Millvale Superior General, Mother Viola. Here we affirm the Core Mission Values of the Federation: Care of the Earth, Concern for the Voiceless and Contemplation.

The Carmelite poet, Jessica Powers writes:

To live with the Spirit of God is to be a listener … to be a lover. It is to keep the vigil of mystery.

For Ann, that vigil is over. Her listening and loving is forever reflected on the faces of our own TOR congregations and provinces.

What a WELCOME HOME must be hers – and so much laughter. I hope they have enough Manhattans!

Thank you, Ann. You are dearly loved. Count on hearing from us – a lot!

Sister Kathleen Moffatt Aston OSF.

February 5, 2018